Monday, January 31, 2011

In My Mailbox - January 31st

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers post about the books they have received for the week. Books may be won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

It was another great week for my mailbox....

A big THANK YOU to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending us

My library stash this week included





Sunday, January 30, 2011

Karma Club by Jessica Brody


Published: April 2010
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 272
Copy Provided by:
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve. But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. It turns out Karma often has plans of its own.


Review:

I loved this book. It was a quick read and easy to follow along but it was just so much fun!! Who hasn't wanted to get back at an old boyfriend for breaking their heart? I remember my girlfriends and I coming up with all sorts of schemes for revenge. Of course, we never acted upon any of them....ahem....moving on....

So the Karma Club is a feel good girl's book about staying positive, and moving forward with good intention even if you are caught in a bad place. Jessica Brody added lots of hilarity to this novel and sure, Maddy makes some questionable choices but it is all a part of growing up. There were a couple surprises in the book that I was not anticipating which was nice but I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. If you're looking for a fun read, something to make you laugh and lift your spirits, try the Karma Club. I think you'll enjoy it.

My favourite quotes -

Page 229
"If we told every story from the middle, we would never really appreciate happy endings."

Page 232
"We must follow our own path, and sometimes that path can be laden with bumps and curves and rivers to cross.  But we cannot block the paths of our neighbors, for that is not our place.  We can only seek to groom and shape our own."

Oh, and if you need more incentive, check out this book trailer -




Saturday, January 29, 2011

Same Book, Second Look - I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore


Published: August 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages:440
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.

I was absolutely determined to read this book before I saw the movie, and I'm so glad I did. It was so much fun and I really loved it and managed to read it in about 1/2 a day. It may be 440 pages, but it is definitely not a long read. There is a strange thing about movie hype. It is actually quite insidious. The whole time I was reading, I was picturing Alex Pettifer in my head as #4 and Timothy Oliphant as Henri, which was a bit disconcerting because, much as I love Alex, I don't think he would have been my first choice for John - in my mind he is a little shorter and has dark hair. Not sure why.

What I loved about this was the whole Sci fi aspect of aliens from other planets. There is still the whole paranormal aspect with 'powers' but I liked the otherwordly aspect of this one. I have always been a firm believer that we are 'not alone' in the universe. It has always seemed the height of arrogance to believe that humans are the only sentient beings, so this book appealed to me for that reason - probably too much time spent watching Star Trek during my formative years!

I find myself agreeing with Christinabean about John's misuse of powers - check out her review HERE - but I was able to forgive him for going to Mark's party, everyone deserves a second chance after all, and he did beat him in a 'fair' fight, didn't he, and besides if he hadn't gone he wouldn't have .... oops sorry, that would be a spoiler! Nice little love story going on with John and Sarah, although I'm not sure I would have been so sanguine when I found out my boyfriend was an alien, and Sam was perfect as the alien conspiracy freak. So I say, bring on number four, part deux and let's go cheer for Alex at the movies.

Note: if you enjoyed the whole 'aliens living among us' aspect and you haven't already checked it out, find a copy of the TV series 'Roswell' - you'll love it. And, you get a chance to see Katherine Heigl before she hit the big time on 'Grey's Anatomy'.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - January 28th

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.


This week’s question –


"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"

Wow, I wish Christinabean were answering that one - she would have several ready to go. To be honest, I don't think I can pick just one, there are so many. After a little thought I'll have to
go with the 3rd book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - still un-named as far as I'm aware - I think it's due out in the fall of this year. I really enjoyed the creepy gothic feel to these books and I just loved Ethan and Lena. That would be followed closely by City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare, then perhaps The Watchers by Inara Scott and so it goes on and on, and on ........ Which one are you waiting for?


Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! Make yourself at home, take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. We often try to comment on your comments as well so feel free to start a conversation! Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and event postings. Be sure to check out our own personal meme page. Check out Fantastic Fairytales, Let's Hear it for the Boys, In Case you Missed it and a few others. We try to not only focus on new YA books but also great titles from the past. Happy hopping!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out For Blood by Alyxandra Harvey



Published: November 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 292
Copy borrowed from library
Summary: Goodreads

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

Oh, don't you just love a book that captures you so quickly you finish it in 24 hours? That's what happened with 'Out for Blood', the third installment in Alyxandra Harvey's 'Drake Chronicles'. I loved the first two in the series, and this one was no exception. One of the factors I particularly enjoy about this series is the fact that each volume is about a different couple. The old favourites keep coming back as minor characters, and at least one of the main characters has been a minor character in previous books. I've already made a guess at who the fourth book will be about and I so hope I'm right!

'Out for Blood' highlights Quinn Drake and Hunter Wild. Quinn is such a romeo. You just can't help but love him, and Hunter is a beautifully strong character, who is comfortable in her skin. You could easily read each of these books as stand-alones, but certain facts will make more sense if you read them in order.

As I was reading this time it struck me that the series strongly reminds me of the adult series 'The Black Dagger Brotherhood' - minus the explicit sex - definitely not a series for those under 18! The similarities lie in the multilayered vampire societies that have been created. With so much more going on than just blood-sucking, these stories pull you in and leave you wanting more. Each is complete on it's own with no cliff-hanger endings - just lots of potential for more good tales to come. There are seven Drake Brothers and a sister - I'm seriously hoping we get at least 8 of these wonderful volumes.

My advice, make a cup of coffee, find a comfortable seat and tune out the world for a few hours. You'll end with a smile and a feeling of having finished a great book.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Timeless by Alexandra Monir January 19

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile. This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is
Expected Publication Date: January 11, 2011

Summary (by Goodreads):

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

On a side note, did anyone else notice the release date? 11.01.11? Auspicious?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Musings by Knitwits - Cowlgirls: the necks big thing to knit by Cathy Carron

Published: October 2010
Publisher: Sixth and Spring Books
Pages: 136
Copy: Borrowed from Library
Summary: Goodreads


Forget tired scarves and bulky turtlenecks-funky, chunky, hip and happening cowls are where it's at! Following up her hit book Hattitude, author and designer Cathy Carron weaves a fashion statement that puts in-the-know women head and shoulders above the rest. Among the more than 35 patterns provided here are a cozy neck wrap featuring a built-in iPod holder, a lacy drawstring hood, and a woven necklace sparkling with Swarovski crystals.


Girls, if you have ever had a desire to learn how to knit, this is the book to start you off. Lots and lots of tubes, knitted in the round, or straight, many with very simple stitches, others with more complex patterns and most are knitted with pretty thick yarn and large needles. There is really something here for everyone, with the end result a fantastic alternative to a scarf that everyone will be complimenting you on. Just to keep you on your toes, there are also some knitted necklaces, which are kind of fun and a couple of beaded projects for a change of pace.

This is a really great collection of amazing accessories, and you'll get a bit of a laugh into the bargain - how about a project titled Haute cowl-ture - Oh I just love it and so will you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In My Mailbox - January 24



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers post about the books they have received for the week. Books may be won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.





This one I got from Chapters. I don't think I have seen anything about it at all and it looked intriguing - sort of warhammer'ish bad guys, but not really! Anyway, I guess I'll find out when I read it. The rest of them I got from the library - what fun.







Don't you just love the library? If you don't use it you should. Usually, if there is something you really want that they don't have, they will either order it for you or try and get it from somewhere else - for free. What could be better than that?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr


Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 2008
Pages: 325
Copy Provided by: Purchased
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
To 17-year-old Leslie, the tattoo is a thing of indescribable beauty, a captivating mark that she must make her own. But this subtle web of eyes and wings brings with it a transformation that no sweet young girl would ever imagine or welcome. Like its predecessor, this stand-alone sequel to Wicked Lovely plunges its youthful heroine into a faery world of almost constant peril. A tantalizing urban fantasy that won't let go.


