I'm really pleased to have picked this book up based on its cover design. The novel had a great premise, fascinating world-building, and a very cinemaI'm really pleased to have picked this book up based on its cover design. The novel had a great premise, fascinating world-building, and a very cinematic feel to it. I'm interested to see what the rest of the series can bring and the way Aveyard's vision plays out on screen.
Red Queen is a highly entertaining blend of super-hero cool and dangerous court intrigue set in a dystopian world that makes us question our own. ...more
"I might not have superpowers, but I know how to knee a guy in the nuts."
This was a tremendously fun read with a spunky and clever heroine. The rest o"I might not have superpowers, but I know how to knee a guy in the nuts."
This was a tremendously fun read with a spunky and clever heroine. The rest of the characters are colorful and interesting and there's plenty at stake to keep the book from becoming just a winking-nod to comic book culture. Super entertaining, speedy read, seemingly unnecessary romance. ...more
I tend to avoid YA novels with girls in fancy dresses on the cover but when I saw the first three paperbacks packaged together and on sale, I decidedI tend to avoid YA novels with girls in fancy dresses on the cover but when I saw the first three paperbacks packaged together and on sale, I decided to give it a shot. I read the books back-to-back and so my review is largely taking the three books as a whole. They were addictive and entertaining--like a trio of shiny gossip magazines on a cross-country flight.
I've watched some of The Bachelor and appreciated the pitch-perfect rendering of that romantic contest that formed the framework of the series. I was amused by the fact that the girls are forced to spend their days sitting around, killing endless amounts of time, clinging to the tiny scraps of attention they get from the Prince. They are so starved for anything meaningful, they put too much importance into the small interactions they do have. Are they favorites? Are they going home? It makes them all radically insecure--something I've seen play out in the show.
Ultimately, though, I felt that the books are entertaining fluff but that Cass wasn't able to 'stick the landing'. There were so many threads in play and this book didn't deliver on their potential nor showed any true growth for the characters. The ending was insulting, insensitive, and tone-deaf. (view spoiler)[(The only reason Maxon and America should be winking and laughing and flirting immediately after the violence they witnessed and the people they lost would be if they'd plotted to kill everyone that inconvenienced their love match.) (hide spoiler)]
Here's the questions I'm left with after the series ends...
(view spoiler)[ 1. What was the point of Paige? Or Georgia? Or the secret plotting with the Italians? Or the Queen? Or Anne's interest in Aspen?
2. How in the world does this stupid caste-system function? The Ones are royalty and seemingly have endless funds--where does that money come from? The Twos are soldiers and superstars? How are they so well-paid and if they are, why do all the guards live in tiny shared rooms? And all Aspen's new rank leaves him with to give America is a button from his (supplied by the palace) uniform. Hardly seems to be the same rank and privilege that Celeste had. The Threes are teachers and writers, Fours own businesses, Fives are artists and performers, Sixes are workers, Sevens manual laborers, Eights are cast out of society. Economically, this makes no sense. Where does the money come from?
3. What is going on with technology? Though this takes place years (and two World Wars) into the future, technology is strangely absent. The maids are hand-sewing all the ball gowns, photographs and paperwork are no longer digital, our middle-class heroine has never seen a computer before (and it is hidden away in a secret room with all the banned books), books are paper, meals are made by hand, guns operate with bullets and limited rounds, and even the palace can't build a security system more advanced than guards running and yelling when they've been attacked. Was there a devastating nuclear war, was there a turn from technology when petroleum sources ran out? This could have been explained in a hundred interesting ways but never was.
4. Tell me about this war. How is a country, described as Illea was, with Illea's military history and social unrest possibly able to defend their borders in an ongoing war? It makes no sense with what was given to me as a reader.
(hide spoiler)] All those unanswered questions left me feeling disappointed in the trilogy. I expected America to grow up and for her country's issues to be clarified with more than a diabolical journal entry. I wanted to see her wake up to the much-larger world outside her idyllic, absurd, self-absorbed competition for the prince.
I wanted Cass to stick the landing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** Bought for its historical fiction aspects, I found a lovely afternoon escape in this fairy tale coming of age story. What I loved mo**spoiler alert** Bought for its historical fiction aspects, I found a lovely afternoon escape in this fairy tale coming of age story. What I loved most was the contrast between the world of fae magic and the very earthly, grounded, daringly forthright heroine. Instead of romanticizing the wee folk, this Tam Lin retelling reinforced the power and simple joys of humanity.
Most teen girls, I think, would be delighted to have a gown so beautiful that everyone who saw it fell in love with them. Jenny, however, when she learned of its spelled powers, never wore the dress again. Most teen girls, too, would be highly tempted by the chance to marry a future king--or a celebrity--even if his less-than-honorable colors showed. Jenny proved herself immune to both of those spells and stubbornly clung to a truer, more satisfying life for herself. Her actions ensured her own sister's happiness as well as her own and took uncommon bravery for someone of her position and with so much to lose.