The Heir by Kiera Cass | Review

     Title: The Heir

     Author: Kiera Cass

     Release Date: 5th May, 2015

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.

Description from Goodreads:
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon – and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection – no matter how fervently she protests. 

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her… and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

I was a really big fan of the Selection series way back when, I eagerly anticipated the release of each book and fangirled with my sister while on holiday because those books just brought out the inner fangirl! I’m the first to admit that I was sceptical when I heard that Kiera Cass was writing another book in the Selection world, I thought The One finished things off really well, and the world didn’t need tampering with! And then when I heard that it wouldn’t even be in America or Maxon’s POVs, well, I was pretty peeved. So I put off reading The Heir, especially when I saw reviews saying that Eadlyn isn’t exactly the nicest character. I finally bit the bullet over my Christmas break because I really couldn’t put it off for much longer!
To kick start this review I’m going to come right out and say that I didn’t particularly like Eadlyn, she was immensely annoying and arrogant, which isn’t what you want in a main character! I completely understand that she wasn’t happy about being forced to undergo the Selection process and find a husband, I know that’s not something that I’d want to do! I’m all about meeting, dating and marrying someone for love, because you deeply care about the other person, and not to settle political unrest in a country. But as the princess, and heir to the throne, you’ve got to do what is required of you, and do it with a smile. I got a definite spoilt vibe from Eadlyn, she struck me as someone who felt entitled to everything, and rude when denied something. Speaking of which, she was a full on biatch to the candidates. 
Basically Eadlyn annoyed the hell out of me, bring back America and Maxon! 
Despite how annoying I found Eadlyn, I now need to read the next book, The Crown. The book ended so suddenly, I honestly thought that I had another 3-4 chapters left, I kept swiping on my Kindle to turn the page before I had to finally admit that the book had ended. So even though I found Eadlyn to be an annoying character, I’m going to read The Crown because I need to know who she chooses, if she does in fact choose someone.
The Heir is by no means my favourite Kiera Cass book that I’ve read, but at the same time it wasn’t awful, it was a solid 3 stars, and hopefully The Crown isn’t awful either! 
Have you read The Heir? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘The Heir’ by Kiera Cass
3 Stars

What Dystopian Taught Me

I recently shared What Twilight Taught Me, and it seemed pretty damn popular, so I followed with a What The Hunger Games Taught Me. I enjoyed writing these posts so much that I couldn’t resit continuing, this time with the good old Dystopian genre! I’m planning on continuing the What It Taught Me series, so let me know which genre you’d be interested in next!
Me and Dystopian books had a serious love affair a year or two ago, kicked off by one trilogy you may have heard of, The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins kickstarted an epic relationship that saw me devouring a crazy amount of Dystopian books. Through my pretty extensive reading of the genre I thought I’d share just what it taught me!

Firstly, Dystopian books taught me that if I’m an unimportant teen girl then I’ll end up the leader of whatever rebellion, uprising or revolution is taking place, I probably won’t want to be, but it will happen regardless.
Dystopian books taught me I will almost always have boys fighting over me, there will be a love triangle, and I won’t know who to choose, so I’ll lead them both along for as I please.
Dystopian books taught me that my family probably have some seriously dark secrets, secrets that probably relate to my new position within the rebellion.
Dystopian books taught me that the world I’ll be living in is probably some version of  war-torn, environmentally wrecked America. And as far as I’m concerned, no other countries exist.
Dystopian books taught me that my family and friends are the most important things to me, that my own life is less important than theirs, so everything I do is for them and their safety.
And finally, Dystopian books taught me that there is always a bad guy, that the bad guy is probably in power that they need to be taken down, and of course, I’m the only one who can do it.
SO there are some of the things that Dystopian books taught me, I’d love to know what Dystopian books taught you! Let me know in the comments!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Review

