Saturday, April 30, 2011

Double Take - Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie


Published: September 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 470
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads
Summary:
For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.



Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.

Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

Review:
Christinabean = black
Curlypow = blue

I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  I have been looking forward to reading it for several months and then I just never ended up getting it.  I placed a hold on the title at my local library and once I started reading, I was sucked into this amazing story.  Ok, so right here is where we start to differ with this one.  I actually bought a copy of this just a couple of weeks after it came out and started reading it right away, only after about 80 or so pages I stopped reading and it is still sitting on my bedside table where I left it.  I decided to try listening to it  instead and I started a little while ago. While it's ok, I'm just not feeling it, if you know what I mean?

For me, the characters aren't working.  Jenn is so opposed to her parents views on vampires, she leaves the US on her own, at 16, to go and train with the Salamancans in Spain, but once she graduates as a fighter, she is so unsure of herself throughout the story that I just got fed up. Without adding a spoiler, her relationship with Antonio never quite worked for me.  Jamie - well I didn't like him at all - he's just nasty. In fact, I think I got a little fed up with everyone's insecurities.  Somehow it didn't seem to make sense with the 'team' being such high fallutin' fighters - where was their confidence in themselves and each other?
 
(The funny thing is, I first noticed Crusade when Curlypow first told me about it and was raving about how excited she was to start it!  hahaha!)

As the summary mentions, Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her.  I didn't see that one coming.  It kind of outraged me as I watched it unfold and I was pretty angry.  Funny how we sometimes hold a vested interest in our book characters, isn't it?  Alright, I agree that the betrayal was a big surprise, but  Aaarrgh!  I can't say anything more about it without giving major spoilers

Even though I enjoyed the whole book, I was a bit disappointed at the ending.  To be honest, it was anticlimactic.  The rest of the story was so strong but the ending just felt a bit weak for me.  Still, I'm onboard to read book 2 of the Crusade series - Damned (Damn...is that Antonio?  Why am I having flashbacks of Ralph Macchio??)  which will be coming out in August 2011.  I'm thinking it was anti-climactic because there will be more to come in #2, but to be honest, I won't be rushing to read it. - although, if that is supposed to be Antonio on the cover, I might have found my new crush!  I'm just waiting for someone to put up an Orlando Bloom lookalike on the cover of uh, anything.......


Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - April 29th

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 –

Summer is coming quickly - What 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to?

Ok, so as a book blogger you can't seriously expect me to answer with only one new summer release!  I am looking forward to a ton of new releases, mostly books from a series.  My list includes Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (#2 in the Nightshade series), Vanish by Sophie Jordan (#2 in the Firelight series...although it comes out in Sept....I guess that's fall), The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan (#3 in The Demon's Lexicon trilogy).  That's only a few.  Uh, I have over 300 TBR books on my Goodreads page.  That's alot for me..although I think Curlypow could probably top it.  What's on your summer reading list?

Hi all, Curlypow here.  Good choices Christinabean, the only one I would really add is a fall release as well, and that's Beautiful Chaos - canNOT wait for that one to come out in October.  And I too have over 300 in my TBR list. 

Please don't forget that we have a contest going on.  We are part of the Fairy Tale Fortnight hosted by The Book Rat.   Read Curlypow's post here and answer the skill-testing question.  Right now there are plenty of chances to win since there are few entries!!  Curlypow is giving away a copy of Beastly!  Try your luck....you just might be our lucky winner....deadline is midnight on April 30th!!
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, April 28, 2011

Gone by Lisa McCann


Published: February 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 214
Copy: From Library
Summary: Goodreads


Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.



She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.


Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . .

So I finally got around to finishing Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy.  Gone is the final book after Wake and Fade. How do I feel about it?  To be honest, I'm not really sure.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I have to say that I don't feel wowed. 

