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Review: The Selection

The Selection
The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well. I really didn’t think I’d like this book as much as I did. It’s one where I’m sorta wishing I had opened it sooner….but I’m glad I waited because now I can read straight through the series.

First, let me explain this dystopia, the rules state you are going to be placed in a caste and that will dictate your wealth and status and whatever job you do. One’s are the queen, king and their children. Twos are up there. Threes lower…and they fall and stumble and crack down to the homeless eights. It’s these castes that keep people apart and squabbling and this country (Illea) as well as others in turmoil.

The Selection is like American Idol meets the Bachelor meets The Dating Game. The secluded Prince needs a wife and what better way to have a pool for him to choose from than holding a lottery where 35 potential brides are chosen.

America Singer, a five and musician, is among the picks. She’s plucky and smart ass and in love with Aspen Leger, a six…someone considered beneath her. But she loves him and makes it work and fights the selection at its core.

Let’s just say when she first meets Maxon, the prince, it wasn’t the best of circumstances. In my head, I saw America as a young Amy Adams:
America Singer
And Maxon had this way about him that made me think of:
America Singer

Yeah…Joffrey from Game of Thrones. So that made their meeting even more humourous, IMO.

What I adored was their interactions. They were so hateful yet loving and sometimes so sweet I could only squeal out… “Oh…cute…” But then America had to find what was really in her heart, because she was still pining for Aspen, though he dumped her before she left.

It was getting all good and drama but it ended just as America was one of The Elite–the last six girls in the competition for Maxon’s heart.

As if that wasn’t enough, there was so much more with the troubles of Illea…the rebels from the North, rebels from the South…all in hate of the King and the Selection. America’s family upset, too. America’s maids’ stories…(and maybe I’m confusing the books some as I’ve been reading from one into another without much pause, because they are good!)

I can’t recommend this one enough. A good four and a half stars at the very least from me…I’m on book four and still enjoying it!


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Review: Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book…3.5? 4?

I was back and forth for a while on what I wanted to rate it. In the beginning, I thought…“Ugh, this is a total two.” At the end, I was…“Oh, this is a good four to five…And when is the next book?” My stars are more of a median between the two.

Before I delve into the why of it all, I suggest we get naked. Well, book naked and under the cover. Because this one was amazing!

Under the cover:

The hardback cover was debossed with a solar map of the story’s planets in their little solar system. It’s just so unique and old-timey. A very nice cover.

full cover


The end pages:
Usually means the inside cover, which in this case is a plain navy. I’m using the term to describe the first and last printed pages.

In the front of the book, there is a printed map of the same solar system. Planets labeled and other wonders. Very old world map. Beautiful as well as helpful along the way.

printed map

In the very end of the book, which I wish I knew it before I got to the end of the book, is a very helpful glossary listing some of the terms and words used…in case you missed it or didn’t fully understand.


The story:

So, there are two sides to every story, and this one is no different.

First, Akos. His story is written in third person and takes the events and goings on in his life and puts it out there in his eyes. His family, his home planet…the kidnapping of members of his family by their Shotet enemy…

Second, Cyra. Her story is written in first person, through which we get a clear picture of Shotet life for her and her brother, Ryzek. We also get to grow up with her and her Thuvhesit slave for lack of a better word to describe Akos in the beginning.

That’s where part of the disconnect was for me. And I know I’ve complained before about the flip between third person and first in a book. Sometimes, it works. This, sadly, was part of the problem for me. I’d get to Akos’ part of the story, and I felt suddenly distant and outside of the story, where Cyra’s parts brought me in and made it feel like an intimate tale. I really wish Akos’ part was in first person. I’d have been able to follow along beautifully.

The second part of feeling so disconnected from the story was in the tremendous learning curve that typically goes along with stories of this genre. I had to learn about hushflowers and feathergrass and planets and peoples of the planets and izits and just learn and learn and learn.

But, once I got the gist of the story and its elements, it really shined!!! And I couldn’t stop reading to find out what the heck was going to happen next. All starting with a war between the Shotet and Thuvhesit…stemming from prophesies of what could be and fates of what will be and what one’s current gift is, as everyone in their system is blessed…or cursed…with a current gift, that one talent that makes you special form everyone else. Cyra’s was the ability to give and receive pain. Akos’ was the inability for current gifts to have any impact on him. It made for an interesting twist.


Carve The Mark
is actually a ritual performed in the book. When a Shotet kills someone, they must mark their body by carving a line into their arm and dabbing some potion into it so a scar is left behind. Something that would make a warrior proud to show off his kills, while others hide them in shame for the wrongs they’ve done. It was a beautiful metaphor touched on time and time again in this story.

This tale was sort of like a Hunger Games meets Star Wars meets Divergent meets Predator sort of tale. Strong characters who believe they’re doing it for the best, whether they see the reality of it or not. A love story co-mingling among the wars and hateful thoughts between nations and peoples–sort of a reality bites dose there.

I always say whether I’d rec this book. Honestly, I would, but with a caveat or two I’ve already mentioned here. I am looking forward to book two. VERY much so. Though this story closed nicely, there are still WAY TOO MANY QUESTIONS left to be answered. It’s so stressful!


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Review: Paper Princess

Paper Princess
Paper Princess by Erin Watt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What the f#*^ Reed? WTF?!

*okay…lets montage through the events of the book back to the beginning*

Ella Harper. Seventeen. Good student. Lives on her own. Is a stripper.

Yeah, you read that right. She strips to keep her apartment and so she can eat every once in a while. Life isn’t the best, but then it’s her own.

Enter Callum. A ROYAL to sweep her off her feet. Literally. From the strip club as she started dancing. After he showed at her school to collect her. Her new guardian, who whisks her away to…well I’m inclined to believe North Carolina, could be South. Somewhere along the coast. He takes her to his palace…or mansion. She meets his five sons- Gideon, Reed, Easton, and the tins Sawyer and Sebastian.

Needless to say, the guys seem to think she’s Daddy’s new toy more than the daughter of his player BFF. And they treat her like the crap on their shoe. Until…

And since I’m keeping hush on the spoilers, I’ll change directions.

What I thought was going to be a twist on the old Cinderella tale, turned out to be more a story along the same high-drama, gotta keep reading because it’s so good vein as Between the Lines…And I’ve read where people think this is a more modern Cruel Intentions–I can see the similarities and I would agree if only you mixed in The Royals (television show) and something so behind the scenes high drama you can’t stop watching–

I bought the second book before I was 20% into it…because it was so good…and the third…and last night, I couldn’t stop reading…And this morning, I can’t stop thinking about “WTF did you do, Reed?” I think I know what’s going on…In the shower, the idea hit. I might not make it to tonight to read, meaning I’ve got to find out!

So, this book is WELL WORTH THE FIVE STARS! So good. Intriguing. You wanna know who is going to do what next and what Ella/Reed will do in response…Feeling like I should pull out Tammara Webber’s books again, because I know once this is done, I am going to be desperate for more of the same type of tales…

Highly Rec! Seriously. Be prepared to buy all three immediately, because you can’t stop! And the cliffie…IS KILLER!!! Adding this one to the ABSOLUTE FAVORITES SHELF like now!


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