The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 4.5/5
Pairing: Something Blue
I thought this cocktail matched the cover. I also think it’s a cute reference to marriage as the Selection is a competition with the ultimate goal being marriage to a prince and a future at being Queen. So we have something blue.
-1oz blue curacao
-2.5oz cranberry juice
-lime wheel for garnish
-Combine all liquid ingredients in a shake with ice
-Strain into glass of choice
-Garnish with lime wheel
Take a Shot: America Singer is a 5. That makes her an artist in the Caste system of Illea. She’s musically driven whether it be through instruments or singing. However, because they are artists, they are unfortunately on the poorer end of society. They are far from being eights but much further from being ones. That is until the Selection begins because Prince Maxon Shreave is now of age for a bachelor style competition where women from different castes compete for his heart. America’s whole world changes when she herself is chosen and she’s taken on the journey of a lifetime.
"I needed to hate him right now. That anger would keep me going."
I do really love Illea. And I really love the palace and America’s family home. I think there’s a really great mixture of contemporary technology and scenery. We get to see the palace and we see our ladies travel by air. I really love the way the palace is laid out as well and the ways that the women get to wander around the entirety of the scenery.
I’ve read this title several times and when I first read this I really think I fell in love with the characters. But I was also in early high school so take it with a grain of salt. I do still love the characters, but I think with a more mature presence I dislike aspects of them more and am able to pick out flaws in them more easily. I do really love them, but I think they have some flat aspects that lead me to feel they aren’t real people. At least in this first novel.
Plots and Themes
I love the bachelor-esque inclusion with a class system. I really think this is an incredible plot and theme concept. I’m not a huge fan of the “she’s not like other girls” trope which is seems America follows. It’s almost like we are trying too hard to make every female main character so far from the normal, when really she is just normal? I don’t know it really felt like Cass was trying to make America a Katniss. However, I think overall, I really liked the plots and I am a sucker for this trope even though I’d like to see something else reflected in popular works of contemporary literature.
This is one of my favorite series and this being the first one leads me to obviously like it. I’m very protective over this series as well. I read them in a very formative time in my life and I felt very attached so naturally as an adult they are near and dear to me. I’m a big girl, but I’m still young at heart and I don’t think I will ever be convinced that this is not one of my favorite series.
Too Strong: “ShE’s Not LiKe OtHer GirLs.” trope
Reasons to Raise a Glass: The bachelor plot line
"After all this, I can only imagine what it would be like to see you actually try."
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Cheers Factor: 5/5
Pairing: Unwitting Pawn
Let me tell you, this drink packs a huge punch. It hits just about as hard as this book did and it’s perfect for all the crying you will do. I think everyone at the end of this book deserves at least 1-5 of these bad boys.
This is a brutal one and definitely not a cocktail and it’s the first of it’s kind here at cheers. I’m sure this book feels great about itself in the fact that it is the one bestowed the honor of being the first shot on here.
“She’d been in love with him for a while now. Longer than she wanted to admit.”
-1 oz St. Germain
-1 oz limoncello
-Combine all liquid ingredients in a coupe glass
-Skewer 2-3 raspberries on a cocktail skewer and add to glass
“Love had broken a perfect killing tool.”
Take a Shot: The King of Adarlan is dead and Erawan is rising and rallying his forces in hopes to snuff out both Aelin and Dorian and anyone who would fight with or for them. This fast paced novel follows our beloved cast of characters as they race against time to gather the necessary tools, allies and resources to finally face the evil Valg King Erawan once and for all. Full of plot twists and heartbreak this one is sure to have you rushing to grab the final two novels.
“‘One of us has to live, Dorian.’”
WE FINALLY GET TO SEE TERRASEN. Okay well part of it and that’s enough for me for now. We also finally get to see a lot of the parts of the world that are hinted at or mentioned throughout so much of the series. We get Skull’s Bay, which arguably yes we have already seen in Assassin’s Blade, but it feels different now somewhat better because we are there for a very different reason this go around. We also get to see Eyllwe which is all kinds of emotions swirling in one. I love the traveling nature of this book because the setting informs so much of the plot and that keeps things ridiculously interesting.
“‘It is not such a hard thing, is it - to die for your friends.’”
This book is so full of characters scheming and it’s wonderful. It’s hard to talk about this without giving away spoilers because this novel is explosive and magnificent, but the characters all really guard secrets and act like a court more than ever and that’s a magical thing. We start to finally see the bonds the characters have with each other and their willingness to sacrifice so much for each other and the cause. While I always gush about the characters, their friendships and bonds in this novel are what have brought me humbly to my knees.
“‘I wanted to go to Perranth with you.’”
Plots and Themes
Sarah is a GENIUS. I don’t know if I would have guessed all that is revealed in this book, particularly some major plot points. Obviously the second time around I was rewarded with all the nuances of the plot that quite plainly spell out what is going to happen, but all I can say is damn. This book, to this day, is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. I don’t say that lightly and I don’t say it without conviction. I love the manner that the plot is slowly unfolded and revealed and not in the way a cheesy mystery novel is. Information is given when it is purposeful and necessary which makes the ending work so well for it. The plot of this novel is truly the shining star and I think it’s the strongest plot wise of the entire series to be honest. I know long after my first read I would discuss the plot of this novel with friends constantly. It’s by far one of the best crafted fantasy plots I’ve seen in a while.
