Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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.


 Best Bits: You know, this book was really entertaining. I've heard positive and negative things about it, and I think that's why it's taken me so long to cross it off my to-read list. So, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast it went. I liked the dynamic between the girls (see the nit picks section, though). Sure, some fell into their tropes, but it was nice to see that some girls weren't after love, they were after power.


Sorry, I'm not usually a gif person, but I couldn't resist. I did like the development of Maxon. Despite his out-of-touch upbringing, he's genuinely willing to attempt change for his country. It's the sign of a good ruler (omg, now I'm worried he won't live through the series. Excuse me while I go breathe in a paper bag).

Nit Picks: I can see why this one was hit or miss for people, because it stayed at the surface for most things like character motivations (beyond America), and delving into why the rebels are fighting back against the government. The love triangle seemed a bit wonky, too. I think that's because the book gives us such a positive look at Maxon. I felt ho-hum about Aspen, who I'm sure I'm supposed to feel something for. 

The Selection 
By Kiera Cass
Published by  HarperTeen
336 Pages

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 22)

What is teaser tuesday?
It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules: 

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  


"Did you really just use the word 'shall'?"
He chuckled. "I'm afraid I did." 

-The Selection, Page 114, by Kiera Cass

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (April 19)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews! It's a way to highlight the books that everyone got throughout the week.

For Review: 

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker
 
"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?


Published by Running Press
Release Date: April 22, 2014 

Purchased: 

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


The Selection by Kiera Cass

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.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

  didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.


Best Bits: Oh. My. Glob. There was something so deliciously twisted about this book that kept me from setting it down. I was reading it during my lunch break because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Amy is like Dorothy in many ways, she just wants to escape her life in Kansas. Her issues, unlike Dorothy's, are more serious and intense.  This makes her a great character. She's not exactly likable all the time, but I understand her motivations. She's tormented by her peers, her mom is struggling with addiction, and she can't wait to leave her home behind. Perfect timing for a tornado, right? Paige was able to take Oz, and make it her own. The associations that I have about Oz from childhood were turned upside down, and I loved it.

The characters are everything that you want them to be, and Paige doesn't spare anyone. It's sort of like Game of Thrones, no one is safe! The reader never truly knows who is good and who is wicked, and if wicked is really good in Oz?! I'm looking forward to Amy's struggle with power, and her ability to navigate who to trust (and hopefully, ultimately, trusting herself). The characters we know and love(d) make an appearance, and they're absolutely vile. I never thought I would be disgusted by the cowardly lion (because really, in the movie I just want to give him a big hug). Paige excels in warping these characters, while giving the reader an understanding of why they serve Dorothy.

Nit Picks: There is a decent amount of swearing in this one. I didn't mind it, but those who try to avoid that should be aware. 

Dorothy Must Die 
By Danielle Paige
Published by HarperCollins
452 Pages
Purchased



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop


Hoppy Easter 2
4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 17th to 24th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later
 As long as The Book Depository ships to you, enter away!

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