The Selection Review

the selection is set in a dystopian version of the future with the ...

In America’s world, there is a strict class system. At the top of the classes are the Ones, royalty. At the bottom of the classes are the servants. America is in the 5th class with the artists and musicians, but she is in love with Aspen, a 6. She knows that in order to marry him she will also have to become a 6, but she doesn’t care because she loves him. In her kingdom, the prince Maxon is going to have a “Selection” in order to choose his bride. Just by being chosen as one of the 35 girls, America would become a 3. Then she would have the chance of becoming a 1 if she won the contest. She doesn’t want to enter, but both her family and Aspen encourage her to, just to have the chance of a better life. Surprisingly, she is chosen, and she has to go to the castle and compete with girls from all other classes in order to win Maxon’s heart. But in her heart, she only wants Aspen, even if he showed that he wasn’t interested in her anymore after she was chosen.

Okay, so I heard a lot about this book. I heard that this book was awful, that I shouldn’t even give it a second thought, and so I almost didn’t read it. Thank goodness that I read it. I actually read it in about 1 day sometime last month, and then I quickly moved onto the next book. I enjoyed the world, I enjoyed the characters, and I enjoyed the romance. Although it seemed to be a bit cliche, and it was an obvious setup for a love triangle, I did think that it was creative and that the characters had their own individual worth. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a dystopian novel, but who doesn’t mind a slight bit of cliche-ness to it.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Reign the Earth Arc Review

Reign the Earth (The Elementae, #1)

Finally out of my book slump. This book saved me.

Shalia is a 17 year old girl of the desert. She has a friend named Kata, who is an Elementae. She can manipulate water, but the Elementae are being hunted by the current king so she must stay in hiding. Shalia is leaving her home to be married to the king who is persecuting the elementae, but she does not worry for herself as she has no powers. All she hopes to do by marrying him is to be able to stop the war between their peoples and save her family, Kata included. When she finally meets King Calix, she sees that he is handsome, and believes everything that her family has told her about her wedding night being the most magical night, and having it be entrance into a wonderful marriage. However, the night was horrible for her, and she is beginning to think that her life with him will not be as magical as she thought it would be.

As she is starting to feel how guarded and limited her life with him will be, the Resistance begins to attack the royal family. Also, Shalia begins to feel the beginnings of her powers, and she worries how she is going to keep them from her husband.

This book was amazing. There’s no other way to describe it. Shalia is such a strong character, and although she goes through a lot throughout this book, she always keeps her head on straight and her eyes on the prize of peace and freedom for all. Family is a strong theme throughout this book, as her brother Kairos who goes to the castle with her plays a main role in the story, and Galen and Danae, Calix’s brother and sister, are also very important. No part of this book felt dull in the slightest, and all the scenes felt real. I often struggle to visualize things when they are written on paper, and I just overlook that so I can enjoy the book itself. However for this book, visualizing the scenes came easily to me, and that was important as everything was so detailed and beautiful. There is even LGBT representation in this book, which is often overlooked in stories that are supposed to be historically based. I recommend everyone who finds my review interesting to pick up this book when it comes out on January 30, 2018. But if you can’t wait, Goodreads has a giveaway for an arc copy on the page for this book.

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Orchid Caper Review

The Orchid Caper

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Eighteen year old Darlene works for her sister in a thieving business. She has to go on a heist that is supposed to be pretty easy, but then the person who’s house she is stealing from comes home early. She would have been able to hide until the person left the room, but right then the bean burritos she had eaten earlier that morning came back to bite her.

Ian needs someone in order to help him with his own personal heist to get a rare orchid. He doesn’t think he could be able to do it, but then when he caught Darlene in his house, he changes his mind. Instead of turning Darlene in, he decides to hire her to help him on his heist. This kickstarts the story into an amazing adventure full of humor, amazing friendships, and mystery.

