Tag Archives: The Selection

Catching up + ALL of the books!! [Review]

Despite all of the best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way. Since my last post I moved myself and my little fur-baby to a house, lost my very dear grandmother and have been going through very good but very stressful changes at work. Needless to say my little blog took a back seat, but I’ve been (mostly) faithfully carrying on with my goals for 2016- just not writing about them here. I have posted a photo a day on Instagram- check them out and maybe follow me if you like at ‘kflakes’! I’ve also been planning excursions, got adventurous with my hair and had it ‘painted’ (balayage), and I’ve been reading like crazy. The rest of this post I’ll devote to mini-reviews of all of the books I’ve read since the last one I talked about in my goal toward 100 this year. In the future I’ll write similar posts monthly, reviewing all of the books I’ve read. Hope you enjoy!

jurassic‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton- Book 17 of 100 was pretty fantastic. It varies drastically in places from the film we all know and love, but is no less entertaining or lovable. The back story behind the novel is extensive, the dinosaurs have already started to escape- and good gracious, the ending is terrible and poetic all at the same time. This is a must read- and made for a very entertaining book to listen to in the car.

 

 

 
Glass-Sword-Victoria-AveyardGlass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard- Book 18 of 100 was very interesting. In this book the elite class has silver blood and the common folk have red blood. Our heroine Mare Barrow has red blood, but also the powers of a Silver- and incredible powers at that. In the first book she discovered and struggled to cope with the repercussions of that fact. In this novel she discovers she is not the only one to have red blood and silver powers. They basically start a war in this novel, and it’s pretty great. Can’t wait for the next book!

 

richestThe Richest Man in Babylon by  George S. Clason- Book 19 of 100 is a must read for those wanting to make something of themselves financially and also in their community. The novel holds the key to personal wealth (very simple, really) and is entertaining to boot. A great book to listen to on tape.

 

 

 

accentYes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told YouYes, by Kunal Nayyar- Book 20 of 100 is highly entertaining and intelligent. We see behind the scenes of Nayyar’s life, and he is every bit as lovable as his character Raj on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. We see what it took for him to get where he is, funny stories from his childhood, an entire chapter on his week long wedding festivities and other hilarities. I loved this book, it’s witty and inspiring and a lighthearted read.

 

 

FirstlifeFirstlife (Everlife, #1) by Gena Showalter- Book 21 of 100 is an odd duck. I kept going back and forth between loving it and thinking it was terrible. It is basically a tug of war between the two locations for one’s afterlife. Each person is to choose where they want to go before they come of age or they may not get a choice. They may be killed and end up in neither. Both realms, Troika and Myriad will do anything to recruit our heroine Tenly ‘Ten’ – but she has reservations about both. It’s a trip, but at least is fairly original!

 

The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up-718x1024The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo- Book 22 of 100 is a helpful if not fairly impractical look at how to clean up the clutter in your home. I imagine it works incredibly well for some, but for someone like me who has borderline horder tendencies- but who also has fantastic organizing and ‘tucking’ skills, it is impractical and unnecessary. If I wanted to live as though my life were on display I would maybe look into it more. 🙂

 

"Furiously Happy," by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson- Book 23 of 100 is outrageously funny. The novel is essentially a memoir of Lawson’s struggle with mental illness, but don’t let that deter you. It’s an honest, brilliant and clever look at how Lawson handles her illnesses, and the humor that gets her through. There are plenty of stories and side bars that had me in stitches, and others that made me cry. In other words? Perfection.

 

 

obsession-by-nora-robertsThe Obsession by Nora Roberts- Book 24 of 100 is one of Robert’s most recent novels and I very much enjoyed it. It follows Naomi, who discovers as a child her father’s darkest secret and makes him infamous. In the present day she settles in a small town only to have her past catch up with her- but she finds roots and a man to love. She finds part of herself and a loving dog as well. The only thing that annoys me is the image on the cover- it makes no sense to me in relation to the story- the view of the sea from her new home would be what I would have showed!

 

The Crown by Kiera CassThe Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass- Book 25 of 100 was a book that I really wanted to like but couldn’t. The writing was subpar, the plot was stagnant, and the relationships seemed forced. I enjoy Cass’ ideas and dedication to the storyline, but it fell short for me again. The idea is a bachelorette style process to find a king for a future queen. Eadlyn is the daughter of the couple featured in the first series Cass released which I really liked, but this one just didn’t work out. It probably would make a much better film or tv show than books.

 

originals-how-non-conformists-move-the-worldOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant- Book 26 of 100 is a hugely popular book. As good as it was though, it was only minimally inspiring for me. I wanted so much more out of it that it didn’t give. The book talks about how to recognize a good idea, speak up, building alliances, choosing the correct timing and managing fear and doubt. It also touches on how to prepare kids and how leaders can get more from their employees. This all sounds great, but I felt like it only skimmed the surface. Maybe it needs a second read.

