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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review | The Selection

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: 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.

Review: First and foremost, a shout out the cover designers! This cover is beautiful, as is the cover of the second book, The Elite. I can't wait to see what pretty dress graces the cover of the third book! This is a book that's cover beauty spreads through its pages. 

I love the concept of this book and the world that we are introduced to. The Bachelor is one of my guilty pleasures and this book does have many similarities in the sense that there are a bunch of girls competing for a guy's heart. That was a definite draw in factor for me! I liked the new spin on the bachelor idea by adding in a prince and a dystopian society. There's this mystery surrounding the kingdom with the rebels that we hear about throughout the story that I would have liked to learn more about, but I think it's left open (hopefully) for the next book.

America Singer is a confident, headstrong, type of gal. I was proud of her when she went to the palace and was herself even when those around her were just merely trying to impress Prince Maxon, America continued to just be herself, even though it might not have been the best option. 

Prince Maxon is one of my favorite male characters of all time. It's not often you see a kind-hearted, genuine, all around wonderful guy in books and Maxon was a breath of fresh air. I was impressed with his honesty. I thought that being a prince, he would have to keep rulings of the kingdom a secret, but he was always honest with America about happenings in the kingdoms and more importantly, honest about his feelings.

And then we have Aspen, the other part of this love triangle. Aspen is America's first love and a hard-working, passionate boy that America is still harboring feelings for while she is in the Selection. While I don't think Aspen is a bad guy, I have to say that I'm on Maxon's side. 

I enjoyed the writing style of this book. I felt that it flowed as beautiful as the dress on the front cover. I loved the character development and while I wished there was a tad more world building, I didn't feel that those mysteries surrounding the rebellion took away from the story. I'm looking forward to reading The Elite and continuing with America on her journey!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Bookish Confessions #4

This week my confession is:

Sometimes, you just need a break...right? I do..but most of the time my breaks are unintentional. However, I still feel bad and guilty when I have one of these accidental reading breaks. 

Let me quickly explain why I am saying reading break instead of reading slump. I feel that it is natural for everyone to take a break from anything that they do. Everyone needs a break or you get burnt out on what you are doing. Therefore, I use the word break, because it's a healthy thing to occur

My reading breaks are usually short lived and not often, but they do occur. Typically I read every day; I try to read at least 100 pages a day. If I go a day without reading at all, my day just seems off. If I don't read in at least two consecutive days, I consider myself in a reading break. It seems this past week I've been in a reading break and I feel terrible about it! B-b-b-but why?

The books that I am currently reading are not bad books. Therefore the books are not to blame. I feel bad/guilty that I'm not giving these books the attention that they deserve. I also feel bad that I'm not reading books fast enough off of my never-ending tbr list.  I feel that I need to read, read, read so I can't finish books and read the next one. When I end up in a break, I am not accomplishing my list, but my list is still growing. 

I've been trying to accept that a reading break is natural. When I come back off of a break, I read a ton and it seems I almost make up for the lost reading. I am able to refresh myself on what I love about reading and diving myself into the stories. I'm looking forward to coming off this break soon! 

Wonderings: Do you guys have reading breaks or reading slumps? How long are they? What bumps you out of a reading break or reading slump? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review | Wild Awake

Title: Wild Awake
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Publication: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:
1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:
1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won't be able to-
5. Sukey died five years ago; can't he-
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on you bike and go.
9. Things...get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Review: When I think summer read, I think of this book. This book takes place in the summer with Kiri's adventures that all begin with the mysterious call about a guy that has her sister's stuff. When she goes to pick up the stuff, she discovers a secret about her sister's death and it changes her in ways that she can't always control. She begins to learn who she is and she falls in love in the process.

I loved Kiri and her free spirit. She was wild as the title suggests, but I really enjoyed reading about it. There were some points in the story that I was shaking my head at her decisions (mostly those that seemed to be the same decisions her sister made that got her into trouble) and I was worried that the story would take a turn for the worst, but I began to accept her decisions as I learned more about her. I don't know if it's because I'm older and a mother, but I felt that the decisions she was making needed to be made in order for her to make bigger decisions and have the experience to move forward - more of a "you live, you learn" type of attitude. This book was exactly that, a "you live, you learn" type of book.

I really enjoyed the romance in this book. It was pure, passionate, honest. Kiri and Skunk accepted each other for who they were and there weren't any secrets, I loved the beauty of this type of relationship. They fit together so well- two broken people that help each other put the pieces back together. I would read another book about these two! 

I really enjoyed the music in this book. I loved that Kiri was a piano player and in a band with a synthesizer. I loved that most of the characters in this book played music. It was really cool that there was a variety of music rather than just the band music that Kiri and Lukas play.  It's been awhile since I read a book with such a huge musical presence and this book did good. 

I am really glad I read this book when I did. It was the perfect summer read and I loved the uniqueness of the story and characters. I found myself having a crazy adventure through Kiri's antics that I didn't want to end. I was living and learning through Kiri and having fun doing it. This book was fun to read, it was entertaining, it was wild, it was crazy, and above all this book came alive for me and left me wanting more.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Read-a-thon!

Bout of Books
I've been looking forward to this read-a-thon since the last one ended back in May! So excited!!!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My goal is to read at least 3 books, but I want to aim for 5. However, I'm on vacation for the beginning of the read-a-thon and I could either end up reading a lot or very little while on vacation, so we'll see.