Review:

Ink Exchange is the second book in the Wicked Lovely Series. I was lucky enough to meet Ms Marr back in September during the Smart Chicks Kick it Tour. She is such a lovely lady! I wish I had been able to read more of her books prior to our meeting. The more I read Ms. Marr’s books, the more intrigued and impressed I am with this world she has woven. It is incredibly complicated as are the relationships between the courts. How does one come up with something like this??

I had a tough time trying to remember some of the characters from the last book since it has been awhile since I’ve read Wicked Lovely. It would be advantageous not to let too much time pass between reading her books. The highlighted main character changes from book to book but the players remain the same and what is fascinating is how you get to see different points of view. I love how each character takes a turn at playing a major role. You get to know each character intimately, depending on which book you are reading. Also, how a character evolves is so fascinating. At first, I started hating Irial but he made some decent choices in how he treated Leslie. At first I felt that he was cruel and relentless when he was using her but then he did things to show he cared and the paths were not always the easy ones but the right ones.

My favourite quote page 325 –

'Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.'

There was something interesting that I came across last week. Did you know that you could download a novella that bridges between Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity? Stopping Time can be purchased from the HarperTeen website or downloaded (I think in 2 parts) from Amazon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Human Blend by Lori Pescatore

Published: June 10, 2010
Publisher: Self published
E-arc received for review from author
Summary: Goodreads

Marion, Virginia seemed like a nice place to live a normal life, but she is not a normal girl. Laney has special abilities that keep her looking over her shoulder as she makes her escape from the men who had kidnapped her. A young doctor's interest is piqued when he witnesses her mysteriously curing a young child's illness. He befriends her due to his growing fascination with uncovering the true nature of her abilities, but not without harboring secrets of his own. Laney's budding relationship with a local boy puts both of them in danger when the men she was hiding from find her. All of their lives will change forever as ancient secrets become unearthed.

I really loved 'Human Blend' which is a little bit different from most books I've read lately. Laney/Julie is an interesting main character with a strange secret, which she is detetermined to keep to herself. She reads as a genuinely nice person and I liked her. It is obvious right at the start that she is running away from someone, or something, unpleasant and this provides a 'mysterious' thread throughout the book. When she finds herself in a small rural town, she decides to stay for a while and becomes involved with some of the local residents while working at the hospital and the interaction between Julie and the nurses was a lot of fun.

I also enjoyed the growing relationship between Julie and Austin, a local boy who befriends her on her arrival. Their relationship escalates fairly quickly, but sexual references in the book are nicely done and are not explicit, and bear in mind, both of them are 18. There are some strange goings on with Dr. Eli and Julie's 'powers' and when Marcus arrives on the scene, things really get interesting. Mix that in with some seriously creepy bad guys and genuine suspense, and be prepared for some thrills and excitement. I definitely started reading faster as the story progressed!

When the reader finds out exactly what the characters are, I felt it was a little bit of a coincidence that they all ended up in the same place at the same time, but that's what's so great about fiction, it doesn't matter. Everything ties up quite nicely with just enough left hanging for a sequel, which I personally would be happy to read. I'm dying to find out what happens with Julie/Austin/Eli, and how they manage to cope with their powers. I did feel that perhaps the story could have benefitted from a little editing, (remember I was reading an arc) but the plot and characters were intriguing enough that it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment. And don't let the cover fool you - it makes sense when you get towards the end - still not one of my favourites tho'. Ms Pescatore, all-in-all I really enjoyed this one, and I'm happy to recommend it. I hope it becomes easier to find in Canada tho'. Remember me when the sequel comes out, if there is one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Same Book, Second Look - Scorch Trials by James Dashner




Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Oct 2010
Pages: 360
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

Review:

I have to say, I'm really enjoying this series by James Dashner. Scorch Trials was just as fast paced as The Maze Runner and added new elements of intrigue as the main characters have to make their way across a harsh environment and other unconrolled, unpredictable elements. It really tested the survival skills of these characters. I LOVED it. What I also enjoyed is that the characters are flawed and you often wonder about their motivations. They're complicated...

