Search Results for: The Selection

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Read: November 16, 2015
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
My Book Rating:  3 Stars
Genre: Dystopian Romance

Confession: I was sucked into this book by the beautiful cover, what can I say? I’m a sucker for girls in pretty dresses. And royalty. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a princess story too.

The Selection takes place in a futuristic world in which the caste system plays a heavy role. Really, the only way to move up a caste is by marriage. The heroine of this story, America— a middle caste girl—is in love with Aspen, but he’s in a lower caste than she is, which is pretty taboo.

Enter THE SELECTION – a contest, similar to TV’s The Bachelor – in which 35 girls are selected from all castes and compete for the chance to marry Prince Maxon. Of course, America want’s no part of this, but to appease her family, she agrees to enter and—surprise! She’s selected. She makes it very clear from the get-go that she doesn’t want to be a princess, but Prince Maxon agrees to let her stay, because there are sparks between them, and every day she stays means more support for her family back home.

What I liked about this story: America, I think she’s an interesting character and I like that she’s not in love with the prince just because he’s a prince. I also love the idea of the story, basically a dating game to pick a worthy princess for the kingdom.

My list of dislikes is a lot longer, however…. First of all, the character depth is pretty shallow all around. I liked America, she was probably the most in depth character. But everyone else fell flat. More importantly, the plot fell flat for me. I love character driven stories, but the characters need to be stronger than these were, and the plot needs to be based on more than a reality TV show. It felt as though the author wanted to write The Bachelor, but with a prince and girls competing to be a princess, then said, “Oh, dystopian stories are in. I’ll just throw a dystopian world in the background and call it good.” The beginning set up was good, but then it was just kind of tossed aside. There were the rebel attacks, but we really don’t know much of anything about them. It all just felt so shallow. I wanted more substance. And don’t get me started on Aspen. I really didn’t care what happened to him. He’s not even worth America’s time. Prince Maxon seems like a genuinely good guy, so I really want him to be the one to come out on top, but….

To add to my list of grievances, this book didn’t even have a proper ending. There are cliffhangers, and then there are books that end so abruptly you flip back to make sure you didn’t somehow miss 50 pages. This is the latter. In my version of a proper cliffhanger, there’s some sort of subplot happening in the story that wraps up at the end of the book, while the larger overall story arc is still going. The author needs to leave the reader satisfied, but wanting more. I didn’t feel that here.

I really struggled with a proper rating to this book. Part of me wants to give it a 2 star rating, because it is so shallow. But, because I will continue to read, just to see what comes next in the story, I settled on a 3. This book is average at best, it’s light and fluffy and lacks any real substance. We’ll see how book two goes.

Would I recommend this book? Only to younger teen girls who want to read a light and fluffy romance. Or maybe to die hard fans of The Bachelor who can’t get enough. For those looking for a book with a complex plot or interesting characters, skip this one.

REVIEW: Revenge of the Nerd by Curtis Armstrong

Revenge of the Nerd: Or . . . The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger Book Cover Revenge of the Nerd: Or . . . The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger
Curtis Armstrong
Biography
Thomas Dunne Books
July 11, 2017
Digital ARC
336
NetGalley

Risky Business. Revenge of the Nerds. Better Off Dead. Moonlighting. Supernatural. American Dad. New Girl. What do all of these movies and television shows have in common?

Curtis Armstrong.

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career on stage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

But there’s more to Curtis’ story than that.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood was spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey―one nerd’s hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into…well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

In Hollywood, as in life, that counts as winning the game.

My Review

I was browsing the selection on NetGalley and thought it might be fun to see what was available in the non-fiction section, specifically memoirs. When I came across Curtis Armstrong’s memoir, titled Revenge of the Nerd, I knew I had to request it.

Now, I’ve never seen Revenge of the Nerds, or if I did I was very young and it was on cable TV and I wasn’t paying much attention. It’s a movie a little before my time. However, I recognized Mr. Armstrong as Metatron from the fabulous CW TV show Supernatural.

I haven’t read many memoirs (Um…. I think this is my 2nd ever!) but this makes me want to read more! It was so much fun reading about his offbeat early life in Switzerland and subsequent return to Detroit. It was awesome to read all the candid behind the scenes stories from the making of all of the movies and TV shows he was on. It was a little heartbreaking to hear about how he left the cast of Supernatural and how the crazed fans at the conventions didn’t like him much just because he played a villain. (I loved you as Metatron, Curtis! I’d stand in line for your autograph!)!