I enjoyed this story because it was a very unique and well thought out story about the relationships between strangers who have to work together, and even between siblings. I I love mysteries, but usually they can get boring with just a few chapters in as the story slowly builds up to the climax. However, the fun atmosphere and interesting characters in this story kept me entertained all the way through. I recommend this story to anyone looking for a fresh mystery story for YA readers.

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Maze of Bones Review

The Maze of Bones - Wikipedia

The 39 Clues is yet another series that I used to read quite a lot when I was younger. I loved hearing about Amy and Dan, two orphaned kids in a powerful, rich family, going all over the world to collect clues and solve their family’s great mystery. After not reading the series for over 4 years, I barely remember any of it. So this summer, I hope to get through a good portion of the series again.

The Maze of Bones is the start of the hunt for the clues. Amy and Dan are orphans who live with their horrible Aunt Beatrice who simply gives them nanny after nanny and makes their lives miserable. The only good in their lives family-wise is their grandmother Grace, who lives in a mansion, and their new au pair Nellie, who barely watches them and is generally a cool person. When their grandmother Grace dies, they are invited to a funeral with a bunch of their estranged family members, people who never cared about her and only hope to get some of her money. But instead of giving them a normal will, they are offered either 2 million dollars on the spot, or the chance to be a team in some intricate scavenger hunt where they have the chance to gain a lot more than just 2 million dollars, or the chance to get nothing at all. Since Amy and Dan have nothing to tie them down and know that their aunt would just take their money, they burn the cash and decide to go on the hunt, hopefully to a better life.

Amy and Dan are immediately thrown into a deathly race against their rich relatives, where they learn that their family has been split into 4 different groups and that they must find some of the 39 clues in order to win the race. While they race against the others, traveling from Pennsylvania to France, they learn that their parents may have been more than they seemed, and that more lies inside of them than they could have ever known.

I loved this story so much as a kid. By going back to the beginning, I really don’t like Amy and Dan as much, simply because I was used to seeing them at the end of the series where they had developed much further. However, I did enjoy going back to their roots, when they were clueless kids put into this spy mission type of world, against family members from all backgrounds, and all they had was each other and Nellie to help them. I would advise anyone who hasn’t read this series to do so, but not to judge the first couple of books because there is definitely much more to come down the line and it is a very well done series altogether.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Six Of Crows Review

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Kaz is the leader of a team of criminals, and has been offered quite a large sum of money if he only pulls off a heist that seems impossible. However, he is determined to pull it off for the money. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Wylan, Jesper, and Matthias must go on an adventure to complete this mission and gain the money that they needed.

I don’t want to go into an in depth review for this book. This book was so good to me, that if you haven’t read it, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. There is romance, both heterosexual and homosexual, although neither is graphic or even focused on for the majority of the story. There are characters of all different abilities, ethnic groups , and backgrounds. No one drags the story down however, everyone contributes in their own unique way. The story is told by all six points of view at one point or another. And if you know me, you know I sometimes have problems with certain stories when they are written poorly from more than one point of view. However, in this story that is not the case, as the story is told smoothly from one point of view to  the next.

The story touches on some major issues, such as female exploitation, slavery, and social classes, but it never makes light of any of the issues that it touches on. Bardugo just slips them into the storyline to make you think about it, but never does it disrespectfully or even unnecessarily.

I don’t know why I took so long to read/review this book, I recommend it to everyone.

Overall Rating: 6/5

The Red Pyramid Review

red-pyramid

Carter and Sadie Kane, ages 14 and 12 respectively, do not know each other much at all although they are brother and sister. When they were 8 and 6, their mother got into some sort of accident with their father and she died. Her parents wanted to take both children in, as they blamed Julius for her death, but Julius demanded at least one of his kids and to be able to see the other. So, Sadie lives with her grandparents in London, and Carter travels the world with his father. One Christmas, Carter and Sadie are both with their father for his yearly visitation. However, their father is acting strangely, admits that their mother had died at an Egyptian artifact in London, and takes them to a museum for his work instead of going somewhere normal and Christmas-y. As Carter and Sadie are both very suspicious of their father’s actions, he increases the tension by telling them to lock the curator of the museum in his office so he could access the Rosetta Stone privately. He tells them to stay out of the room, but they sneak in and end up seeing what he was really doing.

