Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Defy

Defy (Defy, #1)

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Published: January 7, 2014

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

I do not know how to explain Defy. It was part romance, part adventure with a magical twist, and part betrayal. The story kept me very entertained the entire way through. Honestly, I read the entire story within a day. It hooked me that much.
Alexa, or Alex as she was called, immediately captured my attention. After her parents were murdered in front of her, she does everything she can to protect herself from going to a breeding house. Her twin, Marcus, cuts off her hair and they both go into the army. She exudes the confidence of a male, playing the part perfectly. Of course, she isn’t without her struggles, such as romance.
The romance aspect annoyed me. In Defy it seemed forced and unnatural to say the least. I hate love triangles. Unless well written, they get in the way of the story and it distracts from the real story. The love story in Defy was not well executed. All it did was make Alex more annoying. Plus, the boys who were fighting over her were very stupid! Seriously, who confesses their undying love for you while you are being held hostage and taken half-way across the country. (I guess that is a normal plot line in YA fiction….) Apparently Rylan and Damian, that’s who. Those boys made me want to reach into the book and smack them silly.
Damian’s whole character was based on him keeping secrets from Alex. He said he wanted to trust her, but how can you ever trust someone if you don’t first put your trust in them. It seemed that each chapter, a new secret that Damian was hiding would pop up and hurt Alex. I’m all for secrets in books, they do help move the plot along and give the book some mystery, but the amount of secrets that Damian had was annoying. I might be exaggerating, and I get it, he’s a prince, he’s gonna have some secrets! But enough is enough! Just tell the girl the truth every once in a while.
Rylan wasn’t really any better. He just didn’t keep secrets from Alex, besides loving her. Oh, and the fact that he knew she was a girl the entire time. Rylan is the silent brooding type. I don’t know what book or movie made that sterotype sexy, but I am personally not a fan. He gets upset when he shocks Alex with the truth and she doesn’t know exactly how to react. Who could blame her? Her only friend knows she’s a girl and is also in love with her. What’s a girl to do?
Alexa is still awesome though. While reading, you have to keep in mind that she has been hiding as a male for the last three years. SHE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO HAVE FEELINGS! JUST LIKE ANY GUY! Especially any 17 year-old male. Gosh, are they stupid. They keep everything inside to put on this fa├žade of machoness. It doesn’t work. This is coming from an 18 year old. IT DOESN’T WORK! You just push people away keeping everything inside, and that is what Alex was trying to do. She didn’t grieve properly (ever) and she had to act like a male. So her character was a little hard to get behind sometimes with the actions she chose, but it all worked out in the end. She was a badass. That’s all that matters. She was her own hero. She learned how to fight and protect herself so she would never be put into a breeding house. She was the best fighter that the palace had, beating all those males in strength, something they do not like. If she isn’t the embodiment of girl power, then I don’t know what is.
If you like fantasy with a romance aspect, and of course, unrequited love, then Defy is the book for you. Even if you don’t like those things, I would recommend checking it out. Defy was very well written and had a good story line that was easy to follow and kept me engaged. I might hate love triangles, but I finished this book in less than a day and immediately bought the sequel.

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