Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison


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 -


After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Musings by Knitwits - Lovely Knits for Little Girls by Vibe Sondergard


Once a month Christinabean and I like to bring a craft, knitting or cookbook to your attention. We both love to pick up a pair of knitting needles or some other type of needle, or putter about in the kitchen and we like to share the love when we find a book that will help. This months selection is:




Published: February 21st, 2102
Publisher: Taunton Press
Pages: 144
Copy: Netgalley and Publisher
Summary: Netgalley


While project books for making baby knits abound, what happens when your little cherub turns two? Lovely Knits for Little Girls solves the problem beautifully, with twenty patterns for pint-sized vests, dresses, sweaters, and skirts-all brimming with pretty, girly details. Forget about baby-weight yarn, tiny needles, and fussy patterns for clothes that are quickly outgrown. For Lovely Knits, knitwear designer Vibe Sondegaard creates a bright, stylish, little-girl wardrobe of fabulous projects that knit up quickly and allow knitters plenty of opportunity for trying a few design tricks (cables, bobbles, lace patterns) on a manageable, kid-sized scale. Best of all, the pattern shapes size up or down easily (with back of book instruction on doing just that), making this collection versatile enough to use again and again.

• Gorgeous, girly designs that knit up fast; just-right sizes for little girls ages toddler to seven. Garment styles are classic and unfussy, with pretty lace, cable, and stitch pattern details Great for both experienced and beginning knitters alike: with clear instructions and simple design tricks that allow knitters to experiment on a manageable, kid-sized scale
• A versatile wardrobe of lovely pieces to knit: cardigans, sweaters, dresses, vests, and accessories-plus helpful instruction on shaping and constructing knit pieces, choosing yarn, and sizing patterns


Christinabean, this book is for you.

 I loved the designs in this so much that it (almost) makes me wish my 25 yr old daughter was five again - or maybe not! There are some beautiful, innovative styles that have been scaled down for your kids, or grandkids, nieces or even your little sisters.  There are so many different styles to choose from - simple to fairly complex.  From little shrugs and cowls, and a garter stitch vest to fancy cardigans and sweet dresses.  There are so many gorgeous yarns available today that it should be fairly easy to find something soft and cuddly to use with these designs for your little girl. 

 As the blurb points out, this book fills a niche that is normally low on patterns - those for younger girls, and these designs really are wonderful and worth knitting. With over 20 beautiful patterns to choose from, you'll really be spoilt for choice.

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Monday, February 27, 2012

In My Mailbox - February 27th



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 a lot this week, but as usual for me it's a bit of a mixed bunch - historical, parnormal and thriller:




Hope you have something interesting in your mailbox.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast


Published
Publisher
Pages
Copy Provided by:
Summary:

Summary:
Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet.

"Very good," she said in her emotionless voice. "Let us leave this place before the authorities descend."

Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley.

Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.

"What is it?" She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.

"I do not know. I feel--"

She laughed. "You don't feel at all. You're obviously overthinking this."

"Yes, Priestess." Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him.
I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon. 

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow. 

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . . 

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Review:
I'm going to be honest with you.  I have had a love/hate relationship with this series for the past year or two.  I really enjoyed the first few books and then it started turning strange.  The last book nearly had me quitting the entire House of Night series but I thought I'd give it one last shot.  I received a copy of Destined from the book publisher and I'm glad I read it.  The House of Night is almost like watching a cheesy soap opera but instead, you're reading about it.  Some of it is so incredulous and you wonder how you can possibly watch another episode because its reaching new heights of ridonculous but curiosity always gets the best of you and you crack open the next book in the series.  

Let's talk Neferet.  How can this woman still be employed?  How does no one except for Zoey's herd nerd see how evil this woman is?  Has she truly escaped the scrutiny of all of her peers?  And, especially after the last stunt she pulled at the end of book #8?

