Today I am going to be reviewing Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I am actually surprised that I enjoyed this book. I thought this had very intricate details and nice pacing. It did take me some time to get into it. The writing style itself was pretty plain and didn’t really seem to do a service to the story until much later. The world set up isn’t that interesting to me, just because I think we see a lot of similar ideas in YA dystopia worlds. The characters were written very well. Their personalities, on the other hand, are a different story. And let me tell you that there is a bombshell plot twist that I in no way saw coming. Slow start for me, but when I got into it, boy I got into it.

Let’s start with the characters. The protagonist is no one special to me. She is your classic YA heroine: rebellious personality, secretly gorgeous, different from the rest, and not looking for love, yet somehow finds men falling at her feet. I have come to get very irritated when I see characters like this over and over again. One thing that Aveyard did differently was that she managed to give this annoying character some depth. Strangely enough, I found myself thinking that she is relatable. Our first leading man is also very reminiscent of a classic YA male: strong, handsome, doesn’t want to fall in love, and is somehow sweet. Unlike with the main character, I don’t have anything to help defend him. He wasn’t my favorite. I hope in upcoming books that he grows from this mold he’s been formed in. Our second leading man, I really loved. He brought out a different side to this story and I always got excited when he showed up.

The plot of this book won’t seem cool until near the end, but once those plot twists hit, its like they each set off a blast until the whole book just explodes. I really can’t stress enough how much this book will catch you by surprise. Let me tell you, for the first half I thought that the plot was quite formulaic, until more outside forces caved in on the plot. I think that was the problem with the start of this book. The story was all very focused on the protagonist and when it expanded to include broader issues, it did great things for this book.

As I have stressed, this book sorely lacked originality. As the book started the similarities between this book and some other books just set me off. The book does become its own, eventually. However, in my opinion, you shouldn’t have to wait for a good book to find its voice like that. We have all seen enough of stories with cliché characters and storylines.

I liked reading this book, despite its flaws, so I’m going to give it 3 stars. I think I really have to credit the last part of it to that. I also have to again note that I could not put this down, and when that happens I know it’s done at least something right. Is there room for improvement? Sure, always. But that is why there are a whole three books left to grow. I am for sure going to continue with this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Thank you for reading my review and I hope you will join me again as we go off to amazing places.

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Aashna Moorjani
Aashna Moorjani is a sophomore (18-19) at Millburn High School and the Website Administrator for Studio 462.