Book Review – Sever by Lauren DeStefano

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain. –Goodreads Synopsis

There is nothing quite as wonderful as the relief I feel when I finish a book series. And I had been waiting a long time to finish this one. It took three years of my life, but it is done! Anyway, onto the actual review.

Much as I liked the book, I feel like the author had more to say. The book went strong with new conflict until maybe the last 75 pages.  Then I felt like it was quickly wrapped up and it was just too sudden for me. The story was really good before that point. New characters were introduced (and they were awesome), old scary characters returned, secrets were revealed, and it seemed like things were coming together. And then the rug was pulled out from under me and I put into my glass case of emotion. (If you understand that reference, I applaud your awesomeness. If not, educate yourself.)  I wouldn’t say that questions were left unanswered, but I feel like some points from the series could have been illuminated further. Onward to what the characters were up to…

Rhine

It is a miracle! Rhine is finally not running from Linden! Instead, she just runs from everyone else! I think I am kind of horrible, but I don’t think Linden is a bad guy. At least he tries to be good. He is just somewhat clueless, but I will talk about him later. Rhine’s brother has become a terrorist, and she thinks that the best course of action is to chase him around. Probably not my first choice, but it worked for her. I wasn’t very attached to her in this novel. I was honestly more interested in Linden/Cecily’s story. A lot of this novel felt like Rhine just hanging around waiting for something to happen. For the story to work, I understand why she had to be hanging around healing, meeting new characters, thinking, cleaning, etc. But she was missing something for me. I still really liked Rhine, I just liked her more in Wither and Fever.

Linden

Poor Linden. He is the classic nice guy who can’t win. He tried really hard to make everyone happy. (Not to spoil anything, but that really didn’t work out well for him in the end.) I think he just has no idea what to think in general. But then again, who would have time to contemplate the universe while worrying about his four wives, dangerously eccentric uncle, and kind of insane father. Like Cecily, he finally tried to grow a backbone and spent most of the novel staying away from his father. I did feel like I got to know him a lot better in this novel, so I really liked learning more about his perspective/past. His habit of people pleasing drove me insane, but it was honestly just part of who he was. Linden is one of the things I will miss from this series.

Cecily

I absolutely love the character development on Cecily’s part. At times, it was hard to tell that she was a 14-year old sister wife with 1.5 kids. She definitely handles her life better than I could have. Kudos to Cecily for being a better housewife at 14 than I could be at 23. But really, her character has come so far. I remember reading her in the first book, and wishing she would just disappear. Her spineless/blasé attitude drove me insane. Seriously…if I was kidnapped, witness to the murder of the other kidnapping victims, forced into marriage and motherhood, and followed around by my creepy father in law, I would be mad enough to spit nails. However, in this novel her innocence is whittled away until you are left with a mean little sister with a chip on her shoulder the size of Snookie’s pre-baby poof. I personally wouldn’t want to her meet in a dark alley. Not that she would necessarily physically be able to hurt me…I am more worried about my mental well being. Anyway, she actually realizes that she can’t trust anyone and actually starts thinking. Yay for using your brain!

Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

Overall Impression:

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18 Things I Learned from Boy Meets World

I love 90’s sitcoms. In my opinion, they are very clever compared to most modern TV shows and they did actually deal with realistic situations. Boy Meets World was my absolute favorite growing up. It did deal with a lot of real issues, as well as some off the wall situations. (Ex. Cory and Topanga moving to an island to carve coconut figurines for a living.) But I did learn a lot from Boy Meets World, and here it is!

1. When you know, you know.

2. Relationships take work.  Persistence pays people!

3. One good teacher can change everything.

4. It is never too early to name your children.

5. Be yourself.

6. To avoid disappointment, don’t expect perfection from your partner.

7. Looks aren’t everything. Unless you are just outrageously attractive.

8. Makeup is hard.

9. A lot of people don’t read. At all.

10. If at first you can’t make someone like you, pester them relentlessly until they can’t even remember how to pronounce their name correctly. They will break eventually.

11. Life’s tough.

12. No matter how well you think you know someone, you never actually know them until you are roommates.

13. Dancing can get you out of any situation.giphy (2)
14. If dancing doesn’t work, just casually run away.


15. Boy fights are way more funny than girl fights.Cory-Shawn-cory-and-shawn-31997900-245-170
16. You only live once. Eat the pizza.


17. Don’t stay up too late.


 
18. And last, but not least, siblings are the best.

Book Review – The Elite by Kiera Cass

The-EliteThirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

-Synopsis from Goodreads

I am a fan of the Selection series, but I am ready to move past girl fights and find out who America is actually going to choose. I won’t be too disappointed if in the end, she decides to ride into the sunset on horseback with a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s instead of one of the boys. But anyway, onward to the actual review.

As usual, Kiera Cass does not disappoint. I enjoyed this book very much. It has a nice pace and was a fairly quick read. The love triangle between America, Maxon, and Aspen continues, and continues to pull in all different directions. In addition, it is a pretty clean read that I would recommend to my teens 13 and up. I didn’t really notice any bad language or behavior that would prevent me from recommending it. I was satisfied with the Elite, and I can’t wait to read the One!

 

Here is what went on with the main characters in the story:

Me too America, me too.

America

America did have some really tough times in this story. From her best friend being taken from the Elite and publicly (and violently) abused to seeing other sides of Maxon and continually flip flopping about Aspen. It felt like America really wanted to be with Maxon and be the queen, but I felt like she was being held back by childish fantasies of being with her first love, Aspen. She did take a stand for her best friend, which honestly took some guts and nearly got her taken out herself. So I am really glad that she stepped up and showed some backbone.

 

The Elite were also required to do some academic tasks and future queen tasks, which were interesting. The dynamic between America and the other Elite also shifted in this novel. The true characters of the other Elite are beginning to show, and it is adding to the story in a good way. In happy news, the Elite are all reunited with their families, which I thought was one of the happiest times of the book. That is until, it was interrupted by a torture sequence, but I won’t spoil all the fun for those of you who haven’t read it yet.

 

You can’t love everyone, Maxon. Pick one!

Maxon

Oh Maxon…I don’t know how to feel about you. For the first half of the novel, I was really charmed by him and thought he would be perfect for America. Until he turned into Mr. Scary McCreepy-Pants. He kind of made my skin crawl at a few points. I’m not sure what he thinks he is doing, but having six girlfriends at a time is a horrible idea. Just ask any redneck who has ever been on a Hardee’s commercial. (If you don’t know what I mean, this is it.) Don’t do it! Although he does try to redeem himself, I’m not sure if the damage he has done is reversible. America may forgive him, but I’m not so sure myself. I personally would be happy to stomp on his big toe, pack my bags and call it a day. But, I think that America is a little more rational about the situation.

 

Don’t be an Aspen.

Aspen

Let me just say, this is how I felt about Apsen for most of the novel. Please move on and get it together. You dumped your girlfriend, figured out you made a mistake, and want to steal her back from a prince. Let her be with the prince and stop confusing her. Seriously, if you dump your true love, and want to make it right, let her marry the rich prince who can take care of her forever. Sorry, that was totally unromantic. Ahem, what I mean is, Aspen, please consider what would be best for America.

 

 

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

Overall Impression:

Come on May 6, 2014!