I have to admit that I enjoyed Destined.  Sometimes the crazy talk and swearing bothers me.  I still wouldn't recommend it to a younger audience but the "teen talk" is identifiable for mid-teens to an older audience.  For those of you who are (ahem) in your 20's+, be forewarned...the bantering might start to drive you round the bend.  The story continues at the House of Night with Zoey's crew trying to prove that Neferet is indeed in league with Darkness and there are several deaths that gang need to deal with.  I was pleasantly surprised with the end and how quickly the pace picked up.  I will be waiting for Book #10 called Hidden coming out in October.  I'm such a sucker...hey, when you've invested this much time into a series, its hard to quit.  It's called A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N...yes, I'm one of those people easily influenced by an infomercial...

Oh, and one last thing...if you have never read a House of Night title, please don't start with book #9.  That's just silly.  If you're going to start part-way through, at least go with #1 or #2.  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Published: March 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 368
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her: evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this title when I downloaded it from NetGalley.  It looked fun!  When I first started reading, I had flashbacks of Mean Girls meets Shopaholic meets Robin Hood.  It seemed like a pre-teen novel at the start but as the story progressed, I'd amp up the rating to be suitable for teens.  The author has a clear, casual writing tone with lots of sarcasm (which I love).  By page 50 I was laughing out loud.  

Surprisingly, I became wrapped up in what appeared to be a fairly simple plot as it became more complicated and complex.  Pretty Crooked had more depth than I expected and I am interested to see what book #2 has in store.  Does Willa connect with Aiden?  What is her Mom trying to hide from her?  Will her good intentions go awry?  

Give this one a go for something a little lighter, have some fun, laugh a little and remember what its like to try to make the "right" decisions in life.

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday - February 24th



Feature and Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. This weeks question is:


Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...

Where do I like to read the most?  Great question, but I'm not sure how to answer.  Basically I like to read most wherever I happen to be reading at the time - as long as the chair is comfortable and the book is good.  A bit of a cop-out I guess, but it's the enjoyment of reading itself that matters to me and not where I happen to be physically. I do like to have a cup of tea beside me when I read though.

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.

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Switched by Amanda Hocking


Published: Jan 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 293
Copy: Purchased
Summary: Goodreads


When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

At the time I was reading Switched I thought it was ok, nothing too special, but a decent read.  Then I sat down this morning, only one week later, to write my review and I couldn't remember anything about the story.  Yes I did remember it was about trolls, or Trylle as they are referred to in the novel, but that was about it.

Now, as I looked at the book and flipped through it, things came back to me, but wow - only one week later and the only reason I remembered the main protagonists name was because I had already added the blurb a while ago at the top of the page.  Not good, right? 

There has been a lot of very positive feed-back about Switched, and the premise is different, but for me I'm afraid it was just ho-hum.  I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it just didn't stand out in any way at all for me.  There's nothing bad about it, it just was not memorable.  I feel a bit sad about that.  I was hoping for more - what I don't know, just more.  I know I won't buy the 2nd and 3rd books in the series.  I might read them if we get them at the library, but I won't buy them.  Sorry Switched, but I'm just not that into you.

PS - on a totally irrelevant side note, I do love the cover!


Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

 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 -


Pandemonium is book #2 in the Delirium series.  I have Delirium in my TBR bookpile and I LOVED Before I Fall.  I had the opportunity to communicate with Lauren just after I read Before I Fall.  She is such a wonderful author, a real credit to her craft.  I'll be reading this title shortly just as soon as I catch up my pile!


Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fantastic Fairytales - Illusions by Aprilynne Pike


Published: May 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 375
Copy Provided by: Borrowed 
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice. 

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

Review:

I really enjoy this series and I'm not sure what it is.  I find that so many titles these days (like movies) place more emphasis on sex, violence and language.  Sometimes these aspects of books and film overshadow the real plotline.  Aprilynne Pike does a great job of creating a fairly clean teen read.  There is no language and overall the story is interesting and perfect for a younger teen audience, especially those who are just starting to notice the opposite sex.

For those of you who have not already read Book 1 and 2, we are back to the complicated love triangle.  However, to throw a bit more interest into the mix, Ms. Pike has added another player.  Yuki is a foreign exchange student but there is something odd about her and Laurel and her friends must try to figure out what it is.  Is she really as innocent as she seems to be or is it all an illusion?  