Janie is struggling with the bad news she got from Miss Stubin and has basically gone into a bit of a depression.  Not surprising really, is it?  I  would like to be able to give you examples of why I didn't feel particularly sympathetic this time around, but I can't pin it down to any specific thing, I just didn't feel it.  At the beginning of the book she gets mad at Cabe for going through Henry's stuff, then she goes out by herself and does exactly that.  She knows Cabe is there for her, but continually pushes him away.  Perhaps I don't understand her reasoning because I've never had to make those kind of choices, I don't know?

I apologise, I know I'm not really making sense here.  Janie and Cabel are a great couple. In fact, Cabel may be one of the nicest guys to read about right now, but I just felt as if something was missing for me.  Some spark. As a whole I enjoyed the trilogy, but this one ended for me with a whimper, not a bang.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - double header (April 27)

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” selections are


Summary (by Goodreads):
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.


Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

AND


Summary (by Goodreads):

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.


Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Hey!  It's like the Waiting on Wednesday Meg post!!




Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Musings, this time by Curlypow

If you have been following this blog for any length of time you will be aware that I love bags.  I particularly love to make bags - any shape or style.  I had some extra time off this Easter weekend and I was in the right mood, so I decided to make another bag for myself.  I had bought a kit when I was at the Creativ Festival in Toronto a little while ago - from Quilt a Bag, in Markham.  Their stuff is really cool. So I decided to put needle to fabric and see what happened.

Anyway I was having so much fun that when I had finished the kit, I decided to make a second one. 



The coloured one is the one I got in the kit - cute isn't it?  The green one I made using fabric from my stash.  I bought a couple of extra sets of tape to make the handles when I was at the show, just in case, and I'm so glad I did.  Now I'm ready to adust the pattern a little and try to make a bigger one with a few pockets.  The tape is a lovely grey, so I thought it might work well with denim.   So, what do you think?

Only trouble is, when I'm busy making bags, I can't get any reading done.  The books await!

Musings by Knitwits - Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles

Published: September 2010
Publisher: Tauton Press
Pages: 256
Copy Obtained by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Never shop retail again with this chic and sweet collection of DIY patterns from a former host of DIY Network’s Stylelicious, Tina Sparkles. Joining the green movement was never so easy — and cost saving! With Sparkles’ stripped-down approach to patterning and sewing, the delightful dresses, tops, skirts, and pants in this fashion-forward project book will not only raise your eco-IQ, but open your eyes to new methods for sewing garments. Author Tina Sparkles, a talented and imaginative designer, offers up an array of project ideas that are both earth- and user-friendly. Readers can pick and choose the patterns that suit them best, from A-line, tiered, and bubble skirts to “body tube” dresses and “cap-sleeve cutie” blouses. Included are sewing and shopping resources and a fitting guide.


Review:
What drew me to this book were the gorgeous dresses on the front. I'm a more conservative kind of gal who likes classic lines and once in a while, I'll try something different. This book is for a girl who is comfortable with her own identity and dresses to be one of a kind. If you're creative and have a funky style, this is the book for you. Oh, and you must be able to sew well.

What I like best about this book is that it encourages the user to re-use, re-purpose and re-style what you already have in your closet. It is cost-effective and environmentally friendly to our landfills. However, it doesn't scream for you to never purchase anything new again either. The author also encourages you to shop in retail stores and contribute to the economy but re-evaluate HOW you shop. Look for quality-made items. Choose local designers and local materials. Also, check out a company's website to see what they are doing to operate in a socially responsible way.

Personally, I found the patterns in this book to be too daunting but if you are comforble making your own clothes I say GO FOR IT! I would LOVE to see anything that people have made with the guidance of Little Green Dresses. Who knows, it may even inspire me to attack my wardrobe with a new vengeance....and a pair of scissors....