Some will die and others will press on. Overall, another riveting novel by James Dashner. Can he keep the story moving just as well through Book #3? I sure hope so! If you'd like to read Curlypow's review of Scorch Trial click HERE.

I should mention that this is not for a younger reading audience. There is still plenty of violence and some graphic descriptions. Especially if someone has a highly active imagination, this might not be the series for them. My nephew is 12 and I'm thinking I might hold off on giving him this series for another year.

As mentioned in my post about The Maze Runner, if you enjoyed this one, you might also like the Gone Series by Michael Grant. It's a beafy series though so not for reluctant readers. Another dystopian series that I have yet to check out is Life as we Knew It, Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Has anyone else read it?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Vesper by Jeff Sampson January 26th

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile. This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is


Expected Publication Date: January 25, 2011

Summary (by Goodreads):
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fantastic Fairytales - Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Published: October 2009
Publisher: McElderry Books
Pages: 308
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.


When I started reading 'Ice' I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. It was in fact an amazing love story and an adventure story of the highest caliber. It is loosely based on the Norwegian tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, with a huge dollop of Beauty and the Beast thrown in for luck. We all know the story of Beauty, but not so many of us know the story of East of the Sun. Click HERE if you would like to see the Wikipedia explaination of it and HERE is the link for the story from Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book. That said, 'Ice' is a fairy tale all on its own.

The main protagonist, Cassie, is a modern teenager with a strong will and an amazing portable GPS system. Her adventures on the ice of the Arctic are nothing short of astounding. She has been brought up in the Arctic by her father, believing that her mother died when she was young. When she meets a talking polar bear on the ice, everything that she believed is questioned.

At first I had a bit of a problem with the whole human/polar bear interaction, but I soon got over that and just enjoyed the adventure. Ms Durst tells us HERE that she wrote the story as a love letter to her husband - all I can say is she must love him very much indeed. Would that we could all experience that kind of devotion for someone.

For fans of fairytales, or just good love stories, you can't go wrong with 'Ice'. Now I can't wait to try Ms Durst's newest book, 'Enchanted Ivy'. If it's even half as good, I'm sure I'll love it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In my Mailbox - January 17

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers post about the books they have received for the week. Books may be won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

OMG...the library gods were good to me this week. Maybe a little too good. Awhile back I put most of my holds on suspension and it seems that they have all caught up to me now. I'm in the middle of reading about 4 books at once. Hope I can burn through some of these to post about soon! Here we go!!



p.s.
For any of you CPL girls (and you know who you are) who are interested in reading one of these and doing a guest blog post, please let me know! Catch you later! I've got some reading to do!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Published: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 374
Copy obtained by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Review:
As you know, I’m a cover snob. If the book cover isn’t pretty or somewhat attractive, I’m just not going to read it until I know more about the story or there has been some buzz. The Maze Runner does not have a very interesting cover. I think it is too detailed...or maybe the details are too small. After reading the story, I can see how the cover conveys one of the maze entrances but seriously, no offense Random House but you need something better. I have heard that Maze Runner will be made into a movie. If that is the case, please change the cover for your next print run....

So onto the story.

THIS WAS AN AMAZING STORY

At first the slang terms and character speak drove me nuts for the first 30 pages. I seriously didn’t know if I could get past it but I’m so glad that I did. Once the story started to evolve, so did the language and the slang terms at the beginning started to become less noticable, even fitting for the environment the boys were living in. The world Mr. Dasher created was innovative, fresh and intriguing. I felt myself reading faster and faster as events were unfolding. It was hard to put down. With a steady paced novel, I can finish it quickly and move onto the next book in the series. Lucky for me, The Maze Runner was just as great as I was expecting and I had already secured a copy of The Scorch Trials (which I also read in 2 days...hey, that's fast for me.)



