Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard (Review)

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Fantasy

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

I wish I could find a bigger pic of this cover. It gives me chills. 

I actually went into this book thinking it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland…you know, the Red Queen? How wrong I was! I feel almost foolish thinking that now, because it was so much better than I EVER expected. EVER.

The book was awesome. And there’s so many beautiful graphics that it was hard to choose only a few.


I mean, seriously…check that out. Heart. Stopped.

Ok, I guess I should get onto it…

So we are introduced to Mare Barrow. A pickpocket. A thief. And soon, a soldier in the army. At 17, she is coming up on her 18th birthday, and with it, mandatory service to the war front. It is called conscription, and all of Mare’s three older brothers have been taken to the war. It battles on, Reds against other Reds: a war fought over land by the oppressive Silvers.

Oh, yes. In our society here, people with red blood are second-class citizens. They are less than. They are slaves. The ones born of Silver blood (they literally bleed silver blood!) are separated into a city full of luxury, and all have different powers. Some Silvers can control fire, or metal, and some can control objects with their minds. They fight against each other in the arena for the Reds to watch; the Reds must never forget how strong their Silver overlords are.

When Kilorn, Mare’s best friend, loses his apprenticeship, he is forced to join the war. Anyone who does not work and is 18 must fight. Mare freaks…she has protected her friend ever since he arrived on her doorstep, starving and orphaned. She cannot let Kilorn go to war. She won’t. After some underground searching, she finds a rebel willing to transport Kilorn and herself to freedom. The cost? 2,000 Crowns, enough to feed Mare’s family for the rest of their life.

But Mare does not give up. She’s a master thief. She also has a sister who works for Silvers, embroidering handkerchiefs for them. If Mare can steal from a couple Silvers, she should be able to scrape enough together…but on the day Mare’s sister takes Mare to work, Mare chickens out after a terrorist attack by Reds is broadcast on TV. In a foolish effort to help, Mare’s sister tries to steal…and gets caught. A Silver breaks her hand, and now Mare has ruined her family’s only source of income.

When Mare receives a job to work at the palace, she eagerly goes off to her new life. But when an accident exposes a rare gift Mare didn’t know she had…she becomes a target and a princess in one day. With Red blood but Silver abilities, Mare is a mystery. But will the new life granted to Mare be a blessing…or a curse? Can she protect the ones she loves? And when two Silver princes seem to vie for Mare’s affection, can she really turn her back on her Red roots and pretend she is Silver to the core? 


Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Oh, yes! I love the mix of dystopian and fantasy in this book! First we have a society that has second-class citizens, almost reminding us of slavery or repressed women. The color of your blood determines your future. So many lesson plan ideas can come from this! With the rags-to-riches princess angle, there’s so much to discuss…turning your back on your culture, your ideals, just for a chance at a better life? What a topic for discussion! And all the abilities the Silvers exhibit: you could have students write about the ability they would want and why…and what might be the downside to that ability. You could do what many classrooms have done before, and separate kids by “class,” so they can understand how it feels to be treated as a “Red” or a “Silver.” (This has been done with diffeeent books featuring class systems before, and it teaches lessons of tolerance and discomfort at being labeled “less” than someone). 

I am brimming with ideas for this book! I think this would be an excellent addition to the classroom.

Age Range:

Lexile.com actually recommends this book for ages 11-17! For the first time, a YA book that has a score of HL740L is encouraged for a younger audience. This is great. This means that it could be appropriate for middle school classrooms as well: despite the HL rating, the mature material isn’t actually too mature for younger readers. I’m fascinated by this finding, because it is rare to find a book that appeals to such a broad age range. (And of course, readers over 17 will enjoy it as well). It feels good to know that even sixth graders could read this, though with it at 740, I would still recommend it to more competent readers, as it might be too difficult for some that struggle. 

End Result:

I know you’re seeing this a lot from me lately, but I give a Red Queen ★★★★★. It’s a book that has a rich world, a great protagonist (not too special but not too ordinary), and varied themes. It is appropriate for all ages, and it has a sequel, Glass Sword. Which I already have waiting to be read:


Go figure: I find a big image for that book…

And have you seen the next book after that??


I want to own all these books! #coverlove! (I will make this a thing!)

So, all in all, I say Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard gets…


Happy Reading! Hope you love this as much as I did! And now…I am on to the next book adventure!