Monday, April 25, 2011

In My Mailbox - April 25


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 a ton of goodies to share with you today...but I'm only going to choose a couple because I've started reading and I want to see if I can finish something tonight....
Special thanks to Simon and Shuster for sending us -
(I'm eager to start reading it but I haven't heard much about it)

I also took out the following from the library




(I think Curlypow and I will probably do a Double Take on Thirteen Reasons Why...so much to discuss)

Last but certainly not least, I purchased



Gotta jet....I've got myself some reading to catch up on.  What's in your mailbox this week?



Sunday, April 24, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Published: Jan 2011
Published by: Puffin/Speak
Pages: 325
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.


Review:

I have to admit that I struggled with this one. 

I really wanted to like it and I even stuck it out for about 130 pages.  That is phenomenal for me...but in the end, I just couldn't finish it.  There were too many things that weren't working for me.  When I think of Dystopian Fiction, I think of a world that exists in the future, bordering on Sci Fi.  This may have been a little too much Sci Fi for me.  Plus, the terminology was starting to irk me.  For about a week now I've been contemplating if I should continue with this title.  Then, just a few days ago I came across a terrific post by Reading Teen that made me realize what the problem was.  There was not enough background to this story to satisfy me.  Why were they being tattooed?  How did society become like this?  What was the reasoning?  Also, I was starting to feel like the tattoo was a bit like branding a cow.  Kind of disturbing...

In Wither, there was background which told the reader about how gene manipulation had changed the lifespan for society.  Girls were often captured and sold to men who wanted to start families and procreate before they died.  But with XVI, I just didn't understand how the tattooing started.  As a reader, I just couldn't let these questions go.

Don't disclude XVI from your Dystopian TBR pile though.  Just put it a little lower down the list. Make sure you've read Wither, Gone, The Hunger Games and Maze Runner first.  Just because I wasn't crazy about it, doesn't mean you won't be.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins



Published: December 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372
Copy: My own.
Summary: Goodreads

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.


As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Everything I have seen about this book has been full of praise, and I admit to starting it and looking for fault.  I was wrong, there isn't any.  I loved, loved, LOVED this book, every page of it. The characters were so well done that I was right there in that school with all of them.  I was walking up to Notre Dame with Etienne and Anna.  I was eating crepes with chocolate sauce - well maybe not that, I hate chocolate sauce, but you get the picture

Anna's hopes and fears were so legitimate.  I know I'm a long way off 18, but I do remember what it was like, and this story brought it all back to me. All the inner angst and outer awkwardness.  Wondering about what might happen and missing what actually does happen.  Oh to be a teenager again - nah, I'll stick to reading about it in books! And the humour - it was amazingly funny and had me laughing out loud in so many places.

'"Nice umbrella.  Could've used that this morning." He shakes a hand through his hair, and a drop lands on my bare arm.  Words fail me  Unfortunately, my stomach speaks for itself.  His eyes pop at the rumble, and I'm alarmed by how big and brown they are.  As if he needed any further weapons against the female race.' (page 23)

Every one of the characters in the book was whole and complete - very real, and very easy to relate to. Somehow the stereotypes weren't quite as OTT as they sometimes are, and were all the more believable for that. The story is set in Paris and the school is the 'School of America, Paris' or SOAP as it is referred to, but the school itself could have been any regular, run of the mill boarding school in the US that we love to read about. Co-ed dorms - yes please! Walks along the Boulevard de Paris - I'll say.  Visit Paris - sign me up for the next flight.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what my favourite thing is about the story, because it would be a major spoiler and I really hate spoilers when I can avoid them.  Like I said before, I loved this story and I think you'd have to be pretty jaded not to enjoy it as well.  Try it out for yourself - you'll see.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - April 22

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 find a book that you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

Most definitely YES!  I love reading books by the same author if I love their writing style or genre.  What I find interesting is how some authors write in multiple genres.  I feel like they introduce me to something new!  Plus, it shows an author can be diverse and varied in their topic choices rather than being "typecast".  :D

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.

PS don't forget to check out out little giveaway for  a copy of Beastly by Alex Flinn. Check it out HERE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Double Take - Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Published: Feb 2011
Published by: HarperCollins
Pages: 341
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.


