Monday, 29 April 2013

The Elite (Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

The Elite (Selection #2) - Kiera Cass

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestsellerThe Selection.

The Official Blurb:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My Review:



Alright, now that THAT'S out of the way, I just need to put my frustrations out there.

Sometimes, I hate America. She keeps playing both guys, and saying she needs time. Well, sweetie, wake up. We don't have time, you have to choose. Maxon adores you, and is offering you EVERYTHING and Aspen broke your heart. I get that he was her first love and is a 'safe' place for her, but first loves are firsts, not lasts. They hold a special place in your heart, but not the whole thing. Maxon, however, is putting himself out there. He's never had experience, and he is going against people to choose her, someone who can't even trust him.

And what's up with that? Why can't America talk to Maxon, tell him things, and talk out issues rather than chucking a tanty, not talking to him, or trying to change the country!! (His words, not mine) it's not cool, Mer. Not cool. It's not until the VERY END of book 2 that she decides. And it's in a moment when she hasn't seen Aspen, and has been with Maxon recently. Who's to say that in the next book she won't see Aspen and 'choose' him again?! I wish Aspen would just DISAPPEAR!! Everything was fine before he came.

To be honest, you can tell she cares about them both. Her fiery jealousy over Maxon, evident in ALL scenes with Kriss, is so overpowering i almost feel it. So how can sheignore it?? She cares about Aspen too, but I think it's more like a very close friendship than a love like between Maxon and America. Everyone can see she loves him, an would make a great princess (except for Aspen - WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?!) so why can't she? She says she has faith, but I don't think he does. She doubts him at every turn (tbh I'd be pretty mad if my man was hooking up with others but id understand) and double checks him and his intentions, when to me they're pure as gold. 

I love how she feels like she can identify with the lower castes and cares about them, and her dedication is definite, but the way he goes about it is SO wrong. Can't she see that no one is supporting her if she's so blatant within Iliéa? Outside, maybe, but she needs to do what Iliéa did, work up to the top by playing the rules (but she'll also have love and Maxon with her) and then gradually change the system back. They need a democracy (not that they know what that is) as opposed to a monarchy

Honestly, I felt that this book could've been condensed into one chapter, and this would be the summary:

America is still unsure of her choice, switching between Maxon and Aspen hourly. Maxon threw a Halloween party for America and have her one of Iliéa's diaries. It is found that Marlee was in a relationship with a guard at the palace, and so she was canned and sent away, but Maxon kind-of saved her. America continues to loose all hope in Maxon, especially when he sees how close he's getting to Kriss. She leans towards Aspen, but she's reluctant because of Marlee. Everyone keeps telling her she'll make a great princess, except the King who doesn't seem to like her. She decides to take extra classes with Silvia. She decides to make a fool out of herself and get kicked out. Maxon saves her. She decides that she wants Maxon, but he tells her she has to re-earn his trust (but not his love, coz she got that) and she decides to. 

Now what? To be honest I'm sceptical as to whether she'll stick to her thought, but you never know. I'm hoping, for the authors sake, that she sticks with Maxon. If not, Kierra will be getting some letters from me, ill probably have to buy a new kindle and a new window...whoops!

Mine by Taylor Swift
Apologise by One Republic
One and Only by Adele (America at the end)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 The Fault In Our Stars by John Green


Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review:

This won't be the most in-depth review ever, because I'm currently bawling my eyes out.

WARNING: this book contains sad material, and you are almost guaranteed to cry. If you are scared of death, I would suggest you read this. If you want to see what it's like to be someone facing death at every twist and turn, read this book. If you are scared of oblivion, read this book.

The past day I have referred to this as: The Cancer Book. But I now believe that title is inaccurate, because this book is so much more. It will make you laugh, cry, contemplate the existence of everything and confuse your mind so much with its big words. But most of all, it will give you a unique perspective of the world. I shall, from here on in, refer to this book as The Changer Book. This book 
has irrevocably changed me.

This book is about a kid. Yes, a kid. A 16 year old girl with cancer. Yes, cancer.

This is the point you stop reading. You go, eeew cancer. Bad thing. I won't read this. If you stop there, you are an idiot, excuse my French.

This kid has a life-threatening disease and Is skating on thin ice every. Single. Day. Think what it would be like to be connected to an oxygen tank, have a cannula attached to you, have your parents worry over you, not go to school, and be constantly right in front of death.

If you made it through the last stop reading point, then this is the next one. You go: oh no, death. I don't want to die. Kids dying make me sad. I won't read this. If you stop reading, you are a coward. Take a chance. So many people actually die and you're afraid about reading about someone dying?!?
This girl copes. She does. But her view of the world is interesting, the way she views her self is sophisticated, especially for someone of her age and stamina. Then she meets Augustus.

Now, if the death and cancer didn't freak you, I'm guessing a love story will. That combination is a hard one to find in a good reader.

