Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: The One + The Selection Series, The Prince, & The Guard)

       "The One", the last book of the Selection series by Keira Cass, definitely did not disappoint. I read it in a day it was so good! But I will get to that later. For now, let me tell you about my first experience with the Selection series. This was a total case of judging the book by its cover for me. When I saw the cover, I thought it was going to be some frilly princess book. After downloading and reading the sample on my nook, I realized that that wasn't the case. Sure, it had royalty, but it was different. 

       The Selection series, the first two books being "The Selection" and "The Elite", follows America, a girl in the fifth caste, who unwillingly enters a contest to be one of 35 girls vying for the chance to become Prince Maxon's wife and belong to the first caste. To her amazement- and disappointment- she is picked. As she deals with adjusting to her new life in the palace and in the public eye and leaving her secret boyfriend, Aspen, behind, she realizes that she actually is finding friends and forming bonds with her maids. After a horrific first meeting with the prince, everything goes uphill and America finds that she really likes Maxon, and he might just like her, too. When Aspen is drafted into the royal army, he is stationed in the palace. With Aspen near her, America has to face the decision of devoting herself to Maxon or to Aspen. The 35 girls are dwindled down to six, forming the Elite, and America realizes that the king's ways are not all that great. She deals with drama between her and the other Elite and she must try to make the people see how Illea, her country, could change without angering the king, all while making Maxon fall in love with her- or like her enough not to send her home. 

       "The One", the newest book, follows America through her journey as one of the last 4 girls. The tension is palpable and the girls become increasingly more aware of their standing with Maxon based on what he has done with each girl. America decides that she must let Aspen go because she is falling in love with Maxon. Unfortunately, the king despises her, leading to much drama between the pair. Maxon, on the other hand, is becoming increasing more distant as he and America have multiple fights. The rebels are attacking more and more frequently and America and Maxon put their lives in danger as they try to figure out how to stop the madness. When America's father dies, she is allowed to go home to be with her family. She is given a letter from her father that reveals that he was a rebel. Her family finds out about her and Aspen's relationship and she decides that she needs to tell Maxon. As she returns to the palace, she discovers the true motives of the girls left in the running. Finally, there are only two people left (she is one of them -no surprise there!). Maxon tells America that he wants to marry her. America and Maxon have a fight and drift apart yet again. This time, he had seen America hugging Aspen. Maxon reveals that he should have known there was someone else in her life and he says he will never marry her. On the day when Maxon chooses his bride, the rebels come and start shooting the royals. Maxon is injured and America rushes over instead of taking cover and says that she loves him. Maxon becomes king and chooses America to become his wife.

       "The Prince" and "The Guard" told Maxon's and Aspen's view of what was happening. Honestly, they were a little disappointing because of how short they were, but it was very interesting to see how Aspen and Maxon reacted to everything that happened with America. Definitely wait until you've read "The Elite" before reading both books or else there will be some spoilers. There is also a book coming out called "The Queen" which, you guessed it, is from the queen's p.o.v. It should be good because the queen loved America and obviously wanted her to be chosen. It will be interesting to see how she deals with the king in certain situations since the king always disagreed with America. 

       Personally, I loved the series. At times I did get a little aggravated because  there was just so much fighting between America and Maxon and because America and Aspen were meeting up so much and could be caught, not to mention the fact that Maxon was thisclose to choosing the other girl (the name will not be disclosed- hey, ya gotta read it to find out!). It did make you feel like you should always be yourself because America never changed who she was even though everything else was changing and Maxon loved her for who she was. She was strong and confident and all around awesome. I do see a potential for another book, although I am not sure if that would ever happen. 

       I would 100% recommend this book series. If you like romance, read it. If you don't like romance, read it! 

Click on the title to grab the book!
The Queen (available December 2, 2014)

       I whole heartedly apologize for the lack of posts, I was on vacation last week. This one is pretty long since the entire series is reviewed (and because I just loved these books so much!). I did finish six books though, so stay tuned for more!

"A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

       Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts… I have not been very inspired lately (ugh!). I just finished a book today though so I figured I would write a review!

       Let's start off with saying that I had very high hopes for "How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True" by Sarah Strohmeyer because I loved her previous book "Smart Girls Get What They Want". I would rate her newest novel as a 4 out of 5. This read follows Zoe, a high school senior, through the twists and turns of her summer internship at Fairyland as the Queen's personal assistant. When she gets caught breaking the rules, her chances of winning the $25,000 Dream and Do award could be jeopardized. As she finds herself in the middle of some major drama, will she be able to fix everything under the radar, get the guy, and please the Queen? (Be prepared for some plot twists!)

