Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Heir and The Crown by Kiera Cass

Titles: The Heir (The Selection #4) and The Crown (The Selection #5)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Dates: May 5, 2015, and May 3, 2016
Lengths: 342 pages and 278 pages

Warning: Contains spoilers for the original Selection trilogy.

I don't think I've ever done a double book review before! But I read The Heir and then immediately had to read The Crown so now it's hard to separate them in my mind. And in any case, it's all one story. This will be a long one, because these books gave me ALL THE FEELS.

These two additions to the Selection series tell the story of Princess Eadlyn, daughter of Maxon and America and heir to the throne. She has no plans to marry anyone any time soon, but soon finds herself at the centre of a Selection designed to distract a restless public. While she starts the Selection planning to hold out for three months and then end it without an engagement, things change as the political situation becomes more precarious and the boys work their way into Eadlyn's heart.

The Heir was hard for me to rate. In the heat of the moment when I finished the book, I gave it 5 stars, but I later downgraded it to 4 just because of how insufferable Eadlyn is. I get that she's a princess, but I don't get how any daughter of America's could grow up this much of a self-centred brat. Her treatment of her brother, Ahren, and her beloved maid, Neena, are particularly terrible, seemingly without her being aware of it. But, she does grow over the course of the story, especially in The Crown (which I did give 5 stars and which kept me up half the night needing to finish it).

As for the boys, it was interesting how different this Selection was from Maxon's. With the story being from the princess' point of view this time, you might think we'd get to know the suitors better, but the fact is that Eadlyn doesn't get to know many of them, not even going on dates with even those who make it to the Elite. As the choices dwindled, I became increasingly worried (correctly, I might add) that she wasn't so much narrowing it down to the best choices as she was eliminating the bad ones. There were a few guys I liked and was even rooting for, but a lot of the time the worry isn't that she'll have to pick but that she won't fall in love at all.

I gotta say, I did not see the ending coming, and I loved it! The rushed feeling of Eadlyn's Selection seems to accelerate the closer you get to the end, until Eadlyn is basically running around the palace changing her mind as she gets to each possible fiance. The Crown is similar to The One in the way it keeps you guessing and doubting and hoping and page turning until the very last second!

A couple final thoughts: OMG Maxon and America being all adorable and perfect for each other! And their little dropped hints about the complications in their own Selection that Eadlyn never knew about! And how much they care about Eadlyn's happiness! I just love them so much.

Also, without giving anything away to those who haven't finished the series yet, did anyone else think of Hans from Frozen? You know what I'm talking about.

Basically, if you could put up with America in The Elite, you can probably put up with Eadlyn in The Heir. And, in my opinion, it's so worth it to get that happily ever after.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Read-a-Thon hours 23 and 24: 5:00 - 7:00

Currently reading: Saga, vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Pages read these hours: 108

Pages read so far: 1189

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
  6. The Surprise Party by R.L. Stine
Food consumed: Just water.

Status report: My energy levels improved in the last few hours and I was able to finish The Surprise Party and read a good chunk of Saga, vol. 3. Not too shabby! Now, the sun is up, and I have 7 hours before I have to get up for work. Good day!

Read-a-Thon hours 21 and 22: 3:00 - 5:00

Currently reading: The Surprise Party by R.L. Stine

Pages read these hours: 70

Pages read so far: 1081

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Food consumed: The rest of my energy drink.


Status report: Must. Keep. Reading! Just 40 pages left in The Surprise Party and then I can finish with at least part of Saga, vol. 3!

Read-a-Thon hours 19 and 20: 1:00 - 3:00

Currently reading: The Surprise Party by R.L. Stine

Pages read these hours: 55

Pages read so far: 1011

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Food consumed: I'm about halfway through my energy drink.

Status report: Ugh. Right after my last update the sleepiness hit me hard. I don't know if it's the book not working for me or just the fact that I've been up for 20 hours! I almost switched to a new book, but now I'm a third of the way through and feeling a bit better so I think I'll stick it out.


