Monday, January 30, 2017

The One Hit Me In the Feels

15844362Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Edition: Audiobook
Publisher: HarperTeen

The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began--and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth's Divergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium.
The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illea, Aspen--and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice... and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.
Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!
this review contains spoilers

I was so pumped to pick up The One because I seriously loved The Selection and its sequel, The Elite. I have to say that if you've read the first two books, you should definitely check out this one.

what i liked
•America finally chose to be with Maxon at the end of The Elite. Thank god she finally made a choice! 
•Celeste!! I finally began to seriously love her as a character. She became so much easier to understand and I really liked that. 
•Maxon flipped shit when America finally told him about Aspen! FINALLY. I think that she kind of deserved it and I appreciated that he was upset, however part of me was really scared that he wasn't going to end up with her.
•I loved the letters from Maxon. I thought they were the sweetest thing ever.
•THEY ENDED UP TOGETHER. It was all that I wanted!
•The ending left so much room for future opportunity. I'm hoping that more is explored with the revolution/uprising that has been going on and I also hope to see the caste system change in the future books. Hopefully something along those lines happens!
•This book literally gave me so many feelings. I haven't tried to read through a final book in such a long time. Like... since Mockingly. I was literally broken at about 91% through the book because I was so scared for Maxon and America. You can see my exact reactions if you check my Goodreads!

what i didn't like
•Because she already made a choice, I thought that they'd be getting together way earlier in the book, though it seemed to still take a while because oh yeah, AMERICA STILL NEVER TOLD MAXON ABOUT ASPEN. Why didn't she just tell him as soon as he came to the palace?? I mean, Maxon already knew about Aspen and America! It's what made the two of them close in the first place!
•I thought that the seduction scene between Maxon and America was a little odd. I mean, America already pretty much would have Maxon to herself because he clearly loved her so much.
•Celeste's death! I mean, I guess I could see that people did have to die in that very last rebel attack, but I didn't see it coming! I finally liked her, and then I became so upset when she was gone.
•I felt like it took quite a while for a lot to start to happen in this book. Namely, I finally got really into the story when Maxon and America left the palace thanks to Aspen.
•I wasn't the biggest fan of Kriss because I was so scared that she was a big threat to the relationship between Maxon and America.

Despite all that, this is yet another five star read for me. I literally love this world and the fact that it's just such a fun read. I am looking forward to reading the next books, though I'm a little sad that it isn't about Maxon and America!

Have you read The One? What were your thoughts?

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Elite Was A Pretty Great Sequel

16248068Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Edition: ebook

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.

**This review contains spoilers.**

So, after finishing The Selection, I immediately put myself on the wait list for The Elite at my local library. I'm so glad that I did, because I liked this book just as much as The Selection. This book starts right where the first book left off. There are now six elite, and of course America is one of them. However, she still isn't sure if she actually wants to be with Maxon.

what i liked

I felt like America really grew as a character in this book. I mean sure, she changed a lot in the first book, but she was always so iffy in this book. She finally started coming into her own in this book, like in her philanthropy project that was in the end. 
•About that, I really liked that America went out of her way to make a huge bang with he philanthropy project. The caste system is a huge issue in her country, so I thought it was pretty cool that she tried to make a huge raucous by choosing to address that in her presentation.
•We finally get more hints at a rebellion against the throne! When Marlee was being whipped, America kind of sparked a bit of a flame by running after Marlee screaming.

•Maxon literally grew on me even more in this book. WHY IS HE SO AWESOME?? I want a Maxon.
•We learn more about Maxon. His father actually whips him, which paints the King in an entirely different light.

what i didn't like

•America kept choosing between Aspen and Maxon still! I was hoping that it would take her less time to try to make a decision. It's obvious (at least to me) that she'd be better with Maxon. Why doesn't America just let go of Aspen by now?? Seriously, I was getting really upset when she kept trying to see more of Aspen. LET HIM GOOOOO.

