Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sea glass by Maria V Snyder

Published: September 2009
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 379
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal a magician's powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by the Council, Opal dares defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan's lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man now her prisoner has switched souls with Ulrick.


In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. She can't forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn't want to let her get close. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain....

This is the second installment in Ms Snyders trilogy and it was just as much fun as the first 'Storm Glass'.  I remember reading when these came out that some people were disappointed, and felt they weren't as good as the first trilogy, but I don't agree.  I love them.

Opal is still trying to come to terms with the limits of her magic and accept the fact that she is dangerous to most other magicians.  She could run and hide, but she decides to face the council and accept whatever limitations they place on her.  Well of course she tries, but do you remember the adage about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?

I enjoyed the way that the reader knows Opal is telling the truth, but no-one else believes her.  You can understand why no-one does, but at the same time, you're rooting for Opal and hoping that things work out for her.  The whole soul-switching aspect is a little creepy, but there is a very cool explanation for how it works towards the end of the book - ingenious really.  Devlen/Ulrick is back, and just as silver-tongued as before, and Kade puts in an appearance, but Opal is much less trusting this time around.  The twists and turns of  the story kept me guessing and the ending took me pretty much by surprise, so I'm really interested to see what happens in Spy Glass.  Which is sitting on my shelf just waiting for me.

If you are a traditional fantasy fan, I cannot recommend this series enough. Lots of magic, mystery and mayhem, epic journeys on horeseback and no modern conveniences - great stuff!

PS don't forget our 2 giveaways - blogversary and Canada Day Blog Hop.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (June 29th) Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer


This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer-one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack-and the man-she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

I cannot wait for this one to hit the stands in July.  I'm also looking forward to another book that most of you will not be aware of.  If any of you are into painting at all and would like to try a new medium, have a look at this book coming out later this year.  If you haven't already tried needle painting, you are in for a treat.

Renowned embroiderer Trish Burr passes her creative secrets on to stitchers--especially beginners--who want to take their needle painting skills to the next level. In 15 projects organized in three levels, from novice to intermediate, Trish provides expert, easy-to-follow guidance on techniques for surface stitching that provide subtle shadings and a soft, paintlike blending of colors. Sections on materials, the long and short stitch, and helpful practice motifs lead to gorgeous projects like Burgundy Rosebuds, a Wild Pansy, and a Racquet-tailed Roller.

Canada Day Blog Hop Giveaway


Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! 
A special thanks goes out to the hosts of The Canada Day Blog Hop - Aislynn from Knit, Purl, Stitch, Read and Cook and Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books!!

We are certainly proud Canadians and want to celebrate out July 1st holiday with all of you.  There are two of us running the blog so we decided to give away two titles this time around.  We had thought about giving away a title written by a Canadian but then we changed our minds because everyone is doing that and as much as we love Kelley Armstrong and Lesley Livingston, we thought you might want something different.

 Each is a book that we are eagerly awaiting so here goes -

Christinabean's pick


Curlypow's pick



Our contest is open to anywhere the Book Depository ships with free delivery.  Not sure? Check here.
You must choose which book you'd like to win.
One winner per title but you can enter to win once per book.
You have to be a follower to qualify.

Sorry but this contest is now over!  Thanks for entering!

Please make sure you visit the rest of the Canada Day Bloghop blogs here....


Don't forget to enter our one year Blogversary contest!  We are giving away 4 titles to one lucky winner.  Contest ends at midnight, July 3rd EST!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Musings by Knitwits - Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements by Jean Campbell

Published: November 2010
Publisher: Creative Publishing International, Incorporated
Pages:144
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements presents a collection of modern reproductions of classic Hollywood glitz, worn by the dazzling starlets of the big screen, including Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. All 20 sparkling jewelry pieces are made with the internationally popular Swarovski products, including the newest items in their line of crystal beads and stones. Detailed instructions and illustrations take you step-by-step through the creation of each piece. Whether dressed up or dressed down, these statement pieces will be fun to wear and become stunning, heirloom-quality additions to your jewelry collection.