Illusions was an enjoyable read and it picked up quickly at the end of the book.  I would have liked more background information about the different abilities of each seasonal fairy as I could not remember the details from past titles.  Tamani totally took centre stage for me this time around.  Previously, I had been partial to David as being a good choice for Laurel but who could resist the confidence of a guy who says things like this - 

Pg 51
"I just don't want to cozy up to the guy whose girl  have every intention of stealing..."
- Tamani

Cocky, yes.  Also ballsy but not quite jerk-like.  At least he's honest...

I had originally thought this would be a trilogy but I'm so glad it wasn't.  Looking forward to book 4, Ms. Pike!




Curlypow here - I know this isn't exactly a fairy tale, but it is partially about faerie, so I figured that would count for this  month.  Hope you don't mind.


Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new, and returning, followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks!

Monday, February 20, 2012

In my Mailbox February 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.

Ok, so I (Christinabean) did something that I don't normally do and I'm going to add a few independent author titles to my TBR pile.  Here they are -


I'm going to try some new genres this year and expand my knowledge and diversify some of my reading material.  Books for boys, more fairytale retellings, a little more fantasy and sci-fi + historical here I come!!

What's in your mailbox?

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale


Published: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
ecopy: Courtesy of Netgalley and Publisher 
Summary: Goodreads

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

This was an interesting read about actions and consequences, that unfortunately fell a little flat for me.  The premise behind the story is sound - babies switched at birth - but I was never able  to fully connect with the characters.  The two girls, Rosie and Holly  were to my mind selfish and thoughtless.  Both of them seemed to leap to conclusions and act irresponsibly and without thought.  At one point they seemed like smudged carbon copies of each other.  Neither seemed to appreciate what they had and both seemed to want more.  I understand that their situations were difficult, but a little more thought and a little less immediate action would have worked better for me.  They seemed to reject family that had stood by them for years in order to pursue new dreams with hopes of immediate fullfillment.

Another false note for me were Josh and Andy.  I'm sorry, but they were both too good to be true.  I am sure that there are such wonderful men out there, but for them both to be so forgiving and accepting just didn't ring true for me.  Jack, well,  no 1 father of the year award, but without giving away a major spoiler, I just can't see it.

Still I don't want to appear totally negative.  I can totally appreciate the drama and romance in Someone Else's Life and I am absolutely certain that it will gain a huge following, especially for Jodi Picoult fans  (as has been mentioned by many) and others of her ilk.  There is enough angst and trauma for most fans, unfortunately, just a little too much for me.  Sorry, Ms. Dale, but Someone Else's Life was just not for me.


Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls 1) by Victoria Foyt


Published: Jan 10th, 2012
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press
Pages: 321
ecopy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads


Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

This has been a very hard review to write.  I enjoyed Revealing Eden, but I'm not entirely sure that I understood it!  I've been trying to come up with a description for it and the best I can do is a futuristic, dystopian Beauty and the Beast.  The world has obviously suffered some kind of event, but I don't remember any kind of explanation as to why it is too hot for anyone other than dark-skinned coals to go outside.  Perhaps that's because my reading of this book was a little disjointed.  I couldn't seem to find the time to sit down for any great length of time, and kept reading in 10 minute chunks.

Eden seems to be a little conflicted and she keeps talking about not being understood and no-one seeing the 'real' Eden, but I'm not sure I ever saw the real her either.  She is a victim of deceit, which I can't go into without giving spoilers, her life is ruled by the fact that she needs to find a 'mate' before her 18th birthday, but she seemed to be suffering from tunnel vision in this respect.  Ignoring the light- skinned pearls and focusing on the coals.  Wouldn't it be better to find any mate, rather than no mate at all. Eden's father is a very clever geneticist and he is working on a 'cure' for humanity - by turning them into beasts?   Confusing.  Ronson Bramford - well he both fascinated and infuriated me.  In some respects he was a controlling ass and in others an intriguing genius. I was definitely conflicted about him.

There is fair bit of tension throughout the book and I did enjoy Ms Foyt's writing style . I didn't once consider not finishing the book, but I have a lot of questions.  What I'd really like to do is sit down and talk to someone else who has read this and see what they think - which in the end is a good thing, right.  Any book that can generate discussion has succeeded.  Will I read the sequel - probably yes, because I just don't know where Ms Foyt plans on going and I'm curious. I'd really like to know what others thought of this one.

