The One by Kiera Cass

Ever get to that point in the series when you just know that it’s the book that you’ve been waiting for – the time when the hero (or heroine) is going to triumph, win their lover or finally make it home? THIS was that book for me. After reading (and falling in love with) The Selection and The Elite, I knew that The One was when all my dreams (and America’s) were going to come true. But, Cass managed to add in some great twists and turns so that you were still held in suspense.

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The Elite by Kiera Cass

The next step in The Selection series, The Elite follows the final six girls in the competition. Those that are left were the obvious choices, since they featured more predominately in the first novel. However, their journey is just amazing. Even though you’re sure that America has Maxon’s heart, that Celeste is positively evil and that Aspen is going to continue fighting for her, every single twist still pulls at your heart.

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

I loved The Selection on two entirely different levels. The first was just the beautiful imagery and story of this dystopian Cinderella story. The idea that a strong-willed and tough girl somehow accidentally ends up in a bid for the Prince’s hand and heart is such a Cinderella-rags-to-riches story. Even though you’re sure that she is going to develop feelings for the prince (what kind of romance would it be otherwise?), every step of the journey from The Selection to The Elite is beautiful, intricate and makes you fall in love again and again and again. Not only with the characters, but the setting, the dystopian future and Kiera Cass herself.

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Switched by Amanda Hocking

I have to admit that I was a little worried when I started reading this. Goodreads had suggested Amanda Hocking as an author, so I obliged. And the beginning of this book felt a little bit like a teeny-bopper romance along the lines of Twilight. I love a good romance novel, but not the teeny-bopper, angsty, dramatic crap. Most of the time I think that it just makes the lead female look whiny, needy and kind of sad. Luckily for me, this novel quickly turned out not to be one of these sagas.

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Raelia by Lynette Noni

I thought that Akarnae was good, but I couldn’t put Raelia down! My poor partner was forced to deal with a book faced girlfriend for the ten or so hours that it took to read this. He was so frustrated that he offered to through this amazing book in the bin. So needless to say, it is one of my new favourite books. I mean, you know a book is fantastic when someone can’t put it down and completely ignores their entire family for a whole day (alright, I do this often, but still...)

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Akarnae by Lynette Noni

I bought this book last week because it was $10 – and I wanted a new book. I finished it in a day because it was just AMAZING. I’m actually at a loss for words to explain how much I loved this book (which is rare, I assure you!) The fact that Lynette Noni is also Australian just made me want to buy the sequel even more. Which is exactly what I did the morning after I finished the book.

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Mister Monday by Garth Nix

This is a nice, easy read. Mister Monday is so obviously aimed at children (unlike a lot of other young adult books I have read) that it brings you back to the simplicity and innocence of childhood. Reading this reminded me of the joy of reading a book for the first time as a kid. The times when I would spent entire days locked up in my room reading – because I quite simply didn’t HAVE to do anything else.

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Fortress Conservation by Dan Brockington

I found Fortress Conservation to be a good read. It gave a fascinating insight into conservation practices throughout Africa and the idea of ‘fortress conservation’. It was amazingly useful for my BA Hons thesis – focusing on conservation in Australia. The idea that fortress conservation is a ‘white man’s practice’ was fascinating to me. Although I did find some of his writing a little too academic and dry in places (hence the lower rating). I would recommend this book to others interested in conservation though.

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Arrow’s Flight by Mercedes Lackey

Lackey is a unique writer. She takes insecurities and some (very) deep seated issues and turns them into a sort of power, or a hurdle to jump. It’s why I love her books, depression, anxiety, even a variety of forms of abuse are taken and help to shape her characters into stronger people. I know that it doesn’t always work like that in real life, but the idea that you can take all of those bad things and become a stronger person is somewhat inspiring. It’s what I’ve spent my life trying to do.

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