Review: The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass


Title: The Crown
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 5/3/16
Length:   212 pages
Series:  The Selection #5


Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet byThe Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

In The Heir, a new era dawned in the world of The Selection. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

My Thoughts

I’ve been waiting and waiting for this next bit of the series, and i’m really sad if it’s supposed to be the last one too….which i think maybe it is? Where we were left off in The Heir is a place of utter and complete turmoil.  The selection is going on for Eadlyn, she knows how much the people don’t really care for her as she’s not warm and friendly like her father (or her mother), her brother has gone off and eloped with the princess of France and that results in America having a heart attack and being in limbo.

My first concern was that if you all recall from the last book of the original series, there was turmoil in the palace and the queen ended up dying.  I was getting a sense of deja vu as it comes in this series at a point when Eadlyn had to really step up on her own, and perhaps thought that Ms Cass was going to take us down that same path.  We’re left wondering for quite a bit in this story though if that would happen.

What’s nice here though is that because of all that’s happened over such a short period of time, we see which men in the selection are right for her and which should be doing other things.  while we don’t get to know quite so much about some of them as the boys are whittled down to the Elite much faster, we do at least get to see which relationships are developing as they should.

The gentlemen that you think are front runners are surprisingly maybe not the ones that continue on, and that’s a nice twist that we see.  I feel like while i thought i knew who was going to be chosen, and then i changed my mind, i was still hoping for an ending that we didn’t see.

There’s another twist to the story that’s brought in, and i have to say that i would have loved to see it built out more.  As you’ll remember from the end of the original series, the Illea’s were brought back into the fold because of a friendship with Maxon and America.  What we see here is that there’s a rift with the families, but the son, who’s Eadlyn’s age, well he has an agenda and it’s interesting to see how that manifests itself.  you continue to wonder throughout the story what role he’ll ultimately play since he’s a disturbance in the selection and i think that he’s going to be a disturbance politically as well.

Maxon shares a few interesting secrets along the way with Eadlyn which make some of the characters that we’ve met in the story take on a bigger role and i think that it’s nice to see that there’s more to him than we knew before.

That all being said, this was a sweet continuation of the story, however i feel like maybe we were a bit shortchanged.  I want to see what’s coming next since the reign of Queen Eadlyn is going to be much different since times are changing, but i think that with the epilogue that we got, perhaps this is it.  I want to see what the romance becomes with the characters that we have in the end, and i want to see what happens with those that were ‘cast out’ of the palace since those were some of my favorites.

So all in all, i’m a bit sad that it;s all ended, but very pleased with how the story continued a generation later.  Enjoy!


Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Siren
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins 1/26/16
Length:  227 pages


Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can’t bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

My Thoughts

To be honest, i had no idea what to expect here, and i don’t know how i feel.  it’s weird.  I LOVE the Selection Series and i had all these high hopes because i think that there’s a good story there, but here, while there’s a decent story – i’m on the fence.

What we have is a interesting mix of fantasy/myth and romance – young love that maybe can’t be had because of the dangers of mythical results.  Kahlen – our leading Siren, she’s torn because she’s trying to do right by The Ocean who saved her from dying during a shipwreck but at the same time she wants more – she’s not sure what that more is until she meets a boy named Akinli but she knows that she wants something that she doesn’t have.

Throughout this story, we see the lengths in which the group of girls will go to please The Ocean, because the are in debited to her and they have no choice, but at the same time they are trying to make the best of their 100 years of servitude just to get out of it.  Kahlen isn’t made that way and while she’s got this stronger bond with The Ocean, she’s the ‘favorite’ of sorts, it’s still hard.

Where things get interesting though is when she accidentally breaks the rules, and that results in a mysterious change that happens to her, and an illness that befalls Akinli.  The question then becomes what needs to happen to save them and can they be saved?  It’s one of those tales of unrequited love, and wondering which is more powerful, the power of a master or the power of love.

Not a bad book, just one that i’m torn about.  I’d love to hear what you guys have to say though since it could just be my expectations on what Ms Cass gives us in other series.  Have a great Friday all!

Review: The Favorite (The Selection #2.6) by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Favorite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins 10/13/15
Length:  56 pages
Series:  The Selection #2.6


While America Singer’s heart was torn between Aspen and Prince Maxon, her friend Marlee knew exactly what she wanted—and paid the price.