 

harry-potter-1Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling- Book 27 of 100 is the first in the Harry Potter series. It is my favorite book series and I decided the time was ripe to read them all again before the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is released July 31st. I love the first novel, showing Harry’s discovery of his magic powers and his introduction into a new world of friends and situations he can control and start to become his own person in. All eleven year olds need to learn how to fight the darkest wizard in history, right?

 

hp-chamber-of-secretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling- Book 28 of 100 is the second in the Harry Potter series. This book makes me laugh because all of the antics and his involvement in the Chamber of Secrets aren’t really required of him- he just has a solving problems thing. These first novels always make me think of how even from a young age he is destined to do what he does and even become an Auror (dark wizard fighter) as an adult.

 

 

no fears no excusesNo Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith- Book 29 of 100 was a fantastic read. This book is basically a kick in the pants to strive for the future you design for yourself. A huge part of the novel is spent on explaining how a person can stop preventing themselves from holding themselves back- and also find not only a good job, but a career that they love. Something they would do if they weren’t getting paid for it. Inspirational.

 

 

hp prisonerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling- Book 30 of 100 is the third novel in the series. Many people count this book as their favorite in the series. It introduces Harry to his godfather, a connection to the past he desperately desires. The plot of this novel steps it up entertainment-wise as they continue to do for the rest of the series. It is incredible to me how J.K. Rowling even from the start of the first novel takes things that happen and tie them into the last novel. Goosebumps.

 

caperThe Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle- Book 31 of 100 was a easy read. Mayle’s books on his personal life are incredible so I decided to pick up one of his fiction stories. This one focuses on a man trying to take another man’s home that falls in love with- through any means he must. It is entertaining listening to how they attempt to stop this from happening, although as a short novel it was hard for the characters to be fully developed, and at times it was confusing as I was listening to it. Overall I enjoyed it, but I prefer his memoirs.

That’s books 17 through 31 of 100! Stay tuned at the end of July for a wrap up of all of the novels I read in the meantime! Read all the reviews here.

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Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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The Selection series by Kiera Cass [ REVIEW ]

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

The Selection series by Kiera Cass which includes ‘The Selection,” “The Elite,” “The One,” and “The Heir” was for me, The Hunger Games meets ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’. The entire series is a feel-good read with an underlying current of YA drama and political and social strife. The novels were predictable and fluffy, but still interesting enough to hold your attention the entire time.

*Fair warning: spoilers ensue!!

Book 1, The Selection: In a caste-based future, Illéa’s Prince Maxon has come of age and needs to marry. Thirty five girls are chosen by lottery to travel to the Capital and live in the palace for a competition in which the prince makes his choice of who to marry. America, a Five in the caste system, doesn’t want to join the Selection because she is in love with Aspen, a Six. (They are not far from the bottom of the caste system). Pressure from both her family and Aspen causes her to relent, and the rest is predictable but entertaining. She’s chosen, goes to the palace, and makes both friends and enemies with the other girls. Prince Maxon is much more than she expected, but she will remain loyal to Aspen. Maybe. She has a (kind of weird) understanding with Maxon to stick around for awhile- he’s intrigued with her, and by her staying her family gets food and money.

Book 2, The Elite: The competition has dwindled to six girls, and it is more real than ever. The stakes are higher- and America’s heart is now pulled between Prince Maxon and the boy she left at home, Aspen. But now Aspen is at the palace serving as a guard. America is falling for Maxon, but is overcome with memories of the life she and Aspen had planned to share whenever she sees him. Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. While she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent (but rather bumbling) rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Book 3, The One: “America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end 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.” So this book is predictable as well- (one should be able to tell from the titles alone what the plot line is). The characters annoy and surprise me as in the first two books, convenient plot lines just happen, and there is no epilogue, grrr. But the ending is SO SWEET. Just know that these books are pure fluff and will not challenge you intellectually. That’s ok though, sometimes that’s just exactly what you need.

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Book 4, The Heir: I checked out the first three novels from the library and read them back to back- not even realizing there would be two more. When I saw this novel, ‘The Heir’ on the new shelves at my local Barnes and Noble I was maybe too excited. Since I hadn’t purchased the first three I immediately put this book on hold at my library too. And waited… and waited… then finally! I got it. This book is funny- but it annoyed me more and less than the first three. I appreciated what it tried to accomplish, but the cliff hanger!! Arggg…

This novel (and the unwritten final book 5) are set twenty years after the first three. They follow the story of America and Maxon’s first born daughter, Eadlyn- the heir to the throne. For much of the book I thought she was a spoiled brat-which was disappointing because of how likable (although indecisive) her mother America’s character was in the first three novels. I’m pretty sure Cass did this on purpose though because in the end she learns and grows. The plot line of the novel is based on Eadlyn (grudgingly) holding her own selection with a selection of boys from the kingdom. Toward the end she actually finds she is starting to like some of the boys, and she starts to see a bigger picture than herself. It’s pure fluff as well, but still. What do you expect?

I cannot wait for the final book in the series to come out next year!!

3-stars-out-of-5

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Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!