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The Selection

The Selection - First Impression:Dystopian-esque Bachelor? Umm, I feel like this will either go one of two ways: Amazing or Not.While Reading:America Singer lives in a world of castes. From the richest Ones to the lowly Eights, each caste is essentially divided by what it can contribute to the society as a whole. America Singer is a Five. Not the worst, but definitely not the best. When the Selection is announced, America wants nothing to do with this glorified bride hunt for the country's sniveling, spoiled Prince Maxon. However, entering her name and possibly being one of the Selected could improve not only her life, but her family's as well. And after all, America believes there is no way that she will be chosen. But boy, was she wrong.I knew going into The Selection that I was either going to love it or want to throw the book against the wall. I mean a Dystopian-esque Bachelor? The premise just screams inaneness. I knew that The Selection could possibly be a hard sell for me.But it wasn't. Not by a long shot.The Selection is quite possibly one of the most engaging reads of this year. Yes, the book does lack some real substance. But oh, The Selection has guilty pleasure written all over it. I am completely smitten.America was exactly what I needed her to be. Tough on the outside. Gooey inside. Aspen, male interest number one... the verdict is still out. I actually liked him in the beginning, but as the book continued, I found myself liking him less and less. Maxon, oh Maxon, I adore you. I think I want to steal you for myself.Verdict:What The Selection lacks in overall world building and even true dystopian elements is more than made up for in the emotions of the book. America is a truly admirable heroine. She has an amazing journey throughout The Selection, and I loved watching her grow. Where The Selection truly shines is in the interactions of America and Maxon. I loved almost every second that they were together. Their chemistry is undeniable. And you cannot help but to root for them throughout The Selection. Loved, loved The Selection. Too bad I will have to wait so long for the next one.

School Spirits (Hex Hall)

School Spirits - Rachel Hawkins Ever since the ending of the Hex Hall series, I have been dying for something else by Rachel Hawkins. Seriously, I am not sure Rachel Hawkins can do any wrong in my eyes.School Spirits opens around the time of the ending of Spell Bound. Although it really isn't spelled out that there is a connection between the two series, there are little breadcrumbs that link Sophie and Izzy together. Well, besides the fact that they are cousins.Truth be told, if you are looking for basically a redo of the Hex Hall series, you will not find it here. School Spirits, while having some writing similarities, is completely different in a number of ways from the Hex Hell series. As I started School Spirits, I found myself letting out a breath that I didn't realize I had been holding. I love the Hex Hall series to pieces, but I wanted something new and different. With School Spirits, I got that and more.As a Brannick, Izzy knows all about the Prodigium. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And she knows how to fight them, too. Throughout School Spirits, I constantly found myself liking Izzy more than I thought I would. The same goes with her new friends. Unlike the Hex Hall series, the friends are human, or at least, much more human than in the Hex Hall series. To avoid spoilers, that is all that I am saying about that.As for the romance, Dex is not Archer. Although, I didn't want School Spirits be Hex Hall, part two, I honestly wouldn't have minded finding Archer, part two. I do love me some Archer. Moving on. While different, I must admit there is a part of me that found myself drawn to Dex. His humor. Loyalty. I loved it all. And unlike Archer, Dex came across as almost silly at times. Which was a nice counter balance to Izzy's sometimes serious personality.Final Verdict:I loved School Spirits to pieces. The atmosphere that I loved from the Hex Hall series is in full effect, but it felt different enough to make me feel like I wasn't just reading a rehashing. School Spirits is the promising start to a new series.Will I read the next installment?Of course! Do you really have to ask?

Sever (Chemical Garden Trilogy)

Sever - Lauren DeStefano Could be my favorite of the series.

Of Triton

Of Triton - Anna Banks Loved this one so much more than Of Poseidon. Simply put, it was amazeballs.Review to publish closer to pub date.

Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm - Quite possibly The. Best. Sequel. EVER!Review to come.

