Sunday, August 16, 2015

"The Heir" (Selection series #4) - Kiera Cass

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today I bring to you the next book in the Selection series by Kiera Cass! The Heir is book number four written from Princess Eadlyn's perspective throughout the selection process. While I did thoroughly enjoy the first three books about America's journey, I was a little skeptical of this book as I thought the series was to be a trilogy only. As book three ended though, I was intrigued to see how the story was to continue. If you have not read the first three books or do not know anything about them, stop here. The description of this book gives away clues!!! You can find my reviews for those books here (book one), and here (book two & three).

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and wont the heart of Prince Maxon-- and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection--no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her... and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she;s always thought. 

What I have liked about this series is the way Cass writes the characters. She does a great job at presenting strong, female-lead characters who are not only opinionated and independent, but also show that they can be vulnerable and that's okay. In the first three books the reader meets America Singer who is led down a path that she thought was never something she could ever want. With this book we see a similar thing taking shape with her daughter, Eadlyn. I did feel that some of the situations and instances that have come up are similar to things that happen in the first books. Some of it felt like the same story just didn't characters. I am though looking forward to seeing how the series ends. Sure, some of it to me seems like I already know what will happen in a general sense, but other parts I cannot predict where they are to lead. Another great addition to the series. I'm sure young girls are eating this series up!

As always, feel free to share any recommendations, comments, or suggestions! I'd love to hear our feedback and thoughts on the book.

Happy reading fools :)

"An Ember In The Ashes" - Sabaa Tahir

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I hope everyone has had a great weekend. I have a page turner for you with "An Ember in the Ashes" by Sabaa Tahir. This book was unbelievable! I originally had my doubts when I began hearing about this book on various outlets that provide advanced reader's copies to reviewers. Boy was I wrong! First off, let me just say that this book is the first book in a series. I, the ill-informed reader, did not know this until I was reading the last word and literally yelled. What. A. Cliffhanger. You've been forewarned fellow readers!

"Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Empire risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. 

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire's impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They've seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia's older brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from the rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire's greatest military academy. 

There, Laia meets Elias, the school's finest soldier - and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he's being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined - and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. "

What a about a description! While I did find the beginning of the book a bit difficult to follow due to the amount of information given, (new worlds, caste, ranks, names) it was impossible to put down after the first 40 or so pages. Tahir writes the book from both Laia and Elias's perspectives, switching back and forth between the two. I liked being able to see the two different sides and while they were raised completely different, they have similar views and ideas. Tahir gives depth to all of the characters and does a great job of bringing their two stories together all the while keeping the reader holding on by a thread, grasping for more. Great start to a new young adult series. Perfect for ages 12 and up. I cannot wait for the next book!

As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions, or recommendations! I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the book!

Happy reading fools :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2)" - James Dashner

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I hope everyone has had a fantastic and relaxing weekend. Hard to believe it is already August! Only 30 more books to reach my goal for the year :) That being said, let's get right to this next review. Last night I posted the review for the first book in the series, The Maze Runner. Make sure to read that first before jumping in here and catching spoilers!

The Scorch Trials starts right where we left off in the previous book. The Gladers have been rescued after fighting their way out of the maze and are currently waiting to learn more about WICKED and their part in the trials. While the Gladers may think they are done, WICKED has more up their sleeve. Time to start Phase Two! The rules are simple. There are no rules, just a few simple instructions. Get to open air, head north, and arrive at the "safe haven" within two weeks. If only things were that easy. Scorching heat, blasted storms, crazed people infected with "The Flare," and of yeah, a group of girls known as "Group B" who have apparently been going through the trials as well and out to kill Thomas. More information is given about WICKED, the trials, and world since the sun flares to the Gladers but who can they really trust? Are their friends really who they say they are? And why were they chosen as candidates? Let's hope the next book sums everything up and brings it full circle! I mean, "WICKED is good," right?

