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?