Like the book trailer? Sounds interesting, doesn't it? I guessed the ending before reading the final pages but it was still worthwhile. This book would be a great ISU highlighting a dystopian theme. I'd love to hear comments from any of you who have read it.

If you enjoyed Lord of the Flies, you would definitely like The Maze Runner and if you have read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, why not try out the Gone series by Michael Grant. I know that we've pegged this one as a great guys' read but I'm certain the girls would enjoy it as well. I mean, I'm a girl right?

If you'd like to read Curlypow's take on this one, you can check it out HERE

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Published: September 2010
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 407
Copy: borrowed from library
Summary: Goodreads

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.
Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.


I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, romantic, thoughtful, and full of magick - good and bad. Nastasya is over 450 years old and she's burnt out. She's been living a destructive life and something happens that makes her realize -finally- that it's not what she wants. What I loved was that as a character she felt real. She has forgotten things, does not know everything, is flawed, has wisdom but at the same time is naive and after all that has happened, she still has a sense of humour.

'The metal acted as a mirror, and in the mirror I coud see Anne watching Nell. So she had seen Nell smirk, too. Excellent. You know, I think it's important that we all pause and apreciate little moments like this that make life so much richer.'

'Now he was kissing me, not in a scary way, not with hostility, but with warm, seductive intent. In a hayloft, in the barn, in the middle of the night. This scene brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.'

The bulk of the story is set in a rural farm/small town and has a peaceful atmosphere, but as the story progresses a thread of evil emerges and spoils the tranquility just enough to set you wondering. Although the title 'Immortal Beloved' leads one to believe this is going to be an amazing love story, it's not what you're expecting. It's a small, yet wonderful part of a bigger story. A sort of coming of age story - but 450 years too late. The ending was very satisfying - even though we know that there are still another 2 books to come, there was no cliffhanger - just the possibilities of more good stuff to come.

Final opinion - go out and get a copy and sit back and relax. It was fresh, fun, well written and enjoyable and I hate the fact that we have to wait until Sept for the next part of the trilogy, which unfortunately I can't find a title for.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - January 14th

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.

This week’s question –

"Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?"

Hmm...this is a tough one. I read all sorts of genres and try to chooose ones that I would not normally read as well. For instance, I tried Dystopian a couple years ago and I find that I really enjoy it. What draws me in? An interesting plotline and something that keeps moving. I don't always have the luxury to read in one sitting so I find that I read faster when the pace is steady throughout the story. If it is too slow, then I dread returning to the book night after night.


Curlypow here: I have to agree with Christinabean. I read in so many genres it's hard to make a choice, but I think if I have an all-time favourite it would have to be fantasy. I work, I have a family, I have a house etc. etc, so I get enough reality on a daily basis and when I read, I prefer to be taken completely away from that. Fantasy fits the bill. Bring on the dragons, elves, trolls, fairies and anything else out of this world - vampires and werewolves allowed too - complete escapism is what really floats my boat.


Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! Make yourself at home, take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. We often try to comment on your comments as well so feel free to start a conversation! Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and event postings. Be sure to check out our own personal meme page. Check out Fantastic Fairytales, Let's Hear it for the Boys, In Case you Missed it and a few others. We try to not only focus on new YA books but also great titles from the past. Happy hopping!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Same book, Second look - Slayed by Amanda Marrone



Published: October 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 240
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Summary:

The Van Helsing family has been hunting vampires for over one hundred years, but sixteen-year-old Daphne wishes her parents would take up an occupation that doesn’t involve decapitating vamps for cash. All Daphne wants is to settle down in one place, attend an actual school, and finally find a BFF to go to the mall with. Instead, Daphne has resigned herself to a life of fast food, cheap motels and buying garlic in bulk.


