So I have just finished reading The One, the third and final book on the Selection series. I liked the first one and the second practically made me seSo I have just finished reading The One, the third and final book on the Selection series. I liked the first one and the second practically made me see red, so I was unsure about what to expect from this. Overall, I pretty much got exactly what I suspected would happen. Not what I wanted by any means, but what I expected. The cover of this is gorgeous. The model isn't posed oddly, and the color of her dress doesn't clash miserably with her hair. This time, it's completely perfect. If only I could say the same about the story hiding behind the cover. That's not to say it doesn't have a couple of redeeming qualities, but is it worth it to read this entire set of books? My answer is: maybe. I'm going to do this in list format.
What I didn't like:
- America acted completely out of character in the beginning by so blatantly trying to seduce Maxon. Up until this point, everything between them was fairly chaste. So reading about her being so obvious was almost painful to read. She should have just talked to him.
- If these characters sat down like adults and discussed things instead of throwing childish fits every three pages, there might have been a lot less misunderstandings. Half the time, whatever was wrong could have been solved with a simple conversation and it was maddening waiting for somebody to SAY SOMETHING.
- The writing isn't bad, it's actually kind of addictive in its own way, but it kind of has this middle grade feel to it. Everything is just extremely simple. It definitely feels like it could be directed at young teens, like 13-15 maybe.
- I still firmly believe that the setting in this story would have made a lot more sense if it had been set in its own world rather than the USA (or what's supposedly left of it in the future). It makes no sense that we would eventually become a monarchy. And in all honesty, I don't feel like the world ever came together very well.
- I like America and Maxon together when they're happy. But they almost always seem to jump to bad conclusions about each other if given the slightest reason. That or they storm off and proceed to ignore each other for a while. I can't help but feel like that's going to be a major problem for them in the future.
- The pacing is off. The first half was just okay, but nothing really happens until the second half.
- Everything happens really fast in the end, like a movie stuck on fast forward. I really hated the way Cass choose to kill off the King and Queen - the former especially - because it felt like a cop out. He was the only thing in the way of Maxon's and America's blissful wedding and suddenly he's conveniently gone. And though Celeste also dies, very little thought is put into it by America or anyone else. I was beginning to like Celeste, but when you kill of a major character and then make it feel so completely emotionless, it kind of ruins the affect.
- The epilogue is insanely cheesy. A part of me thought it was nice, but mostly I was annoyed. All their problems were solved way too easily.
- A lot of things are left unsaid. What happens with the rest of the southern rebels, and with the Italians?
- This happy ending is completely and totally false. The country is still in a state of unrest, and Maxon and America are not the most experienced or mature people. I see lots and lots of martial issues between them.
- I don't understand why the love triangle was so played up in this series. Aspen is almost never around, and America never seriously considers getting back together with him. Even in The Elite when she was constantly going back and forth, I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen. So the suspense in that aspect fell flat.
- Nothing in this book (or series) surprised me much. It's almost painfully predictable.
- Why was the epilogue in present tense while the rest of the story was written in past? It felt like a really random change.
- I like how Celeste became kinder before she died. And the friendship between all the girls was nice (despite the fact that it was still creepy to have them all dating the same guy).
- America is still not the sharpest tool in the shed, but she's not as indecisive and I didn't hate her quite as much. In fact, there were moments when I thought she was brave.
- I still like Maxon quite a bit. He's also incredibly frustrating and I'm not sure he'll be a good King, but as a normal teenage guy he's pretty awesome.
-Despite how rushed and careless the ending was, it's still the only book with a real climax, so that's appreciated.
