Category Archives: Novel

The Elite | Kiera Cass

Breakdown:

  • Book: The Elite
  • Series: The Selection Series
  • Author: Kiera Cass

Summary:

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

My Review:

hmmmm, how can I say this without being rude?

I love the author. I love her work, its great what she’s doing. I read the first book, The Selection and reviewed it >here< which garnered a very positive reaction from me. I was highly anticipating this sequel but alas, it was not what I hoped for.

You can probably tell from my set up that I really didn’t like it. Like really. This review is going to be very short, because they’re isn’t much to talk about.

The entire book involved nothing but America’s ever-changing feelings between Maxon and Aspen. This girl had a change of heart like a million times throughout the entirety of the book. And that about sums up the plot of this sequel. That’s it. We’re done.

This trilogy could’ve easily been a duo. The Elite provided no new ‘adventure’ or ‘plot’ and served no purpose but further progress the story that could’ve been easily summed up in a few chapters.  For some reason, both males in this weird and semi-non existent love triangle, lost all glamour and feeling. They became emotionless robots without any personality. It became apparent that their only purpose in life was to be at America’s every beck and call.

I am extremely disappointed at The Elite. I really enjoyed The Selection and was very much looking forward to reading this.

And there you go…1/5 stars. My lowest rating ever.

Final Rating:

★☆☆☆

Meh..

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My Lady Jane | Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand & Jodi Meadows

Breakdown:

  • Book: My Lady Jane
  • Series: My Lady Janies #1
  • Author: Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand & Jodi Meadows

Witty, witty, witty and even more witty!

It was absolutely comical! I laughed so hard while reading this book! It was such a funny story. I couldn’t help but tweet out some of the funny parts as I went along:

(SPOILERS AHEAD) 

“So. Her husband was a horse. And no one told her. Outrageous.”

“Very funny, my lady. And that reminds me”—he pointed a finger at her—“no horse jokes.”
He was making it too easy. “Ah, my lord, why the long face?”
“That’s it!” grabbing one her precious books. 
“No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed!—I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
“Neigh.”
“Was that a horse joke?”

So you’re probably wondering, what’s with the horse jokes? I’m laughing so hysterically at your confusion. You have no idea do you? Ok, Ok I’ll tell you, this lovely story as goodreads puts it, features “a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help. At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. “

What?  You still don’t know what I’m talking about do you?

To put it bluntly, this lovely tale features shape shifters, or as they call it,  E∂ians pronounced “ee-u-thians”. In this version of old England, it’s divided into E∂ians and their opposite, no shape shifting, non-animal form taking, normal humans, Verities. Both of these groups are currently at war with one another which is causing a lot of chaos in the kingdom. Our dear Lady Jane was forced into marrying a man whom she never met in her life before. Only to discover that he was in fact, a horse.

Now that everyone is up to speed, let’s begin. I absolutely loved it! It had all the ingredients to make the perfect story. Historical, royalty, smart heroin, noble king, progressive husband, magic, plot twists and of course animals. My Lady Jane is incredibly light hearted, clever and dotty. Most importantly, it did not say anywhere on the cover of the book what was actually happening. A very smart move, I might add. I don’t think we would’ve taken it seriously if it did. Certainly, I wouldn’t have. 

Jane and her horse husband Gifford, who prefers to be called G, have it rough. Most of the book they’re on the run from “Bloody” Mary’s royal guards. They’re forced into a life they didn’t plan or want which causes a wedge between them. With time, their playful banters turn into something more and feelings grow. On the other side of the kingdom, King Edward, Jane’s cousin, is in big trouble. His sister, Bess which is short for Elizabeth is planning something.

I reallly wanted King Edward and Jane to be together! You can easily tell that there are sparks between them. Why oh why did they have to marry her off to Gifford. Not that he’s a bad guy or anything. I just prefer E & J not G & J. That’s all.

Anyway, I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, animals, The Princess Bride and Monty Python.

I leave you with some of Giffords efforts at poetry,

“Those lips that Love’s own hand did make..”

“Your majesty, if I have to search out the magical Carpesian Waters of Romania myself, killing loads of bandits on the way, You.Shall.Have.Your.Water.”