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)

Gates of Paradise - Melissa  de la Cruz Sad to see this series go. But that ending was some WTFery.Review to come.


Nobody - Jennifer Lynn Barnes Sometimes you go into a book knowing exactly what you are getting. Sometimes you don't. With Jennifer Lynn Barnes' newest read, I thought I knew what I was getting into. But I was wrong, oh so wrong.Nobody, on the surface, seems to be pretty straight forward. A secret society of people with a special weapon, a person (aka a Nobody) that can turn invisible, so to speak, fighting to stopping bad guys from ruining the world. If that was all Nobody was, then I think it would have been a much easier book to swallow. But it wasn't. There are plenty of other layers added in, making what could have been a simple read seem so much more complicated than it needed to be.Read the rest of my review at:


Prophecy - So, it has been said that Prophecy, by Ellen Oh, is eerily similar to Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Is it true? Read Prophecy yourself and be the judge. Personally, when I find a book that has been compared to another favorite of mine, I almost instantly put the comparison in the back of my mind and try my hardest to not think about it at all. Why? Because I am reading X book for X reason. Not necessarily because it is like book Y. Furthermore, I want to like a book for its own merits, and not because it reminds of me of another book. Same thing if I dislike the book. Moving on.The world building was probably Prophecy's strongest suit. Having been disappointed with other Asian themed reads in the past, Prophecy was an almost perfect blend. Never too much, which could have over complicated the read. Never too little, to where I forgot that Prophecy was set in mythical Korea. Sure, there were terms and references to Korean culture that I didn't always understand fully, but Ellen Oh, thankfully, provides plenty of context clues so I always had a good idea of what was going on.Read the rest of my review at:

Timekeeper (Timeless, #2)

Timekeeper (Timeless, #2) - Alexandra Monir Timeless, book one of the Timeless series, goes down as one of my all time favorite YA time-travel reads. It went beyond my wildest expectations. But after that killer cliff-hanger, I had to know more.Timekeeper opens basically where Timeless ended. When Philip Walker enters Michele Windsor's classroom, she just knows that she has gotten her Philip back. But wait, this Philip doesn't know her or their past. Tragic.After loving Timeless so deeply, I was sure that Timekeeper would be an instant hit with me. But I was wrong. The magic, the chemistry, and all the other elements that made Timeless so perfect were strangely lacking in Timekeeper.Read the rest of my review at:


Renegade - While Reading:By this point, I have learned to take book hype with a grain of salt. There have been plenty of reads that promise this or look amazing, and somewhere along the way, there is a disconnect. While I wish every read could live up to the hype, it is not always going to happen. Therefore, ignoring the hype, I went into Renegade just hoping not to be disappointed.Renegade starts off beautifully. A young girl describing her morning routine. Breakfast. A stroll through her favorite gardens. Basic details. I loved the simplicity of the first chapter of Renegade. Until... I got to the next chapter, and found something strange. The beginning paragraphs of the two chapters were exactly the same. How odd. At first, I told myself, oh, its a galley, maybe a copy mistake. Then, I got to the third chapter. Only to find the same thing happening again with slight differences. It was like a light bulb had gone off. This was no copy mistake, this was actually the tale. At that point, my interest in Renegade hit a new level. I could see that Renegade was going to have a lot more to it than I originally had thought.My thought regarding Renegade are not exactly cut and dry. From mind control to an us vs. them mentality with the citizens of Elysium and the Surface Dwellers to scientific experiences gone wrong, there is a lot going on in this read. Some of it fantastic. Some of it a little too much. And it is the over the top details that make Renegade a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around.Final Verdict: Renegade stands out in a sea of dystopian reads for the right reasons. Evie, our main character, has more than enough depth to over compensate for the lack of depth that effects some of our secondary characters. The setting is lush, but at times confusing. Once the back story is revealed, many details that left me scratching my head earlier in the book began to make better sense, but sadly, also opened the door for more questions. Final verdict: Adored Renegade. But have some reservations. I would recommend? Absolutely. But, again, with some reservations.Finally, a word of caution. Renegade is not for the faint of heart. Although, a good two thirds of the book can be described as tame, the remaining third contains scenes that are anything but that. You have been warned.


