Tag Archives: 2.5 Birds

Vlog Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Hey everyone, I’m back! I realized that I filmed a vlog review for The Selection by Kiera Cass back in the summer but never posted it, so here it is!

I know this review may come off as rather harsh, but I tried my best not to bash the author at all. These are my honest opinions on the book, just like I always present on my blog. Personally this book was not my piece of cake, as I think you’ll see from watching the video. However, I know many people who loved this book, so please don’t let me deter you if you think you might enjoy it! I think this is one that you really need to decide for yourself, as everyone seems to either love it or hate it from what I’ve seen.

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
The Selection by Kiera Cass

Published: April 24, 2012
Genre: Dystopian meets The Bachelor
Pages: 327
Source: ARC (traded)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (Goodreads)

2.5 birds

Not my cup of tea. The birds can have it.

Review of This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Published: April 2, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher

 

If fate sent you an email, would you answer? When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?
(Goodreads)

 

mythoughts2I haven’t written a review in weeks, so I don’t know if I even remember how to do this. Sorry if it turns into an awful mess.

To sum it up really quickly: I did not enjoy this novel. I thought it was overly cheesy, kinda boring, and way longer than it needed to be.

I actually really liked Smith’s first novel, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Mostly because it was fast paced and short – the opposite of This is What Happy Looks Like. Sometimes I talk about “fluff” books – books you read just to fill time and take your mind off things, but basic enough that a trained monkey could understand them. Well this book was like the bible of all fluff books. I found the characters to be dull and much of the plot unnecessary.

Ellie, the main character of the story, was just “meh” for me. I couldn’t relate to her, and I didn’t really care about her. The fight she has with her BFF (I can’t even remember her name) seemed so predictable and pointless (again, I can’t even remember what the fight was about). Then you’ve got Graham – the tortured young actor, estranged from family and friends by his career. Everyone sees him as The Star: Graham Larkin, but wait – what’s that? He’s just a normal guy??? How creative. On top of that whole cliched mess, we then learn a little bit about Graham’s background. Like how he lives in his own private mansion and feels uncomfortable visiting his own home because his parents treat him like royalty and don’t know how to act around him. His mom used to yell at him for leaving dirty laundry on the ground, but now that he’s a movie star she just picks it up without a word and does his laundry for him. Any respect I had for his parents flew out the window at that point.

The romance between Ellie and Graham was cookie-cutter at best. They like long walks on the beach and watching the sunset while holding hands. The only time when I felt the actual emotion was the scene where Ellie has to throw a towel over her face to hide from the cameras (I’m trying not to give anything away, hence the weird description). Props to Graham for stepping up in that scene.

Lastly, I’d just like to focus on the side-plot of Ellie’s dad. In my opinion, this did not need to be involved in the story at all. It added length, sure, but no value. You spend all this time learning about her dad, hearing stories about him, and it seemed to me that it could actually make the book more interesting. Then when the time comes, the big crescendo of the Dad Plot, everything just falls flat. Why spend all this time building up to something only to make it the shortest, most unnecessary scene in the book? On top of that, Ellie just seems fine with the outcome. It was like she was so scared of stirring up the pot that she jumped at the chance to give up on her dad.

Overall, I was not a fan of this book. I guess I see the appeal if you want something super light-hearted and fun, but I just found it boring and overly cheesy. There were a few upsides, like the gorgeous setting and the couple of scenes that stood out to me, but all in all I was really disappointed with This is What Happy Looks Like.

2.5 birds

Not my cup of tea. The birds can have it.

Review of The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook

The Almost TruthThe Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Released December 4th, 2012 by Simon Pulse
256 pages

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn’t prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose….

(Goodreads)

There are just some books that you know from the very first page you aren’t going to love. Sadly, that was my experience with The Almost Truth.

My biggest problem with this book was the main character, Sadie. She’s a small-time con artist, which sounds cool in theory, but half of the stuff she did was completely against my morals. She lives in a run-down trailer park and works at a super fancy hotel with her mom while her dad is in and out of jail for, guess what? Being a con artist. You’d think Sadie would’ve learned, but nope, she’s just taking after her dad. So Sadie has a dream to escape her small town and go to Berkeley, which I’m all for. She’s worked hard and saved the money to change her life. Good for her, right? Well, then I found out where she got the money: she conned it. Sure, it was only 5 dollars here and 10 dollars there, but she saved $4,000 total (mind you, that is including her job), and that is a lot of money to steal. From that point on, I just hated Sadie. Stealing is wrong. The end. Not to mention a certain decision Sadie made regarding her best friend which I was unhappy with.

So yeah, I pretty much wanted to stop reading the book right there, because how could I invest in this story when I was so against the decisions of the main character? And when Sadie’s mom took all her university funds away (not a spoiler), I couldn’t care less because in my opinion, Sadie didn’t deserve that money. I know I sound harsh, and it’s not like she was robbing people on the streets, but I just didn’t understand how she could con all that money out of people, use it to fund her education, and then not feel one shred of guilt.

The only reason I kept reading was because a new plotline had been introduced, and I had a theory about how it would end, so I wanted to see if I was right, and the whole book turned out to be pretty predictable. Anyway, I kept on reading, and I found that the story was really similar to a book series I read when I was younger: the Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Coonie. Unfortunately, I found myself comparing the two books, and because I loved that series so much, The Almost Truth kind of went down another notch for me.

So finally we reach the end of the book, and I have to admit that I warmed up to Sadie as the story went on. By the end I wasn’t as angry with her, but I still didn’t quite support her. The ending is actually pretty interesting, not quite what I was expecting, and it had a unique, thought out twist. However, reading some of the last chapters, I felt like I was watching a movie with really bad acting. It was just so cheesy and fake.

Overall, I just did not enjoy this book. However, there are a ton of people who love it. I think it was still fun read if you’re looking for a light contemporary. The writing is not bad at all; it was pretty much just the characters that I couldn’t get on board with.

2.5 birds

Not my cup of tea. The birds can have it.