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December 31, 2012

。◕‿◕。 Happy New Year Everyone ~ ! ★

Dear all the lovely individuals who happen to venture here,

Dear friends, followers, readers, authors, dear all book lovers,

Thank you for making 2012 so amazing for me! This year has been filled with memorable books savoured, wonderful book reviews read, enthusiastic reviews written, warm and friendly comments swapped, and most of all, dear friends met.

I cannot believe the curtains of 2012 are drawing to a final close and in the midst of the cheers, applause, and embraces, a new year will tip-toe in. In creating this blog, I have not only been able to present a responsible and representative piece of myself to the world, but I've also been able to contribute positively to the young adult literary circle and I am grateful for everyone who have, back when I was a new blogger, taken me into this blogosphere with open arms.

Even when the situation became bumpy with the start of senior year, many of you have stuck by me and read my few reviews, offered wonderful comments, and brought a smile to my face. That alone has me truly grateful for having such fantastic readers on this little blog. I sincerely hope that my reviews and other posts have made a certain day brighter for you or have lead you to an enjoyable book.

There are so many unique and brilliant authors out there who endlessly feed our unrelenting thirst to read. Many appreciative thanks to them for giving us escape in their imaginative and vibrant realms and for giving us things to relate to, to passionately cry over, and to laugh over. (Gosh, I love parallel structure.)

Wishing everyone an incredibly happy and lucky New Year and cheers to a joyous 2013!

Recaps and more after the jump!

December 9, 2012

"The Selection" by Kiera Cass

[Clickey the gorgeous cover for Goodreads!]
Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication: 2012, HarperTeen

Summary: 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
....read more

Review: This debut novel was a wonderfully sweet and addicting read that also contained the depth of a good romance in itself. The diction was not outstanding but it was typically decent for a YA book and grabbed my attention for the length of the book. The dystopian world of "The Selection" was nicely built and I was immediately sucked into the easy to relate to and believable society of different castes. People were born into castes, labeled, judged, and treated according to their numbers and that concept of hierarchy (although extreme) is not too far-fetched from reality, therefore presenting a grounded background setting that was safe and near home base.

The characters were marvelous in "The Selection" and Ms. Cass brought to life an enriched and abundant range of personalities from the pages. Many a character was able to provoke an emotion in me, whether positive or negative. For example, America Singer was our lovely, kind and kissed-by-love protagonist and her many faces throughout the novel flitted through adoring love, outright passion, and excitement to suddenly heartbreak, reluctance, and determination. As a teenage girl, she was so easy to like and brings such a normal yet refreshing image of youth that I really liked and I enjoyed her perspective. On the other hand, America's mother turned me into a writhing bundle of frustration and disgust and if I could pull her out of the book and give her an earful on improving her mothering skills, I would.

Not to be neglected, delicious and swoon-worthy boy-candy comes in the form of left-at-home boyfriend, Aspen, to the prince whose hand in marriage as at stake in the Selection, Maxon. These two boys were near polar opposites and as a reader, I could of course choose between them, but for America as a character, it was understandably hard and that particular balance of churning America's feelings for both Aspen and Maxon was really well done. The emotional vibes given off in this book were overflowing at times, well-controlled at times, and there were several points in the book that had me shaken up quite roughly. In regards to the relationships between the main characters, the feelings were strong and vibrant.

"The Selection" had fantastic pacing and it was even, smooth, charged and propelling. The speed control in this book was one of the aspects that I liked best purely because it moved fast enough to have me completely attached to the story while still allowing me to appreciate more detailed aspects of it all. Personally, I could not put this down and when I did manage to, my brain swirled around in a sort of drunken state and I couldn't stop thinking about "The Selection".

Kudos to Ms. Cass for the amount of pages she dedicated to America and Aspen because if she had any given them any less, the connection and passion between them would be compensated and if she added more, it would've dragged too much. Only with this precise amount of America-and-Aspen was I able to truly feel the power of the love triangle in this book. As a reader, I felt Aspen's importance and many a book fails to pull that off with an earlier character that isn't prominent the entire way so I was really happy and impressed with "The Selection" for that!

The story of this book itself isn't the most unique idea in the world, as it's a pretty entertaining but obvious blend of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. But! I honestly enjoyed it very much and found it a swoon-y, fun, and princess-y journey worth sharing! It made me giddy at times as it is mostly a light read despite the occasional intense moments and I fell in love with the strangling love triangle and the characters. This bundle of fairy-tale-like dystopian turned out to be a memorable and winning read for me.

Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4 Selective Hoots

Final Notes: A fluffy read! Not in the sense that it's as light as a cloud, but definitely a book with a plot that you'd have to bring yourself to care about as a reader to truly make the most out of it. I can relate the mixed reviews of this one to Halo by Alexandra Adornetto just a bit. If you guys recall, I loved that one as well, haha!

There is honestly nothing tragically 1-star about this book but I do believe that it's going to depend on you as a reader. Okay, a lot. There's nothing too too special here but I hope all of you who like a sweet romance and an ordinary-girl-meets-a-prince story would give this a shot because it really did turn out to be a great and compelling read!
Thanks for reading!

P.S. I'll be coming around for visits sometime in the next couple of days so please wait for me!! Love you all <3