The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon

 The short review: read it. It’s so good.

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon takes place in the future of an alternate universe. Whilst the places we hear about are recognisable from our own world, in the world created by Shannon the appearance and then outlawing of clairvoyance, or the ability to access and use the spirit world, sent the universe along a different path. The story follows Paige Mahoney, who is part of the criminal underworld which is the only real safe haven left for clairvoyants in Scion London, until she is kidnapped and taken to the hidden city of Oxford, ruled over by a mysterious race called the Rephaim.

 

With a nineteen year old protagonist, The Bone Season does not feel like YA fiction, and yet it is just as accessible as anything from that part of the bookshop. Shannon’s writing is clear and easily drunk in, yet it is at no point patronisingly dumbed down. it claims to be neither YA nor adult fiction, and to be honest, why should it? Books now are too forcibly categorised, with adults feeling embarassed to admit to reading YA fiction, and teenagers daunted by the endless shelves of adult books claiming to be serious and thought-provoking when half of them are just Mills and Boon. The Bone Season reminds us that the line between the two is not so clear as shelf assignment might lead us to beleive.

 

Yet the thing I enjoyed most about this book was the way Shannon built her settings. Being in Oxford myself, I’m slightly biased here, but the city was actually RIGHT (although she is a St Anne’s graduate so I’d expect nothing less…). It’s hugely frustrating watching or reading about things set in Oxford, Lewis, Morse and the rest, and everything being wrong. NOT ALL ROADS GO PAST THE RADCLIFFE CAMERA. Argh. It angers me. And then here I have this very developed story where the setting was so detailed, and so accurate that I could actually imagine where they were, joining up the paths they were taking and having an idea in my head of what they actually looked like. Take Paige’s first walk in Magdalen for instance. Not only was the layout of the college accurate, but even the crest was the real Magdalen crest. Samantha Shannon, I think I love you. Granted, this mostly just applies to me, or anyone else living in Oxford I suppose, and you all probably think I’m crazy, but it really was refreshing. 

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And this attention to detail reverberated throughout the book. The use of Victorian slang, modified slightly over time, authenticated the setting, and her immaculate understanding of how clairvoyancy worked, and how the classes fit together meant that I actually knew what was going on, and who was what, and I didn’t have to spend every other page flipping back to the chart at the front of the book.

 

The only gripe I do have was during the ending, so kind-of spoilers for anyone who doesn’t want to hear them. We almost got all the way through the book without turning it into a romance. Sigh. True, love was touched upon, and I think that’s important as it’s something unavoidable in human existence, but did we really have to have a major love story? I almost threw the book against the wall. To be honest, I’d seen it coming, but we were almost finished and I was really holding out hope that we could keep Paige as our lead actor without her needing a significant other? Still, it did work I suppose. And I think it could be an interesting theme to explore in later novels (I know there’s definitely going to be a sequel, but I think Shannon has seven books planned?). Just a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so if anyone knows any YA dystopiany-fantasy-adventure books that don’t center around romance send them my way!

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All in all, the Bone Season was great. I mean, when the only thing I can find to complain about is a minor aspect which isn’t even a real flaw in the plot, the book has to be pretty darn great. At 21 Samantha Shannon has made a spectacular debut, and it makes me think that maybe I should start catching up…

               ~ Becca x 

The Killing Woods – Lucy Christopher

Having read half a dozen dystopian-esque novels recently, The Killing Woods was a bit different. It tells the story of Emily, whose father brought home a dead girl from the woods outside their house, and the struggle her family go through when he is convicted of the murder she refuses to believe he could commit. Simultaneously we follow Damon, the boyfriend of Ashley Parker, the deceased, and how he tries to come to terms with the events of a night he can barely remember. Over the course of the book they come together in a difficult, aggressive and painful way to work out what really happened that night in the Darkwood…

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I found the Killing Woods very difficult to get into I have to admit. The writing is straighfowards, as are the characters, but the beginning was rather slow. Lucy Christopher is also very good at not really telling you what’s going on – you know as much as the characters do and it’s deliberately trying to confuse you. Well it worked, so well done Lucy for the excellent writing there. Unfortunately I really hate being confused – I like being in control of what I’m reading and otherwise I get frustrated and contemplate googling the answer. It happened with the Maze Runner as well. I’m awful I know, it’s just something I really can’t cope with. And the Killing Woods did it for basically the entire book whilst the characters sit around not really doing anything useful and refusing to actually talk to eachother. Possibly made worse by the fact that, as you see the story from both Emily and Damon’s point of view you know that if they just manned up and talked to eachother you might finally get to know what’s going on. I actually got half-way through the book and gave up a bit. It still only took me about a week to pick up again, which granted isn’t that long, but is still longer than I’d usually leave it.

