Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: ARC Review

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Summary from Goodreads:

“The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the center of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?”

Review:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard was not exactly what I expected as far as the YA genre is concerned. Instead of just being an amusing read, it turned into something much, much more that I’m still not sure I’m ready for. I didn’t have too many prior ideas or expectations, but I knew that I needed to get my hands on this novel. It just seemed so original and different than the other books I’ve been reading in the YA fantasy genre and my instincts proved to be true. Though many authors are branching out and coming up with individual ideas, plot lines that have never been heard of and that no one but the brilliant minds of these authors could even dream of, Red Queen has seemed to stand out among them and I will explain why…

Miss Aveyard uses the fool-proof strong heroine vibe that is prominent in this genre to her advantage. Why would she use the vibe? BECAUSE IT WORKS, PEOPLE! Though I’m sure that, like me, Aveyard and many other YA authors are female and dream about strong heroines constantly, she is smart enough to know the audience she is writing to. Though I did not see as much character development in her main character as I am used to and would have liked, I know from the ending of this novel that her sequel will probably include strong character development and plot building. I look forward to learning more about her main characters, especially her heroine, Mare, and the direction in which she will grow. With that said, if you’re anything like me and constantly crave that strong female character who saves everyone’s butts through the novel, isn’t as love crazed, and has a pretty decent moral compass, you may enjoy Aveyard’s style as much as I did.

Not only does she bring the powerful heroine, but she also brings a well thought out blend of drama, love, and action, all placed into a completely original idea that gives a whole new perspective to the phrase “Blood is thicker than water.” Many authors write about separations between classes and people, with the poverty stricken classes suffering immensely, but never had I heard the idea that it was because of your actual blood. It’s original and, in my opinion, makes for a pretty decent story and a very stubborn woman.The way that she describes the class system and their separation leaves room for her to explore her “moral grey area” which I will explain in a bit…

Aveyard kept me on the edge of my seat, not because of my love for her novel, but because I just HAD TO KNOW what was coming next and whether the main characters would realize what I already knew. Granted, there are many other readers who did not see the plot twist coming. However, even when I saw it coming, I could not stop reading because her characters had somehow sneakily stolen my heart and I had to make sure that they turned out okay in the end! I won’t spoil the story for you, but I will tell you that I was ready to THROW THIS BOOK ACROSS THE ROOM IN FRUSTRATION and that is one of the reasons that I’m giving this novel the review I am. Though I saw the plot twist coming, I had no idea how they were getting out of it. When I came to the solution faster than the characters, I was sitting there SCREAMING at the book and seething with fury at an antagonist who wasn’t even “real” so to speak. I haven’t been so angry with a book in a long time, but the fact that Miss Aveyard’s writing got such a rise out of me, I had to appreciate it and love her novel for exactly what it was: the truth about reality.

We are all raised to know black from white. Right from wrong. We grow up learning about princes and princesses and fairy tales where you know who the evil witch is. You watch TV and find shows and movies such as Power Rangers, Indiana Jones, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mulan where both you and the characters know who the evil person is behind all of the problems and monstrosities. But Aveyard refuses to even acknowledge that there is a black and white within this novel and I will be the first to admit that IT IS SO FRUSTRATING… but it’s the truth. We all seek this instant gratification of knowing who is good, who is bad, and who will be our hero in everything we read and watch. We want that childhood back so that we can feel safe and secure knowing that good always triumphs over all evil. None of us want to acknowledge the fact that in real life, there really isn’t anything that’s purely black and white, right and wrong. There is the “grey moral area” that we all do not even acknowledge. This grey is why we fight. It’s why we always believe that we are right and others are wrong. It’s why many people believe that they are better than others. It’s also the reason that most of us get hurt. We don’t want to see it. We don’t want to acknowledge that there may be some good or some reasoning behind people who have hurt us badly… but there is. There almost always is. I am by no means backing any type of violent crime, but this needs to be said to understand why I appreciate this novel so much. Aveyard takes her words and shoves your face in the fact that people are not always good or bad. People are people. We are humans. We make mistakes. We are forced to do things we don’t like. We hurt others. And, most importantly, we all have our own moral compasses that point in opposite directions. IT IS HARD to acknowledge this evidence, but once you do, you appreciate Victoria all the more for her ability to bring a harsh reality to the surface while still allowing you to love her characters for everything that they are, faults and all.

