Waiting on Wednesday (#14)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The One

The One
by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Publication Date: 06 May 2014
by HarperTeen

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers’ hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey… Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

Add to Goodreads

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I might not have enjoyed The Elite as much as I did The Selection but here’s a little list I compiled of why I still love this trilogy:

  1. All the covers match. It’s incredibly visually pleasing.
  2. The fact that each dress on each cover represents one color on the American flag is beautiful.
  3. America did realize she wasn’t being very nice throughout The Elite & changed at the end of the book.
  4. It’s fluffy and fun yet still dystopian.
  5. Prince Maxon.

What book are you waiting on this week?

Adelena

Top Ten 2014 Release I’m Dying to Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we feature top ten books or book related stuff according to each week’s topic.

This week’s topic, the top ten 2014 releases I’m dying to read. As we all know, with a new year, comes new books! I honestly don’t know how I’m going to narrow down the top ten books I’m looking forward to most but I shall attempt it. However, my opinions might change as I discover new books that are being published and this list would only represent my current view.

I usually include book covers for my Top Ten Tuesday posts but as some of the book covers have yet to be released, we shall just do without for now.

Top Ten 2014 Releases I’m Dying to Read:

1. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

The whole reason I keep putting off reading CoFA & CoLS is because the release date of CoHF keeps getting pushed back. Lets hope the delays will cease because I’m dying for this. And Cassie Clare’s assistant also said it had the saddest happy ending ever; I’m wondering if it’ll beat Clockwork Princess’s ending. Anyway, HAND OVER THE TISSUES PLEASE.

2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

One of my favorite fantasy trilogies ever and I just need my dose of Nikolai! I’m devastated, however, that it’s ending. What will I do without the enchanting tales and adventures of Alina Starkov? I actually wish I was a Grisha living in the story.

3. Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Ana. Sam. I. Ship. Them. So. Much. What in the world is going to happen? I predict know this would be one mind-blowing finale.

4. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Another final installment that has been pushed back like CoHF. I desperately need this creeptastic ending!

5. Raging Star by Moira Young

This trilogy is like nothing I’ve ever read so I really have no idea how it could end. Otherwise meaning, just give to me already.

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer

I’m utterly confident I’ll love Cress and Carswell together, just like Cinder & Kai and Scarlet & Wolf. Not to mention the excellent story involved!

7. The One by Kiera Cass

Although I got annoyed at America in the middle of The Elite, it got better when she realised how crappy she was at the end. Now I just want to know what happens! I totally ship Maxon and America and refuse to even consider this ship might sink.

8. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

It’s written by Marie Lu. I don’t see why any more is needed to be said.

9. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

One word: Evan.

10. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The synopsis for this was so compelling but truthfully, I would read this for the cover alone. It is that gorgeous.

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So that’s it for me, there were more that I’d like to include but they did not even have titles yet which would be quite inconvenient. For example, the 3rd book of The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole and the 3rd installment of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah. J. Maas, to name a few.

What new releases are you looking for to next year? Do share by dropping a comment below!

Adelena

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite

The Elite
by Kiera Cass
Series:
The Selection #2
Published: 23 April 2013
HarperTeen, Hardcover, 323 pages
Source: Library

Goodreads | The Book Depository | Amazon

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR 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 Illéa.

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.

Rating: ★★★★

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with The Elite. Its predecessor, The Selection, actually made it onto my favourites list but unfortunately, I can’t say the same for this book. For a majority of the book, I was extremely annoyed with America.

Back in The Selection, America Singer had been a great protagonist. She was selfless, compassionate and smart, although endearingly stubborn at the same time. However, she suffered a 180-degrees change in The Elite. Somehow, America turned into a selfish brat. Everything was about her. Her difficulty in choosing either Maxon or Aspen. Her feeling inferior to the other Elites. Her needing time. Her not being sure. Her, her, HER.

Really, it was such a disappointment seeing one of the nicest protagonists I’ve come across turn into a car wreck.

However, she pulled her crap together in the end and realized how self-absorbed she had been. This was what made me ponder over my rating for this book. Since America learned from her mistakes, does that mean Kiera Cass meant for her to be a pain at the beginning?

As for the love angle, I’m still on Team Maxon. Sure, my support for him wavered a little due to a particular event in the book, but in the end, the verdict’s still the same. I tried being more open-minded to Aspen but I really can’t see him as anything but too stubborn and self-centered for America.

Moreover, Maxon did not put up with America’s crap in the first 3 quarters of The Elite. Dude’s definitely got a backbone. I like!

The plot in The Elite was also much less fairytale-esque as compared to The Selection. The rebel attacks were getting increasingly serious and America would discover a huge national secret. Although the secret felt slightly predictable to me. Nonetheless, The Elite has a lot more action (with the exception of the slow start) and the glitzy front in the first installment was peeled back to reveal some very dark and unpleasant discoveries.

The claws are out among the Elite. And I really do hope America realizes she’s not the only girl in the world.

Although I literally suffered through 3 quarters of the book, the last quarter was undoubtedly worth the suffering. Crazy, heart-wrenching revelations and a humongous improvement in America, it really was an ending to die for. The conclusion itself made me want to give this a 5-star rating but I guess I had to be fair and take into consideration the awful first three quarters.

To sum this up, The Elite sure is hard to rate with its sky high highs and rock bottom lows. But like I said, the initial annoyance is worth the mind-blowing conclusion. Gosh, I need The One now. Bad. How am I even going to wait until 2014?

Adelena