There were a lot of stories about actors I’ve heard of (Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, etc.) as well as many I haven’t. If this book has done nothing else for me, it has encouraged me to seek out old movies I’ve never seen before, like Risky Business and Revenge of the Nerds, just so that I can have a fuller sense of the stories I read.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Fans of Curtis Armstrong and those who have never seen his work alike will get a kick out of his fabulous stories and (often self-deprecating) humor. A+ Curtis. Thanks for the ride!

 


Quotes

What’s a nerd? For forty years I’ve been a professional actor, practicing my craft onstage, screen and television, building a career that many young actors have told me they envy, and that is the question along with “Was that really you belching” and “Did Bruce and Cybil really hate each other?” I am most frequently asked these days. (The answers are no and yes, respectively.)

 

If that sounds like a joke, it wasn’t meant to be. Unless you thought it was funny, in which case it was.

 

Actors spend a lot of time not acting, which is why so many of us take up hobbies, like drinking.

 

The headmaster was eventually let go due to some kind of arcane contractual dispute and not as you might think for the German-death-gas incident.

 

I had, by a rough estimation, dozens of girlfriends between the end of middle school and high school graduation. The catch was, none of these young women actually knew she was my girlfriend.

 

When Metatron, the Scribe of God, a hermit armed with a shotgun and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books, made his first appearance, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Given everything I had seen on the page, I could see this fallen angel eccentric, violent, articulate, unpredictable and hilarious as being an unexpected gift to any lucky actor, even if he only lasted three episodes, which it turned out was the intention of the show’s writers at the time.

 

Jared and Jensen brought to playing brothers Sam and Dean Winchester extended to their real life as well. I would say they are as close as brothers but I understand from people who have brothers, like my sister, that you really want to kill your brothers most of the time.

 

One of the true signs of maturity is realizing that not gracefully surrendering the things of youth actually makes us better grownups. If more people embraced their inner nerd, the better off everyone would be.

 

My eventual proposal of marriage very eventual, to hear Elaine tell it; to me it seemed a little rushed was kind of like Revenge of the Nerd itself: mixed reviews at the time, but now generally regarded as a classic.

 


My (Writing) Life

SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION!

This is my first school year with both of my kids out of the house ALL DAY LONG for school. I’ll admit it, I teared up a little on day one because both of my babies are growing up, they no longer spend the majority of their time with me. I quickly got over it though and relished the peace and quiet. Even Henry (my devil-spawn cat) seems happier and less inclined to attack and bite!

So, what am I doing with my time? Sitting on the couch all day eating bon-bons of course! Just kidding, I’ve been diving head first into work! I’m catching up where I’d fallen behind with my work with the pub house I work for. Now that I’m not so deep in the hole I’ve also started work on my own projects again.

Tonight I finished my last pass through on PEACE IN FLAMES before I send it off to my editor. Yay! That means I need to get my butt moving on the overhaul of SUMMER OF PEACE. The sooner I pound that novella out, the sooner I can get started on my next project. For which I’ve already made a cover.

I’m also hoping, with the kids in school, to carve out time more often to post my reviews. I swear, my backlog of reviews is growing faster than I can post them! I hate having such a long delay between posts, so I’m really going to work on this guys. I hope!

Anyone else back to school or sent kids back to school? Are you as amped for the new school year as I am?

Deja Revu – July 3, 2017

Picture
Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
Picture

Original

Meme

Response

Picture
Picture

Fantasy

General Fiction

Picture

Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Fantasy

General Fiction

Historical

Horror

Non-Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Contemporary

Fantasy

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Action/Adventure

Classic

Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Fantasy

Historical

Mystery

Non-Fiction

Romance

Science Fiction

Suspense/Thriller

Women’s Fiction

Picture

Romance

Reviews

Teen / New Adult

 

Adult

 

Children’s / Middle Grade

 

Non-Fiction

 

Comics / Graphic Novels

 

 

This entry was posted on April 13, 2016, in .

REVIEW: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

ALERT: One day only – December 7, 2016 – This book is on sale EVERYWHERE for only $1.99!