 

I am glad i did pick it up though. The last hird of the book was a heck of a lot more exciting – once they started to actually get somewhere with what happened, and Damon finally goes back into the Darkwood I was desperte to find out the answer. I drank up the last third, staying up for more than one night in a row, which is an issue when you have to get up at 5am to go rowing. I did see the answer coming. But only about a chapter before it was revealed, which all being said is pretty damn good. I’m used to being able to predict a lot of books from the beginning (which probably indicates that I should branch out a bit more…) and so it was refreshing, if aggravating, to have to wait for the author to decide I could have the answers.

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The Killing Woods is pretty good. I can’t actually say that much that’s bad about it – it’s well written, none of the characters aren’t so annoying it ruins the story and the plot is never stagnant, athough perhaps it could be a bit faster at the beginning. It just wasn’t my kind of book. Nonetheless, give it a go if you want something a bit different, that will make you think and probably leave you sitting on the edge of your seat.

 

        ~ Becca x

 

P.S: My sister disagrees somewhat. She says she enjoyed it (she read it in a day) but that she could guess what was going to happen from about half-way through. Obviously she’s either lying or is part-Sherlock Holmes.

 

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(images from goodreads)

Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

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It’s been a while hasn’t it? Sorry about the unplanned hiatus guys; Oxford caught up with me, the thesis had to be written and then Christmas was distracting… But we are now back  in the swing of things with new books, more words, and hopefully a regular schedule for a change.

Starting with one of the books I got from Santa: Shatter Me, by Tahareh Mafi. I know it’s been out for a while and there’s already sequels and such around, but it kept appearing under my recommendeds and I thought I’d finally get around to adding it to the YA dystopian list I’m slowly making my way through.

And I have to say I actually rather enjoyed it. The blurb says:

‘No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but the Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time – and to find a future with the one boy she’d thought she’d lost forever.’

Three guesses what ends up happening there. You probably don’t even need three – Juliette and Adam fall in love. And here is the only real problem I had with the book. They fall in love near instantly, as in, turn the page and suddenly they’re in the middle of this electrifying romance, just like that. Seriously, they’ve never even spoken to each other before the start of this book! Call me cynical, or unromantic or whatever, but who really falls in love that quickly? At least get to know them first, or it’s sure to be a recipe for disaster no matter how many times you save their life. I didn’t really buy that he knew she was the one just by looking at her, because she was the only ‘truly good’ person he’d ever seen and he just knew he had to find her. What. But for those of you who are romantic this is right up your alley. On the other side, I did really enjoy the physical side of their relationship. I find a lot of young adult fiction focuses on the emotional struggle of the star-crossed lovers, how they can’t or shouldn’t or don’t know how to be together because of society or parents or their own deep internal issues. Whereas here a significant part of the relationship is the physical barrier in that Juliette can’t be touched. And so I understand her side slightly more; to have been starved of human contact for seventeen years, the feel of someone else’s skin is something I don’t think we can really even contemplate, and because of this I can see her infatuation, her desperation to stay near him- although I still think the ‘love’ part was a bit sudden. I enjoyed the way Tahareh constantly reminded us of this though, that so much of their relationship was based on physical contact and their desire for each other on more than just an emotional level, and whilst there’s no actual sex, it does get fairly steamy at a couple of points. And I think that’s right because it’s just as much a part of a new relationship as anything else, and I think that a lot of authors forget those moments in the midst of their character’s epic struggles.

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Juliette herself is an interesting narrator as well, not necessarily in her thoughts or her actions, but in the way she actually writes. There’s a heavy reliance on numbers, and broken sentences and words which have been crossed out as if she doesn’t quite know what she wants to believe. It reminds you that Juliette, maybe like all of us, is a little insane. She sits on that border between herself and not knowing, and even though these devices become less prominent throughout the book, not even Adam can fix them completely. Nobody in ever perfect.

