Plus a giveaway!
In the future, the United Regions of North America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For sixteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.
When Vivica defends her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Martina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory termination–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president.
A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors offers Vivica asylum, but accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face.
Marissa Shrock is language arts teacher who enjoys working with her fun seventh grade students. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and has completed the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman courses. Marissa is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Christian Writers Guild. Her articles for adults and teens have appeared in Evangel and Encounter. Marissa lives in Indiana and loves shopping for cute clothes, baking for family and friends, traveling to new places, and playing golf. Connect with Marissa on her website at www.marissashrock.com.
Marissa Shrock’s writing is bold and fresh. She doesn’t tiptoe around important issues like abortion and teenage sex. Instead, she approaches them head-on, but in a way that parents will feel comfortable with and teens will relate to. The First Principle opens with endorsement quotes from real teen girls. I was very impressed by that aspect, because it showed Marissa is serious about her story. She took a chance by giving it to teen readers prior to publication, and I admire that.
The writing in The First Principle is tight and concise. The book reads like it was written by an author who has studied the writing craft for a long time. I loved how the back story for the dystopian world was sprinkled throughout naturally, mostly through dialogue. I didn’t feel like a bunch of information was being dumped on me about the government and setting.
The First Principle was an easy read for me because it was fast paced and difficult to put down. It read like a general market YA dystopian, but also presented Biblical themes such as redemption and standing up for what’s right, even when it isn’t easy. I liked Vivica’s character from the beginning. Even when she was unsure about what she should do or what side she stood on, Vivica showed from chapter one that she didn’t believe in allowing others to be pushed around. She began as a strong female heroine, but still did quite a bit of growing throughout the novel. I enjoyed her story arc. At first she didn’t question much about the regulations regarding terminating illegal pregnancies, but then she began to seek out the truth for herself. By the end of the book she grew into a young woman with her own ideas and, well, principles.
For some reason when I picked up The First Principle I thought it was a stand-alone novel, but it ended like it could be the first in a series. I like the unexpected when I read, so that was something I enjoyed about the ending. I have no idea if it actually is a series. Either way, the ending wrapped up the story, while also leaving room to extend, if that’s what the author chooses to do. I’ll just say she left it open. It reminded me of what Lauren Oliver does at the end of her books. Not a cliffhanger, but allowing room for the reader to decide what might come next–fill in the blanks, so to speak. Some people don’t like that, but I enjoy it when it’s done well. Marissa Shrock executed this type of ending perfectly.
I give The First Principle 5 out of 5 hearts for fast paced action, some unexpected twists, and a female heroine teens can look up to.
Ages: 16 and older
For fans of:
Content: Contains some violence, and deals with issues relating to sex and abortion.
Marissa Shrock has graciously offered to give a copy of The First Principle to one reader. Leave a question or comment for Marissa below. Be sure to record you entry via the Rafflecopter, and earn extra entries there too by following and sharing on social media. Enter through Saturday, February 28th. One random winner will be chosen and announced in my March newsletter, so be sure to sign up via this form: