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BOOK REVIEW – The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

BOOK REVIEW – The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera CassThe Selection (The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


This was the man who was going to lead our country; the guy rendered useless by tears. It was too funny.

An absolutely surprising, fun, and engrossing surprise, I couldn’t believe much I loved this book and the characters included. Like so many other series, I did find that it was a tad mislabeled with the term dystopian-sure, there were multiple elements I guess we could tag that label to, but for those of you who are turned off by dystopian (not me, EVER) , then you will be glad to hear it’s definitely more of a romance with minor elements of rebels trying to attack the palace.

America is in the middle of the caste system. She isn’t privileged like a one, two, or three, but she isn’t as bad off as the lowest of the castes, an eight. She is a five, and fives are the artists, musicians, the entertainment caste. They have enough food for one serving at each meal, and there is rarely room for leftovers. Sometimes it comes down to whether they should choose food or electricity-they’ve always chosen food.

Then all of her family’s prayers are answered-the Selection is asking young ladies to enter their name to be drawn to fight for Prince Maxon’s hand at the palace to become the future Queen. For each week they are there, the family of the remaining girls is compensated greatly. It all seems too good to be true. But there’s only one problem with this whole situation: she’s secretly head over heels in love with someone else.

”I love you, America Singer. As long as I live, I’ll love you.” There was some deep emotion in his voice, and it caught me off guard.
“I love you, Aspen. You’ll always be my prince.”
And he kissed me until the candle burned itself out.

She and Aspen have been secretly dating for two years, unbeknownst to her family who are pushing her to fight for Prince Maxon’s hand. She fights tooth and nail, but then another problem arises: Aspen wants and encourages her to join the Selection. See, he’s a six, a caste below her, and not only will it be hard to get married, he doubts he will ever be able to provide for her the way he wants and needs to…..so she agrees. What’s the problem anyway? There’s no possible chance she will be chosen. Right?
Wrong

I absolutely adored this book. It was sweet, witty, funny, and a lot better than I imagined it would be. I never expected to fall in love with Prince Maxon. I never thought it would be so funny to watch him talk to her about all his prospects and what he’s thinking about the situation, and I had no idea that I would love both guys, but ultimately wish for her to leave Aspen behind and fight for Maxon.

The girls were kindly applauding, but I couldn’t register the sound. All I saw was that Maxon wore a handsome, awestruck expression, which slowly turned into a smile, a smile for no one but me.

I think the hardest thing to accept about this novel is clearly Maxon fell for America hard, and wanted nothing more but to end it all and be with her…all the while she’s trying to move forward and escape the past that won’t stop plaguing her thoughts. She is still in love with Aspen, but what happens when she also starts to fall for Maxon? He’s sweet, kind, caring, and listens to what she has to say. He looks at her as if he adores her, and it made my heart melt.

”So she’s still with us, then?” Gavril looked over at the collection of girls, grinning widely, and then returned to face his prince.
“Oh yes. She’s still here,” Maxon said, not letting his eyes wander from Gavril’s face. “And I plan on keeping her here for quite a while.”

A tangled web of old love and new love, this book promises to make you feel things that keep contradicting what you previously thought. I don’t know how many times I went back and forth and tried to justify what was going on, because I just couldn’t decide what would be best for her in the long run. I can’t say everyone will love the set up of this book or what it plays at, but I loved it without a doubt and can’t wait for book two. I didn’t realize the actual selection was going to be dragged out for three books, but I just can’t wait to see if she will end up with Maxon or Aspen. Both guys really are great….but GO MAXON!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Had fun on our first BR, Harriet!! aka Pea!!! ♥

BOOK REVIEW – The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

BOOK REVIEW – The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera CassThe Elite (The Selection #2)
by Kiera Cass
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Wow…I just finished and I don’t know what to say. Once I finished this book, I immediately realized something: I started this book today. I did fifty other things in the duration of my day and I still managed to finish in less than twelve hours. I’ve finished a few books in less than 24 hours, but never so quickly and completely as The Elite. I never felt dragged down, I never thought about how slowly a chapter was passing, and I never even registered the fact that I had only just started this installment today…because these were not problems. This book, even with its ever-present recurring predicaments, never once bored me and I didn’t want to put it down.

