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Coming Soon: The Queen by Kiera Cass

PrintTitle: The Queen

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection Novella

Genre: Teen Dystopian (sort of)

Release Date: December 2, 2014

The Overview: Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince…. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

the queen

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

I am on a Selection craze and have been since I picked up the first book over a year ago. As I’m currently savoring The One (the final book in the trilogy) I find myself incredibly sad that the story is coming to an end. This makes me even more excited to check out The Queen when it comes out in December – I simply cannot get enough of this series. Aside from my obsession, I find Amberly’s selection journey to be just as curious as America’s and look forward to finding out more about her. She’s easily  one of my favorite characters!

What book are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: The One by Kiera Cass

15844362Title: The One

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #3

Genre: Teen Romance

Release Date: May 6, 2014

The Overview: The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

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.15844362 2

 Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Nik’s Notes: 

 The other day I was trying to figure out which sequel I’m most excited to read… with all of the amazing books coming out, it surprised me that I’m most looking forward to The One (even over Allegiant and Champion… I know, crazy!). I enjoyed every minute of The Selection, and am still incredibly eager to find out what happens next despite the fact that The Elite delivered an entirely different (although still good) type of story. I sincerely hope it doesn’t let me down, as I have a very long time to wait for it.

 This series is perfect for fans of romantic (rather than edgy) dystopians.

What book are you waiting on?

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Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

16248068Title: The Elite

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #2

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea. America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

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The Review:

I can’t tell you how many reviews for this book I’ve read so far – it seems that almost everybody read it (and loved it) before I did. The Selection was sweet, romantic, and engaging, and I loved the element of competition in a slightly dystopian setting. It was exactly what I was in the mood for – a fun, lighthearted read – and I picked up the second one immediately (which is something I don’t usually do – all you have to do is check out my “Currently Reading” shelf on goodreads to see how scattered I am with books). Anyway, although I liked this one, I don’t feel as though I got what I signed up for.

The first book was lovely. It was breezy, romantic, and fun, and even though I expected a little turmoil to show up in this second book, I wasn’t prepared for the level of stress I felt while reading it. I had to fight the urge to write a story-rant review – and that tells me the author did and exceptional job of getting me emotionally involved. I was so invested in these characters that I wanted to scream at them to stop being such idiots. I have never gotten so worked up about a book and have spent the last month or so trying to figure out why it affected me so much.

And I think I finally figured it out…pacing.

Cass used several different elements to throw angst at me for almost the entire end half of the book. It was subtle and slow building until I was riding the proverbial snowball down the mountain. I kept reading faster and faster to try to get ahead of it, but I never did. I practically begged for her to throw me a bone, and she ignored me. From her author’s note at the end,  I think she did it on purpose… and that pisses me off. At first, I was angry at the story, the characters, and the situations they put themselves in. After a month of reflection, I am now pissed at Cass for writing it well enough to do that to me. It was truly evoking and I have to applaud that.

Overall, this was a very well-done book. It sticks with you long after you’ve finished it… at least it did with me. Even though it is the second book in the series, I feel like each one is drastically different as far as the emotional payoffs (or lack thereof) are concerned. It was an emotional roller coaster and I can’t wait to see what ride I’m getting on next. I will probably pick the third book up the day it comes out.

Recommendations: Because I’ve read so many reviews, I know a lot of people enjoyed the series as much as I did. It’s technically a dystopian, but it’s definitely not the most well-conceived society of the genre. I would recommend it to people who lean more towards the romantic dystopians such as Delirium and Matched rather than the more conceptual ones like Hunger Games and The Fifth Wave.

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by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #1

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: 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.

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The Review:

I picked this one up expecting a light, romantic read and that’s exactly what I got. I knew this would be the perfect book for me because #1 I love competitions (which oddly really was the number one draw) #2 I’m in a dystopian phase #3 my guilty pleasure is The Bachelor (don’t tell anyone, I’ll lose my street cred) and #4 I love sweet love stories. The Selection satiated all those cravings and more… I also really liked the writing style and overall voice.

Interestingly enough, there were lots of elements that evoked images of a watered-down Hunger Games. Something along the lines of “the life and times of the people in the Capitol,” only in this version, the fight to the death is figurative… And over a boy. I found the comparisons fascinating and delighted in the fact that Cass managed to flip it into a lighthearted romance – and as that’s what I was in the mood for, it was perfect.

There wasn’t a whole lot of complexity in the story. Everything was pretty straightforward. So if you’re looking for a well-developed dystopian society where secrets are revealed around every corner, this may not be the novel for you. While I actually liked the hierarchal systems and the post-America histories here, there were a few too many implausibilities for me to take it seriously. That’s okay though, because I didn’t expect it to be profound – I just went with it.

Recommendations: I would mention it in passing to dystopian fans, but would probably hand this to someone looking for more of a romance. Unlike some of the more intense dystopians, I would feel comfortable recommending this to younger teens. This definitely made my “Top 10 Books When you Need Something Light & Fun” list and I liked it so much I’ve already devoured the second book.

by Niki Hawkes

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