The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra ~ Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Polaris Uprising Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 

Title: The Polaris Uprising
Trilogy: Polaris #1
Author: Jennifer Ibarra
Publication date: October 30th 2013
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult  
Source: Review copy

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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.

My Thoughts

THE POLARIS UPRISING was an amazing dystopian story that met my every expectation. This time, we see the dysfunctional government from within through the eyes of Ryla and Alanna, the daughters of the President, with Ryla set to take over as President in seven years. The government provides its people with their every need - food, medicine, and shelter - whereas in other dystopian novels, people are starving and worked to death. There's a huge catch of course - the people must give up their free will in exchange for their basic needs. 

Ryla and Alanna have grown up privileged but are instantly likable characters with many positive qualities. They've only been given a positive spin by their father on the way the country is run and so are naive in not realizing what people have given up to have their basic needs met by the government. It isn't until the middle of the novel that Ryla begins to see underneath the shiny exterior.  

The dynamic between these sisters is beautiful and strong yet fragile at the same time. Alanna has taken over a mothering role with Ryla since their mother when they were very young. But with their personalities being so distinct from each other, it was easy for me to tell they'd soon be heading in different directions. Alanna wholeheartedly believes in their father while Ryla finds evidence piling up that their father hasn't been truthful with them, and I knew Alanna wasn't going to want to hear it.   

Tyson and his father Alek were welcome additions to the story. Alek impressed me right away with his sincerity, compassion, and intelligence - Tyson with his bravery and warmth. Alek has been hired by Ryla's father to be her tutor in preparing her to take over as leader. I just loved both of these characters. Every time they were in a scene I found myself smiling. 

The struggle Ryla soon finds herself in with whether she truly wants to be the next President, something she had never given much thought to before, was interesting and kept me glued to THE POLARIS UPRISING. I felt her pain in wondering why her father has kept so much of the truth from her and the shame she felt from not knowing the truth before now. 

With the second half of the book action packed (not to mention the night that changes EVERYTHING), I'm ready for the second installment and am thoroughly impressed with Ibarra's debut as an author. I loved the world Ibarra has introduced, and her story had me thinking beyond what was on the pages, which I absolutely adore when a book can do that for me. THE POLARIS UPRISING is a must-not-miss novel!

My Rating: 5 / 5   

About the Author

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.

Author Links

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  1. My brain stuttered and stopped at the idea of giving up free will to survive. I can't imagine. I've trying to think if I've ever watched a movie along those lines. I got nothing!! Wow. And the sister dynamic with the father possibly not being truthful, that sounds painful. I'm glad this story went beyond the pages. Great review, Jennifer!!

    Oh, hey, I'm reading my first horror book (Odd Thomas...not heavy on the horror, but still)

    1. That drew me in to this story for sure. It would be easy for me to say I wouldn't want to do that, but also hard because there are so many people out there who don't have access to basic needs. It's complicated, and that's what I love about this concept so much. I can't think of anything like this book, either, not a movie or another book, nothing! :)

      I've heard of that book but haven't read it! You'll have to tell me about it. :)

  2. The Polaris Uprising sounds amazing! I haven't been reading nearly as many dystopian books that I used to, and this seems like a good place to start up again. It's usually hard to write about a privileged character without having the readers think they're snobby or stuck up. Glad to hear that they're likable in this one. Awesome review!

    Daphne @ Reading Until Dawn

    1. Hi Daphne! So sorry I took so long to respond to your comment! I really love dystopian, and this book is definitely one of my favorites. It'd be a terrific place to start back up reading in the genre again. :) Thank you so much! :)


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