Friday Finds (1): The Selection by Kiera Cass

After reading about The Elite by Kiera Cass on the Great Munchie Reads blog, i was pretty much immediately drawn to add the first book, The Selection, on my (ever growing) to read pile.

 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. – From Goodreads

 

 

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Review: The Statistical Probably of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it. – From Goodreads

I absolutely love how adorable this book is. Everything moves a little too fast though sometimes it is just how it is, right? 24 hours might seem like a long time and that’s just what happens in this book. The writing is vivid, full of feeling and there are many sort of flashbacks to drive the point and emotions of the characters.

At first i thought, “Wow 24 hours seems a little too fast to fall in love with someone” but even that would seem like a long time if you put aside all the pretenses and actually open up to someone. Having the story set at the airport is very cute too, considering the many people who come in and out of airports daily. I like how both of the main characters hit it off easily, somewhat proving the fact that when you see someone you’ll immediately know how your relationship would be like. No pretentious facades, just wholehearted and occasionally funny conversation through and through.

Who knows who you’ll meet the next time you board a flight? A future good friend or maybe a love story might just start sprouting there 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday (1): Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

First time participating on a meme! Today’s pick is from one of my favourite YA authors, Jennifer L. Armentrout and it’s none other than the 4th book of the Covenant series…Apollyon!

Not only does the cover make me drool (look at it, it’s oozing sexy and awesome!) but the Covenant series is one of my current favourites! It’s previous book, Deity which i had just read and reviewed a couple of days ago has left me wanting for so much more. April 2013 seems like a punishment for wanting it so much!

Alex is now 18… and nothing will ever be the same again. War is coming, and when the gods are involved, no one is safe. – From Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine!

Coverlust (1)

Judging the book by it’s cover may be by far the worst way to pick a book but let’s face it, it’s the first thing we see. It’s the literary equivalent of  “first impressions aren’t everything”. Even so, most of the time the goodies come wrapped in a delicious cover and we just can’t help but pick it up! Here’s my picks of releases for November with eye-catching covers! Click the links to be forwarded to their respective Goodreads page and hope you like this week’s picks!

Black City– Simple title typography, contrasting colours that match really good, what more can you ask for!

Eternally Yours- I know covers with pretty girls seem to be the cliche in YA but the whole combination with the vertical title typography makes it work really well 🙂

Refuge– There’s a certain gloom that inhabits the cover, add to that the way it’s been processed and the font used for the title conveys a mystery!

The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart– The usage of the frame with those fancy borders gives this book cover a really “english” feel, not to mention the girl’s back is towards the reader which is kind of uncommon!

 

Review: Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

“History is on repeat, and things didn’t go so well the last time. ”

Alexandria isn’t sure she’s going to make it to her eighteenth birthday–to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she’s a goner… and so is Aiden.

If that’s not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time “training”–which really is just Seth’s code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time–she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she’s caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed… and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate… – From Goodreads

HOLY. DAIMON. BABIES. Jennifer Armentrout you are one great writer.

There aren’t enough words to string perfectly all the emotions i felt throughout the book. It was even so painful to stop reading for other…normal daily things to be done because i really really want to know what’s gonna happen next.

This is probably the best Covenant book yet. It answers so many things and opening up new questions in it’s place. It shows the bizarre dynamics of a clash of personalities, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships and so much more. Not to mention bigger things start happening (Apollo, Hades being HOT, Artemis being such a BAMF and Poseidon and his anger issues) around them and people are starting to show which side they’re supporting.

I can’t wait for the next book, i’m probably gonna die of booklust now. My heart has officially been ripped apart and put together again, by this book.

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs – and wants – to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the most-eligible college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charm, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has finally met his match. – From Goodreads

Wow.

Seriously not what i expected at all. Travis and Abby didn’t seem like the kind of people who’d get along at first but you can see how much Travis gets drawn to Abby and her to him as the story progresses. It conveyed a semi-realistic, not always relatable college atmosphere, but i like it anyways.

The dynamics between the relationships of the characters were also interesting, considering Travis seems to be ticked off by random things, sometimes i thought he was borderline. His initial “fixation” to Abby didn’t really help in changing my perspective of him. Abby’s inability to keep her decisions for a long time seems to parallel how most women go back and forth with their decisions and in this case, it’s good for their relationship since she too seems to have a one-track mind. It helps her, and the other characters explore the consequences of their actions.

