Image courtesy of Orion Books
How often do you find yourself doing something solely because of social pressures or personal anxieties?
Being someone else is easy, but being yourself is what many people struggle with. But, what if a person finds out they were never who they truly thought they were—what if they lived a life that was not truly their life?
The Red Queen, written by Victoria Aveyard, focuses on seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow. Mare was unaware of her true identity for her entire life. Even though she was born into a Silver-blooded rich family, she lived a life of a poor girl who had to steal to survive. She was the daughter of a well-known, powerful king, but after her parents’ death, she was adopted by a poor, Red-blooded family. The Reds were commoners with no extraordinary gifts and were treated as subordinates. She learned to hate the Silvers, who was born with extraordinary power. Her entire world turned upside down, though, when her identity gets leaked to the public and she is forced to become what was once her most-hated enemy.
Through her writing, it is clear that Victoria Aveyard wants the readers to feel the hatred that Mare had for her enemies. She portrays her as a strong female protagonist who doesn’t get pushed around. In diving deeper into Red Queen though, readers will come to realize that relating to your enemy is much more difficult than hating them.
When Mare was forced into a life that she hated, she was extremely frustrated. Readers may find themselves relating to her, reminded of times they had to compromise their emotions in order to maintain a healthy balance in life. Aveyard’s writing makes it easy to connect to the characters’ pain, sorrow, and confusion. She also includes many interesting elements like wars, sadness, family relation, love, anger and more that makes Red Queen all the more engaging and emotionally powerful.
After reading this book, readers may see themselves as very fortunate to be able to live as themselves and not as someone they are not. Even though (hopefully) most readers will not relate to Mare directly, they might still connect to her in terms of fitting in and struggling to come to terms with who they are.