Revisit the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series in this digital original novella. Told from Marlee’s point of view, this all-new 64-page story returns to the fateful Halloween when Marlee and Carter were discovered and reveals how that night—and Prince Maxon—changed their lives forever.

The Favorite also features a teaser to The Siren!

Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint with new releases each month.

My Thoughts

I love this series and i think that since we were already so invested in Marlee throughout America’s journey, and then once again when we got into the spin off series with Eadlyn.  I feel like Marlee had so much more to offer, that a novella is great, but i feel like maybe we were cheated a bit since this was just a bit of a brush off when we got into the whole situation.

I love that we got to see how Marlee and Carter got together, since we knew only that it happened, but not that there was a fall that he took care of her for, that he was romantic and brought her flowers and that there was so much conflict internally for both of them as to what to do.  There was a bit of confusion though with how our great author depicted things since there was a flash back bit and then a fast forward, and i’m just confused.

So all that being said, we definitely get a sweet bit of the story – i loved that we got to see the changes that Maxon and America started to put into place once they became the king/queen roles, and i think it’s a good lead in to the spin off series.  I wish we had more, but it was enjoyable none the less.  Happy Thursday all!

Review: The Heir (The Selection Series #4) by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 5/5/15
Length: 256 pages
Series: The Selection #4


Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story…but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

A new generation of swoonworthy characters and captivating romance awaits in the fourth book in the Selection series.

My Thoughts

Going into this next installment, i think that i didn’t realize that it was going to not only be a full length addition to the series, but that we were going to get a full new story line.  This was a GREAT extension from the series that i have clearly raved about in the past and i’m thrilled that we got something that was so amazing.

As the summary tells us, we are now in a point in time where it’s America and Maxon’s children who are coming of age, and while they are now living in a time when there’s no need for a Selection, the castes have been disbanded, there are still things going on in Illea that need something to turn it around.  And the proposition of a Selection, well that’s what Maxon and America think may be what the people need.

We have Eadlyn – the next in line for the thrown after her parents had the laws changed, and she’s being asked to hold her own selection, the first of its kind with 35 men vying for her affections.  She’s been raised her entire life to know that she’s the most powerful person out there and that she’s independent and sheltered, and of course that’s a problem since she’s lacking in emotional and social skills and she really doesn’t want to open herself up to romance.

It’s definitely an interesting process because as we saw with America, she had Aspen in the palace – not in the form of a real romantic option, but as someone familiar (who caused problems).  Eadylyn has Kile who’s Marlee’s son as a potential suitor, he’s found his way into the pool and it’s something that Eady wasn’t thrilled about at first but is warming up to.  What i love here is that because of how much they don’t like each other to begin with, it makes things interesting when they are finding that they have chemistry.

The journey that we go on is such a contrast to what Maxon and America had.  We knew that right off the bat there were sparks with her parents, we don’t see overt sparks for Eady, but we see that there are a few interesting prospects that could have potential.  We don’t see that there’s anyone that’s really striving to be Prince Consort aside from Henri, but i also don’t know that he’s in a place where he’ll ever be able to really be supportive.

It’s not until the end when things really get exciting, Ahren, Eadlyn’s twin brother makes a big decision about his relationship with Camille at the push of Eady, and we know that something’s going on with her parents, and it’s the last few pages that really make things scary.  One of them has a medical emergency and we’re in limbo waiting to see what will happen.

What does this mean for us?  Well, that even though we now have to wait until 2016 for the next installment, we’ve got a LOT to ponder.  Which suitor will Eady choose if she even does choose – what will that mean for Kile since we know that there are feelings there, but she made him a promise to help him get out of the palace, what about Erik and Henri?  i feel like although Eriks not in the mix officially, he’s in the mix some how, and Ean i just don’t trust.  The other piece is that i think that while we don’t have a rebellion like we did in the first 3 installments, the information that Ahren imparted in his note means that something BIG is going to happen and it’s up to Eady to do something to make it right.  Sooooo much great stuff, and well, we’ll have to be patient for it to come through i guess.

Review: The Queen (The Selection #.4) by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Queen
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 12/2/14
Length: 72
Series: The Selection #.4


Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

My Thoughts

I love when we get novellas from this series since they do a really good job of giving us a new perspective on characters.  I know that i’m not alone in wishing that i knew more about Queen Amberly and her journey through her own Selection and this was a great introduction to that.  The little downside that i’ll add is that it only teased a few things – and didn’t give us the full story – but definitely enough to make the full series make sense.

