This book drew me in with its insanely beautiful cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it. Lately, though, I've been reading books with amazing...moreThis book drew me in with its insanely beautiful cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it. Lately, though, I've been reading books with amazing covers that didn't live up the expectations that I had for them, so I didn't anticipate liking this book as much as I did. I really like it.
Meet America Singer, a young girl in Illéa, the country that used to be the United States. In this society, there is a caste system, starting with the Ones, who are royals, down to the Eights, who are basically the dregs of society. It's generally frowned upon (and that might be an understatement) for you to marry into a caste below you. That doesn't stop America--she's a Five who is totally in love with a Six, and she doesn't care what people will think as long as she gets to be with him. So, where's the conflict, and what exactly is The Selection?
Whenever there is a prince who comes "of age," there is a competition between girls from throughout the country. They apply through a lottery and are selected to move into the palace for as long as it takes for the prince to choose who will become his wife. It's like The Bachelor.
The girl who "wins" will become a princess, and eventually queen. The others are elevated in status and receive monetary compensation--which means a lot to America's practically starving family. Regardless, America doesn't even want to enter the drawing. She wants to be with Aspen, but he insists that she apply. You know what happens. She enters and gets chosen. She moves to the Palace and meets the handsome prince.
I really like America's personality. She's strong and vulnerable and doesn't take any crap from anyone. Right from the beginning of her relationship with Prince Maxon, she shows her true spirit. I also really like how, even though at times America is irrational, she's totally justified in those feelings. There are some swoony moments, too, with Maxon and with Aspen. js
You'd think this story would be totally cliché, but it isn't. There are totally predictable parts that bugged me a little, but I definitely liked the way that Cass allowed us to root for the Prince without feeling like we are betraying Aspen. And I found myself in an almost unprecedented situation: I'm not on a team. I love Maxon and Aspen and don't know who I want her to be with. I'm leaning slightly more toward Maxon, but come on, he's a prince!
So what didn't I like? Besides knowing what was going to happen, wayyyy before it happened, I didn't like the ending. Not that exactly--I was proud of America, but I didn't like where it ended. I don't know if it's because I'm kinda tired of reading all these series, but I didn't like that the story wasn't complete in one book. Thank rob she didn't leave it at an evil cliffie. It's still safe to read; I just wish we didn't have to wait however long to find out what will happen.
The Selection has got some drama, but overall it's a fun, quick read. I think you'll like this story. (less)
Asunder picks up right after Incarnate ends, and we find Ana questioning her existence:
My life was a mistake.
As long as I'd been alive, I'd wanted to know why I'd been born. Why, after five thousand years of the same souls being reincarnated, my soul had slipped through the cracks of existence and burdened the people of Heart with such newness.
No one could tell me how I happened, not until the night I'd found my way into the temple with no door, trapping myself with the entity called Janan.
"Mistake," he'd said. "You are a mistake of no consequence."
I knew, as I'd always known, I was a soul asunder.
This book follows Ana and Sam as they try to figure out how to stop Janan with his evil plan while navigating through being together in spite of the scorn of most of their society. They enlist the help of friends, some new and some old, to discern what the clues she took from the Temple mean. When more newsouls are born, Ana feels like she has a real purpose.
"But it's not enough. You saw what happened in there. People were anxious to welcome back a friend, and then it was terrible. Within minutes, people were talking about killing him. If that's any indication of the rest of the city's reaction to his birth, when other newsouls start coming, there won't be anywhere safe. Not in the city. I need to make it safe. Somehow."
I wish that I could tell you more about what happens in Asunder, but I feel like I can't without being too spoilery. You know how it often is with second books--they feel like they're so transitory. That's how I felt about this book. A lot of stuff happens, but at the same time, it feels to me like the overall storyline didn't move forward.
I really loved Incarnate, especially how swoony Sam was and how much I loved him. I didn't get that in this book, and I didn't like this one as much. Fear not, Fictionees! There is some swoon:
I lost myself in the brush of his lips, the thrill of his fingers against my cheek and neck and shoulder, and thump of his heartbeat under my palm. So engaged in the way his mouth fit with mine, I almost missed the purr of my coat being unzipped. When he paused his kissing, I stepped back, and he slipped my coat off my shoulders; I dropped my arms and the cloth fell with a soft whump.
You know how I am about boys that unzip jackets. lol Something else that I liked was Ana's vulnerability when thinking about Sam being with other people in all of his other lifetimes.
I pressed my hands over my mouth as though I could smother the stab of hurt. Why couldn't Sam really be a boy my age, with no more experience than I had? No past lives, past loves.
Why couldn't he be only for me?
There are some things that I didn't like. I didn't like that I barely remembered what was going on. That's my fault, and I think if I had read Incarnate and Asunder back to back, I wouldn't feel that way. As it is, I know I'm going to have to read them both before the last book in the trilogy is released. There's something else, but it's majorly spoilery, so you'll have to highlight it to see it (I think):
(view spoiler)[Even after Sam tells Ana that he loves her, she cannot tell him that she feels the same way. She questions her ability to love throughout the entire book. To me, this doesn't work because Ana has always felt like she is more than just being a newsoul. Ana would know without question that she loved Sam, even if she was worried that he wouldn't think her feelings could be real. It was backwards to me, and really dampened my love for the book, the series, and especially Ana. (hide spoiler)]
The world is still amazing, and I can't wait to read what happens in the conclusion.
I liked this one a lot. Sara's on her own for a couple of hours in NYC for her dad to close on an important business deal. She's...more3-1/2 stars, I think.
I liked this one a lot. Sara's on her own for a couple of hours in NYC for her dad to close on an important business deal. She's a photographer and doesn't know that her life will change when she snaps a picture of Sam on the street. I don't know how to describe what he does other than to say that he finds things that people need, even when they don't exactly know what they're looking for.
When Sara inadvertently gets assigned to find something, Sam helps her out and thus begins their adventure. Sam shows Sara how to trade and she shows him that it's okay to let some things go.
I really enjoyed their dynamic. Though I could have stood a little more kissing (lol), I liked their chemistry and the way their relationship evolved from being complete strangers to more. Sam was pretty swoony, which is a trait that I always appreciate. Sara had a brain and was a sweet girl--I liked her.
I liked some of the other characters, especially Will. I don't want to spoil anything here, so I will just say that I didn't love the end. Though I think it was appropriate for this book, it's not what I wanted. Also, I think the way Sara handled some things with her dad were a little bit unrealistic, but overall, I liked this story, and I think you will too!(less)