I am not a bead artist - I very rarely make jewelery, because I very rarely wear fancy jewelery.  But I have to admit, that some of the pieces in this book are very tempting.  I ordered it from the library to see if I could get some ideas to help me out with my daughter's wedding dress.  I have to come up with a beaded piece for the front of the dress, and while I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to be doing, a little inspiration never goes wrong. 

This wonderful book, is full of wonderful black and white photos of starlets from the 30's, 40's, 50's  and 60's wearing these amazing pieces of jewelery, and then the book gives instructions on how to make them all!  They all use these beautiful Swarovski crystals and are just astounding. I am so incredibly tempted, but I am exercising amazing restraint.  I WILL NOT start beading.  It's too expensive, and I already spend too much money on all my threads and wool.  I'm standing firm in my resolve - I won't make anything.  Honestly, I'm not going to.  Really, I mean it. Well perhaps that lovely bracelet on page 66 - modelled by Natalie Wood in the movie ' The Great Race' (1965) - if I changed that from black stones to amethyst, it would look really great with my dress for the wedding ...... NO! I will stand firm! NO beading for me ...... right!

If you can tear yourself away from your beading, don't forget our giveaway for our 1 year blogversary It's still open until midnight, July 3rd. Good luck.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In my mailbox - June 27th

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren (http://www.thestorysiren.com) 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.

Last week I received these titles from the library. I had heard about The Ghost and the Goth for quite a long time but I have yet to read it.  I've also been itching to read Everlasting since it is in the last of the series by Alyson Noel.  However, I am also reading Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead right now.  I love the story but it's nearly 600 pages long...hmmm....how many novels can one logically read at once before all of the plotlines start to cross-over and you get characters and settings mixed up?

What's in your mailbox?





Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shulz

Published: June 28th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Copy: courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

 
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Reincarnation, a love doomed from the start and destined to be repeated again and again over the centuries.  Beautiful girl,  hot guy, great friends, totally believable bad guy and a lovely smattering of laugh-out-loud humour. Put it all together and you've got Spellbound.

I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read, that had much of what you expect in a school romance, and a lot of what you don't. Instant attraction between two strangers can sometimes be a little forced, but this time around it worked nicely for me.  Emma and Brendan are fated to be together, and have already been so, many times, and I found their relationship to be very believable. Although the attraction is instant, they don't just fall into each other.  They are cautious with each other and I loved their interactions. 

The minor characters, Cisco and Angelique, while being a little cliched (gay guy and wiccan girl), still worked well and were believable.  Anthony was a superb bully, if you understand my meaning, and the progression of his character throughout the story was positively horrifying. Aunt Christine was a little vague, but managed to avoid the trap of being an overly protective 'new' parent, allowing Emma the benefit of the doubt, which was quite refreshing. I must admit to being a little tense towards the end as the 'action' ratcheted up several notches.  Well done Ms Shulz, a great summer read.

On a personal note, I'm beginning to think that I really missed out on the education front by going to an all girls school.  We had to try and look over 10 ft walls into the boys school next door if we wanted to catch sight of any member of the opposite sex, let alone a hot one!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Cellar by A. J. Whitten


Published: May 2011
Publisher: Graphia
Pages: 276
Copy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Meredith Willis is suspicious of Adrien, the new guy next door. When she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.



But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up in the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?


Ok, The Cellar was a seriously creepy book. As regular readers will know I have no problem with the living dead, but this book was just gruesome.  I think Adrien will be sitting at the top of my nasty 'bad guy' list for quite some time.  There was nothing to like about him at all, and I kept wondering, like Meredith, why Heather would fall for such an obnoxious person, but he has charisma. The reason that Meredith doesn't fall under his spell the same way everyone else does was nicely hidden for a good part of the book - the reader is kept wondering why, and this definitely added to the mystery vibe.  One thing I had a little problem with was the alternating POV's, I was never quite sure who was talking.
Horror fans are going to love this book - for me it rated about a 9 on the nasty scale, I'd love to tell you why, but that would just be giving you spoilers, and I hate to do that!  Let's just say I wasn't very hungry when I finished the book :p  The family dynamics with Meredith, Heather and their mother and relatives worked well for me and I just adored their cousins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, or Tod and Tad if you prefer. I kept getting visions of Fred and George from Harry Potter, without quite so much humour. Sam, the romantic interest was kinda cute too, and a real 'nice' guy.

