I loved the way CJ Redwine chose to tell this story from both Logan and Rachel’s point of views. Typically YA novels like this are heroine-driven, with the male leading character mainly being the love interest. Instead, we got to read about both the action and the love story from both points of view, which really added to the story, especially when Logan and Rachel both described the same scene, alternating so often they were almost speaking at the same time. I also felt that Logan actually acted like a typical 19-year-old young man (at least, as far as I know, being a girl and all). I liked the cute little scene when Rachel comes out in her claiming dress, and Logan can’t stop staring at her breasts. (“I don’t want to admit my attraction to her is strong enough to rise above my grief and my sense of responsibility, but they’re breasts.”) That made me chuckle. I also thought–for a completely different example–the descriptions of Rachel’s grief and internal struggle were very well done, especially seeing it from inside Rachel’s head and what Logan is witnessing on the outside. Her struggle to deal with the terrible circumstances she is in, along with the consequences of her actions and learning to forgive herself and move on, was written beautifully and believably.
I liked the addition of the new characters Willow and Quinn more than halfway through the novel. I enjoyed Willow’s blunt-ness and mischievous sense of humor, and the sense of mystery surrounding Quinn. We didn’t get to learn very much about these characters, but I’m guessing they will be more important in the next novel.
Defiance was a moving and beautifully written dystopian young adult novel. If you liked the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Under the Never Sky, you will like this novel.