      Title: Allegiant

      Author: Veronica Roth

      Release Date: 22 October, 2013

Description from Goodreads:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

I’m going to start off by saying that I didn’t love either Divergent or Insurgent, while I didn’t think they were bad I just didn’t really connect to them. It was three years ago that I read the first two books in the series, so before I could even pick up Allegiant I had to do a little bit of research, which translates to reading what went down in each book online. Despite that, I still encountered quite a few characters that stopped me, making me question who the hell is that?
When I started Allegiant I actually enjoyed it for quite a while, I think that the split POV prevented the issues with Tris that I’d had before. Which, yes, did arise. I don’t know what it is about Tris that I don’t like, I never felt that I connected to her character. She seemed marry and dramatic, the whole selfless act quickly became annoying! Tris always seemed to be the leader of things, from plans to opinions. If she starts hating someone then everyone else follows suit. Peter got it spot on when he said something similar to Tobias when he briefly joined ‘the club’.
In the previous books I liked Tobias, the dark, mysterious, handsome and not at all talkative persona really worked in his favour. He was the unattainable older guy I couldn’t quite believe Tris got. Things might have changed in Allegiant, the split narrative didn’t work for Four. He too became annoying, the whole woe-is-me jig got a little tiresome. I’ve basically decided that I like the characters I read about in the Divergent books, but once I get in their head they’ve lost me. 
I’m going to try and conduct the rest of this review without giving away any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read the book yet, and if you’re not planning on reading just watching the film then shame on you child. If you have read the book, then you’ll know what I’m referring to when I say ‘the event’.
I’ll start off by saying I like Peter and Caleb, so that along with my dislike for Tris shaped my opinion of the event. Who the hell picks the guy a few people hate to volunteer for such a life changing act? That is not the way nice, normal people go about things. A small group of people disliked Caleb, not the whole universe, so Tris and her small army need to get down from their high horses and take a look at themselves.
I wasn’t emotionally affected by ‘the event’, sure I sort of knew before I even started reading, but I felt no sadness or remorse. I was more affected by the choice that Peter made, because I liked him, he was one of my favourites.
Aside from the characters of Tris and Four I enjoyed Veronica Roth’s writing, the whole reason for the city inside the fence was really interesting, and I loved the addition of the new characters. I’m not going to be rushing to re-read the Divergent series any time soon, but I’m glad that I read Allegiant before the final films come out.
Have you read Allegiant? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth
3 Stars

Rook by Sharon Cameron | Review

     Title: Rook

     Author: Sharon Cameron

     Release Date: 28th April 2015

Description from Goodreads:
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a saviour of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalising game of cat and mouse.

Well, knock me down and call me Susan, that was one hell of a good book. 
I first heard of Rook through the Perustopia Book Club, I wasn’t initially all that sure about the book of the month, but I saw a lot hype, took the plunge and bought the book. Boy am I glad that I did!
Sharon Cameron’s world building is something else, in a dystopian novel it’s important for the world to be believable. Although the world in which Rook is set may have been slightly confusing at first, I soon got the hang of the former Paris, the Sunken City and the Commonwealth. I loved the world that Cameron created, I could almost close my eyes and picture myself scaling a wall, or sneaking out of an Upper City apartment.
In my eyes Rook is pretty damn unique, there may be a similar book out there that I have get to read, but for me Sharon Cameron’s twist on dystopian is something I have not seen before. You may be wondering what I am talking about, the complete and utter lack of technology, stemming from the belief that it was technology that killed everyone and caused the change in the world. Therefore in Rook technology is banned, as the ruler want to avoid the dependence that killed the previous generations. So although Rook is set in a dystopian future, it is in fact in keeping with more medieval times.
Not only is the world that Sharon Cameron created brilliant, so are the characters. From the confident and self-assured Sophia, to the absolutely stark raving mad LeBlanc. It’s through reading the different POVs that the characters really develop, I loved reading LeBlanc’s POV, he was just the right amount of crazy while being able to justify absolutely all of his actions. I really wasn’t that keen on Spear, he got it into his head that he and Sophia were meant to be, and his POV actually came across a little creepy. 
René Hasard is a spectacle at the engagement party, decked out in a gold jacket and black hair powder. At first he seems ostentatious and shallow, wanting only to flirt and remain at all time the centre of attention. However, as the story progresses we see the multiple sides to René Hasard’s character. As more of René and the Hasard family got unravelled the more I fell, and the more I shipped! That’s right, serious shipping went down in Rook, the amount of times I sighed dreamily and clutched the book to my chest I can’t even begin to recount. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I felt everything with this book, and I loved every moment of reading it!
Rook gave me a hefty book hangover, I’m SO glad that I decided to buy it, and I wish I could start it all over again!
Have you read Rook? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Rook’ by Sharon Cameron
5 Stars