And then there’s Kenji. In my opinion he is the jewel of this book. He’s hilarious, possibly for no reason other than that everyone else is so dang serious. He’s my fave.

So yeah, it was fun. Plot-wise Shatter Me is fairly standard, you can pretty much guess where it’s going after a few chapters and nothing is particularly surprising. Just like any other dystopian-romance story. But it does have some interesting moments and I’m intrigued to know where the rest of the series will go. If you want something fun over the end of the holidays, definitely give it a go; switch off and read.

~ Becca x

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Allegiant – Veronica Roth

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Since finishing Divergent and Insurgent I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for the release of Allegiant. I felt a strange draw to Tris, Four, Caleb, Christina and the rest of their crew from the moment I picked up the first book and whilst, true, I wouldn’t go as far as some people in saying it’s the best dystopian-range-thing I’ve read, I was still struggling to walk past a bookshop window from the day it was released without wanting to go in and buy it. Good job most of the time it was 6am and the bookshop was closed…

I only lasted about three days. Then I completely caved, spent half the book tokens college had given me for good results on non-academic books in Waterstones and procrastinated the rest of that afternoon curled up on my bed at uni getting well and truly stuck in to the adventures of Tris Prior and co. Except in the end, I have to admit I was kinda disappointed. I ENJOYED it, sure. I just felt it wasn’t as good as the first two. And the ending. Oh. My. God. Just what. But I’ll get to that later. 

From the beginning I found it much harder to get into the book than I expected. At first I thought it was because I hadn’t read the first two for a while and so it was taking me a while to reeducate myself on the ins and outs of plot line and world. But then it didn’t really get all that much better. I did want to know what happens, but I felt I was reading it purely to finish the set – kinda in the way you read the last hunger games to round off the story but by the end your not really sure you want to read it again. 

 

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The plot was fairly jumpy- they just make a decision and it happens like, Bam, without any real explanation of what a character is really thinking or why it was even necessary in the first place. It is very pacy, but too pacy, so nothing is ever fully padded out yet by the time you realise something completely new is happening and you can barely even keep up. I didn’t really feel like I got to know the characters any better in this book, and frankly throughout a lot of it, I liked them less than I did before. Four is kinda douche-y and spends too much time obsessing over an internal issue that no one else important even sees as a problem, and Tris is so busy with her holier-than-thou-I-have-to-save-the-world trip that she makes stupid decisions and ignores what were, to me, really obvious options. The only character I really liked by the end was Christina, who is still bad ass and forgiving and sarcastic. She’s great, trust me. 

If I’m honest, Christina was basically the only thing I liked about the ending at all. I’ll tell you now that it’s sad. I’ve warned you. But Roth just kinda throws it it in your face, boom, have some feels, and then gives you about 5 pages of wishy washy epilogue to try and deal with it. NICE TRY BUT IT DIDN’T MAKE IT OKAY. I didn’t cry this time – these feels are no How I Live Now. More of an ‘are you fucking kidding me’ moment.

That being said, it wasn’t really that bad a book. I still managed to finish it pretty darn quick on top of a heck of a lot of rowing and a weekly essay. I did find myself ignoring my books on Roman Masculinity to find out what happens. I reckon that maybe my view has been slightly clouded by my hatred of the ending. It’s nowhere near as good as the other books certainly, but if you liked them, then you definitely have to read this one. It was fun, it rounded off the series (sort-of), but I probably won’t be reading it again.

 

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~ Becca x

 

P.S: Sorry for the massive gap since my last post. Work finally caught up to me…

 

P.P.S: I just found this article in which Veronica explains her reasons behind the ending if anyone is interested. Still doesn’t make it okay… Oh, and be warned, it’s massively full of spoilers (Duh).

 

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Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

 Throne of Glass is the first book in a while that I have really, truly truly loved. And by ‘loved’ I mean become slightly obsessive about.

 

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 There are other books littering my floor at the moment: Eleanor and Park, Unwind, The Kill Order, all half read and abandoned. That’s not to say that they aren’t wonderful books, Eleanor and Park made my three hour journey to Coventry far more entertaining, and I promise that at some point soon I will go back and finish them all. But they just didn’t grab me in the same way. I think some of this was my frame of mind; perhaps over-reading futuristic, dystopian YA fiction has made me immune to their effects and I needed a good bit of proper high fantasy to start my imagination up again. Enter Throne of Glass.

