[Book Review #71] The Crown by Kiera Cass

img_6376

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Continue reading “[Book Review #71] The Crown by Kiera Cass”

[Event Recap #9] #KCinPH

EVENT RECAP

IMG_5895

Last September 19, I attended a book signing event for Kiera Cass, author of The Selection Series, which was once again hosted by National Book Store. My love for America, Maxon, & Eadlyn Schreave, and Kile Woodwork, and all things The Selection related are no secret. I’ve read all the books in the series and I am so, so, so in love with everything. The covers are stunning, the story lines are simple yet beautifully written, and don’t even get me started on the romance factor. I CANNOT AND WILL NOT TALK ABOUT THE ROMANCE IN THIS BOOK. 

Waiting In Line

I had class the whole day of September 18 but I gave no sh*t. I arrived at Shangri-La Plaza at around 9:30pm. I was dismissed from school at around 7:00pm and with the knowledge of over 1,600 people wanting to meet the lovely author, I didn’t want to have a signing pass that’s over 100. I was tired from school but I just didn’t want to be so far from the first ones in line, so I decided to camp out for this one.

Although there were already quite a number of people ahead of us in line, it was still fine, since we weren’t lined up at above 50. There was actually a few disputes regarding the early birds, but nothing major or big. Nothing much to blabber about.

Most of the people only came to line up at around 6:00am of the 19th. Thousands of people came to have their books signed and I was proud to have been officially the 20th in line to meet, greet, and have my books signed by Kiera Cass. Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming number who came out, the management of National Bookstore opted to limit the number of books to be signed to 2. It was a saddening twist of events, but I believe it had to be done. This decision garnered a lot of negative comments, but we, as bibliophiles and patrons have to understand that, and just find other ways to have all of our books signed, right?

A technique a lot of people did, myself included, was to line up again once you got yourself registered the first time. Once I had my #20 signing pass, I rushed to the end of the line again to register 2 more of my books. I know this was unfair, but what can I do? This was my first time to meet Kiera. I wasn’t available when she first visited the Philippines. I was desperate. You have to understand. Haha!

My good friend Feather the Bookstore Bug who came to signing dressed as Eadlyn Schreave from The Heir. She was absolutely stunning.

Look at that crowd! You can basically see me fangirling so hard as I saw one of my most favorite authors of all time! Their were a total of 1,400 people who came to say hi and meet Kiera Cass!

After having registered twice, Kiera arrived shortly thereafter. She was bubbly and, lively just as I imagined. She arrived at the venue with her very supportive husband, Callaway. (Is it just me or he looks a lot like Ransom Riggs?) Once she was settled, there was a Q&A. I took notes and I’ve listed everything I got down below for everyone to read.

Q&A with Kiera Cass

  • With regards to her visit to Cebu, everything went great, even if the crowd in her Manila signing beats the former. As for her last visit, things were okay, and now, everything’s awesome since a lot of her new books are coming out. Mainly, Happily Ever After on October 20115, and The Siren on January 2016.
  • She was also in Brazil recently and a number of 5,000 people came to say hi, but signing wise, Manila still reigns supreme.
  • The first passport stamp on her passport is for the Philippines. Cool, right?
  • Kiera’s Filipino fans have a lot to say on social media. She thinks that we (PH fans) are active, and extremely friendly. She also publicly thanked each and every one of her fans for being so cool to reach out to her online.
  • She found it quite hard transitioning from writing about America, who was one of the “Selected”, to writing about Eadlyn, who was the “Selector”.
  • For Kiera, Eadlyn is so different from her mother. She grew up to be an unreliable narrator, but was a fun character too. This entailed a lot of room for improvement, and character development. It was hard to switch to her, but writing in her perspective was interesting, fun, and enjoyable.
  • The Heir wasn’t supposed to be another installment in the series. It was supposed to be THE final epilogue to The One, but she grew quite fond of it, grew inspired to extend the series, and one day, she realized that she didn’t want to leave Illea just yet, and so, she decided to add 2 more books to the series. Everything was purely accidental. This was to say thank you to everyone who had a severe attachment to the series.
  • (SPOILER FOR THE ONE AHEAD) Just like a lot if people, she, too, was sad to see Celeste go. Kiera loved Celeste and she was devastated to know what was coming next for her. And to add to that, she had a message to those who disliked Celeste and regretted it: “You brought this on yourself.”
  • The selected guy that Kiera was rooting for in The Heir wasn’t going to make the final cut but she doesn’t have hard feelings about it. It was Eadlyn’s choice, and hers alone.
  • We are to hear a lot more from Ahren and Camille and their budding romance on the fifth, and sadly, final book in the Selection series.
  • One memorable fan experience that Kiera had was when girls followed her to the bathroom and asked her for photographs. Although she is grateful to her fans, she would appreciate it if we, the fans, respect her privacy and boundaries.
  • As The One came to a close, Kiera felt unsatisfied, just like a lot of Selectioners worldwide, but with the fifth book, which is set to be released in May 2016, it felt like everything is as it should be, thus, giving Kiera the feeling that she would be happy if she ended it there.
  • The Siren, which is scheduled for a re-release this January 2016, is another book by Kiera Cass from Harper Collins which tackles greek myths, and love stories at the same time. It basically has the same premise, concept, and as well as the love story, but the core is different.
  • According to Kiera, in current society, you may change a law, but not how people see other people. This was in reference to The Heir where the caste systems were abolished and yet, discrimination was still evident in Illea.
  • The One, the third book in The Selection series, was supposed to have a different ending where King Clarkson dies together with our Prince Maxon *GASPS!!!* but Queen Amberly lives as well as America. Our protagonist then grows up to be Amberly’s daughter and ends up in Aspen’s arms and they were crowned King and Queen of Illea. *I HIGHLY DISAPPROVE OF THIS*
  • May Singer, sister to America, is Kiera’s favorite character in her books simply because they are both huge fangirls.
  • For aspiring authors: Don’t give up. It’s very subjective. Not everyone will like what you make, create, or write. If you love it, keep pushing.