Undeadly (Harlequin Teen) - Michele Vail Over the last couple of years, I have found I have a love / hate relationship with zombie reads. There is something about zombies on the page that just seems to be lacking. Either they are too over the top or missing that spark completely to make them interesting. With Undeadly, the mix was just about right.Although, Undeadly is about zombies and all the myths that go along with it, it would be hard for me to consider Undeadly a 'true' zombie book. While there are moments of true zombie action bliss, Undeadly, overall, was quite tame. Focusing more on the reaper and myth elements than the zombie killing, which I didn't mind one bit.There is plenty of potential with Undeadly. Some elements worked, while some fell a little short.Read the rest of my review at:


Feedback - While Reading:After the killer, and I mean KILLER, twist of Variant, I was on pins and needles awaiting the second installment. Feedback begins shortly after the events of Variant. Benson and Becky have escaped Maxfield Academy, and find themselves on the run. Strangely enough, in the first few chapters, readers are again faced with an interesting twist. Remember those kids that died in Variant? Well, they might not be as dead as you first thought.I loved that Feedback brought me back into this strange, yet engrossing world. But Feedback suffers greatly from a lack of action. There are pages and pages of strategy, game plans, group alliances, but very little actually happens. It was not until later (much, much later, I might add) that Feedback finally got the the point where I felt like I was in familiar territory.That is not to say that Feedback was a horrible read. I liked it enough. But there were more than enough times that I found myself either wanting to quit, or stopping myself from just skimming till the end.Final Verdict:To be honest, some of the problems that I had with Feedback I also had with Variant. I don't mind a book that has slow pacing as long as there is something there to keep me interested. Variant did that with the twist, and all the group alliance drama. But with Feedback, that something extra that I needed was missing. Will there be a third installment? Maybe. But I am probably no longer invested enough in this series to keep going, if there are more installments planned.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version - Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm While Reading:By this point, it is probably no secret that I love fairy tales. I mean seriously love them. Their history, their back story, their evolution. I find it all so fascinating.Phillip Pullman is an author that I quite admire as well. When I discovered that he was taking over and retelling some of his favorites, I found myself beyond excited. My mind went in a thousand and one directions thinking about how he would approach these retellings. Would he stay true to the Grimm legacy, or would Mr. Pullman somehow make something old feel like new again? The answer: both.Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, to be honest, was not what I was hoping for. Knowing some of these stories so well, at times, I would even be hard pressed to call it a retelling. Cinderella, for example, is pretty spot on. However, Pullman changed it up a bit with The Frog Prince. It continued like this for much of the volume. So, in this regard, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm was a tad disappointing.However, I must admit that I love Pullman's commentary. At the end of each tale is a page or two about the origins of the tale, and Mr. Pullman's general thoughts.Final Thoughts:In college, one of my favorite classes I ever took, was a fairy tales course. In a lot of ways, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm reminds me of the text we used for that course... but with a lot more flavor. If you love fairy tales or want to get the real scoop on your favorites, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm would be an excellent addition to your collection.

The Crown of Embers

The Crown of Embers - Rae Carson While Reading:Since I finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I have been waiting and waiting for The Crown of Embers. I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but I had some serious questions that needed answers.One of my biggest concerns going into the second installment was the direction that this series headed in. Elisa was queen. She possibly had fulfilled her path. The first book, to a point, seemed so final. Although I wanted more of this world and its characters, I had a hard time picturing what would come next.All my fears seemed in vain though once I started this read. Believe it or not, The Crown of Embers easily trumped The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I loved, loved Elisa in this installment. She has grown so much since the first book that, at times, it is hard to imagine this simpering girl of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I had a feeling that romance was still in Elisa's future, but the who and how was still left to be discovered. To not spoil the fun, I am not going to go into that. But let's just say, I was extremely pleased. Final Verdict: The Crown of Embers went above and beyond any expectations that I had for it. Ms. Carson has renewed my love for this series. Giving me higher hopes than I ever imagined. The only downside is that I will have to wait about another year for the next installment.

