Review: The Crown – Kiera Cass

Review: The Crown – Kiera CassThe Crown by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #5
Published by HarperTeen
Published: May 3rd 2016
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three-stars

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

I don’t really know how to review this one. I guess The Crown was bittersweet for me. I’m not quiet about the fact that I call The Selection series my book crack. The first three books basically destroyed me and my sanity and I loved them even when I hated them. I was addicted and still kind of am. Then came The Heir which added to the addiction a tad, but it wasn’t as strong as the first three. And finally came The Crown, the end of my addiction. I was excited to still be in the world with this characters and sad to let go at the same time. Sadly though I thought the last book of the series was the most disappointing and I’m now left wondering if I should have let it go at The One.

My problem with The Crown was I wasn’t as emotionally invested in Eadlyn and her suitors as I was in Maxon and America’s journey. I enjoyed her and some of her companions but that love and addiction wasn’t there and I think that just mad me sad in the end. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book and finding out how it would all go down, but I just ended up liking it and not being over the moon in love. I did have any crazy emotional reactions to anything Eady did which just disappointed me.

All in all I did really love the series. Is it for everyone? Definitely not. But it is a reading experience I will never forget. I was captivated by these characters and the world. But I also know when enough is enough and it’s time to say goodbye to them and wish them well.

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Review: The Heir – Kiera Cass

Review: The Heir – Kiera CassThe Heir by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #4
Published by HarperTeen
Published: May 5th 2015
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four-stars

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Review

To be honest I thought I was done with The Selection series after The One. Not because I didn’t want more, but because I thought I wouldn’t get more. I had resigned myself to the fact that my book crack series was over. And then The Heir was announced and I was so happy. More of my favorites, more of Illéa, more royals and more dresses. I didn’t really even care what the book was about, I was just happy I got more. But then I read the description and that happiness became excited because I was going to get to read the story from a different side but with different characters. And although I didn’t love The Heir as much as the trilogy, I really really enjoyed it.

 DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST 3 BOOKS!!!

The Heir takes place many, many years after The One. America is the Queen with Maxon her prince. They have gotten married and had a family and have changed Illéa for what they hoped was the better. But with tensions high they try to think of a way to bring the country together; they bring back The Selection. With their oldest already in a relationship Maxon and American convince his twin Eadlyn to begrudgingly take part in the process that brought them together. Eadlyn now has to do what her father did and date all these boys she has no intention of marrying, or does she? As the selection moves on Eadlyn learns more about herself and her parents than she ever expected. And who know, maybe love will happen after all.

actionThe thing I liked the best about The Heir was the story. I have always been one of those people that wants to read the other side of things. Like I would love to read Anna and the French Kiss from Etienne’e POV or Divergent from Four’s. Although The Heir isn’t Maxon’s take on the selection it is the other side of America’s story in a different kind of way and I loved that. Getting to see the struggles Eadlyn had and thinking about how Maxon must have said the same kind of struggles was fascinating to me. But I also love that it was a completely different story as well. That really worked for me.

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Being back in Illéa was amazing, and in the palace even better. It was a comfortable setting but it had also changed as a country and as a palace. Maxon’s parents were long gone and he and America had made it a home for them and their family. It was fun to see the two of them as the adults with the heavy responsibilities. And Illéa had also transformed. America did some of the things she wanted done in the first three books. I loved seeing how they worked in actuality and not in theory.

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I guess this is where I didn’t love the book as much. Eadlyn. Oh Eady. She is a touch egg. She is nothing like America and doesn’t have the charm of her father. She is spoiled and bratty and entitled. She really makes it hard for you to like her whenever she says almost anything. But on the other hand you can respect her. And you appreciate some of the things she does realize about herself. She just isn’t what you would expect the daughter of Maxon and America to be like. And the suitors were definitely interesting. I liked some more than others, one in-particular, but I don’t want to say more and give any of them away. 😉

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All in all I thought The Heir was great. It had that same fun quality of writing that Cass put out in the first three books. It told a great story but in a fun way with interesting characters that may get on your nerves but are still interesting and perfect for the story. The end was a doozy for sure and it will make you want to know what happens to wrap the story of Illéa’s favorite family. Come on Book 5, don’t make me beg.

