Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Wild Poppy Has Been Here

"There is only one way to recover from the evil humanity does to itself: overcome it. 
We can only be held responsible for what we ourselves do. 
Bad things happen in this world, and we are judged on how we respond. 
Do we take part in evil, 
or do we fight against it with all we have?"
--Diana Peterfreund, Across a Star-Swept Sea

Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 464 pages
Publication Date: October 15th, 2013
Source: Provided via Publisher at BEA 
Previous Books in Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars

Goodreads Description

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

My Thoughts

My experience with For Darkness Shows the Stars was epic. Beyond epic. Finished it in one sitting, could NOT put it down, stayed up until almost midnight when I had to work at 5:30 am the next day. Fell in love. So, needless to say I was BEYOND excited to get a copy of Across a Star-Swept Sea at BEA...AND I got to meet the lovely Diana Peterfreund who had the coolest hat EVER on. A boat...she had a boat on her head...amazing. Prior to this, I had never read The Scarlet Pimpernel so I had NO clue what I was getting into...and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I loved this story. As with FDStS, I was immediately drawn into the world of New Pacifica. The imagery you get from the writing is beautiful. I felt like I could see it right in front of me. Vivid, colorful, it had it all! And the description of the cove?! Fuggedaboutit!! It was just amazing! Beyond the descriptions, the writing itself is just beautiful. I shouldn't have expected anything less from this fantastic author but with my expectations being so incredibly high I was worried. Didn't need to be. The descriptions of the clothing was probably my favorite part. Call me Persis Flake but I LOOOVED the mental pictures of the gowns. So unique and avante garde I was mentally salivating over the clothes. Amazing.

Persis Blake is our main female character who is also the nation's most notorious spy. This was epic. This beautiful, funny, charming girl who nobody suspects is also brilliant, daring, loyal and courageous. I LOVED Persis. She was fighting against wrong and rescuing those who chose to stand their ground against the tyranny facing them. Epic. Justen Helo is just as great. Awkwardly charming and endearing in his own way. His intelligence and job as a medic was totally swoon-worthy to, helping people, and handsome? Hello! Of course, like Persis, he also harbors a few secrets. The dynamic between these two was a constant of mixed signals, miscommunication, and double meanings. Like her previous book, this was KILLING me slowly!! I just wanted to bash their heads together and be like, JUST TALK ALREADY, YOU'RE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER!...But alas, then we'd have no story.

The plot of this story was just incredible. The spy work kept you on your toes and if Persis wasn't completing a mission, she was flirting with Justen which was equally entertaining. I just loved how we got a good mix of interpersonal drama, science, and political issues. I absolutely LOVED what Diana did with the political portion of this story. My blood was boiling at some parts because of how ignorant some people can be. It was so true to real life issues and situations that it made me want to run out and try and change the world as well...or become a spy...but that's always been a secret dream of mine...shhh.

I really just loved how Diana broke down social issues of prejudice, hate, oppression, equal rights, and freedom. There is just SO much to be discussed and explored with this book. I love books that can break down a social or political issue and translate it into an epic story or courage and standing up for what you believe in. Persis was such a fantastic character who brought so much strength to the story and I loved the way she was portrayed. All of these young people coming together to fight for what is right was inspiring. 

The writing, the plot, the characters, this book had it all. I loved the imagery, I LOVED the main character and the issues of this book were so right on. 

Should You Read This? YES! Fans of dystopias with vivid imagery and a fantastic plot, this one is for you. AND of course, if you loved For Darkness Shows the Stars--duh. 

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOODNESS, STOP IT! I'm basically so jealous right now because I adored For Darkness Shows the Stars and am eagerly anticipating this release! I'm so happy that you loved, especially since you haven't read The Scarlet Pimpernel. I haven't either, so I'd wondered if that would affect my enjoyment/appreciation for the book!


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