Book Review: The Siren

The Siren
The Siren
Kiera Cass
Hardcover republished 2016
Available Here

“You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…”

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.

The Good: 

-Kahlen was an interesting and sympathetic character. I think her feelings were a little too insta-love considering how little we actually see Akinli but overall I thought she was an interesting MC
-The Ocean was by far the most interesting character. Was she the villain? I don’t know maybe she falls more into the antihero category. Regardless her presence was very welcomed and definitely moved the plot.
-In general the supporting characters were well-built and interesting. I would read more stories about sirens if they were told from any of Kahlen’s sisters.
-I really enjoyed seeing sirens interact in the modern world since every story I’ve read about them is set in the past. I think Cass came up with clever ways to have the be part of society while still being out the outskirts.

The Bad:

-I would have liked more build up the Kahlen and Akinli’s relationship. I understand that they were soulmates but there was still much needed development.
-There was a lot of whining in the middle. Kahlen was just really really annoying during that section. Again I understand why but I felt like it could have possibly be written differently.

The Rating:
4 stars 

This was a quick enjoyable read. I really enjoyed learning more about sirens and getting to feel a part of the sisterhood. The characters were well-written and it was easy to focus on them since there wasn’t much of a need for world building. If you’re in the mood for a nice romance I would definitely recommend it. I thought overall the story was very well written and I found myself laughing and crying which is a good sign for me.

What are you reading this weekend? 

XOXO,
Mary

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Book Review: The Selection

10507293
The Selection
Kiera Cass
E-Reader Format April 2014
Available Here

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.

The Good:
-I really loved America. I admired her being able to stay true to herself throughout the whole book from wearing very little makeup to making sure her maids were safe during an attack. I also appreciated that she was an artist/musician and not someone who was overly brave or a bad-ass in the typical dystopian setting.
-The main characters did not have inst-love. Well…it may have been insta-love for Maxon but America was very much still interested in her former boyfriend so her development of her relationship with Maxon felt more organic
-The supporting characters were enjoyable and unique. I liked that we weren’t flooded with a whole lot of people but those that we did meet were interesting and I felt like they served a purpose
-I am really eager to read more about America and Maxon

The Bad:
-The whole rebel thing was a bit silly and I felt like it was only included to prevent this from being a straight up romance.
-It’s categorized as fantasy but there was really nothing about the world or characters that screamed fantasy to me
-It took a little long to get to the whole selection and right when I felt myself being sucked in the book was over

The Rating:
3.5 stars

This was a light and enjoyable read. It took me a long time to get through because I kept finding myself in a mood for a more action-oriented book. But once I got that out of my system I was ready to return to America. I think this is a great book for girls who want to read about a girly-girl who is true to herself and overall a really good person (well until her tryst at the end but she’s young so I’m going to forgive her). I am definitely eager to read the rest even though thanks to The Heir I pretty much know how it’s going to play out but I still want to follow the journey there. The world building was nothing extraordinary but this is an awesome cozy swoon-worthy read if you’re in the right mood.

What’s your guilty pleasure read?

XOXO,
Mary

Cover War Wednesday

So this super unique and fun meme comes from Mariana over at Book is Glee. The idea of this meme is to compare different covers of the same book and pick out a winner. For my first Cover War I am going to use The Selection  by Kiera Cass.

10507293

This cover can be summed up in one word. GORGEOUS. I love the subtle differences in the blue where the dress in the front is almost a sky blue and the ones in the back look a little more teal. Plus I love that the cover model is wearing what appears to be very little makeup since America is all about remaining true to herself. So overall I love love love this cover.

Romanian Selection

Here is the Romanian cover. And this is definitely a WOW cover. I’m pretty sure I understand the reference to the red dress but I don’t love it. For me the dress is too blah and the model looks too old to be America. However, I do love the font it is so quirky and the crown looking image is really cool as well.

The Winner

Without a doubt I have to give this one to the US version. I love the blue dress and the look of the model. I think it captures America’s look and suits the story perfectly.

Which cover was your favorite?

XOXO,
Mary

Top Ten Tuesday

Description: Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and The Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week we were given a freebie Ten to choose anything Valentine’s Day related so I’m going to pick my ten favorite book couples (in no particular order)

1. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley

I think their relationship is wonderful (more so in the books than the film). I love the way it evolved organically and how you got to see them grown not only as a couple but as individuals.

2. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger 

How could I mention Harry and Ginny and not talk about Ron and Hermione. I don’t remember when I really started to root for them as a couple (probably around book 4) but they were my favorite will they or won’t they couple. I really got nervous for them when Ron started dating Lavender but our favorite red-head and bookworm finally worked their feelings out for one another at the end of the series.

3.  Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

This is the total swoon worthy couple. I loved their dislike at the beginning of the novel and couldn’t imagine them getting together but once they fought through their pride and prejudice they ended up being one of the greatest literary couples.

4. Susannah and Jesse 

The Mediator series was probably one of the first books that really introduced me to swoon worthy boys as a teen. And I am so excited that we have another book in this series coming out this year that (the first one in an adult line of the series) which is great because now I have another reason to reread this series.

5. Katniss and Peeta

I was on team Peeta since the moment we met him and even more so after learning about the whole bread incidence. I loved how he stood by Katniss even when she was unsure of her feelings and I was so happy when they both made it out alive and together.

6. Heathcliff and Catherine 

Even though this is one couple that didn’t work out I love their story and still get upset that they didn’t make it together (although there are hints that their children do make a relationship work so I guess I can be happy about that).

7. Gatsby and Daisy 

To be honest I am not a fan of this book but I did love the Gatsby and Daisy affair. I actually hated Daisy immensely but I did love the times where they were together and so clearly in love.

8. Kitty and Levin

I read Anna Karenina in high school and totally fell in love with Russian literature right then and there. My favorite character was Kitty she was so sweet and so real and I loved how she rejected his proposal the first time but then they gave it another shot and their love was reconciled.

 9. Jamie and Landon

This couple is the ultimate sad story. What starts off as simple tutoring sessions soon grows into a passionate love but because this is Nicholas Sparks they’re love has a sad tear inducing ending.

10. Buttercup and Wesley

Not only are they one of my favorite literary couples they are also one of my favorite movie couples. They went through so much to be with one another and you never doubted their love.

So, there you have it my ten favorite literary couples. Who are some of your favorite couples? Let me know in the comment section. And if you participated in this week’s Valentine’s theme post a link in the comments.

Xoxo,

Mary

 

Review: Finding Audrey

FInding Audrey

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella 
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: June 9 2015  
Source: Soft cover Arc 
Available in Hardcover Here
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
Edit: I’ve decided to include this review in Jera’s Jamboree Talk of the Town meme. So if you’ve found your way here through that link, welcome and I hope you enjoy the blog.
     I don’t think there are enough wonderful things I can say about this book. The characters were all super fleshed out and really likable. Audrey was an awesome MC probably one of my favorites in a long time. I think it was really smart for Sophie to give us the inside look at Audrey considering this is a book that deals with mental illness. I really enjoyed reading along while Audrey worked on breaking through her anxiety. I know a lot of readers are fearful that it’s all because of Linus but I think everyone that Audrey had in her life played a helping hand in her recovery. Plus when you deal with something as tough as anxiety you have to want to recover for yourself. I found myself rooting for Audrey and her whole family. I really loved her mom she was hysterical and wanted nothing but good for her family even if she went about it in all the wrong ways. Her brother Frank was a riot and definitely way more multi-layered than I expected. I definitely give the character development 5 stars!!! 
     The writing was fun and very descriptive. I loved that we weren’t told what or how a character acted but instead we were shown. There’s a part where Audrey talks about Linus’ smile that I just love that she compares it to a slice of an orange. For me it paints such a unique picture of what his smile must look like. And there’s an amazing part where Audrey talks about her recovery I love it so much I just have to share it here:
“Life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upward.”
Even for someone who doesn’t have a mental illness I think this is something we all hope for. So for this part I gotta give another 5 stars!!
Theme wise this book looks at a lot of things, mental illness, family dynamics, bullying, first romance. I would like to see more books deal with mental wellness I think it’s such an important topic to look at and to help break down the stigma of mental illness. I appreciated that the delicate topic was handled so gracefully and realistically. I love the way Kinsella portrayed Audrey’s family and how they really enjoyed being with one another. I think so many teens feel it’s uncool to have fun with your family but it certainly doesn’t have to be (although I guess we can’t all have cool families like Audrey). For thematic purposes I would give Audrey 5 stars!!
There wasn’t much of a world to build since this is a pretty standard fiction read with no fantasy element. Much of the book takes places in Audrey’s house and I think Sophie does a good job laying out how the house is set up and where Audrey goes (she even has her own room apart from her bedroom that she spends time in.)
I give this book 5 stars!!I think there’s a lot you can get out of this book and I definitely think even if Audrey herself isn’t your favorite character there’s a rather large cast and your bound to favor one of them. This is Sophie’s first foray into YA and I definitely hope she does some more titles. I will certainly be reading them.
Do you know any titles that deal with mental illness in a positive portrayal? Have you read any other Sophie Kinsella titles?
Til my next review
Xoxo,
Mary

