Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass





Title:
The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 24th, 2014
Genre: Dystopian? Probably 
Page Count: 336
Age Range: 12+




Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity 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, which is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. 
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. 

My Thoughts:
Okay, I think I can easily sum up this book in a few words. The Bachelor meets the Hunger Games. It has some actions but it is really mainly just a love competition...but I am most definitely not complaining. I will say it is not the most deep, life changing, well written book. I liked it mainly because of its entertainment value. I could usually tell what was going to happen and what the characters would do next. So, if you are looking for an amazing jaw dropping book, this is not the one for you.

The book revolves around a girl named America (you will learn why this is her name in the book ;D) who is selected to be in a competition to win the heart of Prince Maxon and become Queen of Illea. I really like the setting of this book. The caste system was  especially interesting for me. I have read so many books that have some sort of caste system but I liked this one because the caste that each character was in would have a huge impact on their personality, income, and family life. Although America was not at the lowest level, she still worked hard to get her food. It was also really interesting that Kiera Cass made Illea a  post- America society. She gives us a snippet of a future that may be in store for the United States and what might happen after there is a downfall of some nations in the world.

Now onto the characters..... They are so typical YA fiction. I am not necessarily saying this is a bad thing but they were nothing super special. They were not very thought provoking and really just skimmed the top layer. This does not stop me from completely loving Maxon though. My brain is telling me "he is not that great" but uh, he is just so amazing. His relationship with American was really cute. I absolutely loved when they met. Hands down my favorite part of the book. I will not tell you what happens because you just need to read it yourself.

The thing about this book that is making me hesitate between four and five stars is that it is so YA fiction. There is not that much there besides the entertainment value. The writing just passes sub par and it does not make you really reflect or think about the issues brought up in the book.

Overall, this is a very entertaining novel filled with charming characters and an interesting back story. If you are looking for a light read, this is the one for you!!

Rating: ****
Cover Rating: I LOVE IT
Recommendations;
1. Matched by Allie Condie
2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Now, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Places to Read

Hey everyone so I was thinking today I would rank some of my favorite/usual places that I read/ have read. I would love to hear where you guys read, so comment! Without further ado..

10. Anywhere. Anytime. Reading is awesome.
9. Work. I know, I know I probably should not be reading at work but it happens sometimes. Although it happens a lot, I am not a fan of reading at work because I am always interrupted (ALWAYS at a good part of course)
8. In the car. I used to read on the bus to school or in the car. I know some people cannot read in the car but I am one of the lucky ones who can
7. School. This is the same thing with work. I know I should be doing other things, but when I am reading a good book, I cannot help it...whoops ;D
6. While eating. This happens way too much. I will be eating breakfast while trying to balance my book in front of me. It is just so hard but I just want to read my book! Gosh.
5. Any couch in my house. Most of the couches in my house are pretty comfortable but I usually do not like to read with anyone around and my family is usually lounging so I guess this one depends..
4. The library. I like reading at the library because it is so quiet but sometimes the library does not have the best books or it may be crowded.
3. The book store (especially Barnes and Noble). I love reading at the book store. They always have nice seats that are super comfy.
2. The beach. I love reading at the beach. I bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and my bathing suit and I am a happy camper. It is so relaxing, especially with the sound of the water. Ah, I wish I were there.
1. My bed. This has to be the place where I read the most. It is just so comfortable and I usually do my reading at night before I go to bed.

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd


Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman



Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 374 
Age Range: 12+


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive--alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Thoughts:

So recently I have been really into science fiction. I have read a lot of fiction and non fiction texts for some reason in the past couple of months, and I have realized how awesome it is. It is just really cool to think about the possibilities of life in our galaxy and others. Okay so I think I will start talking about the book now.

Let me just start by saying that I thought that Kaufman did an awesome job with the science part of this book. I am most definitely not a space scientist and never will be so I do not know that much about the physics of space. But, I did think that everything that she wrote made sense for a fiction book. The book in set in a galaxy where most planets are inhabited by some sort of life form. Two characters, Tarver and Lilac are on a huge space liner that is going from two different planets. When this space liner crashes into an "uninhabited" planet, they must learn how to survive and get back home. 

I thought the plot was really interesting. I never got bored but I can say that I liked the beginning of the book was much better than the end.. I thought that once Tarver and Lilac figured out that they were not alone on this planet that it went downhill. I think it was a problem with "suspense of disbelief". It was just a little difficult for me to wrap my head around some of the things that were going on. But, that is just me and I know some people who loved the end. 

Now onto the characters....I really liked them. I mean there are only two characters that are really in the book. The secondary characters are only present for a small portion of the book. In the beginning of the book, I despised Lilac. She is the typical rich girl whose father does everything for her. But once she has to spend time with Tarver, she realizes there is so much more than what her father has given her. I thought her character development was the most present. Tarver did change throughout the book but it was not as apparent. 

