Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittridge


Published: February 2011 Publisher: Delacorte Press Pages: 493 Copy: From Library Summary: Goodreads


In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day. Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

Did I enjoy the Iron Thorn? Yes, I did. Did I understand The Iron Thorn? Not so sure about that one! I think this book could be classified as steampunk, but since I haven't read much of that genre, I'm not 100% sure about that. It has an an element of magic and fae and I'm not so sure that steampunk has magic, if someone can enlighten me on this, please do, I'd love to have that cleared up. May'be it's just Fantasy? But, I think what I liked most about Iron Thorn was its differences. It was dark and creepy, weird and wonderful. Full of steam engines and clockwork parts, then magic and fae - it was a study in contrasts. Aoife (and if someone could please tell me how you pronounce that name I will be eternally grateful) is struggling with the knowledge that in a very short time she will go mad, just like everyone else in her family, but I never felt that she was feeling sorry for herself about it. She is the only female student at the school of Engines - way to go girl! - where she holds her own against the other students. Her best friend is Cal, who helps her find her way in the school. He was wonderful - a little naggy at times, but a good friend. When a letter arrives for Aoife from her brother, that's when the fun starts.

There are steam engines, airships, fairy rings (hexenrings) and the Folk. Friends betray friends, enemies triumph and are overcome, new friends are made and kept. There's a bit of romance going on with Aoife and Dean - I really liked him, even though he did smoke. Dean was one of those characters that reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones. You know, ready for adventure, rescues the damsel in distress, bit of a bad boy. There are also surprises coming out of the woodwork - quite literally. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on, another surprise would pop up. Some of them nice, many of them very nasty, some of them downright apalling, (can't say more or it would be a major spoiler) and all of them intriguing. All-in-all a very interesting world that I am looking forward to revisiting when the sequel comes out in ?. Sorry, I know Iron Thorn is the first book in 'The Iron Codex', but I couldn't find news of a second volume on Ms Kittredges site. I'm really, really interested to see what other readers think of this one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

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:

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.


“City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”





Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann


Published: Feb 2011

Published by: Simon Pulse

Pages: 233

Copy Provided by: Library

Summary: Goodreads
Summary: The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried. Review: I really enjoyed this story. I have been meaning to read Lisa McMann's novels for awhile. I think that the Dream Catcher series will be coming up in my TBR pile. Cryer's Cross was so inticing to me because it appealed to my need to read scary books. Does anyone else share my creepy hobby? For the longest time, I didn't know what the cover of this book signified. It is an old style desk with messages carved into the top and it makes perfect sense once you start reading the book. I think the only thing that could have made it scarier is if the messages were written as Kendall was looking at the desk. (Just thinking about that sends shivers up my spine)...Still, the rest of the book was fairly creepy. I enjoyed the entire book but it is one where I don't want to discuss it too much or else I'll give too much away. Lisa created the perfect combination of mystery and intrigue. She even teaches you a little bit about OCD. (Kendall has OCD and there are references to this disorder throughout the book). Last week Lisa McMann was doing an author visit in Toronto. Did anyone else have an opportunity to go? I chatted with her a few weeks ago on Twitter. I'm not sure how many other bloggers communicate directly with authors but it's like an instant fan letter. I love how she took the time to correspond with me. As a blogger, I really appreciate it when authors take time to comment on our correspondance. I realize that many of them are inundated with requests, emails and snail mail but it really says a lot when authors make the same effort to connect with their audience. After all, we do fuel their "business". I just appreciate it, 'tis all.

Monday, March 28, 2011

In My Mailbox - March 28th

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.







As you can see, I did a bit of book buying this week. Three different trips, four different books. What can I say - I just couldn't resist. Hopefully you'll see reviews before too long, but I'm not sure which one will be first. May'be Unnatural, I haven't heard so much about that one.




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda


Published: January 2011
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 376
Copy: From Library
Summary: Goodreads

Billi's back, and it seems like the Unholy just can't take a hint.



Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi's thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil's seen before.


They call themselves the Polenitsy - Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they're out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child -- an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone -- precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.


The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.


Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.


Billi Sangreal is back, just a badass as before, but this time she's after werewolves.  What is kind of neat about these werewolves is that they are female and quite different from the usual type we read about.  The story is based around the legends of Baba Yaga and was rather intriguing and unusual.  Lots of action kept the interest up and I enjoyed this one. 

Strangely tho', I'm not entirely sure that I like the character of Billi. She's a very strong character and well written, but I don't think I have warmed to her very much - not sure why, I can't really pin it down.  There are many returning characters from the first book, Elaine, Lance, Gwaine and Bors are some of them and some new characters - Ivan, a good looking Russian soldier - who has a very interesting back story if you're at all interested in history - and Vasilisa, who is absolutely pivotal to the story.
With lots of major events going on, mystery and travelling to foreign lands, Dark Goddess was exciting  and mysterious, with an ending that I found somewhat surprising.  All in all, a pretty good read, and if you enjoyed the first one - Devil's Kiss - I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Siren - Tricia Rayburn

Published: July 2010
Published by: Egmont USA
Pages: 377
Copy Provided by:  Library
Summary by: Goodreads

Summary:
Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.

But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?


Review:
I really enjoyed Tricia Rayburn's writing style in this book.  The story was quick to start and held my attention to the end.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting in terms of the storyline but I was happily surprised by the results.  The story had an interesting twist which I enjoyed but again, it brought up a whole new set of questions in my mind that weren't really answered. The story was built up well but I felt the ending would have wrapped things up better. I felt like it was missing about 20 more pages in the story. The good news is that this was not a stand-alone.  A few days ago I read a review by a fellow blogger and Siren is only the first book in a trilogy (I should have guessed!). 

Undercurrent is book #2 in the Siren trilogy and while this is a beautiful cover on it's own, I'm surprised that they changed the layout of this book.  It's lost some of it's continuity.  Anywho, I'm still putting it on my TBR list for the summer. It comes out in July 2011.  I love love love the cover of Siren and am looking forward to seeing more of Tricia's work (Ok, so I'll gripe a little that the covers aren't similar)...

Check out the book trailer...



Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - March 25

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 – "If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"


Oh My! What an interesting question. I think if I really could put myself into a book or series it would have to be the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willlig.  I have often said to my family that I was born into the wrong century and I should have been a lady of leisure, with just a few servants and a little bit of money.  This way I'd have the leisure and the excitement as well.  If you're interested in my post about these books you can find it HERE  I wonder which series Christinabean would pick?


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.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Demon Trappers Daughter by Jana Oliver


Published: February 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 355
Copy:  From Library
Summary: Goodreads

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.


But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?


This book was serious fun.  I loved it!  So much more than I expected and well worth reading.  Riley was a marvellously strong protagonist.  She wasn't afraid to admit that she didn't know everything, but at the same time wasn't going to let that stop her from kicking demon butt.  She was so cool.  She is a somewhat unique character in the story in that pretty much all other demon trappers are male, so she has everything stacked against her from the start.  But of course, it also means that there are some seriously hot guys running around.

Simon is the guy Riley is crushing on and he is a 'nice' guy.  He seems to have a heart of gold, and is training to kill demons for all the right reason -  but I have to tell you I'm not so sure about him.  There's just something about him that doesn't ring true for me - is it possible to be too nice?  The jury is still out on him as far as I'm concerned.  Beck is the one I fell for - ok, he's the good-looking 'bad' boy, who was trained by Riley's father and has known her for years, and of course broke her heart when she was too young to know better.   What can I say, I've always been a sucker for the bad boys!

"Riley fliped down the visor and stared into the cracked mirror.
"Omigod," she said.  He watched out of the corner of his eye as she ginergerly touched the green areas where the demon pee had dyed her skin.
"It'll be gone in a couple days," Beck said, trying to sound helpful.
"It has to be gone by tomorrow nigh.  I've got school."
"Just tell 'em yer a trapper.  That should impress 'em."
"Wrong!  The trick is to blend in, Beck, not glow like a radioactive frog."  (page 18)

There are some wonderful comedic interludes with the smaller grade 1 demons that had me laughing, but there is also some serious nasty stuff going on with the bigger demons.  Some of the other older demon trappers are also majorly creepy - take Harper for one -  along with the necromancers and the rather strange  'deaders' - these are re-animated corpses used as slaves, but they are not zombies.  I also enjoyed the rivalry between the trappers and the hunters - both after demons, but definitely not the same class of people. Lots of twists and turns throughout the story, and an intriguing mystery made for a compelling read that kept me going at a furious rate. 'Demon Trapper's Daughter' was clever and exciting and didn't let go of me until the very end. 

