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 REVIEW: THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE BY JENNIFER E. SMITH

15790873Title:This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 2013 by Headline
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 416
Click here to find it on Goodreads!

Maria’s Thoughts: 

Small town girl, Ellie O’Neil, receives a random email that leads to lots of conversation. She realises that
the guy responding to her emails actually has a lot in common with her and is very easy to talk to. They
continue to exchange emails, but Ellie doesn’t share this with her friends or family. Why would she? It’s not
like he would show up in her home town out of all places.

Just kidding – that’s totally what happens.

Little does Ellie know, she didn’t befriend any ordinary boy – but movie star Graham Larkin. And he DOES in
fact show up in her home town with high hopes of getting to know her better.

When Ellie discovers the true identity of her internet BFF, she isn’t very happy. Ellie has reasons not to get involved with someone in the public eye.

The emails between Ellie and Graham made this book a cute quick read. I liked that the fact that the emails didn’t stop after they met in person.

I do have to mention that there were a few things that bothered me.

  1. The fact that instead of being together the few weeks that graham was in town, Ellie only comes to her senses 3 days before he leaves. WTF. I know it is meant to be that way, but COME ON. If I only had 3 weeks to spend with a boy that I so obviously liked, I would try to make the best out of it. So Ellie really annoyed me when she and Graham weren’t seeing each other.
  2. And also, Ellie’s mom kind of ticked me off. I didn’t like her view on Graham. I know that Ellie is young and her mother’s opinion is very important – but she didn’t even give him a chance. Ellie’s mom was so wrapped up in not wanting her to make the same mistakes that she had. I know that this may be realistic. There are many moms out there that are overprotective of their daughters. But for me, this kind of took away from the enjoyment and cuteness of this book.

All in all, I had fun while reading “This is what happy looks like”. I really did. It wasn’t the perfect contemporary in my opinion, but it was a great escape from the real world. I mean, I’d be down for hanging out with a movie star.

I do think this book is great for the summertime (which is when I read it) and I rated it 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.

Maria

Click here to check out my Goodreads !

MALLORY’S AUGUST WRAP UP + SEPTEMBER TBR

Well August didn’t go quite as I planned it. I was on vacation for the last week and got absolutely no reading done. But I still managed to read 15 books in total.

Books I read in August:
1. Taken At Dusk by C.C. Hunter ★★★★
This was one of my monthly reads with Maria and hopefully we will have a full review up soon.
2. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ★★★★
The fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. Not quite as good as the third, but still a great read and continuation of the story.
3. The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer ★★★★★
One of my favourite reads of the month. I have done a full review and you can find it here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/book-review-the-wishing-spell-by-chris-colfer/
4. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett ★★★★
Another great installation in the Discworld series, this time about witches instead of wizards. Really starting to adore Pratchett’s quirky and snarky writing style.
5. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris ★★★★
The third book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was totally craving this since I have been watching True Blood lately and they are a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine.
6. Blood Red Road by Moira Young ★★★★
Closer to a 3.5 for this one. I enjoyed it but I’m not too sure when I will continue on with the series.
7. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★
I was so totally in the mood for this one, out of the blue I just HAD to pick it up and I am so glad that I did. I’m very happy to be back in this series and I never want it to end.
8. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight ★★★
A great story line, fast paced and super intriguing but a solid build up to a let down of an ending. So many things could have been done better with this one.
9. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis ★★★★
Love the Chronicles of Narnia series, this one was much better than The Horse and His Boy. Can’t wait to continue on with the series.
10. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson ★★★★
This was so so good, especially for a debut novel. It has your mind racing from chapter to chapter. It is very wonderfully written and I highly suggest picking this one up.
11. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa ★★★★
I went into this one not remembering a single thing from the first book but I quite enjoyed it none the less. I will not wait as long to pick up the third book so I can actually remember what is happening.
12. Atonement by Ian McEwan ★★★
This may be one of those times that I enjoyed the movie a little more than the book. I found some parts to be very dull and I really dragged through. Other parts were beautifully written though and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
13. Allies of the Night by Darren Shan ★★★★★
As always, loved this book. This is the 8th book in the series and I am completely in love. I am dreading the end. Will do a full review once I have finished the series.
14. Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★
I couldn’t resist picking this one up. I needed more Daemon in my life. Just as good as the rest.
15. The Lost World by Michael Crichton ★★★
This is the second book in the Jurassic Park series. I have a full review of this series coming soon.