“Shall I compare thee to a barrel of apples?
Though art more hairy, but sweeter inside.
Rough winds couldn’t keep me from taking you to chapel,
Where finally a horse could take a bride…”

Final Rating:

 ★★

If you’re into treason, shape shifters. witty humor and love.

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Daughter Of The Pirate King | Tricia Levenseller

Breakdown:

  • Book: Daughter Of The Pirate King
  • Series: DOTPK Book 1
  • Author: Tricia Levenseller

Meet Princess Alosa, the female Jack Sparrow of the Literature world. She is feisty, smart and carelessly brave. She is also stubborn. So much so, she repeatedly gets herself stabbed or punched to prove she’s right. This girl ain’t afraid to get her hands dirty!

I love her personality because you can easily see Alosa written as a man. Usually when you have strong female characters placed in very “piratey” situations they are forced to succumb to their male captures by keeping their heads down in order to survive. Which is in all fairness the smart thing to do.

However, Alosa has none of it. If she doesn’t want to clean the deck, she won’t clean the deck. Even if they hang her off the ship with chains around her arm, she still won’t. Which then they did, and admittedly it still didn’t change her stance on wasting her potential swabbing the ship deck.  Anyway, what I’m saying is, the character of Alosa was treated the way any fictional male character would. And I love it. It was fair, accurate and well done. Not all girls are helpless or too smart for their own good. Alosa represents a niche which is very much still missing in our fictional worlds. She resonates to young women as a strong willed female who gets things done on her own.

Pirate Alosa, was trained to kill. Any piece of furniture can be wielded as her weapon. She has kicked, stabbed, punched and hanged countless pirates without a care while still maintaining her feminine nature. One of my favorite quotes of hers, “There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.” She cared about her appearance and her books, even after her capture. I feel obliged to point this out because usually when I see strong women in books, they are usually written as being helpless in the wardrobe, as if they can’t possible be both strong and fashionable, which is annoying. Again, not all headstrong lasses can’t dress properly or look presentable.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Now enough about Alosa, let’s talk about what actually happens to her. As the daughter of the Pirate King. She was sent on a mission to retrieve something very important. Knowing her father, failure was not an option.  Her crew orchestrated this whole fake capture so she can sneak into the enemy’s ship. However, it proved quite difficult for her to ehm, remain captive. In her own words she described her situation as, “It should not be this difficult to stay prisoner on a pirate ship. This is the second time I’ve had to stage my own capture. Ridiculous.” 

She was thrown in a very disgusting cell and held for ransom. Throughout her time there, she would cleverly escape her cage to search every inch of the ship for her own treasure. Come sunrise, she would sneak right back. Oh, how easy did she make it look? 😂

Let’s also not forget about the first mate, fellow enemy pirate and her special interrogator, Riden. First things first, how do you pronounce his name! It’s soo weird and I love it! Anyway, from the start you can easily tell there is strong chemistry between those two. From their playful bickering and one on one cat fights those two were destined to be together. Did you seriously expect that there won’t be a love interest in this book? Alosa is only 17 years old so obviously, duh!

Anyway, I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to be entertained. It’s very light and funny. There’s nothing deep or upsetting about it. So if you ever find yourself free and looking into doing something fun, definitely pick this up. It only took me a day to finish it.

Ugggh, I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for the next one to come out!

Final Rating:

 ★★

If you’re into pirates, stealing. Adventures and maps.

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Caraval | Stephanie Garber

 

Caraval Blog Tour Excerpt Invite

– Admit One-

-To be used once, to gain entrance into Caraval-

-Main gates close at midnight- 

-Anyone who arrives later than this will not be able to participate, or win this- year’s prize of one wish. 

I, like a lot of people, used my magical admission ticket and entered this shimmering world of Caraval. Admittedly, it wasn’t one I had planned to go to, but I don’t regret it nonetheless.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a good while now. Finally, after weeks of speculating whether it’s worth my time or not, I went for it.  Unsurprisingly, it was very captivating. To get you up to speed, heres the synopsis:

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.”

As you can probably tell, what was waiting for me was truly magical. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into this carnival. A spellbinding world that’s a wonderful break from the serious tones of my usual reads.

SPOILERS AHEAD

“Once inside, you will be presented with a mystery that must be solved. Clues will be hidden throughout the game to help you on your way. We want you to get swept away, but be careful of being swept too far away.”