Overall, I thought that this was a pretty interesting book. It is not something that you just pick up for a quick and easy read. You have to get into it, and buy into the story that Kaufman is giving you. If you like learning about space/ science fiction than I would definitely recommend this to you.

Rating: ***/*
Cover Rating: Nah, sorry
Recommendations:
1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
2. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 

Now, what do you think?
Sincerely, 
a Book Nerd 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson



Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Genre: Contemporary 
Page Count: 371 
Age Range: 12+ 



Synopsis (from Goodreads):Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff- dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for the both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways....until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else-- an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins do not realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they'd have a chance to remake their world. 

My Thoughts:
Two words.
Book. Covers.
Book covers make it or break books for me. If I see a book cover I do not like, I will not pick it up. It is a fact, and I live by this fact. So, when I originally saw this book a couple of months ago, I said "No way, it looks like a rainbow threw up." So when my favorite librarian said "can you read this for me and tell me how it it?" I secretly thought I would rather cut my own foot off with a spoon. But, because she is my favorite, I said yes.

Oh, am I glad I said yes. This book changed me. It made me think about my actions, my thoughts, and what I say to anyone before we part ways. Each and every character in this book makes decisions that change not only their lives, but their whole families. As they do, the web is weaved even more and it gets harder and harder to unravel everything. Both Jude and Noah must admit what they have done to the family, and how it has affected them, but to themselves. They need some serious time to themselves to sort out what has happened to them.

I am not going to tell you what happens in this book, because if I give one little detail it might ruin the book for you. The author, Jandy Nelson, leaves little breadcrumbs throughout the novel. Each breadcrumb is vital to the end, so if I give you a breadcrumb, the whole book may fall apart. I will keep the breadcrumbs for now. 

I will say that the structure of this book is so original and I absolutely loved it. It takes place in two different time periods. When the twins are 13 and the when the twins are 16. When they are 13, you see out of Noah's eyes, and when they are 16, you see out of Jude's eyes. This was awesome because you knew some things about the other character, but you were trying to draw your own conclusions and figure out what was going on. It was like playing a game while reading the book. It was so interactive and so much fun to read. I was always guessing what would happen, telling my coworker, reading a bit more, then telling my coworker if I was right. It was a never ending game that ended with my coworker excitedly waiting for what I would say. 

I think that everyone will connect with the story. If you like romance, you are good there. You like suspense, got that for you too. I really connected to it. My little sister and I used to have a tough relationship. But now, we are really close. So, I could totally understand what Noah and Jude were going through. The family dynamics of the novel are tested every which way and the whole time you are hoping it will end up okay. 

Overall, this book was entertaining and touching. It gave me everything I wanted in a very unique way. Round of applause Ms. Nelson.

Rating: *****
Cover Rating: No thanks
Recommendations:
1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta 
2. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 

Now, what do you think?


Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10 Things I Cannot Stand About Books

Good morning everyone! Today I thought I would rank some of the most frustrating things about books/ authors. I bet many of you have gone through most of these and they are SOOOO ANNOYING. But, it is something we all must deal with. Great....

10. When the sequel ruins a series.
9. Hard cover books are just so expensive. My wallet does not appreciate it.
8. Paperbacks not coming out until after you have spent $20 on the hardcover.
7. Book covers not reflecting the amazingness of a book.
6. When the next book in the series takes THREE MILLION years to come out.
5. Annoying main characters who just ruin everything.
4. Authors being perfect. Can they just stop? Leave some glitter for the rest of us please.
3. When the author decides to make the perfect book boyfriend/ girlfriend. I have a list of my book boyfriends and it is unfair that they are fictional.
2. When your favorite character dies. I mean, really?
1. STUPID CLIFF HANGERS. I HATE cliff hangers at the end of books. I want to tear my hair out.

Agree/ Disagree?!?!

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios



Title: I'll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Page Count: 400 
Age Range: 13+



Synopsis (from Goodreads):
If seventeen- year- old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double- wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum- wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom- that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she's ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen- year- old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his left is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. 

What brings Skylar and Josh together is working together at Paradise- a quirky motel off California's dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendships and soon, something deeper. 

My Thoughts:
Heather Demetrios I love you. I love you so much I could explode. This book was exactly what I needed. It stabbed me in the chest, than twisted the blade. It was rough, though but sweet. The characters were so real and I could not stop reading. I am still sad that it ended.

The book revolves around a girl named Skylar. She just wants to get out of the trailer park that she lives in and go to the big time....college. But, once her mother starts going down the deep end she realizes she might just have to stay home and take care of her. At the same time, Josh Mitchell is coming back from Afghanistan...without a leg. Yup. He has to adjust to his old life and learn how to get better-- mentally and physically. I am going to try to say this just once but.... I LOVE JOSH MITCHELL. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. He is funny, smart, kind, perfect..... Ugh, so perfect. 