“‘None of you are being taken prisoner.’ Aelin growled.”
I just love this book. Even on my second read I cried at all the same parts and laughed at the same ones. The inevitable end really gets you in a tizzy because it is tough and hurts. It really does. I do think this is the best book of the series thus far. Truly Heir of Fire is great, but this one really comes for your throat with iron nails (haha see what I did there? iykyk). I would recommend this series to anyone if only so they could read the series until this book. And at that rate they will obviously finish it because the cliff hanger will make you.
Too Strong: How many times must we tell all the characters they are not expendable? One or a hundred more times might be necessary, but it’s aggravating (in a good way?)
Reasons to Raise a Glass: CLEVER PLOTS - I absolutely and unequivocally love clever plots. I love feeling rewarded for paying attention and this book does just that. I cannot tell you my astonishment in the manner of weaving that was done with this story. I just can’t and you have to read it so we can sit in awe together.
“'Bring her home.'”
Beware spoilers ahead. Read on/click read more at your own risk.
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: Apple Ale
I always feel like this is what you would drink in a shoddy run down pub in Rifthold? It’s definitely far too yummy for that, but a girl can dream. I imagine this is what Arobynn was drinking the night Celaena showed up to see him that first night back in Rifthold.
-1 ½ oz vodka
-1 ½ oz apple cider
-Add vodka and apple cider to a copper mule mug and caramel sauce (about a good squeeze of the bottle) and stir
-Add in ice once other ingredients are combined specifically the caramel sauce
-Top with ginger beer and garnish with optional apple wedges
Take a shot: All our characters find themselves back in Rifthold as things are becoming very dire, very quickly. It quickly goes from dangerous to lethal as dark forces continue to work against our heroes and their fight to reclaim thrones, save friends and make a better world.
“For her friends, for her family, she would gladly become a monster.”
We are back in Rifthold and we don’t really get my time outside of it which is again why I’m back to four stars. I again think it is magical, but we’ve already seen it and we’ve seen what Sarah can do and I know it could have been more. I do love the addition of the illegal market under the streets of Rifthold and we obviously get more of Manon in the Ferian Gap and Elide down in Morath.
We get to meet the remainder of our gang of characters that we will hang out with for a long while. We get Nesryn the human woman fighting for a nation and a people she doesn’t feel entirely tied to. We get Lysandra the courtesan that’s full of surprises, but loyal beyond belief. We get to finally meet Arobynn and see just how ruthless he can be. And we get all the reunions that we have anticipated from the beginning. This book is my favorite for the characters to be honest and the way we bring in all the players that will play a role as we continue watching them fight against the evil powers of the Valg.
Plots and Themes
We get to really see scheming Aelin for the first time and it’s truly magical. She just does crazy things and sets wheels in to motion that play a huge role weeks later. How Sarah comes up with it all I do not know, but the connectedness of every event is truly amazing. I also love the way this books story as a whole is told. It’s a real turning point in the war that has been brewing for years and the events of this novel make it even more inevitable. It really solidifies the stance of every character and just what they all stand to lose. It’s also got some good action and good fighting. And we get sexual tension which I love because we have had minimal at best up until this point. Do not fight me on this you know what I’m talking about with the gold nightgown.
This is the best installment of books yet. However, it does not get the 5/5 stars its predecessor received for two small reasons. One being the setting and two being the frustrating shifts between characters. We are introduced to the storytelling format Maas uses in Heir of Fire and it’s more bearable in that book, but by this one we are so invested in the story and events with one character that it feels jarring to have to jump back and forth. It’s a great incentive to read the novel in one sitting, but frustrating nonetheless. However, not frustrating in a bad way? I just want to know what happens and patience isn’t a virtue of mine. My reasoning behind the lower rating is more of a personal preference and a genuine lack of patience. I tend to google the endings of books when they get this way. I still read them all the way through, but it for some reason makes me less restless. I did not do that with this one, but was darn near tempted.
Too Strong: Perspective/character shifts, Sweet baby Dorian
Reasons to Raise a Glass: STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS - I say this a lot, but what’s so beautiful about this ensemble cast of women is their genuine depth. None of them feels flat which is a feat given how many of them there are. They are all such nuanced and full characters that it, at times, can be overwhelming to not feel they are real and truly someone you know. Their motivations are clear and their histories and backgrounds laid out for you to see plainly. I don’t know how Sarah did it in these books given the sheer scale of characters she has, but it totally works and she gets all my admiration for it.
“‘What if we go on,’ he said, ‘only to more pain and despair? What if we go on only to find a horrible end waiting for us?
Aelin looked northward, as if she could see all the way to Terrasen. ‘Then it is not the end.’”
Beware spoilers beyond this point. Read on/click Read More at your own risk.
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!