The follow-up, 'Soul Thief' is due out in the Fall this year and I absolutely cannot wait to read it. Jana Oliver has a wonderful site for demon trappers, you can find it HERE and there are lots of fun things to see and do on the site.

PS  I have to add here, that if you are fans of the tv show 'Supernatural', you are absolutely going to love this book. It has the same blend of humour/seriousness as the show and the characters are just as lovable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

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:

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.



Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.


But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Musings by Knitwits - Simplify with Camille Roskelley


Published: October 2010

Publisher: C & T Publishing

Pages: 110

Copy: From Library

Summary: Goodreads


Use pre-cut jelly rolls, fat quarters, and more to add fresh, new style to your home. Enjoy the simple things in life-with colors and patterns that your whole family will love.



I'm an embroiderer, Christinabean is the quilter, but I have to say after reading this beautiful book, I am sorely tempted to try some quilting. The fabrics and designs in 'Simplify' are simply stunning and I just loved every one of them. There are full instructions for 14 different projects - pillows, quilts and table runners - and I had a really hard time choosing just one I would like to try. One of the interesting things about the books is that a lot of the projects are done using something called a 'jelly roll'. No, that's not a sweet cake that tastes good! It's a roll of matching fabrics that have been pre-cut to usable sizes - major bonus as far as I'm concerned. It also talks about 'charm packs', layer cakes', 'honey buns' and 'turnovers'. I had to keep reminding myself I was reading a quilt book, not a recipe book. A beautiful, inspirational book for beginners and experienced quilters alike. Check it out.

Monday, March 21, 2011

In My Mailbox - March 21

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 only had a couple books in my mailbox this week which is good because it gave me a chance to catch up on some other reading.  I snagged Firelight which has been on my list for AGES!  I know that everyone and their mother has read this except for me but I've wanted to set aside some decent time to really get into it. 

Also, I received a signed ARC of Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker (comes out July 2011).  Thank you Melissa!  She donated the prize and my name was drawn because I donated money to Shelterbox via Maureen Johnson's fundraiser. 

Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the lovely Maureen Johnson set up a special fund-raiser to bring in money to purchase Shelterboxes.  In total, she raised over $14,000!!  Each Shelterbox is designed to provide assistance for up to 10 people and costs around $1000 each.  That's 140 people!!  It includes items such as disaster relief tents, items for children, goods to provide warmth and protection, and basic tool kits.  Depending on the disaster, they are custom built for the climate and needs of the victims.  I had never heard of them before but they are fabulous!  The link I've put up is for Canada but there are affiliates around the world and they originate from the UK.  My heart goes out to the people in Japan who have been affected by this tragedy.  If you have a chance, please take a look at them and consider making a donation yourself. 

What's in your mailbox?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Girl in the Arena - Lise Haines


Published: Oct 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 336
Copy obtained by: Purchased e-book
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine.


Review:

I originally heard about this title when talk was spinning about The Hunger Games.  Many bloggers were comparing the two and not spitting out great reviews about Girl in the Arena.  Because of this I declined to read it although it does have a beautiful cover (and you know I'm a sucker for beautiful covers!)

In my humble opinion though, it should not be compared to The Hunger Games.  They are completely different on so many levels.  Girl in the Arena is more about an antiquated culture that was brought back into the modern world.  It's really interesting how separate Gladiator culture was from our regular modern day world and how some people shrank away from members of that society just because they lived by different rules.  It's similar to how some people stare at the Amish community.  Fear and curiousity brought about by the unknown.

Anyway, I digress.  Because of the rules of the Gladiator culture, Lyn must marry the man who killed her step-father.  When I first read this on the back cover, I thought she was treated more as a "prize" for killing but as the story reads, Uber was not the "murderer" she pegged him to be.  In fact, he was doing his job as a Gladiator and was incredibly remorseful. 

A couple things I should mention about this book.  Lyn as a character was not a sissy girl.  At one point during the story, she actually shaves her head.  (I guess if they pictured her like that on the cover, it wouldn't be so appealing).  She seemed to take responsibility for her life and sometimes had to act as a surrogate mother to her younger brother.  Her mother was very annoying throughout the book.  I'm sorry but she reminded me of a spoiled housewife that had never grown up out of high school and would rather be best friends with her kids than their parent.

I was surprised at the ending in this book but it left me with questions about their lives and the direction of their lives.  I enjoyed the novel as a whole but I would have liked to see a bit more info at the end.  Overall, if you are going to read this book, please don't listen to the chatter and compare it to the Hunger Games.  If you do, you'll be disappointed.  They are totally different...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Double Take - Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting



Publisher: February 2011
Published: Harper
Pages: 358
Copy from: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Curlypow - I'm in black
Christinabean - I'm in blue

Desires of the Dead' is the second installment in Kimberly Derting's Body Finder series. This novel sees the growth of Violet and Jay, both as characters and as a couple. Violet is still struggling to understand her gift and reluctant to tell anyone about it. Jay is still so very understanding of her 'gift', but the dynamics of the situation have changed now that they are going out. Their relationship really amps up a notch this time around and I enjoyed that aspect, altho' without giving away any spoilers, it might surprise some people.  I have to be honest here and say that it really bothered me how Violet kept so much from Jay and thought it was OK to do so.  Why would she start keeping secrets now?  I really felt like this drove a wedge between them and yes, it could have stemmed from her own insecurities but he certainly didn't give her many reasons to think that she was anything but his one and only.

The FBI are introduced and with them, 2 new characters, Sara Priest and Rafe - a rather quiet, enigmatic guy with lots of secrets. These 2 added very nicely to the story and the reader is now sure that the series will continue, with Sara and Rafe playing an integral part.  There is much mystery with these two and I'm interested to find out what kind of a role they will play in the future.  I am keen to discover Rafe's gift and if Violet will begin to take notice of him romantically.  (C'mon!  What's a good series without a love triangle??!! - the boy next door vs the hot steamy mystery man)

Mike and Megan - a brother and sister newly arrived at Violet's school - are the links to the mystery this time around. I have to be honest, I didn't find the mystery quite so mysterious in this book, but there were lots of other things going on that held my attention. The interaction between Violet's friend Chelsea and Mike was fun, but I suspect that if Chelsea were for real, she would get tiring pretty quickly.  You know, to tell you the truth, as I was wondering about Mike and I did question whether Mike was interested in Chelsea or more in Jay....how about a bromance twist??  I felt badly for Megan as she seemed a bit lonely and needed a role model or maybe a big sister to look up to.

All in all it was another great entry in the romantic suspense field and I'm looking forward to seeing where Ms. Derting goes with the characters. I'm pretty sure Violet hasn't found her last body - not by a long chalk
Two thumbs up for me with this one.  I loved The Body Finder and I'm so happy to be able to review Desires of the Dead as well.  On another note, Ms. Derting has a new book coming out in November called The Pledge.  Can't wait to read more from her!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - March 18

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.

Do you only read one book at a time or do you have several going at once?

Ohhh...good question.  I normally have about 4 books going at one time and they are all different.  It depends on how I'm feeling as to what I decide to read.  Also, they are in different formats.  I've been trying more e-books lately and I'm enjoying them on my netbook.  I think I have Siren, Blue Bloods, Mini Shopaholic and Delirium going right now...

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.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Published: May 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 489
Copy Provided by: purchased e-book from KOBO
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.


She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?

Review:

OK, so if I haven't mentioned this before, I'm really enjoying this series. One of the best things about this series is it is complete. I don't have to wait months and months for the next installation. Seriously, have you started reading it yet? I think you should start...

We finally see Rose graduate in this book. It was a long time coming and to be honest, with her loose tongue and quick to jump reactions, I wasn't sure that she was going to make it. Things are starting to get cozy with her and Adrian but I still don't feel the PASSION that she had with Dimitri. I do feel a bit bad for the poor guy though (Adrian). I mean how would you feel if the one you love has run off trying to resurrect his/her ex-love. Duh....kinda like a piece of trash thrown to the road, yes? I have heard that all will be decided in Last Sacrifice in this love triangle. I'm team Dimitri. Sorry Adrian but I think you were meant to be with someone who can give themselves fully...any single ladies out there looking for a handsome, rich, royal Moroi?

