18 June 2018

The One by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection, #3
# of Pages: 323
Publication: May 6th, 2014
Source: Library Audiobook
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
The time has come for one winner to be crowned. When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

*Please keep in mind that this is the third book of the series so there may be some spoilers.

This was an interesting conclusion to the series. I really enjoyed some aspects of it; however, I think that some aspects of it were rushed. For instance, there were some scenes that felt rather unnecessary especially some parts in which characters were killed without any rhyme or reason. I did enjoy learning more about the word. It was more complex than I was expecting and it really explained the establishment of the caste system. If you know me at all, you will understand the fact that I’m not a huge fan of books that have perfect, happy endings. While that is enjoyable to read about at times, it does not always work and in the case of this series I think that the world wraps up a little too perfectly. I wished that Cass would have pushed for a little more complexity. I don’t know if that is evident in the two spin-off novels; however, I think I may give them a try.

With all of that being said I am glad that I did give the series a chance. I still don’t think it’s the best written series that I’ve ever read, but I can understand why people seem to enjoy it so much and why people can’t get enough of Cass’ stories. The woman can write a pretty good story. In addition to that, I still do not think that I understand the purpose of having Aspen in the story. While I understand that he made America more indecisive, it seems as though America and Maxon could have had enough problems and issues without involving the storyline of Aspen. And I don’t think that Maxon would have really gotten over the relationship between America and Maxon that quickly in real life. It was too perfect. I’m interesting in seeing where she decides to take the story in the next two books. I’ve heard that many people don’t like or don’t enjoy the main character.

For the most part I did find the series enjoyable. I thought that it was a cute contemporary romance with enough drama to go around. America was not the best female lead and she worked my nerves more than a few times; however, towards the end she did grow on me and I was rooting for her to find herself and build her relationship with Maxon. As I’ve said with all of my reviews, I definitely can see and understand why people seem to love this series so much. It has certain elements that are addicting and elements that draw the reader in. If you’re looking for a quick series to read I would definitely recommend this series.

15 June 2018

Friday #56, #49 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 340
Publication: July 19th, 2016
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Library Copy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

So I'm currently reading this book for a book group that I'm hosting at the library. I'm not usually a huge fan of mystery and thrillers; however, I think that this one is one that I might actually enjoy. I don't really want to say anything about it because I feel like I'll spoil it. If you have read it let me know in the comments below.

"White. White. Everything was white. The pale wood floor. The white velvet sofas. The long raw-silk curtains. The flawless walls. It was spectacularly impractical for a public vessel---deliberately so, I had to assume." 
What are you reading this Friday?

14 June 2018

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection, #2
# of Pages: 336
Publication: April 23rd, 2013
Source: Library Audibook
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

*Please keep in mind that this is the second book of the series so their may be some spoilers.
As the second installment of the Selection series, I found the Elite to mimic some of the same aspects of The Selection. America still couldn’t decide whether she wanted to be with Aspen and Maxon which really annoyed me. The love triangle of this book really isn’t needed when it’s all said and done. I think it was added in an attempt to make the book interesting. However, by the end of this novel, I didn’t really believe that Aspen served a purpose. The story would be the same with or without him. With that being said, the angst is definitely a part of this series that I don’t like. I thought I would enjoy it; however, the love triangle kind of ruined the “love” aspect of this book for me. What I did enjoy was the background information related to the world building. The reader receives the opportunity to learn so much about the world of Illea. There is a lot of historical information that makes you question the purpose of the caste system.

For some reason I had more respect for Maxon in this book. In the first one, he annoyed me and appeared to have no depth; however, in this book a lot was revealed about his personality and the relationship that he shares with his mother and father. By the end of the book I thought his actions were commendable and my heart went out to everything that he struggled with as a prince and the “prize” of the selection. Even though the selection is hard on the chosen girls, I found that the selection process is also hard on Maxon. He doesn’t exactly know who to trust. A lot of the girls could appear to love him; however, he always has to take into consideration that they would have their own motives, dreams, and ambitions. Some are looking for love while others may simply be looking for a crown. I also believe it took a lot of courage for him to shut down the bullcrap of America’s indecisiveness. He, like any other human being in their right mind, would not want to put up with the fact that America wanted to keep everyone on a leash until she made a decision about what she wanted.

Beside America’s indecisiveness this book was okay. I enjoyed it as much as the first novel and I’m still interested in learning more about the history of Illea and the caste system. The book definitely ended on an interesting note. If you looking for a quick read than I would definitely recommend this series.

13 June 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday #29, Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings She has taken on a similar meme to Jills Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine. Since Jill hasn't posted in a while I'm going to join in on this meme. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week.

