Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Red Queen

Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard
From the publisher:
"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 centre 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?"

Whew, what a roller coaster of an ending! I am completely mentally exhausted. This was an awesome book. I have read several reviews that have been critical because it was too similar to another book called Red Rising . I have never read that book, but I was reading Snow Like Ashes at the same time as I was reading The Red Queen , and there were definite similarities there. However, I really liked them both. This one had flavors of a bunch of different books, including Steelheart , but why does that matter? I read somewhere that every romance book ever written is somehow a knock-off of a Jane Austen book because she covered every plot device possible in a romance. And, quite frankly, I'm one that likes to stick to what I like anyway. So if you enjoy a good fantasy/dystopian/superpowers/light romance, who cares if it is similar to another book? 

Things I liked:
*Romance was there, but it wasn't like other YA books where the couple become so involved with each other that they don't care that the world is ending, or whatever. This romance takes a back seat to the drama of the world they are living in and the causes they are fighting for. 
*The heroine is very conflicted about the violence of the revolution she is fighting for. She believes in the cause, but isn't fanatical about it and realizes the cost. The people who are dying on both sides are sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. 
*Loved the superpowers! These people aren't just ninjas or good warriors, they can summon fire, water, control metal, control minds, freeze things (even the blood inside of someone's body)... How do you defeat that? 
*The world building was fabulous. Glass/diamond walls? Bowl of Bones? A city built all on stilts? A sort of secret, homemade subway system? I could go on and on, it was fascinating. Is there going to be a movie? I need one!
*The twists! Oh my goodness, the twists!

I definitely recommend this one, with the following concerns:

Areas of concern:
As with all dystopians, there is quite a bit of violence. 
Disturbing torture.
Disturbing deaths and murders.
There was a handful of cuss words.
A few mild kisses.

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 13+
School Library Journal - Grades 9+
*Mrs. Duke thinks that the violence in this book isn't any worse than The Hunger Games, so if your child has read that, this one should be okay.*

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