The Elite

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Series, book 2/6
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: April 23rd, 2013



Note: This post reviews the second book of The Selection Series. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Selection, before reading this review. 

America is now one of the Elite of the Selection – one of six girls left out of 35 to compete for the love of Maxon, Prince of Illea. While the other girls compete fiercely to be the next Princess, America doesn’t even know if this is really the life she wants. She knows that she feels something for the prince. But does she love him? And though he is very interested in America, does he actually love her back? (Her thoughts, not his.)

Sadly, as Maxon realizes he may not be able to win over America, he starts to consider his other options in the competition. GROAN. Now we have to see Maxon pursue and date other girls just in case America decides that she does not love him by the end of it.  (I hated this part of the book, but I get why he needs a back up plan.)

To make matters more complicated, her first love, Aspen, has been chosen to be a guard at the palace. This means that he has been elevated from a lowly six to an esteemed two in the caste system, and is now able to see a future with America, where there was no hope before the Selection. Also, they see each all the time in passing now. America cannot get over what she had with Aspen, and finds herself drawn to him, even during the Selection when she is supposed to be focusing on Maxon.

Will America make her choice before it is too late, or will she miss out on the love of her life?

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

  

The Selection

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Series, book 1/6
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 24th, 2012

If you are familiar with my blog posts, you will notice a pattern in the type of books I pick up to read. I am the first one to admit it: I’m a sucker for a good love story, particularly a good princess story! You could say I’m always on the hunt for the next great series to devour. I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with this series. You just have to read them yourself.

I think the best description of this series is by Publishers Weekly saying, “A cross between The Hunger Games (minus the blood sport) and The Bachelor (minus the blood sport).” Spot on. Just so you know what you are getting yourself into…

The Selection takes place after World War Four in futuristic America, no longer called America, but Illea. People are not just thought of as belonging to a particular class – upper, middle, lower – but are instead defined by a number. The number one’s are in charge. They are the rulers, the sovereigns, the Prince himself. The eight’s are lower than dirt, with no chance of finding a hopeful future.

America Singer is a five. Reluctantly, she enters her name in the Selection. She and thousands of other eligible girls enter the contest in which one of them will be chosen to be the future Princess of Illea – and Prince Maxon’s bride. It is no surprise that our heroine America is one of the 35 chosen girls to compete for the love of the Prince. From the beginning, however, she is convinced that she will not fall in love with him (so, of course, we know that she will). One of the reasons she holds back is because of Aspen, her childhood sweetheart, who just broke her heart. Because Aspen was a number six, their future would have been hard. Aspen, only wanting what was best for America, encouraged her to enter the Selection, hoping that she would have a chance at a better life. America is still in love with Aspen, and has no room in her heart for this stuffy, boring Prince Maxon.

Happily for us, she is proven very wrong about Maxon. Their relationship starts off as a solid friendship, America being quite honest about her lack of feelings for Maxon, and he deciding to keep her in the competition because her family desperately needs the stipend she receives from participating. Their friendship blossoms, and both of them realize that, whatever the future will hold, they will clearly be more than just friends. I must say, I appreciate the pace in which the writer allows their relationship to grow. It does not develop overnight like most classic fairytales, but instead progresses at a steady pace, becoming something strong and very real. Good character development!

I read through this book quite easily in one sitting – the sign of a fantastic book and a mesmerizing writer. I just couldn’t get enough of Amaxica! (clever, I know)

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

  

The Beauty of Darkness

Title: The Beauty of Darkness
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 3/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

Note: This post reviews the third book of The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first two books in the series, The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal, before reading this review.

Lia and Rafe have managed to escape from Venda, assuming the Komizar to be dead. They struggle across the wilderness, until finally they reach a stronghold of Dalbreck, Prince Rafe’s kingdom, where they are able to rest and regroup. Both Dalbreck and Morrighan are in danger of Venda’s wrath. Lia has seen the Vendan army for herself, and knows the real threat they pose to the other countries. Even though she is considered to be a traitor by her own people, Lia feels that is her duty as a First Daughter of Morrighan to warn them of the impending attack.

But Rafe, relieved to finally have Lia to himself and out of danger, cannot support her decision to leave Dalbreck and return to her country that has disowned her. Being true to her heart, despite her love for Rafe, Lia knows what she must do. Kaden, who was taken as a Dalbreck prisoner and later freed, accompanies her, having his own problems to face back in Morrighan. Though Rafe hates letting her go, he ultimately releases her, realizing that she must be free to make her own choices – no matter the outcome. They part ways, each returning to their homelands, with no expectations of being together again. *tears, many tears.

At this point, much is left unresolved: Will Lia be able to warn her people, despite her own danger? Does Morrighan, and Dalbreck, stand a chance against the great army of Venda? Is the Komizar really dead, or is he still hunting down Lia? Is Kaden more likely to end up with Lia, or will she and Rafe manage to find their way back to each other?

This stunning climax of The Remnant Chronicles did not leave me disappointed. I finished all 679 pages of the beast in less than 24 hours – it was that good! It was just impossible to put down. The author wrapped things up so well, and didn’t destroy her beloved characters in the process, a recent trend I have seen in YA fiction. The Remnant Chronicles will forever be one of my favorite series!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

The Heart of Betrayal

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 2/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt

Release Date: July 7, 2015

Note: This post reviews the second book of the The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Kiss of Deception, before reading this review. 

 
This first book left us with Lia and Rafe being taken captive in the kingdom of Venda. Lia has discovered, much to her dismay, that Rafe, the man she has fallen head-over-heels in love with, is the very same prince she jilted on her wedding day! *oh the irony – I love it so much. She, however, is alone in this realization. At this point, Lia feels lied to and betrayed by Rafe, who knew she was his betrothed all along, but didn’t tell her who he really was. Her trust in him wavers, but throughout the book, they rebuild their relationship with openness and honesty. Lia realizes that she is more in love with Rafe than ever, even though he is the Prince, and wants to spend her life with him. They plot and plan how to escape Venda.
 
In an attempt to spare her life, Kaden presents Lia to the Komizar, the cruel ruler of Venda, claiming that she has the gift. The gift is a sort of magical power that has been passed down through the royalty of Morrighan, though it had been rumored that the princess lacked it. Kaden, desperate to save her life, thought this as good a way as any. The Komizar is intrigued by Lia, and allows her to live as his prisoner, humiliating and degrading her at every chance he gets. He is not convinced that Lia does in fact have the gift, but he thinks she could yet be useful to the kingdom in other ways.
 
At this point, we have all three men in the story interested in Lia, for one reason or another. Rafe and Lia genuinely love each and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Kaden loves Lia, but Lia does not feel the same way toward him. And Lia despises the Komizar, who begins to see that if they were to wed, it would be a hugely advantageous war strategy: the traitor Princess of Morrighan, who insulted the kingdom of Dalbreck by refusing their Prince, married to the all-powerful Komizar of Venda.  
 
Will Lia be forced into an abusive marriage with Komizar, or will Rafe save them both and find a way for them to be together? And where exactly does Kaden fit in with all of this? And what will happen to each country on the brink of war?
 
Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: