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

BOOK REVIEWS: BEAUTIFUL DISASTER & WALKING DISASTER BY JAMIE MCGUIRE

11505797 15745950
Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1), Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publication: May 26th 2011 by Jamie McGuire, April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

When I started Beautiful Disaster, I was seriously wondering what all of the fuss was about. The writing was just okay, and I felt as if the story was being rushed. For example, Abby and Travis became friends very fast and then BOOM he loves her. Thankfully, these initial thoughts did not keep me from reading or loving this book. I have to admit, the more I read, the more enthralled I became with their dysfunctional relationship. After reading the first hundred pages, I was down right addicted. I did not want to put this book down, at all.

Walking Disaster is the very same story told in Travis’s point of view. I enjoyed this one just as much. I did get a bit bored with the repeated dialogue, since I picked it up immediately after finishing Beautiful Disaster, but I loved reading about Travis’s thoughts and feelings. It was refreshing to read from a males perspective and I flew through it.

Travis is a bad boy with big time anger issues that he chooses to deal with by fighting in college. He is the kind of male character that you hate SO MUCH sometimes, but in the end you just can’t help but love anyway. Yes, my favourite kind. There were moments in this book when I seriously wanted to punch him in the face, or at least make Abby stay away from him. He was a disaster, but he had a big heart and tried SO hard to prove himself to her. Abby, however, is a good girl who had a hard upbringing. Her mother was a drunk and her father was a gambler, so she does everything in her power to stay away from that type of lifestyle – at least before falling for Travis.

Shepley, Travis’s roommate, and his girlfriend America also played big parts in these two books. They were such great friends to both Travis and Abby. I enjoyed following them and watching them grow as a couple, even though they weren’t the main focus of the story.

Jamie McGuire knows how to write some addicting books with lots of ups and downs. I am looking forward to reading A Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Oblivion. If you have read any of these books, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

maria

BOOK REVIEW: DARK LEGEND: THE SUPERNATURAL CHRONICLES

22036395Title: Dark Legend : The Supernatural Chronicles
Author: R.A. Reene’
Published: August 2014
300 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Alex, was raised as a pure witch by her grandmother and aunts. It isn’t until her fifteenth birthday that she learns the truth about herself: she is a hybrid, half fairy and half demon. Alex is forced to move to a supernatural town and start magical schooling. Being the new kid is even harder than usual because Alex is now known as the demon girl. She manages to make a few new friends and gets used to her new life there. Throughout the book, she discovers more and more about her family and her past. All of her life, she was told that her parents were dead, but she never really knew what had happened to them. Alex also finds out about her evil uncle Sama’el, who is trapped in the underworld, and she does everything she can to stop him from getting out.

I have a special place in my heart for paranormal/supernatural books, so when we were asked to read this book in exchange for an honest review – I was beyond excited. I found the storyline really intriguing. It was never boring, and the pacing was done really well. It especially picked up towards the end of the book. However, I have to admit that I did not feel attached to any of the characters. I liked Alexandria, Eleanor, Emilie and Kat, but unfortunately I didn’t find myself connecting with them. Overall, I thought that this book was a decent quick read. I enjoyed the dialogue, the magical school setting and the supernatural elements. I just wish that I would have been more “wowed” by the character development. The ending leads readers to believe that the author may be releasing a second instalment, so if any of you are interested in a new YA paranormal series to read – keep your eyes open for that!

3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Mallory’s thoughts:
At 14 years old, Alexandria Grimaldi finds out that she has been lied to her entire life. She is not the witch she thought she was, but rather a demon. Her parents were both thought to be killed shortly after her birth, so Alexandria lives with her grandmother and two aunts. What Alexandria also doesn’t know, is that her evil uncle Sam’ael is looking for her, to kill her. When her family is under attack, they seek refuge in a supernatural community. Since Alexandria is a demon, they don’t really want them to live there, but finally grant them permission. As Alexandria attends her new school she tries to go through her normal life while trying to keep away from her uncle.

To be honest, the synopsis of this story made me so excited. The plot was like nothing I had heard before. Yet this was a major let down for me. I was interested up until the fourth or fifth chapter. From there, the lack of grammar skills, the drab and boring characters, and the inability to provide proper descriptions to tie up loose ends had me shaking my head. Nothing seemed to happen for a reason and the plot jumped around more than anything I’ve ever read. I dragged through this, feeling as though it was a chore to finish this book and there was no action to live up to my expectation. By the end, I felt like nothing had really been cleared up and I felt relieved that the story was finished. If there is another instalment, I will probably not be interested in reading it.

Unfortunately, I had to give this one a 2/5 star rating.

BOOK REVIEW: RED QUEEN BY VICTORIA AVEYARD

17878931Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: Published February 10th 2015 by Orion
320 pages
First in the Red Queen series
Source: Purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Mare is a red blood. She lives with her family, who struggles to get by financially, and spends her days pick pocketing. Unlike her sister, who has the talent to sew and work for the silver bloods, this is the best that Mare can do to help her family. Mare knows that if she doesn’t get a job soon, she will be sent off to war like her brothers. One day, as Mare makes her rounds outside of a bar, a boy catches her. Instead of getting her punished for trying to steal, the boy gives her the money. Little did Mare know, the friendly boy that she had encountered was actually a prince. Thanks to him, Mare gets her a job at the castle, serving the royal silver bloods. Mare discovers just how different she really is when an accident occurs in front of the King and Queen. That is when she finds out that she is not like any other red blood. She bleeds red, but also has the powers of a silver blood.

Maria’s thoughts:

This book pulled me in so fast. I was completely enthralled by Red Blood from the very first page. I absolutely love books about super powers (as if I don’t say that enough) and for me, this was like the Hunger Games with awesome superpowers and princes. The writing style was wonderful, the world was incredibly captivating, the characters were both very relatable and interesting. I loved reading from Mare’s point of view. She was an amazing, courageous, female lead. The boys in this book stole my heart very early on and I could never choose which one I wanted Mare to end up with. Honestly, I still don’t know. The ending took me entirely by surprise and left me wanting more. Talk about a big plot twist… You really don’t know who to trust after that, and I can’t wait to see what is in store in Red Queen #2. I may even re-read this before then – it is THAT good! It is getting hyped up for a reason people! You want to pick this one up!

I’m keeping this review short and sweet. I don’t want to say too much, because you really should go into this book knowing as little as possible. Just know that I don’t have anything bad to say about Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel and that I can’t wait to discuss SPOILERS with those who have read it already.

I absolutely devoured this book. 5 out of 5 stars, all the way!

Mackenzie’s thoughts:

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Months before it was released, there was so much hype about Red Queen and I was intrigued to know more about it. Red queen sold out at my book store 3 times before I got a copy and then I wanted to read it even more. Going into it, I had high hopes and expectations. I really enjoyed the writing. It didn’t read like a fantasy, it felt almost like a dystopian. It was very easy to understand. For once I could keep up with battle scenes in a book. The author did an amazing job at helping the reader really picture the battles. I really liked the characters and the whole concept of the book. I’m a little confused about some things, but they are supposed to be better explained in the next book from what I heard. I can’t believe how much the author packed into a 320 page book. The plot twist was crazy. You don’t know who to trust and who not to trust. I’m really looking forward to the next instalment to get more answers and to see what happens from where it left off. I highly recommend this book!

5 stars on Goodreads.

FRIDAY READS (#20)

It’s finally the weekend again!

It has been a crazy busy week for me. With getting back to the gym, business and resume classes, job interviews, it’s been hectic.

Tonight is my last class for the week and then it will definitely be time to indulge in some binge reading.

10025305I’m currently four chapters into Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, the second book in the Infernal Devices series. You can click here to find it on Goodreads. I am really enjoying this series so far. I just finished Clockwork Angel and my review will be coming up for that soon so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

8755776Next on my list to read is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Going back to the Mortal Instruments series, this is the fifth book in the series. You can click here to find it on Goodreads. I’m so excited to get back into this series and to figure out what my main man Jace is up to.

Other than that I don’t have much else planned. I’m in the mood where I want to read every single book in the world right now so I have no idea what I’m going to pick up next!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, let me know what you are reading this weekend!
mallory-name-design-1

BOOK REVIEW: TREASURE DARKLY BY JORDAN ELIZABETH

23399901Title: Treasure Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1)
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Published: February 16th 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press
289 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Clark and his mother are doing everything they can to get by. They don’t have very much money, but they live a happy life together. That is, until Clark receives the ability to awaken the dead and his beloved mother is brutally murdered. Suddenly, the army is after him, wanting to use his new ability, so he is forced to go into hiding. Clark then decides that it is time to meet his birth father. Growing up, he had heard few stories of the man who had left his mother. He only knew what his mother had told him over the years. Clark had only one thing of his fathers: a letter that was addressed to his mother. When Clark shows up on Mr. Treasure’s property, convinced he is his father, he shows him his mothers letter. Mr. Treasure recognized the letter that Clark brought with him, and he and his family welcome the boy into their home with open arms. When Clark gets a visit from a ghost named Eric, claiming that he is Clark’s birth father and not Mr. Treasure, things start to get a little crazy. He must collect his real birth father’s inventions, avoid the army, convince everyone that he is a Treasure to remain in hiding… and on top of all of that, he is falling in love with Amethyst – Mr. Treasure’s daughter.

Whew. There was never a dull moment in this book. I believe that it may have been my first steampunk read, so I was a bit hesitant going into it. I worried that I would not understand everything, but after a few chapters I was more than okay.

First of all, the cover is stunning and the characters are awesome. Clark was an interesting main character that I highly enjoyed reading about. I liked that he was different from the Treasure family. He was always protecting and saving people. Then there’s Amethyst, who is pretty badass for a rich girl. She wanted to learn to use a gun and to defend herself. She was curious and wanted to go on adventures to learn more about what’s outside of her world.

I loved that Clark could confide in Amethyst. They had a very honest and open relationship. They made a great team. It was really odd at first when Amethyst kept coming onto Clark, because I honestly believed that they were related. However, once I learned the truth, I loved the relationship that had blossomed between them. She may have tried throwing herself at him, but for the majority of the book they were simply really good friends. More like partners in crime. Clark had known that there was a possibility of him falling in love with her, but of course everyone believed that they were brother and sister. This forbidden romance aspect made for an even more interesting read.

The more I think about this book, the more I like it. It was so different than what I typically read. In this world, people are not afraid to kill. They just get rid of the bodies and they move on. The action in Treasure Darkly was great and kept me on my toes throughout the entire novel. I highly recommend this book to those who want to get into the steampunk genre! I rated Treasure Darkly 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was such a delight to read and review this book for the author.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Clark has been running away from the army. Drinking a potion he thought was absinthe made him the biggest tool that army could use. He has the power to bring the dead back to life. And finding out he is the bastard son of Garth Treasure is just the leverage he needs to use to his advantage. Seeking the Treasures out, he thinks that being under Garth’s wing will protect him from the army. Little does he know that his adventure is only beginning.

A steampunk novel mixed with the Wild West, this book will be sure to satisfy your action expectations!

I was a little nervous going into this book. I’m not a very big western fan and on the other hand I know very little about steampunk. But there was just enough of each aspect that I didn’t feel scared or overwhelmed by it. It was a nice way to ease myself into new genres. I found the first couple of chapters to be a little slower, but from there the story really picked up the pace. I felt myself reading through chapters at a pretty quick speed. There were a few times where I would ask myself “why is this happening?”, only to have it resolved later on in the book. So it was nice that nothing felt strained or out of place.

The characters were very distinguishable. Each had their own views and attitudes and felt very thought out. In my mind it felt as though I could hear them each talking through the chapters, it really brought the book to life for me.

I look forward to more in the series to find out more about the characters and to see what kind of trouble they get themselves into next time!

4/5 stars from me!

BOOK REVIEW: EXTRAORDINARY SAM AND THE ADVENTURERS’ GUILD BY KEVIN A. SPRINGER

24895195Title: Extraordinary Sam and the Adventurers’ Guild
Authour: Kevin A. Springer
Published: 2015 by BookFishBooks
Source: Publisher
Click here to find it on Goodreads

“This box may seem empty,

But there’s more than meets the eye…”

Sam Miller seems like an ordinary 12-year-old boy, until he discovers a mysterious box. Suddenly, he lands in a magical world in which he must battle deadly pirates, savage warriors, giant man-eating spiders, and a fire-wielding tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve riddles, and most of all, be extraordinary.

Maria’s Thoughts:
This is the story of a boy named Sam who lives a very ordinary life. Like most young fellows, he has a very wild imagination. Sam starts to get tired of doing the same boring things day after day after day… Until one day, when Sam is busy spending the afternoon outdoors with his family, he comes across a hatbox addressed to him in his grandfathers old barn. Sam’s grandfather has been gone a very long time. He has always looked up to him. At first, what’s inside the the mysterious box seems like nothing to Sam. It is only when he solves the secret riddle, only for him to see, that he is introduced to a world of magic. Sam is soon forced to face his worst fears, like pirates and spiders, in order to help his people.

There is no doubt in my mind that little ones will love being read this story before getting tucked in at night. I’m sure they will immediately relate to the main character, Sam. And with some imagination, they too will be immersed in this adventurous tale. Extremely creative and captivating, the author even had me feeling extraordinary.

After a little bit of GoodReads browsing, I learned that Extraordinary Sam was initially created as a bedtime story for the authors boys. I can’t help but hope that they grow up with this story close to their hearts and someday share it with kids of their own.

Mallory’s thoughts:
This is the kind of book I would have loved as a child. Although it seems targeted more towards young boys, I was such a tomboy that these were the stories I craved.

Sam is your typical young boy always seeking out adventures. Awake or asleep, his imagination takes off and carries him through some crazy and fun scenarios. Little does he know he is about to go on the adventure of his lifetime!

In such a short book, I really became attached to Sam. I saw a little bit of my younger self in him and was able to relate that way. This book brought back so many memories of being young and letting your imagination wander off. It was an absolute pleasure to read and I loved the way everything turned out.

If you have young children, I would highly recommend reading this story with them! It would be perfect for a bed time story.

Get to know the author!
Website: https://kevinaspringer.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13487195.Kevin_A_Springer