Series: N/A
# of pages: 208 
Publication: August 14, 2018
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. Careful--you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written--whose next chapters are up to you. Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared. Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

This is one of my most anticipated anthologies for the year. I'm super excited for this book because it has so many amazing authors. These are the people who can speak to the experience of writing and reading diverse books and I'm super excited to get into their stories. There is even a graphic novel and a one-act play included. I think that I'm most excited about the stories written by Jason Reynolds, Nicola Yoon, and Daniel Jose Older. It'll be really fun and exciting to see how these stories were developed. What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

11 June 2018

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Series: Percy Jackson & The Olympians
# of Pages: 375
Publication: March 1st, 2006
Source: Personal Copy
Genre: Fantasy/Mythological
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse - Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena - Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

This book! At the time of me writing this review, I have completed my second reading of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Over the past few years, I have recommended this book to family, friends, co-workers, and children at the library. There is so much action, mystery, and insight to Greek mythology that it's perfect for any reader of any age.

One of the things that I love about this book is it's accessibility. The text is not only easy to read, but somehow manages to capture the attention of all readers. It's fast paced and takes the reader on an adventure of a life time. I always recommend these books to readers who are interested in Greek mythology simply because they provide a glimpse into all the aspects of Greek mythology including major and minor gods, terminology associated with Greek mythology, and those characters that people often forget about when they discuss Greek mythology. Even though this was my second time reading the book, I found that I still learned so much. It's fun to understand and know the history behind the "Big 3," but I find it even more fascinating to learn about other gods and goddesses.

Of all the things about this book, I also really love the character development. Percy is quite unsure of himself in the beginning and does not really understand how he fits into the world of Greek gods and goddesses and demigods. Like him, the reader is ultimately kept in the dark and is only revealed certain aspects of the world as Percy figures them out. It's an interesting concept and I loved that the reader was given the opportunity to discover the world just as Percy did. Another part of character development that I really enjoyed was the friendship between Percy, Groover, and Annabeth. There is no way they could have made it through their quest without each other and I loved that they depended upon one another, gave each other confidence, and motivated each other to make the best decisions.

Overall, this book is wonderful and there is no way I can give it enough praise. I binged the series in no time and loved it so much that I can see myself reading it over and over again. If you're into mythology and you're looking for a new and fun series to check out, I would definitely recommend this book and the books that follow.

08 June 2018

Friday #56, #48 Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

Series: Empirium, #1
# of Pages: 512
Publication: May 22nd, 2018 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Library Book
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

This is a book that has received a lot of hype since copies of arcs were sent out in a book subscription box. While I love fantasy, I was hesitant to pick this book up because of the fact that I have trouble appreciating books that have a lot of hype. Nevertheless, this one sounded so good that I really just wanted to get a copy of it as soon as possible. So far it's pretty good. The world building is a little on the complex side so I'm having some trouble following along, but hopefully it will get better.

"Harkan ignored the harsh edge to her voice. He kissed her wrist. 'Anything. You can hunt game. I'll teach you how to grow tomatoes. You can wear a straw hat.' He pressed his lips to her shoulder." 

What are you reading this Friday?? 

05 June 2018

My Top 5 Favorite Audiobooks

Happy Tuesday everyone! I wish that I could say that it's almost Friday, BUT we're still in the beginning of the week, but here's to making it a great week! So I decided to do something a little different and give you guys some audiobook recommendations. I'm a huge advocate for audiobooks and these are definitely some of my favorites. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

Audiobook #1: Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson 
Read By: Susie Riddell
Why It's So Good: The narrator is freaking AMAZING. I figured I was going to love the story because of the summary, but the Susie made the story come alive. Her ability to do so many voices makes the story that more entertaining. I know a lot of people are weary of children's books, but I would definitely recommend this book as a gateway into children/middle grade novels. 

Audiobook #2: We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
Read By: Gabrielle Union
Why It's So Good: I won't say that I disliked Gabrielle Union before listening to this audiobook, but I was not her biggest fan. However, this audiobook was breathtaking and I really appreciate Union's honesty and her ability to allow readers into the very personal corners of her life. Hearing everything in her voice made it that much better.
Audiobook #3: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Read By: Wil Wheaton
Why It's So Good: I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction; however, Wil makes the characters in this novel come alive and you really feel like you're living in a video game/alternate reality. While the book is still slow in the beginning, I could not stop listening to it after the first 100 pages.

Audiobook #4: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Read By: Emily Gray
Why It's So Good: This audiobook is SOOOO good! I listened to this when I had to make an 8 hour drive to Florida and it had me literally laughing out loud in the car. I'm sure people driving past me thought that I was crazy. It really felt as though the main character, Becky, was telling you about her life in detail. I felt so connected to her as a character.

Audiobook #5: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Read By: Jim Dale
Why It's So Good: I mean who hasn't heard how good Jim Dale is at doing the voices for these audiobooks. I'm currently working my way through all of the books in audio and it's been an amazing and beautiful journey. No explanation is needed for this one.

 Okay everyone! Those are my audiobook choices! If you listen to audiobooks what are some of your favorites???