Erasing Time

Erasing Time - While Reading:Every time I open a book, I hope for an experience like the one that I had with Erasing Time. From the beginning, this book and I had a connection. I love time travel books, and when they mix a little bit with a dystopian world, it can be pure bliss.Erasing Time was a surprisingly quick read. I sat down and before I knew it, the book was over. I love how Hill incorporates all the different elements into her futuristic world. The language evolving. Fashion being changed into something unrecognizable. Hill obviously took her time thinking through this futuristic society.Twins Taylor and Sheridan are basically nothing alike. While it is obvious that each girl has their own part to play in regards to the overall plot, they also added their own little flair with their personality differences. Taylor loves science, Sheridan loves books. Taylor is outgoing, Sheridan a little shy. I enjoyed seeing that these girls are first and foremost individuals, and that Hill did not overly play up the twin angle. However, I wished that I could have seen more of Taylor. As it stands, Taylor is painted basically as a jerk. She has some redeeming moments, but still it was hard to really like her. I also found it a bit odd that we are able to see from Sheridan and Echo's POV, but not Taylor's. But with a sequel in the works, it is possible that this may change.If all this was not enough, Hill does the unthinkable with Erasing Time... a MASSIVE twist. Now, I would like to think that I am pretty decent at picking out / predicting upcoming events in a read. But this one, I missed completely. Looking back, of course, I felt silly because all the clues were there, and I simply overlooked a few things. However, that was a good thing. It made me love this twist even more once I discovered it. It was an emotional twist to the gut, which probably would not have been so powerful if I had seen it coming. So, bravo you to you Ms. Hill.Final Verdict:Erasing Time was quite the surprise. From time travel to a little dystopian flare, Erasing Time has a lot to offer. There were a few little flaws, but nothing overly overt to take away from the experience. With the ending being left a tad open, I am excited to see what will happen next.

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands Trilogy)

Rebel Heart - Moira Young While Reading:Sometimes, I really dislike book series. You find yourself hooked, dying to know more, only to discover now you have to wait another year or so to find out what happens next. That was exactly how I felt at the end of Blood Red Road. There was not a huge cliffhanger, but with Jack and Saba being apart, I just had to see them back together again. Hopefully, for their happily ever after.After all the waiting and anticipation for Rebel Hearts, I must say I was a bit let down. Part of what made Blood Red Road so amazing was the non-stop action. Sure, there were a few down moments, but overall, something about that read pulled me in.Rebel Hearts was not a bad read. But it was not particularly exciting either. After much thought, I can only come to the conclusion that the issue steams mainly from the lack of a true villain. In Blood Red Road, Saba started on a mission to locate her brother. She went on a journey. Bad guy discovered.. and he was brought down. In Rebel Hearts, our semi-bad guy was a bit of a carry over from Blood Red Road. The tale builds and builds us up to hate, fear this guy, but once he truly made an appearance, I was left scratching my head. Thinking 'is this it'?The tale leads us to believe that this guy is the brain behind New Eden. That his followers have done horrible things done in the name of this budding society. But wait. Why should we fear this guy again? Oh, that's right. He was the semi-bad guy the previous book. So although, he has not done anything extra special in this installment, he is still to be feared? Um, ok. If that wasn't enough to leave me scratching my head, the plot thickens once he and Saba meet, taking the plot on another weird turn. Final Verdict:Maybe I built Rebel Hearts up too much in my mind. Maybe there will be a third book to take the odd taste out of my mouth after reading this installment. So many maybes. Rebel Hearts was not was I was anticipating at all. So many turns that seem odd in comparison to the awesomeness that was Blood Red Road. If there is a third installment, I will definitely be entering it a bit more cautiously.