Review: The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

The Crown-Cover
Book Title: The Crown
Author: Kiera Cass
Publish Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 5 in The Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book.

Review
I gotta admit I am really sorry to see this series end. No it’s not the next literary masterpiece, but it’s book crack and it’s a good escape from reality when it’s needed. And reading the final book in the series was exactly what I needed in order to de-stress. I loved Eadlyn in The Heir and I kept hoping that I’d continue to love her in this book.

I did still love her, but not as much as I did in the previous book. I did enjoy watching her heart slowly warm up to the possibility of finding a love like her parents had. She had been so reluctant to it before, so seeing her evolve was really awesome to see. Seeing her take on more responsibility was great too.

The book was really short, especially for it being the end of the series. I was hoping that it wouldn’t feel rushed, but unfortunately, in some parts, it did feel rushed and that bothered me because I didn’t want it to feel rushed. I wanted the story to unfold at the same pace the previous books in the story did. The ending was a lot more rushed than I wanted it to be. Really Cass could have spread the ending out over a chapter or two.

I do recommend rereading The Heir before you read The Crown. I really wish I had. Mostly so I could keep the different suitors in my head. I did have a couple standouts in The Heir and they continued to be standouts in this book as well. Several of them, in different ways than I ever expected. I am not going to say who she picked (if she picked anyone) I will say that it was a pretty good ending to a series that so many fellow bloggers call book crack.

Review: The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

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Book Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Published Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 4 in The Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Disclaimer: This book was a personal purchase.

Review:
Hello again, book crack!

Okay, I’m strangely obsessed with this series. It’s like crack, as my fellow blogger, Andi said last year.

Overall, I really liked Eadlyn. I definitely liked her more than I liked America. Eadlyn had her moments where I wanted to strangle her, but they were few and far between. Her attitude about love was so similar to mine that I think that was a big part of the reason why I liked her so much. She wasn’t dying to be married, she didn’t go gaga over every boy in the palace. She was stubborn and very, very hardheaded just like myself.

She wasn’t perfect though. She had a close relationship with her brothers and her parents, but she was kind of controlling to her twin brother Ahren. There’s a moment near the end of the book that drove me absolutely crazy because of this and I definitely didn’t love her actions during this part.

I really didn’t feel a whole lot of chemistry between her or any of the Selected, however there were a few standouts: Kile, the boy she’s known her entire life. There’s a boy who is not even part of the selection, but Eadlyn seems interested in him. There’s a boy who comes with a language barrier, but I found him endearing. And finally there was another boy, who seemed to be a slight frontrunner. I honestly don’t know which boy she’ll end up with (if any of them)

I did really enjoy this book, and I definitely enjoyed Eadlyn a heck of a lot more than I enjoyed her mother. I am super excited to see if she picks anyone in the end. I am giving this book 4 stars. Oh and if someone could make me the dress Eadlyn is wearing on the cover, I’d appreciate that.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

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Book Title: The One (The Selection #3)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publish Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
Series: Book 3 in The Selection Trilogy (My reviews of Book 1 & Book 2)
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Timesbestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
It’s been no secret that I’ve been obsessed with this series since I first started it in March. It’s addicting like chocolate. Except chocolate doesn’t make you wait for three books to see what happens and who is the last one left standing. 

This book was the best book of the series for multiple reasons. There was even more about how the world worked, there was a lot more with Queen Amberly & King Clarkson, there was some great moments between the final four girls. It felt like Cass really went for it in the final book. No, not everything was tied up in a neat bow, BUT I didn’t mind. I was okay with there still being a few loose strings. 

America comes to a decision in this book and it was definitely difficult to watch her at times. She played keep away with her heart. She knew how she felt, but the idea of telling Maxon was difficult. Maxon was also playing hot and cold with her at times, but I think that came from not wanting to put himself all in without knowing how she felt about him. It also didn’t help that King Clarkson was very against America

America pulled a couple of stunts that infuriated the king, he made it very clear on multiple occasions that America was not the one, forgetting of course that it was Maxon’s choice who he wanted. King Clarkson was a very controlling, strong-willed and often quite cruel to his own son. I was hoping that The Elite would be the extent of his controlling, domineering attitude, but unfortunately, I was wrong.

Finally, I started to like Aspen a whole lot better. Definitely disappointed that it took so long for me to like him, but glad that it happened at all. Aspen’s got secrets of his own, and honestly, I suspected what the secret was early on, but it wasn’t until the end that my suspicions were confirmed. He did some great things for America and Maxon, including one thing at the very end that I thought was fitting.

There was more on the politics as things became quite dangerous in the palace. Yet, I wasn’t bored. I actually found it to be very fascinating. I always wanted to know what was going on and who was behind all this and why. I’m definitely glad we got answers about this part. I would have been bummed if we did not.

I was thrilled with how things went with the final 4 girls. Things you never expected to happen, happen. Alliances changed in startling ways, so serious kudos to Cass for that. I love when unexpected things happen, it adds more intrigue to the story.

Fantastic ending to the series and this will be getting 5 stars from me. Like I said earlier, I found it to be the best book of the series. The entire series was addicting and I am so gonna miss this series. 

Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

Book Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Published Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
Series: Book 2 in The Selection trilogy (My review of The Selection is here)
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
If Maxon isn’t the one at the very end I think America needs to be committed. I’m not even kidding. He was my favorite part of this entire book. He made it clear to America that she was the one and if she wanted him to, he’d stop everything immediately and propose to her. Yet America isn’t as forthcoming with her feelings. I blame that on a little complication I’d like to call Aspen. How exactly is Aspen still even a possibility. I don’t even know at this point. 