In this novella installment we meet Amberly after several of the girls have already gone home, with only herself and another Four remaining.  She’s really counting down her days until she’s sent home since it seems like it’s a caste thing at this point.  The background here which is different from America’s Selection is that we learn that Amberly has been ‘in love’ with Clarkson since she was seven, so this is a dream come true for her where as America really was ambivalent for her own Selection.

Similar to what we see in America’s story, there are close friendships that are formed – and i believe that some of those girls even appeared in The Selection.  Amberly is forced to deal with several of the same struggles that we saw prior as well, never knowing where she stands with the Prince, having to fight for her place among those that are more polished and we also get to see that Amberly has to really cope with her own share of health issues -which we learn is a result of where she’s from.

So in this short story – we see the love begin to develop between her and Clarkson, which makes him more human since he’s quite the bull in The Selection.  We also see that the way that he is as a grown man and the King is a direct correlation of how he was raised since his parents have at each other in a harsh way.  It’s like the best intentions aren’t quite met here and that’s something that was passed onto Maxon.

What i miss though is that we dont see Amberly’s journey to the end – we only get close-ish.  We see what Clarkson is willing to do to keep her around and what tests he’s laid out, what secrets he’ll keep – but still, we don’t really get to see that culminate in his choice and ultimately the birth of Maxon.  I’d love that bit of the story.

Nevertheless – i think that it’s great that we got this bit, and it’ll hold me over until we get to read The Heir which will be nice since it’s the continuation of America and Maxon’s story i believe.  Enjoy!

Review: The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass


Title: The One
Author:  Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins Publishers 5/6/14
Length:  336 Pages
Series: The Selection #3


The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, 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.

My Thoughts

Yup – i did it, i put as much aside today that i could to read this finale and it was EXACTLY what i was hoping for.  Most of my questions were answered and a few interesting things came up that i was NOT expecting at all.  that’s what i call a great way to end a series that i’ve been enthralled with for a while now.

So, as you’ll remember, at the end of The Elite, we were down to the ‘semi-finals’ of sorts, with the final few girls being tested in various princess like activities.  America was starting to come into her own, yet her temper and strong will continued to get in her way.  There was also the issue of her deep caring and feelings for her friends which continues to drive a wedge between her and Maxon.  Kriss is exactly that kind of wedge, she’s grown quite close to Maxon while America is figuring things out, and that’s where this journey really takes us.

Where i felt that book 2 got a little too angsty for me, book 3 really took us in another direction – one that was more about politics and finding out what matters than being a teenager in love…although that was clearly the biggest theme here.  While the girls continue to get tested, they are challenged to find there place as a potential princess, and maybe a mate/partner for Maxon, although everyone’s starting to see why the others are still in it.

One of the plot lines that was introduced in The Elite that really takes the stage here is about the rebels – and the northern rebels at that.  remember that these are the ones that don’t go for brutality but are clearly looking for something.  What my gut was telling me as a means to how they find their information only turns out to be partly correct.  One person that i thought was in on it, well that person doesn’t seem to play that role, however another is exactly what i expected.  It’s one of the girls in the Selection that I wasn’t expecting at all to play a role – and i think that you will all find it to be a surprise as well.  I mean, there are things that we know about Elise, Celeste, Natalie, Kriss and even America herself that lead us in an interesting direction when things start to be revealed.

I have to say though that it’s nice to see that Maxon is persistent throughout this book, and while he knows what he wants, and he’s not willing to settle, he’s also trying to be honest with himself about having his heart broken.  America finds herself in a precarious position of whether or not she loves Aspen still, and I think that she still does – it’s clear actually in most of the scenes that they are together.  It’s because of this that shows us that Kriss may be the right choice for Maxon, if he’s even allowed to make a choice….the King’s not really interested in that.

Without giving away too much, we get heartache, and love, we get a lot of deaths that were not expected at all – some key folks that i think we’re all invested in find themselves short of the ending, yet it’s the connections and relationships that were developed through the Selection that take us through it, and give us hope that maybe Illea will be better off in the future, if the right princess is selected.

