Jun 5, 2014

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis






The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildy comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

Buy this book here: The Screwtape Letters










Title: The Screwtape Letters
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 209 
Publisher: HarperOne

While I was still in college I took an entire semester-long course dedicated to the writings of C.S. Lewis. It was a really fun class, and I really enjoyed it!! The Screwtape Letters is one of my favorite things that we read that semester.

In this book Lewis masterfully joins the religious and fictitious sides of his writing. While some of his other writings are much more 'religious' heavy, such as Mere Christianity, this book is not. The Screwtape Letters is a lighthearted examination of heaven and hell.

This book is basically a collection of letters written between Satan and his assistant, Screwtape. They are mainly made up of Satan's advice to Screwtape to help his 'human' not go 'astray' (or towards heaven).

This is really a fun book to read, and it is quite fast. It also will get you to examine your own life, as you start to look deeper into the tricks that Satan uses to get us to follow him. I'd give this book overall 4 arrows. Its fun, quick, and an altogether great read! If you haven't read it or read any other books by C.S. Lewis, I'd highly recommend that you check it o



Jun 3, 2014

Classics: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell



Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone with the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intesnsity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction

This is the tale of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.

Buy this book here: Gone With the Wind  





Title: Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell
Pages: 1024
Publisher: Warner Books

I'm going to come right out and say this. This is my favorite book of all time, and I will likely go to my grave absolutely in love with the characters, the atmosphere, and the feelings that reading this book first gave me. It is an adventure that every single person should have the opportunity to go on!

Scarlett O'Hara is spunky, sassy, and opinionated. Yet despite her faults and seemingly difficult attitude, she is courageous, smart, and hard working. She enters into young adulthood, right as the Civil War breaks out in the South. As an entire civilization and way of life is destroyed, Scarlett O'Hara must learn to live in a totally different world than the one she grew up in.

This is the first book I've ever read that made me sad that the South didn't win the Civil War. Mitchell weaves a magnificent story of heartache, love, struggles, and war. It is a great book to read, and although the page count can be disheartening to some, the overall story is so worth it! Don't get intimidated!

As far as classics go, this one is one of the best. It is a fairly easy read as the story moves quickly! Please go out and buy this book. It should be a staple in every household! I give this book 5 arrows, so get it quickly!




 

May 31, 2014

May in Rewind

I cannot believe that May is over and summer is finally here! Despite the 90 degree weather we have been having the past few days, I still feel like it should be the middle of winter. Most days time feels like it is going incredibly slow, but in retrospect the days have flown!

May has been a fun month for me because it has been my inaugural month here at Found in the Fiction.   It took me awhile to decide if I wanted to start a book blog, but I'm glad I finally made that leap. Lets take a quick look at everything Found in the Fiction has accomplished this month! This way, if you missed anything you'll be able to see it all here!


Here is the list of books that I was able to review this month:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Algorithm by Jason Ford
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Then there is the list of books I actually read during the month of May:



The Algorithm by Jason Ford
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

This list is a lot shorter than I expected. I can't believe how crazy busy life can be sometimes, even when I feel like I haven't accomplished that much this month. But despite that, this is more books than I have read in a single month in quite some time! It really was a blast! I've had so much fun filling lots of free time with books and writing!

The last list, which is also a lot longer than normal months, is the books I bought this month. I was lucky to have a husband who helps me fill my love of reading!

So here is that list:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

This month has been a great one! I got a lot accomplished, and I had a lot of fun keeping up this blog! If anyone has any suggestions on how to make it better, blog-types that you would like to see, or anything you'd like added on this blog, I'd love it if you'd leave comments below! Any advice would be appreciated! I hope as the months go by this blog will become better and better, and I appreciate your help getting there!






May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine





How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift - the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey an order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse - and live happily ever after.

Buy this book here:Ella Enchanted  






Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Pages: 240
Publisher: HarperCollins 

This was another one of my favorites from childhood, although I guess that makes sense since I probably won't post many Throwback Thursdays about books I hated. I also think as a kid, its easier to love everything you read. I read so much, and there are very few books I can remember disliking from those days.

Ella Enchanted is a fun book about a girl who must do anything that anyone asks of her. This gets her in some very sticky situations, especially when the evil bad-guy uses this to hurt the people Ella loves most! Its similar to Cinderella in the fact that she has two obnoxious step-sisters and a step-mom who is quite the piece of work.

