book review

The Selection by Kiera Cass: A Review

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date 04/24/2012

Source: ARC




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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.-Goodreads


Part dystopian and part reality show-like(think The Bachelor) Kiera Cass comes out of nowhere and creates an almost equal blend of dystopian and romance elements. America Singer is such a strong-willed heroine and a true beauty…you can’t help but to latch on to that first page and keep reading through the wee hours of the morning.

America’s character isn’t whiny (thank god) and yet isn’t too strong either. In dystopian novels, I get a bit leary of the heroine because a character that rarely shows any other emotion other that survival,etc. becomes too unrelatable and static. America is definitely strong-willed but she also lets some emotion seep through her seemingly tough skin. That’s what dystopian novels need and America is a good example of that.

I’m a sucker for a good love story and The Selection certainly has one…or two. The love triangle that ensues between America, Aspen, and Prince Maxon is quite typical for a little while but eventually goes off course into something a bit different, which I found to be totally unexpected and definitely a must. Aside from the love story aspect, the post WWIII take with the caste system adds a nice touch to an otherwise princess tale. The dystopian elements are there, but the princess/fairytale elements is the heavier of the two.

*A T.V. drama based on this trilogy is currently in the works. (Yeah, I’m probably going to watch it)

Overall: Readers who enjoy a good love story will cling to this one while those that are hoping for a more pure dystopian novel will be disappointed as it is an unequal blend of the two…at least for the first book in the trilogy.

My Rating: 3/5 for the book and 5/5 for the cover because it’s amazing!


Everneath by Brodi Ashton: A Spectacular Review

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Out January 24, 2012

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

Ashton Brodi creates a story in a modern day world with a mythological one hidden beneath it’s permeable walls. Brodi’s debut makes one want to revist mythology and step inside it’s ancient bubble and stay awhile.

Hades and Persephone-I forgot how much I liked that myth. The parallels between Cole and Nikki and Hades and Persephone is obvious to those that are familiar with the myth off hand, although it does get explained throughout the novel. Speaking of things getting explained, the novel jumps around a bit, for instance, so many months before the Everneath and then so many months before Nikki descends into the Everneath again. In some novels it seems unnecessary to do the back and forth technique, but in this novel I feel it’s definitely important. Without the jump, the novel would not be enthralling enough on it’s own; it enfolds in a convient way and readers alike will enjoy that.

From all the back and forth, you learn different things about Jack and Nikki’s relationship at interesting times. For instance, when Jack and Nikki’s relationship potentially falls apart, Cole appears at the opprotune moment and lifts Nikki up to a less mopey mood. Readers get to see how Nikki and Cole come to be and it’s certainly fun to watch. Cole plays the typical badguy-esque role here, but I think those that have read this one would agree,Cole forces nothing,he practically has Nikki beg for it. What’s she begging for? Well I’ll let you find that out yourself! =]

Overall: I liked this one quite a bit. Readers of any YA paranormal romance or those currently reading trendy series will devour this one quickly and will enjoy doing it. Check it out!

Darkness Becomes Her: A Review

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Published by Simon Pulse

Out February 22, 2011



Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

A place filled with different creatures that are all afraid of a girl that is a bit different herself sounds pretty awesome. In New 2, Ari discovers that there are many freaks of nature, as she often describes herself, roaming around like: vampires, witches, half vampire/half witches, shapeshifters and…Athena. That’s right, the Athena many of us are familiar with from Greek Myths. You might be thinking to yourself that it looks like Kelly Keaton took on a lot for her first novel in this series and I would say you are exactly right.

Keaton creates a world where many different creatures exist without the fear of becoming a lab experiment, due to the Novem-the nine families that perserve their city. With all the preternaturals in the story, at times things can get a bit conviluted and frankly, some of it could have been cut out.

Ari goes to New 2 to learn about her mother and father. Pretty early on in Ari and Sebastian’s (half vampire/half witch) relationship, Ari tell’s Sebastian about her mother, almost without hesitating. Realistically, something that traumatic happening to Ari and with barely knowing Sebastian, there would at least be some hesitation or maybe withholding of information. Little things like this continunally occur throughout the novel making both the characters and the dialogue unbelievable.

The novel wasn’t entirely bad as it did have some decent parts. For instance, Ari’s interal dialogue can be humorous at times and what Sebastian’s character will possibly become is intriguing.

Overall: Unsatisfying. There are decent ideas here but it was poorly executed. Perhaps the future books in the series can pull it all together. A caution to young readers or those sensitive to cursing: there is a lot of it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: A Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Published by Little, Brown & Company

Out January 2, 2012


Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

We all think about it sometimes- the idea that fate brings us together with certain people, places us in certain situations and overall makes us wonder, what if? Indeed, fate doesn’t always bring the good with it, but in Jennifer E. Smith’s novel, it does. What better way to explore the idea of fate than with love at first sight?

The plot in Smith’s novel appears pretty routine at a brief glance. Girl meets boy, they spend time together and bond, they go their separate ways and then reunite for a happy ending. What Smith brings to the book is a bit different,however; she discuss family-from divorce to death- by displaying the similarities using Hadley and Oliver’s characters. While one character (eventually) celebrates a wedding filled with laughing, dancing, and new beginnings-another character mourns the loss of a parent and the end of life. What’s comforting about the whole situation is that fate brings both Hadley and Oliver together to help each other cope with life’s events. The question is then, can fate bring two people together, like it does in Smith’s novel? The answer to that question is yes, it can.