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Review: The One – Kiera Cass

Review: The One – Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Published by HarperTeen
Published: May 6, 2014
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five-stars

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

Never in my entire life have I read a series of book that has given me more anxiety than The Selection series. The Selection was a minor case of anxiety. The Elite pushed it to a whole new level, to the point that I missed my train stop and wanted to throw the book a time or two. And then there is The One. If I thought the nerves were bad for The Elite I was 100% wrong. The pit in my stomach reading The One was astronomical. I mean seriously Kiera Cass, seriously!

The One is the final chapter in the story of America Singer, a girl from a lower numbered caste that has been selected to vie for the affections of the Prince and heir to the throne, Maxon. What started out as America entering the Selection for her family, and her once boyfriend Aspen, has turned into America actually developing feelings for Maxon. As time has passed she had opened herself to love him but she isn’t sure about everything that comes with it. With Aspen in the castle as a guard continuing to push his affections on her and the rebels trying to bring the monarchy down, not to mention the fact that the king hates her, America has to really take a hard look at herself and the life she wants to live. She has to decide if she is truly ready to be the one.

Book crack, book crack, book crack! Anyone that knows me knows that is what I call this series. I mean I know it’s bad for me yet I need my fix and love the feelings it gives me. And feelings it does. Honestly, I can’t tell you it is the best series ever written or that The One played out how I hoped and that everything was answered. What I can tell you is that I love every freaking thing about this series. I love the good, the bad, and the ugly. And there was a lot of ugly in The One. America and Maxon have this way about them that makes me completely crazy. Most of the time I want to shake both of them because they are so infuriating. But honestly, I love them. I know, I’m a mess. That’s what this series has done to me.

Look, I know this review doesn’t really say much about the series or about The One. I could go into specifics about the plot and I could go into things I thought worked and didn’t work and I could talk about who, if anyone, America ended up with. But they would just be words that gave the series away. Honestly, I can’t explain my love of this series and the feelings it gave me and how The One wrapped everything up. All I can tell you is you will either love or hate this book, love or hate the series. I just so happen to be on the love side of things.

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Review: The Elite – Kiera Cass

Happy Release Day for The Elite! If you haven’t read it or The Selection and are fans of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, get on that. I hate that show and loved these two books. Book Crack I tell you! BOOK CRACK!

Review: The Elite – Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #2
Published by HarperCollins
Published: April 23rd 2013
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five-stars

Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor.

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

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GAH!!!!!!!!!!! That was basically my thought the whole time I was reading The Elite. I mean I was an emotional wreck for two days every time I picked it up and it still hasn’t passed. It had been a long time, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Insurgent by Veronica Roth long, since I felt the kind of stress I did reading this book. Every turn of the page I knew I was getting further and further into the story that was going to rip my heart out and that I was getting closer and closer to the end which meant I would have to wait for book 3. And when I did reach that end I think my heart was ripped out of my chest and stepped on. Because The Elite, The Elite was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story takes place directly after The Selection has ended. America is now in the final 6 and knows exactly how our dear Prince Maxon feels about her.  And America is well on her way to feeling the exact same thing. Maxon is giving her what she asks for, time, but when something happens America has no idea what she really wants and in the process pushes Maxon away. Soon America is watching as Maxon begins to get close to the other girls while she begins to once again get close to Aspen. As a war wages closer and closer to the castle America must figure out which boy her heart belongs to and if she has the guts to live the life of a queen.