I can honestly say that I'm pretty pumped to finally read The One and figure out what happens. I seriously hope that America can make the smart decision of choosing Maxon, because I think that he's better for her. I mean, come on, Aspen broke up with her in the first place. If he really wanter her, he wouldn't have done that!

Have you read The Elite? What were your thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2017

You Should Read This Book Sometime

21822422Title: We Should Hang Out Sometime
Author: Josh Sundquist
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Genre: Autobiography
Source: Purchased
Edition: Hardcover (336 pages)

A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist: Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker.
Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.
For twenty-three hours.
In eighth grade.
Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girl she had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places. 

After having We Should Hang Out Sometime on my shelf for what felt like forever, I finally picked it up during my first week at college! Yes, I understand that was awhile ago, but I'm finally gathering my thoughts to write the review now!

This story follows Josh's quest for love. He looks over all of his past incidents with girls and tries to figure out what exactly went wrong with all of them. He even uses drawings, graphs, and charts to help try to explain and figure out what had happened.

This novel was quite funny at times and I loved it to pieces. I loved hearing Josh's thoughts on everything that happened and also really liked how he looked at himself differently in the end. I usually don't read nonfiction books, but I can honestly say that I'm glad I picked this one up. It was one novel that you honestly won't forget!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Selection... AKA One of My Fave Rereads

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Edition: Audiobook

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.

I read this book a few years ago in 2012 right before I started this blog. I know, that's a long time ago, right?? Anyway, I remembered loving it so much and saw that my online library had copies of the next few books in the series, and for some reason I all of a sudden wanted to revisit this world because The Selection had been my favorite novel of 2012. I just couldn't resist the urge! Therefore I immediately started reading The Selection again, this time through an audiobook.

The Selection follows America Singer, who is in the fifth caste in her world, which is called Illea. In this world, the prince hosts a selection in order to find his future wife. America doesn't think she would ever get chosen, neither does she even want to participate, because she's in love with Aspen Ledger, her older brother's best friend who is a caste below them.

One night, Aspen breaks up with America and she ends up applying to the Selection. Somehow, she gets chosen and then she's swept off into a brand new world in Angeles, with thirty-four other girls and one handsome prince named Maxon.

I SERIOUSLY LOVED THIS BOOK. If possible, I think that I enjoyed this book even more the second time around. It's really made me realize how much I want to reread some books. America was an alright protagonist. I really liked how strong of a person she was. She stood up for herself really well, even if it meant that she had to stand up to royalty.

However, my favorite character was Prince Maxon. He was just so dreamy! He was always there for America because of their deal, and was extremely funny at times. He was seriously so charming. Why aren't there more Prince Maxons in the world!?

I really liked Aspen in the beginning though over time I liked him less. I just wanted Prince Maxon and America to get together! Aspen was the one who broke up with America in the first place. If you love something then don't let it go, Aspen!

I absolutely adored The Selection and honestly can't wait to continue on with the series. If you're new to this series, I highly suggest you check it out. It's a beautiful mix of contemporary and dystopian, and you even get to explore royalty!

Favorite Quotes:

True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.

Listen to me, kitten. Win or lose, you'll always be a princess to me.

No, I'm not choosing him or you. I'm choosing me.

I hope you find someone you can't live without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Underrated Books

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson

Nexis by A.L. Davroe
Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier
After Hours by Claire Kennedy

Letters to Zell by Camille Griep

What are some of your favorite underrated books?

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Prince Made Me Love Maxon More

15820748Title: The Prince
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #0.5
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Edition: audiobook

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...
Before Aspen broke America's heart...
There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...
Don't miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass's hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection.

After finishing The Elite, I immediately went to my library and put The One on hold. There were two people in front of me and I knew that I needed more of this wonderful world to hold me over until I could delve back into it with another book from the series, so I decided to check out this novella.