He makes the Stone explode, and instead of summoning Osiris he summons Set, the god of Chaos. Set captures their father, some strange people seemingly save Carter and Sadie, and Carter and Sadie are taken into the custody of the police. Never to fear, Amos, the Kanes’ uncle, whisk them away from the police and their grandparents into the world of Egyptian magic, and take them from London to Brooklyn, New York.

It has been a while since I had read this book. The last time I remember it, I was listening to it on audiobook as I went to sleep as something relaxing to do. Needless to say, it wasn’t that relaxing, and I found myself more often than not staying up an extra few minutes to listen to the story. However, by falling asleep listening to the story, I remembered some parts of it as I was re-reading it now, and could read the whole story in everyone’s “voices” just from the memory of it.

I loved this story more than the Percy Jackson series at the time because I was closer to the age of the characters and this gave me a GIANT book to read with characters my own age. Now I am 3 years older than Carter was in this book, and so the little romantic tidbits and bad jokes sometimes seem boring to me now, but I remember reading it when I was 11 and 12 and thinking that it was the best book ever. Now I think of it fondly, but I do see why some people thought it was boring or disliked it.

The story is pretty action packed in some parts, but in order to enjoy the story you have to get through the pages when nothing really happens or they are just exploring a secret room and no one is doing anything. I feel as if this will improve as the story goes on, but I did find it to be dragging a bit in some places. I do not know if there were any historical errors in the story as I do not know much about Egyptian mythology, but I thought that Rick Riordan did a great job of giving each of the Egyptian gods mentioned in the story their own personalities.

One thing I did like in the story was that there were no good for nothing characters. As I am reading the Percy Jackson series, sometimes I just get annoyed with Grover and how he seemed to slow things down more than he seemed to help. However, even though Carter wasn’t the most athletic, and Sadie didn’t know much about the mythology, no one seemed to be the brunt of the joke or the character who slowed everyone else down. Everyone in the story pulled their weight in their own way, and that’s what I loved about it.

Overall, if you haven’t read this book series yet, I advise you to take some time this summer to read it. It is definitely worth your while.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Double Book Sale Book Haul!

So, while I won’t do a book haul right now for all the books that I got in the past month, as I went a bit crazy at a school book sale right as school ended so I got a lot more books than I was expecting. However, I went to a thrift store yesterday and bought some books there, and I went to a random book sale in a park (where they had free ice cream btw!!) and bought a couple of books there. In the next few days I will gather my school book sale books together to do that post, and then when I do my belated birthday bookstore visit next week I will do that post as well.

Thrift Store Books

So at the store these books were 50 cents apiece (and in great condition!) so since I always wanted to read this series I decided to pick it up.

DEEP_BLUE_jacket_front

This book was a dollar and a hardcover, and normally I wouldn’t just pick a book up without a reason (actually let me not lie, I would make up a reason) but I literally just picked this book up because of the cover. I love mermaids and mermaid stories, and this book just looked so beautiful.

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card | Hai Tech Eric

Literally just picked this up because of the author, but hey it’s the third book in the Ender’s Game series! Literally just found it out while hunting for a semi-decent pic. So now I have the first three books in the series. Fun!

Entwined by Heather Dixon: Review | Emily's Reading Room

Another hardcover, another book that I picked up for a buck simply because the cover looked beautiful. In this picture the silver vines look a bit too bright, but in person they are toned down and rather a beautiful touch.

Random Park Book Sale!

Title: A School for Brides

If you can’t read what it says at the top, it says “They are looking for husbands…in a town that has no men!” If that isn’t a hilarious premise, I don’t know what is. Picked it up for a buck!