Check out the website here http://www.savethepearls.com/ and the youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/savethepearls



Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page. Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February. Thanks!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday - February 17th



Feature and Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. This weeks question is:

Q: BeefcakeandBabes Asks: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What’s the most unique character name you’ve come across?




The first name that comes to mind right now is Tamani from the Spells series by Aprilynne Pike.  It just kind of rolls off your tongue.  Kinda pretty for a boy fairy, don't you think?

Curlypow here - I'm actually quite fond of Karou and Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  They are different without being cheesy

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. 

Due to the changes with Google Follower, we are now asking all new followers to use Linky Follower in the right hand column of our page.  Google Follower Connect will be discontinued at the end of February.  Thanks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Google Followers! Please switch!


Hi Everyone, Christinabean here.

As some of you may already know, Google Friend Connect will disappear as of March 1, 2012.  That means that a ton of you are going to disappear as our followers.  :(  Never fear though, Brett Riggs (you're my hero) has designed a widget for bloggers to use to replace this function.  Please please please look over to the right side of your screen, check out the Linky Followers widget and click on "Follow Me" to continue following the Paperback Princesses.  I thank you and Curlypow will too once she realizes what GFC is doing.  :P

Bloggingly yours,

Christinabean

p.s.
If you have a blog yourself and are looking to use this linky tool as well, you can find it here.  Please leave us a comment here and let us know if its useful to you as well!

Guest Post from Pither - Stork by Wendy Delsol


Publisher:Candlewick Press
Pages: 357
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
I picked up Stork by Wendy Delsol because these fine Paperback Princesses recommended it. The cover is gorgeous with frost and snow, and yes, I admit, I do indeed judge. The plot intrigued me, the whole retelling of mythology. Greek and Roman is pretty popular (I’m looking right at you, Percy Jackson), but Norse isn’t all that common.
The world of Stork is based in wintry Minnesota, in a town where everyone is trotting around with an Icelandic last name and strong ties to their Viking ancestors from hundreds of years ago. Katla is a recent transplant from California, living with her divorced mother and starting a new school. Fashion-loving, Starbucks-drinking teenage girl plunked down into a Minnesota small town; you can guess how enthusiastic she is about all this.
I originally strongly disliked Katla. She judges quite often based on appearance (I know, I know, hypocrytical of me considering that cover crack up there), considering if people are worth being her friend or not based on their looks and fashion sense. There’s also the Jack factor, the hot aloof brooder at her school who really fills out his John Deere cap, if you know what I mean. Katla becomes totally absorbed in him, going from somewhat snarky high-schooler to “Oh my God, my life resolves around YOU now.”
However, Delsol does pull it back. Katla matures a great deal into her powers, and yes, does learn the true meaning of friendship and all that good stuff. I liked the mystery around Jack, trying to figure out just what he was about and trying to peek behind his angsty demeanor. By the end of the book I was quite wrapped up in the story and flipping pages quickly to find out what happens. The action is good and plot well-paced, though a bit predictable at times. I can’t say too much without dropping some major spoilers, but I loved the big reveal between Jack and Katla.
I think my favourite part was the whole Stork thing. Katla’s destiny revolves around being a Stork, and part of the Icelanic Stork Society that’s populated almost solely by little old ladies. They all have bird names (Katla’s turns out to be Robin), and help decide the fate of newborns. Certain souls (“essences”) need extra guidance, and must be assisted towards the most suitable among three potential mothers (“vessels”). Sounds a bit weird I know, but in Delsol’s hands it becomes a fascinating thing, and helps shape Katla’s maturity.
I’d recommend this to Twilight fans for the Jack/Katla side of things, Lesley Livingston and Kelley Armstrong readers for the touch of paranormal, and fashionistas with things for smoky brooders.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer


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 -



To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her.

Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.

Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can.


I've enjoyed several of Kai Meyer's books and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let's Hear It For the Boys - Variant by Robison Wells


Published: October 2011
Publisher:
Running Time:
Audio copy: Overdrive
Summary: Goodreads

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.