Speaking of Hadley and Oliver…they are fun characters! Hadley has little quirks about her that Oliver adores (of course) and Oliver is a Brit, so he is definitely awesome (I can’t help it, I like the Brits). Both Hadley and Oliver compliment each other very well making the chemistry between the two obvious, but in a good way. At the core of the story it is easy to identify with each character because their feelings are so real and honest-no one acts out of the ordinary and creates an unbelievable moment.

It’s simple to see why so many of us like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight- it’s smart, lush, and ultimately the perfect novel of love at first sight.

Overall: Definitely a good read, one that can easily be read in one night. Those who are looking for a good love story will naturally pick this one up just by the title alone and will be rewarded at the end. Queue this one!

Fallen for Angels?

I’m not sure what it is about angels, but it could be that many are brooding, dark, handsome, and completely…well, awesome. Regardless, I’m obsessed with reading novels dealing with angels, fallen or not. I thought I’d share some of my favorites, so here they are:










Leave a comment below of any other angel reads I’m missing out on!

Fallen in Love (Lauren Kate’s Fallen Series): A Review

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Published by Random House Children’s Books

Out January 24, 2012


What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

When Fallen debuted in December 2009, I fell in love with it. It was different than a lot of other YA novels out there at the time , which made it pretty refreshing to read. When Lauren Kate came out with the third installment in the Fallen series I was just as excited to read it as I was the other two, but my excitement quickly diminished-it seemed I was no longer interested in Luce and Daniel’s story anymore. I tried and could not finish the third in the series. With Fallen in Love, I thought maybe I would have better luck.

All of the short stories in Kate’s new novel are very sweet, there is no denying that. Kate takes you to a different time period and shows you the many types of love with each story, building up to the final Valentine story of Daniel and Lucinda. There is not much to say about each story individually as they are exactly what one can imagine. So, were they terrible to read? Not at all. Was I completely giddy reading them and so excited Kate published another novel? Not really. Publishing another novel revolving around other characters in the series is a good idea, but this one is so-so. The only perk is the sneak peak into her fourth installment, Rapture, which I happen to quite like so far.

Why did I bother reading it? Because I want to like this series as a whole. It has elements to it that I adore and I want to recommend the series to those who share the same infatuations as I do (fallen angels-what’s not to love?) I look forward to reading the fourth and final book (out June 2012) just to see how it will all end.

Overall: Debatable.  Those who still love everything about the Fallen series will enjoy this compilation of short stories. They are sweet, they delve into the lives of other characters, and you get the sneak peak into Rapture. However, those that feel they may be in the same boat as myself will be left wanting more of the Lauren Kate that first started the Fallen series. So, here’s hoping the fourth book is a strong one…come on Lauren, you can do it!

Me and You: A Review

Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti

Published by Grove/Atlantic Inc

Out February 7, 2012



Lorenzo Cuni is a fourteen-year-old loner. His wealthy parents think he is away on a school skiiing trip, but in fact he has stowed away in a forgotten cellar. For a week he plans to live in perfect isolation, keeping the adult world at bay. Then a visit from his estranged half-sister, Olivia, changes everything.

The story is set mainly in Rome in the year 2000, and though I’d love to read about the beauty of Rome, most of the scenery mentioned is that of the forgotten cellar that Lorenzo retreats to for one week. The cellar is dank and musty and yet to Lorenzo, nothing could be better. This is where the reader finds out much of Lorenzo’s life. He is an outcast in school and when he hears of the popular kids going skiing for a week he desperately wants to go as well (he tricks his mother into thinking he went skiing with said popular kids). Not only does Lorenzo really like to ski, he’s good at it and he wants to show everyone else that he is too. Readers young and old can relate to this part of the story easily. There is a point in adolecense and even adulthood where one is stuck trying to find oneself and Niccolò Ammaniti emulates that feeling very well through Lorenzo. Seeing things as Lorenzo sees them is quite gripping especially when Olivia, reluctantly, comes to stay in the cellar with him. The story is not only about adolecense and finding a place where one belongs, it is also about family, addiction, and broken promises.

Lorenzo and Olivia’s characters seem completely different at a first glance. Lorenzo is just a fourteen-year-old boy hanging out in a cellar for a peaceful week of video game playing, while Olivia is frantically searching for money in all of her old boxes to fulfill her addiction to drugs. Although both characters went to the cellar to find two completely different things, they both left the cellar with an infinite understanding of one another. Lorenzo’s character is so strong for a fourteen-year-old, dealing with the lack of friends, a sister whom he hardly knows and desperately needs to help, and yet, it is very believable because he is still vulnerable.

Lastly, the quality of writing that Ammaniti puts on display is superb. It is simplistic and real and there certainly is not anything I question while reading except, maybe, “Why can’t I write like that?”

Overall: Add this one to your queue of books to read. This is a well-written novel and definitely deserves a read. Like I said before, readers young and old will like this book not only because of the quality but also because of how relatable the story really is.