It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.

Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

Review:
Christinabean = blue
Curlypow = black

I really enjoy fairytale retellings and when I think about the authors who do them best, I think of Alex Flinn.  Cloaked was much different from what I was expecting though.  I have to admit that the "written accents" in the book started to irk me after awhile.  At first I thought it was cute but then it just got on my nerves...
Here's where my experience was quite different from Christinabean's, because I listened to 'Cloaked',  I didn't read it.  For me, the story was absolutely hilarious.  The language, the accents, the characters, all painted a very vivid picture for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was a bit of a wild ride.  You never knew where the story was going to take you - from talking animals, to princesses to shoemaking, Cloaked certainly packed it all in! Definitely a wild ride.  I was never sure what was going to come next, and listening to it made it so much fun.  I loved that Johnny, our main protagonist, was such a nice guy, taking care of his mother and helping out people in need.  Meg was lovely as well - hiding her true self, but such a likeable character and so genuine. 

The storyline and language tended to be geared more towards a younger age but it reminded me of the Shrek movies in some ways where there would be little quips here and there just for adults.  Overall, it was a clean read without profanity and I would recommend it for middle school/pre-teens.  This might even make a great read for parents wanting to read WITH their kids. Ok, so the language was a little younger and nice and clean, but I think there were several nuances that would be missed by younger kids

Something I really loved was the nod given to so many different fairy tales.  I kept thinking to myself - that sounds as if it's could be  ?, or that's a nod to ?  In fact, at the end of the tape/book Ms Flinn lists the seven fairy tales that go into Cloaked.  They are: The Elves and the Shoemaker; The Frog Prince; Six Swans; Golden Bird (Firebird and the Grey Wolf); The Valiant Tailor; The Salad; and The Fisherman and his Wife. The only one I hadn't heard of was The Salad.  I'll have to go and find that one.
At the back of the novel there was also a list of the fairytales used throughout the book.  I think that Curlypow is more of an expert with the fairytales but I did pick out a few. 

Overall it was a fun read for me and I'd recommend it! 
Final verdict - for me it was a definite thumbs up.  Lots of fun and a great laugh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (April 20)


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):

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.


It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

This title was released April 12, 2011.  Can't wait to read it!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fantastic Fairytales - Fairytale Fortnight and book giveaway





As some of you are aware, the third Tuesday of every month I post about fairy tales - but this post is a little different. I was incredibly pleased to be asked to participate as a guest blogger in the Fairy Tale Fortnight, which is being hosted by The Book Rat and Basically Amazing Books. In order to see what I have written about, you will have to hop over to The Book Rat to read my post, Why should you bother, you ask yourself? Well if you want to be entered into our little giveaway for a copy of Beastly by Alex Flinn, you are going to have to answer a question - and the answer you need for that question is in the post, Beauties and Beasts, over at The Book Rat.



The giveaway will run until the end of Fairytale Fortnight on April 30th at Midnight. So hop on over toThe Book Rat and find the answer to the question - What is the title and who is the author of Curlypow's favourite version of Beauty and the Beast? Good Luck.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti


Published: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 352
E-copy: Courtesy of Simon and Schuster Galley Grab
Summary: Goodreads


Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.



Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....


This is the first time I have read anything by Deb Caletti, but it definitely won't be my last.  Stay was a beautifully written contemporary suspense novel, that captured my attention right from the start, and didn't let go.  The story is written in two parts, present and past, and the two mingle freely in every chapter.  It should be confusing, but it manages not to be.

The story is about true love, and what a short step it is from there to obsession. I found when I was reading that I would be nodding my head in agreement. Several parts of the book brought back memories of my own teen years and situations I had been in myself.  I had never really thought about how easy it would be to change from a healthy relationship to a twisted one.  The main protagonist, Clara, lives alone with her Dad and comes across as a very sensible, normal teen.  She meets and falls in love with Christian at a basketball game.  On the face of it, Christian seems like a normal teen too, but as the story progresses, his darker controlling side starts to show through.  By the end of the book I was very glad that none of my relationships had progressed the way theirs did.