5 Stars for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Don’t be fooled by my words fellow readers, Victoria Aveyard is a new name on the block to watch and she is now on the top of my list for authors that I am slowly, but surely, falling in love with. Between her ever twisting plots, strong characters, and torturous truths, she will leave you angry, stunned, and seeing the world in a completely new light.

Miss Aveyard, I look forward to your next installment of Red Queen, and I sincerely hope that you continue writing what is in your heart. I am sure that you will not disappoint. Best of luck to you and know that I will be keeping my eyes open for more of your work…

❤ Kelly

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to my blog!!!! I am so insanely excited to finally be starting this up! Please feel free to look around my site, comment, follow, ask me any questions you want. I really appreciate it! =)

In other news, how many people are stuck in this snow storm with me? The plus side? It’s possibly getting me out of work tomorrow and has given me time to finish up my blog! The downside? It’s freezing, I can’t feel my fingers, I can’t go anywhere, and there’s still no guarantee of not going to work tomorrow. *bangs head against wall*

So, in all of the time I could have spent refreshing my work’s website to see if I didn’t have to go in, I filled out this A-Z survey! I hope it gives you all a chance to get to know me, my bookish tendencies, and my absurd life a little better. I’d appreciate any feedback you have on all of my blogs! I’m constantly looking to improve and I honestly can not wait to get to know all of you who are reading this right now.

This survey was made by Jamie, The Perpetual Page-Turner! She’s a wonderful person and an amazing blogger! You can find her blog here.

I hope you enjoy my first ever Live, Love, Read blog installment…


Author you’ve read the most books from:

My Goodreads account says J. K. Rowling! Apparently I don’t seem to stick with authors passed one series… Whoops…

Best Sequel Ever:

Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas! If I didn’t already have a mad girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence, Ms. Maas and Celaena Sardothien would probably take the cake!

Currently Reading:

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I haven’t read too far into it yet, but I’m already loving every page! Sorry for the slow pace Alex! You can find her book and reviews on Goodreads by clicking here! 

Also reading Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier at the request of some twitter friends to join them for a read along! Haven’t really started it yet, but planning on it tonight! It has such high reviews, I can’t ignore it. Look it up on goodreads by clicking here!

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Mm if I’m not drinking my “fake coffee” (french vanilla cappuccino mixed with hot chocolate) first thing in the morning, than it’s probably water or V8 Splash! And before you all say it, I KNOW that juice is bad for me! It’s, Just. So… *sobs*… DELICIOUS!

E-reader or Physical Book?

I had a Kindle. My mom was reading a book on it and borrowed it for our vacation to Maui… Little did we both know that when we got home, my mom had left my Kindle in the pocket in front of her seat on the plane… I never saw it again… But no matter! I love books more anyway! Even though they cost more, there’s just something wonderful about holding an actual, physical novel in your hands, knowing every page number you’re on, and being able to look at the pages and see that you’re already halfway through!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Probably Edward Cullen from Twilight. No lie. I would attract the weirdest people, and I still do! Plus, it doesn’t help that I’m completely attracted to people who never show their emotions. Too bad that Robert Pattinson is NOT AT ALL attractive to me! Maybe I should have just said Rowan from Heir of Fire… Yup, nevermind. Rowan wins.

(SJMaas You win this time!!!!)

Glad you gave this book a chance:

Iron King by Julie Kagawa. Though it was not my favorite of all time, the characters have a quality about them that seems to just stay with you. I still wish Puck was a part of my real life! It also introduced me to the Fae world and the fairy genre of YA fantasy fiction! MUCH LOVE JULIE!

Hidden Gem Book:

I‘m still in love with The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It got so overshadowed by Twilight and the “The Host” movie was absolutely horrible!!!! Nothing has done this book justice or showcased what this AMAZING novel is really about. Seriously, pick it up. Read it. Grab tissues. It will change your life.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Probably about a month ago. I was reading (Heir of Fire, of course) and just sat there REELING with all the feels! I was thinking to myself, “If I could write a book, it would be this one reincarnated.” and all of a sudden my brain just got smacked with a, “YOU IDIOT! WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING A BOOK YET?!”  and that thought basically started my journey.

I gave myself two weeks to toggle the idea around in my brain, finally decided that YES, I was going to write a novel, and YES, I am determined to eventually become a full time author.

