This is going to be a tough review for me. I have extreme conflicting feelings about this book, so bear with me. Thanks :)
Defy by Sara B. Larson is an action-packed adventure story which follows the protagonist, Alex Hollen, who is Prince Damian's personal guard. However, there is a twist; Alex is actually Alexa, a girl.
This story is extremely reminiscent of Mulan, in that Alexa cuts her hair to look like a boy, becomes a soldier, and develops feelings (if you could call them that) for the leading male role.
Unfortunately, I felt insulted by how grossly exaggerated the levels of Alexa's female traits are played up to. It bothers me that someone, another female especially, thinks that teenage girls get hot and bothered by every guy that crosses their path, even for guys who have bodies chiseled from marble.
Finally, I was unable to shake the feeling that the author, knowingly or not, twisted heavy feminist undertones into the early half of the story, but in a way that confuses me. She seems to have conflicting feelings on the subject, and goes from pushing the idea that women should be treated the same as men, to the concept that women are emotional and can't hide their feelings. It leaves a strange aftertaste...
I say all of this, but in reality I liked the book, the latter half especially. The early half of the book seemed like it was only there to make way for the second half in the hopes that maybe we could forget the first part that we didn't like as well.
Conclusion: I give Defy by Sara Larson 3.5 stars out of 5. Needed a little more work honey.
I apologize for seeming...harsh? but I feel like this book could be worked with if given more time. Perhaps someday will buy the next book. We'll see.