Check it out on Kindle here: http://amzn.to/2gbq2Bq

All images borrowed from Richelle Mead’s Facebook fan page!

I’m skipping Friday Favorites today in lieu of posting my review of my favorite author, Richelle Mead’s, latest release, The Glittering Court. It’s all good though, because this book has instantly become one of my favorites!


The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Series: The Glittering Court #1

Read: April 5 – 7, 2016

Format: Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 5 Stars

Genre: YA Romance

 

This book! Be still my heart, this book!

Okay, so I’ll be honest, from the books description, I wasn’t sure I was going to like The Glittering Court. All of the comparisons to The Selection had me weary, because I really didn’t like that book very much. The early reviews weren’t looking all that good either. (But really, they were mostly complaining that this is labeled a fantasy, when it’s really not. It’s a fantasy world, but contains no fantasy elements like magic or dragons.) But you know what? I took a leap and preordered. On April 5, release day, I dove right in and ended up staying up until two am the night of April 7th finishing. #WorthIt

 

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! Never again will I ever doubt Richelle Mead’s storytelling abilities. I will read anything and everything she writes.

 

If the TV shows Reign and When Calls The Heart had a baby, it would be The Glittering Court.

When the young Countess of Rothford is forced into an engagement with her “itchy” cousin, she panics. Taking a risky leap, she assumes the identity of her maid, Adelaide, and takes her place in The Glittering Court. The Glittering Court is basically a finishing school for young women of the lower castes. For a year they are trained to behave like noble women, and eventually are to be sent to the overseas to Adoria to wed the wealthy men who have made their fortunes in the new world.

The first half of the book takes place in the finishing school of The Glittering Court. Adelaide makes friends with her roommates, Tamsin and Mira, and ends up with an enemy in mean girl Clara. You’d think this school would be easy for her, considering she already excels at everything they’re teaching. However, in order to keep her true identity a secret, she has to purposely fail to avoid attention, which is sometimes easier said than done.

Along the way, the only person who knows her true identity is Cedric, the son of the man who co-owns The Glittering Court. Their relationship is tenuous at first, if she is caught they’ll both be in trouble. Big trouble. But along the way they become friends as well as partners in crime. Adelaide and Cedric partake in some not so legal activities, but as a reader I couldn’t help rooting for them, hoping they’d pull it off!

The second half of the book takes place in Adoria, the new world. Think of it as the wild frontier of America. Everything is new and dusty, men are staking their claim of land in search of gold, and taming the wild frontier.

As much as I love everything about the nobility, it was the second half of the book that won me over. Seeing Adelaide so out of her element in Adoria was great. And Cedric, poor pampered Cedric, such a good sport with where life leads him!

 

“Don’t you know that I’d lie with you in groves, under the light of the moon? That I’d defy the laws of gods and men for you?”

 

The romance was the best part of this book. It’s obvious from the beginning that Adelaide and Cedric are meant to be. I spent the whole book with my fingers crossed, hoping they could find a way to be together.

And the ending! Oh my, the ending! I can’t say much, except it opens the doors for the next book(s?) in this series, which I’ve heard will follow Adelaide’s friends.

 

“You need to stop this. Stop . . . Um, being a heretic.”

“It’s not something I can just stop being. It’s part of me.”

“They could kill you if you’re caught!”

 

Richelle also explores many themes in the book, weaving them seamlessly into a beautiful story I couldn’t put down. There’s the yearning for true love, and changing your fate to make your own destiny; religious persecution; friendship and betrayal; she even touches lightly on same-sex relationships.

Something that is very common in books these days, especially YA, is to end on a cliffhanger and keep the audience waiting for the next book. This book could have ended any number of times, but it didn’t. Richelle Mead chose to keep the story going until the actual end of Adelaide’s adventure. Having that true ending helped (a bit) with my P.B.D. (Post Book Depression) upon finishing.

 

This book is 100% worth the read. So much so that even though I already purchased the Kindle edition, I’m going to be buying the hardback as well to have Richelle sign when she’s in town next month.

