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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

DEFY by Sara B. Larson (Scholastic, Jan 2014)

From Sara B. Larson's blogAlexa 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?

Audience: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 336 pgs

Rating:  **** (Loved it.)

Review: Can't even remember how I came across this book, but I knew I had to read it when it came out in January. And then, one days I was trolling NetGalley for a good read and there it was. You better believe I requested that title like a boss. (Forgive me, I'm practicing my teen lingo since I'm in the middle of editing a YA project.) And I was so giddy when I got approved for it.
I loved all the real elements to this story. It's not soft, fluffy, everyone-lives-happily-ever-after fantasy (yeah, the uh, kind I write...) I love how strong Alexa is. I love the way she feels torn between her best friend and the prince. The romance in it is exciting and spine tingling. (Sweetness!) My only, tiny little pickyness is that the political parts seemed so big for the story. It was a little hard to keep track of the royal family and the opposing sides, but it didn't detract from the story at all. (Maybe I'll just have to read it again...)

Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being saturated
Sex - 1+ (Passionate kissing)
Language - 0
Violence - 4 (There's lots of fighting and all of described, but not too graphically.)

Source: I was provided a copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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