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out. This awesome meme from MizB is brought to us by her blog A Daily Rhythm

My two teaser sentences come from a book who’s review should be up by the end of the week, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. This book is amazing and I’m going to encourage you to pick it up before I even post my full review. Trust me you will not regret this purchase. Without further ado:

FInding Audrey.jpg

SUMMARY:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

TEASER: 

In the ideal scenario, I don’t have a lizard brain. Everything is easy.

I know these are probably the two shortest sentences I could have chosen but as someone who also suffers from really bad anxiety I think these two sentences go through everyone’s mind who suffers from mental illness. Stay tunes for my review at the end of the week (sorry not sorry to make you wait 😀 )

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Hello, Goodbye

Title: Hello, GOodbye and Everything In Between
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy Books
Publication Date: September 2015
Source: Hardcover
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?
    I have never read anything by this author and I don’t typically read romance books they’re just not my thing. I received this as an ARC through the store I work at but it just kind of sat on my shelf for a while. I read a few pages of it earlier in the month but it didn’t really tug at my heartstrings but I think that was more to do with me not being in the right mood for this type of story than the writing itself. So I picked up again the other night and finished it.
     The two main characters Clare and Aiden are likable enough I much preferred Aiden to Clare she was not super believable to me. I felt like the author was trying to make her into a Rory Gilmore character and just trying too hard to make her something she’s not. Plus it made it hard for me to imagine why someone so outgoing and voracious as Aiden would have been drawn to her but I guess it fits the opposite attracts idea. There were two minor characters who had an interesting storyline that I would have liked to hear more about and they would be Clare’s best friend Stella and Aiden’s best friend Scotty. They almost felt more interesting and realistic. Overall, for the characters I would give this book  3 stars. 
     The writing was nothing spectacular there wasn’t a strong voice. I felt like the story was coming more from Clare’s point of view but she wasn’t the narrator. It was a third person narrator but they had a lot more insight into Clare’s head than into Aiden’s. I did like the layout of the story as they visited the places that meant something to their relationship that was cool because we got some insight on how they got to this point. Overall, I though the layout of the story was fun and sweet so I give this part of the book 4 stars.
     This book doesn’t tackle too much in themes or world building so I can’t really give a rating there. Overall, it’s a really unique look at a high school relationship and how to decide if the relationship should continue or end when going into college. I think a lot of people would like the characters even if they’re a little too cutsey or romantic (their relationship definitely played out like a chick lit rom-com). Plus I think the minor characters add a lot of flavor to the cast and I actually probably would have liked their story a little more.
     In general I neither loved or disliked this book so I’m going to give it 3 stars. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Sarah Dessen or Jenny Haan. I don’t know if I would pick something else up by this author but if I’m in the mood for a light romantic read again I would probably gravitate towards this author.
Have you read this or anything else by this author? Is there a genre you don’t read too often?
Xoxo,
Mary

Sundays in Bed…

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This comes from our friend Midnight Book Girl

This Sunday I woke up with a book that I totally forgot to include on my last post of anticipated reads but I guess since it’s still January that it’s ok I didn’t include it. Hello Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith is the book that greeted me this morning. I actually finished it late in the night but was too tired to move onto another read. I really enjoyed it, it was a fun and easy read that warmed my heart these last couple cold nights. Look for a full review later this week.

Hello, Goodbye.jpg

So, now I ask what book did you wake up with this morning or are hoping to find time for today?

Xoxo,

Mary