It doesn't take long for things to heat up in this book. Action, action and more action. Queen Tatiana is a royal pain in the butt and I am surprised at how strongly Rose stands up to her. I would have liked to see other guardians come to her aid in a more (ahem) proactive way. At least she does receive some support (albeit indirectly). I won't go further into her role in Spirit Bound. Let's just say she won't be as nasty to Rose in the next book....

The end of the book takes a drastic change (I won't spoil it) and I'm wondering how Rose will possibly get out of her situation. I'm trying hard not to rush out and purchase Last Sacrifice by catching up on my TBR pile. I can't wait to read it but knowing it is the last book, I've been putting it off. Silly, isn't it? Now, have I convinced anyone to start reading this series or am I going to have to start with bribery soon?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Steel by Carrie Vaughn

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:

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fantastic Fairytales - Beauty by Robin McKinley

Published: January 1978
Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper & Row)
Pages: 247
Copy: My own
Summary: Goodreads
 
"Like all of the other doors I had met in the castle, this one opened at my approach. The room it revealed was a large, warm, and gracious one. On one wall to my left a first was burning in a fireplace; two armchairs were drawn up before it. One chair was empty. In the other a massive shadow sat. I caught a gleam of dark-green velvet on what might have been a knee in the shadowed armchair.


"'Good evening, Beauty,' said a great harsh voice."


A young woman, well educated and honourable, accepts responsibility for her father's act and leaves her family to enter the enchanted world of castle and Beast. The Beast she finds is not the one she imagined, but can she stay with him?


A gifted storyteller embellishes the classic tale, developing a new and very real world of her own in a love story that has all the wonder and magic of the fairy tale

Robin McKinley's 'Beauty: A retellling of the story of Beauty & the Beast', is yet another exellent entry in the crack'd fairy tale listings, and her first novel. Originally published in 1978,  it has been around for a while, and I'm sure many teens are not aware of this version of the story.

'Beauty' is a wonderful retelling  that keeps a lot of the gothic/historical feel that was in the original. Beauty is one of three sisters and volunteers, albeit reluctantly, to go to the beast's castle instead of her father.  When she gets to the castle, she meets Beast and slowly comes to understand him.  The castle is full of magic, with ordinary things appearing and disappearing rather disconcertingly.  Inevitably, Beauty begins to care for the beast, of course, but the fact that we know what is going to happen does not retract from the beauty of the story (pardon the pun!)

If you haven't come across this version of Beauty and the Beast yet, try and find one.  It's great.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In My Mailbox - March 14th

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 a short haul for me this week as I only had a couple books on the hold shelf and I am trying to work through my TBR pile...slowly but surely.  There are so many great titles coming out in 2011 I don't want to get too overwhelmed!
I love the model in this cover.  Doesn't she look like April from the first ANTM?  Minus the violet eyes of course...


BTW, for those of you in Ontario, Lisa McMann is coming to Yorkdale in Toronto on Wednesday March 23rd at 7pm.  I'd love to heard if any of you will be attending!

What's in your mailbox?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Published: August 2009
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 503
Copy Obtained by: Purchased E-book
Summary: Goodreads
Summary:
After the massacre at Vampire Academy, Rose Hathaway faces the most difficult task of her life and she knows that she must do it alone. With Mason departed for the other world, Rose must hunt down and kill Dimitri Belikov, the man she most loves. The fourth nail-biting episode of Richelle Mead's popular vampire series dramatically shows the fatal power of a promise.


Review:
Blood Promise is Book #4 of The Vampire Academy series.  So far this has been the best of all the titles I've read.  Sorry but this review is going to contain spoilers, especially if you haven't been reading this series.  Not a good time to jump in...Go back to the initial Vampire Academy and start there.  No seriously, stop reading....

**spoilers**
Rose travels to Russia in search of Dimitri who has now turned Strigoi.  I love how this gave us some insight into Dimitri's background and family.  I liked to see how Rose made her own decisions without the influence of her friends, establishing much independence and having to once again grow and fend for herself.  Meeting Abe was quite the twist and I didn't figure out his significance until later in the book.  I pictured him to be quite old (and grandfatherly) which was incorrect.  Would love to hear how others pictured him in their minds.