Variant, starts out as a fairly regular boarding school story, but within a very few pages, the reader realises that something is very wrong.  It was interesting for me to see how the 'herd mentality' surfaces - how we accept things at face value and don't question as long as we are comfortable.

All it takes is Benson to question the morality behind the school and the problems start.  Natural leaders surface and finally people act together and try to escape.  I loved the big question that no-one seemed to be able to answer as to why the school was set up in the first place.  There is a major twist in the story, that ratchets up the tension as the story progresses which was very well done.  Then just as you think everything is going to be ok, there is an OMG ending that made me want to scream. Perhaps it was because I was listening, rather than reading, but I certainly was surprised where the story ended. 

This was a great audio version of a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am looking forward to seeing where  Mr. Wells takes the story.  This would also be a good title for those who enjoyed Maze Runner or Gone, or Lord of the Flies (yes I know there has to be someone out there who enjoyed that book, besides me).

Monday, February 13, 2012

In My Mailbox February 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


When I got this book at work the other day, I looked at it and had absolutely no recollection of ordering it.  However, having read the blurb I am now looking forward to it.  Not sure how I missed it when it came out in July 2010?

Then today I got all of these:









.So I know that technically you can never have too much of a good thing, but all of these at once and only for 3 weeks?  I need help.  Which one would you read first?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Explosive Eightteen by Janet Evanovich


Published: November 2012
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 305
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she’s flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photograph—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the Bail Bonds Agency it’s business as usual—until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their “largest” FTA yet, lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment, and everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?!


More of the usual fun and hijinx that is Stephanie Plum.  Explosive Eighteen was a little different this time around because of the flash-backs to the Hawaii situation, but other than that, it really was just more of the same fun and games. 

I've been reading about Stephanie Plum since the first story, One for the Money, came out in 1994.  This series has become one of my go-to series for when I need a quick book to throw into my bag, or I'm not feeling well and I don't want to think too hard. The plots are a little formulaic - something always blows up and at least one FTA manages to escape from Stephanie and Lula, but they are always good for a laugh and I look forward to each new episode.  This time I found myself thinking, come on Stephanie, make a choice - Ranger or Morelli.  I mean let's face it, we all know she's going to choose Morelli in the end (don't we?), but after keeping him hanging on for so long it would kind of serve her right if he told her to get lost.  Personally I'd live dangerously and go for Ranger, but that's just me :)

Is all this confusing to those of you who have not read the series so far.  Sorry about that.  Explosive Eighteen can be read as a stand-alone, but once you've done so, go back and read the others and see how much you've been missing. Do I think the series should be drawing to a close - absolutely, I'm thinking 20 would be a nice round number.  Will I continue to read them if Ms Evanovich writes another 10 - you betcha!

A quick fun read that's suitable for anyone from 15 to 85.

I'm sure many of you will recognise the title One for the Money from the new Katherine Heigl movie that came out this weekend.   Were the characters right?  Depends on who you ask.  Jason O'Mara grew on me as Morelli, but Daniel Sunjata just didn't cut it as Ranger and he talked to much, Babe!   Sherri Shepherd was too short for Lula, but the attitude was right, and Katherine Heigl was too tall and slim for Stephanie, but she too got the attitude.  I suspect though that fans of the books will watch it anyway, all the while moaning and groaning about its flaws.(Prime example here!) Was it fun - yes, was it Oscar material - never. Is it worth seeing, sure on half-price Tuesday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


Published:September 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 418
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Daughter of Smoke and Bone has had a lot of positive feedback, so much so that I found myself thinking, OK, it can't possibly be that good, right?  Wrong!  It really is that good, in fact it's better!
Ms Taylor writes so lyrically and with such feeling that time just flies  away while you are reading.
'As she walked, clock towers across Prague started argueing midnight, and the long, fraught Monday came at last to a close' (p56)
The two main protagonists, Karou and Akiva fit together - there's just something about them that seems right.
'Only for a split second did his mask slip, but Karou saw some urgent pathos surface, a wave of feeling that softened his rigid and ridiculously perfect features.' (p97)
It is very hard to pigeonhole Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  It's not paranormal in the regular sense of the word.  alternate universe - maybe, fantasy - possibly, romantic - definitely,  but, however you define it, it is a beautiful read. Everything else has already been said about it, and said well, so I'll just say, give yourself a  treat and try Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  You may be surprised, as I was,  but I doubt you'll be disappointed.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday February 10th



Feature and Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. This weeks question is:

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?


