Friday, 6 June 2014

Blog Tour: The Polaris Uprising (Review + Giveaway)

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The Polaris Uprising (Polaris, #1)
Title: The Polaris Uprising (Polaris #1)
Author: Jennifer Ibarra
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Apple iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

No citizen shall be left behind.

Life in Neress is simple. For nearly four decades, people have known exactly what’s expected of them. Obey the rules, follow the path that’s been laid out, and everything will be provided for: food, shelter, education, safety. No need goes unmet.

But the cost is steep: you lose all rights to make your own choices in life.

In seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will come of age and take over for her father as president of this idyllic nation. 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 finally 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.

Buy a copy of The Polaris Uprising and help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

Here's a message from Jennifer:

Cancer has touched all of us in one way or another. Those who have read THE POLARIS UPRISING will know that I dedicated it to my dear friend, Brittanie, whom we lost to Stage IV ovarian cancer in 2010. She was only 26 years old. In her memory, I am pledging to donate $1 out of every sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from now until October 6--the day she was diagnosed with the disease that took her life. Every donation up to $2,000 will be matched by my employer, so your generosity will be doubled! Thank you in advance for helping me in this special cause.

“I am not some delicate little flower that needs to be protected.” 

“I’m not going to shatter into a thousand pieces out there. I’m not made of glass. I’m strong, you know.”

And that, ladies and gents, is Ryla Jensen. 

I have no idea what to expect when I started reading The Polaris Uprising. All I know is it has a good sibling relationship and it’s super long. I think it was around 5000 location points if it was an eBook. It was kind of slow but it was well-paced. It had a good presentation of its world and its characters before diving into action. But it’s not that everything is stale before getting into the good parts. It also has, as I’d like to call it, mini-climaxes in the middle of the story that gives us more detail about what is happening in their nation. 

At first, I really had a hard time adjusting to the 3rd person POV. I understood why the author chose this POV and I liked that it showed not just Ryla’s thoughts and what’s happening to her but also other characters, especially her sister. It’s just that all the books I’ve read lately were in 1st person POV. 

Reading the prologue already captured my attention. I already had a bad feeling and it upped my awareness and made me look out for some odd things that are happening. But as I’ve mentioned above, this book didn’t jump right into the action right away. It first introduced us to the Jensen sisters. 

I can’t find the right words to describe how amazing the sisters were. They were like coffee and cream, peanut butter and jelly, remote and TV, Oreos and milk.. They complement each other. They would go to great lengths to protect each other and it pained me when their relationship started to have some dent because of some secrets. 

This book’s family-centric aspect didn’t just focus on the Jensen sisters. There were also Marten Quinn, the woman with her sick child at Alanna’s clinic, and of course, the Brace family. There was so much love for one’s family in this book (except for some heartless bastards who were part of the Government) that it’s one of the reasons why I loved it so much. 

I can’t begin to tell you how many tears I shed for the Brace family. No, I refuse to share any details, not only because it will spoil you, but also because it hurts to think about it so fucking much. I literally had to stop reading the book because: a) my book is precious and I don’t want to wet it with my silly tears, b) I can’t see anything because of my tears, and c) reading the next page just contributes to the pain. I had to curl up in bed and finish crying before I continued reading. I am not joking, nor exaggerating. 

The ending was one of the most brilliant endings I’ve ever read. The ‘finishing each other’s sentence’ type of format between the sisters was so chilling and worrying and will make you want to read the second book now. NOW.

Jennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.

She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.

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