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Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: The Elite - By Kiera Cass

Release Date - April 24, 2012
Publisher - Harperteen
Edition - Ebook (EPub)
Pages - 272
Series - The Selection

Summary - Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s   with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Review - Can I just start out by saying I think this has been one of my favorite series that I have ever read. Granted I have not read many, this will definitely be in the top. The flow from one book to another is perfect. I stop one and pick up another and can't even tell that I am on to a new book, other than the covers. And can we talk about the covers for these books? I absolutely love them. That is what drew me in in the first place. The model that they got works perfectly for America. All throughout the books they talk about the different dresses that these girls wear to their different events and occasions, and the covers give you a nice idea of what they are talking about. 

Now on the the book itself. WOW! If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be WOW! There are so many things that happened in The Elite, that I never saw coming! The Selection had its moments where it was a little predictable, but let me tell you this one does not. Even all the way to the end things keep happening that you don't expect. The one time I thought I knew what was going to happen was the ending. Knowing that there was another novel coming made me wonder what was going to happen if The Elite ended the way that I thought it was going to, but right at the end, and I mean the last few pages, you get thrown another curve ball that I really didn't see coming. I cannot explain how excited I am to start The One, which is the third and final novel in the trilogy. There are though, two novellas that going along with this trilogy. The Price, which is from Maxon's perspective, and I am sure is going to be good. And The Guard, which I'm sure you have guessed is told from Aspen's point of view. Also this December, they are releasing another novella. The Queen! This was taken from her blog and makes me wonder what she has up her sleeve. 

" I get questions about a lot of the other women in America Singer's life. The maids (of course), Marlee, and (one my personal faves) Queen Amberly. It seems to be quite a mystery to most of us how such a wonderful woman could have ended up with Clarkson. But soon, you'll all know the answer! We're taking you back to the last Selection to see Amberly's story unfold in a new novella!"

Will this be the last or will they continue? I would love to read from the maids and Marlee's perspective! How do you guys feel?

Kiera Cass has done an amazing job writing these books and I can't wait to read many more things from her.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Release Date - April 24, 2012
Publisher - Harperteen
Age Group - 12 and up
Pages - 336
Series - The Selection
Rating - 5/5


Summary - 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.

Review - It has been way too long since I have started a book and actually finished it. Three years to be exact and I don't think I could have chosen a better book to break that hiatus.The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I was drawn in the first time I saw it. Then I read the description. As much as I loved the cover I really wasn't sure if I was going to like the book. I am not usually a fan of books that take place in a different type of lifestyle, but this one I have come to love. From page one the plot took me in deeper and deeper and deeper. Sometimes it is hard for me to connect with characters but I found myself falling in love with America. At first I wanted her and Aspen to be together so bad but then when she meets Maxon I completely forget about Aspen. Although America does not. As the competition goes on America isn't even thinking about Maxon but she is also trying to forget about Aspen. She is there just to get away and forget and that's exactly what she starts to do but ends up in a situation she never saw coming. It was so hard for me to put this book down. I read it in only a few days. If you are looking for a good romance novel this is a great one to pick up. Kiera Cass does an amazing job at making you fall in love with the characters and draw you into the unpredictable plot.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pre-order Fated by Alyson Noel

So I learned about this awesome deal going on when you pre-order Fated.

You get a copy of these earrings when you pre-order Fated. They are pretty awesome if you ask me. Head on over to the site below and learn about all the rules.

http://stmartins.com/fatedpreorder

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Catching Jordan Guest Post

"Breaking through the Ranks: Jordan is symbolic for the many girls/women who choose to fight the status quo. What have some of your own experiences been like?"