I know many people did not like this book as much as the first. I can say I concur. But as a friend pointed out today, I think some people may have started reading the series because it was popular and didn't fully realize the genre that the series is until the books started getting down to the nitty gritty. These books are sci-fi and they fully live up to that. Simple as that. Yes, parts of the books are way out there, especially in this book, but that's the fun of a good sci-fi novel! I just hope Dashner starts bringing things all together. Their can only be so many trials and test before people start getting annoyed. That said, I'll be starting The Death Cure tonight and hope that their will be light shed on some answers! As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, or comments!

Happy reading fools :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"The Maze Runner" - James Dashner

Hello again fellow bibliophiles! I have been a busy reader today and have another review for you! To make things clear, I'm not the type of person to jump on the band wagon of popular books. If a new book comes out and people are going on and on about how great of a book it is, I won't read it. I know, I'm weird. I prefer to swim against the current instead of with it :) That being said, there are times when I give in and read a book everyone is raving about. And that leads us to the book for today. I never read the Maze Runner series by James Dashner when it came out and I didn't have any interest when the movie came out last year. I guess you could say the tides have changed.

A couple weeks ago I was flipping through the new movies on HBO when I noticed The Maze Runner. I wasn't that interested but I thought why not. I. LOVED. IT. So much that the moment the movie was over, I watched the trailer for the next one 3 times, logged onto my library website, checked out e-copies of all the books, and instantly started reading.

Dear James Dashner,
I'm sorry it took me so long to discover your incredible series. Please forgive me.
                                                 Your forever faithful reader, Kala.

The book was great. Sometimes fantasy/post-apocalyptic books can be all over the place. A lot are good while others fall short. I really liked the general idea and premise for the story. Kids thrown together on their own, given basic supplies and necessities but left to survive and figure things out on their own, doing all that they can to escape and live while being surrounded by a maze that seems to have no exit. And then one day, all things changed. A girl arrives with a message that no more supplies will arrive. The only thing to do is to find way out and survive. It's hard to give you any more than that without giving anything away! I do wish I would have read the book before watching the movie. I can't believe I am going to say this but there were parts of the movie that I liked better than the book. From the start, there are some big differences, but nothing that makes the story change. I actually liked the beginning of the movie better than I liked the beginning of the book. The ending of the book though gives a lot more detail into the story of the world and why these kids were put into the trials. I've already started the next book and cannot wait for the movie to come out this fall! I highly recommend the series! As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions, or recommendations.

Happy reading fools :)

"The Other Daughter" - Lauren Willig

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today's book, The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig, was possible thanks to NetGalley. Thank you! First off, if you read one of my recent post, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (found here), you will understand my feelings towards Willig. I have thoroughly enjoyed her books both series and non series books. I have also wrote a review on one of her other books, The Last Summer, which can be found here! I have never read a book of her's that I did not like. That said, I had some pretty high standards and hopes for this book. Here's a brief summary:

A governess in France who receives word that her mother has fallen ill, Rachel Woodley flees back home to England. Upon arrival, Rachel finds out that her mother has already passed and is now left on her own, penniless and jobless. While cleaning out her mother's room, Rachel discovers a society news clipping of what appears to be her father dated only a few months before. But how can that be? Her father died when she was very young. Rachel sets out to find out who this man is and if he really is her father. If so, that would mean her whole was a sham. In order to discover the truth, Rachel sets out to immerse herself into the high society England, new identity in tow. Will the truth set her free or will it ruin not only her life but the family of the man she believes is her father?

What I found difficult when reading this book was the writing itself. From the beginning it moves through each scene very quickly, often darting and taking leaps that just happen to pop up at the right time. The book only scraped on the surface of having depth and the ending was rushed along, basically leaving you hanging out to dry. Yes questions were answered but then nothing more. Compared to Willig's other books, this was a huge let down. I was very disappointed. Maybe my standards were just too high. I would have liked more into the ending of the story and less of the middle. But once again, that's just my opinion. As always, feel free to share any recommendations, suggestions, or comments!

Happy reading fools :)