Preview: 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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.

First of all, THE. COVER. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. Okay, I think I'm done freaking out. It is sooooo pretty though. I really want to try that dress on... Sorry for my "judging-a-book-by-its-cover" ness, I just couldn't keep it in! 

Anyways, now that I got that out of my system, I am actually really excited by the potential of this book. I think Kiera Cass could really have something here! The plot intrigues me. It's not just your typical royalty romance novel, it's a contest. It seems like it will be a cross between The Princess Diaries and The Hunger Games. (both of which I love, so this should be a winner!) 

AND, this book is potentially being made into a television series! Which just makes me that much more excited about it! :)

keep readin' it write! 


Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book — an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family — and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Following the final straw- an incident that involves a canon, the Stage and Theatre Managers break the news to Bertie that she has to leave the theatre- her home- and find a new life. Somehow, along with all the other Players in the theatre, she convinces them to change their minds, and instead she has an ultimatum. Either find a way to be useful, or leave forever. But what will she do? Ever part is filled, and the theatre runs smoothly just the way it is. 

I was really looking forward to reading this book, it looked mysterious and different then anything else I've seen in a while. The fist 40 pages or so had me pretty confused, though. There was so many characters introduced that keeping them all straight was a brain workout. After that, I really enjoyed it. There were a few other scenes that required more focus to make sense on, but that was part of what added to the mystery and magic of the Théâtre Illuminata itself. The Théâtre has a magic that you weren't supposed to understand, it just was. The sets moved by themselves, and the Players are tied to the Théâtre in a way that wasn't completely explained. Everything was a mystery. I loved that about this book.

1. Which character could you relate to the most, and why could you relate to them?
That's one of the questions that Megan asked me, and I think the answer would be Peaseblossom. I don't think I can relate to any of the characters very well, because, well, they are all supposed to be from plays and are over-dramatic, or are much older and more serious. Or Bertie, but I am neither family-less or desperate to stay at home, so that changes things quite a lot. Peaseblossom, one of Bertie's sidekicks, is constantly exasperated with 'the boys', Bertie's other sidekicks. I felt more sympathetic towards her then anything.

Which leads me into another point: I loved the characters! All of Lisa Mantchev's characters were developed and unique, and I found there wasn't a single character that I wanted to push off the pages of the book. I especially loved Peaseblossom, Mustard Seed, Cobweb and Moth, Bertie's fairy sidekicks from the play A Midsummer's Night Dream. They were impulsive and food-driven, hyper and hilarious. Many times I literally laughed aloud, and that doesn't happen much to me. I think the last time that characters made me laugh so much, was Fred and George from Harry Potter.

2.  Was this book good enough to distract you from having a life? 
It was! I really liked reading this book and I pulled it out several times during class, I think, and often as soon as I got home after school I would read this.

3. Will you read the sequel? Or why not?
The next two books are out (I can't remember if it's a trilogy or if there's another coming out... Hmmm, better check that I think.) and they are definitely on my reading list! The whole idea was so fascinating I want to read more, as well as the plot isn't resolved- I just have to find out how it ends!

4.  Who would cast as the main characters if this were a movie/play? 
The next question (And yes, Megan, this is very fitting for this book) is a tough one for me. In fact, it's so tough I've had this review saved as a draft for weeks because I couldn't come up with an answer. And, thanks to Megan, I have no choice BUT to answer it. 
I think that Ralph Fiennes would be a fine choice for the role of Ariel the air spirit! His role as Voldemort greatly resembles Ariel and I think he would fit this part well. 

Of course this is not true. About the only things that Voldemort and Ariel have in common is the fact that they are both incredibly pale and are both pain in the behinds. 

And so, in short,
The good: Wonderful characters, fascinating plot, enthralling setting.
The bad: At times, it was a bit confusing.



Preview: Pegasus by Robin Mckinley

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. But it's different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

I just started reading this book- I’m only about 40 pages in out of 404. So far, I have to say I’m really not sure about this book.

I was looking forwards to reading this- the moment I saw it, I wanted to. The cover is beautiful, and seeing as it said ‘Pegasus’ that was an instant attention grabber. See, I’m one of those horse- crazy girls, so anything with horses anywhere has instant brownie points with me.
I’m not really sure what I expected. The first little bit I read was lots of backstory, which was hard to follow in places (but that’s partly because I was reading right before I went to sleep and since I have a cold my thinking is a bit fuzzy). It’s a bit slow, too, but as long as it picks up the place a little I think this is going to be a wonderful book- the imagery is fantastic and the whole concept is unique. Doesn’t every girl wish to have their own Pegasus friend to talk with? If you didn’t before, maybe you do now.

I’m really looking forwards to seeing what this book has to offer.



Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

(I know that I never posted an appetizer for this book, but that is because I was about halfway through this book when we developed the idea ;P) 

This book was.... interesting. I'm not going to say it was good, because even now that I've finished reading it, I am still unsure if I truly enjoyed it. From the cover I thought it looked like your average sci-fi romance novel, maybe like Divergent or Delirium, but once I started reading I realized that I was totally off base. This book is disturbing, to say the least. It is blunt, and Beth Revis is definitely not afraid of details. The main thing I found disturbing was the way the Feeders (townspeople) were raised, and governed. Which kind of brings me to the first question Rachel wants me to answer...