America frustrated me to on end in this book. She just would not make up her mind and it was making me crazy. One second she was all team Maxon and the next she was team Aspen. I just wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her what to do. And that right there is why I loved this book. I was dragged in to the story emotionally and mentally and that shows the power of what Cass was trying to convey. Because really, teenagers don’t know what they want. They are frustrating and uncertain and scared, much like I am at 33, haha. But really America’s uncertainty was honest and realistic. I saw what she was feeling at times because Maxon was acting a fool and I wanted to choke him. He would say one thing to America and do another. But again, he was just as uncertain as she was because he had no answers. She was leading him on and asking for time, but keeping her first love on the side without his knowledge. He was between a rock and a hard place and acted out which although annoying, I understood.

What I really didn’t like was Aspen. In the first book he definitely wasn’t my favorite person once the prince was introduced. But in The Elite I hated him. Everything he did I thought was very manipulative and played on America’s feelings for him. He was/is using her to play out his agenda, whatever that may be. I don’t feel he is genuine at all when it comes to her and I have no use for him. Even with Maxon being an idiot, I’m still Team Maxon all the way. He made mistakes, America has made mistakes, but really who of use hasn’t?! And learning a little more of his background made me love him even more.

Basically Cass made me an emotional mess with this book and proved I was right when I called this series book crack. It isn’t good for you, it will rip out your soul, but you need to get your fix. You get so wrapped up in the lives of America, Maxon and Aspen that you forget they aren’t real people and you don’t need to be as emotional about it. Bravo Ms. Cass for sucking me and in keeping me there. Now give me book 3!

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Second Chance Sunday – The Selection by Kiera Cass

With The Elite coming out in a few short days it was only fitting that today’s Second Chance Sunday be brought to you by The Selection, the first is this crazy addictive series. I was lucky enough to read The Elite already(review will posted on Tuesday) and trust me when I tell you, read this series! Read it quickly and read it often!

Second Chance Sunday – The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTeen
Published: April 24th 2012
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five-stars

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.

I am so confused why I have heard mixed things about this book. It was fantastical! I loved the characters and the story and the setting. I loved everything about it. I don’t quite understand why it has been compared to The Hunger Games other then the fact that America has maids and there is a host that questions the girls, but that aside, this book was a fun take on The Bachelor and I hate that show.

Basically The Selection is about America Singer, a girl from a lower caste number, that is “forced” to apply for the selection, by her mother and her boyfriend of two years, so Prince Maxon can find himself a wife. Heart broken and shocked when she is picked America moves into the palace with 34 other girls determined not to be the chosen one. What America doesn’t expect is to find herself an ally behind the palace walls and for that ally to be the Prince himself. Slowly America opens herself up to the possibility of a life with him. And when something unexpected happens she must decide where her allegiance lies and who her heart ultimately belongs to.

Now I know I should start with talking about America, and I will, but I need to first gush about Prince Maxon. I’m in love! Or in serious crush! He was simply put, an amazing character. Where you would expect a stuffy, snobbish Royal, you really got a down to earth, fun-loving guy that was trying to do the right thing for himself, his family and his subjects. His interactions with all of the girls was real and not contrived in the least. I believed everything about him and not once thought he was putting on a how for the cameras or the girls. He was so swoon worthy that I found myself wanting to be his princess! And his interaction with America made me like him even more! And America for that matter.

I feel like we got to know the real America through him and it made her endearing. When she was home she was always doing/thinking for someone else. But with Maxon she was finally thinking and feeling for herself. She was one of the least selfish people in the story and I admired that. I actually found myself rooting for her to open her eyes and see Maxon for the amazing creature he was.

On top of loving the characters I loved the story as a whole. Everything was paced out perfectly and the set-up for future books was there. I loved reading about Maxon and America’s time around the palace and her being his confidant. The fact that there was an added element of suspense with the rebel attacks just added to the whole story. And the use of a caste system really brought out that dystopian feel that I so love.

So basically I completely fell in love the Cass’ world and characters. The Selection is Cinderella meets The Bachelor in a world that was torn up by war and is still unsettled. Cass did an amazing job of drawing me in and keeping me there. Ignore the comparison to The Hunger Games and jump in. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Like me you’ll be praying that 2013 gets here quickly so you can pick up The Elite and that the CW gets there act together so you can watch the TV show. 🙂

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