Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass
Published April 2012 by HarperTeen
336 pages (Hardcover)

Let me just start off by saying I have never been a fan of The Bachelor. I can always feel my IQ dropping whenever I happen to catch a few minutes of it. So really, I should have known what I was getting into with this, but for whatever reason I thought I might like it anyway. And I did, more than a little, but not a whole lot. Three stars.

Summary

If you haven’t heard of it, The Selection is the first book in a YA trilogy of the same name by Kiera Cass. It follows America Singer, a girl living with her family in a post-world war, dystopian, future USA where everyone’s profession and status in life is determined by the numbered caste they are born into. America is a Five, a penniless artist. Her secret boyfriend, Aspen, is a Six, a rung lower on the ladder than she. Her life changes dramatically when it comes time for the country’s crown prince, Maxon, to host The Selection, The Bachelor-style competition in which girls from all over the land, from every caste, are chosen to compete for his hand in marriage and for the crown.

Review

What makes The Selection decent is its fluffiness. Pretty dresses, attractive boys, long walks in a moonlit garden. Your standard Disney movie stuff. The romantic lines can be eye-roll inducing, but most of them are on or just barely over the line into that particular territory. The book is well paced, the exposition is interesting and informative and the plot moves pretty well also. It is a relatively quick book, without much time or space for dragging scenes.

America has enough smarts and personality to make her likeable in this, though I wonder if Cass tried a little too hard to make her so. I, for one, wouldn’t have begrudged her having fun with clothes and make-up, and thought her snubbing them was more off-putting than if she had. But mostly I liked her boldness and her strength. She felt quite real to me, not flat or uninteresting.

Then there’s the love triangle, the central point about which the series spins. Aspen irritates the hell out of me, which is really more of a mark of the strength of the book, that something in the plot itself could upset me. Maxon, the ungainly but clearly meant for the job prince, I quite like, surprisingly. He’s got an uncertain innocence about him that’s pretty endearing. It’s actually, also surprisingly, given my frequent hate for them, a pretty good love triangle. America gets into it in a way that’s believable, and, while I’ve guessed who she’ll wind up with, I’m not entirely certain who she’ll pick. I can tell already, however, (I’m actually 100 pages or so into The Elite as I write this) that the series isn’t really ever going to move beyond the romantic plot line. The books are titled after the different stages of the Selection, after all. And I think three books is going to be waaay too much time to spend on this particular conflict.

There is potentially more to the plot in the dystopian aspect of it, but the dystopian worldbuilding isn’t that good. The US of A with castes and a king and rebels to endanger him. It’s simplisitic and not (yet?) explained well. Why a caste system specifically? What do the rebels even want? Why are there two groups of them? Why “Northerners” and “Southerners”? I just don’t get the sense that there’s any real fight going on anywhere. The castes are there, they’re not fair and that’s it. Maxon’s portrayed with such a good heart that I get the feeling he’ll level the playing field a bit no matter whether or not America sticks around to push him to do it. So then, what else is the point of her choice? Of her continued existence in the heart of her messed up country’s politics? Nothing really, so far as I can see right now.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was just one of those things I enjoyed even though I knew objectively it was not that great. I feel enough like I’m not able to predict everything that’s going to happen and that combined with my weird obsession to finish series, even ones I hate, to pick up the other two books, though I think that if you’re even a little on the fence about reading this you should probably turn the other way. That being said, if you love romantic drama or reality TV and especially enjoy a drawn out, torturous love triangle, this might just be a good pick for you.

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Bout of Books 10.0-The Final Update

Day 7 Progress

-Read 390 pages of Cress

Overall

Pages: 1,858

Books Completed:

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The Risen EmpireSpeakThe SelectionAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseMe and Earl and The Dying GirlCress

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Finished Cress! Loved it. I think I was waiting so long to start it because I knew subconsciously that waiting for Winter would be torture.

Revisiting my goals post, I succeeded in reading 4 books (though not exactly my original four. I swapped in Me and Earl and The Dying Girl instead of picking up The Ring and the Crown) in addition to my usual audiobook, and I visited a few new blogs, though not as many as I really meant to. Still, I had a lot of fun with it again, which was my main goal, and I forced myself to find a way to work blogging time back into my busy schedule, a habit I hope to carry forward. 

