The First Principle

The First Principle - Marissa Shrock I really hope there is going to be a sequel...

Vivica is annoying. She's conceited and selfish and spoiled, but she's supposed to be. Because she is so selfish, it makes her choice even more selfless. I'm glad that she chose to keep the baby before she became a Christian, because just from watching Abby Johnson's Facebook page I think that pro-life atheists get discriminated against even on the pro-life side. As a Catholic I was sort of hoping that Vivica would at least be baptized upon accepting Jesus, but I also wasn't terribly surprised that she wasn't.

I really like Ben. He and Vivica are really cute together. I can tell he really cares for her, and being in her head, I know she cares for him. I kind of hope they get married.

Drake was annoying, but in a way that makes him really likable to the reader. I felt really bad for him at the end. I hope he gets a happy ending. At the beginning I was really afraid that Marissa Shrock was going to present us with yet another love triangle between Vivica, ben and Drake(what's with authors doing that all the time? Occasionally it works, but usually it's just annoying,) but she surprised me in a good way by not doing that.

I liked Melvin and Vivica's mother. They're annoying and selfish, especially Vivica's mom, yet we do see in glimpses that they do really care for her.

Axel was kind of unnecessary. I'm not sure what his point was, because there was a moment when, by showing Axel's brutality, Vivica decided she had more to fear from him than from Martina, but throughout the rest of the book, Axel was just the sidekick. He was to Martina as Crabbe or Goyle are to Draco Malfoy, which made me wonder why he was presented as the more brutal one. Maybe this will be explored in the next book? (Please tell me there's going to be another book.) I was confused by Martina's part as well. As I mentioned above, there was a moment when she was the less brutal one, but except for that one moment, she was always the one who was chasing Vivica, and more willing to kill her. There was a lot of potential for character growth with the fact that Martina was a single mom, but that wasn't fully explored either. Again I hope this will be addressed in the next book that will surely come out.

Another thing is Vice-President/President Fortune. He is kind of like the Eye of Sauron right now. He seems to be the main villain because Vivica doesn't like him even before she joins the rebels, but we've barely met him, and we don't know what is goal is, beyond becoming president, remaining president, and maybe wiping out the rebels.

I really don't like the cover of this book. There are very few fiction books that can get away with a cover showing the main character's face, and this was not one of them. I, luckily had gotten this book from interlibrary loan so there was an orange paper blocking my view of the girl who doesn't look like how I imagine Vivica.

That ending... The courses and books I've read on how to write have warned against cliffhanger endings, but this one worked. The main conflict in the story was resolved, which is good because authors leaving the main conflict unresolved is why how-to books warn against cliffhangers. It's just that there was a new--or a bunch of new--conflicts appearing. The worst of it is that the book could almost be left like that without a sequel. It technically wouldn't need one. We know that Vivica, Ben, Drake and the Emancipation Warriors are going to keep fighting, we don't know how it will end, but we know they will keep fighting. Just because the book doesn't need a sequel doesn't mean we don't want one though...

In spite of my critiques, I really enjoyed this book, and I think that the things I mentioned can work if they are addressed in the next book that will surely come out one day. (Please.)