It is a funny, quick read, and is recommend for kids age 8 - 12. And once your kids have read the book, you can sit down with them and watch the movie with Anne Hathaway! Both are fun and energetic!! They are sure to be hits all around!


May 27, 2014

Book Review: The Algorithm by Jason Ford








James Heart is a fresh talented programmer who has taken his first job with a multibillion dollar tech company in the middle of silicon valley. He is paid well, drives an expensive car, and is loved by a beautiful fiancé. All is going well in James life, until his morale conscience is used against him. James is catapulted into a complex web of plots that will ultimately threaten his life and the well being of millions of others.

Get this book here: The Algorithm







Title: The Algorithm
Author: Jason Ford
Pages: 202
Publisher: Self-published

This is the first book I have ever read on my iBook app for iPad. I thought I wasn't going to like reading on my iPad, but it was actually really nice. A lot of times I'll lay in bed at night playing some sort of a game, and when I got bored it was super convenient to just switch over to a book. 

The Algorithm is an extremely fast paced book. Once you start, it is pretty easy to get sucked in. The pages go by quickly, and before you know it the book is over! I thought this was a great feat for a first time writer. The first page was intriguing, and I found myself sucked in. 

The story revolves around James, a college graduate who has landed his first job at what he thinks to be a software company. James is extremely good at seeing patterns where normal people would not, and because of this he advances quickly through the company. He sees binary code in the alignment of train cars and codes in the way tail lights flash on the freeway.  These codes end up helping him in his job and allow him to advance. It was intriguing elements like these that made me keep reading the book. 

In the end, it turns out that James is not working for the company he thought he was. The company he is really working for is much more powerful and unescapable than he could ever imagine. 

I did have a few problems with the book. There are a fair amount of grammatical and spelling errors, which at times can detract from the story. At least they can for me, because I tend to be kind of OCD about that. But, all considering, that is a fairly easy fix and it didn't take away from the storyline or character development at all.

The ending was also problematic for me. I felt like everything came crashing down quickly (I hope this makes sense, since I don't want to give away the plot or anything, especially the ending!). The entire story was a build up to the end, and then once the climax hit there were only a few pages until the story was over. Also, the ending was a bit confusing for me. It got pretty high-tech sounding, and was a little big difficult for me to follow. 

Overall I would give this book a 3 arrow rating. It was quick to read and intriguing, but I found the ending difficult to follow and out of place. 




May 25, 2014

Book Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson


Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured and rejected three marriage proposals.
Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain sooner rather than later and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Buy this book here: Blackmoore



Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Pages: 320
Publisher: Shadow Mountain

I just finished reading this book, although by the time I actually post this review it might have been a few days ago or longer. Reading this book right after The Winter Sea, I'm realizing I'm totally on a Historical Fiction kick, and I'm loving them! I totally into the olden-day love story, so this book fit in perfectly with my mood!

I really enjoyed reading Blackmoore. It was a fun, light, enjoyable read that kept me entertained. It was a super quick read that only took me a day or two to get through. I had read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, but the books are in no way related or necessary to read in a certain order. 

I was shockingly surprised while reading this book when Kate actually ended up in India, although that was only a very small portion of the book. I feel like so many times these types of books end with love curing all. And, obviously (it is a romance novel) this book definitely did end that way, it was pretty nice to see a strong female character who went on a major adventure first. I do wish that Donaldson had maybe written more on that part of the story, but I totally understand that as a romance novel it wasn't important to the genre or story being told.

Overall I thought this was a fun, simple, romance novel. There is nothing risque about the story at all, and so would be appropriate for just about any age. Here are a few sweet quotes from Blackmoore.

“You are not The Giver of My Heart’s Desire.” I took a deep breath and smiled. “You are my heart’s desire.”

“You are brave and loyal and true. You have such a good heart." He held my hand close to his chest and covered it with his other hand. "It is only afraid. But I would take such good care of it, love, if you would give it to me.”

Overall I would give this book a 4 arrow rating. Sweet, simple, quick to read, and fun; everything that a good historical fiction ought to be!


May 22, 2014

Author Highlight: Mary Higgins Clark

Today I thought I would do a little review on one of my favorite authors, instead of just one of her books! I started reading Mary Higgins Clark probably in Junior High, because all of my older sisters and my mom loved her. Thats where a lot of my love of reading came from, from family who showed me the way :)








Mary Higgins Clark

Born: December 24, 1929










Mary Higgins Clark writes suspense/thriller novels. I feel like a lot of her books are similar, but I have still always enjoyed reading each one of them. They all have similar premises and styles. In many of them you read the story from the female/journalist/main characters view as well as from the viewpoint of the perpetrator/creeper/bad guy. I like this style because even though you read things from the 'creeper's' point of view, as a reader you still don't know who they are.