Both Skylar and Josh have some serious crap to wade through, but they use each other to lean on to get through it. I loved them both. They both had their flaws, but they were realistic. After going through war (literally), and a messed up family, I think they are allowed these flaws. Once they realized that they needed each other, they were fantastic. It was not one of those throw up in you mouth romances though. It was sweet but rough on the edges. It was real, not some made up crap you stumble upon once in a blue moon.

I also loved the scenery (I guess you can call it that). I think Creek View made the book for me. It wrapped up the story in a cute little box and bow. Knowing what Josh and Skylar were trying to escape made their goals so much more necessary. And let us just talk about Paradise. I loved Paradise. Each room of the motel had its own theme, and they had the most amazing boss. 

One thing I love about books is that you get to experience all of these stories through different eyes. I loved being able to look at this town through the eyes of both Skylar and Josh. I got to feel Skylar's need to get out and Josh's problems with being back. But, this town brought the two together and KABAM. Perfection.

I do not think I should say any more because I am sort of nervous I will tell you literally everything that happens and then rant about it (has already happened unfortunately) 

Overall, I urge you all to go and pick up this book. That is all. 

My Rating: *****
Cover Rating: I want to marry the cover.
Recommendations:
1. Something Real by Heather Demetrios
2. One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
3. Paper of Plastic by Vivi Barnes

Now, what do you think?
Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goodreads anyone?!

Hey everyone,

Just a super quick post for all of you lovely people. I realized a week ago that I never gave you guys a link to my Goodreads. What a wackadoodle. Before I set up my blog, I tried to keep by Goodreads private. I have no idea why but for some reason I was freaked out at people knowing what I was reading. "Oh no, THEY KNOW IM READING TWILIGHT" !!! Yeah, but I have gotten past THAT fear now....... Hopefully..

Here is the link to my Goodreads page...

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3648607-cassandre 

(let me know if it works...You may have to copy and paste?)

Feel free to add me as a friend so you can see what I am reading. If you are feeling up to it, message me or something. I would love to talk to you guys!!

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel




Title:
 The Book of Ivy
Author: Amy Engel

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Publication Date: November, 11 2014
Genre: Dystopian 

Page Count: 282
Age Range: 13+ 


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 
This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president's son- my soon-to- be- husband- and restore the Westfall family to power. 
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he's not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But the is not escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him.....

My Thoughts:

YES! Finally a distopian that I can actually read without a rant afterwards! I am so surprised with this book. Honestly, I was not expecting to REALLY like it, but man did I. Since I started blogging, I have tried to find books that are obscure and have not hit the "big times" yet. Some of them have been mediocre, and some have been amazing (like this one).  The Book of Ivy was thought provoking, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and just flat out awesome. Let me just say I want the next one (The Revolution of Ivy) ..... NOW. Please and thank yous.

It takes place after the United States was pretty much destroyed. Only two families are left and they must fight to gain power. Ivy is related to the family that lost. Every year, the girls of the losing side have to marry the boys of the winning side. This year, Ivy is one of those lucky girls. But... she is extra special. She gets to marry the presidents son (gasp)! Since she is a direct relative of the Westfall family, she has to marry the direct relative of the winning family. Keep in mind that these kids are in their teens. That like if I had to get married (ugh). Anyway, her family wants to get back into power so she is tasked with killing the president's son (Bishop). Sounds pretty easy right? Yeah, not at all.

I loved the plot. I was on my toes the entire time. Ivy takes us on an incredible journey where she learns more about herself and more about the city she is from and the history of the families. I thought it was interesting because it is very probable that this might happen. I mean, if the world ends someone has to come to power. The population will have to grow back somehow, so how else but to marry off the youngin and get them breeding. The novel also explores family dynamics and how far you would go for your family which was really interesting.

I was kind of obsessed with Ivy. She understood how crazy the President's plans were and did what she could to fight it. She also was not like any other girl narrator in any other book. She was not super bold and did not go out of her way to get what she wanted. I felt like she was more realistic, especially for someone in her situation. I did feel like she got a little wishy washy when it came to Bishop (swoon...). Speaking of Bishop, man oh man. He was just wonderful. He was easy around Ivy and made sure she was comfortable. And that seen with the roof?!?! HE will stand up for what he believes in, whether that goes against his father's wishes.

Now... I cannot end my review without giving my reaction in regards to the ending. Ready...?


WHAT THE FRICKIDY FRACK WAS THAT?!?!?! FIRST OF ALL, HOW COULD ENGEL DO THAT TO ALL OF US?!?! I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER TO READ THE NEXT BOOK LADY!!

Gosh, I hate when authors do that.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and made me think about the possibility of this happening.

My Rating:****/*
Cover Rating: I like it
Recommendations:
1. The Conspiracy of Us All by Maggie Hall
2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
3. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Now, what do you think?
Sincerely, 
a Book Nerd