REVIEW: Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

I recently joined NetGalley, which if you don’t know, is a service that allows authors and publishers to offer their books to reviewers. Anyone can join, but you have a better chance if you’re a blogger. So, I joined. Then felt guilty because I started my full time job and didn’t think I’d have time to read any of the books I was approved for. Then I discovered I could use text to speech on these books and listen to them while working! I don’t feel so guilty now, because while text to speech narration is pretty terrible, at least I’m getting the reading done! (And my local library’s audiobook selection is severely lacking the type of books I want to read.)

Below is my review for the first book I received from NetGalley. Unfortunately, my first experience was not a very enjoyable one, but I have hopes that I’ll be approved for some books I will enjoy.

 


 

Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

Read: August – September 2015

Format: Ebook ARC (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

 

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Confession. I got about 30% through this book and didn’t think I could finish. Then, I realized I could use the text to speech feature on my Kindle and listen to the book at work. Multi-tasking at its finest. If not for text to speech, I probably would have quit this book.

When I saw Ghost for Sale on NetGalley I had to read it. I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, about a girl who can see, hear, and touch ghosts. In Mediator, the heroine moves into an old house with her family and discovers a ghost from the 1800’s living in her bedroom. The romance is a slow build throughout the series and the characters have more to their lives than just thinking about how hot the other is. Like, mediating ghosts and helping them cross to the afterlife.

While Ghost for Sale starts out great, with our heroine Caitlin’s cousin/roommate, Marcy, receiving two test tubes in the mail, supposedly containing ghosts, and upon opening said test tubes only Caitlin can see said ghost. From there, it goes downhill.

For starters, despite being told multiple times that Caitlin’s cousin Marcy is so beautiful and rich and all the guy want her, every single male in the book asks Caitlin out. In the beginning, in the club, she dances with and is asked out by two guys, minutes apart, if that. She gets hit on by a cop who pulls her over. Don’t even get me started on the “not really her boyfriend” guy who dates her, while seeing other girls because he “has needs” and Caitlin won’t sleep with him. It was downright unbelievable that the author couldn’t add in a single male character who didn’t fall all over himself for Caitlin.

Caitlin herself was completely impossible to relate to. See previous paragraph, then add in how shallow she acts. One guy actually tells her something along the lines of “you act ditzy, but I know you’re actually very smart” – how??? How does he know this because she acts like an idiot for 98% of the book. As stated before, we’re told multiple times how beautiful and rich Marcy is, and how Caitlin’s family doesn’t have money like them, yet her parents can afford to buy her a custom pink VW Bug for her birthday? Maybe she’s not as well off as Marcy, but it was irritating to be led to believe she’s not rich when she is.

Then, let’s talk about clothes and coffee. On second thought, let’s not. It felt as though every other page Caitlin was drinking coffee or thinking about coffee or her ghost, Liam, was bringing her coffee. Every time she changed clothes we had to hear what she was wearing, down to her jewelry and nail polish choice. As well as every other character. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE WEARING! If it’s not relevant to the story, and doesn’t drive the plot forwards, why waste my time?

Speaking of the story, after the promising opening, it slowed. It didn’t pick up again until almost halfway through. The beginning was us being told how much Caitlin loves Liam despite him making sexist comments and basically kind of being a jerk in my opinion. All while she’s dating this AMAZING guy she met in the club, Patrick, who was sweet, kind, caring, fun and most importantly, ALIVE.

I don’t want to give the whole story away, so I’ll be vague here. Basically, everything is tied up all pretty with a bow with our heroine basically having to do nothing at all, things just fell into place. The “villain” backed down in about two seconds. And Caitlin reacted like Bella in Twilight when Edward left her. At least Bella had the excuse of having had an intense relationship with Edward, whereas Caitlin knew Liam about a week. She was a complete drama queen and I never bought the romance for one second.

The ending…. Let’s just say there’s suspense of belief in fiction, and then there’s scoffing at the absurdity of what the author wants us to believe.

In all, I feel Cox has potential as an author, but this story didn’t work. There wasn’t enough of a plot to work with – it actually felt like most of the beginning was added as filler to make the book longer—and though she tried to build a romance between Caitlin and Liam, it just didn’t work. I didn’t believe it. When the characters act one way and the other characters don’t react reasonably, it just doesn’t work for me.

Ultimately, I’d say skip this one. If another book by this author appears on NetGalley I’d give it a shot, but I won’t expect much.