1. Is there a character that drove you insane?  

Why yes! Indeed there is! The character that drove me nuts from beginning to end of this story was Eldest. The tyrannical leader of the ship Godspeed. I think the main reason that he irked me so much is the fact that he goes against almost everything I believe in. He is constantly lying to the Feeders, and using unethical practices to fuel his ship the way he wants to. For example, he manipulates the Feeders so they only ever want to have sexual relations during their "mating season". He treats them like wild animals, when that is not what human beings are. This and other inhumane actions have been going on for so long, that the people have forgotten what normal humans are like. They are convinced that this manipulated, savage though completely controlled way of life is normal. It just really gets to me, how oblivious the Feeders are, and that Eldest takes full advantage of them without even giving it a second thought. SCREW YOU ELDEST. 

2. What was your favourite part about this book? 

Like I said before, I'm not even totally sure if I liked this book, so I don't think I even have a favourite part... To be honest, when I think back on it, this book was kind of depressing. I know this review probably won't make you want to read this book, (unless you like sad books about people getting manipulated) but hey, not all books will be awesome, so not all reviews should be awesome. Right? I won't do you the injustice of lying, just to produce a good "that-book-was-amazing!" review. Even though I didn't really have a favourite part, there were some aspects of the world that interested me. Since this book is set many years in the future, and the characters are living on a spaceship far from Earth, they are clueless when it comes to their past. I found it interesting how their perception of human history is very warped and skewed compared to ours. For example, the people on the ship believe that Adolf Hitler was a great hero. Another interesting tidbit, is their food. The livestock on the ship to begin with are deformed and unnatural looking compared to what we have on Earth. The cows make weird screeching noises, and the food looks, but does not taste exactly like what can be found here. Everything is just slightly less real than Amy (the protagonist) remembers it from before she was frozen. 

3. If you had to live in this book, what sort of role would you want to play? 

Oh my gosh! Rachel you are torturing me here! I definitely would NOT want to live in this book, it would be awful. But if I HAD to.... I guess I would want to be a part of the rebellion that Amy attempts to start against the tyrant Eldest. I most definitely would not want to be a clueless Feeder, so even though knowing more would have it's disadvantages, I would rather be in the know, than oblivious. 

4. Who would you recommend this book to? 

Not my mom. Hahaha! I know for a fact she would NOT like this book... but hmmm.... I think I would recommend this book to my friend Lael. She, like me, is really into spacey, sci-fi things, and I think she might find this book interesting. 

Overall, I think this book was decent, not my favourite piece of fiction, but not a complete waste of time to read. It gave me a different perspective on the way we are treated as human beings, and our rights today in modern day society. Maybe we aren't as free as we think we are.... 

I give this book a rating of: 2.5/5 

keep readin' it write!


Review: Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede Caroline Stevermer

Yet another book that was read before the whole appetizer/ entree dealy-o was first imagined.

A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.
For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There's also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he's not doing a very good job of it--so just what are his intentions?) And then there's Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he is.
Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren't having so much fun!

1. Which character would you like to make out with?
3. Connect this book to the Lady Gaga song "Born this Way"
4. What was your favourite scene in this book, and why?

This book was written by two authors, Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. It's written in a way I've never read before- there are two main characters, and each is written by one author. But it's not only that- it's written in letters. So the whole story is almost two stories, but interconnected. It alternates between authors and characters, making it interesting to read.

I've read some books by Patricia C. Wrede before this, (The first two books in the Enchanted Forest series, Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons). They are not challenging to read, and don't have very difficult concepts, but they are incredibly fun. They are creative and funny, and complete fantasy. This book was no different- It was a bit silly and kind of crazy at times, but this was more of a young adult book then the Enchanted Forest Series was. It took not very long before I was completely taken by the book.

Kate goes to London with one of their aunts, while her cousin Cecelia is left behind at their house a few hours outside of London. Kate meets Thomas, the mysterious Marquis of Schofield, and when Kate meets him, she is suddenly involved in many things that she wishes she wasn't. Meanwhile, Ceceilia catches James Tarleton repeatedly spying on her new neighbour. In confronting him, she, too, gets involved in more then she planned on. Sorcery and Ceceilia involves magical curses, a step-mother and unexpected romance.

If I had to "1. Choose a favourite scene" like one of the questions Megan asked me, I think I would say almost anything with Thomas in it would stand out. The character of Thomas would be annoying and infuriating to meet, but at the same time charming and lovable. Which would also answer the question of "2. Which character would you like to make out with", (Megan, you are very sneaky with your questions. I'll get you back someday, don't think I won't.) I think of all the male characters, Thomas is the least freaky. I found James a bit annoying, and Oliver, Cecelia's brother, is just weird.

3. Connect this book to the Lady Gaga song "Born this Way" Is the last question from Megan. (She's crazy, see?) I honestly have no idea how Lady Gaga would have anything to do with this book, but let's see. If you really stretched it, you could say that since "Born this Way" is music, it would relate to the book in the way that Kate goes to several balls, which have music. It's a stretch, but I guess it works? Maybe? Okay, maybe not, I tried.

And so, in short;
The Good: Good characters, fun plot, nice setting, interestingly written.
The Bad: Slow-ish pace.
The Verdict: 3.5/5

And now for something completely different...

We'd like to introduce you to a new feature that we will be starting soon! What is it? You say? What craziness will they have next?

Sorcery and Cecilia was written by two authors, but not just willy-nilly. It was written using the 'Letters Game'. This game is played between two authors sending each other letters. In the first letter, the first author gets to set the time period, the characters, and start to introduce the story. Then, the other author has to answer with their character and continue on. The characters can not be together at any time during the story, and the authors are not supposed to talk about what they are planning or thinking. Pretty much, you have to roll with the punches-er, letters- that the other person sends to you, and just keep it going.

So now either you've guessed what you've got up our sleeves, and if you have, bonus points for you! If not, I am excited to inform you that we will be starting our own letter game! This will be the first feature that we host that goes with the 'write' part of 'read it write'.


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