I also participated in a few challenges this time around, which I don’t think I did at all during Bout of Books 9.0, so between that and my 6 updates, I was way more active this read-a-thon than my first Bout of Books. 

All in all, I’m calling it a success! How did you all do? What was your favorite book you read during the last week? I absolutely adored Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I finished it Wednesday and I still can’t get over how good it was. 

Bout of Books Update-Days 5 and 6

Day 5 Progress

-Listened to 1 hour of Gathering Blue (approximately 50 pages)

Total Day 5: 50 pages

Day 6 Progress

-Read 295 pages of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

-Read 160 pages of Cress

Overall

Pages: 1468

Books Completed:

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The Risen EmpireSpeakThe SelectionAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseMe and Earl and The Dying Girl

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Day 5 was a bust. Got to work early so I could leave early and then didn’t read in the afternoon or evening at all. I didn’t even listen to Gathering Blue on the way home. Instead, I opted for the “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist on Spotify, which was fun. “Don’t Stop Believing” is the best song in the world when it comes up randomly on shuffle.

Day 6 has certainly been more successful. I started and finished Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl an anti-YA Cancer book YA Cancer book, if that makes sense. It was very funny, then very sad. I still don’t know how to feel about it, but it was definitely worth it for the humor. I read the first third of it while waiting for my car at the tire shop this morning and it was hard not laugh out loud.

I was done with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by mid afternoon and had some time to get started on Cress. It’s wonderful, of course. It’s been long enough since I read Scarlet, Cress’s prequel, that I had definitely forgotten quite a bit, but the first few chapters did a good job of reintroducing everything.

On the schedule for tomorrow is to finish out Cress, participate in one more challenge, and get back into my earlier habit of checking out some new blogs! I’ve definitely been slacking in the community building department the last two days…

Bout of Books Update-Day 4

Day 4 Progress

-Listened to 2.25 hours (Chapters 1-9.5) of Gathering Blue (approximately 89 pages)

Total Day 4: 89 pages

Overall

Pages: 963

Books Completed:

BoB Completed pic

The Risen EmpireSpeakThe SelectionAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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After a bout of insomnia last night, tonight is for mindless TV and an early bedtime (Seriously. It’s not even 10pm yet here and I’m about to go brush my teeth and turn off the light) not jumping into The Ring & The Crown like I’d planned. I’ll call it gearing up for the weekend and not be disappointed.

I did start listening to Gathering Blue. It’s a bit different from what I remembered, but 12+ intervening years will do that.

 Day 4 Challenge-Spell it Out

I did take a few minutes earlier to enter today’s challenge. I participated over  on Instagram, my usual dumping ground for spontaneous photos of stacks of books, among other things.

This challenge reminds me of the tag that’s been going around BookTube lately, where you get points for every word you spell with books in 3 minutes. That would be way too stressful. This one word took me at least that long.Image

Bout of Books Update-Day 3

Day 3 Progress

-Read 234 pages of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

-Listened to Chapters 20-25 of The Selection (approximately 66 pages)

Total Day 3: 300 pages

Overall

Pages: 874

Books Completed:

BoB Completed pic

The Risen EmpireSpeak, The Selection, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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Two more books down today! I really want to write reviews for both, so I won’t say too too much here, but Aristotle and Dante was really incredible. It had lots of different facets to the story, complicated characters and relationships, but all told with this stark prose. It was really fascinating and beautiful. Definitely pick it up if you haven’t.

The Selection was about what I thought it would be. Fun enough, in spite of itself. I didn’t love it, but I’ll probably pick up the sequel. It’s a somewhat well balanced love triangle, but the world doesn’t entirely make sense to me and the characters don’t stand out that much. It’s one of those that I won’t be recommending to anyone, but can’t just plain old tear to pieces. Those are the best kind to review though, there’s definitely a lot to say to try to explain my feelings.

Tomorrow I need to start The Ring and the Crown; it’s due back to the library on Sunday. I also snagged Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry from my library’s OverDrive library for my next audiobook.  I’ve read it before, but that was an extremely long time ago, I think it was in my classroom library in 4th or 5th grade. But after rereading The Giver recently I decided I needed to pick its companion novels up again as well.

