BOOK REVIEW : THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS


10507293Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
336 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

I am pretty late to the game when it comes to the Selection series. I’m pretty sure this was on my TBR back when I was reading the Hunger Games. However, I finally picked up book #1 and i’m very very very happy with how much I enjoyed it.

America Singer comes from a very poor family, so when she is asked to sign up for a competition to help them financially, she can’t say no. Much like the popular TV show, the bachelor, 35 outstanding girls are selected to move into a palace and compete to become Prince Maxon’s future bride. America is welcomed into the royal lifestyle with amazing food and gifts from the prince. She is surprised by his generosity and how much she really does begin to like him. The only problem is that she is in love with someone else back home.

I enjoyed this lovely dystopian/romance so much more thanI thought that I would! It sucked me in from the very first page, when I met miss America Singer. America is such a kind hearted, down to earth main character. She is never afraid to be her true self and I love her funny/stubborn attitude. Prince Maxon is simply everything that a girl would want in a prince. I must say, I don’t think I would be as cool as America is when it comes to sharing him with so many other beautiful ladies.

I was afraid that the Selection would be too girlie and princessie for me personally, but I was so wrong. It’s like reading this book gave me that chick flick fix that i’ve been needing! At this point, having only read the first book in the series, I’m totally rooting for America and Maxon. I have no idea what’s in store for book #2 and #3, but I am excited to find out! If you’ve read the Selection series already, let me know your thoughts in the comments below (without spoiling the other books for me.) XOX.
maria

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MARIA’S JUNE WRAP UP 2015

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June seriously flew by and I can’t believe my first month of my summer vacation is OVER! I am beyond happy to have 2 more months to enjoy before university starts up again! Fun fact: I did not purchase 1 SINGLE BOOK in the month of June! Money has been very tight and I only started working my summer job a few weeks ago. It sucks, because my to-buy list keeps growing, but at least I got some good reading time in! I managed to read a total of 10 books in the month of June. That is the most i’ve read since DECEMBER guys! I am hoping to pass that book count in July.

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1. Clockwork Angel (TID #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
2. Clockwork Prince (TID #2) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★

3. City of Lost Souls (TMI #5) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
4. Clockwork Princess (TID #3) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★
5. City of Heavenly Fire (TMI #6) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★
I am super excited to announce that I finally finished Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. It took me a little while to get back into the world, but I flew through them and highly enjoyed them. The books just kept getting better and better. I have to say that Tessa was my favorite character out of them all. I am so glad that I decided to read the Infernal Devices series. It was so worth it! Now I have them all sitting beautifully on my shelf and I can say that I read them all! 

115943374. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ★★★★★
This middle grade story touched my heart! Ivan is a gorilla, living in a mall. I loved Ivan! He wasn’t any ordinary gorilla, he loved to draw and paint. He makes a promise to an old friend, and does everything to keep it. The ending was adorable and perfect. I will definitely be rereading this someday.

71295882. Forget You by Jennifer Echols ★★★★
When I placed one of my first book outlet orders, I decided to get a bunch of Jennifer Echols books. It’s been at least a year since then, and I haven’t read any of them until now. Forget You was better than I had expected. I flew through it in one sitting. The characters may not have been that memorable, but the story was a really great one.

183445343. Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting ★★★★★
I had my eye on Clipped Wings for such a long time and guess what? It did not disappoint! This was such a good new adult romance for tattoo lovers! Throughout the entire book, Hayden is working on Tenley’s back tattoo and learns more and more about her past. The characters were amazing and the book ended on such a cliff hanger. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

684299. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson ★★★★★
I read the first book in the Mistborn series last month. It was good, but it took me a while to get into the story. The first half of the book was full of details and explanations, so it was slow for me. It wasn’t until the last half that I really started loving and appreciating the fantastic story. This second book had me invested from the very first chapter. I already knew the characters from the first book and  understood everything. The Well of Ascension was full of ACTION ACTION ACTION and I LOVED every single minute of it. At this point, I feel very attached to our main characters, Vin and Elend, and am addicted to this fantasy series.

582197810. The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han ★★★★

I started walking (almost) everyday in June and during that time I listened to The Summer I Turned Pretty on audiobook. It was the perfect summer read for those sunny days. The actual story didn’t blow me away, but I really did LOVE getting to know the characters. Plus the summer house setting was beautiful and so fun. I hope to read the other books in this contemporary series very soon.

I am currently reading the third book in the Mistborn trilogy, The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I’m really loving it, but i’m not flying through it as quickly as the second book. Maybe I just need an afternoon to dedicate to this awesome series. Sorry about the lack of reviews lately! I really have to get back into the groove… Let me know what you think of these books, as well as the books that you read during the month of June. Happy reading!

maria

#TBRTAKEDOWN READATHON VLOG

I’m happy to say that I had a successful Readathon week! The little vlogging that I did definitely kept me motivated to read more. What a great way to start the month of June! If you took part in the #TBRTakedown Readathon, I would love to hear how you did and what books you read. Leave me some love in the comments below!
maria

MARIA’S MAY WRAP UP (2015)

The-Bear-Claire-Cameron-Chatelaine-Book-Club1. The Bear by Claire Cameron ★★★★★
This thriller is extremely different from the ones i’ve previously read. It’s told in the perspective of a five year old girl, who’s family is attacked by a bear on a camping trip. The writing style seriously blew me away. Anna would say the funniest things as she described her surroundings, but the narration was also very sad because she didn’t fully understand what was going on. Very unique! This story will be staying with me for a while.

2. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick ★★★★★ REVIEW
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I read Freak the Mighty this month along with my 7th grade students, during my practice teaching. I can’t believe I didn’t come across this wonderful story of friendship before. It was very touching and eye opening. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE.