Rose and Dimitri end up having some pretty steamy scenes in the book.  She finally gets out of her man clothes and into something more feminine.  Dimitri becomes her addiction after awhile.  Like a love drug...both literally and figuratively.  I have to wonder if he was being sincere about them being together if she turned or if he was just trying to use her.

Ahhhh....so many twists and turns.  I would like to see more with Dimitri's family in the future but I have heard that the other books don't include them.  Pity.  Anyhow, like I mentioned before, this was the best book of the series so far for me.  Ms Mead is brilliant, can it get any better?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Double Take - Wither by Lauren DeStefano


Published: March 2011
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Pages: 356
Copy obtained by: ARC from publisher
Summary: Goodreads



Summary:

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.


Double Take is something new that we're trying out. As most of you know, we review different types of books and often will have two reviews (the original and Same Book, Second Look). Sometimes we are reading the same title at one time though and have very different opinions. Think Roger and Ebert for books....

Review:
Christinabean - I'm in black
Curlypow - I'm blue

We were lucky enough to get and ARC copy of Wither compliments of Simon and Shuster Publishing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'd been eyeing this title for awhile...

This book was fantastic and kept me interested the whole way through. The pace was great and I felt that the author provided good character development. I found it hard to understand how Rhine quickly became attracted to Gabriel. Both Gabriel and Linden "rescue" her but does she really have a connection to Gabriel or is it merely because she doesn't feel like she is a captive when he is with her? Towards the end of the story, she starts to have "feelings" towards Linden, they come naturally. I liked Gabriel, although I felt he should have questioned Rhine more about her desire to leave.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and enjoyed the different female characters. I particularly liked the way the 3 sister wives were so different in temperement and character. Rhine - determined to make it back to Manhattan and her twin brother. Jenna - fatalistic, with nothing left to live for but still a fighter. Cecily - annoying little brat, self-centred and greedy. I found it tragic to hear about Jenna's sisters and could understand how bitter she was. It was wonderful to see how the sisters bonded so strongly even though they were very different. They were still dependent on one another emotionally despite having different goals.

This story was such an interesting concept for me and I found myself with so many questions about society in this dystopian novel - are teenage years the same? How about schooling? Does the education system fail because people have such a short time to live? How is knowledge passed on? How is a 13 year old able to cope in the life of someone much older?I have to add here that there was one thing that disturbed me about this world. If the US was the only land mass left in the world and everything else was under water, how could they still go to the beach in Florida? Wouldn't the water have risen to cover the coastal areas? What happened? I think I needed just a little more back story to suspend my disbelief. This is an excellent point.

I felt myself feeling sorry for Linden throughout the story. He did not orchestrate the kidnapping of Jenna, Cecily and Rhine and doesn't even realize that they were tricked and stolen from their past lives. True, they are taken care of but their emotional needs are never really addressed. It's like living in a bubble world without actually learning how everyone else lives. I thought Linden was a really weak person who never questioned anything - too accepting of life. I think he was probably manipulated and sheltered by his father his entire life...like a form of control. I don't remember reading anything about Linden's mother, do you? No I don't remember any mention of his mother at all. Sorry, but I wasn't very fond of Linden. He just seemed like a wimp to me.

One last thing that I'd like to discuss is this beautiful cover. I love it when a book has an attractive but meaningful cover. Something that draws you to the title and then as you read the story, the cover has more of an identity, a purpose. Look closely. Did you notice the caged bird?.. Yep, cool cover and all in all a pretty cool book. Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

So, how did this post format work for you readers? Was it confusing, interesting, stupid? Let us know what you think in the comments, we really would like to know.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - March 11

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 – "If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"


Wow, what a difficult question, after much thought, here is my selection:

The Demon Trappers Daughter by Jana Oliver
Forget-her-nots by Amy Breecount White
Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
and I'd save the rest for City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
since they are all hard cover and there's tax as well, I'm pretty sure that would use up all my $80.

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.

Christinabean's Friday Finds

I have found some lovelies for you this week. Actually, some of you might already be aware of many...

First off, let's talk cover love. Curlypow had mentioned this one earlier but the sequel to Paranormalcy has come out. As well as book the second book in the Firelight series...Welcome Supernaturally and Vanish!