Heeding this warning was apparently too much for me for I seem to have been swept too far away. They did not fail to mention this all throughout the book. But, as the days went by in the magical world of Caraval, what was real and what wasn’t overlapped. Just like the heroin, Scarlette, I completely fell for every single trick they made. So it comes to no surprise how very angry I am right now at how things ended.

MAJOR SPOILERS

I feel…

So much anger. Soooo much anger.

Everything was a lie. And I mean alll of it. There wasn’t a shred of honesty in any of the passages written in this book. The reason I’m so angry isn’t because I was tricked. We were all warned from the beginning, so getting blinded between the pages of Caraval, and not being able to differentiate between reality and fiction is entirely on me. In fact, I salute the author, Stephanie Garber for being able to pull something like this off. I admire her for it, it just proves how well written Caraval is.

However, What upset me the most, is how Scarlett dealt with the aftermath of it all. She shrugged it off like it was nothing. She forgave everyone for the hell they put her through like they didn’t torture her this whole time. The ending was very difficult for me to read. Perhaps it’s because I find it hard to trust people in general. So when one person betrays me, it’s game over.  Scarlett had the entirety of Caraval betraying her, they all watched as she made a fool of herself, and probably laughed at her while she frantically searched for her sister, one she believed was in very  real danger. Scarlett cried, was drugged, got yelled at, got tricked, lost sleep, lost her sanity, got abused by her father, almost got raped by her Fiancé and had to witness two people she loved very much die and experience very real pain and loss because of all this. Yet suddenly with a few words she was fine with all this. That right there seems to me like a very unrealistic ending. No one would be okay after going through all this just to find out it was all a well rounded play, a fake. Scarlett was tricked by her so called sister. She went through a lot of pain while everyone watched and laughed from the sidelines. Granted, I do understand why Tessa did what she did, but there were a million other ways to do it. This should not have been one of them.

MOVING ON

Apart from my obvious anger, I loved this book. The whole journey was well thought off, exciting and very adventurous. If i were to ever receive a Caraval ticket, you will most definitely find me there. I recommend this book to anyone who would be willing to overlook the whole Tessa thing.

Final Rating:

 ★★

For all you thrill seekers and magic dwellers!

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Amy Snow | Tracy Rees

Breakdown:

  • Book: Amy Snow
  • Series: –
  • Author: Tracy Rees

Amy Snow was an absolute delight to read. FYI, here I’m referring to the name of the book not the character ^^.

Set in 1831 Victorian England, this novel follows Amy Snow, an orphan, whose late, and beloved best friend, Aurelia Vennaway, bequeaths her a treasure hunt that leads her all over England and finally to the one secret Aurelia never shared.

The main character is of course, Amy Snow. Who was given that last name because she is a bastard abandoned by her parents as an infant. The person who happened to find her was Aurelia at the young age of eight. Aurelia, being the only daughter to the aristocratic family, completely upset her parents by bringing in this infant as it ruins their family name. However, she fought her way into keeping Amy and became a sister to her. Thus, as Amy was growing up, she was hated by the household and was immediately cast away after Aurelia’s death.

AmySnow

Before I go on with my review, I would like to state first that I got this novel through a bookbox subscription. Find my Unboxing here. 

Now on with my book review. SPOILERS AHEAD. 

Historical books are usually on point with me. Therefore, I’m not very surprised at the fact that I enjoyed this thoroughly. It was a stroke of luck that Amy Snow was the surprise book in this subscription box. Tracy Rees, the author, handles the world of Amy Snow very well. The writing is so smooth and very detail-oriented (but not to the point of boredom).

We are taken through a wonderful journey of patience, understanding and steady growth.  Amy starts out as being self-loathing and with the strong sense of not deserving anything because of her lowly status. She describes herself as being miserable by saying, “…my frown became my habitual expression.” Her only beacon of hope is her sister by heart, Aurelia. However, after her death, Amy is forced to live on the streets with only ten gold coins to her name. goodreads-reading-challenge-2017-dear-amy-helen-callaghan.jpgAs well as, the looming realization that she can no longer be happy due to her losing the only family she ever truly had. Unbeknownst to her, Aurelia prepared an elaborate scheme to strengthen and evolve Amy to the woman she always believed her to be, in the form of a treasure hunt.

