Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Good, the Meh, and the DNF

Considering that I am not the greatest at promptly writing a review after I read a book, I have had some books completely unreviewed while others took a a bit longer than normal to write, trying to remember things about it. So instead of trying to write a full review on something that I don't have much to say on, I decided mini reviews would be the best route again.

The Good: 

Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publication date: August 28, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Mini review:

I either see trusted bloggers squeal about this book or excitedly exclaim over its not-out-yet sequel, Deception. I love the cover, I love the plot, I love the reviews on it. So why did I start it so late? I think it all boils down to expectations and wanting to leave it in some reverend spot in my mind. Why taint the image of it? However, I knew I had to buckle down and read it.

Defiance completed my expectations and went beyond it. It sucked my time away, left me in Rachel's world long after I finished it, and made me wanting the sequel instantly. I know there are negatives, there always is, but I was too enamored by the book that I did not care or notice that much. The POVs switched from Rachel to Logan, which I liked since I wanted to see both of their thoughts. Rachel was stubborn, feisty, and strong. Of course, along with that, she sometimes let her emotions and thinking dictate her actions, which can be stupid. However, that's what happens when you receive a strong heroine. Logan was sensitive, strong, and cute all wrapped up in one. I honestly don't see how you can want more from him.


The Meh: 

Title: The Elite

Author: Kiera Cass

Publication date: April 23, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: an ARC sent from Skye via YA Book Exchange

Thirty-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.

Mini review: 

With The Selection, I had annoyances reading it, but since I was addicted to the idea of it (reality TV is a guilty pleasure of mine and so are competitions), I tried to just enjoy the book. But when I was done reading it, I couldn't stop being aggravated with it. Despite all that, I wanted to read the sequel because it's like one of those interesting, but yucky snacks where you can't stop eating it, but you don't really know why you continue to do so.

I can basically recap with these short sentences: America can't make up her mind about either guy. Maxon is beyond patient. Aspen resembles something slimy in my mind. Marlee's "shocking" revelation was like strobe lights in a cave (that make sense, don't deny it). The King was despicable. The rebels got better, but not to the standard I wished for. I was completely annoyed with America at least 90% of the time.

I just have to touch on one point before I move on to the next review and this might make it longer than "mini," but it has to be said. I wanted to grab a microphone and preach to the thousands after continual "feeling complaints" from America. The thing with America is that everything is based on her feelings of the moment. Unlike Rachel from Defiance, there is no backbone to them. She hops from boy to boy, back and forth, based on how she is feeling at the time. Maxon makes me so happy, I want to stay with him forever. Oh, Aspen always made me happy. Aspen is making me not feel good, I want to be with Maxon. Maxon is making me feel upset, I want to be back with Aspen. Aspen makes me feel safe, I should be with him forever. I love Maxon so that should make me feel happy, right? 

FOR THE LOVE OF CUPCAKES AND ALL THAT IS WRITTEN BY ALLY CARTER. She literally complained once, "Can't he see how unhappy he's making me?" I wanted to throw my ARC at the wall right then and there. You should never be with someone who's mistreated you, used you, etc. However, it makes me sick that so many girls are fawning over this behavior and I honestly hope they don't replicate it. Because, guess what, the key to having a long-lasting relationship is not based on feelings. It is not based on happiness. Ask any couple who has been married for a long period of time (no, that is not 3 or 7 or 10 years) if they were ever unhappy. Think to the elderly couples who have been married 50 or 60 years. Through thick and thin, in sickness or in health, for richer or for poor, through happiness or sadness, they stayed together.

If everyone based their relationships on whether or not they're happy, everyone would be alone. You should never base your decisions on how happy it makes you feel. Happiness comes and goes. Joy stays more constant, but relationships will struggle and that person will make you wish for a baseball bat in your hand sometimes. You stick through it.

Verdict: I have to rate it a "meh" because I still want to read the third book, but I felt that America's whininess tainted the whole book even more so. 

The DNF: 

Author: Gwen Hayes

Publication date: March 1, 2011

Publisher: New American Library

Source: an ARC provided through ARCycling.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Mini review: 

I first want to thank ARCycling for giving me this book and for the blogger who donated it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get into it. I try to give books a chance and several chapters, but I don't think I even reached chapter 5 before I had to grab a different book. There are many books in my TBR pile that I need to catch up on so I simply did not want to sit through something that I had no connection to. 

We are shown and told repeatedly in the beginning of how sheltered Theia is, but I think it went too far in such a short period. I was bored. I wasn't invested, I didn't care, and I am truly trying to be polite, but Theia's narration was dull. I felt like I was wasting precious reading time. Yes, maybe I should have given it more time and maybe Theia would get better. However, I don't have regrets on it. 

I do suggest people give it a shot though. While I may DNF it, someone else might eat it right up. 

