Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: April 24th, 2012

Date Read: May 7-8, 2013

When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me. I didn’t want to be royalty. And I didn’t want to be a One. I didn’t even want to try.

First Impression: You can read all about my very first impression here.

I thought it was dumb.

I was wrong.

When I picked it back up, I did it because I ran out of books and I still hadn’t finished this one. I flew through it in about a day, because it gets so much better than that first chapter. I thought it was going to end up being a vapid, pretty girl’s version of The Hunger Games- with a love triangle. But, as I read further, I really liked it. I got to know the character more than the first few pages, and I was glad I picked up the book again.

Things I Liked: The relationship between all of the contestants was an interesting one to read about. It’s like being backstage on The Bachelor (I am assuming this, because I have never seen it), and it was fun to read. I think that kind of writing takes a little effort too, because the author really needs to study group dynamics in a competitive setting. I was angry and happy and confused by some of the girls, and I loved it. I would have hated it if the book wasn’t told from America’s perspective, but it really was nice seeing it through her eyes. I also really loved that there is a dash of politics in here. Royal secrets, questions about the end of the U.S. as we know it, all that. It is a theme that becomes increasingly important, and increasingly interesting.

Things I Didn’t Like: I am not sure that I like the love triangle. Love triangles are ridiculously overdone, but somehow they always feel like a necessary part of YA lit. I think that this book could have stood without the love triangle, but I don’t know how it plays out in the rest of the series, so I won’t write it off (so punny) just yet.

Overall: I reallllly liked it. That being said, my first impression really sticks with me, so I can’t give it 5 stars. I know that I am not the only one to feel this way about the beginning chapters, but I do wish the others would finish the book.

Rating: 

fourstars

Review: The Magnolia League By Katie Crouch

Title: The Magnolia League

Author: Katie Crouch

Publisher: Poppy

Release Date: May 3rd, 2011

Date Read: April 16-18, 2013

By birth, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League– a long-standing debutante society in Savannah, Georgia. Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League’s intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in its seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty, and power…but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she unearths secrets–some deadly–hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer.

First Impression: Sometimes it takes you a few pages to really get a first impression. I was so impressed by the first couple sentences that I took a picture to send to my friend that recommended the book to me. Here is that picture:

IMAG0918

I literally don’t like sweet tea for that exact reason. I used to work at McDonald’s, and they use a pound of sugar for every 4-5 gallons of tea. It’s gross (to me). And that is why I decided to finish this book no matter what.

I know that some of you might not agree with me (my husband loves sweet tea), but I don’t care. This book hooked me because of that sentence. And because it’s about Southern Magic. I capitalized that because it should be a genre. For real.

Things I Liked: Lately, I have been loving books about southern magic wielders. Witches, voodoo queens, all of it. I like everything from Sarah Addison Allen books to the Beautiful Creatures series. I can’t really explain it all that well, but the characters are sassier. And I like that. I also like when you see these southern towns from an outsider’s perspective, and that is another reason I liked this one. And the sass and bossiness that can only come from southern debutantes.

Things I Didn’t Like: Some of the secondary characters. Some of their actions didn’t make a lot of sense when I thought about the information previously given about that character. That kind of lack of cohesiveness makes me angry, because it seems like the author only paid attention to the main character. However, I will admit that since this is a series, I am sure to learn a little more about that character’s personality and motivations that may explain their previous actions.

Overall: I like it a lot, but I don’t know if I loved it. However, I will definitely read the rest of the series.

Rating:

fourstars

Dear YA Lit: I Have A Bone To Pick With You

Courtesy of Tumblr

My problem is with your leading ladies.

My problem is that almost all of them are the same.

This is what I have noticed about a lot of YA’s leading ladies:

1. All of them have messy hair.

2. They don’t realize that they are beautiful, and it undoubtedly takes a very specific male to point it out.

3. They are very reluctant to fall in love, or are simply too oblivious to see when a guy likes them.

4. They are always very easily embarrassed , especially in situations that should not end in embarrassment.

And this one gets to me the most:

5. They always remember to wear lip gloss. Ummm, what? Lip gloss is literally the last thing I remember when I’m getting ready? Chapstick, yes. Lip gloss? Absolutely not. These girls can literally have 2 minutes to get ready, and instead of brushing their hair or their teeth, they grab their lip gloss and go. Crazy people.

