The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera CassThe Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 278
Goodreads
four-stars

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Let me start by saying that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the whole Selection series. I adored book one, read it in one sitting. But then the three that followed, including The Heir, were major let downs. HOWEVER, The Crown totally redeemed the series for me. I couldn’t put it down! I read it in less than 24 hours. I also teared up at some points because the emotions became too much.

One of the reasons that I didn’t care much for The Heir is because I despised Eadlyn. She was cold-hearted and entitled. She loved her family but made sure her needs were met before theirs. Eadlyn’s character finally began to evolve in The Crown. Not only does she admit that she’s taken advantage of many of the people in her life, but she actively tries to right those wrongs. She makes a lot of personal sacrifices in The Crown.

The Selection series has never been very dark. Yes, there’s a tad of violence and people do get injured and sometimes killed, but the series has never really focused much on those parts. It’s always been about the characters in a sort of soap opera way. This doesn’t mean it isn’t as compelling; it’s just a different type of dystopian than the others out there.

For instance, Eadlyn is a force to be reckoned with, but not in the way that Katniss and Tris are. She doesn’t kick butt with her hands or weapons, she kicks butt with her words and wisdom. It’s refreshing to have a strong female character who doesn’t physically beat up the bad guys to save the day.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with this last book…? I think it’s the last book/I hope it is because I’m extremely satisfied with how it ended. Sacrifices are made, but in the end Eadlyn makes decisions that end the series on a happy note. There’s some worlds that I want to keep revisiting like Mead’s Vampire Academy series *hint hint*, but The Selection is one that I really hope doesn’t get returned to. I think that it ended with a bang and I’d hate for another spin-off to reverse its progress.

 

four-stars
The Wicked Deep

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan EeAngelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee
Published by Skyscape on August 28th 2012
Pages: 288
Goodreads
five-stars

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood to read a certain book. Angelfall for instance, I bought ages ago, and have now just finally read. When it first arrived, I started reading and got about 5 pages before I stuck Angelfall on the shelf to collect dust. Whether it be a writing style or your current mood, it isn’t always easy to jump right into a new book. More than a year later after purchasing it, I find myself so glad that I finally took another chance on Angelfall because I loved every moment of it. Dark and cutthroat, Angelfall is a twisty and nail biting apocalyptic dystopian that leaves an impression – days after you finish it.

From the official book description: “It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.”

Pen is a very strong and smart character. She’s clever and resourceful and independent. With a (legit) crazy mother, father who is MIA, and a sister who is physically disabled, Pen’s got a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. The angels that descended earth have destroyed the majority of cities and have possibly killed “billions” of people. The few survivors, like Pen and her family, have had to scrounge for food, hop from place to place, fend-off other humans who will attack you just to survive, and of course, avoid the malevolent angels. Pen has grown up fast. She’s the strong one in her little broken family.

When Pen’s little sister is taken by an angel Pen makes a hard decision to put her trust in a looks to be dying Angel. She nurses him back to health.

The relationship between Pen and Raffe is slow building. Pen rightfully doesn’t trust him which is smart considering the world is in ruins, millions maybe billions of people dead because the angels descended.

Raffe and Pen trade witty banter a lot. It’s so funny and cute.

We don’t know much about the angels and their plans. And it turns out neither do they. They don’t know why they attacked the earth and there’s huge power plays being made.

I couldn’t put this book down. Pen is an amazing MC. She’s so vibrant and full of life. She could give Katniss a run for her money.

Ee’s use of grotesque imagery also makes this book even more high-stake and chilling.

five-stars
The Wicked Deep

The House of the Stone (The Lone City #1.5) by Amy Ewing

The House of the Stone (The Lone City #1.5) by Amy EwingThe House of the Stone (The Lone City, #1.5) by Amy Ewing
Published by HarperTeen on July 7th 2015
Pages: 87
Goodreads
four-stars

In The Jewel, we followed Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we'll hear Raven's story and her time as a surrogate for the Countess of the Stone in this digital novella from Amy Ewing.

When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess's palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven's mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape…and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she does matter.

HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

I don’t always read novellas, especially when they are for secondary characters. However, after Violet noticed Raven getting increasingly thin and confused, I needed to find out what was going on.

I thought that Violet was being treated terrible, but her treatment is nothing compared to Raven’s. The Countess of the Stone is evil. Plain and Simple. Raven isn’t just property; she’s “It”. It sleeps on the stone floor in a cage. It gets tiny meals consisting of a red apple slice, three peas and a half of an onion roll. It gets led around with a muzzle and blindfold.

I’m glad I read this novella. It’s short of course but really enlightening. The Lady of the Lake told Violet that there are others out there much crueler than her and now we know who is and how much.

four-stars
The Wicked Deep

The Heir by Kiera Cass

The Heir by Kiera CassThe Heir (The Selection, #4) by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen on May 5th 2015
Pages: 342
Goodreads
three-stars

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

The Heir takes place 20 years after America Singer won the Selection and in doing so, became Maxon Schreave’s queen. Our main character is Eadlyn Schreave, daughter, princess and future queen. She’s the oldest child, with four younger brothers, including her twin who was born 7 minutes later than her. The Heir follows Eadlyn as she navigates the first ever Selection where the competitors are boys.

Eadlyn is an ice queen, which I understand and accept to a certain extent. She was never given the choice to not become queen. She feels like she needs to guard herself and stay distant to be the best queen she can be. However, Eadlyn is also extremely self-absorbed, selfish and at times, cruel. She doesn’t acknowledge that those around her have problems and believes that she is the only one that suffers. I was extremely surprised that Eadlyn was such a horrible person given that her parents are so kind, caring and generous. Don’t get me wrong, Eadlyn loves her family, but she still tends to place her needs first.

I liked the different dynamic that took place – boys instead of girls competing to wed a royal. Eadlyn felt like their were a lot of double-standers which was kind of true, but it’s also clear to see that it’s Eadlyn’s icy ways that are causing undesirable results for the Selection. This particular Selection was created to fix a problem, but I’m not going to spoil what problem… 😉

The Heir was an okay read. I loved book one in this series, The Selection, but I never cared much for the two that followed. I read The Heir in hopes that my excitement from the first book would return, but it didn’t. I’ll read the last book that follows The Heir, but I’m not expecting it to be a slam-dunk.

three-stars
The Wicked Deep

Waiting on Wednesday 9/7/16

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.
This week’s “I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on” pick is: King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard. 

Publication: February 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 448
Here’s the book summary. It’s surprisingly spoiler-free considering it’s the third and potential last book in the series.
In the third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, Mare is forced to play a psychological cat-and-mouse game with an old and deadly enemy, where the stakes are not only the future of the Red Rebellion but the sanctity of her own mind.

Why I’m waiting

I’ve read, raved and reviewed both book one (here) and two (here). This series is X-men meets Game of Thrones meets The Selection – three of my favorite things!