I had this book on my TBR since early last year when the cover was first released. As the hype around it kept growing, I got really worried that it wasn't going to live up to it all. When release day finally came and I got my hands on My Precious, I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer to the baby book angels that Red Queen is as good as I hoped. Thankfully whatever higher power that gave the world Theo James also heard my prayers because Red Queen WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE ANTICIPATED.
The first 50-60 pages or so is basically all world building. We meet a bunch of the main characters, we learn about their world, the hierarchy, some of the big problems that are going on, and we also meet some characters that aren't super important then but you can kind of guess that they're going to come in later on in the book (The Guard, random Silvers that are mentioned, Mare's family, Kilorn, random Reds that are mentioned, etc). I appreciated the fact that the author took a good chunk of the first part of the book to go into so much detail because otherwise I would have been really confused once the plot started picking up. Once things get going, they start going fast. Things start happening left and right and you're like WTF is this going to go?!?! There are so many sub-plots going on in the background with minor characters on top of what is happening with Mare, the main character. All I will say is that if you are reading and aren't
really feeling the world building, just hold out until Mare gets to the Queenstrial.
The main character, Mare, is a great leading lady. She is realistic and relatable because she makes a lot of mistakes.... a lot. She doesn't think things through before she talks or makes decisions so she ends up getting herself in some tough pickles. I will say she really is selfless and tries to do the best she can for those she cares about. Yeah, she doesn't go about it the best way sometimes, but you really got to give it to her for trying.
I LOVE the love triangle! I mean, I guess you could call it a love square, but I don't want to give away any spoilers by going into too much detail. I know a lot of people don't like love triangles in YA, but personally I love them. ESPECIALLY THIS ONE BECAUSE BOTH OF THE GUYS ARE SUPER AMAZING. I kept going back and forth between who I liked more and wanted her to be with, but unfortunately the book decided for me. Which leads me to the ending....
The ending is so crazy. Seriously y'all, I felt like I was shot through the heart with betrayal. You can kind of figure out what is basically going to happen, but it is like you are watching it happen in slow motion and can't do anything to stop it. You're just sitting on the side lines screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" while the train wreck happens. I loved the epilogue because it gave me some closure and really set it up for book two. I have no idea where book two will take things so I am super excited and nervous for it to come out.
I feel like the author took all of my favorite YA books and took elements from them all and made Red Queen. Parts of it reminded me of The Selection, Pawn, The Hunger Games, Legend, The Jewel, and Kiss of Deception. I can easily say that this is one of my favorite YA books, and I have a feeling that this series will become one of my favorites. It is one of the best YA books I have read in a good while and really brings me back to my roots as far as why I love YA so much. There is so much action and secrets and conspiracies that you don't even miss the fact that it isn't heavy on the romance (which is why I turn to NA books when I want steamy mcsteamy!!). I thought it was perfect, though I do hope there is a little more romance in book two.
Red Queen is a must read for everyone. This is already one of the biggest book releases this year, and I think it is easily going to be one of the top books of the year. From what I've read elsewhere, it is already been opted for a movie, so I have a feeling the popularity is going to EXPLODE. Definitely jump on the wagon and go out and buy this book. I promise you won't regret it!