Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Selection by Kiera Cass


Synopsis (via Goodreads):

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.

My Review:

I saw a lot of positive reviews for this book, so I decided to give it a try. (The cover is so pretty!) Worst mistake ever.

I had high hopes for this book at first. The first couple of chapters wre great, and then everything went downhill from there. The only reason why it got two stars was because of America's strong personality and the breathtaking cover.

First off:
Although I loved America's dislike for the fancy and care for her servants, I found myself frowning at her actions. Everything she did was awkward, and she always put herself down.
America thinks she is average-looking, yet she is pretty enough to be chosen.
"If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely."-Maxon

Maxon is a nice breath of fresh air- he's an awkwardly shy prince, but that's what makes him so lovable  he's not like those other asshole princes who expect every girl to be in love with them. The way he fell in love with America was quite realistic but I didn't like their interactions very much.
America knees him in the balls for trying to be nice, and the next day, they're BFFs.
How did this happen?
Maxon also appears to be very uptight, but is actually an unsure baby on the inside.

The world that Cass built was beautifully written, but had too many loopholes. She never explained how the world became that way, and did not elaborate enough on the caste system. 
WHY? I felt that if Cass had focused on the world-building a bit more, her novel could have been MUCH better.

95% of the novel was America struggling to sort out her feelings for Maxon and Aspen. HELLO? Does it really take THREE books for America to finally find the guy she loves? I HATED the love triangle. After Aspen crushed her love and hopes, America still was unsure of her feelings. "Hey, let's just kiss my ex-boyfriend when I just kissed this prince that I am supposed to make fall in love with me."

I am definitely not reading the next two books, and I have lost all interest in fantasy novels for now.

Thank you for ruining my whole month. I will now go back to reading dystopian novels and give up on romance-centered novels.

Two chocolates...

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi


Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die. In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.
This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

Goodreads link:

My Review:

WOOT! Kahlia, you are SUCH a boss!

The Drowned Cities is an AMAZING novel. The plot is basically about Mouse and Mahlia, two best friends living in a war-torn world where they only have each other to rely on. The two are disliked for being half Peacekeeper, and find no kindness from others except for a kind old doctor. Tool is a half-breed, half human and half beast. His survival instincts often override his human emotions in the beginning, and he has loyalty to no one but himself. The soldier boys are ruthless men who kill without a second thought- only strongest survive.

The novel starts out with Tool escaping from his prison. He has no desire to serve humans as a war tool. The soldier boys are dispatched to find him, and eventually stop at where Kahlia and Mouse are living. 
Kahlia is a young, war-hardened girl who is missing a hand. She is strong, and never backs down- earning the eventual loyalty of Tool.

Ocho is a soldier boy that Kahlia saves, and eventually returns that favor.
As I read the book, I couldn't help but think that there was implied future romance between Kahlia and Ocho. If there is, I will SHIP THEM FOREVER. :D

I loved the world building that Paolo Bacigalupi built- a war hardened world is a merciless one. He isn't afraid to kill off any of the characters. His descriptions of the inner turmoil of his characters really emphasize the cruelty of war. We definitely don't want America to become like this in the future.

Although I was a bit upset at Bacigalupi for killing off Mouse at first, I realized at the end that it was crucial for Mouse to die in order for Mahlia to mature further. What can I say? Mahlia is just badass.
Eating raw meat? 
Hanging out with a guy who can kill you at any time?
Having four fingers and surviving in a war-torn world?

Really. This was just amazing. Mahlia has now become one of my favorite strong female heroines. 

Great book, and awesome action! Recommended for those looking for a fast-paced action novel to read.

4 Chocolates! :D