But when the Van Helsings are called to a coastal town in Maine, Daphne’s world is turned upside down. Not only do the Van Helsings find themselves hunting a terrifying new kind of vampire (one without fangs but with a taste for kindergarten cuisine), Daphne meets her first potential BF! The hitch? Her new crush is none other than Tyler Harker, AKA, the son of the rival slayer family.

What's a teen vampire slayer to do?


Review:
OMG...I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was so refreshing and sharp. The references to the Van Helsing family vs the Harkers were brilliant! I even told my husband about it and he thought it was such an original idea!

I really felt that one of the main themes in this book was about girl bonding. I'm not sure how many of you out there have best girlfriends but I am very particular about this. I would rather have a few VERY close girlfriends than a room full of girls who are half as reliable. I was impressed with how Kiki really stood by Daphne. She was such an outrageous character too! For me, it was laugh out loud funny. I could actually imagine myself saying some of the same things to a close girlfriend (well, that is if she were an ex-Doodlebop and I were a vampire slayer....)

This was my favourite line -


Page 48
"Why would you want ot date someone who drinks blood and is short a soul? I mean really?"

Unfortunately, there was one thing that fizzled for me in the book. It was the romance. Sorry Miss Marrone. I just didn't feel like it developed enough to be believable. However, on the plus side, Kiki and Daphne made up for all of that with some kickass girl scenes (ummm...not to be confused with girl on girl romance).

Curlypow mentions in her post that 'Slayed' reads like an episode of Buffy. How right she is! Joss Whedeon would be proud! I do also want to reiterate something else that Curlypow mentioned in her post. This book would not be appropriate for a younger teen audience. There is violence, sex and also language sprinkled throughout the book. You can find the Curlypow's review here.

So if you are a fan of Drew Barrymore's Charlie's Angels, you might want check out Slayed by Amanda Marrone. It is full of sass and I highly recommend it! Yay girlpower!

Way to go Alison - I love Twilight too.

I was doing a bit of wandering around the blogs I follow and I came across a post on 'Alison Can Read' entitled ' I love Twilight and I'm not ashamed!' You can read the whole post HERE. It got me thinking a bit and I felt I had to put in my 2 cents worth. Alison is correct. No-one should ever be ashamed to admit what they are reading, and enjoying, whether it be Twilight, Harry Potter, Lord of Scoundrels (bodice ripper), Pride and Prejudice, Lonesome Dove (Western), the Illiad (Classic) or Dr Seuss.

So many of us have bought in to the idea that only certain types of books should be read openly. In fact there is a blog I follow where one of the reviewers regularly comments on having to hide the cover of the books she's reading when she's in public. Why? Why do we feel that it wouldn't look good if an adult is seen reading a YA book? Or a young adult reading a childrens book - hands up how many of you have read Percy Jackson? Why do we feel we have to apologise for reading a bad book and enjoying it? People rarely apologise for watching the Simpsons on TV and in my opinion that is one of the worst TV shows out there. But that's just it - it's my opinion, and it should not affect anyone else's viewing. Just as my opinion of Twilight should not affect anyone else's reading. How do I feel about Twilight and its sequels? I think they are silly and that Bella is one of the most annoying characters ever written - but I have read them all at least twice (may'be even three times for some of them), I have listened to them all on audio and I own them all. I have also recommended them to countless people - some of whom have hated them - but that's ok.

I think we should stop judging people by the books they read and just be glad that people are reading in the first place. I am a librarian and I have to recommend books to people every day. I try and read as many different genres and styles of books as I can, but my favourites still tend to be fantasy, something I don't get to recommend very often, but I never judge a reader by their choices. As long as YOU, the reader, enjoys the book you are reading, that is the only thing that matters.

So, for any YA's out there (and adults too) reading this post, which is rapidly turning into a rant (I apologise) - read what makes you happy, and shout it to the rooftops. Don't be embarrassed to admit that you love an unpopular book, tell people about it - laugh about the awful cover/the great story line/the amazing characters/the cliches and one-liners - and perhaps you'll convert someone. Who knows, stranger things can happen - like vampires sparkling!