Definitely reading my fav book over and over again.  Why?  Because its my favourite book and I'm a bit obsessive like that... :)  Besides, I'd like to be able to quote my favourite passages word for word the same way some people do with movies.  Hey, we all need new skills.
- Christinabean


I've got to say, I agree with Christinabean here.  I'd just change it to the plural.  I don't have one favourite book, I have several, and as long as I had those, I'd be happy.  Re-reading an old favourite book is like meeting an old friend for coffee.  Within a few minutes you feel like you've come home. It's one of the best feelings in the world.
- Curlypow

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, February 9, 2012

Guest Post from Special K: Crossed by Ally Condie


Published: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 367
Copy: Library
Summary: GoodReads

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Crossed fell into that “Book Two” hole - it’s a way to deliver information we need for the series, and how we get from the exciting beginnings in Book One all the way over to the roll up to the big finale of Book Three (or Four or Five...).  Ms. Condie still gives us a stab at a story, and she introduces some interesting characters while we’re on that journey - but that’s really what this book is, a journey.
We left Cassia in Matched as she set out to find Ky - which got my hopes up that this would be a Two Towers (cheer for me, LOTR fans!)-esque epic journey to get to the final destination/battle. And while it makes a valiant effort, it fell a little flat for me.

It rolls in nicely after the first book. The writing is well done. The setting is a little lack lustre, but I don’t actually fault the author for that, since it’s appropriate. But, that’s all it really is - nice. However, Crossed has one redeeming quality.

Cassia experiences some real growth at the end of the novel. We finally see her moving forward (in character development...clearly she’s been moving forward in a physical place sense), and we are definitely left with some interesting questions at the end. We’re kept guessing, and waiting, and we won’t know until the next instalment where this is going. Cassia begins to emerge as a strong female role, while still playing to the love-triangle that we learn might be more than a love-triangle.

Overall, middle of the road for Crossed. But we were bound to read it because Matched was great, and it does an awesome job setting up for Matched #3.

A big thank you from Christinabean and myself to Special K for stepping into the breach these last few weeks and giving us some amazing reviews.  While I still want to read all the titles, I think I can put them a little further back on my TBR list for now. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Forgiven by Jana Oliver


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 -



Jana Oliver's third spellbinding Demon Trappers novel - following The Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief - brings all new thrills, as Riley Blackthorne takes on demons, love... and the future of the human race.


The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control: something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In Case You Missed It - The Quickening by Fiona McIntosh

For the sake of an imperiled kingdom, the line between "traitor" and "savior" must blur . . . and vanish."
Though barely a teenager, Wyl Thirsk must now assume the role he has been destined for since birth: commander of the Morgravian army -- an awesome responsibility that calls him to the royal palace of the crown prince Celimus. Already a cruel despot who delights in the suffering of others, Celimus enjoys forcing his new general to witness his depraved "entertainments." But a kindness to a condemned witch in her final, agonizing hours earns young Thirsk a miraculous bequest, while inflaming the wrath of his liege lord.
With war looming in the north, Wyl must obey Celimus's treacherous dictates and undertake a suicidal journey to an enemy court -- armed with a mysterious power that could prove both boon and curse. For unless he accepts Myrren's gift, it will surely destroy him . . . and the land he must defend.


The fate of nations hangs
in precarious balance
as a young soldier urgently
seeks answers to a
sinister blessing . . .

General Wyl Thirsk of Morgravia has seen his best friend slain, his sister tortured, and his mentor consigned to a certain death -- all at the sadistic whim of his sovereign, King Celimus. Now Celimus hungrily eyes the neighboring realm, Briavel, and its inexperienced Queen Valentyna, pressuring her into a doomed political marriage -- and thereby forcing Wyl's hand toward confrontation and treason, for only he can save the woman he loves from her hideous fate.
But destiny will send Wyl far from the evil machinations of the despicable king. And as war threatens from the north, where the hated King of the Barbarians plots against the south, Wyl must find the mysterious bestower of Myrren's gift in a bid to control the curse that has thrown his life into chaos . . . and is intricately and terrifyingly woven into the future of three realms.