The Prince follows Maxon before the Selection occurs. We find out that he actually had a really close friend from France named Daphne who really liked Maxon as more than a friend. Needless to say, the two of them do not end up together because of the Selection.

I really loved this story because I liked learning more about Maxon. We never get to see anything through his point of view, so it was awesome to finally see the world through his eyes. I'd definitely suggest this one for fan of The Selection series who are looking to explore the characters and the world a bit more.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gemina AKA Another Great Illuminae Files Novel

Title: Gemina
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Illustrated by Marie Lu
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Edition: Hardcover (608 pages)

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna's social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain's pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon hanna and Nik aren't just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia-and possibly the known universe-is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless. 

Be warned... this review contains spoilers if you haven't read either Illuminae or Gemina!

After reading Illuminae last year, I knew that I was going to want to continue on with this series. That's why as soon as I had the chance to go to the bookstore this year after Gemina released, it was the first book that I picked up to purchase. Even though I didn't love it as much as Illuminae, Gemina was a major hit with me!

Gemina follows two different characters, Hanna and Nik, though the story takes place in the same world as Illuminae. Hanna is the daughter of the station captain and Nik is pretty much part of a mafia aboard Heimdall. Hanna was a very badass character and I really liked her. She was always sticking up for herself and was willing to get dirty and fight.

Nik was very interesting. I have heard multiple people say that they prefer him to Ezra, but I just loved Ezra so much so nothing could replace him! Nik was cool though because he was part of this mafia group aboard the ship. I have never read a book with mafia in it, nonetheless in science fiction, so that was pretty cool.

Once again, this book had a really cool setup. The book was told through instant messages, emails, video surveillance scripts, and interviews. I have heard from many people that the audiobooks of this series are really awesome and add a lot to the story, so I think before the third book comes out I'm definitely going to listen to the audiobooks to get that part of the story!

If you haven't started this series, I definitely suggest you jump on it soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Starflight by Melissa Landers
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Front Lines by Michael Grant

Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

What 2016 releases did you not get to?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tandem by Anna Jarzab | Review

15829686Title: Tandem
Author: Anna Jarzab
Series: Many-Worlds Trilogy #1
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Edition: Hardcover (428 pages)

Everything repeats. You. Your best friend. Every person you know. Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities. Welcome to the multiverse.
Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.
To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.
The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

 If you know me well, then you'll know that I'm obsessed with the idea of parallel universes. I just think that it's so cool and I love learning about all the different theories and stuff. That's what initially drew me into Tandem. However, the book ended up being quite a let-down.

I really liked the whole idea of the parallel universes that was implemented in the book. Basically, everyone has copies of themselves in other worlds, though who you are in that other world may be completely different and you'll also have a different name. For example, the main character Sasha was just like a princess in another world. I thought that was an interesting concept, rather than the whole "every time you make a decision a new world is created" parallel universe concept that is more commonly used.

Despite that, I didn't really like Sasha that much. She made realizations way too quickly in the book, to the point where it didn't make sense at times. Sasha was given a bracelet when she was kidnapped into the other world which was keeping her there and helping her with sickness. Somehow, within minutes of realizing that she had the bracelet on, she already guessed what it did. Like what? It's impossible to make realizations that quickly for the average human in my opinion.

So my main issue lied with Sasha. I also felt like a lot of what I was reading what already done before, though that may just mean that I wasn't in the mood for what I was reading. I will probably not be continuing on with the series, but if this seems like an interesting novel to you, then I do suggest checking it out. It just wasn't what I was initially expecting when I picked it up.

Notable quotes:

The world is far less random than it appears. Once you started paying attention, patterns emerged where before you only saw chaos.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Haul | January 1-7, 2017

Hey guys! The past week or so I have mainly gotten books from my online library and from my gift cards. Here's what I've gotten!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater // The One by Kiera Cass

The Prince by Kiera Cass

Hamilton the Revolution by Lin Manuel Miranda // A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas // Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas // Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

What books have you gotten this week?