I don't usually review picture books, but I'm definitely willing to make an exception for Lemony Snicket's. I'm a huge fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events and have yet to start All the Wrong Questions. When I received The Dark for my 18th birthday (a gift to remember childhood, as my friend put it), I got down to reading it as soon as possible. My sister and I, sat there, side by side, and read the book in five minutes. Both of us being fans of Lemony Snicket, we loved that he had the same, interesting tone when he approached this book for younger children. My sister noted that he placed all the voice of Laszlo and the dark in the light and dark respectively. It's a really cute story about a boy overcoming his fear of the dark. It reminds me so much of the hundreds of picture books I'd consumed growing up, but the illustrations in this one are absolutely gorgeous. It felt amazing to pick up a picture book once again and actually get down to reading it.
Accompanied by adorable and beautiful illustrations, The Dark is one picture book that I feel anyone, young or old, can pick up and love. Lemony Snicket has returned with a lovely book aimed at younger readers, and I'm looking forward to reading more.(less)
If you've read my review of The Selection, you'll know how in love I am with this series. Kiera Cass has reduced me to becoming absolutely OBSESSED with this series– which I am glad for. After I'd read the first book, I wasn't sure of my standing. I didn't know whether to go with Team Maxon, whom I was leaning towards the whole time, or Team Aspen, who I just couldn't let go of. Going into this book was super frustrating. I think it was generally the lack of romance in The Elite. The Selection had a LOT of it (which I was glad for) but this one tamed it down a little, so it was confusing and frustrating, and made me want to tear my hair out with every encounter with Maxon. I have now fully pledged myself to the "Maxon Fan Club" and am a strong supporter. Team Maxon for the win!
I really love how America's character has grown. She's definitely headstrong, and actually has morals (compared to Celeste *shudders*). I loved her fierce determination and her beliefs in what's right. There's a lot in this book that tests America's strength and I'm glad she gets through most of it with a face of confidence. A lot of this book is more about the rebellion that popped up every now and then in the first book, and so there was a lot more information as to how the Selection actually came to be and more about the political tensions and ties that Illéa has with other parts of the country and the world. Also pretty interesting to see the geography of this dystopian world, with places such as New Asia coming up. While I liked that there was a lot more of this background information, I felt that this took a toll on the romance and chemistry between Maxon and America or Aspen and America, BUT it was all a worthwhile cause because it's generating a lot more anticipation for me (and I'm sure fans of this series all over) for the final novel in this series.
Speaking of which... that ENDING. Oh my gosh. Definitely had me fanning myself and clutching my pearls (pshh as if I own any). I am so much more pumped up for The One because there are so many possibilities for the ending... and the cover. I've been reading what people are guessing will happen, but I have no idea. Except that I'm sure it will be as spectacular as the rest of the series and will conclude magnificently. A lot of character changes happen in this book as well. You do get to know the other girls a lot better because the competition has narrowed down to 6 in this book. It's not very pretty sometimes, as things can get quite ugly. We also find ourselves learning more about the King and the Queen in midst of all of this and... I'm going to say much except that it's quite surprising. I'll leave it at that.
❝Usually when we were alone together, I could block out the other girls. But tonight I thought about the possibility of someone else in my place. Just imagining it: someone else in Maxon's arms, making him laugh, marrying him... It broke my heart.❞ –p. 38
•••ATTENTION. I'm sorry to announce that the reviewer has fainted due to the sheer "swoonosity" in this book.•••
Whether you love dystopians, romance, action, politics, princesses, love triangles, rebellion– you have to read this book. Kiera Cass has created this brilliant, engrossing follow-up to a fantastic debut which I'm sure readers will fall in love with as much as I did. The Elite was possibly one of the best second-in-a-series books I've ever read, and has left me desperately clawing for more: The One.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sarah from HarperCollins for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪(less)