I sympathized with America because I’ve been in that triangle and it was so hard for me to choose between the familiar boy I had loved for so long and the new boy who promised me the world and had the means to give it to me. It’s very hard because when I was with each boy and it was just the two of us, the answer seemed simple. So when America was able to steal time with Maxon and Aspen individually, she could see herself married to them so easily. I was able to connect with America because of this.

Aspen seemed more interested in making sure that Maxon didn’t choose America, than making her see why she needed to pick him. Selfish if you ask me. He also seemed to care more about his job as the guard, than he did in the first book. I didn’t warm up to him at all, which was a disappointment, as I was really hoping to like him much more in the second book.

I really enjoyed seeing more of how the world was run and the politics behind it. Thankfully, it wasn’t too heavy on the politics. If it had been, I would have been bored as I really try to avoid reading books that are heavy on the politics.

The connection that Maxon builds with Kriss was not something I was expecting. I can tell he’s interested in her, but I’ve watched enough of The Bachelor to know that she would be his default pick if America left. After finishing this book, I am positive that Maxon’s father would not allow him to not pick anyone.

Which reminds me, holy crap Maxon. I had no idea that his father, King Clarkson was that awful to his only son. I was glad we got that peek into Maxon’s life and it was something that came out of left field for me. I never saw it coming. Heartbreaking and so sad.
I’m thrilled that I have The One already so, by the time you read this review, I will have started (and maybe even finished The One) I am giving this book 4 stars just like I gave the first one and I cannot wait to see what awaits me in The One.

Review: The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

Book Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Dystopaian/Romance
Series: Book 1 in Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
I really was not sure what to expect with this book. I had heard a lot things about it. Some good, some bad, but it was definitely intriguing me. Two blogging buddies of mine pushed it continuously, one even going as far as to call it crack. So I took Andi and Jana’s advice and purchased the book as part of my February book buy.This book was said to be a cross between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. From the moment I found that out, I knew I had to have it. I am obsessed with The Bachelor and I loved The Hunger Games so I was totally excited for this book and waited anxiously for it to arrive in my mailbox.

Well this book was an entertaining and fun ride. I read the entire thing in one sitting which basically means 3 hours. I could see the resemblance to The Bachelor & to The Hunger Games quite easily. With The Bachelor there’s usually 25 ladies (sometimes more) vying for one guy. Of course there is more to it but I am not going to go into all of it. With The Hunger Games, there are 24, two from each of the 12 districts. Always a boy & a girl.

I loved America. I loved how she was stubborn,but kindhearted. She clearly loved her family but of course she loved another as well. She loved Aspen so much that she was willing to “marry down” or go down one level on the caste system that their world operates on. I am not sure how I feel about Aspen at this point. He pushes her to enter the competition despite the fact that he insists he wants to marry her. So he’s a bit contradictory there.I mean I get that he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her, but that’s her decision to make.He does not get to make the decision unilaterally. 

When America is chosen to be part of the Selected, in other words, one of the thirty-five women, she’s shocked and confused. She clearly honestly didn’t expect to be picked. Actually, I expected one of Aspen’s sisters, either Kamber or Celia to be picked as well and was really startled that they weren’t. I think it could have added another interesting element if either of them had been picked along with America.

Meeting Prince Maxon and getting to know him forces America to realize that he is unlike anything she ever expected. She had expected him to be snobby, abrasive and even demanding. But what she finds is that Maxon is a good guy, a respectful guy and even his parents are kind, interesting people.There’s definitely some jealousy going on towards the end of the book, when the field of ladies has been cut down to only 6, but America is insistent on remaining herself and looking like herself.

I don’t feel like I got to know Aspen all that well and his insistence on America entering the competition didn’t sit right with me. I was hoping for the same amount of character development that Maxon and America had. I realize that Aspen wasn’t in the book a whole lot, but I wanted to actually like him enough to be genuinely torn about who America should choose in the end. I didn’t feel torn though, which disappointed me. I am hoping that we’ll get to see more of him in the next two books and maybe my opinion of him will change. I did enjoy this book, a lot, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to. So I’m giving it 4 stars.

Top Ten Books I Want Santa To Bring Me

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This feature is hosted by The Broke and Bookish
So my mom & grandmother had been bugging me to make a list (yes at almost 28 I am still asked for lists) So I made them and emailed them. I got the same response from both of them “Um Lexi, isn’t there something other than books, that you want?” I seriously didn’t know how to answer that. To me, the answer would have been an emphatic “NO” but I know exactly how they get and how much they like to surprise me. So I put a few non book related things on there.
There have been a lot of books that have caught my eye over the past 8 months or whatever. Even more so than normal and I can thank my fellow bibliophiles for that.So these ten books are a compilation of books that either look amazing, or bloggers have raved about it or if it’s just something that I must have in my hands RIGHT NOW!
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
-The premise drew me in big time and this one has been taunting me from my Amazon wishlist for weeks-
-Amazing cover. Plus the synopsis. Plus an amazing author who regularly interacts with her readers on social media-
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
-I haven’t heard a whole lot about this one, but what I have heard, is all positive stuff-
-Kasie West is a goddess and I’ll read whatever she writes-
-I absolutely love the cover and that’s what’s drawn me in the most, although I have to say, the premise looks great-
-I’ve heard so much about this book. Like how it was life changing. I need this book in my life-

-If I had to pick only one of these to be sitting under my tree, it would be this one. Hands down-
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
-I’ve heard nothing but amazing things from this one. The premise sounds amazing-
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
-My grandmother read this one and LOVED it. It’s normally not a book she’d love so I’m excited-
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
-This book just sounds like something I’d be all over. I am really excited about this one-

I am sure a lot of you have already read most of these. Or maybe you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Anyhow, let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you think about them. Leave me the links to your TTT posts so I can come by and see what’s on your list.