I’m pleased with The One, and who is The One, even if it’s not the path that I expected things to go.  I kind of wish that we had an epilogue further into the future to see if Maxon would make a good king, and if the people would support him, but i think that things happen for a reason, leaving us open to imagine what we want as an ending.  I kind of hope that there’s another novella since i think that Mary, Lucy and Anne deserve a little something as well, but that’s just my thoughts 🙂

I hope you guys enjoy the finale story in this trilogy as much as i did

Re-Review: The Selection & The Elite (The Selection Trilogy #1 & #2) by Kiera Cass



In preparation for midnight – i’ve decided that i needed to re-read the series to make sure that i’m 100% up to speed on where things were going in America and Maxon’s life.  I always like to see what i pick up on the 2nd time around to be honest, there’s a lot that i don’t see the first time that makes the story even better the second time around.

As you’ll all remember, Prince Maxon is coming of age, and he now has to choose a wife – meaning that 35 girls are chosen in The Selection to vie for his affections.  America – a lowly 5 in the cast system finds herself among the girls chosen and it means that her world is turned upside down.  Not only does she have to move away from her family, she’s also trying to deal with the fact that the boy that she loved, a six named Aspen has chosen to ‘break up’ with her, and she now has nothing back home to stay for – at least aside from her family.

Where we go in the first installment is on the journey of America learning that there’s so much more out there than she ever knew, and realizing that if she lets herself participate then she can grow even more.  She is hesitant to participate in the Selection, and even approaches Maxon with an idea that she will be his ‘best friend’ and confidant if he lets her stay, and when he agrees, she’s put at ease, finds that she’s got an amazing friend in him (maybe more?) and that she’s free to make friends with some of the girls that are there as well.

With the country being attacked though, things are always in turmoil and that’s where the girls are weeded out.  At the end of book 1, we are quickly taken down to the Elite, meaning that Maxon has sent quite a few girls home.  True to his word, America stays – and things grow even more between them….but…..

Aspen, the boy from back home has been drafted into the guards and has been posted to the palace, so America’s life gets even more complicated.  Where we go in book 2 is the journey with them, with America unsure about which boy to be with, about Maxon professing his feelings some moments, and being guarded at others, and Aspen becoming even more of a distraction.

The issue that i have with book 2 is the same that i’ve had all along, America tends to be a bit whiney, even for a 17 year old….and she’s so unsure of what she wants that it makes me cringe from time to time.  I see some amazing potential with her, but i don’t know if she’ll allow it to come through and because of her temper, impatience and youth, she finds herself in a very bad situation at the end, with the king getting angry and her bags being packed.

So….tonight, at midnight when i’m finally able to download the finale of the series – i can’t wait to see what happens . There are a bunch of questions that i have

1) Who will Maxon choose?  it’s so uncertain now

2) what will happen to America?

3) what will happen to Aspen?

4) What’s the connection to Italy and what will it mean to the future?

5) what are the rebels really after and who will survive?

6) honestly, who’s in with the rebels, since i have a feeling that someone we know and ‘trust’ isn’t necessarily on the up and up.

so…just a few more hours and i’ll get my answers.  Enjoy – and if you haven’t read the first 2, the covers above link you to buy – so you have time to read before The One comes out.

Review: The Guard (The Selection Trilogy #2.5) by Kiera Cass


Title: The Guard
Author:  Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins2/4/14
Length: 87 Pages
Series: The Selection Trilogy #2.5


Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen’s point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

My Thoughts

I always appreciate the novellas as supplements to the trilogy, hoping that it’ll keep me ‘warm’ so to speak until the next installment comes along.  What i have to say though is that the high that i was riding from The Prince – Maxon’s novella – well it seems to have fallen here.  I’m not Team Aspen, and even after reading this, i’m still not team aspen.

We are seeing things from his perspective for a while – we know of the struggles that America has been having with Celeste by this point and we know of the rebel attacks just before the German and Italians come….so it’s nice to get a glimpse from the other side – but i have to say that there wasn’t really much there to satiate me. We also get to hear the retelling of the caning that America tried to stop and hear what the staff and palace think of what she’s done.  all from Aspen’s ears though.

The good thing though is that we get to see a sweeter side of Lucy and Mary and Anne even.  I really have a soft spot for the maids and it seems like Aspen does as well.  i guess we’ll have to see where that goes in The One – the conclusion to the series – not out soon enough.

Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass


Title: The Elite 
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 4/23/13
Length: 323 pages
Series: The Selection #2

I had been waiting far too long for this 2nd installment to come out and finally – yesterday came and i was a happy camper.  I really wanted to take time away from work to read but of course that never happens.  So, finally when i got home around 8p i was able to pick up the book, and read it straight through to the end.

