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May 23, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The SelectionTitle: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Received From: Bought

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.

The Selection by Kiera Cass was unlike anything I had ever read before. It was a dystopian but with a fairy tale twist, but unlike in many other dystopian novels Kiera Cass was not so focused on world-building that nothing happened in the first book. Instead The Selection was engaging, fun, and entertaining. 
America is a wonderful protagonist. She was strong and so willing to help her family but she didn't have that robot feel where I couldn’t connect with her. America felt so real, and I am sure that if I met her she and I could be great friends. Kiera Cass has created a great cast of characters because even though there are so many, it never seems as if they are there just for filler. They all have a purpose and have such different personalities that I couldn't wait to learn more about them.
The dystopian part to The Selection, while important to the plot and why the Selection is happening, is not so in your face that people who don't usually like dystopians will be turned off. When I was reading it I thought of it mostly as a fairy-tale with a dystopian setting. Because truly that's what it is.
Kiera Cass has created a world with castes, romance, and unrest that kept me up all night wanting to know more. I cannot wait for the next book in the series so I can find out what happens next!
Cover thoughts: I adore this cover! Yes it is a girl in a dress but visually it is different and I so want that dress!


May 21, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of PoseidonTitle: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Received From: Publisher in return for a honest review

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

I love myself a good mermaid book, and I think I have found my absolute favorite in Anna Banks’ debut.
From the first page of this book I was drawn into this hilarious and awesome book. Emma is such a klutz and her inner monologue has to be one of the most spot-on depictions that I have read in a non-contemporary novel, in that Emma reacts to everything that happens in a realistic way.Of Poseidon alternates from Galen’s point of view and Emma’s. I really enjoyed this because I got to know both of their intentions and I think it gave more depth and layers to the story.
Of Poseidon is unlike any other mermaid book I have ever read. I really enjoyed understanding the mythology and background of the Syrena. I particularly enjoyed learning about the feud between the descendants of Triton and the decedents of Poseidon. I think it added something very interesting and different to the plot.
Now even though Galen and Emma are the main characters this book would not be nearly as entertaining without Rayna and Toraf. Their banter and points of view added to the story and did not for once take away from the main focus of the story. Anna Banks did a skillful job of weaving those secondary characters in without making them seem like distractions.
While I personally kind of expected the ending, suspecting did not take anything from the book. Plus I was never absolutely sure which I enjoyed. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book and neither will you once you read this amazing book. I will also read anything else Anna Banks chooses to write, her writing was so funny and awesome that I will forever be a fan!
If you need any more convincing check out the trailer and then be sure to pick up Of Poseidon out May 22!



May 15, 2012

The Near Witch paperback release day surprise!

The Ash-Born Boy by Victoria Schwab
It's May 15th!

Not only does THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab come out in paperback TODAY, but, to celebrate its release, "The Ash-Born Boy" is finally up over at Disney*Hyperion's website!

So, what IS "The Ash-Born Boy"?

It's a free story Victoria wrote as a thank-you to her fans, and she wrote it to answer ONE question: "Who was Cole before he came to Near?"

Now, if you've already read THE NEAR WITCH, "The Ash-Born Boy" is guaranteed to change the way you see Cole.

And if you haven't read THE NEAR WITCH yet, don't worry, "The Ash-Born Boy" won't spoil anything! But let's be honest here, WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ IT? Reasons you should read it are outlined here.

So basically, either way, you should go read Cole's story ;)

Cover of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
And if you want to wait and read THE NEAR WITCH first, don't worry! Cole's story will stay up on Disney*Hyperion's website, and if it ever comes down, Victoria will carve out a space for it on her own site. It will always be available somewhere, and it will always be free.


Cole's story isn't the only goodie to go along with the paperback release. In the back of the paperback itself, you'll find the first chapter of Victoria's new book, THE ARCHIVED, which doesn't come out until January!

So what are you waiting for?

Help Victoria celebrate today by taking a look at "The Ash-Born Boy," and don't forget to buy/order/pick up your own paperback copy of THE NEAR WITCH! Go do it now

And after you read it you should talk to me about it on twitter, I would love to discuss it! My username is @readeradventure.