When I was in elementary school, I wasn’t popular to say the least. Kids teased me because I liked Star Trek and science and animals and wanted to know how hurricanes worked. I didn’t know what the popular radio stations were and I barely knew which bands were cool. Some people at my school couldn’t believe I loved reading at night. Books and Discover magazine and National Geographic. I was a dorky, unattractive nerd who boys did not like.
But I was damned good at certain sports, like softball and volleyball.
For a long time in elementary school, when captains chose teams in gym class, it was all based on popularity. I was usually picked somewhere toward the end, even though I knew I could help the captain win games. I had proven myself. But no one ever seemed to notice because my lack of popularity hid my talent.
Then in sixth grade, I made it onto the school’s volleyball team. We were going to play the teachers in a game right before holiday break! Only eight kids were on the team: four boys and four girls. One of the boys was named Josh, and he was extremely popular, but had always been kind to me.
So one night our team went to Open Gym night, to practice so we could beat the teachers. I was practicing my serve – I was the only girl on the team who could do an overhand serve, and it was awesome. A fifth grade boy called out to Josh, “Wow, she’s good!” And Josh replied, “I know she’s good.”
And that was the first time in my life I really felt worth something when it came to sports. I smiled and smiled, and when we played softball in the spring, Josh picked me first when he was captain. When anyone questioned him, he replied, “Have you seen Miranda bat? Or seen her play third base?”
He was a truly good person and a good friend, because he saw my strengths and focused only on them, disregarding any pretense he may have had toward my popularity. I remember in junior high, he wrote in my yearbook, “Stay cool until the Next Generation.” That was incredibly corny but I loved it, because he knew I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation and accepted that about me, that I could like something other kids at my school didn’t like.
In my book CATCHING JORDAN, seventeen-year-old Jordan Woods loves football. She’s been playing the game for a long time and the guys all accept that she loves the game. Her friends don’t question it. She’s the captain and quarterback of her school’s team because she’s proven herself to be a great player and a capable leader.
Early on, when test readers were reading the book, they wanted to know, “Why does Jordan like football so much?”
I couldn’t really answer that. Jordan loves it, so she plays. Isn’t that enough? She likes running and the strategy involved. She likes leading a team. She likes running in for a touchdown.
If I say I love Mexican food, people don’t say, “Tell me why you like Mexican.” If I say I love figure skating, people don’t ask me why. It’s okay that I like those things because it’s normal for a white woman in American to like chips and dip and sparkly leotards.
But people do ask why Jordan’s into football, just because she’s a girl. I know that’s the sole reason.
My view is that people should do what they are good at. And even if they aren’t amazing at something, they should do it if they want to. If they dream of doing something, then they should work toward that dream, tackling obstacle after obstacle.
People will respect that. Maybe not all people, but a good portion will. Besides, you should do what you want to do.
That’s what Jordan Woods does, and that’s what I try to do every day. You should too. And if it ever gets hard, just remember those special people in your life who believe in you and your skills, regardless of sex or race or social status.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Gray Wolfe Throne - Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date - September 20, 2011
Publisher - Hyperion
Age Group - 12 and up
Pages - 517
Series - Seven Realms 
Rating - 4.5/5

Summary - Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisaana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen. 

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough. 

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

Review - (This one is coming from my brother. You may or may not remember, but he also reviewed the first novel in this series. You can find that here.
As I have read this series, I have come to love the characters. Cinda does an amazing job portraying the emotions and struggles, pulling in your attention, and holding it to the very end. 


This book was a great culmination of the events taking place in the queendom of Fellsmarch. As the Princess Heir, Raisa ana' Marianna deals with love and general teenage issues, she must also deal with the repercussions of her previous actions in the queendom, and events unfolding before her, on top of avoiding various attempts on her life.


The other main character, Han Alister, also must deal with struggles and hardships. Anything from his deep feelings for the princess, to the untraveled territory of political matters, keeps him in a whirlwind of uncertainty and trouble.


This book did a great job at balancing the two sides of the story, moving back and forth between the two, but never too frequently to be confusing, but never too far apart as to be a bore. As events began to unfold, the story does a great job at drawing you in, and keeping you there to the very end. From the intrigue of romance, to the suspense of assassination attempts. The book was thoroughly enjoyable. 


As this chapter in the series came to a close, the events began to slow, and became fairly predictable. Without a significant twist, or event, the ending came up a little short on satisfaction, but the remainder has the potential to make you want more. 


Cover - 5


Plot - 4


Characters - 5


Writing - 5


Ending - 3

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab

Release Date - August 2, 2011
Publisher - Hyperion
Age Group - 12 to 18
Pages - 288
Rating 5/5

Summary - The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Review - The Near Witch was, to simply put it, AMAZING! From the first moment I picked this book up I didn't want to put it down. At first I didn't know why. I remember thinking, "why am I  so into this? Nothing has even happened."
I'll tell you what happened, Ms. Victoria Schwab has made one amazing novel that everyone should read.

Let me start off by talking about the cover. Its not a pop out, look at me cover, but it is very pretty and does tie into the story.

On to the plot. It was original, for me. I can say I have never read a book like this one. As I said before I was hooked from page one and it kept me there through out the remainder. I don't think I once had a boring moment. Once it really got going, I had to know what was gonna happen next.

I definitely enjoyed all of the characters. they all had their own unique personality and made the story what it was. Without those I think the story wouldn't have been as enjoyable. The main character, Lexi, was amazing. I loved her kick- ass, heroine personality. But I did enjoy seeing her vulnerable side too. 

Victoria's writing.... The best thing I can say is I can't wait for whatever she has in store for us next. Her first novel was amazing and I am sure I will also enjoy anything else that she decides to write. 
Amazing book and I can't wait for more from Victoria. 

Cover - 5

Plot - 5

Characters - 5

Writing - 5

Ending - 5

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