Some of Mary Higgins Clark's novels can be gruesome, especially her earlier pieces. I have found that her more recent novels have not been as bloody or scary, but maybe that is just because I have also grown up in age as the years have passed. Here are a few of my favorite books by her:


Daddy's Little Girl is a little bit more gruesome, as you can tell from the blood on the cover. But I read it in high school, and it wasn't anything beyond what I could handle. Its basically about a woman who saw a murder as a child, and then in her adult life is slowly remembering and trying to catch the killer.

You Belong to Me is about lonely women how have been disappearing off of cruise ships, and one women's hunt to find who is behind it, before they find her. 

Both of these books are excellent, and I would recommend both of them, as well as anything Mary Higgins Clark has written. I haven't read her latest stuff, but for the most part I have read a large chunk of what she has published! 

Her novels suck you in and keep you interested throughout the novel! They are so much fun, especially if you like a little suspense or mystery! Read these, trust me you won't regret it!

May 19, 2014

Movie Mondays: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult



Welcome to:

Mondays here at Found in the Fiction are devoted to comparing books and the movies that were based on them! We are going to be looking at which was better, and why I thought so!!! So stick around, comment and let me know which you liked better, and enjoy!








Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never challenged . . . until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is begining to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

Buy this book here: My Sister's Keeper






Title: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 423
Publisher: Washington Square Press

Anna was born so that she could help save Kate's life. I don't like the premise of this book because I don't in any way think it's ethical or normal. However, the fact that it gets me frustrated and makes me think, I believe, is the mark of a good book. I just don't understand why parents would have a child for that soul purpose. It seems so sad to me. But the fact that Jodi Picoult can make me feel those things is good!

The book is full of moral and ethical questions. The whole time I wondered what I would do if I was Anna, or if I was the parents, or how I would feel if I was Kate. Anna is suing her parents medical independence from them, so that she can choose whether or not to donate her body parts to her dying sister Kate.

The book is well written and it kept me interested because of the moral dilemmas it presented. It is a good book, I'd recommend it to anyone. My complaint about this book however is the ending. And when I'm not happy with the way a book resolves itself I often times question whether I liked the book at all.

For me I felt like the novel ended so suddenly. Like, BAM! its over. Its almost as if the story had already ended, and then Picoult decided to through in a game changer and that completely altered how things ended. And honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of it.

I'd give the book 3 arrows. It was frustrating, but mentally challenged my personal beliefs. I like when a book does that.


As for the movie My Sister's Keeper I felt much the same as I did about the book, so this will be a short comparison. The ending was different from the book, which I was ok with, but the fact that the movie altered the story presented in the book annoys me. Personally, if you're going to have a movie based on a book, you can't alter the most important part of it. And even if the ending isn't the best, its how the book ended, so thats how the movie should end. But again, I'm a purist when it comes to book :) 

Both movie and book were just ok for me. I can't really rank one above the other, because neither really stands out in my mind.They are ok once, but won't ever happen again for me.

P.S. I just updated my currently reading -------------------------------------------------------->
check it out! My to-read list is getting smaller, one book at a time! 




May 16, 2014

Book Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley



History has all but forgotten...In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her...
Buy this book here: The Winter Sea  



Title: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Pages: 544
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

I really really enjoyed this book. So much so that I am planning on buying another book by Susanna Kearsley sometime in the near future.The book felt unique from anything else I have ever read. It was elegantly written and the story was charming. I really enjoyed the experience!

The beginning of the novel took me a little while to get into. Its not that it was boring, it just didn't immediately draw me in like some books I have read. You know how there is usually a point in a book where you realize that it is really good and you can't wait to recommend it to someone?!? Well, that point didn't come, for me at least, until the very end. All through the book I thought, oh this is good, but it was really the ending that I was like 'this is awesome'!! 

The book focuses on Carrie McClelland, who is writing a novel set in 1708 Scotland. Every other chapter throughout the book switches between Carrie's life and then a chapter from Carrie's novel. It was a really interesting way to read a book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt that it kept the book moving quickly, because no matter which setting I was currently reading about, I was curious about the opposite one. 

The only thing that I didn't really like about the book was the explanation given for the 'ancestral memories' that Carrie was experiencing. Kearsley tried to give a scientific explanation for it, but I felt that it was inadequate in making it seem believable. I think I would have been more comfortable with a more magical explanation than trying to bring in DNA and the inheritance of genes. It just seemed out of place.

