Secondborn (Secondborn, #1) by Amy A. Bartol
My rating: three stars
Genre: YA, dystopian
Goodreads Summary: Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.
On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.
Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.
But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?
I had been looking at this book for a while because it seemed incredibly interesting and because it was free on Kindle for a while. After reading Different on my Kindle, I decided to pick this one up because that plot really hooked me!
Likes: This society is extremely complex and interesting, I haven’t read many (if any at all) books that have a society like this. The way that this “secondborns are the property of the government” society works causes the main character’s relationship with her brother (a firstborn) to become extremely strained. Not only that, she basically doesn’t have any relationship with her parents at the beginning because of this too. How the society and government so strongly affect Roselle’s relationships and life is realistic and I love reading about it – even though it can be sad. Another thing that I like is the plot. There were twists and turns the entire book. I would think it was going one place but then it would go another. I enjoyed the places that this story went for the most part up until the end.
Dislikes: Towards the end, the book goes in a direction that I did not like. I thought it was unrealistic and confusing, and thought there could have been better places for it to go. Another thing that I did not like was the romance. It seemed so forced and improbable. I usually don’t mind the love at first sight trope, but in this book it happened so suddenly during a destressing time. I feel like the two characters had much more important things to focus on that they wouldn’t have had time to kindle their romance.
Overall, I think that I enjoyed the idea of this book more than I enjoyed the actual book. Just the way that it played out was not the ending that I expected or really wanted, and the main romance was just too unbelievable to me. Besides that, I did love the world, the politics, and other character relationships. If the next books ever went on sale on Kindle like this one did, I might read them, but they aren’t on the top of my list. I would recommend it, as long as you know to keep an open mind about what is going to happen.