51E+7V-PDyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson ★★★★★
I finally took the Brandon Sanderson plunge and started the Mistborn trilogy. Being so busy with my practice teaching, it took me nearly all month to finish this book. That being said, I enjoyed every minute of it. It is not something that I would have wanted to rush through anyway. I love the magic system, as well as the characters. Looking forward to reading book #2. 

4. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young ★★★★★ REVIEW{B852F324-CE01-43F3-9B99-C82D53DE27BD}Img100
This hot little new adult romance blew me away! The characters are wonderful, flawed, beautiful… I really can’t wait to get my hands on the other books in this series. I want them now!


5. Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) by Lee Child ★★★
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I was surprised by how much I was enjoying this mystery thriller. I thought that Jack Reacher was a freaking awesome main character. He always kept things interesting. That being said, I grew a bit tired of this one leading up to the end and just wanted it to be over. I’m still getting used to these chunky adult books.

6. Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters ★★★★16081754
The writing and the characters in Find You in the Dark didn’t impress me as much as in On Dublin Street, however I did end up liking Maggie and Clayton’s story. A lot of times, I found myself frustrated with the decisions that they were making, especially in the beginning. But then it hit me – Maggie was just too much like my high school self. I made stupid decisions too, so who am I to judge? It definitely was not what I had expected, but the last half of the book really surprised me. I am interested in finding out what happens next… 


Let me know if you’ve read any of these books in the comments below!
maria

BOOK REVIEW : ON DUBLIN STREET BY SAMANTHA YOUNG

Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 31st 2012
322 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Jocelyn/Joss moves to Scotland after finishing her studies, to make a new life for herself. Ever since her parents and younger sister died in a car crash years earlier, she’s been doing her best at avoiding dealing with this trauma and keeping her emotions in check. She ends up moving into a flat on Dublin Street with a girl named Ellie. Ellie and Joss hit it off, becoming fast friends. Not long after, Joss meets Ellie’s wealthy and very attractive brother, Braden. That, my friends, is where the story takes off.

Jocelyn feels attracted to Braden since their very first encounter in a taxi. Braden wants Jocelyn. Jocelyn has long sworn off relationships, not wanting to let anyone in. It takes a guy like Braden to break her walls down. I ADORED THIS. ADORED!

I read this book in one sitting. On Dublin Street had me so invested so fast. It took me on such an emotional roller coaster. So much happened in only 325 pages. SO MANY FREAKING FEELS. I feel deeply for Braden, Joss and Ellie. These three characters are rough and real. Now that it’s over, I just want more.

Does that sound like rambling to you? How many times can I say SO in one single book review? I’m sorry, but I just barely put this book down and just HAD TO share my thoughts and spread the love. I don’t want to give too much away, as I went into this book blind. If you’re even a tiny bit interested in the new adult genre, and you’re looking for a steamy read with an extremely good storyline – you MUST read this book. I can’t wait to try some more of Samantha Young’s work. 5 out of 5 stars, clearly…
maria

BOOK REVIEW : FREAK THE MIGHTY BY RODMAN PHILBRICK

8953Title: Freak the Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Published: June 1st 2001 by Scholastic Paperbacks
169 pages
Source: borrowed
Click here to find it on Goodreads

As I said in my previous TBR post, I’m currently doing four weeks of practice teaching for my on the job training. In my seventh grade english class, we are starting to read Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. Today, I finished the novel for the very first time and I’ll be reading it for the second time in class to my students. I’m really surprised to have never heard of such a heart warming young adult book and I have a feeling that this story will stay with me for quite a long time.

Freak the Mighty is the story two young boys with total different personalities, who become the best of friends. Max is big and Kevin is small. Max is a slow learner and Kevin is a genius. Together, they are Freak the Mighty.

Both characters are extremely easy to love and very relatable. This story focuses a lot on their friendship, but also touches growth disorders. Kevin, also known as the Freak throughout this novel, is diagnosed with Morquio syndrome. This means that his insides are essentially growing faster and bigger than his outsides.
freak_the_mighty_doodle_by_rinime_kafu-d5kqm8qFreak the Mighty is extremely thought provoking and touching. I enjoyed this quick read so much and I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Click here to view the authors website!
maria

BOOK REVIEW : THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

22557272Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
336 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

The Girl on the Train is about a woman named Rachel, who takes the same train everyday. She finds herself staring out of her window, a gin and tonic in hand, observing the houses that pass. She becomes interested in one specific home, where a young couple are often found enjoying the morning with one another on the front porch. Rachel doesn’t really know these people, but she’s watched them for so long that she feels as if she does. When the woman goes missing, Rachel somehow becomes involved in this complicated case.

What made this story so interesting was definitely the unreliable narrators and the twisted plot. I felt so many emotions while reading this. I went from hating Scott, to liking him, from hating Anne to liking her, from liking Megan to hating her… As frustrating as the main character Rachel was, I always enjoyed reading from her point of view. She could seem a little crazy at times, but I still liked her character overall and I genuinely felt bad for what she had gone through. I sometimes questioned if what she was saying was true, due to her alcohol intake. I wanted so badly for her to remember the events of the night that Megan went missing, and hoped that she wasn’t to blame. Paula Hawkins did an incredible job at writing such complex characters. Every single one of them is extremely flawed and difficult to trust.

Not once did I have the ending figured out. The story flowed quite nicely and every plot twist had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I haven’t read a book that had me glued to every page like this since I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I think I may have been even more captivated by this one. After I read about Megan’s disappearance, I couldn’t put this book down until I had it all figured out. The Girl on the Train is worth all of it’s hype in my opinion. If you’re in the mood for a great thriller, be sure to pick this one up! 5 out of 5 stars!
maria