Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

I was expecting so much from this book. It was so popular and won all these awards and yada yada yada. So I was expecting something amazing and interesting and beautiful. I was so disappointed. This book was unoriginal, boring, and I honestly don’t really understand why people love it so much.

Okay, so lets start off with the overall plot and writing. This book was so similar to literally so many YA books in one. Seriously, just take little components from every other popular YA book and add them in one, and you pretty much get Red Queen. The whole thing felt mediocre and basic, maybe even a little childish. I know I’m in the minority here, but I just couldn’t get into it. I tried reading it right after it came out and stopped a few chapters in cause it was boring. Everyone said it would get better after a few more chapters. Ha. It didn’t.

The characters. I seriously didn’t connect or really like any of the characters. I only liked one character, and after the plot twist, I hated that character (I won’t spoil who). They all seemed stereotypical and I just really couldn’t find a way to like them.

I knew a massive plot twist happened in the end. I tried to predict it, but even I didn’t see it coming. It was shocking and nothing like I suspected. But, you know what? It made me hate the ending even more. I didn’t have a character to even remotely like, which led to more for me to hate.

If I hadn’t already won a copy of Glass Sword, I wouldn’t continue the series. Even so, I’m not in any hurry to read Glass Sword. I need a break from the world of Red’s and Silver’s.

As for cleanliness, there were a few instances of language. 3 uses of B- and a couple uses of H- and D- here and there, I believe. I don’t remember any suggestive content.

So, yep. This was my unpopular opinion. Did you like (or dislike) Red Queen? Comment below and tell me!

-Lilian-

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A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

I was sent a copy of this book by Nadine Brandes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

You know what this book is? A breath of fresh air.

Seriously, this book is different than any other dystopian book I’ve read. I mean, I’m sure we’ve all wondered what it’d be like to know when we die. What we would do if we knew we had limited time. In this book, those questions are explored in a unique way.

First off, Nadine’s writing is amazing. It honestly reminds me of my writing style. But she built such a unique world. It’s like, in the Hunger Games, if you combine Panem, the districts, and the arena in one, than you get this world that Nadine has amazingly created. I still haven’t fully grasped the whole world, because it is so deep and complex, yet simple and enticing.

I have to mention these characters. They were all imagined and crafted so creatively! I loved all the characters (except Skelley, but I’ll get to him in a minute). They were all very lovable and very real. They made some bad decisions, and some good ones. Just like a real human would.

Okay, so I have not despised AND feared a villain as much as I do with Skelley Chase, like, ever. He wasn’t even THAT evil. He was just scary in his own ways and it made me totally despise him. I officially have a fear of the scent of lemons and green fedoras.

The only part I didn’t like was the slow beginning. It took me a bit to get into. But I totally understand that Nadine had to set-up the world, so I can’t hold anything against her EXCEPT THE ENDING. Nadine ripped out my heart and ran over it with a truck, shattering it into a million little pieces. Seriously, she’s evil (but in the best way possible<3). I already have the second book and I really can’t wait to jump back into that world, hopefully next month. Right now I need a break for a lighter read.

Let’s talk cleanliness. This is a Christian book, so it has no profanity. As for inappropriate content, it only has some almost-kisses, because I don’t recall any actual kisses, but I’m not sure. The violence is heavy, though. Limbs are cut off and injuries are sustained that made me shudder a bit. But, if you can handle some blood, you’ll be fine.

So, if you’re looking for a delightful read to make you hate green fedoras and rip your heart into tiny pieces, I totally recommend this one:)

-Lilian-

The Selection Trilogy

In the month of January I read the first three Selection books (so the original trilogy). I’ve decided to combine them all into 1 review!

1. The Selection

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.

I highly regret waiting so long to read these books! They are so beautiful. The first book was cute and fun. But it also surprised me with lots of action and depth I wasn’t expecting.

Okay, I know I say this for a lot of books, but this one really reminded me of The Hunger Games! Like the plot was different, but the characters and stuff felt similar. America was a lot like Katniss, Maxon was a lot like Peeta, and Aspen was a lot like Gale. Plus all the other selected girls felt like other tributes.

The overall plot was enticing and good. Seriously, I should have read this ages ago! I loved it so much.

As for cleanliness, it was pretty good. The language was minor and infrequent. The content was not bad at all. A few kisses, and some mention of not turning the prince down, no matter what he wanted. But it didn’t get to that. Overall, it was the cleanest of the books and wasn’t very bad at all!

2. The Elite

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

This was my absolute FAVORITE of all three books! It was action-packed and adorable and UGh! I loved it so much. I pretty much read the whole book in a day.

Something I really loved about this book was the character development; specifically America’s character development. She grew so much as a character and a person and I absolutely loved it! There were a few moments when she annoyed me… a lot. But we all have our annoying moments, and I think it makes America feel human that way. She doesn’t seem overly perfect who can take on anything and everything perfectly. She feels real.

This book gave me the worst love-hate relationship with Maxon. It was way more love than hate, but there were still a few moments I felt like strangling him… but I didn’t cause I don’t murder and I hope you don’t murder either:)

This book gave me ALL THE FEELS gosh. I felt so many FEELS. It was such an emotional rollercoaster.

This book did use a little more language, but nothing stronger. It was just used a little more frequently. The suggestive content went up a little, too, but just heavier kissing and the sort. Nothing graphic or overly inappropriate.

Overall, this was my favorite book of 2016 so far.

3. The One

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

This book was so close to passing The Elite on my favorites list… so close. But, it fell short. The One was so packed full of action and romance.

America and Maxon were so STUPID for most of this book. I was literally shaking my head at them. SO much drama was SO avoidable if they had actually THOUGHT about what they were doing. But I can’t stay mad at them long cause they’re still so cute.

This was a satisfying finish, so I’m interested to read The Heir and see how the story is continued.

This book did have close to an intimate scene, but they didn’t do anything. It is described that they slept in the same bed with only undergarments, but it stopped there. And that scene can be easily skipped. Just skip the end of page 268-(most of) 272.  The language was used less frequently, but had one use of the B- word.

So, that’s my review! I gave all these books 5 stars and it is easily one of my favorite series now! If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask:)

-Lilian-