What The Hunger Games Taught Me

I recently shared what Twilight taught me, and it seemed that a lot of people enjoyed that post (which you can read here), so I thought I’d continue on, this time focussing on The Hunger Games.

Now, before you prepare to kill me for knocking THG, let me just tell you that I live with two hardcore fans. My little brother and sister are OBSESSED with everything THG, and I feel that I know a freaking incredible about Panem, Katniss, and all the goings on. I like to remind my sister that I bought and read the THG books, even forcing her to read them way back when in 2010 (when I should have been revising for my GCSE’s, but let’s just forget about that).

The first thing The Hunger Games taught me is to at all times make sure to lead on two boys at the same time. Why have one when you can have two, right? If one of them looks like they might be getting the idea that you like the other more, then it’s time to pull out the big guns and kiss ’em silly. 
The Hunger Games taught me that when one of my best friends and companions through a whole bunch of messed up sh*t dies, I need to blink and forget about it, I mean if he never knew that his girl’s pregnant then that’s even better. Am I right?
The Hunger Games taught me that only when a boy moves on and starts hating on you should you realise that you love him. It doesn’t matter that he may even want to kill you, you’ve got to power through because you know he’s not himself. He loves you, he just doesn’t realise it. Yet.
The Hunger Games taught me to shout out “I volunteer. I volunteer as tribute” if my sister finds she has to do something she’d really rather not do. Also, if a teacher ever calls out ‘who wants to volunteer’, ding ding ding, stand up and let out your inner tribute. 
The Hunger Games taught me that cats always prefer the little sister, will attack you like a crazy beast but accept the food you give them (also speaking from experience).
The Hunger Games taught me that if no one is paying me any attention then I need to shoot at them, because that’s the only way to do it.
And finally, The Hunger Games taught me that the only thing stronger than fear is hope.
So there are some of the things that The Hunger Games taught me. I’d love to know what The Hunger Games taught you! Let me know in the comments!
May the odds be ever in your favour.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neil | Review

      Title: Only Ever Yours

      Author: Louise O’Neil

      Release Date: July 3rd, 2014

Description from Goodreads:
In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become ‘companions’, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful. 

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends frieda and isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight…

And then, into the sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

frieda must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…

Well, I don’t think a book’s left me feeling this way in quite a long time (not since The Winner’s Crime, to be precise). I’ve been blown away by Louise O’Neil’s dystopian masterpiece. I’m in awe of the story telling and world building, the plot decisions she made. I spent most of my time reading Only Ever Yours with my jaw hanging slack, forming an o of astonishment and wonder. There are so many different elements I loved I don’t know where to begin. 
Part of the reason I loved this book so much is that it was so abundantly clear just how thought out everything was, just how much time and consideration had gone into the book. From the female’s names being in lowercase, to the ‘rainbow’ gene. It was these small details that really took Only Ever Yours from a pretty damn good dystopian novel to something else entirely. 
In this world, ruled by the Father, women are created purely for men, for marriage, enjoyment or education of the younger females. They have no real valueless society, and they certainly have no say or importance. It was such a scary alternative I would never whish to encounter, I felt exceedingly sorry for these girls, whose lives are determined by a group of young boys. The girls, or eves as they are called, have always been taught that the men are superior, that they must follow man’s command and do whatever he wishes. Ultimately, they have no control over their lives or bodies, they are terminated at forty, and adultery is punishable by death (and something else which is just unimaginable). Although that adultery rule? Yeah doesn’t apply to the men, not when they have a multitude of concubines to choose from. I suppose you could say I was outraged at this world, where women are subhuman, have no rights and ultimate purpose in life is to please man. I will not be signing up, thank you very much. But that outrage, the wonder and utter shock, that’s part of why I loved the book oh so much, because it conjured up a world I would before have never fathomed to imagine. O’Neil made it seem so real, especially towards the latter third of the book, I was very vocal in my reactions to what went down, there was more than ‘WHAT?!’ and ‘NO!!’  