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97 thoughts on “Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard (Review)

    1. Thank you! Pass them on! I hope it helps get these books used in the classroom. I’m tired of bored students hating English class: we need to give students something to read that they can actually enjoy!
      So glad you liked my review! Thank you for the kind words. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No, and that’s why we are so awesome. Because though you and I share the same taste in a lot of books, if we were exactly the same, it would be BORING! That’s why this setting is so great! I can share what I love and hate, and you can share that you loved it or hated it, too! I think it is awesome that we all like different things. I only worry that since I liked this, you might think in the future to avoid my recommendations because you’ll think, “Well, she liked Red Queen, and that sucked, so…” 😂😉
      So hopefully the next one I love you will love as well, and vice versa! 🙌

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree! I’m glad that you’re not one of those people that get offended if I say I didn’t like something that you liked! There’s not a lot of people like that in this community, thankfully, but there are a few. 😬 Ya know, the ones that kinda go off and get offended if you say you didn’t like something that they did. It really hurts my feelings because I love discussing books! Especially the differences in opinions.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, gosh no! I think it’s great that we can love some books together, hate other books together, and disagree on books, too! It’s so boring to all be the same. I’m not much for contemporary literature, but I know you like it (I think?).
      Perfect example: do you remember that book called Craving Beauty with the beautiful cover, and I left a quote from the book that showed just how stiff the writing was? Well, a blogger friend LOVED the book. I told her I didn’t like it as much as she did and she was shocked. (Not sure if she was offended, but I hope not, lol). What I found to be stuffy and stiff writing, she found to be beautiful prose. I was surprised, but I am not going to hate on her. We just disagree.
      You’d be surprised if you knew how many books I just refuse to read in the first place, but I don’t usually say anything for fear of alienating people. So I’m super glad we are on the same page about having differences of opinion. Because I’m giving you a heads-up now: I’m going to read Stealing Snow…and I won’t be surprised if I’m the only person to like it. After all the negative reviews, I’m almost afraid to like it, lmao!
      I luv ya, girl! You’re my GR friend, my Edelweiss friend, and my blogging friend. And you are also one of my faves. So no matter what, I’ll always respect how you feel. Bc you’re awesome. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel the same way! I think it’s amazing how many times the same exact story can be interpreted by different people. And I’m sure your friend wasn’t offended 😊 I’ve read some terrible reviews on Stealing Snow, but guess what? I’m gonna read it too! I have already purchased the prequel that I’m hoping to read soon.
        And contemporary romance isn’t really my FAVE genre, but I’ll read just about anything. I like a mix of all genres, really. Depends on my mood. That’s why sometimes I feel like my overall opinion of a book could be slightly biased based on the mood I was in when I was reading it, too. (Oops) I’m just a moody person I guess. Lol!
        Aww, shucks! Thanks, girl. You are my friend too! So I will always show you respect as well. In your book opinions and everything else in the whole world. ❤️ya!!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Nah, you probably just have more discerning taste than me! I fall for formulaic every time! The only one I didn’t really like (that people did) was Court of Fives. But I checked out the sequel just because I want to see what happens next.
      As I said, I’m a major book pushover. 😋

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I haven’t read that one. With Court of Fives, the protagonist is super selfish. It wasn’t a bad book per se, but I was not exactly thrilled with the main character. She puts her whole family at risk to win a contest. I was a little disappointed in that aspect. I think I gave it three stars.
        But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it. As you said, certain moods reflect our patience with certain books, and I had read a review right before I read the book that ripped the main character to shreds, so I was almost looking for problems with her. That’s kind of why I’m going to read the sequel: I want to know if that review made me a little biased toward the book.
        Is The Witch Hunter supposed to be good?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I saw this come up in my notifications and i was like YES! YOU READ IT! I absolutely loved this book, so I was glad I was joined my opinion on this one!!! Your review was awesome, and I cannot wait to read Glass Sword and then we can discuss!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg. Yes! Once I get that read, we need to totally fangirl over it!
      I’m so excited to have it already waiting…I had a feeling I would like this book so when the sequel was available I nabbed it.
      Yay! I’m so happy you liked it, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s happening! I really want to read the next one, but I am afraid of a cliff hanger then we have to wait all the way to next year for the release of Kings Cage! It comes out February 7th… I am thinking I will read book two in November… YES I’ve decided, it is so happening :). Then when you have read it WE SHALL HAVE AN AMAZING TIME AND DISCUSS!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Christy Luis

    Princesses and tvs in the same story! How fun! I love it when authors mix things up, like that.