Through this treasure hunt, we see Amy gradually change and become more open to the different challenges and  fortunes in life. She starts to understand that the cruelty that her ‘caretakers’ put her through is not how life really is. From her trips that span all of Victorian England, she starts to see the family, friends, love and care she always longed for, was there waiting for her.

The story in a way is very self aware. In the sense that, through Amy, different situations that ‘us’ the reader would think is ridiculous is also questioned by her. Tracy repeatedly ponders through Amy the very thoughts that go through our mind. Additionally, through Amy, she shows us that even though the situation is unsuitable (constantly traveling to look for a clue that might not even be there), Amy still pushes on. This displays the strength of her character, resolve and most importantly the deep love and loyalty Amy has for her friend Aurelia.

In conclusion, we learn the value of friendship through Amy and Aurelia. As well as,  the importance of a simple kind word that can be a treasure to the person receiving it.

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Final Rating:

 ★★

For all you treasure hunters and puzzle solvers, this one is for you!

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The Selection | Kiera Cass

Breakdown:

  • Book: The Selection #1
  • Series: The Selection Series
  • Author: Kiera Cass

I’ll be reviewing the first novel in this well loved series, The Selection by Kiera Cass. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll summarize the main points. This is a fairytale dystopian world, where everyone is divided or ranked into ‘castes’. Each caste has a specific role to play be it farmer or factory worker. The highest caste, one, is royalty and the lowest, eight, is the poorest people where some are even unemployed. Our main protagonist is America Singer, a five (artist caste). The Kingdom she lives in, Illea, is looking for a bride for the crown prince, Maxon. This is done by holding the Selection, a competition for the prince’s hand and the crown.

And there you have it. Now on with the review.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

You know when you’re the only one in your group who isn’t following the hype. Where everyone around you is nose stuck in this book, but you. And you can’t seem to understand why?  Where your friends swear to you that this is the best thing they’ve ever read and they promise, no proomise that it’ll be worth your time. So now you just have to read it. Even though you’re not totally convinced. Yup, that’s what happened to me.

So honestly, I wasn’t very into the idea of reading this. Like I’ve seen it in the bookstore in several occasions but I just never picked it up.  I had this preconceived notion that it was just a silly little chick flick for younger gals. But Oh, how I was wrong.

This is honestly one of the most entertaining novels I’ve ever read. I guarantee that who ever you might be, and whatever your tastes are, you’re going to enjoy it. Even though this plot line is played out and a little cliche, for some reason it just works. Whatever recipe they used to make this book, I WANT IT. It basically contains the most common ingredients, a royal family, a dashing prince, smart protagonist, forbidden love, sacrifice, bitchy character, looming danger and some late night rendezvous. Now, even though it seems like I might not have any complaints about this book. You are wrong. I have plenty….

First off….

I have to say. America Singer, the main character, has the worst name possible. Why on earth would you name someone after a country and then follow it by a verb? It just doesn’t work. How has no one noticed it’s utter stupidity through all those revisions before it was published. How? It’s just a mystery I will never uncover.

Secondly,

From the beginning of the book, we find out that America is already in a relationship with Aspen, who is a caste lower than her. However, after she is selected to be apart of this ‘The Bachelorette’ inspired competition, she must learn to forget him and work hard to win the prince and get a better life. All is good until I notice that it barley takes her a few days before she completely forgets about her undying love for Aspen. How forgetful this girl is. To be honest, Aspen wasn’t exactly up to my standards, he falls under the douche category for me. Notably when America shares her food with him and he gets mad saying, “…everything is wrong, I’m supposed to be the one providing for you, not the other way around.” It might seem like a nice thing to say to some of you. However, I fall in the spectrum of people who think this is utterly annoying and stereotypical.

Thirdly,

Also Aspen related. You can tell he pisses me off, right? After he gets mad over the food thing, he actually DUMPS her! Annoying. Anyway, after their break up, we move on and America moves into the castle where she has no contact with any of her family and friends for the entirety of the competition.  Things start to hit off well between her and Prince Maxon then all of a sudden, BOOM. Aspen shows up. How? Do you actually expect me to believe a poor, lower caste boy managed to find his way in a heavily guarded castle? And all for what, cause he suddenly had a change of heart and realized he was being a prick.