Clara's best friend Shakti and her boyfriend Luke were fun and I particularly enjoyed the arrival of Finn and his brother John.  Something that was interesting was the strong adult presence in the book.  There was a small thread of story that just concerned the adults, and I really enjoyed that.  Let's face it, parents are a big part of our lives, and as much as we'd like to see less of them, it doesn't often happen.  This made the story very real for me.

All in all in interesting and engrossing story, that I am happy to recommend. Thank you Simon and Schuster for the opportunity.


Jilly Bs Books - Blog Hop



We all know what it's like to start your first blog.  It's hard to get yourself out there and gain the confidence to write out your thoughts and share them with the world.  Jilly came across our blog on the Friday Blog Hop and is having a fabulous giveaway to celebrate her birthday, Easter and a pregnancy!  Congratulations Jilly! 

Jilly's Hop question -

What is your worst birthday experience ever?

When I turned 27, my boyfriend was visiting (long distance relationship) and had to leave town on my birthday.  We had known each other for years and should have known that it was my birthday.  I drove him to the airport and he hadn't mentioned my birthday at all....ALL DAY.  I was so upset!  In the end, I drove him to the airport and as he was leaving, he said to me - Happy Birthday.  I left you something under the seat of your car.  I raced back to the car after seeing him off and he had left me a birtrhday card.  Uh, thanks.  It's the thought that counts, right?

Please visit her site, enter the contest and visit other blogs on hop.  Happy hopping!

In my Mailbox - April 18th


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.


Ok, so this week is my week to score.  Check out what I got from the library -




   

Which one would you read first?

I'd be willing to bet that Curlypow would read Fairy Tale or Huntress first.... :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Same Book, Second Look - Crave by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz


Published: September 2010
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Pages: 256
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads



Summary:
Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay’s doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire.



Review:
I have been itching to read this book for so long.  It was good but to be honest, didn't blow me away.  When I started it, I was pleasantly surprised with the story.  It takes a new spin on vampires as a sick girl gets a transfusion with vampire blood to extend her life yet she also experiences visions from her host. 

The storyline was good but somewhere along 3/4 of the way through the book I found myself not buying into it anymore.  Shay's interaction with Gabriel and how quickly things moved was unbelievable to me.  Also, Shay went from being a bit quiet and subdued to a bit obnoxious and even mean to those closest to her.  Her reactions (just because of the blood) were not accompanied by feelings of remorse for the way she was acting either.  I understand that the authors tried to build up a case where everyone treated Shay like a glass doll and were cautious around her but they wanted her to be safe.

Even though I did finish this book and might be tempted to see where the next one goes, it didn't WOW me like I thought it might.  Maybe you'd feel differently...


Living Hell by Catherine Jinks


Published: May 2007
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 256
Copy: From library
Summary: Goodreads


What happens when a single moment changes everything? For seventeen-year-old Cheney, life on earth exists only in history books. He and more than one thousand other people have known life only aboard the Plexus spacecraft: self-contained, systematic, and serene. But that was before the radiation wave.


Now Plexus has suddenly turned on them, becoming a terrifying and unrecognizable force. As the crew dwindles under attack, Cheney and his friends need to fight back before the ship that’s nurtured them for so long becomes responsible for their destruction.

OK, 'Living Hell' was weird! But, not weird in a bad way, just unusual, if you know what I mean?  It's SF, not fantasy and the action takes place aboard a space ship in an unidentified future time.  The world building, or 'ship building' in this case, was well done and as the story continues and things start to change, the ship becomes even stranger and the action ratchets up several notches.

