The Elite by Kiera Cass (The Selection #2)

the elite by kiera cass book

“The Elite” by Kiera Cass

4 out of 5 stars.

“The Elite” begins with America and Maxon enjoying a picnic outside; for America, it’s just about as perfect as you can get. But despite the fact that she has deep-seated feelings for Maxon and knows he has already chosen her, America still has feelings for her old flame, Aspen. How can you forget two of the best years of your life? You can’t, and that’s the trouble. Maxon makes her feel loved, cherished, protected, beautiful, and when he is near, Maxon is all America thinks about. But she cannot discount Aspen’s love for her and the love that still burns in her heart even after he rejected her; she also never wanted to be  princess. She could have what she always wanted with Aspen now, nothing is stopping her. Nothing but her own heart.

The decision seems to have made itself for America, and it looks like everything will be okay, better than okay, actually. But then all hell breaks loose. Everyone America thought she could trust turns out to be hiding secrets that hold many lives in the balance, quite possibly even her own life. America doesn’t know who she can trust anymore. Can she make it through the Selection as an Elite or is she doomed to fail Maxon, Aspen, and quite possibly all of Illea?

“The Elite” was a great read and Kiera Cass did not disappoint, instead she surprised me. “The Selection” is what my sisters and I classify as “fluff”. If you hear the word fluff come out of my mouth, it is not an insult; on the contrary, it is a compliment. I absolutely loved “The Selection.” I thought that it was very well written, well paced, and that Cass’ characters were not only wonderful and endearing, but also felt very real; they had emotions that were more true to human nature than the usual teen novel. I love the first one, and “The Elite” is not exception.

“The Elite” is basically about America’s struggle in choosing between Maxon and Aspen. Both love her and want her, but she just can’t decide. There are almost the same amount of pros as there are cons in each relationship. America doesn’t want to be a princess or a One, but she really likes Maxon and it is getting harder and harder to imagine her life without him; it’s almost unimaginable. But she still loves Aspen and he has always been there for her, and now that he is a Two, nothing is holding them back. I’m sure you can see her dilemma already; old love doesn’t go away all that easily, but this newfound thing with Maxon is wonderful and America wants to pursue that.

But there is more to “The Elite” than meets the eye. The rebels are getting more aggressive, more persistent in their attacks, and so many secrets are kept that America doesn’t know which way is up and which way is down; she even begins to doubt Maxon (egad!!!). Despite her turmoil, I was a little peeved with America.  Her indecision was kind of annoying in the fact that Maxon has told her MULTIPLE times that he will always choose her, she is the only one he wants and that he will give her time to choose to stay or go. Then she talks with Aspen (who is only an “s” away from what he truly is) and is confused about what she should do. Maxon and America will have these wonderful moments and she’ll promise him she’s going to stay, and then at the first sight of Aspen she goes off and kisses him. Really!! Then she gets all jealous that Maxon spends time with the other girls in the Selection. She does not have the right to judge, and on top of that, Maxon has to make a decision at the end of the Selection about who he will marry. If America backs out and leaves, the poor guy still has to marry someone even if he couldn’t have the one he truly loves. In my opinion, America played Maxon and Aspen very unfairly. She used them (not always intentionally) for her purpose, and then went to the next guy when one upset or disagreed with her. It was a little frustrating. *sighs*.

Okay, besides the America debacle, the rest of the book was really good. I was surprised at how different, though, it was from “The Selection.” I still felt connected and like all the characters were still the same people, but the book itself was much darker than the first; there was more drama in “The Elite” than just the occasional cat fight in a ballroom. Lots of crazy, awesome things happened (but I won’t spoil it) in “The Elite” that I think were very interesting. It was also well paced liked the first book, and I never felt bored even when there was down time. I am kind of excited as well as worried what Kiera will do to wrap this trilogy up. It was delightful, and now I have to be patient. Noooooooo!!!!

dogIf Maxon does not revert back to the Maxon I loved in “The Selection”, somebody better hold my poodle ’cause I’m gonna be pissed.

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Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

c.j. hill

“Erasing Time” by C.J. Hill

3 out of 5 stars.

“Erasing Time” by C.J. Hill was a very enjoyable read. It starts right off with Sheridan and Taylor, Sheridan’s older twin, getting thrown four-hundred years into the future. The twins were never meant to be taken from what is now the past, instead a man named Tyler Sheerwood, an ingenious scientist, was meant to be brought to the future for some reason unknown to  the girls. Everything has changed four-hundred years into the future, and the world Sheridan and Taylor knew is now gone. English is no longer English, the government rules everything, and the people themselves are completely changed. The sisters wouldn’t even be able to communicate if it hadn’t been for Echo, the boy with blue hair.

After only a being in the future a little while, Sheridan and Taylor find that they will never be able to go back to their time again; you can take something from the past, but you can’t put it back. Ever. Their future is bleak, in this new, unknown world they were forced into, but neither Taylor nor Sheridan are willing to give up, especially when the stakes are so high, not just for themselves, but for the past and future.