It turns out I’m absolutely terrible at staying away from you. It’s a very serious problem. -Maxon

America is once again a force to be reckoned with. And while I loved her for most of the novel, she did begin to piss me off a bit. In book one, she was encouraged to join the selection as a chance for opportunity for her family and a wish for a better life from Aspen. When she entered the palace she just knew that Maxon was not what she wanted-Aspen was. But here in book two, we begin to see her strong feelings surface for Maxon…all the while Aspen lurks around the castle as a guard.

I had missed these kisses, so quiet, so sure. I knew that, in my whole life, if I married Aspen or someone else, no one would ever make me feel this way. It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out. Sigh, I love Maxon.

Now, I’m not even able to explain how conflicted I am about the whole thing. One thing I can say with absolute certainty, though, is that 90% of how America is conflicted (for MOST-NOT ALL) about both Maxon and Aspen is believable, realistic. I don’t know that I could just forget my first love so easily-it ended abruptly and there was no closure. No closure=disaster. I can see how people would be upset or angry with how she handles both boys, but I feel it IS easy to get blinded by so many unexpected and unwanted feelings. But imagine a guy you trust, still love, still hold a sliver of hope for is walking around the castle while you slowly fall for the amazing and highly sought after Prince Maxon as he parades around with other girls as well. It’s bound to be very frustrating and heartbreaking. But that is where my sympathy for her ends. Sure, it’s a very difficult decision and she was more than upfront with both guys. But there comes a point where you are just breaking their hearts, as well as your own, and you have to make a somewhat sound decision, and quickly.

”What’s it like to be in love?” May asked.
Part of me ached. Why hadn’t she ever asked me? Then I remembered, as far as May knew, I’d never been in love.
Lucy’s smile was sad. “It’s the most wonderful and terrible thing that can ever happen to you,” she said simply. “You know that you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever; and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it.”

Maxon was absolute perfection in this novel. I adored him in book one, and I must say he was even better in this installment. He would give America the world if she’d let him, and more than once I wished she would. We saw a whole new side to Maxon that we had only gotten glimpses of in the first book. He was kind, adoring, and completely sweet. There were so many things that happened, good and bad, that had me pulling my hair out, but America is the root cause of the turmoil-that is the one hundred percent truth.

”Maxon, that’s not going to happen,” I whispered into his neck. “If anything, you’re going to realize I’m not good enough.”
His lips were at my ear. “Darling, you’re perfect.”

My only complaint for this story would have to be how all the problems pretty much came full circle. She made a decision. Why add more problems to the matter? What’s the point? It was beautiful and precious and could have been great. But then the author decided to make a problem where there was none, and I can’t say I agreed with that decision. Yes, I want to feel something when I read. A little light angst is more than welcome-and believe me when I say there was more than enough angst for me in this one. But ultimately, I didn’t like feeling angry toward Maxon OR America. It was completely unnecessary and made my heart hurt more than once-after a sound decision had already been made…I don’t know. I love Maxon, but it was hard to see him show his affections for other girls. I’m not even America and it stung me like a bitch. Imagine how that pathetic sap felt?

Could I not hate whoever Maxon ended up with if I chose Aspen? Could I not hate whoever Aspen chose if I stayed with Maxon?

All in all I loved this installment-I even finished it in the course of a day, which, as I mentioned above, is rare for me. I loved how America stayed true to herself and true to her character no matter what it might cost. I love that even as some scenarios were dragged out, we ultimately got a pretty well put together novel with lots of twists and turns. And finally, I love both Maxon and Aspen, and frankly, even as I adore Maxon and want nothing but for her to embrace him completely, I would be okay with either man she chooses. They are both very sweet and both (presumably) love her, and I know they’d have no problem finding love elsewhere. So good luck to Maxon, but I know no matter what happens, I’ll most likely be happy.

PS….Kriss? Celeste? I um…

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BOOK REVIEW – The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

BOOK REVIEW – The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera CassThe One (The Selection #3)
by Kiera Cass
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Maxon broke the kiss and looked at me. “You’re so pretty when you’re a mess.”
I laughed nervously. “Thank you. For that and for the rain and for not giving up.”
He ran his fingers along my cheek and nose and chin. “You’re worth it. I don’t think you get that. You’re worth it to me.”