I won't lie: I actually had fun reading this series despite its many many faults. It's not one I would go out of my way to recommend, and I definitely warn you not to expect greatness, but they're decent for pure dramatic entertainment....more
When I picked up The Selection about a week ago, I wasn't expecting to like it. Based off a few reviews it seemed to contain a lot of elements I wouldWhen I picked up The Selection about a week ago, I wasn't expecting to like it. Based off a few reviews it seemed to contain a lot of elements I would hate. But I actually ended up enjoying it, surprisingly. I definitely had some issues with the story, but I enjoyed it for what it was because my expectations weren't that high. I pretty much thought The Elite would be similar. In many ways, it was.
These books are very easy to read. They're short, and though the writing isn't stellar, it works just fine and I could read them both in one sitting (or two) apiece. But my main problem with the Elite was that it seemed to take everything I thought was wrong with the Selection and multiply it by two. These issues are the following:
(1) America Singer. This girl has to be the most infuriating protagonist I have read in a long time. At first, she was merely a bit irritating. But in this sequel I pretty much hated her. Her only redeeming quality was her desire to rid the world of its unfair chaste system. She constantly flip-flops back and forth between Maxon and Aspen. And she was like a broken record, repeating the same thing over: "I need more time." I could have accepted that maybe once, but about the eighth millionth time it happened I could not stop rolling my eyes.
(2) For a series so focused on the love triangle, it seems incredibly one-sided. The only time America goes to see Aspen is when Maxon is A) Gone or B) Fighting with her. She strings Aspen along, and I thought that was pretty cruel because I never really felt like he was going to win. Though why he'd want to is beyond my ability to fathom in the first place.
(3) It was difficult to take the King and Queen seriously when their palace was being attacked every other day by rebels. They either need to up palace security or move away. They just don't feel like very strong figures of authority, which is disappointing because apparently the King is now a villain.
(4) I get why the rebels were taking books based off the plot, but you'd think they'd stop off in the kitchen for food since they were supposed to be starving.
(5) And one instance in particular I wanted to mention: America gets really angry with Maxon upon finding him kissing another girl in the competition, but it was hard to feel sorry for her. Maxon has basically been asking America for a commitment since the end of the last book but she won't give him an answer.
The best thing about this book is the prince. I genuinely like Maxon and think he's pretty sweet. I just really wish he had a better love interest. Though this book irritated me immensely, I have invested enough time in the series as a whole to want to finish it. I might as well see who she picks in the end. And I may be just a little bit in love with these covers.
I was anxiously awaiting this book from the moment I first read the summary. I wanted a story with a nicely developed, complex magical world. I wantedI was anxiously awaiting this book from the moment I first read the summary. I wanted a story with a nicely developed, complex magical world. I wanted a conflicted main character with a lot of internal struggle, yet was still relateable. And part of me hoped there would be romance as well. Ironically, I think I got half of what I wanted from Half Bad. The cover is stunning, but it took me a while to see the outline of the face.
- The writing is actually pretty good. I wouldn't mind reading more of Ms. Green's work for that reason alone. - The concept is great. I enjoyed learning about the white and black witches. - The side characters were cool. Gabriel in particular was very sweet. - Despite the issues I had with Half Bad, overall I liked it and I'll be reading the sequel.
