Author: Jennifer Ibarra
Publisher: Tiwala Books
Publication Date: October 27, 2013
Recipe Variables: N/A
Series: Prepped, primed, and ready (me, that is. The author has a planned trilogy.)
In less than seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will succeed her father as the president of Neress, a nation where all citizens are cared for from the moment they’re born. Fed, sheltered, even educated–every need of theirs is met.
The only price they pay is their free will.
Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit–and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.
Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.
Unless you’re just waking up from your winter sugar coma of nights by the fire with your cocoa, stockings stuffed with truffles, and chocolate hearts ablaze (or broken) over Valentine’s, you’ve probably been witness to the most recent Disney franchise, Frozen. Of course I’ve seen the movie and have watched a few “Let it Go” Youtube vids of cute toddlers singing the theme song…I even stopped to watch the performance of one adorable tyke in the frozen food section. Not bad for a three-year-old. I digress. Anyway, by the time I realized The Polaris Uprising, by Jennifer Ibarra, was Frozen for the dystopian crowd, I was completely and utterly invested.
Pretty much from start to finish, Ibarra plants seeds of surprise all along the Polaris path. She is one of the few YA writers who dares to take more time developing the relationship between two young women—sisters—than another tired love triangle. Don’t get me wrong there’s lots-o-love. In this world where everything is decided for the characters, our two siblings, Ryla and Alanna already have their husbands matched for them via DNA. That doesn’t stop the youngest, Ryla, from mixing it up in the inner-city hood with the less fortunate Tyson. In the meantime, Alanna predictably falls for her chosen Captain Fabulous…although I have to say in this season of amore, I looked forward to every chapter that focused on them. Clandestine meets in the treehouse! He takes of his shirt! Woohoo!
The beginning of the story gets off to a slow start…the jaded Valentine in me was thinking that it was going to be just another typical dystopian read. The author took too much time getting into the specific elements of the dystopian society; however, once she got there, she doled out the pieces in just the right amounts. By the time Ibarra makes it through her exposition, she hits her stride and picks up the pace to end the story with an explosive ending mirroring two different sides to the sisters’ destinies.
When I finally emerge from my winter hibernation, there darn well better be a sequel, or fans like me will not be able to let it go. I might even have to sing about it.