Ummmm…Could that have BEEN any more perfect?? No, no it couldn’t have, Chandler. All joking aside (it’s early yet, I’m sure there’s more to come despite my resolve) I don’t think the author could have wrapped this up any better than she did. I think many of us, me and my friends especially, were worried about the whole love triangle thing and America’s lack of solidity for one man or another. The biggest, and really only, obstacle America and Maxon have faced throughout this trilogy has been
her
. Honestly. From book one on, Maxon has shown favoritism and has really only had eyes for America…but her lack of a dominating preference for one man or the other has stretched this series into an agsty, anger inducing trilogy where we as readers beg her to choose Maxon, choose the vulnerable prince standing right before her who would lay his life on the line for her…but to no avail.


I think you know how I detest looking like a fool. But still I do. For you.

I can say with absolute honesty that I have always adored both Maxon and Aspen, but have always been partial, okay okay-and obsessed, with Maxon, and have also loved America. I know she’s made some stupid decisions, I KNOW that. But she is young. She never wanted to be at the palace in the first place, and she was hurt that the guy she wanted to marry wanted her in the selection-there are, OF COURSE, going to be residual feelings for her first love and a fear of the unknown-she’s only ever wanted one thing and now she has a chance to become a princess and to rule over a whole country. It’s a lot to process and a lot to take in-no girl at that age would feel comfortable being PUSHED into that lifestyle. NO ONE would. And, more than that, she has always stood her ground. She has fucked up royally (Muahaha) and she has made so many mistakes when it comes to Maxon that I can’t even count the number of times I was shaking my Ipad in frustration…but one thing I will always stand by her on was her will to do
what was right and just.
A lot of people would disagree with me, saying it stunted the growth and progression of love and sacrifice for the story-but not me. I loved that stubbornness about her and ultimately, Maxon (and Aspen, for that matter) loved it too. Why should she change who she is?

All my anger made sense. I wanted everything from him and everything for him, because I wanted every piece of him. It was infuriating that everyone had to have their hands on this-the girls, his parents, even Aspen. So many conditions and opinions and obligations surrounded us, and I hated Maxon because they came with him.
And I loved him even so.

Having said all that-I wanted to kill her once or twice. Come on, I still get frustrated. She did do some irresponsible things in this story, maybe a little less dramatic than the former two novels, but she still made mistakes. But without these mistakes, the story wouldn’t have been able to stand on it’s own-who wants a PERFECT story? Well, I don’t. I used to, but I’ve discovered the best kind of love stories are worth the wait, and that never was more the case than now. I adored every bit of angst, and HEY!, peril this author threw at me, even when it was tough. It’s the difficult moments in life that make the happy ones all the sweeter. I’ll stand by that.

“You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know. But sometimes it’s about what you want to do, not what you have to do.”
Our eyes met, and I realized that he did a lot for me out of simply wanting to. Giving me pants when I wasn’t allowed to wear them, bringing me a bracelet from the other side of the world…

One recurring theme, as well, in these stories was letting go of your first love. Now, I know we have all had our first relationships, first dates, lost romances, but I’m talking true love, that first person you couldn’t imagine your life without. And I can’t say that that didn’t make me tear up more than once. I LOVED Maxon-ADORED him even, but I found so many parallels in this story to my current life (not the royalty selection or love triangle-duh) that I couldn’t look past how hard it is for America to move on-and maybe that’s why I identified with her so much. I love my boyfriend of almost 8 years DEARLY, and I know that’s a little different, but every time she talked about the penny, or the uniform button bracelet, or seeing Aspen with someone else, it killed me a little inside, because I’ve had many similar thoughts-you just never know what could happen. She is wrong to have held on so long, but I do get it, and I can’t hate her for it. So when she and Aspen talk about things throughout this book, it really touched me in ways I didn’t realize it would-maybe we all hold onto something that we just can’t let go…and we never know what will happen if we do.

“I’m just realizing, Mer, that no matter what happens…there will always be a string tying you to me. I’ll never not worry about you, I’ll never not care about what you do. You’ll always be something to me.”