Interesting storyline, interesting characters and some serious nastiness.  My advice - if you can't stand the heat, don't look in your neighbours' basement windows - definitely not a good idea.  Remember that movie with Shia Lebeuf where his neighbour is a killer, what was it called? Disturbia, that was it (thank you IMDB). Anyway this book reminded me a little of that, with the creepy cellar thing going on, but this book is much, much creepier.  Enough creepiness already, read it yourselves and find out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - June 24th

Book Blogger Hop


In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop (http://www.crazy-for-books.com) 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 –

When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?


For me, I realized how much I enjoyed reading when I moved overseas.  I was an English teacher in Asia and I didn't have television or much money to do anything.  I started to visit local bookstores and began reading, remembering how much I loved to read while growing up and drifted away from it when I was in university.  Somehow, reading for pleasure took a backseat to reading my textbooks....so glad I have my passion for reading back!


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.

Giveaway!!

 
I do want to remind you that it's our BLOGVERSARY!!  Yea!  We can hardly believe it but we are one year old!!  So to celebrate, we are giving away 4 books to one lucky winner - Crusade, Awakening, The Replacement and a copy of Zombies vs Unicorns SIGNED BY HOLLY BLACK AND CASSANDRA CLARE.  How do you win?  Well, you have to be a follower and live in Canada or the USA.  If you live outside of Canada or the US, and are willing to pay for shipping, we would be happy to have you enter the contest.  Check out our link for details.

Christinabean's Friday Finds - June 17th


So I've been collecting hoarding cool links over the past couple weeks to share with you.  You'll find some of them are book related and others are just plain interesting or funny.  Enjoy!

Inara Scott has a pretty new cover for #2 in The Talents series

I'm eagerly awaiting Andrea Cremer's #2 book Wolfsbane, follow up to Nightshade.  Here she describes Wolfsbane and what we can expect...well those of us who weren't able to snag a copy at BEA this year...

Another incredibly talented writer is Maggie Stiefvater.  This girl does uses a sharpie marker like it's nobody's business!  Have you seen her mark up a guitar?  She will be in Oshawa, ON on Sat July 15th.  Anyone going to be at the signing?  Check out her stop motion video -

In terms of books and movie news, most of you already know that much of the Hunger Games cast has already been assigned.  What do you think of Donald Sutherland as President Snow?  I think they cast him well.  Also, Jace from the Mortal Instruments has been cast and he will be Jamie Campbell Bower.  Any comments on this one?  I know I was holding out for Alex Pettyfer but if Cassie Clare says the audition was unf**king believable then he must be right for Jace....

Are you a writer and looking for others to critique and encourage your work?  I came across a new resource today called Book Country where you can upload your work and have others read, write and discuss their projects with you. 

Next week we will be participating in the Canada Day Blog Hop.  Please don't forget to enter our giveaway and check out the other blogs! 


 



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Published: May 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
Copy: borrowed
Summary: Goodreads


Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.



As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.


Sometimes my cluelessness astounds me - I was just sitting down to write this review when it dawned on me what the title of this book is about. - the main character is called Claire - DUH!  I've only spent hours reading it and looking at the title, but it just didn't click until now.  I know, some people are so slow, and I guess I'm one of them :P

Anyway, on to the review.  This book has been around for over a year, but it was only when I saw the sequel in an email from Simon and Schuster, that I thought maybe I'd like to read it.  I started it off and at first I was a little disappointed - my thoughts were 'just another teen werewolf book'.  But I have to be honest, I changed my mind the more I read, and in the end I really enjoyed it. The mystery element of the book was extremely engaging, and I found myself convinced I knew who the 'bad' guy was several times. 