Here’s a photo of me and Jennifer, a college blockmate of mine. She’s one of the many people I influenced to read The Selection series and she loved it just as much as I did, if not more.

Here’s me flaunting my hardcover copies of The Elite and The Heir. Please dismiss my double chin. Thank you. Hahaha!

Me and my Hobnobbers family doing my infamous JM pose. ♥

The Signing Proper

Since I was the 20th person in line to have my books signed, I patiently waited and lined up together with my friends. Since Kiera was only allowed to sign 2 books per person, the signing went by rapidly. I actually didn’t even get the chance to tell her all about my feels regarding her books, but I’ll take what I can get.

IMG_5905

In the end, I came home with 4 signed books, 3 of which have my name on them, 2 Happily Ever After bookmarks, and 1 Instax photo of me with Kiera Cass. I am more than grateful for this once (or twice, in Kiera’s case) in a lifetime opportunity.

IMG_20150919_212259

Here I am with THE Kiera Cass!

IMG_20150920_141446

Here’s a photo of me and Callaway Cass, the man behind THE Kiera Cass. Don’t you agree with me in saying that he looks a lot like Ransom Riggs? He’s so kind to agree to my request for a photo opportunity.


I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for the people over at National Book Store for bringing Kiera back here. When she first came here, I wasn’t even a full-time bibliophile yet, and so, I missed the chance. NBS, you guys rock! And to Tito Leo Lumbre, who took such amazing photos, thank you!

Were YOU at the Shangri-La Plaza signing event for #KCinPH? What was the number on your signing pass? How was your experience? Feel free to share your thoughts with me through the comment section down below.

That’s all for now! Until the next one, folks!

FOOTER

[Stacking The Shelves #4] May 2015 Bookhaul

IMG_3771These books were all purchased within the month of May, and I must say that my book buying game has gone to an all new level. I acquired a discount from a specific bookstore last May 3, and I took a good advantage of it. And as some of you may know, May is the last month of my classes and on the month’s last week, I went on a haul to reward myself for my hard work this semester. Below are some details of my haul.

  1. The Selection by Kiera Cass – Hardbound, from National Book Store – PhP625.00
  2. The Elite by Kiera Cass – Hardbound, from National Book Store – PhP625.00
  3. The One by Kiera Cass – Hardbound, from Powerbooks, Trinoma – PhP649.00
  4. The Heir by Kiera Cass – Hardbound, from National Book Store, SM North Edsa – PhP685.00
  5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Hardbound, from Powerbooks Greenbelt – PhP865.00
  6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – Hardbound, from Powerbooks Greenbelt – PhP865.00
  7. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Hardbound, from Powerbooks Trinoma – PhP899.00
  8. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover – Trade Paperback, from National Book Store – PhP609.00
  9. Looking for Alaska 10th Anniversary Edition Signed Copy by John Green – Hardbound, from National Book Store – PhP839.00
  10. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno – Hardbound, from National Book Store – PhP649.00
  11. This Girl by Colleen Hoover – Trade Paperback, from National Book Store – PhP595.00
  12. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover – Trade Paperback, from National Book Store – PhP595.00
  13. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – Hardbound, from National Book Store – PhP385.00
  14. Slammed by Colleen Hoover – Trade Paperback, from Powerbooks Trinoma – Php609.00
  15. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – Trade Paperback, from National Book Store – PhP665.00

I, personally, want to thank my parents, for never having failed to give my allowance from which these books were from. And I would like to thank a friend for granting me discounts from your store. You are heaven sent! And lastly, my discount cards for always being reliable whenever I go on book hauls. Lastly, I want to thank the Lord for allowing me to make this possible! Life is so good right now! 🙂

FOOTER

[Book Review #29] The Heir by Kiera Cass

22918050

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

Book Specifications:

Author: Kiera Cass

Format: Hardbound

Part of a Series: Yes. The Selection Series #4

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Publisher: HarperTeen

No. of Pages: 342 pages

Price: 685.00Php

Genre:  Romance, Drama, Chick Lit, Young Adult, Love, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy

Book Review:

