07 December 2017

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #1
# of Pages: 336
Publication: April 24th, 2012
Source: Library Audiobook
Genre: Contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Okay so let me tell you how quickly I finished this book. I literally started it right before I left work on a Friday and listened to it on Sunday and a little bit during work on Monday. It was not what I was expecting. In fact, prior to reading this book I thought I was going to dislike it. A lot of people told me that it was like the a traditional dystopian world that featured the bachelor. And to be honest they weren’t wrong; however, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected. It was cheesy in a lot of areas and I thought that the writing wasn’t excellent, but it was fast paced and easy to listen to. One of my favorite parts was getting to know and understand all of the characters and where they fell in terms of the caste system. It seems like this world will have the potential to get extremely complex in the future books. One part that really stood out to me was the part where America and the rest of the contestants are in a history class learning how the country of Illea came about. It was interesting how nations such as China and Russia were able to take over the United States and develop it into a completely different world. I’m interested in seeing where the history behind this nation goes in future books.

As far as character development is concerned, I can see why people like America and why people cannot stand her. She has a tendency to complain and whine a lot, but at the same time I could understand why. She is being pulled away from someone she loves and forced to be in a situation with someone she doesn’t love and she is in a low caste system. Nevertheless, there were times when I just wanted to scream at her to suck it up and get over it. America is also indecisive which explains the development of the “love triangle” that occurs so conveniently at the end of the book. If you know anything about me then you will know and understand that I loathe insta-love and love triangles with a passion. I think they are the most cliche and overused elements in YA books. Very few authors, in my opinion, have been able to successfully apply these tropes in an entertaining and effective manner. I also liked and had some issues with Maxon and Aspen. Maxon was charming and it was difficult to watch him be placed into a situation where he is forced to choose a bride while the whole world is watching. At the same time, he rubbed me the wrong way a few times. Like America, he comes off as indecisive and childish. I was rooting for Aspen until he brutally broke up with America. I can understand wanting to provide for someone, but that whole mentality in which the man “is supposed” to provide for the women bothers me whether it is in fiction or in real life. There are some things that happen towards the end that really bother me; however, I won’t disclose them because they are spoilers. Nevertheless, I’m interested in seeing where America’s decisions will lead her in this next book.

For a book that I wasn’t expecting to like, this actually turned into a pretty pleasant read and I will be continuing the series. I plan on doing a review for each book and novella so be on the look-out as I finish each one!

06 December 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday, #21 The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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: The Belles
# of Pages: 448
Publication: February 6th, 2018 
Goodreads | Amazon

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

I've been hearing nothing but AMAZING things about this book and I've had my eyes on it for a while so I cannot wait to read it as soon as it releases.

What are you looking forward to?

01 December 2017

Friday #56, #44 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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: The Grishaverse #1 
# of Pages: 358
Publication: June 5th, 2012
Source: Purchased Copy 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository 

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart. Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

So this week I'm reading a book that I have to finish for my young adult materials class. I'm really excited about it because it's already been fast paced and engaging. I'm hoping to finish it soon and I hope that I can go ahead and move on to the next couple of books.

"I considered refusing, but what was the point? I shrugged awkwardly out of my coat and let the Healer ease my shirt over my shoulders. The Corporalki were the Order of the Living and the Dead. I tried to focus on the living part, but I'd never been healed by a Grisha and every muscle in my body tensed with fear."
 What book are you currently reading?

30 November 2017

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 348
Publication: November 1st, 2016
Source: Library Copy
Genre: Contemporary
Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

So this book was not the book I was expecting it to be. I heard a lot about it and quite a few individuals had an issue with the whole concept of insta-love. Usually, I would agree; however, for some reason it worked in this novel and I really enjoyed the fact that Natasha and Daniel fell in love over the course of a day. The aspect of this book that made it so different it terms of “insta-love” from other books that I read was Natasha’s level of skepticism. I have found that typically the female lead of these stories end up swooning over the guy that is characterized as the male lead. Natasha was the complete opposite. She was determined to prove that love is an exact science and because of that it goes as easily as it comes. Because of this, it was up to Daniel to get her to see the world through a set of different lenses. Honestly, I found their love story to be romantic. It’s not completely realistic, but I do believe that there are people who find and feel strong connections to individuals that they have just met.

Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was all the cultural references. Half of my family is from Jamaica, so I definitely related to Natasha and her family especially her father’s desire to come to the United States to live out the American dream. Like Natasha and Daniel, sometimes I find it hard to live out the “requirements” of the heritage and culture of my family while still attempting to conform to certain ideals and traditions of American families. It can be hard and frustrating so watching Daniel and Natasha work out their inner turmoil related to their American experiences was extremely interesting.

Outside of the amazing character development, Yoon’s writing was phenomenal. I was not a huge fan of Everything, Everything, but this book was AMAZING. Her writing flowed and it was beautiful and unique. Not only did she write a story that addressed culture and immigration, but it also created a new way to look at love and she did a crazy amazing job making everyone connected. The ending wasn’t perfect. It wasn't knit into a neat little package where everything worked out for Daniel and Natasha. I LOVED that. I’m not saying that I hate perfect endings; however, I appreciate realistic endings and this one was real all the way to the end. Time and distance are a real factor when it comes to love and I definitely could appreciate that.

I really appreciated everything about this book. It was carefully planned out and written and I can tell that is her second book. It’s so beautiful and definitely delves into the philosophy associated with love. If you haven’t read this book definitely give it a chance. It is fascinating, beautiful, and just completely and utterly amazing.

29 November 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday #20, The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

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: 480
Publication: March 29th, 2018 

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

I don't remember where I discovered this book. I'm sure it was from one of the many AMAZING blogs that I follow; however, this is one of my must reads of 2018. It sounds completely and totally amazing and I know that I will enjoy it especially since it takes place in Taiwan!

What book are you looking forward to?

28 November 2017

Top 10 Tuesday: Winter TBR 2017-2018

Happy Tuesday everyone! I can't believe it's almost the first of December! Time is definitely flying by. So if you didn't know which I'm sure you do, Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and Bookish. This Tuesday's theme has us focusing on our winter TBR. I just want you guys to know ahead of time that I am awful at TBR's. I'm such a mood reader that I rarely stick to them; however, this year I'm going to try extremely hard to get it together. : )

Here are some of the release of 2017 that I was supposed to get to that I haven't just yet. The list is a lot longer than this, but I at least want to read these four:

These are the four releases in January/February of next year that I really want to check out. Like before my list is actually longer than this; however, I'm trying to be realistic haha. I already have an ARC of Cruel Prince by Holly Black so I'm sure I can definitely read that one sooner than later.

These last two books are just books that I'm interested in reading that I already own or have currently checked out from the library.

What does your Winter TBR look like? 

25 November 2017

BookiskRealmReviews & Film #2

Happy Saturday Everyone! I hope all my US readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm back today with another look at some movies and TV shows I've watched or I'm currently watching! I hope you enjoy. : ) Let me know in the comments what you are currently watching! 


For some reason this past week I was craving the Harry Potter films. I don't have the first three films so I decided to go with watching HP & The Goblet of Fire. Ironically, this is my favorite book out of the series and my favorite movie. I really enjoyed learning about and seeing witches and wizards from other schools. It just adds a really fun and engaging element to the story. This movie adaptation isn't the best because a lot of different elements of the book are left out; however, I enjoy it every time I watch it. Shortly after I watched HP & The Order of the Phoenix which isn't my favorite book or movie, but is definitely extremely important to the overall plot of the books and films. I'm really interested in re-reading this book and watching the film again to see how close they are to each other.

Girls Trip was hilarious! I was not expecting it to be that funny, but then again I had to remember who was in the film. It definitely tackles some major issues, but its all about girl power and friendship and I'm always here for that. It was great and I definitely recommend it as a light film to enjoy. After watching Girls Trip I definitely wanted something a little more suspenseful so I decided to watch The Gift. It was interesting and suspenseful and everything I needed in a psychological thriller. I can't say anything about it because I will spoil it for viewers. Definitely check it out.

TV Shows

I took a break on watching 7th Heaven season 4 and decided to re-watch Downton Abbey. I can't remember where I stopped with the series so I just decided to pick back up with season 2 because I can remember everything from season 1. It's a classic and I'm sure most of you have seen it, but if you haven't I definitely recommend picking it up. 

What have you watched or what are you currently watching??