The main protagonist is Cheney, a 17 year old student on board the ship Plexus - only he's not really 17, because the crews rotate in cryo-sleep every four years, but they don't seem to age while sleeping!.  Anyway, his development as a character was very well done and believable - considering the whole story takes place over the course of only 1 or 2 days.  Several other characters with pivotal roles - one of them being an adult, which is unusual in YA fiction these days, but lots of surprises.

The descriptions as the ship changes are extremely vivid and  surpremely gruesome, so if you are at all squeamish, you might want to give this one a miss, but the story, though short, was very engrossing and enjoyable.  I missed it when it originally came out in 2007, but I'm glad I read it now.  I'm looking forward to reading some other books by Ms Jinks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - April 15

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 –

Pick a character from a book you are or have just finished reading and tell us about him/her.

I just finished reading Red Glove by Holly Black (awesome read BTW) and I'm going to talk about Cassel.  He's the kind of guy whom no one really knows.  He lets very few people in and is a chameleon.  He can be or act any way he needs to be because he is a great liar and can work you to do what he wants you to do.  Trouble always seems to find him but he has a good heart and tries to do the right thing, even if it is not always the easiest road to walk. 

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, April 14, 2011

Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee


Published: June 2008
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 224
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

When she is almost sixteen years old, Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair--her mother's beauty salon--and feeling out of control, and as she slowly loses weight, she realizes that she is able to cope with her mother's cancer, having a boyfriend for the first time, and discovering that other people's lives are not as perfect as they seem from the outside.


Review:

I first saw this title on another blog and was curious about it.  I mean, how many times have you seen the word "artichoke" in a title?  It is a few years older than our current 2011 titles but I thought I'd give it a shot.  I didn't anticipate enjoying it as much as I did though. 

Rosemary is a normal girl who seems to turn to food for comfort.  Everyone around her tries to encourage her to lose weight but I really found it hurtful to her self-image.  Change has to be from the inside out and motivation has to come from within.  It wasn't until Rosemary was ready to make changes in her attitude that changes to her physical appearance started to take shape. She always had the tools.  She was intelligent and a good person but she was letting her appearance outshine her personality and dwarf what was really important. 

She works through some fairly large hardships in her family life and eventually has to find her own way out.  This book won't shock you but I found that it was a feel good story with a good ending....plus, Ms Supplee had some pretty hilarious lines which is always a plus for me.

Here are my favourites -

pg. 4
...I could feel those new pounds clinging to my thighs like koala bears on a eucalyptus tree.

Page 38
Love is a lot like food poisoning.

Page 107
I'm so hungry I could lick envelopes just for the glue.

A title that is similar to this is Fat Cat by Robin Brande - another great read about how girls feel about their bodies.  Check it out! 



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Where she went by Gayle Forman


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's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.



Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys - Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell



Published: November 1997
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 400
Copy: my own
Summary: Goodreads

As a young man, Sharpe is an illiterate private who must pose as a deserter to oust the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne. "The world may have a new literary hero. His name is Richard Sharpe."--"Philadelphia Inquirer."


Ok, so you are looking at the summary here and thinking to yourself - what's so special about this one?  The answer - everything!  Bernard Cornwell is an English author who started writing the Sharpe series in 1980 beginning with Sharpe's Eagle and then Sharpe's Gold.  The series was fairly successful and then they made a tv series based on the books and things catapulted from there.  Mr. Cornwell then wrote several prequels to his original books and continued the stories, so that the total is now 21 full length novels and several short stories.  Sharpe's Tiger is the first book chronoligically, but not the first book written.
 
The main protagonist throughout this series is Richard Sharpe (known as Dick) and his is at once the most endearing and frustrating character that I have ever read.  Through each book Sharpe surprises at every turn.  He is a killer with a conscience, a naive ladies man, a good friend and a fierce enemy.  He is one of those people who does the right thing, just because.  He doesn't plan on doing it - it just happens.  He is a superb leader, who may not be book smart, but is definitely smart as a whip.  Half the time I wanted to kill him myself and the other half I was cheering him on. The books chart his career in the army from Private to Major and you will enjoy the antics he gets up to as a rifleman - both legal and illegal.
 
