I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
Be still, my fairy tale loving heart. Valiant was perfection. Had you happened to stumble upon me while I was reading this, you would have seen one very content bookworm. There wasn't even a tiny portion of this story that didn't impress me. Not one moment that I wished for something more than what was offered. I've read many a fairy tale retelling in my life, but none as beautifully written as this one.
Ah, Saville. Thank you for exceeding my expectations. Saville's character is a brilliant balance. She's strong, but still shows raw emotion. She's honest, but not always. In other words, Saville isn't some built up ideal of a female character. The focus isn't on how pretty she is, or how talented she is, but rather on the fact that she's a person who cares about other people. Her decisions in this story weren't always entirely what I expected, but it just made her more human. She was instantly likable, and I would have followed her to the end of the Earth. Giants or not.
Tying in with this is the simple fact that Sarah McGuire doesn't see the need to wrap everything up with a shiny red bow. Like my favorite Grimm stories of old, this particular retelling doesn't shy away from the gritty reality that fairy tales often gloss over now. Sometimes people die. Sometimes people are horribly altered, whether that be physically or emotionally. Still, there's always that little ray of hope. The idea that good will persevere over evil. That tough times bring true selves to the surface. Seeing that come to life in Valiant stole my breath away.
If you'd allow me, I'd gush about this book until you finally threw your hands up in defeat and went to get a copy. That's how much I am truly in love with it. In the world of YA, there are plenty of love triangles, plenty of teen angst, and more than enough bad boy characters. What I've been seeing a distinct lack of lately is heart. Valiant has that. It has heart and, because of that, it has my heart as well.