I would recommend this book to everyone! It is a good, fun read! It is light and airy, the plot is interesting, and the characters are likable. Overall I would give the book a 4 arrow rating!

May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Matilda by Roald Dahl







"The Trunchbull" is no match for Matilda!

Who put superglue in Dad's hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Matilda is a genius with idiot parents - and she's having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there's Miss Trunchbull, two hundred menacing pounds of kid-hating headmistress. Get rid of the Trunchbull and Matilda would be a hero. But that would take a superhuman genius, wouldn't it?

Buy this book here: Matilda






Title: Matilda
Author: Roald Dahl
Pages: 240
Publisher: Puffin Books

I thought I would try something new this Thursday, and take a look at one of my favorite childhood books. Matilda is my favorite chapter book from childhood, and even today ranks quite high in the most loved books I own. 

The story is witty and funny. I always felt a close relationship with Matilda growing up. I liked to read, I loved school, and what kid doesn't like to play pranks on her parents? Even the Trunchbull is perfectly terrifying in this book! 

The book is pretty different from the movie, so even if your kids have seen the movie you should still get them the book! If they are anything like I was, they will love it! The pictures throughout the book make it a good chapter book for school-aged kids. Quentin Blake did a fantastic job illustrating the novel. And they are frequent enough throughout the book to keep even younger kids entertained if you choose to read this aloud. (Which I highly recommend! It was one of my favorite things as a kid to read chapter books aloud.)

This book is fun, carefree, and perfect for kids! Even as an adult I still enjoying sitting down and reading it, mainly for the nostalgia of it all. It really is a masterpiece!

May 13, 2014

Just Finished

A book to add to my 'read' shelf:


Title: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Pages: 544
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

Buy the book here: The Winter Sea  

My husband bought me this book for Christmas on recommendation from my sister-in-law. I really enjoyed the book! Check back in the next couple of weeks or so for my full review of the book!!

This is the first book I've finished since beginning this book blog, but definitely not the last! I'm already 20 pages into my next adventure. :) Speaking of which, here is what I am now currently reading:


Title: The Algorithm
Author: Jason Ford
Pages: 202
Self-published

Get this book here: The Algorithm

What book are you currently reading? If you're like me you are constantly reading a book, and the second one is done you've already begun the next! I'm open to suggestions too, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know what I should read next!

May 12, 2014

Movie Mondays: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Welcome to:

Mondays here at Found in the Fiction are devoted to comparing books and the movies that were based on them! We are going to be looking at which was better, and why I thought so!!! So stick around, comment and let me know which you liked better, and enjoy!

Lets get started!!


Aibileen Clark is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny Jackson has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter Phelan has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother's lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raiser her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.


Together, these seemingly different women join to work on a project that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a smal town - to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it's relaly like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and teh sometimes humorous boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with one intention; hope for a better day.

Buy this book here: The Help

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Pages: 522
Publisher: The Penguin Group 

This book is amazing. If you haven't read it, STOP! Stop right now!! Whatever you are doing at this very minute, cut it out! And then run as fast as you can to your nearest bookstore and buy it! I'm not kidding, this book was an amazing evaluation of human morals and social structures. 

The book is set in 1960's Mississippi and examines the relationships of black maids and their white female bosses. It definitely pulls at the heartstrings as it looks at the daily struggles that the black women go through while being looked down upon by much of society. Despite the fact that they clean the homes, raise the children, and cook the meals, the white women look at them as if they were from another planet.

Kathryn Stockett really hit a home run with this book. I can not recommend it enough. Stockett's style of writing is sophisticated yet simple to read. The book flows smoothly from page to page. She masterfully intertwines humor and joy into what otherwise could have been an overly serious storyline. The characters in the book are lovable and Stockett effortlessly transports the reader back into a different time and place. 

As I turned the pages of The Help I was totally sucked into the world that Stockett created. It was so much fun to read and I'm sure I will read it again and again! This is the first book that I can firmly give 5 arrows to. Not only did I enjoy reading it, but I feel like it changed me in the process.


And now, time for the movie comparison, which you can by here if you'd like: The Help  

First things first, I will always love the book version of The Help better than the movie. But the reason why is pretty simple. Both were absolutely amazing in my opinion. When there is that close of a tie, the book will win by default in my books. Its just the way I tick. I guess thats why Found in the Fiction is a book review blog, not a movie blog :)

The movie version of The Help was a wonderful follow-up to a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. With these types of books I always get nervous to watch the movie. A book so full of raw human emotion and drama like this one is can sometimes get lost on the big screen. However, I felt like they did an amazing job. This was the first movie I saw Emma Stone in that I absolutely loved her!