General Wyl Thirsk of Morgravia has died many times . . .
But thanks to the miraculous gift bestowed upon him by the slain witch Myrren, Wyl lives on--though greatly altered and unrecognizable. Only by assuming Morgravia's throne will he be freed from the dark spell that has both cursed and sustained him.
But Wyl's time is running out. His beloved Queen Valentyna will soon be wed to his most hated enemy, the savage despot King Celimus--and despite the impending nuptials, war between their nations looms ominously, while the dire threat from the Mountain Kingdom grows stronger by the day. Trapped in a body that is not his own, Wyl must walk his most dangerous path yet--straight into the brutal clutches of his sadistic foe‚ in a last, desperate attempt to save his land, his love, his life . . . and his soul.


The first book in The Quickening trilogy came out in 2003, which isn't really that long ago, but  I suspect that most of our readers won't be aware of it.  Fiona McIntosh was born in England and now lives in Australia, so she is not a huge name over here in North America, which is a great pity, because she is an absolutely amazing writer. The trilogy was not marketed as YA, but the main protagonists are teenagers and the story is wonderful.   This is a fantasy with enough twists and turns to satisfy anyone, a romance that will curl your toes and a WTF, OMG and all those other acronyms, moment at the end of book one that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.  I can't praise this trilogy enough.  If you can find it, read it.  You won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In My Mailbox - February 6th



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.


Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.

She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her.


It's been a bit of a slow week, which is not a bad thing really.  It might give me time to get caught up!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix



Published: November 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 210
copy:  Library
Summary: Goodreads

In a war-torn future United States, fifteen-year-old Tessa, her childhood friend Gideon, now a traumatized military hero, and Dek, a streetwise orphan, enter enemy territory and discover the shocking truth about a war that began more than seventy-five years earlier.

 At just over 200 pages The Always War is a very quick read with the story moving at a fast pace.  A little thin on details for me, but there were one or two surprises that I didn't see coming.\

It was interesting to see how Tessa, Gideon and Dek were manipulated and how they arrived at their own conclusions - or so they think.  For me, the message in this book was that it is ok to ask questions.  We don't always have to follow along lilke sheep just because something has always been done a certain way. 

The world these characters live in seemed eerily plausible and frighteningly possible - a sentient coomputer that stays true to its programming - not so impobable these days, is it?  Not quite my usual genre, but an entertaining novel all the same. The Always War is a perfect dystopian novel for younger teens or reluctant readers.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Overbite by Meg Cabot


Published: July 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 278
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead. 

Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good ... at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love. 

Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, ├╝ber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy ... especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well. 

But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case. 

So why doesn't Meena — or Alaric — trust him? 

As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare ... and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist. 

This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.
Review:
Imagine being in love with an undead boyfriend while working for an organization that is trying to destroy him.  Once again Meg Cabot delivers a hilarious and outrageous supernatural read.  Her story is fun, intriguing, has action and romance.  It made me remember that not everything has to be so serious in life...  That includes your reading material!  If you're looking for something (a little over the top) that is light and fun to read, this is it.  If you need something a little more serious and vampire themed, you might want to try re-reading Dracula by Bram Stoker.


One last thing about this book...I did find that it ended rather abruptly and that the ending was not as developed as I was hoping.  The book was entertaining but the ending did leave me a little flat...kind of like a good movie whose budget ran short at the end.

Overbite is book #2 in the Insatiable series.  I wasn't sure if I was prepared to read it since Book #1 took such a bizarre twist at the end of the story.  However, I love Meg Cabot.  She's like a girl's best friend when it comes to book writing and whenever I'm in the mood for something fun and less serious, she is in my lighter read book "arsenault" (hee hee).  Plus, she has a wicked sense of humor.  Start with Insatiable then try Overbite.  Be prepared to be entertained for awhile, laugh a little, roll your eyes, enjoy the ridiculousness and stop taking yourself so seriously.  You know, it could be worse.  Your ex-boyfriend might be "nibbling" your neck the next time you meet up....



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