The Cover: Need I actually say more? Being the 4th book in the Selection Series, I was expecting highly of the cover. The cover, as I said, needed to remain regal, plain, and yet extremely elegant. Was I disappointed? NO I WAS NOT. Featuring a different face from the 3 past covers, it was important that they asked the help of a different model to represent this 4th installment, considering that it was told from a different perspective. But everything still looks perfect to me. Don’t you agree? (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: Well, the story, obviously, is about Eadlyn Schreave’s rise to fame as she trains and follows the footsteps of her parents to claim the throne of Illéa while trying to find her very own prince in the process of saying yes to her own Selection. The story was filled with just the right amount of romance, wit, and substance, just like the previous installments in the series. Below are some good details about the story:

  • I love how Eadlyn, to date, is the most feisty protagonist I have ever came to read about. She’s like the main protagonist AND antagonist of her own story. In the beginning of the book, she has so many issues which I know will hinder her happily ever after the end. But, thankfully, her character development was extremely satisfying as well. In a span of 342 pages, she went from a brat princess, to a regal queen-to-be. I loved this fact about The Heir.
  • I like how America and Maxon were depicted in this 20-years-later novel. America, unlike when she was undergoing her own selection, was no longer whiny, and she was more focused than ever and procrastination was no longer her strongest suit. Maxon, as responsible as he ever is, came to be the King that Illéa truly deserves. Amidst all the issues in their small country, it still seems that they did arrive at a happily ever after kind of situation. They’re royalty. They have fantastic children. And they have the most loyal friends. I don’t think it’s going to get any better than that.
  • For me, Ahren Schreave, Eadlyn’s twin brother, wasn’t really paid enough attention. I know he’s 7 minutes late to become the heir. He’s in love with Princess Camille. But other than these major details, I don’t think I know him at all. I wish he just got a chapter that was dedicated to telling readers a little bit more about who would’ve claimed the throne if Eadlyn wasn’t 7 minutes early. The same goes for Kaden and Osten. Hopefully, I get to see what happens to them on the next (and last) installment.
  • As for the suitors, they weren’t quite as I imagined. Some of my favorites are Henri (and Erik, they seem like a duo to me), Fox, Hale, and Kile. (KILE!!!!) For me, they were all equally deserving to hold Eadlyn’s heart (most specially Kile). I can’t wait for Eadlyn’s decision and it seems that the Selection was anyone’s game until the next book arrives. But how about you guys? Who are you rooting for? I am on #TeamKile. ♥
  • The spark between Eadlyn and Kile is totally undeniable. Am I right? Ever since Kile was introduced to us in the scene where they bump into each other, I knew right then at that moment that there was something about Kile that will make him one of the selected in Eadlyn’s own selection. And afterwards, once Kile was duly selected, their relationship just went on to a whole new level. There was a point where their relationship felt like abused by Eadlyn when she wanted Kile to kiss her while expecting the both of them to just be casual about it, but… You know what I mean, right? Haha! I just adore them both so much 🙂

I waited a whole year for this book, and I’m happy to say that I am more than satisfied with Eadlyn’s story and version of finding true love. Next to The One, this might be my most favorite book in the series. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  AMERICA IS SICK YOU GUYS! Please hold me!!! I can’t even imagine Illéa without America Singer Schreave. I just can’t. For three books, I’ve been attached to her as a spoon is attached to a fork and I will just completely lose it if America really dies! Did I even mention how I hate the cliffhanger of an ending? Come on, Kiera! You know I love you, but why must you do this? WHY? Oh, and before I forget, I’m happy for Eadlyn being able to narrow down his pool of suitors to a number that suits The Elite. She might not have made a decision before this book ended but I am damn sure she will end up with a husband on the next installment! I can’t wait! Hopefully, it’s Kile. ♥ (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Just like all other books in The Selection Series, this is a story that I will surely read on and on for the rest of my life. I will probably even let my future kids (should the Lord bless me) know the stories of America Singer, and Eadlyn Schreave, and their family. I seriously love this series, you guys, I can’t even explain it! (10 out of 5 stars) (is this even possible?)

Quotable Quotes:

“I’m not sure anyone knows what they’re looking for until they find it.”  – Eadlyn Schreave

“There are some things you don’t learn about yourself until you let someone else into the most intimate places of your heart.” – Eadlyn Schreave

“I only have one heart, and I’m saving it.” – Eadlyn Schreave

“You can be brave and still be feminine. You can lead and still love flowers. Most importantly, you can be queen and still be a bride.” – Ahren Schreave (THIS IS MY FAVORITE)

“I kept thinking that I couldn’t live my life for other people, that love was nothing but chains. And maybe it was, but so help me, I needed these chains.” – Eadlyn Schreave (ANOTHER FAVORITE, OMG)

“I’m not sure if fate or destiny is real. But I can tell you that sometimes the very thing you’ve been hoping for will walk through the door, determined to fend you off. And still, somehow, you will find that you are enough.” – Kile Woodwork

“Didn’t they know who I was, what they’d trained me for? I was Eadlyn Schreave. No one was more powerful than me. So if they thought I was going down without a fight, they were sadly mistaken.” – Eadlyn Schreave

FOOTER