There are a hosts of secondary characters that you'll come to love just as much as Sharpe, like his friend Sargeant Harper who watches his back at every turn, and other characters that you will hate with a passion, like Sargeant Hakeswill - in my humble opinion one of the best bad guys to be found in books today.  The books are so well written that the characters become like family and you laugh, cry and hurt along with them.
 
Each one of the books is centred around a British military battle, starting in India in 1799 and continuing through Waterloo and beyond.  The battle scenes are suitably bloody and gruesome with a wealth of detail about each one that is historically accurate, but never subtracts from the enjoyment of the story.  I personally have read every one of them and enjoyed them so much I went out and bought them all - well not quite, I think I'm still missing 5.
 
Mr Cornwell has also written other series, including the Starbuck Chronicles - which is about the US Civil War, The Arthur books, about King Arthur, The Grail Quest - about the search for the holy grail; and many others.  If you are at all interested in seeing a list of what he has written check out HERE.   I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these books to anyone over 16, male or female, because they are so good, but there is a particular appeal for guys because of the war element.  I have yet to recommend them to someone who has not enjoyed them, so try them out and see what you think. 
 
PS Guys, need a book for a book review or ISU at school and don't have a clue what to read? These books will possibly fit the bill unless your teacher wants a literary classic.  They are definitely classics, but I don't think they quite fall under the literary banner!

Monday, April 11, 2011

In My Mailbox April 11

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 totally scored this week with books.  Check out these titles -


A big thank you to Jan from Eating YA books for Dark Mirror and Simon and Shuster Canada for City of Fallen Angels and The Poison Eaters!!

Can't wait to start reading these (actually, I've already started COFA...)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Double Take - Red Glove by Holly Black

Published: April 2011
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Pages: 320
Copy Provided by: Simon and Shuster Galley Grab
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.
 
Review:
Christinabean = blue
Curlpow = black
 
Curlypow and I were lucky enough to read Red Glove through the Simon and Shuster Galley Grab program.  I had a whole bunch of quotes saved but of course once the release date came along,  Adobe locked me out of my bookmarked favourite quotes.  (shaking fist at the screen....) Da** you Adobe!! 
 Double Da** from me.  I had several  quotes as well.  Note to self - start using the notebook again!  I just loved this installment in the series.

I am really enjoying this series.  I'm not sure if I can put my finger on just one thing though.  I have found that especially after meeting Holly in person and listening to how she formulates her ideas, I have a better appreciation for her writing.  I am finding so many novels recently are vampires, zombies, demons or dystopia.  Holly brings an interesting twist to YA by involving the mob and magic.  It's unique and it works.  My favourite part about Holly's writing is that it isn't all serious.  She has a wicked sense of humor (no wonder why Holly and Cassandra are writing partners) and has great one-liners. 
Christinabean, you are so right about this.  The humour in these books is amazing.  I have found myself snorting out loud on several occasions while reading this, which is fine when I'm on my own, but not so great when in public:)
 
OK, let's talk characters.  I really feel for Cassel.  He's alreday assumed to be the bad boy just from his lineage and he tries so desperately to do the right thing...but seldom receives credit for it.  I said it before and I'm going to say it again, Nick from The Demon's Lexicon and Cassel need to go on a man date.  In fact, throw in Jace from The Mortal Instruments and we'd have quite the conversation.  I know that Hollty Black, Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan are all close friends.  Can you imagine if their characters met?
 Can I pre -order a copy of this book if it ever gets made.  Such great characters, all trying so hard not to let people know that they really are good guys at heart.  I love them all.

