Hope's Rebellion by Jade Varden
Their friendship will test the fabric of tradition, duty and destiny...
There are only two seasons in Godenor: summer and winter. Weather brings the only surprises to a society where everything is planned, and everyone's status is determined at birth...by the color of their hair.
Rinna has the right hair, Drexi the wrong, and Prelly is almost too ordinary -- in every way but one. Small mistakes bring them together, creating ripples in a pond that knows nothing but serenity. If they reach their goals, they can't help but shatter the world they know.
Love of any kind, even the bond of friendship, isn't allowed in their world...but then, the heart can't always follow orders.
We all have that one "thing" that makes a book click with us. For some, it might be action and adventure, but for others, it might be romance and the fight for true love. Some people might be history fanatics and others might be feminists who believe in the power of the "weaker sex." This book has all of those qualities in abundance and even more of which there are too many to say.
Hope's Rebellion has something about it, some spark, that makes a reader not want to put it down, not even when finished. What would you do if you lived in a world where you were taken away from your mother at the age of three, then sent to either be educated or to learn the trade of being a slave? What would you say to a world that picks who would get to give birth, who would work what job, and who would be part of the elite city guard? To a world where all is based on the color of your hair? This is the world Drexi, Rinna of the Gold, and Prelly live in.
Drexi is made into a slave because of her black hair and is only saved by her quick wit and sharp reflexes. Rinna of the Gold is precisely that: Gold. One of three blondes in the world of Godenor, she is valued as a prize and her fate is decided as that of being a Mother, a woman chosen to give birth to the future generation, all because of her hair color. And Prelly, the shy, timid young girl who has nothing remarkable about her - until you see her eyes.
Hope's Rebellion is the kind of book that keeps you on your toes. There is not a true "plot" plot the protagonists are confronted with. There is a problem, yes, but once that problem is resolved, one is confronted with the question of "what's next?" The "what next" comes when Drexi is given an assignment... one that questions her loyalties to herself, her country, and her best friend. The book is certainly interesting. It's something a person would read and finish by questioning the morality of humanity. Is humanity truly so corrupt that we are reduced to judging people solely off the color of their hair? This book puts that question into one's head, making a person think. To me, and to any avid reader, what makes a book so enjoyable isn't the plot, setting, or even the characters. They make up about 50% of the book. What makes a book so good, well-written, and pleasurable is when it makes us think - when it makes us, the audience, question our lives and morality. Are we good enough, or are we doing something wrong? These are questions posed in Hope's Rebellion.
The book is refreshing because it gives a person ample room to consider what will happen next, or if anything will happen at all. At first, it goes slowly. Characters are introduced, the plot is somewhat understood, and we are thrown into the everyday lives of three children who are under the rule of a world corrupt, even if they themselves don't yet see it. There are instances when we sympathize, laugh, and cry along with the three protagonists, and that was a major highlight for me.
Something that set the book back a few notches for me however, was the ending. I know, I know, all good books can't have perfect endings because then they don't seem plausible. I know. So allow me to rephrase: the way the ending came about was what I didn't particularly click with. The exposition, rising action, and climax were fine. Exquisitely written. The falling action and denouement are what I had a problem with. It was too... quick for me. New facts and dilemmas were introduced out of the blue, somewhat confusing the plot. The beginning was slow, precise and detailed. We were given new information and predicaments that were foreshadowed in the early chapters of the book. But to me, the final few chapters happened all too quickly and were not as drawn out as the beginning. The facts were slapped down in a "This happened, then that, BAM! Book over," sort of fashion.
In general, however, the book is certainly enjoyable. Not something I would pick up one day from the library when I've plenty of other selections to choose from, but certainly something I'd re-read on a slow, hot day.
Jade Varden started writing when she was eleven years old. She fell in love with books at an early age and from there, her career was set. To set her on a new idea for a new book, she imagines "What-If" scenarios and proceeds from there. When she's not writing, she is busy playing games but freely admits "I’m surprisingly terrible at all word games. Maybe because by the time I start playing a game, I’ve had my fill of words for the day?" She is currently working on a historical mystery novel.