       Honestly, I couldn't relate to Zoe very much. Don't get me wrong, she was an incredibly amiable, witty, smart and outgoing character, but I just didn't feel as connected to her as I have to other characters. Besides Zoe, all the characters were very well thought out and had their own personalities. Sometimes I find that I feel as if I have already read about a character because he or she is such a typical young adult-novel person, but the characters in this novel were not like that. Sure, they were a bit cliche, but they all had their quirks.

       Seeing that the book is set in Fairyland, I had a huge craving to go to Disney. It brought back so many memories what with all the rides and princesses and such. If internships at Disney are like that, sign me up! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed "How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True" and it is a fabulous beach read (or summer read, if you're like me and don't have a beach to go to!). Quick and light-hearted.

Grab the book here!  

I hope you enjoyed! I'm still not the best summarizer, but don't be discouraged, I am working on it! Stay tuned for some more book reviews in the coming weeks, including: "The Corner of Bitter and Sweet", "Summer on the Short Bus" and "Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek". Hopefully I will be able to include some pictures for a few!

Au Revoir!

"Reading a book gives us somewhere to go when we stay where we are."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Favorites: Books, Music, Fashion & Beauty

Hey everyone! I have some favorites for you! There aren't a ton, but there are some really good ones! Just so you know, I don't reread a lot of books, but I cannot go a summer without reading my first two book favorites! I have linked the books and most of the items so you can find them.


  1. The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall 
  2. Summerhouse Time by Eileen Spinelli 
  3. Made of Stars by Kelley York
  4. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita (and its companion novel, Summer State of Mind)
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

  1. Good Girls by 5 Seconds of Summer
  2. Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
  3. Best Song Ever by One Direction
  4. Wings by Little Mix
  5. Live While We're Young by One Direction
  6. Brave by Sara Bareilles
  7. Rhythm of Love by Plain White T's
  8. Really Don't Care by Demi Lovato
  9. Summer's Not Hot by Selena Gomez
  10. Undefeated by Jason Derulo
  11. We Are Who We Are by Little Mix
  12. Heartbreak Girl by 5 Seconds of Summer
  1. Printed shorts- So cute and some of them feel like you're wearing pajamas! My favorites are these flowered ones and this black and white pair from Macy's. 
  2. "Leather" sandals- They make any outfit instantly look put together! For a higher end pair I love these. For a lower priced option, this pair is amazing (bonus! right now they are half off!). 
  3. Plain tee shirts- Incredibly versatile. I love adding a necklace or wearing them with my printed shorts. 
  4. White dresses- You just look so tan! Unfortunately, the one I purchased from Macy's is no longer available but I adore this and this
  5. Crossbody bags- Soooo much less annoying than carrying a shoulder bag! I love this one from Fossil and this one from Forever 21. 
Beauty: (I apologize for the lack of products, but I don't wear much make up or anything)
  1. Burt's Bees Hydrating Coconut and Pear lip balm- this stuff really keeps your lips moisturized for a long time… it's actually better than, dare I say it, my eos lip balm. Plus, it smells amazing! Buy it here
  2. Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry- Such a perfect pink for summer! Just enough color and super moisturizing (I always use a lip balm before though- double duty!). Grab it here or at most department stores (i.e. Macy's, Younkers, etc.). 
  3. Simple Moisturizer- This stuff really works. It was literally the only moisturizer that could cure my dry skin. I tried so many- even Clinique and CeraVe! Definitely a staple. For some reason the one I use I can't find online, but I will link their website here.
  4. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30- I know I said that this isn't a great moisturizer, and it's not the best, but the SPF part is very good. I recently took a summer gym class, which was at least 2-3 hours out in the sun. I didn't use any sunscreen other than this and my face never burned once! Buy it here.
  5. Dove Solid Deodorant: go fresh Cool Essentials in cucumber and green tea- Okay, I know no one talks about deodorant, but everyone uses it. This works great and smells great, too! You can find it here or at Target or drugstores. 
So there you have it! Sorry there are no pictures or anything… I have to sort out some camera problems and figure out how to take good pictures. I will be setting up an email for this, so feel free to email if you have any comments about things that could be better with the blog or posts you want to see. I will try to post once or twice a week! 
I also have a Polyvore so follow me on there! I usually follow back! (It will be linked in the 'Contact' tab). 

Au Revoir! 

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."