Read-a-Thon hours 17 and 18: 23:00 - 1:00

Currently reading: The Surprise Party by R.L. Stine

Pages read these hours: 114

Pages read so far: 956

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Food consumed: Just water.

Status report: Five books finished! Six hours to go! I was going to read the next Saga next, but I'm still super alert so I'm going to take advantage of that and read The Surprise Party. Because there are always tough nighttime hours; they just seem to be a little late this time around! Anyway I'm gonna have my Monster now because pretty soon it's gonna be too late for energy drinks if I want to fall asleep when this is over!

Now let's get pumped up in these late hours with some Chumbawamba!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Read-a-Thon hours 15 and 16: 21:00 - 23:00

Currently reading: The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey

Pages read these hours: 94

Pages read so far: 842

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Food consumed: Some noodles, then some peanut butter Ritz crackers.

Status report: We're at the 2/3 mark! I'm about halfway through my fifth book. I'm in my prime hours right now so staying awake and alert is no problem at this point.

Read-a-Thon hours 13 and 14: 19:00 - 21:00

Currently reading: The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey

Pages read these hours: 65

Pages read so far: 748

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Food consumed: Just water. I've got a bit of a tummy ache so I'm gonna try to stay away from the junk food for a bit. Maybe try something resembling a supper.

Status report: Four books done! Now I'm just a few chapters into The Other Boy. I wanted to get my last long-ish book out of the way before it gets too late, strategically saving those remaining graphic novels for the tough hours. R.L. Stine is also good for nighttime reading.

Read-a-Thon hours 11 and 12: 17:00 - 19:00

Currently reading: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Pages read these hours: 86

Pages read so far: 683

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  3. Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma
Food consumed: More chips and candy.

Status report: Halfway through my fourth book! I had more minor distractions during these hours but haven't had any trouble staying awake at least.

Here are my responses to the mid-event survey:

1. What are you reading right now? Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
2. How many books have you read so far? 3 and a half
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Volumes 3 and 4 of Saga!
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Not really. My husband is home so he peeks his head in to the blanket fort sometimes, but overall he respects the read-a-thon.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? This is my 12th read-a-thon so nothing surprises me anymore lol

Read-a-Thon hours 9 and 10: 15:00 - 17:00

Currently reading: Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma

Pages read these hours: 245

Pages read so far: 597

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Food consumed: Two veggie dogs, some potato chips, and blackberry ginger ale.

Status report: Still going strong! It's nice to read a volume of Twin Spica in one sitting like this. It's my first manga series and sometimes I feel a bit lost and confused, but I'm following along a lot better without interruptions!

For this hour's YouTube video, enjoy some Simple Plan!


Read-a-Thon hours 7 and 8: 13:00 - 15:00

Currently reading: Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma

Pages read these hours: 144

Pages read so far: 352

Books finished:
  1. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  2. Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Food consumed: Nada. I was too caught up in Saga to think about food! I should probably start thinking about lunch...

Status report: Saga is so good!! I'm glad I still have two more volumes in my pile to read later today and tonight! Now I'm moving on to Twin Spica, vol. 7. It's actually the longest book in my pile in terms of page count at 286 pages, but it's manga so we'll see how long this one takes me.

This hour's YouTube video is that old Discovery Channel ad that I so enjoy:


Read-a-Thon hours 5 and 6: 11:00 - 13:00

Currently reading: Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Pages read these hours: 74

Pages read so far: 208

Books finished: Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate

Food consumed: A grande iced coconut mocha macchiato. Mmmm... (I just had one of those for the first time yesterday so this is new and exciting for me.) Also some more gummy candies.

Status report: I'm finally out of the sleepy hours! Ugh, mornings are the actual worst. 6 hours to read a Megamorphs book! But now I'm feeling awake and invigorated, and I'm moving on to volume 2 of Saga!

Read-a-Thon hours 3 and 4: 9:00 - 11:00

Currently reading: Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate

Pages read these hours: 54

Pages read so far: 134

Books finished: None yet.