One of the things I really enjoyed was the role reversal in Claire de lune.  The werewolves here are the girls - go girls! - and there are no male werewolves.  Don't you just love it?  The love interest is Matthew, and he charmingly steps into the role usually taken by the female in the story.   It was kind of neat, and different.  I enjoyed the way that both these characters weren't afraid to form their own opinions, and didn't follow the crowds, and there were some interesting takes on lying to people - when is it ok?  Is it ever ok?  I guess you'll have to read and find out for yourselves. It was a nice quick read, and would be a good addition to your summer pile.

I'm now looking forward to downloading the follow-up from Simon and Schuster - I'll let you know what I think of it when I'm done.

PS Don't forget to check out our giveaway for our 1 year blogversary.  You can find it HERE

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (June 22) - Haunting Violet by Alexandra Harvey





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






Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.


Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway - One year blogversary

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME! 
WE ARE CELEBRATING OUR ONE YEAR BLOGVERSARY!!

Hard to believe but The Paperback Princesses blog has been going for one year!  To celebrate, we are giving away 4 books to one lucky follower! 



Oh wait...did I mention that Zombies vs. Unicorns is SIGNED BY CASSIE CLARE AND HOLLY BLACK???

Here are the rules -
You must be a follower of our blog
Open to US and Canada residents
If you are international, you can also enter but you must be willing to pay for postage

Deadline for entries is Sunday July 3rd at midnight EST.

Want extra entries?
Tweet (+1)
Blogpost (+2)

Sorry but this contest is now closed!  Thanks for entering!

Monday, June 20, 2011

In my Mailbox - June 20th

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.



Decided it was time for a trip to the book store this weekend and picked up these:




  
I have to make a comment here about Passion.  Everyone has been talking about what a beautiful cover Passion has - please tell me I'm not the only person on the planet who doesn't like it.  If I hadn't already bought the other two in the series I would never have picked this one up on the strength of the cover alone.  May'be it's just me!

Then I went to the library and picked up these 2:


 I'm looking forward to all of them.  I hadn't heard anything about Ashes, ashes or Department 19, so I'll be going in blind on those two - makes it fun though. What's in your mailbox this week?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Published: November 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 366
Copy provided by: Library
Summary:  Goodreads

Summary:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Review:
First of all, I have to say, is this not a gorgeous cover?  This is Cassia, trapped in a bubble wearing her green dress to the Matched ceremony but constantly pushing the boundaries of her existence.  What an incredible picture for this cover.  As a book cover snob, I give it my full approval.

I feel like I've been reading a lot of dystopia lately.  It is all about the future and how much control the government will have over our decision making process.  Control and the need for control seems to be a recurring theme with dystopian fiction.  Does this signify a trend or an unconscious concern for our future? 

The plotline took aspects of things I've seen in other titles such as the control aspect (Possession by Elana Johnson) and using people as human guinea pigs to test scientific outcomes (Maze Runner by James Dashner).  One thing that Ms. Condie did bring into this novel was the voluntary use of pills to control or modify memories and behaviour.  It really made me wonder....as a society, do you really trust the government so implicitly as to let them dictate what you ingest (food, medicine, etc).  These people reminded me of walking zombies.  It paints a rather bleak picture for our future....

Overall I found this society to be controlled but interesting in how they chose what was considered the most important.  They picked the 100 most important songs, poems, stories, etc for society and the rest was to be forgotten.  But what about culture?  That was one thing that wasn't really addressed.  It made me wonder if everyone was from the same ethnicity/background.  Imagine how difficult it would be to sort your life and the lives of others within just one culture but with diversity, it would be that much more difficult.

Another interesting part of this society was the lifespan of citizens.  They only live to be 80 years old and then they "die" or rather are poisoned slowly to end their lives.  Why does no one question this?  This society literally extinguishes a life.  During the story, Cassia sees her grandfather's life come to an end and he plants a seed in her head to change things and learn to think for herself.  Through this process you can see Cassia starting to build up to become some kind of revolutionary (compared Katniss from the Hunger Games).  I enjoyed this title but not enough to purchase it yet and am eager to read the next in the series (Crossed).  What did you think?




Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Published: October 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Pages: 352
Copy: My own
Summary: Goodreads


Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.



Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.


With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Loved this book.  It was so much fun.  There is so much humour in 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer', and you never know which character it's going to come from.  Mrs W in particular is an absolute hoot.

'"Sam, Honey, you look filthier than a hot tub in a brothel"' (p35)

' "Meet a nice girl and do some not-so-nice things, ok?" ' (p197)  This is advice from a 70yr old to a 20 yr old. Don't you just love it?

Sam, our main protagonist, is 20 years old and a bit of a loser.  He has the best of intentions, but nothing much ever seems to come of things he tries, and we meet him working in a burger joint.  Somehow though, it is easy to form an attachment to Sam.  His best friend Ramon, who loves to skateboard, is pretty cool, and Frank, who is the newbie at the burger joint, fits in rather nicely as a sidekick, and sleeps on Sam's floor.  I loved the ineraction between these three, especially when Brooke is added in to the mix.

The story is full of surprises, and includes some weird elements, like talking heads, and talking cats!  When Douglas enters the picture, and Sam finds out that he has some Necromancer blood, things start to heat up. Douglas is creepy and seriously nasty.  He is on a mission and nothing is going to stop him.  Things get a little gory, but that thread of humour kind of takes the edge off a little.  Throw in some witches, psychics and other paranormals and the fun is just beginning.

Remember 'White Cat' by Holly Black?  Well 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer' reminded me a little of that one.  Not so much in the storyline, but in the way it was written.  There's a lot going on under the surface and you just know that Sam is going to luck out in the end.  What I liked was that the story tied up really nicely, but there was enough information that you just know there is going to be a sequel.  No cliffhanger, just lots of anticipation for the next one. Can't wait Ms McBride.  All in all a great read.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Blog Hop

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 –

How many books are in your TBR pile?

Hmmm...good question.  Too many to count?  Seriously, my TBR pile on Goodreads is approaching 400 and I have a boatload of books that are waiting to be read right now but have to be put on hold until I have more time.  I actually gave Curlypow 2 bags of books today to go through....eek!!

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, June 16, 2011

Haven by Kristi Cook


Published: February 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 401
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.



But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.


Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first

Review

I have to be honest, I not really sure how I felt about Haven.  I think OK is about the best I can come up with for me.  It was a nice little story, but somehow some of the oomph was missing.  Violet and Aiden were an interesting couple, but my feeling is I would pass them in the street and not recognise them, if you know what I mean.  For me there was nothing that made them stand out.  I sometimes felt as if it was a mix of Twilight and Buffy, but missing the best parts of both.

The setting for the story, Winterhaven, is just another prep/boarding school - altho' this one does have a cinema and cafe on campus.    The supporting characters have a host of different psychic abilities, which was different, but again, none of them stood out from the others.  

Ok, I think I'm beginning to sound a little negative, and I really don't mean to. Would I recommend it?  Yes, if you are a fan of vampire fiction, and you like boarding school stories, then this would be a good one to add to your summer reading list.  It was a quick read, and I did enjoy it, honestly. It just didn't stand out from the crowd.

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris


Published: May 2011
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 325
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

How many of you are fans of the TV show True Blood?  I'm sure there are quite a few of you.  How many of you read the Sookie Stackhouse books before you watched the show?  How many of you watched the show and then decided you had to read the books, and then thought What the ....!  Yep.  Books and show - completely different aren't they?

I've been reading  about Sookie since her first book (Dead until Dark) came out in 2001.  The whole series is short, quick reads, full of fun and mayhem, with vampires, shapeshifters, fae and all manner of interesting things going on.  Blood and gore - yes there is some, but nowhere near as much as we're seeing on TV.  The TV show started following book 1 quite closely, and then somewhere towards the end of the first season it took a life of its own.  The characters have the same names as the books, and some of the story lines are the same, but the weirdness quotient went through the roof on TV.  Anyway, the purpose of this little rant is to say that if you watched the show first, you may be a tad disappointed in the books.