Well said Curlypow! I love having a blog like this so we can rant about things...I used to be embarassed to admit that I cross-stitch and quilt because they seemed like "old lady" type of crafts but WHO CARES? You aren't doing it for someone else, you are doing it because you enjoy it. Before this blog I also used to be a bit timid to admit that I liked YA but I do read it for myself and it makes me happy. Any one else want to make a confession?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile. This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads):

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys

Both of these books are a good quick read, and would be a good pick for somewhat reluctant readers who need a shorter book for a book report. Gentlemen takes 4 boys from the wrong side of the tracks and gives us a gritty, thoughtful mystery while exploring the bonds of friendship. Ghost Ride is a tense ghost story that also focuses on friendship and the consequences of mistakes. There's an added bonus that Marina Cohen is Canadian, and Ghost Ride has also been nominated for the Red Maple award. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these and highly recommend them for 'the boys', and the girls as well, of course!


Published:April 2009
Publisher: Scholastic
Summary: Goodreads


Micheal, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones aren't just from the wrong side of the tracks--they're from the wrong side of everything. Except for Mr. Haberman, their remedial English teacher, no one at their high school takes them seriously. Haberman calls them "gentlemen," but everyone else ignores them--or, in Bones's case, is dead afraid of them. When one of their close-knit group goes missing, the clues all seem to point in one direction: to Mr. Haberman. Gritty, fast-paced, and brutally real, this debut takes an unflinching look at what binds friends together--and what can tear them apart.



Published: October 2009
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Summary: Goodreads

Fourteen-year-old Sam McLean is less than thrilled with the prospect of moving to a collection of old mansions on the northern fringe of a small town called Ringwood. A nobody at his old school, Sam is desperate to be accepted by the cool kids and latches on to Cody Barns, aka Maniac. Cody's claim to fame is performing wild stunts - the crazier the better - and posting them on his blog.
When Sam reluctantly joins Cody and his sidekick, Javon, on their midnight ghost riding, a practice in which the driver and passenger climb onto the hood of their moving car and dance, something goes terribly wrong. Cody convinces Sam to flee the scene, leaving Javon for dead. But soon, mysterious messages appear on Cody's blog and anonymous notes are slid into Sam's locker. As Sam struggles with his conscience, a haunting question remains: Who else knows the truth?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Published: March 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
Pages: 308
Copy: Borrowed from Library
Summary: Goodreads

When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe — just maybe — capture the heart of a prince.

While not strictly a fairy tale, Julie Berry's 'The Amaranth Enchantment' certainly reads like one. There were definite shades of Cinderella going on here, but enough differences to make it a wonderful tale all on its own.

After being orphaned and brought up by an Uncle and Aunt, Lucinda is thrown onto the streets by her Aunt when her Uncle dies unexpectedly. So begins the start of a magical adventure full of Princes and balls, fairy godmothers and evil would-be wizards (of sorts). With the help of a young pick-pocket, Lucinda is able to navigate her way through misfortune and out into happiness.

Ms Berry has written an imaginative story that is suitable for all ages. The main character, Lucinda, is 15 - if my math is correct - but there is nothing in the story that could not be read by younger tweens. In fact it ended up in the junior shelves at my library. 'The Amaranth Enchantment' was a sweet, adventrous love story that was quick to read and full of fun. Highly recommended for fans of fairytales, cracked or otherwise.

In My Mailbox - January 10


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers post about the books they have received for the week.  Books may be won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.




I have to admit the library was very kind to me this week. It feels a bit like Christmas again, and I didn't have to pay for any of them.
I'm going to have a really hard time knowing which one to start with. Perhaps Inside Out, since the follow-up to it, Outside In, is due out February 22. Out for Blood should be a funny quick read, and if Ascendant is anywhere near as good as Rampant, it should be lots of fun. Can anyone lend me a few extra hours in the day so I can get some reading done?



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