The Plot:  We pick up the story coming out of the ending of The Selection where Prince Maxon has decided that because of the rebel attacks, he was going to skip some of the individual eliminations and go straight to narrowing down the group to The Elite 6.  Because America wasn’t fully sure where she stood with Maxon and her feelings towards Aspen, she didn’t know if she was for certain staying, however we all know that Maxon has significant feelings for her and she was the final girl chosen to remain.  So this is where the story starts off.

The girls, Celeste, Elise, Natalie, Marlee, Kriss and America are the remaining girls.  Instead of such casual activities, the girls are asked to take on more and more in preparation for one to be the princess.  They are given ‘projects’ to show if they are able to handle and understand the responsibilities that they will undertake as well as allow the royals to see which girl the country feels best about.  (since we know it’s not all about how maxon feels, it’s really about the puppet-master his father).

As the story progresses, we see that Maxon continues to be completely ‘in love’ with America and gives her far more attention than he does anyone else.  America is completely confused about what she wants since she’s decided that she’s going to see where her relationship with Maxon goes, but she’s still connected to Aspen since he’s not willing to give up.  It’s really hard and we see some of the 17 yr old angst come out with America.  In this story much more than in The Selection, she tends to be a bit wishy washy and i actually wanted to smack her a bit.

Going back to the girls for a second, we know that Celeste is vying for the crown more than Maxon which is fine, Elise realizes (some what) that she’s there for her ties to New Asia, Natalie and Kriss are there because they are ‘nice’ and America is there for ‘passion’   If you remember back to the Selection, Marlee and America had some tension and the reason behind it comes out more in The Elite.  you get real clarity on what’s going on there and it makes for a great story and tense scene.

So as this story progresses, we see relationships really changing.  We see that Maxon really wants things to work with America but she keeps going back and forth, because she’s jealous, because Aspen is in her head about things (good and bad) and she’s really uncertain of herself (which is totally fair).

Where this story leaves us off is a cliff hanger of sorts.  personally, i’m rooting for The One (book 3) to go a certain way however i’m not sure what’s going to happen. i kind of hope that it’s a REALLY LONG final book of the trilogy since there’s a lot that needs to be resolved.

So back to the format that i had in some earlier reviews, here are my questions:

1) Who does maxon choose?  America, Celeste and Kriss seem to be front runners

2) Who does America choose?  Maxon or Aspen

3) Do we think that Maxon is playing games with everyone? or is he true to what we see?

4) is Maxon’s father the king like Gergory Illea?  Is that somethign to worry about?

5) what are the rebels searching for?  why do they keep attacking and will everyone be safe?

6) Will America use the phone number that she got from the Italians for anything and how will that help since Italy isn’t quite an ally yet?

so many questions  – and we have to wait until 2014 i think for answers.  happy reading!

Review; The Prince (A selection Novella #1.5) by Kiera Cass



Title: The Prince (a Selection Novella)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 2013
Length: 64 pages
Series: The Selection #1.5

True to the very helpful form of YA books lately, we’re given a glimpse (albeit a brief one) into The Selection via Maxon’s POV.  It’s nice to see it for a change, and it gives you a better sense of who he is.

Since you’re all probably pretty familiar with Maxon, America and the other girls in the group, what we get here that’s not so familiar is a little bit of the back story on Maxon and where his apprehensions come from.

The story opens up on Maxon’s 19th birthday, when he’s deemed old enough to select a wife, and there’s a party being thrown in his honor.  If that wasn’t pressure enough, he has to engage in a bit of small talk with his father who truly believes that Maxon is incapable of doing anything that’s worthy of recognition and takes every opportunity that he can to belittle him.  Through this conversation, Maxon actually learns that the lottery that the Selection is based off of isn’t that at all, and to his dismay, the girls are all selected by his father for what the women can do for Illea.  (all except 3 girls who are 5s because their provinces didn’t have anyone of higher caste worth including, and this adds to the diversity of the competition – or so his father the king says).  This is an interesting fact because where we were under the impression in The Selection that it wasn’t 100% a fair lottery (given that there were photos included and all that) but there was no chance of randomness at all.  America’s inclusion was partly intentional, yet not as fully intended as the other girls.

So, this story takes us through the days leading up to the arrival of the girls and then through that first day when Maxon meets all 35 and learns of the trade that America is willing to make.

I can’t wait for a few more days to see whether he continues his plight with America or if we see what he felt with Celeste grow, especially since we know that he was so willing to stick up for her against America’s argument in The Selection.

On to Tuesday – we’ll know more then!