    I’ve had my eye on this one, for a while…

    Yes, that’s because of the cover…! Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t the cover just stunning? Something about a crown…well, the blood isn’t so beautiful, but the effect of the whole image is stunning. Yes, there’s princesses and modern technology. It’s a dystopia: it’s set in 302 of the new era, or something like that…kind of like The Lunar Chronicles!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your enthusiasm, Teach! 🙂 It’s great to read books and totally love them!
    Also- I need silver blood. How freaking cool would that be?
    “Hi, I’m bleeding mercury aka quicksilver and you can call me human-thermometer!” — *wonders how difficult it would be to get in touch with aliens and request for few pints of silver blood*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Boss…I would totally love it. It made me think of that liquid in Terminator 2, with the weird Terminator that kept building himself back together…do you remember that? That liquid was EXACTLY what I imagined.
      I want silver blood, too! I wonder if we melted down enough silver…could we transfuse ourselves? 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha… yeah, that freaky terminator… that dude gave me childhood nightmares 😀
        Well, if we do melt some and try the transfusion then our overnight fame wouldd be immediate.. with a newspaper title along the lines of: “Two crazy chicks tried to become the Terminator- movie franchise sued for putting bad ideas into people’s heads!” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw that you had read and review Red Queen I thought “Please, I hope she really liked it because if she didn’t I will have to plead my case and change her mind” and then I read your review and it gave me chills!!!! Literally!!! Really nice review!!!! And the twist at the end of the book left me like “WHAT???” !!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I was hoping that it wouldn’t happen, but I had a bad feeling! And then I was like, NOO! I wanted to cry.
      My review gave you chills? Thank you, my queen! ::bows deeply::
      I am honored to have pleased you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Annie

    I didn’t like this but I guess I was already tired of this genre and I found it way too similar to others 😛 It was not for me haha But awesome review, I love that you enjoyed it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed this book Stephanie, personally I wasn’t a fan of the series. I couldn’t really connect with Mare’s character, or Cal’s actually either and it just got worse in the second book. However I will still be picking up the third just to see where the story goes, I think if you loved this book you’ll really really love the second book as well. Do you have plans to start that one soon?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ll be reading Glass Sword within the next couple of days. I have to get it back to the library.
      What’s funny is that I’m the same way! I need to finish a series once I’ve started it, pretty much no matter what, lol. I’ve got Poisoned Blade set to go (it’s almost due back on Overdrive), and I wasn’t a fan of Court of Fives. But I’m just like you with needing to keep a series going…🙌🙌🙌

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s exactly it…and as I’m reading Poisoned Blade, it’s getting a little better…but it’s still not the same as reading a series or book that you know you might love. Like for me, Glass Sword (because I liked Red Queen) or ACOMAF. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wut? No Alice in Wonderland retelling?? FOILED AGAIN!! But such an awesome and enthusiastic review! I keep seeing deals for this book on Amazon and elsewhere, so I think I’ll just have to click that buy button again…;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ummm..me too? Especially if the book is like, $10 normally! It’s half off then! You better be givin up the deals, yo!
      😾👊🙀!
      That’s right! I’m going to punch…a cat? Hmmm…that’s not what I was going for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mkay, I’ll pass it along next time I see one! 😄 Well, not wanting to be a party pooper here, but it sure did seem like you were punching a cat! If only it was a snake emoji, I HATE SNAKES!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for this book, and I don’t know if I want to give it a try… Your review makes me want to read it though, so I have to reconsider reading it to my TBR. The cover is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it? It’s just so wicked!
      I know…some ppl say they love it, others hate it. I really liked it, but with me, you should know I like a lot of books. So take a look…it’s always better to try and DNF than to never try at all: I’ve definitely learned that! 😊

