Monday, September 15, 2014

Three Mini Reviews: The Crystal Slipper, The Elite and The One

Title: The Crystal Slipper
Author: Selena Fulton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Number of Pages: 200
Source: Publisher

A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint... Sometimes you just have to believe... A single crystal slipper. It was probably the weirdest gift librarian Celinda Branham ever received during a Christmas gift exchange. Who would even wear these in the real world? Not Celinda, wearer of sensible shoes and fairy tale naysayer. That said, she certainly has the requisite wicked stepmother, irritating stepsister, and empty bank account. Of course, if she actually believed in all that fantastical junk, she could wait for her Prince Charming... Only Prince Charming doesn't exist. But Preston Chandler believes in fairy tales. Oh, does he ever. All he did was spurn the advances of a certain witch, and now his sister is under a sleeping spell. And the only way to break it? Find the other glass slipper and give someone "Love's First Kiss." But when Preston finally tracks down Celinda, he's dismayed to discover that the shy librarian who owns the other shoe has no interest in anything remotely resembling magic—including love. Now he must find a way into his Cinderella's cynical heart, or lose his sister... and his only chance for true love.

I am such a sucker for fairy tell re-tellings. This was an interesting twist on Cinderella. The Crystal Slipper was pretty much a contemporary romance with just a touch of magic in it. While the writing was solid, and the characters were all likable I found myself having a hard time buying Celinda and Preston as a couple and I'm really not sure why. I'm not sure if this was because the secondary characters were scene stealers or if it was because Celinda fought her feelings for Preston the whole time, and while this normally works for me, in novellas it's hard to due because the books are short & it's hard to fit everything in and make it work.  It also could be because this was set at Christmas time, and I wasn't prepared for a holiday romance just yet.  There were a few loose ends plot wise, but to me that just meant there are probably more books to come by this author and their stories will be wrapped up in future books. I read this book in one afternoon,  and while parts were a bit frustrating, it was still a pretty enjoyable read.

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: The Selection #2
Number of Pages: 336
Source:  My Copy
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.

Would you believe that I pre-ordered this one, but just now got around to reading it? I was in a major reading slump and was looking for something a bit different to read, and this one seemed perfect. I was so surprised that I actually finished it because the 6 books I read before this one were dnf's, for no real reason except I just lost interest in them. I thought this was a great second book, and it did a great job re-capping what happened in the first book without losing any of the story being told in this one. I was really fighting for America and Maxon. There is something about Maxon that just pulled on my heartstrings, and  I just didn't feel the same way about Aspen. I loved that both guys were completely different, and even though America was so indecisive that I wanted to shake some sense into, I could see why she felt the way she did. The first person pov really worked for me in this one, and I felt like I got to know America more in this book and liked her so much better then the first one. I knew a cliffhanger was coming at the end, and was so glad I waited to read it so I could just pick up the last book in the series!

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: The Selection #3
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 323
Source: My copy

The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants. Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

The One was a solid read, though I really think this series could have been told in two books. The love triangle got a bit old for me, but I still couldn't wait to see how she ended up with either Aspen or Maxon. As I was totally Team Maxon, I could have really done away with Aspen altogether in this book, but that's just me. :) I really enjoyed getting to know the other girls who were left in the selection and seeing how America's feelings towards them changed.  I loved how she wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in once she made up her mind, but there were a few unresolved issues for me regarding the rebels, and to me it just made the ending feel rushed. I'm kinda hoping there is another book in the horizon for this series, although I don't think there is, just because I would love to see more of America together with the person she chose and see how the issues that the country has to deal are settled and what problems arise because of it. All in all though, I was happy with how everything turned out.