I love that throughout the novel females were not distinguished with an upper case letter at the beginning of their names, it was a small little thing that really illustrated the vast difference between the males and females, they even have design numbers for crying out loud!
I suppose I should discuss the plot, which in my opinion took more than a few twists and turns. freida is our protagonist, but whether or not she’s likeable is a different matter entirely. All freida wants is to marry a man and have his sons. She strives to fit in and please others. Meanwhile her best friend is slowly self-destructing, she’s jeopardising her future, and we all know what happens to girls who break the rules, they get sent Underground. freida works so hard to fit in with the other girls to get megan (ugh) to like her and accept her as a friend. She’s actually pretty desperate for her friendship and it got the point I had to put the book down and walk away before I threw the book across the room in frustration. She’s self absorbed, selfish, shallow and we see her slowly unravel. isabel flitted in and out of the story, not a constant presence but always within speculation. I found her so intriguing, I would read a book from her perspective happily, she’s aloof and mysterious. And ultimately she is lovely and lovable. 
One character who certainly isn’t lovable is chastity-ruth. Excuse my French, but what a bitch. I didn’t like her from the get go, and when she let rip she showed her true nasty. But what I did gain from chastity-ruth was a new perspective on freida, she revealed another side which was always there, lurking behind the pity and hope and longing for it all to turn out rosie. 
During their last year at the School, the eves meet the Inheritants, the boys who will choose the wives, and who shall become concubines. I felt the stirring of a ship when Darwin met freida, and honestly I loved how it all planned out. Maybe I didn’t expect everything that happened along the way, but ultimately I am happy with how it ended. 
I am still as I write this review undecided with how I feel about freida, I think that I will be mulling this one over for a long time to come. Only Ever Yours stood out to me as brilliant, I loved and now I’m on the look for more Louise O’Neil. 
Have you read Only Ever Yours? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neil
5 Stars

Matched by Ally Condie | Review

Description from Goodreads:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty the he is her ideal mate…until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Well, it’s happened again. Another book that I haven’t finished. It’s becoming a bit of a trend, one I’d really like to break. The only upside to not finishing Matched is that I only payed 99p on my Kindle, so at least I didn’t fork out a load of money. 
I really liked the sound of Matched,  it couldn’t have appealed to me more. Really how couldn’t it, it’s a dystopian romance for crying out loud! But boy it did not live up to my expectations. For starters Cassia is a really annoying character. She starts off really happy that she’s been Matched with Xander, then all of a sudden she’s falling for Ky (the better choice by far) all because she saw his picture. Pretty weak if you ask me. Personally, the Grandad was a way more interesting character than Cassia, and he was only alive for a small portion of the book! 
I also found that the language and POV were very immature and young. I didn’t feel that I was reading the narration of a 17 year old, a bit of a deal breaker if you ask me. 
One my friends has also read Matched and really didn’t enjoy it, so I’m glad to know it’s not just me! If you’ve read Matched and were very disappointed and didn’t enjoy it then let me know in the comments!
I really hope I love the next book that I start reading, or at least enjoy it. As always I’d love you to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin’!
‘Matched’ by Ally Condie
Did Not Finish