 

Throne of Glass is the story of Celaena Sardothian, an 18 year old assassin who is pulled from the prison-mine in which she has spent the last year in order to take part in a competition for the king. Aiming to find his new ‘champion’, he pits the talents of a bunch of different criminals, each chosen by a member of his nobility, against one another. The blurb describes it as ‘to-the-death tournament’ which sounded a bit Hunger Games-y to me and after finishing it I wouldn’t entirely agree with such a description; sure, *spoilers* most of them end up dead, but it’s more down to unfortunate circumstances than an opponent-coming-at-you-with-a-battle-axe kind of situation. Mostly. The real threat is that any losers will be returned to whence they came, and it is this which pushes Celaena to agree, rather than the whole death thing. The rest of the book follows the assassin in the castle, her growing friendships and her attempt to stop the inevitable, magical doom which hovers over the castle.

 

On the surface the book sounds fairly standard, and to be honest that’s what I first thought when I randomly chose it as the ‘3’ for my Waterstones ‘3 for 2’ deal. But as often happens to me, it was Throne of Glass which turned out to be the best of that three. To me what made this book special was the characterisation – all of the characters are distinctly real. Celaena was hugely relatable for me. With sass, swagger and tears included, she’s portrayed as neither the hardened, callous assassin, or the overly naive teenage girl. Instead she’s perfectly happy to go around killing whatever gets in her way, just so long as she hasn’t been distracted by something really shiny… There’s one scene where she gets a bag of candy and eats over half of it before breakfast. Sounds like an excellent idea to me. She doesn’t let her life be ruled by men, she’s definitely a strong female lead (*cringe’s slightly at the use of that defunct term*) and yet she is still a woman; she has flings, she falls in love, she lets her heart get heart. She’s human.

 

The male characters are just as well done. Dorian is adorable in an I-really-need-to-give-you-a-hug kind of way, but is also clever, loyal, corageous and a complete idiot at various points of the book. And Chaol. Chaol. I have no words – just go read it. He’s the best and I want one. Maybe the fact that the story originated on FictionPress means that the characters had more time to develop, or maybe Sarah J. Maas is just a genius. Either way, it was the characters that made the book for me.

 The writing is pretty good too. I wouldn’t say it was perfect or mind-blowing, but it was adult enough to keep me engaged, yet not so overdone, as can often happy with high fantasy, that it screwed up my immersion in the story. It was sometimes simple and elegant, and other times rougher and pacy, just like Celaena.

 

All in all I loved this book, and Crown of Midnight too – enough that it get’s to go on the really good book shelf instead of the standard one. Enough that my mother is fed up of us squealing loudly about it over dinner, frantic gesticulation included. Enough that I am struggling to wait for the end of the series – seriously Sarah, hurry up.

 

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~ Becca x

 

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Pictures from sarahjmaas.com and yolandasfetsos.com

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

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John Green is an amazing man – in my opinion this has to be said from the start. Even if all you know of him is his writing you can see that he has an understanding of teenage hope, desperation and imagination that many young adult authors can hardly even begin to match. His characters are flawed and beautiful not because he is forcing them to fit a story line which he thinks young adults ought to relate to but because that is what real people are: flawed and beautiful. And even outside of writing; within his youtube channel, (the Vlogbrothers) on tumblr (fishingboatproceeds) and on twitter he makes a real effort to remind us that it is impossible to be the photoshopped and autotuned people we see in magazines, and why on earth would we want to be anyway? John Green is an amazing man, and he is also an amazing author – but not for the reason everyone thinks he is.

 

 

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Take The Fault In Our Stars, probably his best know novel, for example. The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel Grace, a sixteen-year old cancer patient, who falls in love with the sarcastic and enigmatic Augustus Waters through the support group her parents force her to attend. Their love is frantic and naive and uncertain – they are two teenagers running out of time, Hazel desperate to live her life to the fullest, and Augustus, ironic cigarette between his lips, determined to give her everything she could ever want in the time he has to do it. 