 Day 3 Challenge-Book Pairings

This challenge was really fun. All you had to do was pair up a book with anything else. Other books, movies, food, interpretive dance. Whatever you wanted. I went with songs, because I’m constantly matching up songs with books in my head anyway.

BoB10-3 GR Status

So here are my long-winded explanations (Goodreads character limits weren’t having it today!):

518848Book: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Song: Bring Me to Life by Evanesence

The song “Bring me to Life” was popular in the early 2000’s which is when I (and most people) read Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. The song is so perfect for the book. The mood fits, forward driving and hard-edged. Snatches of the lyrics fit well, though the song overall is more about a personal battle than anything literal about escaping death like the book is (“Don’t let me die here/There must be something more/Bring me to life”). Anytime I hear the song, I think about the book.

 

Book: The Elite by Kiera Cass16248068

Song: Since You’re Gone by The Pretty Reckless

As I said, I finished The Selection today and picked up The Elite from the library. I haven’t started it yet, but I know from other people’s reviews of it that it is entirely focused on the love triangle. So much so that people get extremely irritated. I’m sure I’ll be there with them, but for whatever reason I feel compelled to read it anyway. This Pretty Reckless song I picked came up on shuffle while I was driving home and I thought it was the perfect song to express what I think America’s choice and answer should be (Since you’ve been gone/my life has moved along/quite nicely actually”!), even when I’m fully aware she’s going to hem and haw for another 3oo pages.

 

8709527Book: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Song: The City by The 1975

The explanation for this one isn’t so interesting. I was simply obsessed with both the series and the album in November last year and the two are forever stuck together in my head. There’s no real connection in the lyrics that I can pick out (not that I really know what the lyrics are…they’re pretty hard to understand) but they each remind me of the other and of the fall, when my blog was all new and exciting, NaNoWriMo was going on, pumpkin spice lattes were available… just lots of good, happy stuff from that month.

 

And here are all the songs in a YouTube playlist, if you’ve never heard them and you want to check them out!

Do you associate songs to things like I do? Books, specific times of year, anything like that? Let me know if you do, so I don’t think I’m the only one forever!

Hope everyone else is doing well, and, more importantly, having fun! Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you back tomorrow for day 4!

Bout of Books Update-Day 2

Day 2 Progress

-Read 125 pages of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

-Listened to Chapters 15-20 of The Selection (approximately 66 pages)

Total Day 2:  191 pages

Overall

Pages: 574

Books Completed: The Risen EmpireSpeak

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Not much to say today. I started Aristotle and Dante and I’m enjoying it so far. Wish I’d gone into it knowing less about it, but nothing to be done about that. It’s really incredible though, how Saenz does so much with the characters in such short and simple lines of prose.

Day 2 Challenge-Books You’re Looking Forward To

Didn’t do a challenge today. Maybe there’s still time…42 minutes left to enter for the prize on the Books You’re Looking Forward To Challenge. I think I can slap a list together. I did download a countdown app on my phone just to keep track of all the books (usually just series installments) I can’t wait for…let’s see what’s on there:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Releases May 27)-Most anticipated book of the year right here. I practically ran away from the promotional display at Barnes and Noble so I wouldn’t fangirl out in public.

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (Releases July 29)-The fifth installment in the Bloodlines series. I adore Bloodlines. It’s my favorite guilty pleasure and Richelle left us with some major loose threads with the previous book.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Releases September 30)-The Throne of Glass series is amazing. Can’t wait. This is getting repetitive.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (Releases October 7)-I’ve extensively documented my relationship with the Percy Jackson series. I liked it sorta, and by the time I hit The Last Olympian I was totally infatuated with it. The Heroes of Olympus series has been a total knockout, and I can’t wait to see where it all ends up.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Releases October 28)-Third book in The Raven Boys series. The title’s a major departure from the rest of the series. It’s extra intriguing.