Verdict: What more can I say than I that I DNF'd it? 

Check back later this week for my Fierce Reads 2013 Tour recap! There shall be pictures :) 

Happy Father's Day! 


  1. "it's like one of those interesting, but yucky snacks where you can't stop eating it" - I am so going to remember this line. It's so perfect to describe some books!

    I never had any plans to read The Selection books at all (I can't stand that type of reality TV - it makes me feel stabby, and what I've heard of the MC makes me want to claw my eyeballs out), but I sure enjoy reading other people's reactions to them. Some people love them - GREAT! Some people hate them - GREAT! :D

    Great reviews!

    1. It really is! That's what I always think of :)


  2. I'm really looking forward to Defiance. I got a copy this week and it looks really good :D Thanks for the reviews!


  3. I'm so glad you liked Defiance! I just bought a copy super cheat at BookCloseOuts last month. I have read the other two and I don't think I will. I don't think The Selection series sounds like something for me. Looking forward to your Fierce Reads recap!

    1. Woo! Hope you like it as much as I did :) Thanks!

  4. This is actually a good idea, I have trouble writing reviews too. I'm reading the Selection right now and I agree with what you said. It's alright. I had Defiance but I put it back-darn! At least I know it's a good book now!

    1. Thanks! It's much easier instead of trying to remember everything and then writing a coherent review under exhaustion and memory loss. Aw man, you will!

  5. I was kind of on the fence about Defiance because it seemed like a more modern fantasy, and I guess that wasn't what I was expecting. But I did like it enough to anticipate the sequel with everyone else. I haven't read The Selection, nor do I plan to. I just can't...from everything I hear, there's just no point. As for Falling Under, I understand your DNF. That opening, with the burning man falling from the sky...there was so much potential! What happened?!?

    OMG, I can't wait for your Fierce Reads recap! :D

    1. There really isn't. Don't waste your time. THERE WAS! I just couldn't do it.


  6. I've been wondering about Defiance... I might have to check it out sometime. And the more I read about The Elite the more I think I am going to wait until right before The One comes out to read it. Or maybe I'll wait until The One comes out and see what people say about the end of the trilogy and whether or not it is worth my time frustrating myself.

  7. I also loved Defiance so much! Deception also sounds such as awesome. I wish that The Elite had been better, but I still thought it was a pretty good sequel. I remember reading Falling Under a few years ago, and it didn't get much better :( Amazing reviews and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the Fierce Reads recap! :)

    1. Oh, well I'm glad I DNF'd it even more then! Thanks!

  8. I absolutely loved Defiance too Sunny, and I think you picked it up totally at the right time, as you will only have to wait around two months now for Deception, whereas everyone else has been waiting almost a year. I need more Logan right now. I'm sorry The Elite and Falling Under didn't work out for you, I've been hearing really mixed things about Kiera Cass' series and I don't really think it would be for me. But thanks for taking one for the team and the lovely reviews! :)

  9. PREACH SUNNY, PREACH! I only skimmed my ARC of The Elite before I gave it away to another blogger, and I wanted to throat-punch America. I mean REALLY, she's so over the top and basically everything you said. NOT enough to make me want to give it a proper read or continue the series.

    Ohhhh Defiance. *happysigh* I really really want to re-read it soon so I can pre-order Deception. LOGAN FTW!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. YES YES AND AMEN MOLLI. You did yourself a favor.

  10. Hahaha.. should just start rating books like that. Yay, meh, or nay. I haven't read any of these, but I've seen a lot of praise for Defiance.

  11. Rachel sounds like the perfect heroine and your praise makes me want to read her story! Weaker main characters can work (some of Meg Cabot's are so lovable in their insecurities) but strong ones are always fabulous.

    America, however, sounds annoying. I love your snack analogy because it is so perfectly descriptive. This is why so many people hate love triangles-they almost always end in annoying disaster. Why can't more authors do love geometry like Cynthia Hand, whose Unearthly series features an undecided romance that is believable and actually adds to the plot? But I'm with you on finishing out The Selection series anyway. :P

  12. Loved Defiance too, Sunny! I have no interest in The Selection, with the multiple love interests. I hate The Bachelor and The Bachelorette on TV so the comparison to those shows had me turned off from the beginning. I will say the covers are soooo gorgeous though. I did like Falling Under but I read it a long time ago so who knows how I'd feel about it now. No reason to waste your time reading when you don't feel a connection! So many other books to enjoy. Great mini reviews, Sunny! :)

  13. Falling Under was a DFN for me, too. It just wasn't holding my attention. I haven't read The Selection, because I heard it has a love triangle and I can't stand them. Unfortunately, Defiance was a DFN for me as well. It didn't click with me, I think it was the characters and the romance that I wasn't a fan of. Thanks for the honest mini-reviews! :)