I’ve been a little stuck with my writing, so I’ve been binge-watching all five seasons of Fringe, because it’s Fringe and utterly brilliant, and reading. Not to mention getting ready for the holidays! Here are the books I’ve read since early December.
The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began–and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.
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 Illéa, 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!
This series took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do, but it’s one of those love stories that I can’t get out of my head. From the beginning I’ve been pulling for Maxon. Aside from being sweet and swoony, he also brings out a really strong, confident side of America. I loved that she was constantly getting in trouble with the King for fighting for what she believed in and that Maxon was still willing to fight for her despite what his father would do to him because of it. I was also really interested in the rebellion and the new characters that came with that, and wanted a little more oomph from that storyline. I know it’s a love story, but I thought that sidetrack was really cool and wanted more. While this ending isn’t perfect, it was definitely the HEA I was looking for.
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Everything Leads to You and was so excited to read it. But while it is a sweet love story, I never really got into it. Maybe it’s because I’m not that into movies so the focus on production design and how much Emi loved her job didn’t hold my attention. Or maybe’s it’s because I wanted to see more of Emi’s family, especially Toby who felt like he could’ve been important but wasn’t. I loved the little moments between Emi and Ava that didn’t revolve around the movie or Caroline’s death (the cherry picking scene and eating tacos in a barely furnished apartment). I wanted more of that and less of the other stuff that took the focus away from these two girls falling in love. It’s a well-written book with unique characters and plot, and I liked it. I just didn’t love it.
Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.
Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.
The Dress Shop of Dreams offers a number of sweet, quiet love stories. Walt with his bookishness and shy nature, and Cora with her closed-off heart and analytical nature. Etta with her magical dresses and long-lost love, and Sebastian with his vows to God and guilt over loving and then leaving Etta. And Millie with her desperation for a husband and babies, and Dylan with his good intentions and questionable actions. It was fun to see so many people get their happily ever after.
The book is repetitious in some places, almost as if the author thought the reader couldn’t keep all of the facts and characters straight with the many POVs used throughout the story. And though I liked most of the characters, a few of them didn’t seem like they needed their own POV (i.e., Henry and Francesca). I enjoyed how all of the stories were intertwined, but I wished they had been more integral to the dress shop and the magic there than the mystery of what happened to Cora’s parents. Overall, it is a well-written, easy read, with just enough magic to make it stand out.
*I received an ARC of this book from Ballantine Books and NetGalley fr an honest review.