The Bad: - My biggest issue was the pacing. There was a ton of foreshadowing throughout this novel, and I felt like it didn't really deliver all I was expecting it to. It seemed to drag on in places and I got a bit bored. - Personally, I have always found second person narration extremely annoying, so those chapters didn't really work for me. - I didn't dislike Nathan, but I felt like he overreacted sometimes. For instance, he throws furniture at his teachers in school in order to get expelled. - I wish the love interest, Annalise, had more personality. She was almost a pointless character. - For a book about witches, there was surprisingly little amount of magic. I felt like the author was telling us about all the potions and spells and all that but hardly showing. And honestly, the white witches were just as bad as the black ones....more
I have literally written two long and thoughtful reviews for this book, but the first time it didn't save and the second Goodreads randomly stopped woI have literally written two long and thoughtful reviews for this book, but the first time it didn't save and the second Goodreads randomly stopped working on my phone. So I'm kind of burnt out at the moment. In a few words, Prisoner of Night and Fog is awesome....more
It was easier for me to immediately get into the central story in this one, mainly because Harry has stopWarning: Spoilers are present in this review
It was easier for me to immediately get into the central story in this one, mainly because Harry has stopped being as moody as he was in the Order of Phoenix, and that in itself made me like the sixth installment in this series more. I think that The Half Blood Prince might be my favorite one so far (just behind it is The Prisoner of Azkaban). I can't really say why, but there was something that kept me so immersed in it that I had to stay up late to finish. That's not to say that the others don't possess the same quality - but even so, I felt it more here. It could just be the fact that I enjoyed the subplots more.Normally I don't like it when there's a lot of memories and flashbacks in a book, but J.K. Rowling unfolds everything so skillfully as always, and learning about Voldemort's past was quite interesting to me. I suppose he had a bad childhood, so that could have contributed to his evilness, but overall I think he's just crazy. It also answered something that had been puzzling me since the beginning of the Goblet of Fire - I didn't get how three Riddles were murdered in their big house. But with the explanation midway into the novel it all made sense. I've learned to just go with the flo when it comes to the Harry Potter books, knowing that eventually I'll have no more questions to ask.
I always felt like Harry was right to keep such a close eye on Draco throughout his sixth year at Hogwarts, especially after everything he heard on the train. I found it a little odd that Ron and Hermione dismissed Harry's serious suspicions about Draco so easily with the evidence that steadily kept piling up. I was surprised at the turn his character took, honestly. He's always been a pest, yes, and definitely a worthy enemy of Harry's, ever since the first book. Still, I was sad when he started working with the Death Eaters, and by the end of HP number six, I felt really bad for him. He probably felt like he had no choice, what with his whole family being on Voldemort's side. That doesn't excuse his actions, though. I'm curious to see what will become of him in the last one.
I can honestly say that the HP books have the best secondary characters of any series I've ever read (and that's quite a statement, coming from me. I like to think I've read a lot.) Almost all of them have made some kind of impression on me, whether they were good or bad. For example, I kind of love Luna, even though she hasn't been around a whole lot, and was just introduced in the last book. She may be a little odd, but she has this open way of stating things; I'm really hoping for some kind of happy ending for her. All the Weasleys will always have a special place in my heart. I was, however, kind of surprised by Harry's feelings for Ginny. They seemed to spring up very suddenly. I mean, they've known each other for over five years and he just now realizes that she's pretty and awesome. I got used to it after a while, but I kind of wish the relationship had a little more development. I was really disappointed at first because Ginny was really quiet, and as close to a flat character as you can get in the HP books.
But she actually showed some personality here, much more fiery than before. I was annoyed when Harry broke up with her at the end. It was obvious that Voldemort would use whoever Harry cared about against him, but he could just as easily use Ron or Hermione, and I didn't see him ditching them. In both the books and the movies, I have seen tiny hints of feelings between Ron and Hermione. I think that they came out a lot more in this one. It was obvious after Hermione's temper tantrum with the birds when Ron got together with Lavender (who was extremely annoying). On one hand I felt kind of bad for the both of them, but on the other I've gotten to the point where I'm just really frustrated with their dance-around-the-feelings thing. I think they're pretty cute together, though I do wonder sometimes what made Rowling decide not to put two of her main characters together.