Even more shocking, in this novel, though, were the relationships the girls formed. My God, if someone had told me that Celeste would become my favorite friend for America, I would have slapped them and told them to get a grip. I still don’t like Kriss, and I still didn’t like that Maxon had to spend time with them, but as a group, I started to love the girls almost as much as the story. And, dare I say that Celeste made the moments without Maxon actually bearable? More than once I teared up for America and Celeste’s newly found bond and all the relationships the girls formed. We see old friends, family members, tragedy….it’s all there. I just couldn’t believe the amount of heart built into this story.

She shook her head . “I didn’t stand a chance, did I? It’s been you the whole time.”
“Not only me,” I admitted. “Kriss. She’s at the top, too.”
“Do you need me to break her leg? I could make it happen.” She chuckled to herself. “I’m kidding.”

-Celeste 😛 (Did I mention I LOVE her?)

I know I keep going, but there were so many elements that worked in this final installment that I can’t help but to gush and shove it all in your faces….I mean, HOW did this author know what I craved? I didn’t think that this series, these stories, this AUTHOR had it in her to do some nasty things and finally let some rebels in on some action-but she did. I didn’t think when I wrote my pre-review below that rebels would actually make a large appearance in the story, but they did. And, what’s worse, they kind of succeeded. It was a bloodbath, and not everyone made it. It wasn’t candy-coated (at least, not the way I would have imagined) and I even managed to get a bit misty-eyed more than once. I don’t know. I guess I’m just…speechless? Yeah, shocked and speechless. I never would have thought.

Kriss giggled. “None of us are Amberly, are we?”
“I like shocking people too much,” Celeste said with a smile.
“And I’d rather hide than do half the things she has to.” Elise ducked her head.
“I’m too wild.” I shrugged my shoulders, embracing my faults.
“I’ll never have her confidence,” Kriss mourned.

And then there’s Maxon. Perfect, adoring, scarred, emotionally vulnerable Maxon. He is the start of all of my Prince crushes and still holds a high ranking on my prince lovers list, and I will never forget him. He is sweet, kind, caring, devoted, and loyal. It’s no secret that if, in book one, he knew America would have him and only him from the start, he would have called it all off and chosen her. Things have changed and he has to give other girls a chance, as painful as it is for us to read, but he will always have a special soft spot for America, the girl who, upon meeting him, yelled at him for no reason at all. He would stand against a whole nation to keep her in the selection and even stand against the person he fears most-his father. No matter the circumstance, he was always there for her-no matter how many times she has broken his heart as he layed it out in the open, bare for her. I loved loved loved him and wanted nothing more than for him to be happy, and here we are at the end of the series and, I THINK, he will finally and truly be happy.

We were nose to nose by then. “Oh, I know. I don’t intend on giving you things. Well,” he amended, “I do intend on giving you things, but that’s not what I mean. I’m going to love you more than any man has ever loved a woman, more than you ever dreamed you could be loved. I promise you that.”

There were many obstacles America had to overcome-The King’s hate for her, making the people love her, finally choosing what man she wants to spend her life with (As long as everyone came out a winner, I’d be okay with most of the coupling…), and staying alive against rebel attacks. There are also some internal battles, and those are hurdles she had to overcome herself, but I think she handled them all with as much poise and grace as she could muster, and I was proud to follow her on this journey: this journey to become the woman she was destined to be, and the journey to find where her heart and soul truly belong.

Final thoughts? I loved it.

Oh….and they lived happily ever after.

THE END.


…this is what it’s like; this is how it feels when you fall.

**************************

OMG TUESDAY, TUESDAY, TUESDAY!!!!!! CAN YOU PLEEEAASSSEEEEEE GET HERE SOONER????!!!!

So, here’s how it’s guna go….Maxon and America will work their shit out. Maxon will, ONCE AGAIN, realize no one else is good enough-not even that prissy, goody-two-shoes Kriss-and propose to her VERY soon.


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The rebels will release a full on attack…and Kriss will be caught in the mayhem and die a slow and painful death…


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and Celeste?? She’ll disappear never to be heard from again. (But, OF COURSE, she will have died an even SLOWER, MORE PAINFUL death than Kriss, all while Maxon and America were schmoozin’ it up in one of the safe houses. 😛


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The King will be shot, because he is an old, evil bastard. And Aspen…well…I still love you, but America belongs with Maxon. Move along, pup. And he and Lucy will end up together.


THE END.


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