 

Anyway, that’s the extent of my list for now. I am absolutely positive there are things I’m forgetting.

Do you have anything to add?

My Latest Obsessions

Once upon a time, there was a girl. This girl was easily distracted by nice things and quickly became attached to, and maybe even obsessed with, these nice things. These are those things:

1. Essie E-nuff is E-nuff nail polish.

I’m not really a trendy person, but sometimes I really latch onto something because I feel that it fits a season. This nail polish reminds me of summer, and I have been painting and repainting my nails with it for the last few weeks. It’s like red, but softer. Like watermelon, or cherry popsicles.

2. Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast Iced Coffee.

This coffee makes me want to buy one of those helmets that old fat guys wear at football games that fit two cans of beer– except it will obviously hold two large Dark Roast iced coffees with extra cream and caramel swirl. So smoooooth.

3. Coheed and Cambria’s album Descension.

It took me a while to finally get Ascension and then Descension, and I am kicking myself for taking so long! It has been pretty much the only thing I have listened to since I have gotten it. It’s funky and it’s awesome.

4. Fairy Tale inspired books.

I have spent a long time reading books about dystopian societies and arranged marriages and paranormal type characters, but I haven’t really come across a lot of fairy-tale inspired books. I downloaded Unenchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale) by  Chanda Hahn for free for my Kindle (free books ftw), and I really liked it. I won’t say that it is the best written book I have ever read, but I really enjoyed the concept! It’s about a girl who is a descendant of the Brothers Grimm. It took me no time at all to read it, and I definitely plan on purchasing the next book in the series.

If you guys have any recommendations based on the music and book selections I just shared, let me know!!

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium, #1)

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Pages: 441

Publisher: Harper, 2011

Date Read: March 6-14, 2013

 

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now I would rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

 

Characters: 

Lena- It seems that the pattern in these types of books is for the main character to blindly believe in the system, be proven wrong, and fight to change it. Sadly, this book doesn’t break that mold. However, in light of that, I still liked this book. I liked it better than Matched. Lena is fiesty in a way that Cassia (Matched) is not, and she knows how to play it cool. She has a rule breaker friend, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in…when the time is right. She’s smart.

Alex- Ahhhhh, the boyfriend. The boyfriends in these types of books are always the best because they’re so mysterious. You spend most of your time trying to figure this guy out, and in the mean time he sweeps you off your fight feet with his awesomeness. By “you” I mean the main character….right? Anyway, Alex is wonderful and loyal and exciting.

Hana- Hana is Lena’s best friend (she’s the rule breaker I mentioned earlier). And of course, Hana would be the reason that Lena meets Alex. It seems this book has a lot of loyal people in it, because Hana is just as loyal as Alex is to Lena. I guess she just knows how to pick them. At first I didn’t like Hana because she just seemed to purposely get Lena into trouble, but she really grows on you.

Conflict: Love is a disease and therefore should be treated like all other diseases and vaccinated. There you go! How would you cope in a world like that? This book reminded me a ton of Matched, but this one had a little better world building, and there was actually more of a conflict than the one you see on the surface.

Things I Liked: The names. You might think I am superficial when I say that, but so what? It’s true. When I read a book, I don’t like having to mentally battle with the names I am reading and second guessing whether or not I am actually pronouncing them right. For instance: I didn’t know how to properly pronounce Hermione until I saw the first Harry Potter movie. Books these days are all apocalyptic and have funky names that I have difficulty pronouncing, and this one has good names that are also reader-friendly.  I loved the loyalty of the supporting characters to Lena, and I love that she is stubborn and has a sort of steely resolve. And she’s smart, I love that. There is nothing worse than a dumb main character.

Things I Didn’t Like: Honestly, I don’t really remember. I think it took me a little while to read this one because I was busy and it started a little slow. But, once all of the characters are introduced and stuff actually starts happening, I found myself wanting to read it more often. I hated her family, but I was supposed to, so no surprise there. I guess what I disliked most about this book is that I was constantly comparing it to Matched because they are so similar.

Cover Art: Loved it! I love seeing a fresh face on the cover of a book instead of a cutesy model on the front with a barrel of eye makeup on.

Overall: I really liked the story-line, aside from its remarkable similarity to Matched. It’s a good read, and I would recommend it!

Rating: 4 stars