Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park cover

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA/Contemporary Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s

Pages: 336

Eleanor- the new girl at school- comes from a dysfunctional (to say the least) family, and is bullied because she dresses weird, has wild red hair, and is a little overweight. Park- who has grown up in this same neighborhood his whole life- is half Korean/half Irish, comes from a good home, but is still a bit of an outcast because he loves alternative music and comic books. Park reluctantly lets Eleanor sit by him on the bus on her first day of school. From there, they begin to silently bond, as ark realizes that she is discreetly reading his comic books with him. That bond slowly grows in to first love throughout the school year. It’s difficult because of Eleanor’s home situation, but the make it work- until her home life erupts one fateful night.

Eleanor & Park is a story that reminds you of how it feels to find your first love. It’s a little awkward, and you really have no idea what you’re doing, but it’s sweet. It’s also a story that reminds you of how mean kids can be, especially when they have no idea of what someone is really going through. Never fear, those mean kids have a little redemption in there, too! It’s a bit of a coming of age story of these kids, in the mid 80’s, when it was even harder to know what to do in a bad situation and of how they came together to figure things out. It’s sweet, funny, and a little heartbreaking all at once. It was a really good book, and I really enjoyed it.

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The One (The Selection, Book 3)

the one cover

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection

Genre: Romance/Dystopian

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 368

In this installment, The Selection is now down to the final four. Against all odds, America has made it. After her last stunt, the king really wants her gone, and is willing to do anything in his power to make that happen, but Maxon wants her to fight. She has decided that she wants to fight, too. She loves Maxon, and wants to be his wife. She has finally made up her mind. With so much against her, and with the uprising in the country to add to the already stressful situation, will she be able to strengthen her resolve enough to push past all of her feelings and doubts to win The Selection?

This was definitely the best book in the series, yet! I could not stop reading it. There was much more action in it than in the previous books. There were also a couple of nice little sharp turns in there that you really don’t see coming, which will keep you needing to know what happens next. I really hadn’t planned on reading past the initial trilogy, and finding out what happened with The Selection. I’m reconsidering that now. I may need to continue on to see what happens after that ending!

Hawaiian Heartbreak

hawaiian heartbreak

Author: Libby Cole

Genre: Romance

Publisher: CreateSpace

Pages: 98

First, I would like to thank Libby for sending this to me for review. She follows my blog, so she knows that Romance is not my primary genre, and trusted me with her book anyway, and I really appreciate that! Now…On to the review!

After four years of dating, Kayla’s boyfriend cheated on her. What’s a girl to do? Take a solo vacay to Hawaii, of course! She just needs some alone time to lie on the beach and collect her thoughts. She’s not looking for anyone to fill the so-called void that he left in her life, but along comes Jay, the cute tour guide/marine biology student whom she meets on her first day on the island. They end up having a great time together while Kayla is there, but this is just a vacation fling, right?

Honestly, this was a pretty enjoyable, quick read. It was a nice, light break after the last book that I read, which was a bit dark. It does end on a cliffhanger, so I’ll warn you about that ahead of time! There was a lot of witty banter between the characters, and the characters are likeable. As far as the romances go, this one was good!

The Elite (The Selection, Book 2)

The Elite

The Elite (The Selection, Book 2)

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection Series

Genre: Romance/Dystopian

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 352

The Elite is, obviously, the continuation of the first novel in this series, The Selection. The girls have been whittled down to the final six, vying for Prince Maxon’s hand in marriage and the title of Princess. America is still undecided about whether this is the life that she wants: is she cut out to be a princess, and does she want to be Maxon’s wife, or is it Aspen- the boy whom she has been in love with for years that she is meant to give her whole heart to?

As I said in my initial review of The Selection, this is not my typical chosen genre, however- in this second novel there were some very interesting turns of events that made me much more invested in this book than I was in the first one. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of romantic elements to the novel, but this one has more action- both physical and political- that kept me intrigued and wanting to know more. Now, I can’t wait to get to the next one to see what happens!

The Selection (The Selection Series, Book 1)

the selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection Series

Genre: Romance/Dystopian

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 352

Ok, so I honestly had no aspirations of reading this book. While I do enjoy dystopian era books, this is not in the genre that I usually read. Sure, I like a little romance and heat in my novels sometimes (as you can tell, I read a lot of PNR), but something that is geared towards a romance is not really my style. I just grabbed to see what all of the fuss was about; I was curious. That all being said- it was pretty entertaining!

The novel is set in a dystopian type era, where everyone is now in different castes. The higher the caste number, the lower the person is on the social scale. It is highly uncommon for women to marry below their caste. America, however, has had a secret romance going on with Aspen (who is one caste below her) for a couple of years. Along comes “the selection”, where thirty-five women of age are chosen from all different castes to vie for Prince Maxon’s hand. America is convinced by her mother and Aspen that she has to try for it. A week before the selection of the thirty-five Aspen dumps her, saying that he can’t provide for her…then she is chosen. She meets the Prince, and a friendship turns in to more, but Aspen is still in her heart.

This was an entertaining book. It definitely wasn’t my best read of the year, but again, it’s out of my usual genre. If you really enjoy romance, you’ll probably really enjoy it. I am intrigued enough to read on to see how it plays out.