So, my first step? I created a twitter. Don’t ask why, because I honestly have NO IDEA why I created a twitter. I’ve never been a twitter person. I deleted mine years ago. I can’t even remember WHY I created this one, but fate must have it’s hands on me because it has seriously led me to the most amazing people I have yet to meet. They’re a support system. They’re teachers. They’re best friends in a life where I never had any that shared my nerd status. I love them all. I honestly don’t know if I would still be trying to do this blog if I hadn’t joined twitter and been inspired!

Step two? Create this blog! And that is where that moment has placed me. Right here. Staring at this screen, writing to all of you. =)

…*SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!*

Just Finished:

The Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick. A charming series about a girl who is still trying to figure out who she is and the boy who knocks down every door to help her figure it out. Review to hopefully come soon!

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I try to give every book a chance! I can never seem to get into mysteries though. No idea why! They just don’t seem to float my boat.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Apparently J. K. Rowling trumps all! Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at 870 pages long.

** easy way to find this out. Go to your Goodreads “read” list, don’t scroll down but where you are on the screen there will be this little tab on the bottom that lets you choose how you want to scroll or how many books you want display. There is also a sort option with a drop down and you can sort by page. – Broke and Bookish**

Major book hangover because of:

Still hungover from Heir of Fire. I seriously can’t say it enough. Mind = Blown.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One floor to ceiling length bookcase in my room. However, if you include all of the 1,999 books I have at work and the bookcases I have there… you’re looking at ten bookcases overall.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Actually, I am NOT a repeat reader. I do try, but all that actually occurs is my mind going, “what happens?” “oh yeah, that” “I forgot about that”… “Wait, no i didn’t. I still know what’s happening next!” “This is stupid”… And that’s basically the end of that!

Preferred Place To Read:

In the tub. Seriously, don’t laugh. You try combining two ridiculously relaxing things into one! You’ll understand!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“So often we only do what we think is expected of us, when we are capable of so much more.” – Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

I honestly love that quote. It’s something that keeps you going everyday. We so rarely realize how much we are ACTUALLY capable of doing. This is my reminder to constantly try to push passed the limits of what I believe it possible, of what I believe I can do, and break down the doors of my mind’s constraint.

Reading Regret:

I was going to say nothing, but then I thought back to my 11th grade honors English class and Moby Dick… I seriously just want to strangle myself thinking about it. Excuse me while I go slam my head into a wall a couple hundred times to try and erase the memory…

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast. I loved that series through middle and high school. It just has SO MANY darn books!!! There’s like twelve books in that series! I loved every minute of them though. =) Guess I need to get on that!

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

The Host by Stephanie Meyer, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Probably threw you for a loop with that last one, huh? Heh heh. *wink*

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Libba Bray and everything that she is, was, and is going to be. Seriously, she’s just so BADA$$ that I have absolutely no problem shouting to the world how awesome she is as both a person and a writer. She’s absolutely brilliant and cunning in every sense of the words. Read her books. READ THEM!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

I’d like to say Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, but I feel like that’s too expected of me. *fan girl squeel anyways* However, I AM really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and The Orphan Queen (LOTS of queens apparently!) by Jodi Meadows. I’ve heard so many AMAZING reviews about these two novels already and I’m so excited to read them!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Hmm… That’s a tough one! In my eyes? Probably the fact that I’m seriously OCD with my books. I don’t like to borrow them because I want my own, new, pristine copy. I don’t like to lend them out because I constantly worry if the other person will ruin the book or never give it back! My books all look like they’re brand new and I’m seriously “anal” about keeping them that way.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl … See?! I have something other than Maas and YA fantasy on my shelf!

Your latest book purchase:

I just purchased nine books this past weekend. NINE! Ready? Here goes:

The Prey by Tom Isbell

Atlantia by Ally Condie

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Splintered by A. G. Howard

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

All of these books have some awesome reviews. Please go check them out, buy them, and support our authors!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I’m SO caught up in this book! You all know how it goes: You look at the clock, say “I’m only going to read for an hour!”, start reading, next thing you know it’s three hours later and you’re still going, “ehh.. I can live with two hours of sleep, NO PROB!”… *wakes up looking like Frankenstein*. True story.

I’m off to warm up my hands and charge my phone in the hopes that the power doesn’t actually go off and that I don’t have to go to work tomorrow! Thanks for reading, and to everyone in the northeast, stay safe out there!

❤ Kelly