For those of us who have been following along from the beginning, this new story, Dead Reckoning, does not disappoint.  Sookie is once again trying to avoid being killed - for such a nice girl, it's amazing how many enemies she acquires!  This time around she is avoiding fire bombs, kidnappings, muggings and Eric.  Vampire politics once again play a huge part and Sookie is knee deep in them, whether she likes them or not.  There are some fae goings-on with Claude and Dermot and some shape-shifter shenanigans with Sam and Jannalyn.  Mr Cataliades pops in for a short visit, and some other old friends put in their 2 cents worth. 

In short, you cannot jump in and start reading this if you don't know the back story.  You'll enjoy the story, for sure, but you won't have a clue about what is going on in the background.  This is the 11th book in the series and if you want to get maximum enjoyment out of it, you just have to start at the beginning.  Aw come on, you guys are major readers, what are 11 books in a series to you?  Start now and you'll be done by the end of the summer.  As I said all the books are quick to read, and perfect for summer reading.  I read this one in 1 day, so pack a few in your suitcase and enjoy sun, sea, sand and Sookie!

*Please note tho' these are definitely not YA books although older teens shouldn't have a problem.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (June 15) - Double Header

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



I am TOTALLY looking forward to the third and final book in the Demon's Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan.  Likewise, Passon comes out this week and I'm just as psyched for the 3rd in the Fallen Trilogy!  Just also wanted to let you readers know that I've chatted with Sarah Rees Brennan during a Q and A session from another book blog and she was such a sweetheart.  Plus, I sponsored Lauren in a run for charity and she was incredibly personable and wrote me a personal note.  I love authors that can be so down to earth and humble!  To boot, two of the nicest authors are releasing the 3rd books in their series the same week.  It makes me like them even more!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Boys - Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

  To be Published: August 30th, 2011
  Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  Pages: 519 ?
  Copy: Arc, courtesy of Simon and Schuster
  Summary: Goodreads

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.



Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?


In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.


I didn't think it would be possible for Jonathan Maberry to improve on the amazing story set out in Rot and Ruin, but by George he did it.  Dust and Decay is even better! I know I was very effusive in my praise of Rot and Ruin (check it out here) so I will try and calm down a little this time, but it will be difficult.

Our main protagonist Benny Imura is back again, 6 months older and wiser, and stronger.  He and Nix, Lilah, Chong, and the others  have been training hard for their trek East, and continue to grow as people and learn about themselves.  Dust and Decay also introduces a host of new secondary characters that were an absolute hoot.  Dr Skillz and J-dog provide major comic relief, while at the same time help to illustrate yet another way of coping with disaster.  Sally Two-Knives with her mohawk and Fluffy McTeague, with his pink carpet coat are yet more positive examples in amongst the bad guys.

Oh, and the bad guys this time around are really something.  Totally depraved and, though still alive, virtually soulless - very frightening people that invoked true horror for me. The zoms were nothing on these guys.  There is a major character twist towards the end that I just didn't see coming at all, but made so much sense in hindsight and the last 100 or so pages were a pure adrenaline rush.  There was so much going on I had to put the book down and take a break.   There is also a major death (that's not a spoiler, it says so in the blurb) and I will admit to shedding a few tears. The whole book takes place over the course of just 2 days, and so much happens it's unbelievable. I'm sure there are enough blood, guts and mayhem to satisfy most guys out there, and there is just a teeny bit of romance to keep the girls interested.

I would love to give you some quotes, because I really enjoy the way Mr. Maberry writes, but since I was reading an arc this time around I can't do that.  The prose is very lyrical and easy to read, giving the reader lots of  insight into the human soul, examining why people turn out the way they do and how they cope. Just like Rot and Ruin, there is so much more to the story than zombies, like making mistakes and living to regret them, and apologize for them.  I loved every word of it. 