Tracked (Tracked, #1) by Jenny Martin — Reviews, Discussion ...

This book is about a girl who lives in a dystopian society where racing is a high stakes sport and is very dangerous (?). I picked it up because it looked awesome. The cover looks even cooler in person.

Becoming Darkness

This book is another dystopian tale where Hitler released a virus that killed certain people and saved those who had a certain gene by turning them into vampires. Again, bought because of an interesting cover.

Thanks for reading!

The Wrath and the Dawn Review

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Khalid, the 18 year old king, has a habit of marrying his wives in the afternoon, taking them to bed that night, and killing them in the morning. One of these brides happened to be sixteen year old Shahrzad’s best friend, and she is determined to get revenge on Khalid for her and the other brides who were murdered before her. However, once she gets to the castle, she is brought to bed with Khalid, but as she is leaving she decides to tell him a story. Leaving the story on a cliffhanger, she tempts him into allowing her to live for once more day in order for her to continue the story.

She befriends her maid, the cousin of Khalid, and the more she stays there the more she realizes that there might be more to Khalid that the murdering psychopath that he seems to be. She even finds herself falling for the troubled boy against her will, and wonders how she is going to follow through with her original plan of killing him. Her old friend Tariq, also brother of the best friend who was killed, is desperate to find her and save her from Khalid before she comes to the same fate.

I enjoyed this book, not only because of the compelling plot and the unique characters, but because of the plot twist that occurred near the end of the story. Although there was a bit of a love triangle in the book, but it didn’t interfere with the plot much as it still focused on Shahrzad and Khalid, not Shahrzad and Khalid. My favorite character was most likely the maid of Shahrzad and Shahrzad herself, simply because the maid gave Shahrzad the friendship she needed during her time in the castle and also had an interesting story that I enjoyed to follow throughout the duration of the book. Although this book is technically supposed to be a retelling, I didn’t feel much of a retelling vibe, it felt like a unique story within itself. Altogether, a wonderful book, I definitely recommend it.

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Wicked Will Rise Review

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2)

Amy Gumm failed to kill Dorothy in the previous book, and with everyone having to go into hiding she has less people on her side than ever. Now Amy must go on a journey to take back all the things that the wizard gave Dorothy’s former friends/current employees. She must retrieve the Lion’s courage, the Scarecrow’s brains, and the Tin Man’s heart. Only then can she kill Dorothy. This journey will lead her deeper into Oz, into places that the magic has not been drained as much, and teach her more about the world of magic. Amy must learn how to control the magic around her, and how to control the magic that now lies within her.

I enjoyed this book a lot more than Dorothy Must Die. I didn’t dislike Dorothy must Die, but I felt that in this book Amy grew a lot more than she had in the previous one. She used the relationships that she had made in the previous novel to her advantage in order to find her missing friends, but instead of being the “Trainee” that was constantly in danger as she was in the previous book she really came into her own in this story. She wasn’t reliant on anyone for most of it but used their hints and tips in order to find her own way through Oz to her friends. Her romance with Nox definitely grows in this story, but I don’t think that it was overpowering it and I don’t believe that cutting it out would have made the story better. I will leave things here as I hope that you all will go and read this amazing series for yourself!

Overall Rating: 5/5

What Have I Been Up To?

Heylo guys! It is the beginning of July, summer is underway, and I have been kinda absent on my blog. What has happened is that I have become entirely tired of reading. I dunno WHAT will get me out of this horrible slump, but I have not wanted to read any of my books lately. Just letting them expire on my digital library account and sit in the boxes that I bought them in. I even went to a school book sale and got a lot of ARC books and used books, and had books given to me by a teacher that I wanted to post about. However, I just have not been interested at all. Nevertheless, this blog will not die! Instead of reading books, I have been playing many, MANY video games. Even some that were from the movies of books. So I will be making many reviews of games I am either playing now or games that I have played in the past. On top of that I will be catching up on my old book reviews that were supposed to be done.