I wouldn’t say Abby was gullible, but i would’ve liked her more if she wasn’t so easily swayed, or were firm and honest with her intentions. Overall, it’s a good read 🙂

Review: Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

There is need. And then there is Fate
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her.
When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude or killing her.
When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone. – From Goodreads

OHMYDEARGOD

This has been sitting on my shelf for so long and i insanely regret not pushing through the first couple of pages because…that was so awesome! That was even more a roller coaster of emotions than the first book, and i loved it! And the writing is superb- detailed yet clear, just enough to actually convey the exact things.

Alex’s hot-headed and impulsive personality makes her a far from perfect lead, but that just gives her more density as a character. Her reactions were pretty realistic, especially the part where she turned to Seth when she felt rejected by Aiden. This book really made it difficult to choose between Aiden and Seth, their personalities just seemed to clash and they way they handle Alex are just so different. Yet you know they care about her all the same, despite Alex leaning more to Aiden and seem to be settling with Seth.

There was a balance with all the elements, it’s just so damn good. Alex mourning over Caleb’s untimely and unfortunate death was done just right, and her disobeying orders and actually fight alongside the people she cared for was just so like her. This isn’t just about Greek Mythology for me, i like how the book manages to touch other issues like unfair segregation of the Hematoi (pures/halfs). It almost parallels with real-world issues.

Overall, i absolutely love love LOVE this and i can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

Review: Timeless by Alexandra Monir

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives. – From Goodreads

I like reading books from authors who i haven’t heard of before, and i certainly did not “plan” on falling in love with Alexandra Monir’s Timeless. Some parts of the writing were a little standoffish for a lack of a better word, but i’m guessing that’s just to specifically detail the enormity of things it was describing. The use of “Windsor” was a little cliche but i tried not to pay any attention to that since it really conveys the whole historically and financially rich family image.

At first i wished there were more times for Philip to show Michele around, maybe compound their deepening relationship more and then i realized Michele has been dreaming about Mystery Man/Philip for a long time. When she traveled back in time for the first time, i literally had to hold my breathe in! The details were plenty and marvelous, eloquently written as well. The going-back-and-forth between past and present were exciting, and Michele made complete use of her time there and occasionally uncovering things on her own. I also like the efforts of inserting science into this.

There are so many things left unanswered. I’m so curious as to how Michele manages to pop into the times where she needs to be. I wish the next book explored this more and by that i simply can’t wait for Timekeeper to come out.

Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night–but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. – From Goodreads

Genre: Mature Young Adult/ New Adult

My first Tammara Webber book and i’m not disappointed. I always have high hopes when reading my first book of an author and this one was just excellent. Tammara Webber’s writing is relaxed but descriptive, very contemporary indeed.

Easy not only explores Jacqueline’s own personal experiences, with her friends and relationships but as well as real issues like rape. It starts out heavy, introducing many central characters and issues all at once and then lightening up, only to get caught in a pace again. I really like the incorporation of different fields of study and the Greek societies. As for the rape, considering it’s a very serious offense, Tammara Webber has managed to convey it’s horrid nature in a classy manner.

This book really blew me off the roof, because aside from the things i have already mentioned it’s also what i didn’t expect it to be. From the summary i assumed it would be angst-filled, cover to cover but fortunately Tammara Webber has managed to keep that on a tasteful amount as well. Some of those personal issues hit close to home.

Easy’s realism and captivating story makes it a wonderful read.

5/5

Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle’s life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle’s kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she’s terrified. Surely it’s safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself–and for the love that keeps her holding on. – From Goodreads

This is the first book that i have read from Susane Colasanti and i’m certainly not disappointed, her writing style certainly appealed to the entire feel of the story.

The story begins with Noelle’s inner monologue regarding the things in her surroundings, mainly one Julian who she has been crushing on. With this kind of start, you’d think Julian would have more impact on the story than what was presented but, in all honestly i’m kind of glad that it didn’t. I’m glad that focused a little less on her relationship with Julian and Sherae and a little more on her relationship with herself. Noelle has a strong, positive spirit and not the perfect, goody-two-shoes i would’ve disliked. The imperfections in her thoughts, her personality and her actions leading up to the end of the story just made her more realistic, more relatable.

Another thing that i liked was the exploration and eventual confrontation with her mother, which, though abrupt and seemed a little underdone, was a good path to take and now that major aspects of her life seemed to have turned out for the better then she can start working the tangles out slowly. (How i wish all cases were that easy)

So, lessons learned: Most of the time we can’t change how people interact with us, but we can change how we let them affect us, that we have to take charge of our own happiness and instead of letting the bad things throw us down, we need to keep holding on to what’s good.