ARC REVIEW: Defy by Sarah B. Larson


By Sarah B. Larson
Kindle Edition336 pages
Published January 7th 2014 
by Scholastic Press
Provided by Netgalley

Amazon / Goodreads

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
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?


Defy.... I am very torn with this book.
I REALLY wanted to like this book, and I really did like some aspects. But there was a lot I couldn't get past either. Even rating this book is hard. I want to give it 2.5 stars just because of the  mix emotions I am feeling, but I know this book is worth at least 3 stars. 

So you have Alexa aka Alex and her twin brother Marcel. Their family is killed and the army ( and I use army loosely, not like the military branch, just an army for the country) is picking up kids. Boys join the Army and girls get sent to breeding houses (yeah its as bad as it sounds)
Marcel saves his sister from the breeding house by cutting her hair and saying she is a he.

As they grow older they join the Guards to protect this really annoying Prince Damien. This book seems bullet proof, right? Well that's what I thought too.

I love the writing. Sarah Larson has an EXCELLENT writing style and great flow. Although I am torn with this book I will check out her future work. 
The plot is great. The idea of the story is awesome. The execution and characters are who I had issues with. Oh and then add a typical YA love triangle to the mix and this book quickly unraveled.
Until the last about 60 pages, it all picked back up again and was wrapped up nicely.

The book started with a lot of promise I was captured turning the pages, well swiping them on my kindle, but anyways going through this book ready to devour it. But then somewhere along the way it got flat, boring, and lost its appeal. The details at times were insignificant.  The dialog between characters were unbelievable and monotone. 

Then the worse happened Alex aka Alexa pissed me off! She went all this time hiding the fact she was a girl and did it damn well. Well then she lets her girly emotions get in the way and ruin it all. I don't mind that there was romance, but the girl needs to be careful. If discovered she would get sent to the breeding house. You figure she would be more careful and not get all giddy and blushy around the prince. And at first she didn't. She was a bad ass who did her duty and did it well. Then after an incident happened (can't give too many details, spoiler) its like she did a 360 and became emotional and less careful. It was unbecoming. But I guess you had to work her turning girly in order to have the romance aspect. Who knows.

I hate love triangles especially this one. Its a love triangle not too much to elaborate on!

And again I do like the ending and I like the twist I did not see coming throughout the book. But again I had to force myself to stay focused and to read this to get to the good stuff.

I will be reading book 2 and I will have tons of expectations! 

I was provided An ARC copy of Defy by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. What a coincidence, I plan to review this book on Wednesday. I too was disappointed that Alex(a) did a 180 and went all silly girly. The writing though helped save the story for me and I can't wait to share my own thoughts. Thanks for your review and I too look forward to book 2.

  2. When you post your review leave me a link in the comment box! I would love to check it out and hear your opinions on the book as well!

  3. I've seen a lot of reviews for this book lately and they seem really mixed. Some folks love it; some are really disappointed. I can't decide whether I want to check it out or not. I'm a fan of girl disguised as boy stories (ahem ;-)) but it sounds like that element isn't done that well in this one, which will annoy me. Hmmm...

  4. It really is hard to say. I don't know if I would recommend it or not yet. Like I said I LOVE the authors writing style and I love the premises. My issue is Character execution through out the book, and the fact that it didn't climax till the end. It would be like watching a movie where the whole movie is introduction, details, then towards the end you get a climax. I want to recommend her in the sense I think the only place she can go after this book is up. And to be able to Understand book 2 you will have had to read book 1.


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