 The book is undeniably sad – from the whole premise I was expecting this from the start – but I think people who focus on how much this made them cry (it didn’t make me cry at all) or how tragic it all is are, to some extent, missing the point. Yes it is tragic and cruel and sad, and you’d have to have the emotional range of a walnut for this book not to pull at your heartstrings at all. But there is a whole other side to this book which people forget. It reminds us what life is – Hazel and Augustus don’t spend the entire narrative dwelling on the inevitability of fate, but instead grab life full on because they know it’s the only chance they’ve got. Augustus is constantly mocking cancer, here for instance, when his best friend has just lost his eyes to it:

 

“Augustus, perhaps you’d like to share your fears with the group.”

“My fears?”

“Yes.”

“I fear oblivion,” he said without a moment’s pause. “I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark.”

“Too soon,” Isaac said, cracking a smile.

“Was that insensitive?” Augustus asked. “I can be pretty blind to other people’s feelings.” 

 

They are honest with each other because they know there is no longer any point not being. And they still do things normal teenagers would do: play video games, listen to music, lie in bed texting late into the night about books – get ridiculously obsessed over said book (goodness don’t I know how that feels…). The true beauty in this book is that we can all see a bit of ourselves in it- but Hazel and Augustus are more than just ourselves, because we all hope that in their situation we could be as brave and as strong as they are.

 

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 It is because of this that I think John Green is celebrated for the wrong reasons. His stories are wonderful, but not for the stories themselves. For me it is the writing, soft, lyrical and completely encompassing a teenage view of life, that is magical. It is the writing which makes you love and understand the characters. It is the writing which pulls at my heart:

 

‘My thoughts are words I cannot fathom into constellations.’

 

‘You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.’

 

‘I’m in love with you and I’m not in the business of denying myself the pleasure of saying true things.’

 

There are so many more. Honestly, the lines are just beautiful, and every so often I’ll come across just one out of context, on tumblr or twitter, and even then it feels so true and real, that it is as though he has written it just for me.

 

~ Becca x

 

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*Pictures from  wikipedia and npr.org

** Final swing picture- artwork by Lala Vicencio; available as a poster on dftba.com

How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff

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Meg Rosoff’s book has achieved great acclaim, with both the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the American Printz Award under it’s belt. I probably should have heard of it. But up until two weeks ago I hadn’t really. Well, it’s now being made into a film starring Saorse Ronan, and it was this advert appearing on my TV that made me go ‘well that looks rather good’. My sister piped up to say she’d read it and it was okay and yes you should read it but I can’t give it to you because it was borrowed. Fabulous. And so, being kinda mesmerised by the beauty of the advert (which I have now watched well over a dozen times) and her brief synopsis (I don’t really have a problem with spoilers- sometimes they warn you against a book that only crashes and burns from halfway through) I went ahead and bought it on kindle. Side note: I shouldn’t be allowed a kindle. The idea that I can just go, ‘yeah, I fancy that book’ and have it in about 30 seconds is not good for my bank account.

So, with the book on my device and Catherine’s warning that she had read it when she was about 14 and so don’t blame her when it sucked, I plowed ahead with my new book. And it started off… interestingly. That’s the only word I really have for it. I wouldn’t say it was bad necessarily, but it wasn’t easy to read either. The narrator, a 15 year old American named Daisy, has a tendency to run her extraordinarily long sentences together with very little punctuation. It’s almost stream of consciousness except the plot is far more planned out. I have to admit to googling the book after about ten pages to see whether or not the syle of writing ever got easier. Heads up – it doesn’t; I know, I sighed too when I found out. In the end though, it wasn’t as bad as all that. After a while Daisy became a lot easier to follow and I actually stopped noticing the strange style of narrative. At points I was even glad of it as her thought-by-thought descriptions added a sense of pace and desperation to some of the scenes that had my heart racing along with hers.

Once you get past the writing style I have to admit that Meg Rosoff really is a good author. The story follows Daisy, an anorexic 15 year-old New Yorker sent to live with her cousins in the English countryside. Although she initially finds her new surroundings strange, she soon finds a place amongst her eccentric cousins, especially Edmond who she quickly becomes infatuated with. But then Daisy and her idylic new life are turned upside down when Britain is invaded during World War 3. Having been split up from the boys, Daisy and 9-year-old Piper try and find their way home, whilst still trying to survive.