Books I want to read in September:
1. Good Girl by Mary Kubica
2. Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter
5. Horns by Joe Hill
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. Carrie by Stephen King
9. The Soulstice by Simon Holt
10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
12. When War Calls by Zy Rykoa
13. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
14. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
15. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
16. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
17. The Dinner by Herman Koch
18. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
19. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Let me know how reading in August was for you and what you plan to read in September!

Mallory

MALLORY’S BOUT OF BOOKS DAY 1 UPDATE

Yesterday was the kick off to the Bout Of Books 11.0 read-a-thon and I ended up reading quite a bit through my busy and hectic day that I had.

Book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
Total read: 234 pages

Click here to find it on Goodreads
2014-08-19 07.30.04 1-1

Atonement is a slightly large book with small print, so I’m definitely happy I made it that far in. Now I must leave this post and go continue my reading.

How are you doing so far? Let me know in the comments!

Mallory

BOOK REVIEW: THE WISHING SPELL BY CHRIS COLFER

11607446Title: The Wishing Spell
Author: Chris Colfer
Published: 2012 by Little, Brown Young Readers
438 pages
First in The Land of Stories series
Click here to find it on Goodreads

I have watched the first couple seasons of Glee and Chris Colfer was always my favourite actor on that show. After reading this book I am now an even more massive fan of him.

Alex and Conner Bailey are teenage twins going through a hard time in their life. The twins grandmother gives them the story book they used to always read as small children and then one night they both accidentally fall into the story book. They find themselves in a strange place full of magic and creatures and they meet the famous characters of the classic fairy tales they read while growing up. But unfortunately leaving is not going to be as easy as they thought.

First I want to talk about the overall presentation of this book. The front and back covers are absolutely stunning and draws you in immediately. We are also provided with a map of The Land of Stories which always earns bonus points.

Colfer absolutely sucks you into the story. He mixes the classic fairy tales with modern day and it is a perfect combination. The characters are all so well done that you can’t help but fall in love with each and every one of them. It is fast paced and an absolutely charming story that I never wanted to end. Thankfully this is a series so I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book as I know I am going to devour it and love every minute of it.

My favourite quotes:
“Right now, we’re living in an ugly chapter of our lives, but books always get better!”
“Even in the worst of situations – even when it seems no one in the world appreciates you – as long as you have hope, everything can get better”
“Sometimes we forget about our own advantages because we focus on what we don’t have. Just because you have to work a little harder at something that seems easier to others doesn’t mean you’re without your own talents”

I listened to the audiobook for this one and I highly suggest if you are wanting to read this one to get the audiobook to go along with it. Colfer reads it himself and it is perfection. He personifies each character so well and puts a lot of emotion into the story telling. Needless to say, I will not hesitate to check out any of his work in the future.

An easy 5/5 star rating from me. Now let’s hope the rest of the series is just as exciting and fabulous!

Mallory

MARIA’S BOUT OF BOOKS 11.0 TBR

A quick post to let you all know what I plan on reading during the BOUT OF BOOKS 11.0 read-a-thon!

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This is going to be a challenge for me, but I would love to be able to finish those four books. I will be working quite a bit, and I also have a day planned to visit my family – but I am going to do my best!

I haven’t read anything by Stephanie Perkins and from what I here, she writes amazing contemporary. So I am very excited to start Anna and the French Kiss! It has been on my TBR for at least a year now… Everyone seems to love this book!

I chose to read Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout, because honestly – The Lux series is just so addicting. I finished Onyx the other day and I actually miss reading about Katy and Daemon, so I can’t NOT pick this one up!

Last but not least, I would love to finish the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. I started this series last fall – flew through the first four books, but was waiting to get my hands on the last two books at a good price before continuing… I am still missing Spirit Bound, but for now I think I am going to read it on my Kobo, and purchase it another time. I will be VERY happy if I manage to finish this series during the read-a-thon! I am kind scared because Last Sacrifice looks like a pretty chunky book… SO excited to get back into this world.

WISH ME LUCK:)
Are you participating in the BOUT OF BOOKS 11.0 read-a-thon?
I would love to hear what you plan on reading!
Comment below!

MARIA