The challenge also says you can name books that are out, that you’re just excited to read. I have a couple of those too:

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson-This one has the advantage of having just arrived in the mail today. My coworkers are all into epic fantasy and a couple of them just started this. After listening to them share theories about Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle series, a series I started long enough ago I hardly remembered enough to really participate, I’m excited to jump into something I can chat about with them.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke-I bought this on a whim a few weeks ago and didn’t jump right into it, but I’m still feeling the excitement that made me buy it. It just looks so fascinating. Dark, but really interesting.

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I’m going to have to figure out a better way to do challenges, maybe do day 4 challenges on day 3’s update. I think that’s what I did during BoB 9.0.  How are you all doing? Finding a way to balance your life with your lofty BoB goals?

Bout of Books Update-Day 1

Day 1 Progress

       -Read 107 pages of The Risen Empire

       -Listened to Chapters 9-15 of The Selection (approximately 78 pages)

       -Read 198 pages of Speak

Total Day 1: 383 pages

Overall

Pages: 383

Books Completed: The Risen EmpireSpeak

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I started out kind of behind on reading the books I meant to get done this week, since I didn’t finish my pre-read-a-thon read over the weekend like I thought I would. No worries, though. The Risen Empire was great and will probably alter the TBR again anyway by the very existence of its sequel. It’s a duo that’s been out for over a decade, but I can’t believe I had never heard of it before finding it at the library a couple weeks back.

But then I caught up when I started Speak this evening and didn’t put it down. Finished it just now, 2 minutes before midnight. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a Laurie Halse Anderson book in more than 3 or 4 sittings. So good.

I listened to The Selection on the drive to and from work. I’m still enjoying it, in the way you enjoy ice cream, good, but a bit sickening after a while.  A quick aside with this one though: I could use some help determining my page count on The Selection since I don’t have a physical or an ebook copy. Just an OverDrive audiobook. I started out the morning in Chapter 9, at the tail end of the palace tour and ended right as Maxon and America were running into Celeste and co in the hallway on a walk right after the first Capitol broadcast. If you have the book handy, let me know how many pages that actually was. I just counted chapters and divided the total number of pages, but that’s probably not super accurate. 

Hope everyone else had a good first day! I better get to bed, I just stayed up waaay too late reading.

Bout of Books 10.0

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, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th 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 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I did Bout of Books 9.0 in January and had so much fun with it, there was no way I was missing out again! There’s really no stress unless you want there to be, I just set an ambitious, but flexible goal of reading 5 books instead of a more typical 2 or 3 and I plan on posting a bit more this week and supporting other Bout of Books bloggers the way I was supported last time around.

As I did last time, I’ve thrown together a TBR without much thought as to how much I’ll actually get done. I’m sure I’ll be revising the goal as the week goes along. Like I said, I don’t like to make this stressful at all.

The Officially Official* Bout of Books TBR

Lately I’ve been reading about two books a week, one over the weekend and one during the week. I also listen to audiobooks while I drive to and from work and usually can get a typical 9-10 hour book finished in about 5 days of driving (It’s a long drive). So to push the envelope just a bit, I grabbed four books off my TBR pile to try to finish in addition to the audiobook I started today.

*Not really. That was clearly sarcasm. I will probably change my mind on Sunday night.

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First up (in the picture, I have no idea what order I’ll actually read in) is The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. I saw this on the new releases shelf on the library last week and grabbed it. I’d heard a couple of reviews that were good, if not stellar, but it did sound like a story I might enjoy, so I couldn’t resist.

Continuing clockwise from the top is Cress by Marissa Meyer, which I meant to read in February when it came out, then put it on my March TBR, and so on and so forth until this second week in May. I adored Cinder and Scarlett and have heard people say this one is their favorite, so I am super excited to finally read this.

Next is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. So much buzz about this book lately. Just look at all those award stickers! I bought this a week or so ago and remain extremely excited about it. So much so I might start it right now and be done with it before Monday. It’s so tempting. It’s sitting next to me after the photo shoot and I feel like it’s staring at me.

I read Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, about two weeks ago and thought it was wonderful. When I went back to the library to return it, I sought out the other books of hers that they had and picked up Speak, which is probably her best-known work. It looks pretty short, and I should be able to get through it very quickly, like I did The Impossible Knife of Memory, in a sitting or two over the course of one day. Either way, it’s definitely a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while and am glad to be finally making time for it.

