Renegades Review

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

**SPOILER FREE**

Last month during her book launch tour, I had the honor of meeting Marissa Meyer and hearing how this crazy brainchild of an idea was turned into a duology. Renegades sounded interesting. In your typical dystopian backdrop, prodigies have powers—either ones they developed or were born with. And as a result, two factions have come to dominate society: the Renegades and the Anarchists. The Renegades are seen as society’s superheroes while the Anarchist are the villains.

Full disclosure, this is the first Marissa Meyer book I have read in its entirety. I own Heartless and Cinder but have only read a few chapters of each. I picked up this book and went to the book tour because I love meeting new authors, I had no idea what to expect. I was unfamiliar with Meyer’s writing style. But, her name always popped up in authors that I would likely enjoy based on my love of YA fiction.

Meyer’s writing style is a little too juvenile for me. It doesn’t feel complex. Because of this, I got frustrated with the book. The characters seemed flat, the pace was not consistent, the storyline is predictable, and I didn’t feel any connection to the people or places mentioned in this book.

Adrian and Nova come form different worlds, but they have faced similar tragedies. Adrian is hopeful and believes that Renegades are the perfect solution to the world’s problems. Nova believes the world would be a better place without Renegades and wants to dismantle the society the Renegades have created.

The story goes back and forth focusing on Adrian and Nova, while being told from a third-person perspective. We get to see both worlds and that each one has its own flaws. Every Renegade is not the perfect embodiment of a superhero. Some are ruthless and believe that they can bend the rules. Anarchists are not all evil; some have kind hearts and believe in a good cause. The struggle between what is good and what is evil is typical in a dystopian story, and it is apparent all throughout this novel.

The predictability in this novel will have you roll your eyes several times. The relationship between Nova and Adrian is supposed to be cute and a slow development as each figures out their own feelings, but it takes too long. Even by the end of the novel, there is no definitive answer on how they feel about each other.

The names of the superheroes/villains also feel a little unoriginal. Most stem from their actual power. Sketch draws things; Phobia personifies your greatest fears; Detonator creates and detonates explosives; Tsunami manipulates water.

The one saving grace in this novel is the take on humanity. Nova herself points out that humanity has become too reliant on the heroes. There isn’t even a local police force. People without powers rely on the Renegades to serve and protect them for every situation. This reliance eats away at humanity and their ability to self-govern or even sustain themselves. It is akin to celebrity idols and the way some people worship the ground they walk on, solely for who they are.

In true YA fashion, the real action doesn’t occur until the last 40 or so pages. This is a great set-up for the next book but makes the first 515 pages of this novel a struggle to get through. Sure, there are a few great scenes with action, but nothing stellar before the end.

I wouldn’t call this a “bad book” but I also wouldn’t list it as a favorite of the year, either. If you’re into superheroes and want to see them in a different light, this book may be worth your time. But with 2017 being the year of superheroes, you can get your fix elsewhere.

 

Rating: 4/5

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December TBR

With the year rapidly coming to a close, I have decided to make December my month of finishing books. This month, I have chosen books that I have started but have yet to finish or put on my yearly TBR that I still haven’t gotten around to reading. With how crazy this month is going to be, I have decided to keep it short and only aim to read two more books before the year’s end: Renegades and Queen of Shadows.

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I got this book the night before it launched on the start of the official book tour. I was fortunate enough to meet Marissa Meyer in early November and get my book signed. When I got home that night, I read about 50 pages before falling asleep. Since that time, I haven’t felt like reading this book. I was in a reading slump last month and didn’t finish a single book. This is on the top of my “to read” list right now.

  

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

My original goal was to finish all of the published books in this series before 2018, but that has become unrealistic. I’m not even 25 pages into this book and it has been sitting on my nightstand for over a month. I love this story and the characters; I just didn’t have a desire to read for about five weeks. Thankfully, I feel like reading again. I would love to finish books 4 and 5 before January, but I doubt that’s going to happen. My goal is to finish this one!

 

What are you reading this month?

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

A Short History of the Girl Next Door is an adorable story of love and loss. The story falls freshman Matt Wainwright. Matt is in love with his neighbor, Tabby. Tabby is more than just the girl next door. Matt and Tabby have been best friends since they were babies. The two grew up together and over time, Matt fell in love with her. However, Tabby sets her sights on someone else.

The book is from Matt’s perspective. Some of the chapters feel a little short and choppy, but overall the story flows well. Chapters jump from Matt’s past memories to his present-day experiences. The author, Jared Reck, does a wonderful job of giving us a look inside of Matt’s head. We feel what he feels and because of this, I admit this book made me laugh but also had me in tears. However, I feel like Tabby does not have as much dimension as Matt does. For the girl he’s in love with, we know little about her. She loves Nerds, is a great friend, and becomes obsessed with a senior boy. Tabby is essentially the namesake of the book and I wanted to know more about her.

I enjoyed this book—it took me on an emotional rollercoaster. The first half of the novel feels a little slow at times but it is a quick read. The turning point in the novel happens a little more than half way through. After this point, the book is fast-paced.

As far as young adult novels go, this is classic. The language is a little mature, but likely something high schoolers hear or have heard before. The only other issue I had with this book is the clichés. Even the main character himself admits how much like a classic teenage love story movie some moments of his life play out.

This story has something for everyone—from Star Wars jokes, crude humor, love, heartbreak, coping with loss, and much more. I highly recommend this book.

 

Rating: 5/5

 

If you would like more information about this book, or would like to learn more about the author, please follow the links provided.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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