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Okay, okay, I’ll talk about it. There is incest. Daisy falls in love with her cousin. Yes, it’s weird. Deal with it. It isn’t as though this weirdness isn’t addressed in the book – she spends a good part of the early chapters trying to understand what she is feeling, fully aware of the fact that people don’t normally fall in love with their cousins. She thinks it’s weird too guys! And to be honest, I think people focus on the incest far too much with this book – there are much bigger issues discussed later on: survival, the cruelty of war, how to handle loss, family, forgiveness, the difficulty in finding a place you truly belong. To me it is these ideas, Daisy’s realisation that her cousins are where she feels at home and her determination to get that feeling back, that are the parts of this book we should be talking about. True, Daisy is far from perfect; she is stubborn, selfish, often naive, but then what else would you expect from a 15-year old? Her perseverance and pragmatic hopefulness  make her a inspiration.

I am so very glad that I read this book. It surprised me. It made me think about ideas that I never wanted to have to think about. It made me question how I would survive in that situation. And the end made me cry. Absolutely uncontrollable floods of tears – and let me tell you that doesn’t happen very often. How I Live Now is not escapism, it was difficult and uncomfortable – raw even. But I think it is a book that will stay with me for a long time, and has changed the way I look at a lot of thing’s in life. And because of that I think everyone should at least try and read it.

Learn to love your life – because you don’t know how quickly it could change.

Score: 3.5/5

~ Becca x

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P.S: Go watch the trailer

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Pictures from megrosoff.co.uk and saoirseronan.info

The Selection Series – Kiera Cass

ImageImage With the release of the front cover for The One this week it seems as good a time as any to review Kiera Cass’s The Selection series.

I first picked up the series because I was attracted to the cover – I know we’re always told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but really, when I’m in a bookstore with limited time, what else do I have to go on? And the fronts really are gorgeous, (even The One does not disappoint). However, I have to say that initially I didn’t expect much from the actual book; the blurb made it sound like some weird cross between The Bachelor and the standard YA new society ideal. And certainly parts of it weren’t great – I mean, this may just be me, but I cannot stand America Singer as a person. As a character, yes, but if I was choosing friends from a room full of people, she’d be way, way down on my list. She’s fickle and selfish, and spends half her time stringing the men along with little thought for their hearts or, in a lot of cases, their safety. The other half she’s swooning and moaning when her men, understandably, seem to be giving up on her. Eurgh. At least Celeste has the decency to be honest as she throws herself at the Prince…

Even so, I was hooked by the end. Having pre-ordered The Elite as soon as it was available it ended up being one of the few books I’ve actually succeeded in finishing whilst at university. It was fab. Honestly. I read it in about two days, much to the detriment of the essay due that week, or my social life. I could barely put it down. My friends were despairing every time I refused to talk to them because America was being an idiot or Maxon was being incredibly sweet. Ah, Maxon Schreave, you’re like a puppy.

The Selection tells the story of a teenage girl, America Singer, living in Ilea, a country which has been divided into social castes, numbered from One (Royalty) to Eight (effectively the scum of the streets). Persuaded by her family, and her boyfriend, she enters the Selection, a competition where 35 girls will compete against one another for the love of the crown prince, Maxon Schreave, who is now ready to take a wife. The first book tells how America enters the castle in disgust, until she begins to fall for the prince, who is not what she expected at all.

The Elite follows on from the events of The Selection, continuing America Singer’s story as she competes for the love of the crown prince, and with it her status as princess. With the girls being whittled down from an initial 35 to now only 6, America must decide whether her heart lies with the prince or with her first love, Aspen, who has reappeared, rather annoyingly on the scene. Although I suppose that’s a personal opinion *inserts rant about Aspen’s arrogance and selfishness here – sorry Kiera*

But my own feelings aside, these books really are entertaining. I wouldn’t call them mindblowing. They’re frivolous and at points even shallow, but to be honest I really couldn’t care less. They’re great fun. They are the kind of book I can pick up when I’ve had a pretty awful day, start reading from a random chapter and guarantee to be smiling by the end of it. Perhaps doing a wee bit of Maxon swooning of my own. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Score: 4/5                ~ Becca x

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*Book covers courtesy of kieracass.com; final photo by me.