My audiobook right now is The Selection by Keira Cass, which I will almost definitely finish sometime next week. Like Speak, it’s one I’d heard of before and been mildly interested and have just recently decided to start. This one came back up on my radar because everyone is talking about The One, which released last week. So nice to know all the books are out if I wind up addicted. I started it today, though, and it is a bit cheesy and underwhelming, but it’s still enjoyable so far.

When I do finish The Selection I’ll need a new audiobook and I haven’t entirely decided yet what it will be. The most likely candidate is J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Two Towers. I finished The Fellowship of the Ring last week via audiobook and will probably continue on with them, even though I did just get a copy of The Lord of the Rings bound together.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting into another read-a-thon! It’s been too long since I last participated. Let me know if you’re participating in Bout of Books as well and what your favorite thing about this read-a-thon is. For me it’s just the general excitement and community that seems to spring up around it, even more than the reading itself.

The (Little) Prince

This is a short little deviation from my blog’s usual fare, but it’s a story so hilarious and strange to me I had to share it:

The Scene: I am at the counter at my local Barnes and Noble, a little bit peeved after receiving a damaged book in the mail, making the rainy drive over to the store after an already long drive home, and suffering through the slow printer at the customer service desk and the wait for the manger to key in the code that will finally process my online return. The cashier and I are still waiting for said manager when a boy, who I can only describe as looking like Harry Potter from the Sorcerer’s Stone days: about 11 years old, dark hair, skinny, glasses, generally nerdy appearance, sidles up to the counter next to me and politely asks my cashier if the store carries a book called The Prince.

I’m thinking: “The Prince as in The Prince by Machiavelli? The 16th century work of philosophy about how to be a tyrant?!”

And sure enough, when the cashier repeats the title and gives him a blank stare, he helpfully adds, “Yeah! It’s about how to be a good ruler.”

I am about to try to clarify that such a youngster is actually interested in such dark and dense philosophy, and to point him toward the appropriate section myself (how I never got a job at that store when I wanted one so badly in high school is completely beyond me), but the manager arrives just then and I don’t get a chance to speak to the boy as we finish my complicated transaction. By the time I look up from putting my credit card away, he’s run off.

I suppose if he’s got a kingdom to conquer before he hits high school, he doesn’t have time to wait around.

April Wrap-Up (with Mini-Reviews!)

Hello all! It’s been a while since I’ve done a wrap-up post like this, but they’re fun and especially useful for a month like this where I’ve slacked off on reviews.

Books I read in April

Bit of a random assortment this month, but it was pretty great overall! 10 books total, of which 3 got 5 star ratings which is an excellent ratio. That or I’ve just gotten soft.

Click on the cover photos for the Goodreads page, and check out the links on the titles below for Starlight Shelves Reviews. If there’s no link there, and the few lines below just aren’t enough, you are always welcome to check out the babbling and rambling I usually post right as I finish a book on my Goodreads page!

ImageImageGirl of NightmaresLegend ImageRebel BelleEmmaProdigy The Giver The Impossible Knife of Memory

 

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson-4 stars

I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary teen fiction, but then once in awhile I read one like this and wonder why I don’t read more. This was really beautiful and heart-breaking. A story about someone I can’t really relate to on the surface, and so find a lot to learn from as I go along. It’s the type of book that reminds you why reading is so crucial, and reassured me that Halse Anderson is a writer whose books deserve the acclaim they’ve received. I thought it lacked just a little in the character relationship development department, but Hayley’s voice was so strong, you almost forget to notice.

Emma by Jane Austen-4 stars

I am so proud I finished this. I picked up Emma back in the fall, when the YouTube series Emma Approved was just getting started, but put it down pretty early on. I couldn’t get into it enough, and Austen really knows how to make annoying characters actually be annoying. I picked up an audiobook version on the cheap early this month (because I already had a Kindle version, the Audible version was discounted, which is pretty cool). I’ve always sort of liked watching Austen-adaptations better than reading the books, even though they cut things out. I suppose I just like seeing the costumes and the settings, plus the emotion comes through much more on screen than it does buried in language and turns of phrase I don’t entirely understand. A good audiobook, then, was absolutely perfect for me. I got all of the inflections to help me out with the text, while not missing a single word of Ms. Austen’s. The version I read was performed by Juliet Stevenson (Audible link here!), if you’re interested. I thought it was wonderful.