The most heart-stopping, punch in the gut was definitely the end when Dumbledore died. I had some suspicion of it happening based off some comments I'd read in some reviews, but I was hoping against hope I was wrong and it wouldn't happen. I had come to care for him so much as a character in this series that I was simply devastated upon reading about his demise. I actually had to put the book aside for a few minutes so I could cry about it; he was so wise and friendly, yet so powerful. I didn't expect Draco to be the one to kill him in the tower based on the way he was already acting (he was crying earlier in the bathroom, after all), but I also didn't think Snape would be the one to do it. Obviously I've always disliked him for his behavior towards Harry, but I was hoping he had really changed (though maybe some part of me thought he didn't, even though five years had gone by without him murdering Harry). And the fact that Snape was the Half Blood Prince? I probably should have seen that coming, what with all the advice he gave coming out of a Potions book, but I really didn't. I still don't feel like I completely understand Snape's character, but as of now I hate him for killing Dumbledore. This book was an excellent set-up for the final chapter, and though I want to put off reading it because it's the last one, I know I won't because I just have to see how this all ends immediately....more
So far 2014 has been the year of series conclusions. So many were coming out in January and February that containing mPre-Review:
So far 2014 has been the year of series conclusions. So many were coming out in January and February that containing my excitement was hard. I liked Everneath, but not as much as everyone else seemed to. Its sequel, Everbound, was another story entirely. It was the book that made me love the series and connect with the characters. The plot, the action, the sucker-punch ending and practically everything else about it was just amazing. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I was excited to pick up Evertrue. The covers for this series are just gorgeous, though I think that the first dress is the most beautiful.
I was all set for major stuff to happen. Nikki was pissed and determined at the end of Everbound to blow up the Everneath and everyone in it. I was happy that she never seemed to lose her determination to make that happen. In all honesty, it felt a little wrong since she was basically committing genocide to an entire race of beings. Still, these beings kill people on a regular basis. Nikki will always be a protagonist I will love. She admits it when she makes really bad choices, but at the same time she's good at sticking to her guns. For example, she loves Jack. She always has loved Jack. I could never really think of this story as a love triangle because it was always obvious who she was going to choose in the end. She has a shaky sort-of friendship going on with Cole, but she never seems to develop any sort of strong romantic interest in him.
I loved diving back into this world, because Ashton made everything seem so vivid. I will definitely always look back on my time with these books fondly. Overall, I'm pretty sure that Evertrue was a good conclusion to this series. I loved the writing and the pacing was excellent; not once did I want to put it down. I really appreciated being able to see Jack and Nikki interact in the present, because it feels like in the past all we ever saw of them were flashbacks. Sadly, I never really developed intense feelings for Jack. I think he's a good character, but for some reason he lacks personality. I understood that he was a good fit for Nikki, but I wish I shipped them more as a couple.
I was have always been particularly interested in Cole. You never know for sure what his true motives were or how deep his feelings for Nikki actually run. Ultimately, he wanted to rule the Everneath; he's sneaky and scheming and charming. He's always been my favorite character in this series. I didn't really like the amnesia he had for most of the book. He turned into a completely different person and it was like having a stranger around. It was also a little too convenient for the plot. The big show down at the end with Nikki and the queen was a bit too rushed - it felt like it was too easy. In fact, the whole taking-down-the-Everneath thing seemed that way. It's made out to be impossible, but these four somehow find a way. I was prepared to give it a much lower rating for that reason alone, but the last few chapters really tore me apart. Although I am not at all happy about a certain event that took place, I liked how it redeemed a character. I actually got a little teary, and I wasn't expecting it at all. Maybe I should just used to authors writing (view spoiler)[main character deaths. My poor, poor Cole (hide spoiler)], because it seems like it's happening more and more often.
I was pretty excited to get this from my library since I read and enjoyed the first novel in the series, Everneath, quite a bit. I wasn't as crazy aboI was pretty excited to get this from my library since I read and enjoyed the first novel in the series, Everneath, quite a bit. I wasn't as crazy about it as some other people (I've seen endless five star reviews for it), but I was definitely interested in checking out the rest of the books. This is actually one of those very rare times when I liked the sequel better than the first one, which really surprised me. And, by the way, whoever designs these covers should seriously get some kind of award for being awesome. Just saying. Maybe the model wearing a dress doesn't really make sense paired with Nikki's character (I mean, she never really had a reason to wear a dress in Everbound, did she?), but at the same time I love how both the red and black dresses blend into the smoke.
