Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2015

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard–a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Review –
Five stars *****
Once I started listening to this book I had a VERY hard time thinking about other things I should be doing like housework,laundry,running errands etc. Instead I listened and listened some more. It is that good!
I’ve read some reviews that says this story is a re-hash of others like Red Rising, Graceling, and the Selection and I say WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT? Although it may lean that way a bit it has its own shining stars in the characters of Mare, Princes Cal(heir to the throne) and his younger brother, Maven.
Mare is seventeen and rather a tomboy who is a very successful pickpocket just waiting to be conscripted to the Army because she doesn’t have a real job. She chances upon Cal one night, who is dressed in dirty clothes and looks like another other RED, so she doesn’t know his true identity. He gets her a job in the Palace and through no fault of her own falls from a balcony and her fear of falling to her death activates her electrifying ability and the King decides to use her to his courts advantage. He makes up a back story  for her of being a long-lost SILVER princess and she becomes engaged to Maven.
She is put in a course study to learn all the things a princess should know and how to control her ability. Maven becomes her close friend and conspirator in trying to make a change in the way the court see SILVERS and REDS. She wants equality for everyone.
While her eyes roam to Cal, she knows he is gung-ho SILVER and is working toward keeping the status quo.
Mare, Maven, Farley and others plan to peacefully overthrow the King but things don’t go as planned and innocent people are killed and she discovers that Maven has been lying about his allegiance all along.
Mare and Cal are sentenced to death in the Bowl of Bones and through they win with the help of her abilities and are rescued by Farley and the underground train all is not well. Cal is their prisoner and feels betrayed by Mare. While on the train Mare discovers that the brother she thought had been executed is alive and he is like her, RED with SILVER abilities that ate stronger than regular SILVERS. 
Together they vow to find the others who are like them and bring down the SILVER court for the good of the REDS,
When Mare discovered that Maven had betrayed her and Cal learned that she had betrayed him I cried (of course I did) because it was a heart wrenching scene especially between Cal and Mare because they now had feelings for each other and had shared a kiss.
I can’t wait for the sequel!!!!!!!
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The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alcran #1) by Nancy Farmer

Product Description:

Published: 2002

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium–a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt’s first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster–except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón’s power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn’t even suspect.

Review –

I gave this book five stars ***** because the plot was unlike any I have read before and once I started reading it I COULD NOT put it down.  The characters are very well-developed and the description used throughout the story is very vivid. For me it was a very fast read and I would highly recommend it.

Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book

 

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The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

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Book Description

Publication Date:April 23, 2013

Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor. In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love? The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

Review –
So now we are down to six girls and human nature tells us that means trouble.
There is a lot more action in his book, with the rebels breaking through the kingdom’s defenses, a lot of torture and girl-fighting. The caste system is better explained and we see that the King is very controlling even of the Selection.
America is leaning toward Maxon but then he does a stupid thing and kisses Celeste, America’s least favorite of the remaining girls.  I like the Prince but I don’t trust him.  Another lovely cover.
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