      Like

    1. I hope I like Glass Sword. I realize now that people loved it or didn’t care for it at all, so I’m a little nervous going into the book, but it’s due back to the library any day now, so I gotta get it read! I guess I’ll cross my fingers and hope it’s good! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I’m behind in my comments AND have a toothache. Dentist time!
      I haven’t seen your review yet, but there’s prob an email that hasn’t been read that’s got your post in it…I have like, 600 emails to read, lol! Tomorrow I’ll be trying to catch up!
      And sorry about falling behind in our buddy read: The Beauty of Darkness was due back in 19 hours on Overdrive, and there were 20 ppl waiting for it, so I had to get it read! It’s kinda why some of my ARCs haven’t been read yet: they have so much more time on them!
      I want more time! Never enough time! If I owned the books, I could read what I want when I want…but since I borrow them it’s all about what needs to go back first or what has a deadline.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries.. We can read it later. I will read six of crows. I have borrowed twice from overdrive. This time I intend to read it before the due date 😊 Good thing Gilded Cage is a long way from publishing date. I haven’t read Red Queen yet, had to return it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, good…but that one is you and me! No one else!
      I figured you would understand when it came to books being due back, and the worst is Overdrive bc you can’t just simply keep it a couple extra days (though it doesn’t get removed from your device for an extra day, so I guess there’s that)
      Luv ya! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve seen a BUNCH of blogs review this book, but this is the first review I’ve read for it. I’m not sure if it’s something I enjoy, although I am admittedly biased against super popular books, but it sounds like a great book. I’m glad to finally read an opinion on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Me too! I do hope you give it a try…I enjoyed it. Some didn’t, but it depends on your taste as well. I love dystopian novels…especially with a touch of fantasy in them. But you might hate it, idk.
      I figure it never hurts to try…but always go with the ones you’re dying to read first! Lol. 😂

      Like

  10. I’ve had this book for months now (literally, since Christmas last year) and I’ve NO IDEA why I haven’t read it yet! I would say it’s the mixed reviews it has, but really that just encourages me more because I want to have my own opinion to join in 😆 This was such a lovely review! I love seeing your enthusiasm as you think of how to bring it into lessons, it’s something I don’t see in many other blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You made my day! It means a lot when my blog makes a difference in ANY way…I don’t want to just be one of many that are the same, you know?
      It is an honor coming from a blog like yours.
      I do hope you read it: when I picked it up, I didn’t know about the bad reviews. All I had seen were raves. So I’m not surprised because you can’t please everyone…but I was happy with it. Took me a min to get into the flow of the writing but after that I was hooked!
      Reading The Beauty of Darkness now…the third of the Kiss of Deception series, because I FINALLY got it from the Overdrive waiting list!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean, I feel the same 🙂
        I’ll definitely end up reading it at some point, it’s just a matter of when. Hopefully it’ll be soon, it’s been waiting on my shelf long enough!

        Hope you enjoy The Beauty of Darkness! Haven’t read the series myself but I’ve heard loads about it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, you would LOVE it. I know what you tend to like, and I think you’d rave about it. In the first book, there’s an unreliable narrator aspect that threw me through a loop! I was like, “What??” Yeah, you’d dig it, I’m pretty confident of that. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I feel like I would too! I’m pretty sure the only reason I don’t have it yet is because they don’t sell it here in UK bookstores, and even though I order online sometimes, seeing them in bookstores reminds me every time I go. I’ll have to write it down somewhere so I actually remember to pick it up!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Buy it from Amazon! If you have to, make a US address (there’s a generator), then you can order from the US, as well as the U.K. and AUS! I did it for Corruption! It worked, and then I put my reg address back on, and it went back to my normal Amazon page.
        It’s cool. I am not trying to advertise doing anything “naughty,” but I found the tip online when I realized that the author had released the book in AUS but not in the US yet, and I couldn’t wait until Feb 2017!
        I do hope you get to read it soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I think I would have liked this book had it come nearer to the beginning of the dystopian trend, but it felt like it had all been done before. And the twist at the end seemed added mostly for shock value. I wanted to love it, but I’d rather spend my time on other books rather than on reading the sequels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You gotta read what you love! That’s so important.
      Some ppl have loved this and others not so much…I think I’m just a sucker when it comes to books like this. It’s hard for me to dislike a book…I don’t think I’ve read anything that’s gotten less than three stars, bc to me from its decent enough to keep me reading, it’s got some good to it. Sorry you didn’t like this one, but for each book we don’t like, there are two more waiting that we will love! 😊

      Like

  12. This book scares me. I know its so popular and is so highly rated and revered, but summaries of it remind me of GoT (which I do not like… at all!). BUT your review convinced me to put it on my (endlessly long) TBR list. I won’t say I’m excited to read it, but I will go into it open-minded and hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I haven’t read Game of Thrones or watched the show, so I don’t know whether it is an accurate comparison or not. But I did like this book. I can’t guarantee everyone will, because apparently some people I’ve talked to didn’t like it, but I enjoyed it from the beginning.
      I’m glad you added it to your TBR…you’ve made me add so many books, it’s about time I got you interested in one, lol! 😉👍

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t normally take interest in fantasy novels but this sounds really interesting! This novel is everywhere on Instagram so I decided to read your review to see what the hype was all about, and now I see it! Plus, the cover is beautiful! Great review!

    Like

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