Upon opening the book, I was immediately greeted with a map of the Everneath, which got me super excited to read it. I love it when we're given maps to look at to get a better idea of the world within the pages of a book, and having one here was very appropriate. I thought Ashton did an excellent job in just describing the Everneath, but at the same time, I was glad it was there. They just add personality and realness and . . . yeah. I just love them. Moving on. I still love the concept for these books. Greek mythology isn't something I've ever really been interested in, but after reading a few of the stories I'm beginning to find it very intriguing. Ashton has definitely done her research. I love ending a book feeling like I learned something.
The only thing that kept me from fully loving Everneath was the characters, and I really couldn't figure out why. They are all perfectly lovely people, and I liked the heroine, but Jack and Nikki's dad and brother and a few others were just kind flat to me. And going into this sequel, I expected to feel the same way about loving the world and yet feeling strangely detached from the characters. And while I did keep that feeling for maybe 40% of the book, eventually I got involved emotionally the way that I wanted to be, and that was awesome.
I don't really feel like this should be counted as a love triangle. I mean, yeah, Jack and Cole both love Nikki, but Nikki only really loves Jack. Every time Nikki kisses Cole, it's because she's half-dead and needs energy or she's trying to save his life or something along those lines. However, I have to say, Cole is probably my favorite character in these books, mostly because he's the most developed and the most mysterious. Honestly, he probably doesn't have even a tiny glimmer of a chance with Nikki, at least in my opinion. But I'd still really like to see more of him in the third book. Jack . . . well. I still feel pretty neutral about him. He seems like a great guy and everything, and I thought the periodic flashbacks surrounding him were done pretty well, but he's still just kind of there. I'm hoping my feelings towards him change in the last Everneath book.
Above all else, I really enjoyed the ending. I felt like it had even more urgency in it than the first. And, truthfully, I never saw it coming. I've never been the best at making bookish predictions about endings, but I think that even if I was masterfully good at it, I still would have been shocked silly. The ending is what earns that last half star. Because of it, I will be clamoring for the last book when it comes out next year.
I bought Everneath on a whim because it was on sale as an e-book, and I'd heard mostly good things about it. Though right now, I am definitely wishingI bought Everneath on a whim because it was on sale as an e-book, and I'd heard mostly good things about it. Though right now, I am definitely wishing I had a physical copy of it, so I could stare longingly at that dress. The way it mixes with the smoke and the font of the title makes the cover gorgeous.
I haven't heard a lot of Greek mythology stories, stuff like that usually isn't my forte, but I do find them entertaining (I did, after all, enjoy the movie Hercules). So the plot of this was an interesting idea that immediately grabbed my attention. I can't say I was absolutely enthralled throughout the story, but it did keep my interest, especially towards the end. If the whole book had the sense of urgency and passion that the ending did, I probably would have given it five stars rather than four.
One of the best things about Everneath is its protagonist, Nikki. I just found her to be a very realistic character. She isn't really whiny and ungrateful or annoying to listen to; she tries to make good decisions in her awful situation. Of course, it was a really bad decision that landed her in that situation to begin with, but I can understand why her emotions got the better of her that night. I had a harder time connecting with the love interest, Jack. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he's quarterback of the football team, and that immediately carried a sense of being very typical? I'm not even sure, I'm just guessing. I ended up liking him at the end of the book, though, just not as much as I wanted to. I wish that Nikki's dad and her brother were a little more fleshed out as characters. They were just never there most of the time and I found it difficult to care for them, especially after how Nikki's dad reacts to his wife's death, and never apologizes to Nikki for it.
I hope in the sequel that we get a good description of the Everneath, and what it looks like. I was halfway convinced that this was going to contain a love triangle, because I'd heard talk of two boys, but it really isn't. Cole might not be completely evil, but he's still a villain in the book, at least in my opinion. I accidentally read a spoiler before picking this up for the ending of the book, so I wasn't surprised, but I still think it was a really good twist, and now I really want to go read the sequel to see what happens next. Brodi Ashton's writing is pretty clear-cut and simple (not in a bad way), and I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.