Dust and Decay isn't out until the end of August, and I know this review is way early, but I highly recommend pre-ordering.  I'm certain you're are going to love it.  I'm off now to see if I can find me a carpet coat.  I want to be prepared - just in case!  Oh, and Mr Maberry, please hurry up with number 3.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ruby Red Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner - Michelle F for winning Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier!!
Didn't win?  Don't worry, our one year Blogversary is coming us as is our Canada Day Bloghop!  Stay tuned for details...we have some big prizes to give away....

Michelle, your book will be sent from the publisher!  Thanks again to Macmilan Children's Publishing group for sponsoring this giveaway!


In My Mailbox - June 13th



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.

Not an awful lot being added to my mailbox this week, but I did get these two:

 

I think I might have to go on a little shopping spree soon tho'.  There are some really good titles coming out this week.  We'll see .....

What's in your mailbox?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

The Splendour Falls


Published: January 2011
Publisher: Delacourt Books
Pages: 513
Copy: From Library
Summary: Goodreads

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can't dance, she lost everything important to her in one missed step.


Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment, and shipping her to Alabama is her mother's solution for Sylvie's unhappiness. But life might not be any more simple down south. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can't stop thinking about.


Then Sylvie starts seeing things. A girl down by the lake. A man peering into the window. And a graveyard with an oddly placed headstone. Sylvie's lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

Before I say anything about the story I have to say that part of the reason I enjoyed reading this book so much was the format.  The copy I read was a trade paperback, with lovely soft, floppy pages and the book stayed open all by itself -  almost to the very last page.  It was a treat to hold on to.  OK, I guess I am now officially a nerd, but I can't help it.  Things like that are important to me.  Because it stayed open by itself, I was able to knit at the same time as I was reading, and that's a major bonus for me!

Enough of the nonsense - on to the review.  I Loved The Splendor Falls.  It was a beautiful book to read, hauntingly written and wonderfully easy to fall in to the story.  The characters almost leapt off the pages, they felt so complete and I loved witnessing each different journey.

There is quite a lot going on in the story.  Sylvie is trying to imagine her life without ballet and is struggling to accept things. Gigi is - well she is a Chihuahua and is a bit like comic relief. I had a good laugh at her protectiveness towards Sylvie. Rhys and his father are suberbly mysterious and it is quite some time before we find out exactly what is going on with them. 

There's Shawn, Aaron, Caitlin, Addy and others who become the bane of Sylvie's existence.  Add in town superstitions about Sylvie's family and Shawn's and some rather nasty ghosts, who appear to have their own agenda, and the whole thing becomes eerie and mysterious.  I was never sure just exactly what was going to happen next, which I rather enjoyed, and a few unexpected twists towards the end completed my enjoyment.

I think this would make a great summer read, when you have time to sit back and enjoy it.  Hope you like things that go bump in the night!

PS Note the number of pages - another long book to add to our list!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder

Storm Glass (Glass, #1)

Published: April 2009
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 488
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.


I very much enjoyed reading Ms Snyders' previous trilogy Poison Study/Magic Study/Fire Study, so I have no idea why it has taken me so long to start this one.  I've read some mixed reviews about Stormglass, but I have to firmly take the positive side - I loved it.  I think part of its appeal to me is that it is straight fantasy - with no urban prefix and no supernatural/paranormal twists.  The magic is just that - magic, and the setting is vaguely historical/feudal - maybe I should try and find out just exactly what the setting is based on, that would be interesting to find out.

I read somewhere recently that a love triangle isn't really a love triangle unless all three participants are aware of the 'love', so in that respect, Stormglass doen't really fit the triangle theme,  but it is fun none-the-less.  Opal, Kade and Ulrick (doesn't that name just conjure up pictures of Heath Ledger in 'A Knights Tale'?) have varying degrees of different magic and each one comes with a lot of personal baggage attached.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching each of them cope with the mysteries and struggles throughout the book.

