The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (Spoilers Included)

*I have not seen the onstage version. This review is based completely on the script.*
The Cursed Child

by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

  • Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel
  • 9+ for dark themes
  • Published July 31st, 2016 by Scholastic Inc. and Little Brown
  • available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books
  • ★ 

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series

by Kiera Cass

  • Fiction, Coming of Age, Dystopian, Futuristic, Romance
  • 11-20 age range
  • published April 24th, 2012 by Harper Teens
  • available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AbeBooks
  • Overall Rating
     "For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

     But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

     Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."-Goodreads

Overall Review

     Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this series, seeing as it's the kind of books that I do everything in my power to avoid. The "girl meets boy, changes her life for boy, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after" type book. Typically, I'll put down books if they follow this general plot, but I couldn't ignore all the positive reviews. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I couldn't put the book down and read all 5 books in a week! I loved the series and am sad that there are no more books to come. I am however hoping that a movie will be coming along soon. I'm hoping that by the time a movie version of The Heir comes along, I'll be able to audition for Eadlyn. (Who I wish with every bone in my body to be!)

     However, it is my absolute hate for ALL things romance that causes me to give the series four stars instead of five. I did love this book though and think all teenagers or others that love YA should read it. The writing was good, and most of the characters seemed relatable. Personally, I relate most to Eadlyn, a strong, independent, caring girl in line for the throne, that believes that men will slow her down or distract her from her duty. If you're looking for a book to read and you just can't decide, the Selection series should definitely be on your radar. No matter what it seems, this is not your average romance novel with girly girls who'll give up their life for someone they just met. (For goodness sake the first time America and Maxon meet America yells at him.) I wish I could be more like the strong independent, and brave women in this story. To be honest, I cried multiple times PER book, an impressive feat seeing as the only other book I've cried about is Allegiant.

 Individual Ratings 
*Spoilers ahead!! Read at your own risk.*
The Selection: ★ 
  • Sturdy character development
  • Relatable characters
  • Interesting and unique plot
The Elite:
  • Interesting plot
  • Annoying love triangle *cue eye roll*
  • (Mostly) Characters stay true to themselves
The One:
  • Brave, independent heroine
  • America stops being STUPID (Seriously America get a grip!)
  • Shows the consequences of rebel attacks through main character deaths (I know it's sad, but do you want a Breaking Dawn situation where there's a lead up to a big battle only to end it with a handshake? Huh, HUH????)
The Heir:
  • Shows that women can lead the country too (Go Eadlyn!!)
  • Displays that no matter how good the cause, people won't change if they don't want to
  • Eadlyn is a strong independent woman who doesn't need a man!
  • (Eadlyn in general because she's my favorite character and I wish she was real because I would no doubt 150% be BFFs with her!!)
The Crown: 
  • True love is a force to be reckoned with (EW! Why must all good characters fall in love?!)
  • Even the "best" people, can have ulterior motives (I'm looking at you Marid!)
  • Some rules are made to be broken

Character List
*Spoilers ahead!! Read at your own risk.*
  • America Schreave: Main character, wife of Maxon and mother of Eadlyn, Ahren, Kaden, and Osten, formally America Singer, formerly a 5
  • Maxon Schreave: Beloved prince of Illéa, husband of America,  father of Eadyln, Ahren, Kaden, and Osten, son of King Clarkson and Queen Amberly
  • Aspen Leger: Ex-boyfriend of America, palace guard, wife of Lucy Leger, formally a 6, became a 2 when he became a guard
  • Amberly Schreave: Queen of Illéa, wife of King Clarkson, mother of Maxon, formally a 4
  • Clarkson Schreave: King of Illéa, husband to Queen Amberly, father of Maxon
  • Eadlyn Schreave de Koskinen: First female heir of Illéa, daughter of America and Maxon, sister to Ahren, Kaden, and Osten, wife of Eikko
  • Ahren Schreave: Husband to Camille, brother to Eadlyn, Kaden, and Osten
  • Kile Woodwork: Selection participant, son of Marlee and Carter, brother to Josie
  • Eikko Koskinen: Prince Consort of Illéa, husband of Eadlyn
About Kiera Cass

     "I am a graduate of Radford University with a B.S. in History. I grew up in South Carolina and currently live in Christiansburg, Virginia with my electrical engineer hubby, car-obsessed son, and princess-loving daughter. I'm a #1 New York Times bestseller, woohoo! I'm also a valued customer at my local cupcake shop.

Things I hate:

When people fail to use turn signals, flying, salads.

Things I love:

Office supplies, boy bands, desserts." Kiera Cass's Official Website

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Fiction, Coming of Age, Utopian, Sci-Fi
  • 10+ for complex themes
  • published May 15, 2007 by Square Fish
  • available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AbeBooks
     "Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.

     Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

     This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned."-Goodreads


     I loved this book! It was so original and I've never read anything like it. I feel the theme of the story is learning to adapt and love yourself. At the beginning of the book Liz finds herself depressed and struggles until finally she overcomes it. Although I completely detest classic romances, (girl meets boy, boy changes girls life, they fall in love, they live happily ever after) I think that Zevin did this expertly. The novel is a coming of age, ironic considering the main character dies right? Liz is a great role model for any young girls struggling with their life. It shows that you can overcome anything with the right people helping you.

     I recommend Elsewhere for anyone who enjoys coming of age stories, alternate realities, or complicated love stories. Also, anyone fighting depression should really read this, it could do a lot of help. The novel could also be helpful for people suffering after a death of a loved one. It may be fiction, but it gives hope that there can be life after death, and it can be great. I couldn't wait to finish the book, but now I wish I could read it again for the first time. As someone who doesn't really care for religion I loved this book, however if you're really religious, this may not be your book seeing as it replaces heaven.

Author Bio 

     "Gabrielle Zevin is the New York Times Best Selling author of eight novels. For adults: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014), The Hole We’re In (2010), and Margarettown (2005). For young adults: Elsewhere (2005), Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (2007), and the three books in the Anya Balanchine series, All These Things I’ve Done (2011), Because It Is My Blood (2012), and In the Age of Love and Chocolate (2013). Her books have been translated into over thirty languages.

     The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry has spent over four months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller List, and has been a bestseller in multiple countries. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “a powerful novel about the power of novels.”

     Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was a New York Times Editor’s Choice title. Publishers Weekly called The Hole We’re In “a Corrections for our recessionary times.”

     Her best known young adult novel is Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. Of Elsewhere, the New York Times Book Review wrote, “Every so often a book comes along with a premise so fresh and arresting it seems to exist in a category all its own… Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, is such a book.”

     She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best First Screenplay. In 2009, she and director Hans Canosa adapted her novel Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (ALA Best Books for Young Adults) into the Japanese film, Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shita. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She began her writing career at age fourteen as a music critic for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

     Zevin is a graduate of Harvard University. She lives in Los Angeles."-Gabrielle Zevin's Website