Anyway, last but not least, ignoring her awful name, America managed to stay true to herself and goal. She’s a very strong character and very often speaks her mind. Apart from the whole boy dilemma she’s actually not half bad.

All in all, this was a lovely read. I recommend it when you need to have something light hearted to change your mood. Maybe in a train ride?

 

Disclaimer: I don’t own the images in this post.

Final Rating:

 ★★

Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover, in this case…please do! ^^

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Cinder | Marissa Meyer

Breakdown:

  • Book: Cinder
  • Series: The lunar Chronicles
  • Author: Marissa Meyer

Cinder is the subject of my post. It is the first volume of the Lunar Chronicles. The main character is Linh Cinder, who was inspired by the story Cinderella. The plot takes place in New Beijing, the Eastern Commonwealth. A new post-war world where the humans live in fear of the alien folk, Lunars. The humans are plagued by an incurable disease. Cinder is being mistreated by most people due to her condition. The Emperor Rikan falls ill to the plague and now his son, Prince Kai must take his place.

This post is being written and updated as I read and further explore the book. My opinion may or may not change as I go along. Let’s see if this story was convincing enough.

Chapter 1-15

I don’t understand the hype over this book. No offense to it’s diehard fans or the author. I appreciate your enthusiasm and encourage you’re love for it. Nevertheless, this post or ‘review’ expresses my personal opinion of the book which may or may not resonate well with some of you. Let’s get started.

I didn’t like it. Wait. Just to be clear, I spent the better part of two years looking for this book. For some reason my local bookstores didn’t have it and ordering online was not an option. So after finally getting my hands on a copy of my personal white whale, I was over the moon! Naturally, I couldn’t wait to start devouring it page by page. However, I was sorely disappointed. It’s a very hard read. For me, it was a painful beginning that took me ages to get through. I couldn’t get past the first 10 chapters, it took me a month. Sadly, I’m not even exaggerating. I feel like she used the name ‘Cinder’ to attract audiences who are fans of Disney’s Cinderella even though the story largely does not relate to her at all. Apart from the obvious step-mother situation, existence of a prince and the protagonists sad life there’s nothing much.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The ‘fresh twist’ that everyone talks about is the fact that Cinder is a half cyborg and she is more mechanically inclined. In other words, the girl ain’t dumb. Which I salute. But the progression of the story is very slow and is ‘too much’. It feels like every page is a mouthful. The world she created is very complex and very sci-fy.

So prejudice aside, If I have to review this book then I feel I must give it justice and remove a few elements that are misleading.

  • The Cinderella part

Really that’s it. The promotion itself just ruined the book, so now looking at it as if it wasn’t meant to be a retake on the Disney story, with fresh eyes I will review the book. Again.

Chapter 16 -30

It’s ok. To be honest the plot is very predictable, we all know that she’s the lost princess and she is the cure. So there’s no room for surprise. This is honestly the hardest book I’ve ever had to force myself to read. Usually I gobble them up and by midday I’m done with it. But no, not for this one. Is there something I’m missing?

Her stepmother, Linh Adri is ruthless to the point of making me want to call the cops on her and remove precious Cinder and Iko (her robot friend) away from her. Adri forces Cinder to cook, clean and work everyday in the shop fixing robots and ports. From the money that Cinder earns, Adri uses it to buy unnecessary gowns for her daughters Peony and Pearl. As the story progresses, Cinder meets Prince Kai on several occasions and falls for his charms. Honestly, can I even blame her?  Oh and just to put it out there, Queen Levana, The Lunar Queen, sucks. She is an absolute bitch.

Chapter 31-38

…Or so I thought. To be honest, I stand by everything I said so far but the ending made it for me. I was expecting that after Prince or ehm excuse me, Emperor Kai finds out that she is a half cyborg and lunar and the lost Princess Selene everything will work out. She saves the day, they get married, bla bla bla and cue the Happily Ever aAfter. But no.. there’s another book? She doesn’t wrap anything up in this one? Emperor Kai doesn’t know??! No one is saved? Why? I want saved.

Bonus:

Linh Cinder & Emperor Kai Fanart by Lostie 815

Final Rating:

 ★★☆☆☆

Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover, it might be worse..

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