As their relationship develops after their meeting at Support Group, Hazel develops as a person, as does Augustus. They grow and develop as the lean on each other, showing you the bright side of cancer, and what it's like to have someone not pity you.

Hopefully, this will also be your Changer Book. I hope it changes your view of the world, life, and people with cancer or a disability. Think. I hope this book changes you.

Playlist:Goodbye my lover by James Blunt - August to Hazel when she's in ICU

I give this book a 6/5. It is AMAZING, and I haven't read something like this before!!!

Queen of Reading
Keep on reading, forget the dreaming!

The Selection (Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

The Selection (Selection #1) - by Kiera Cass

What wins out in the end? The future or the past?

*NB: my tag line, not hers!


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined

My Review:

My conversation after reading this:


Friend: ooh what's his name?
Me: Maxon
Friend: interesting name. Is he cute?
Me: DEFINITLEY. but there's this girl he likes, and I like them together. But she has an ex who broke her heart, and she still loves him. I swear, if she ends up with her ex I will KILL her!!! But Maxon, ohmygod in love!
Friend: ...

So, for those of you contemplating this read I would recommend it. It's a great read that will keep you on the tip of your toes. It's another dystopian style novel, but the idea was unoriginal and yet original at the same time. (And yes, that is a paradox) Kiera uses a unique blend of heartache, friendship, family devotion, judgement, and more to create a masterpiece that I haven't seen the likes of before.

As a VERY general statement, this is my favourite dystopian novel so far, and that's saying something! All dystopian novels seem the same to me: ranks, separated classes, rebellion of some sort and a relapse in terms of technology and the sophistication of society. SOMETHING about this book grabbed me, and whatever it is I applaud Kiera on it.

Alright, my 'synopsis'

America Singer is right where she wants to be. Sure, her family annoys her sometimes, and she's not exactly the top of the food chain, but she's content. Oh, and she has the guy to go with it all.
So when The Selection comes around (a once in a lifetime competition) why would she enter?
Either way America Singer ends up as part of the Selection, living under Prince Maxon. But what will her heartache make her do? And is there really anyone behind the shallow, vain facade that Maxon shows the world?

Playlist:Fifteen by Taylor Swift - hearing about Aspen and America

Give your heart a break - Maxon when he first kisses America

I give this 5/5 stars. It's a GREAT read, and a new spin on an oldish idea! Brava!!

Queen of Reading

Keep on reading, forget the dreaming!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dark Veil by S.L. Naeole: A review

Dark Veil (Belonging #1) -  by S.L. Naeole

What's hiding in the dark when no one's looking?
*N.B. That tag line is mine, not hers!

Official Blurb:
Liam Mace was used to seeing the tourists on the Rock, and looked especially forward to them leaving. But Fallon wasn't leaving. In fact, she was staying. Worse, his sister was growing attached to her, and that was never a good thing...
You never become attached to your food.
Black Cat Rock, or the Rock as it is called, is the home of the Panthus, shape-shifting cats of magnificent size and strength who live in their human skins only to protect their secret. During the day they catch fish to sell, or wait on and serve the tourists who come to visit their island, but at night, the fangs come out and the hunt begins as tourist becomes prey.

Fallon Timmons didn't know what to expect from the small island her adopted parents grew up on, but whatever it was, she thought she was prepared for it. Then Liam appeared, all teeth and venom, with a warning to stay away from his sister Audrey and from him. It was a warning that she was not going to heed, no matter what the strangely attractive boy said.


One simple statement to start:


Seriously, just as I fall in love with the story it finishes?? And that epilogue? TEASE!

My dear S. L. Naeole, I may just have to kill you if you don't finish writing the second one soon!


But seriously, I can't wait.

Fallon has moved around since she was a little kid, and she thought she had finally settled in California, when her parents decide to relocate permanently back home - to a little Island called Black Cat Rock. Fallon is used to be the new girl, but she is anything but prepared for what awaits her. This 'trog' that is trying to be accepted into a new world will not be accepted, but what's worse is Fallon doesn't know why. All she knows is that the brooding brother, Liam, of her best friend, Audrey, seems to hate her and she can't work out why! But what is really going on under the surface of Black Cat Rock?

At first, I was whole reluctant about the were-cat idea, but I love cats so I thought I'd have a go, and thank god I did! Were-cats are awesome, let me tell you that. And ms naeole takes you on a jitney, adding to the past as she creates the future, a skill I envy!

This book is amazing, and the way that it is told through both Liam's and Fallons point of view made it even more juicy! My only complaint is that it ended too quickly. I was DESPERATE for more, and will continue to be until it arrives. The epilogue was also to: and then this happened, and then this...and this will happen and this is what's going on at the moment... not that that's a bad thing, I'm just not used to that style with this author...

ANYWAY...I DEFINITELY suggest reading this, and give it a full 5 stars...good job S.L. Naeole...can't wait for more!!

Keep on reading, forget the dreaming! :)
Queen of Reading