“Erasing Time” was different for me; I’ve never encountered a time travel book as well as a dystopian, and I liked the change of scenery. Sheridan and Echo are the two main characters whose perspectives you read from; both were good sides to read. Sheridan was a pleasant female character to be inside of, and I didn’t ever really dislike being inside of her head. One of my favorite things in this book, though, was how Taylor and Sheridan talked to each other; the two of them begin hatching a plan to get out of the big city, but the government is always listening. It’s hard to do an escape plan when people hear every word you say.  But since the language barrier is so great between four-hundred years and the time they are stuck in, Taylor and Sheridan come up with a funny slang that is quite hilarious to read.

The time travel aspect was also interesting and I enjoyed it a lot, as well as C.J. Hill’s society. One area I thought this book was lacking in was the romance. I didn’t really care all that much about Echo, so it just didn’t elicit any emotion from me, and when a book doesn’t span over more than a week, it’s a little hard to believe in the romance. Other than that, “Erasing Time” was a well written, and enjoyable read.

Quotes: Robert Frost

dude!

“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.”

“The best way out is always through.”

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey

legacy of the clockwork key by kristin bailey

“Legacy of the Clockwork Key” by Kristin Bailey

3 out of 5 stars.

Meg has been an orphan for six months when the book begins. Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock died in a fire that Meg started by accident, and she regrets every day that has passed since her mistake. But her guilt won’t bring them back though Meg wishes it would. Instead she is stuck in Lord Rathford’s luxurious, yet ludicrous, mansion. Every day Meg gets up early in the morning and she cleans the house like any ordinary maid, but what’s odd about her job is that she cleans but cannot put a thing out-of-place; Lord Rathford keeps his house in a particular state and set in a specific time, and if anything is set out of place, well… The teacup that was toppled over must always remain toppled, and Meg must clean the table, than refill the teacup so that when it tips onto its side, it will seem as if no time has passed, that it is really the same day over and over again. Meg doesn’t know why she has to do these things, yet she does them without question day after day. That is, until curiosity gets the better of her.

After one fateful night, secrets begin entrapping Meg on every side. Truth and lies start to surround her until up seems down and down appears to be up. Can Meg find out the truth about the key that hangs  like a noose around her neck. Or will she always wonder, “what if?” And is the stable boy, Will, someone she can trust completely with all her secrets?

“Legacy of the Clockwork Key” was an interesting new read for me; steampunk is something entirely new to my reading repertoire. I really liked the different aspect of new and old coming together, and it was fun. That being said, I didn’t fall in love with either of the main characters. Meg was fine but she just didn’t illicit much emotion from me, and Will was also fine, but I just didn’t care for either them that much. Oliver and Lucinda were a different story. I liked the history they had, and Oliver was funny and cute; I wish that they had been the main characters!

“Legacy of the Clockwork Key” was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to steampunk lovers (I will reiterate the fact that I haven’t read any steampunk novels besides this one, but I did think it was pretty good), and readers who enjoy England, the 19th century, and science fiction. Overall I think it was a good book, but I’m not super passionate about it. I will most likely read the second book to see what happens to Lucinda and Oliver, but if they hadn’t been in it, I probably would not read the second book.

I hope this was a helpful review!

Favorite/Lucky Numbers

Here are some of my favorite quotes from some of my favorite books. Enjoy!

wandering“What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it because it was exclusive and capricious? The souls offered love and acceptance to all. Did I crave a greater challenge?…Or was it simply better somehow? Because these humans hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?” –Wanda from “The Host”

“I love you,” I whispered.
“Don’t say that like you’re saying goodbye.”–Ian O’Shea and Wanda from “the Host”

“Fine,’ Jared snapped. ‘But if you try cuddling up to me tonight… so help me, O’Shea.”
Ian chuckled. ‘ Not to sound overly arrogant, but to be perfectly honest, Jared, were I so inclined, I think I could do better.”–Jared and Ian O’Shea from “The Host”

“Her name is Wanda, not “it”. You will not touch her. Any mark you leave on her, I will double on your worthless hide.”–Ian O’Shea from “The Host”

“This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds – the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions… the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.”–Wanda from “The Host”

“I’d loved in so many bodies, but never one I loved like this. Never one that I craved in this way. Of course, this would be the one I’d have to give up.
The irony made me laugh, and I concentrated on the feel of the air that popped in little bubbles from my chest and up through my throat. Laughter was like a fresh breeze – it cleaned its way through the body, making everything feel good. Did other species have such a simple healer? I couldn’t remember one.”–Wanda from “The Host”

the selection kiera cass

“I hit your thigh!”
“Oh, please. A man doesn’t need that long to recover from a knee to the thigh”–Maxon and America from “The Selection”