When it comes to The Help I would strongly recommend seeing both the movie and reading the book! Read the book first, that way you get to enjoy all the surprises and twists in the book that are revealed too quickly in a movie format!!

After you've read this one (or if you already have) please come back and tell me what you thought and which you liked better!! Your comments are appreciated!

Movie:                     Book:                      Kindle Edition: 

May 10, 2014

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini



The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destoryed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons - their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.



Get this book here: The Kite Runner






Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Pages: 384
Publisher: Riverhead Books

I really enjoyed this book because it made me think, and it made me think hard. About who I am, the choices I make everyday, and the people those choices affect. That is probably why I loved this book. When you find a book that alters the way you think, than you know its a good one!

The Kite Runner is a book set in tumultuous Afghanistan. It follows the stories of young boys Amir and Hassan. Hosseini develops the political turmoil very well as he examines the life of Amir, son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, the son of a servant. While best friends in the beginning, when Amir stands by as other boys beat and harass Hassan, their friendship is changed forever.

Amir and his father escape to America, while Hassan remains in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over. While the novel has political undertones, when all is said and done it is a book about people and their human emotions. After Amir acts cowardly in the streets of Kabul as a young boy, he spends the rest of the book trying to atone for that mistake. 

Hosseini's writing style is honest and compelling. He does not leave out the unpleasant details, instead he lays them out for all to read. This honesty makes the book that much more heart-wrenching and painful, yet beautiful at the same time.

I would easily recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Read it. It is an amazing examination on the human soul. What is forgiveness, and how do we obtain it? I, hands down, give this book 5 arrows. It should be read by everyone!

May 9, 2014

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass


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.


Buy this book here: The Selection




Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen

With the third book in this series having just come out a few days ago, I thought I would share my thoughts on the previous two books, and ultimately why I won't be buying or reading the third installment anytime soon. 

For me, this book felt like ABC's The Bachelor, only held in ancient times. 35 girls are chosen to compete for the hand of the Prince. At anytime they can be sent home, its all up to Prince Maxon. Starting to sound similar to anyone else? There is lots of drama, girl-girl drama, girl-boy drama, and ultimately the book finishes with no real resolution.

I understand the book is the first in a trilogy, but I was surprised when the second book picked up immediately where the first one left off. Like word for word?!? Since when did that become a thing? I noticed the same thing happened in the Divergent books. And honestly, I wasn't really a fan of that style. I think its because I felt like Cass was simply stretching out the storyline in order to sell more books and convince people they needed to read the next one.

I really felt like the whole "Selection" process could have been resolved in a single book, and then Cass could have looked at different story lines and developed those in future books. Instead she dragged out a single plot into three different novels. By the time the second one finished I was no longer interested, and so I won't be reading the third book. I'll ask my friends to see what the ultimate conclusion was, but I just can't bring myself to read it.

The characters seemed immature and unfinished. America (yes, her name is really America) lacked substance and background. And I hated the fact that her name was America. I understand why Cass chose it, to show her fighting nature. In the end though, it fell short of that.

If you are looking for a quick easy read, then this is a book for you. There was very little substance, but at least the first book kept me interested enough to finish. If, however, you are looking for something with depth, with characters that excite and enthrall you, and a great adventure that you can dive into, this is probably not the book for you. I give this book a 2 arrow rating. Don't waste your time unless all you are looking for is something to waste your time with.

May 8, 2014

Library Haul

I'm a book junkie, but a poor one at that. Thats why the public library is my new best friend. We have quite the relationship...they feed my love for books and then I pay them for keeping those books too long. In the end it works out, but I probably have more library fines than most people. I can think of at least two libraries right now that I owe money. Needless to say, I'm not planning on going back to those ones anytime soon :)

Here is my haul from my trip yesterday:


6. Blackmoore  

Some of these were recommended to me by family or friends. Some are from favorite authors, and others just looked interesting. I might not be able to finish them all before they are due back to the library, but I will read as many as possible! I know I shouldn't bring so many home at once, but I just get sucked in my the endless amounts of books at the library. One day I'll be able to buy them all, but for now, I'm just glad I get to borrow them for a short time :)

How many books do you usually end up bringing home from the library? Or are you able to buy all of the books you read?