Ms. Kimberly Derting also has a new book coming out this fall called The Pledge. Coincidentally, both Curlypow and I are reading Desires of the Dead (2nd book in the Body Finder series)...awesome. Look for a Double Take posting soon!



The Beautiful Chaos cover, number 3 in the Caster Chronicles series has also been released and will also be coming out this fall. I know that Curlypow has this pre-ordered. It is one of her favourite series!



Lastly, in terms of fun book news, did you know that Lauren Oliver's two books - Before I Fall and Delirium have both been optioned for film? Congrats Lauren! You can read more on her blog here.

One more tidbit that is totally unrelated to books but a great source for those hard to buy boys...Have you ever had trouble finding a fun gift for your guy? Well, I came across this cool website for geeks. True, not all men are geeks but mine is. I'm sure you must know someone slightly geeky in your circle of friends as well...my guy was a closet geek. Now he owns a gaming store. Go figure. I always find it hard to buy cool gifts for him but not anymore! I'm going to be frequenting this store quite a bit. There are also some fun gadgets for gals too....Miss Pither, I'm talking to you....Think Geek.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods


Published: January 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 233
Copy: borrowed from library
Summary: Simon and Schuster


Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team, but they're not really her friends. Mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her, and avoiding the popular girls who call her "Choker" after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria. Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and next thing she knows, she's getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she has her BFF there to confide in.
But just as quickly as Cara's life came together, it starts to unravel. A girl goes missing in her town, and everyone is a suspect—including Ethan. Worse still, Zoe starts behaving strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she's at school. You're supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?

WOW! Yep, that about covers it. This book, a debut title from author Elizabeth Woods, was a marvellous read. It had me on the edge of my seat, just about from the very first page, and it just kept getting better. Tense - that's the word that I think best describes the book. The tension is so thick, that you could almost cut it. At one point, I was getting so uncomfortable I had to put the book down and go and make a cuppa. I couldn't handle it anymore. I just needed a break. But then of course I went straight back to it and didn't stop 'til I reached the end.

What an ending! It came at me from left field. The reader is so absolutely certain they know what is going on, and then Wham - there's this twist that is so unexpected it just blows you away. The characters are so real and their reactions so typical, that you are just sucked in to this story, which is basically about a girl who is being bullied at school and how she copes with the pressure. Oh, I'd love to tell you more, but it would just be full of spoilers, and I don't want to do that. It's a quick read - I got through it in less than 24 hours - but it is worth every minute. If you are a fan of contemporary suspense you will not be disappointed in 'Choker'. Try it - you'll see!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell


It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause. From Goodreads

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys - John Wilson







I want to start off this post with a quote from John Wilsons' web site:

"So, what makes a good book for boys? At the simplest level, a whole bunch of dead guys."

This is what John Wilson writes about best. Well, not just about dead guys, but they are a big part of what he does write about. He takes an episode from history that deals with war or disaster and writes about it in a way that appeals to boys.

Here's another quote:

"If a book relates to a boy’s attraction to war, it must also portray the other side—the rats, the rotting corpses, the terror of life in the trenches—in at least an equally convincing way. It must be graphic and many people are not comfortable with that."

No he doesn't glamorize war, disaster or exploration, he makes it real by writing about the horror and darkness, but he does so in ways that appeal to young male readers. Lots of descriptions about things that girls tend to dislike intensely (but not always) -

"What doesn’t get in the way of a boys’ story is a detailed description of a neat weapon. Boys like to know how things work. They will happily read a description of a World War Two Tiger tank that comes directly from Herr Krupp’s owner’s manual. How thick was its armour plating? What size of shell could it stop? How fast could it go? Where did the crew sit? What calibre was the machine gun in the turret? What happened to the crew if a shell got through the armour plating?"

His stories are fascinating, fun, gruesome, bloody and just plain exciting. If you haven't already tried one, I strongly urge you to do do so. My favourite was 'Where Soldiers Lie' which is an amazing and captivating account of one of the events during the Indian rebellion in 1857.

If you are at all interested in reading the full article that I got the quotes from you can find it here. It's a fascinating essay on writing for boys, that is well worth reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In My Mailbox - March 7th



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.







Yet more great books from the library this week. When, oh when, am I going to find the time to read them all?
There was an error in this gadget