I was very happy to get my hands on a copy of this book after enjoying the first one in the series, Of Poseidon, last year. As I said in my review theI was very happy to get my hands on a copy of this book after enjoying the first one in the series, Of Poseidon, last year. As I said in my review then, these are the first novels ever to have truly captured my attention while featuring mermaids/mermen. Either I've just had really bad luck picking out stories about these creatures, or for some reason I just don't find them all that interesting. I'm really hoping it's the former that's correct, because I could really go for more books like these. I also have to add that the cover for Of Triton is absolutely beautiful, a big improvement from before. I don't disliked Of Poseidon's cover art, but at the same time it kind of creeps me out a little. I have no idea why. And I really loved how the picture of the two people kissing on Of Triton goes really well with a scene that takes places towards the end.
I'll start off with what bothered me. My complaints for this one are pretty slim, though, and I don't think they hindered my enjoyment of the story overall. Still, a couple things did irk me. First of all, I really, really hate that Emma's POV is written in first person, and Galen's is in third person, present tense. Personally, I absolutely hate that kind of writing - to me it feels really awkward and stiff. And what's really frustrating is that this is not Banks' fault - third person, present tense would sound this way no matter who was writing it! It also just seems like a rather odd decision to do it that way. It also feels kind of childish. "Galen knows . . . Galen sees . . ." It makes me think of something like, "Tom goes to the store to buy milk" or "Tom feels sad." I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but hopefully it does. Galen's parts of the book could have easily been in first person.
I also wish that Emma and Galen had more time together. But on the other hand, spending a lot of time apart is much preferable to introducing another dreaded love triangle. I was extremely appreciative that Banks decided not to take this route. That's not to say that something like that couldn't happen in the last and third book in the series, but I find that a second love interest is usually not introduced that late in (unless, of course, it's something crazy like eight books long). However, I really enjoyed the rare moments that they did have together, and somehow it made them all the more precious. Hopefully in Of Neptune they will remain together on a much more regular basis.
While Of Poseidon focused largely on romance and setting up the story, Of Triton is mainly centered on politics and trials and sorting out a whole lot of problems have that have occurred under the sea. While this second novel is a good deal shorter than its predecessor, it had quite a bit going on throughout, making it easy to turn the pages and get really involved in what was going on. The villain we see here - a merman named Jagan - was quite cunning, and I was actually kind of impressed with his arguments against the Royals. I really loved all the side characters - watching Nalia's and Grom's little romance was very sweet, as was Toraf's and Rayna's. Galen continues to be very protective, but it was necessary for him to be here and I didn't think he came off as too possessive.
I remember really enjoying Emma's perspective in the first one, but I kind of developed a love/hate relationship with her here. She still made me laugh, and was really brave under difficult circumstances but honestly her mood swings drove me a little nuts. I could understand her difficulties with Nalia and Grom. But I was quite annoyed with that little fantasy where she longed for a normal human life - not because of her actual wish, but because for a second she pictured being with another guy. She also has this moment where she wonders if she's taken away Galen's respect for his people because he no longer cares about the laws separating them physically, even though she spent a good deal of time being irritated with them before.
(view spoiler)[I loved the twist Banks threw in there about Rayna and Galen having the gift of Triton - I figured it would pop up somewhere in here, what with the title being what it was. (hide spoiler)]
There isn't a huge info-dump of previous events in the beginning, but there are some reminders, and I was seriously grateful for them, because it took me a couple chapters to catch up and remember everything that happened at the end of Of Poseidon. The aggravation that comes with having read something a year ago, I guess. Of Triton was a lovely addition to this series, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I will be waiting eagerly for Of Neptune to come out next year.