The Girl of Nightmares (Anna Dressed in Blood #2) by Kendare Blake-3 Stars

I read Anna Dressed in Blood last month and really enjoyed it. It’s horror blended with romance and coming of age and I thought it was plotted and written extremely well. This one, the conclusion to the duo, I didn’t like as much, however. It dragged and felt superfluous to the story told in the first installment. It probably would have been better as a novella or a long epilogue as it didn’t stand on its own at all, though its conclusion was solid and meaningful. I liked it in the end, but at the same time I had that nagging feeling that it didn’t really ever need to exist at all.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn-3 Stars

I wrote a whole review trying to explain what I actually felt about this book. It’s hard to do for books that are good, but not that great. The short version is that I think Gone Girl is a bit overhyped and I had a hard time with it; it just wasn’t for me.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins-4 stars

I finally caved and joined in on a Booksplosion book of the month after hearing some glowing initial reviews for this. It sounds contrite and insane when you try to describe it, but it really is a ton of fun. Rachel Hawkins is hilarious, turns out (I’d heard of her, but never read her, and funny was somehow not a word I’d heard to describe her books), and the book is so quirky. Plus it is so good at making fun of itself that you can’t help but enjoy yourself while reading it. It wasn’t profound and it wasn’t perfection, but I say give it a go.

The Giver by Lois Lowry-5 stars

I read The Giver, or had it read to me, I don’t remember for sure, in 4th or 5th grade. I remember liking it back then, but not completely understanding it and after reading it again, I totally see why. The Giver is deceptively brief. It’s much more than it seems on the surface and it does so much with so few words. It’s really incredible, and I’m so glad that I revisited it. It’s going to be really strange to see it as a movie later in the summer, since it’s always had this weird alien feeling to it, to me at least.

Legend and Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu-5 and 4 stars

I’m completely over the moon about the Legend trilogy thus far, though I should withhold judgement until I’m all the way done with Champion. Still, I think it’s a very smart, very intense dystopian trilogy that you should check out if you haven’t already (I was definitely starting to feel like I was the only one left, but I’m sure I’m not!)

 The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab-4 Stars

A really cool series that has started to get some more fans due to some dedicated Booktubers, but underrated nonetheless. A super awesome blend of the fantasy adventure and contemporary drama that everyone should be able to enjoy.

 Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor-5 Stars

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy wrapped up this month with Dreams of Gods and Monsters. It was completely not what I was expecting, but it was beautiful and hindsight has told me I wouldn’t have had it end any other way, though at first I was kind of completely startled by it all. Still haven’t reviewed this and probably won’t, just because my brain was so jumbled up about it. But it’s good. And the trilogy as a whole is amazing.  Richly written fantasy, broad in scope and heavily detailed all at once, and an intensely complicated romance. What more could you want?

 Coming Up…

I’m currently reading Champion by Marie Lu, which I should be done with by early this weekend, and listening to The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein. Yes, I have never read LOTR all the way through and it is indeed quite shameful. I am a self proclaimed fantasy addict, but you can’t be a real fantasy fan without reading the universally acknowledged master. Though I get stuck every time at page 130 of volume 1. Tom Bombadil just drags…we’ll see if I can push through this time. I like my audiobook (performed by Rob Inglis) and I’m hoping that the format change will be enough to help me through it and hopefully enjoy it as much as everyone else does.

Then, I have no idea, really. I used to make plans, but they always change, so don’t get out the chisel on this list just yet. I really want to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo for the Nerdfighter Bookclub, which has to be done by June 10, I think, so I’m sure start sometime in May. Then I still have not read Cress by Marissa Meyer, which is just ridiculous, since I’ve been meaning to since February when it came out. And I will most definitely be reading City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, which comes out on the 27th. Definitely my most anticipated release of the entire year, though my physical copy of it probably won’t show until June, I’m sure I’ll cave and buy the ebook. Because…just because. I have to know what happens.

 

 

 

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