“You’re too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we’ll have to send some of the guards with you. You’ll never survive on your own, poor thing.”–Maxon from “The Selection”

“If this were a simpler matter, I’d have eliminated everyone else by now.”–Maxon from “The Selection”

“He reached up and tugged his ear. And I did the same.”–Maxon and America from “The Selection”

“You don’t do that. You don’t just leave your family. Sticking together… it’s the only way to survive.”–From “The Selection”

“It’s always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome.”–America from “The Selection”

defiance by c.j. redwine

“It’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but I figure you already know that. So instead, I’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.”–from “Defiance”

“Silent acquiescence in the face of tyranny is no better than outright agreement.”–from “Defiance”

“No matter what has happened. No matter what you’ve done. No matter what you will do. I will always love you. I swear it.”–Logan from “Defiance”

“She stares at me, a tiny smile flitting across her lips, and the affection on her face makes me feel like the richest man in the world.”–Logan from “Defiance”

jane eyre by charlotte bronte

“Do you think I am an automation? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”–Jane from “Jane Eyre”

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”–Mr.Rochester from “Jane Eyre”

“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”–Jane from “Jane Eyre”

“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”–Jane from “Jane Eyre”

“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”–Jane from “Jane Eyre

“Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”–From “Jane Eyre”

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”–Jane from “Jane Eyre”

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”–From “Jane Eyre”

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”–Jane from “Jane Eyre”

 

shatter me

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”–Juliette from “Shatter Me”

“I always wonder about raindrops.

“I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.”–Juliette from “Shatter Me”

“Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too.”–Juliette from “Shatter Me”

“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”–Juliette from “Shatter Me”

“Someone picked up the sun and pinned it to the sky again, but every day it hangs a little lower than the day before. It’s like a negligent parent who only knows one half of who you are. It never sees how its absence changes people. How different we are in the dark.”–Juliette from “Shatter Me”

unravel me

“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”–from “Unravel Me”

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”–From “Unravel Me” (Shakespeare)

“Why not?” I’m pleading now.
“Because if I lower my voice, I won’t be able to hear myself speak. And that,” he says, “is my favorite part.”–Kenji and Juliette from “Unravel Me”

“Hope.
It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It’s a fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. And it’s the only thing in the world keeping me afloat.”

“On the darkest days you have to search for a spot of brightness, on the coldest days you have to seek out a spot of warmth; on the bleakest days you have to keep your eyes onward and upward and on the saddest days you have to leave them open to let them cry. To then let them dry. To give them a chance to wash out the pain in order to see fresh and clear once again.”

“Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you’re struggling to stand up. “–Juliette from “Unravel Me”

Unravel Me Playlist

It took me at least a week to do this playlist, but it was so worth it. “Unravel Me” deserves only the finest music, so here are some songs…enjoy!

unravel me

“Under Pressure” by Queen (Juliette’s song in the beginning)

“Learning To Fly” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

“All In White” by The Vaccines

“Baba O’Riley”  by The Who

“I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

“How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees (I just couldn’t resist)

“Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare” by Matt & Kim

“It’ll All Work Out” by Tom Petty & The Hearbreakers

“If I lose Myself” by Landon Austin (Madilyn Bailey also does a good version of this song as well as OneRepublic)

“Shut Us Down” by Lindsey Buckingham

“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

“Daddy’s Gone” by Glasvegas

“Back In Black” by AC/DC (Warner arrives)

“How You Like Me Now” by The Heavy

“Beat The Devil’s Tattoo” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Warner”s other song)

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaac

“Counting Stars” by OneRepublic

“Down By the Water” by The Decemberists

“Loved” by JJ Heller

“Who You Are” by JJ Heller

“Say You Will” by Foreigner

“Meaningless Kiss” by Hugh Grant from the “Music and Lyrics” soundtrack (C’mon, I just couldn’t help myself!)

“The Letter” by The Box Tops (Also by Joe Crocker)

“I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” by the Bee Gees

“Boat Song” by JJ Heller

“Just Stay Here Tonight” by Augustana

“Ring My Bells” by Enrique Iglesias

“Heaven” by Bryan Adams (Warner’s other, other song)

“Hot Blooded” by Foreigner

“Layla” by Derek & The Dominos

“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who (Just think green eyes)

“A Comet Appears” by The Shins

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

“No One Like You” by Scorpions

“My Body Is A Cage” by Sara Lov (also by Arcade Fire)

“Chasing Cars” by Landon Austin

“The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy

The more I think about it, the more I love this book! Tahereh is such an amazing author, and although it has only been a few weeks since I’ve read “Unravel Me”, I want to read it again, and again, and again… So, I felt a need to create a list of songs that I like for their beat and their randomness, and that also compliment the book. Beware, though, I have weird music choices most of the time (my sisters can attest to that!)!

 I have to wait a year or more until the next book comes out, and I don’t know if I can take that. Please, Tahereh, don’t take too long and don’t break my heart…please…

louiee