Anywho, I digress.  Cassel, Cassel, Cassel, he's such a smart cookie but oh so smitten with Lila.  I hope these two lovebirds can get their act together.  Ms. Black she seems to have a gift for keeping Cassel 3 or 4 steps ahead of everyone else.  Even if he is in a panic, he always seems to be in control. 
Ok, here is where I differ in opinion - I'm not so sure about Lila.  Most of the time I like her, but I'm not convinced that she and Cassel are right for each other.  She seems to have some issues to me - of course, if I'd been a cat for as long as she was, maybe I'd have issues too?  Cassel really is a smart cookie, and I love that about him.  Even tho' he is a worker, he seems really grounded to me.  He makes mistakes, doesn't always do the right thing, but has a knack for making things right in the end.
 
Black Heart is book #3 in the Curse Workers series and is coming out in 2012.  Can't wait to read this.  Don't forget that Holly and Cassandra will be in Burnaby, BC Monday April 18th!  If you go, please let us know how much fun you had!
Just loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on number 3.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin


Published: September 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 244
Copy: From Library
Summary: Goodreads


The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

I LOVED this book.  A short, quick read, it was never-the-less intense and absorbing.  The story starts off with an extremely graphic bang, and never really seemed to slow down from that point on.  I found myself making all sorts of wild guesses as to who the killer is and while I did eventually guess correctly - I was almost at the end before I was sure.

Avery, the main protagonist, is well written and believable and I found her memory loss rather compelling.  Her trust/distrust of Ben, the new kid in school was very believable and I didn't question any of her choices, as I sometimes find myself  doing.  The romance was wonderful and I enjoyed both the urgency and the restaint.  Something else I enjoyed was the fact that the story wrapped up very nicely, with just enough loose ends to encourage a second book, but nothing to leave you hanging.

To be honest, there's not a lot I can tell you about this book without giving away major spoilers and I don't want to do that, but I'm certain if you are fans of 'The Body Finder' and/or 'Shiver' you'll enjoy this book. One neat feature was that every time the word 'moon' appears, it's in red ink.  Odd, but strangely alluring!  All in all, highly enjoyable and a pleasure to recommend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Same book, second look - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Published: September 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 323
Copy provided by: library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

Review:

A hidden truth.

Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

OK, first of all, with a summary starting with these three lines, how could you NOT think this would be a fabuloso read??

Forgive me Sophie for I have sinned.  What the heck was I thinking??  Waiting so long to read Firelight??  I LOVED this book.  For me, this was a totally new concept - Draki.  Imagine another part of you that is intuitive and natural.  I was surprised at how strongly I felt when her mother tried to squash her Draki side.  The author impressed upon me the importance of maintaining true to yourself and loving who you really are.  Jacinda was constantly looking for acceptance from her family yet she was sometimes scared to show her real self in front of them. 

I also enjoyed the dynamics of Jacinda and her twin.  She was constantly trying to downplay her special ability in order to stop outshining her sister.  All things that friends and siblings experience....rivalry, competition and thunder-stealing!

It should also be noted that Sophie Jordan was able to use her romance writing skills to create some pretty steamy scenes between Will and Jacinda.  For those of you who are new to Sophie Jordan's work, she is a veteran when it comes to writing novels.  However, her main titles can be found in the romance section. 

As most of you already know, Ms Jordan has already released the cover of her next book - Vanish.  Congrats on another gorgeous cover!  Anyone notice that it is the same model only reversed?  If you haven't read Firelight, you should run out and buy it...but do it before Vanish comes out (you've got until September)...


Curlypow here:  I have to agree with Christinabean, same model reversed, but, different hair colour.  So are we looking at Jacinda's twin here?  (Sorry, can't remember her name.)  Can't wait to read this one and find out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Red Glove by Holly Black


 
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:
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.


That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Red Glove comes out April 5, 2011 (same day as City of Fallen Angels!!).  Both Curlypow and I were lucky enough to get the e-galley for this title and will be reviewing it soon.  Look out for a double-take in the near future!!
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