There are one or two rather interesting surprises within the story, and a neat twist towards the end, which all helped to keep me reading at a steady pace and I finished this rather lengthy book in two days - but that's what vacation is for, isn't it?

On a tangent here - can anyone remember that at the beginning of the year someone/someblog posted a challenge about reading one book per month over 350 pages?  I can't find it now, but I'm beginning to wish I had accepted that challenge.  I swear Christinabean and I have read 8 books that qualify in the last month alone! End of tangent.

There is a wonderful mystery, adventuring, magic, nasty bad guys and some interesting butt kicking.  Lots of fun!  There are also several mentions of events that took place in the previous trilogy.  It's not necessary to have read it before you read this one, but you may want to go back and find out what happened when you've finished this one - I think I may go back and re-read them in fact.  All in all a fun read and I look forward to picking up the second volume, Sea Glass, on Monday when I go back to work :(

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Blog Hop - June 10th

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 –

Who is the one author that you are dying to meet?

Hmm...this is a toughie and I can't decide on just one.  I would really like to meet Kimberly Derting, Sarah Rees Brennan and Lauren Oliver.  I was so bummed about missing Lauren when she visited the Toronto area a few weeks ago.  I feel that all 3 of these authors are incredibly sincere about their success and they haven't let it go to their heads.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I've met authors who have been out of control but these three seem to be very modest and true to their roots, something I appreciate...

Now that I have your attention, please don't forget that we have a contest running to win Ruby Red, a new book by Kirsten Gier.  You must be a follower to enter and there are no extra entries needed.  We're making this one nice and easy.  Plus, there are few entries so your chances are high right now.  The contest is open to Canada and the USA and the winner will be drawn using random.org on Sunday June 12th at midnight.  Good luck!

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, June 9, 2011

Guest Post: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Published: May 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 487
Summary: Goodreads

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.


During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Christinabean and I are thrilled today to have one of our colleagues help us out with a guest post.  Here's what Kiley has to say about 'Divergent'

Review

The buzz around 'Divergent' has had me interested for a few months, and I didn't hesitate to grab a copy shortly after its release.  when I finished, it was well worth my money, and my brain spun with "WOW" at the forefront.

I love that Roth builds a dystopian world that doesn't focus on the crisis of how the world fell apart - it takes a look at the why behind the fall of life-as-we-know-it, and gives us a more human approach to the downfall of civilization - we as humans aren't reduced to our basest animal instincts, like in some dystopias; we get to keep our humanity.

We also have a great coming of age story, as the residents of this new Chicago choose their faction at 16.  This can mean staying in the faction they were born and raised in with their family, or choosing a new faction - either way it defines who they are for the rest of their lives.  Sounds a little bit like making college or career choices, doesn't it?

That being said, I think the strongest trait this book has to offer is that you can relate to it, and especially our main character Tris: you can relate to being forced to choose the path for the rest of your life at a young(ish) age; you can relate to being torn to choose between your family and becoming your own person; you can relate to not being sure that you are just one thing, feeling multi-dimensional and not wanting to conform.  All very standard YA blather, but Roth approaches it in a fast-moving and action-packed way that is fresh, even when at its core it really is another dystopian YA novel.  And Four (our male lead) wins over Edward Cullen in my mind any day with his rough edges that don't involve supernatural abilities.

The ending is amazing and unsatisfactory (in a good way, if that makes sense) all at the same time - but that means you'll be hooked for books 2 and 3, as rumour has it this is designed to be a trilogy.  Yes, another dystopian trilogy, but if you're a Hunger Games or Maze Runner fan, pick up 'Divergent'.  You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Giveaway - Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier


Summary:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!


Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

 
Thanks to MacMillan Children's Publishing, we are able to give away one copy to one lucky follower!  This contest runs from now until Sunday June 12th at midnight.  You must be a follower to enter.  It is open to Canada and the USA only and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be chosen.  Please fill out the form below! 
 
Sorry but this contest is now closed.  Congratulations to our winner - Michelle F!!
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