Food consumed: Some gummy candies and a banana.

Status report: A lot of drowsiness in the last hour. These are always tough hours for me. I've spent a lot of time reading the same paragraph over and over again, hence the low page count. But, this book is really good! It's a time travel one and is definitely one of the darker Animorphs books I've read so far.

Oh hey, have you ever seen the 90s TV adaptation of the Animorphs?! It's super cheesy but I actually love it! It's on Canadian Netflix. The theme song is my first YouTube video of the day!


Read-a-Thon hours 1 and 2: 7:00 - 9:00

Currently reading: Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate

Pages read these hours: 80

Pages read so far: 80

Books finished: None yet.

Food consumed: Apple cinnamon Cheerios and orange juice.

Status report: Sleepy! But managing. Not much interesting to report yet.

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Spring 2017: Let's Do This!

It is time to begin my 12th time participating in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon! Here in Winnipeg it's 7:00 so I'm sleepy but excited!

For my to read pile this time, I have selected 9 books (though of course I can always pick up others from my shelves if I really need a change). That's more than I usually read in a read-a-thon, but 4 of them are graphic novels so you never know!

My TBR pile is as follows:
  • The Surprise Party (Fear Street #2) by R.L. Stine (167 pages)
  • Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate (208 pages)
  • The Reunion (Animorphs #30) by K.A. Applegate (156 pages)
  • Twin Spica, vol. 7 by Kou Yaginuma (286 pages)
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (90 pages)
  • The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey (228 pages)
  • Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (144 pages)
  • Saga, vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (144 pages)
  • Saga, vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (152 pages)
That's a total of 1575 pages, 849 of them graphic novel pages and 726 full print pages. Last read-a-thon I finished with 1148 pages read and I'm sure I can do even better this time! So without further ado, let the reading begin!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Wrap-Up

I'm reviving my old practice of doing monthly wrap-up posts! So here's a summary of my book-related activity for January. Basically I've been trying to get through my enormous backlog of library books!

Books I read

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike (library book)
Ghost Circles (Bone #7) by Jeff Smith (library book)
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon (audiobook) (library book)
Shade's Children by Garth Nix (library book)

Books I bought

Quista: Book One: Danay by Aviva Bel'Harold
Insomnia by Stephen King
Needful Things by Stephen King
The Birthday Party of No Return (Goosebumps Hall of Horrors #6) by R.L. Stine
Indiana Jones and the Cult of the Mummy's Crypt by R.L. Stine

Books I got for free

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Progress on challenges

I read 0 books for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.

I completed the following letters for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge: G, N, S

I read 1 book for the Women Challenge.

Progress on my TBR pile: I added 6 books to my to read list and removed 0, so my pile increased by 6 this month.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Winter's Respite 2017 Read-a-Thon



OK so I know week-long read-a-thons are weird and don't make sense but I feel like it, OK? I feel like having a week where people ask me to do stuff and I say "Can't. Reading."

My reading plan is to work on my big library stack. Here's what I'm hoping to get through this week:

  1. Shade's Children by Garth Nix (351 pages, of which I've already read 28)
  2. Amulet, vol. 7: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi (199 pages; graphic novel)
  3. Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City by Gwendolyn Leick (274 pages; I don't expect to finish this one because non-fiction takes me forever)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Women Challenge


I'm taking on the Women Challenge for the 5th year in a row! Signing up, as usual, for the highest level, Wonder Woman: read 20+ books written by a woman author.

I'll list the books I read for this challenge below.
  1. The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
  2. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
  3. A Recipe for Bees by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
  4. Darkwood by M.E. Breen
  5. The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
  6. Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
  7. Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill
  8. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
  9. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  10. Elfangor's Secret (Megamorphs #3) by K.A. Applegate
  11. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
  12. The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
  13. The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass
  14. A Vision of Fire (The Earthend Saga #1) by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin
  15. This Strange Way of Dying by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  16. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee