Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Published: August 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 316
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Review:
I've been meaning to read this for such a long time and happened across a copy on Google Books for only $3.99 so I purchased it on my phone.  I'm so easily influenced!  Turns out, it was a great purchase!  There is a reason why Kendare Blake won so many awards last year for this title.  She has won the YALSA 2012 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults and was nominated for a Cybil Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction for Young Adults in 2011.  Goodness that's a lot of recognition for such a young writer!

Anna Dressed in Blood certainly held an A+ for creep factor.  It was like reading Supernatural for teens at one point (minus two older hunky men).  If you enjoy scary titles and can handle the gruesome and violent, this one should be to your liking.  I would caution younger readers because of the content and also the language.  It is freakishly scary but very enjoyable.  Kendare Blake has a wicked sense of sarcastic humor and an oh so elegant way of presenting it. 

"There's a blue light special on territorial jock in aisle four. "

We follow Cas through his newest Ghostbusting adventure in Thunder Bay, Ontario (go figure). Where he has a terrible time trying to rid the town of one of it's ghosts?  Why?  Because he's falling for her.  Take a little horror, mystery, swirl in some romance and bang!  You have Anna Dressed in Blood.  As the story progresses, the reader finds out why Anna is haunting her old home and how her story meshes with Cas's own story.  It's a read I would highly recommend, especially this summer before book #2 comes out in August.

***Warning - Spoiler**

As a girl, how does Carmel NOT notice that Cas has a thing for Anna?  Isn't it obvious?  Yes, it is odd having  a crush on someone who is dead...

Also, how is it that he can reach out and touch her?  My impression is that a ghost would be transparent rather than solid.

Lastly, what's up with the Dasani water references?

**Spoilers end**

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) is expected to come out in August 2012.  Please say hi if you see me waiting in line.  :D  I may just have a new favourite series here....



Hey, have you checked out our Canada Day Blog Hop yet?  We are giving away a copy of either - The Calling by Kelley Armstrong or Starling by Lesley Livingston.  This contest is international.  What are you waiting for??

Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday




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:

Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out from you cake...who is it and what book are they from??

I think my answer will have to be Jace from the Mortal Instruments series.  He's just so....so...ummm...yummy?  I love his sense of humor (as ridiculous as it is) and his sensitivity (as infrequently as it is shown).  He acts like a cad but is really a teddy bear...Happy Hopping!!

- Christinabean

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.



One last thing, if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out our Canada Day Blog Hop!  We are doing an international giveaway.  Your choice of either The Calling by Kelley Armstrong or Starling by Lesley Livingston!  Contest ends July 1st!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canada Day Blog Hop - June 28 - July 1st


Welcome to the 2nd Annual Canada Day Blog Hop!


We are giving away your choice of The Calling, Book #2 of the Darkness Rising series
OR
Starling by Lesley Livingston  (when it is out in August)

YOUR CHOICE!

Book will be sent from The Book Depository 
Contest is open Internationally
You must be a follower to enter. 

This contest is now closed! Check back for our winner!
A special thank you goes out to 

Chrystal (from 
Snowdrop Dreams of Books)
Carmel (from 
Rabid Reads)
and Aislynn (from 
Stitch Read Cook)

Thank you ladies for hosting this blog hop again for a second year in a row!! Now that you've checked out our giveaway, be sure to enter a giveaway from one of our fellow Canadians listed below!


Each blog will host their own giveaway - Canada themed of course! (Could be a book about Canada, by a Canadian author, a lovely Canadian themed prize, etc)
Giveaway's will run from June 28th to July 1st

Sign-up to participate and host a Canada themed giveaway:
1. Aislynn @ Stitch - Read - Cook (US/CAN)  25. Gwenyth @ Rants~N~Scribbles  
2. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books (Int)  26. Rhiannon Paille (YA Author)  
3. Carmel @ Rabid Reads (Int)  27. Roxanne  
4. Michele @ Just a Lil Lost (Int)  28. Megan  
5. FireStarBooks (Int)  29. Monica (aka monnibo)  
6. Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads (Int)  30. The Paperback Princesses (Int)  
7. rachel @a fair substitute for heaven  31. Ambur @ Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright  
8. Wendy @ A Cupcake and a Latte (Int)  32. Wag the Fox: a den for dark fiction  
9. Julie @ Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks (CAN)  33. Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf  
10. Zrinka Jelic-Romance Powered by history  34. Dani Harper, PNR author, (INTL)  
11. Kristen @ My Bookish Fairy Tale  35. Musings of a YA Reader  
12. Evie @Bookish (Canada)  36. Emilie's Book World (INT)  
13. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth (Int'l)  37. Esther's Ever After (INTERNATIONAL)  
14. Darlene @ Darlene's Book Nook (Int)  38. Cassay  
15. Proserpine @ Proserpine Craving Books (Can/Intl)  39. Workaday Reads (US/Can)  
16. Bob @ Beauty in Ruins  40. SweetMarie83 @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer (INT)  
17. Nina @ Brown Paper (US/Can)  41. Jen @ Perogies & Gyoza (Intl)  
18. Christa @ Hooked on Books (Intl)  42. Anna @ Dolce Pazzia  
19. Lisa @ Cold Moon Violet Books  43. Freda @ Freda's Voice (US/CAN)  
20. Giselle from BookNerd  44. Jeremy Bates Books  
21. AH@Badass Book Reviews  45. Cait @Escape Through the Pages (Int)  
22. Chapter by Chapter  46. Nicole @ Nicole About Town (Int)  
23. Amanda @Stuck In YA Books  47. Danya @ A Tapestry of Words  
24. Tana@ Tana Rae Reads  48. Julia @ Ink, Paper & Imagination  




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - June 27th

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




This week is a 3 times as nice as these are the newest titles coming out next week.  Once is Book #2 in the Eve series.  Team Human is by the writing team of Justine Larbalestier (best known for Liar) and Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon series).  Lastly, Tiger Lily sounds like an interesting story based on the story of Peter Pan, before he met Wendy and fell in love with Tiger Lily.  Ahhh...love triangles.  Love them or hate them.  They always keep things interesting.... 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Musings by Knitwits - Beyond Knit and Purl by Kate Atherly review and giveaway.


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: 2012
Publisher: Cooperative Press
Pages: 131
Copy: From Author

This month it is especially fun to review  a book where I know the author.  Only a little bit, mind you, but it does add a different dimension.  I first met Kate a few years ago when we were both working the Creativ Festival in Toronto at the booth for 'A Needle Pulling Thread'.  ANPT is a wholely Canadian magazine that highlights Canadian designers who work with any type of needle and thread/wool.  Kate is the knitting editor for the publication. ( I contribute embroidery designs, in case you're wondering.)

Kate has offered me many knitting tips over the years (how to knit entrelac being my favourite) and when I found out that she was branching out with her own book I was really excited to see it. To my surprise I couldn't find it - because her first print run sold out so quickly, it turns out.  I was thrilled when she agreed to let me review  her book and even more thrilled when I actually saw it.

Kate has produced a book that takes knitting absolutely back to the basics and then expands from there. Divided into 11 chapters, each one is well thought out and easy to follow.  Chapter 1 Choosing a pattern; 2 Prepping for success; 3. Working from a pattern; 4 What patterns don't tell you; 5 Frequently asked questions; 6 Shaping; 7  In the round; 8 Socks; 9 Cables; 10 Lace; 11 Colourwork

The first few chapters give advice and how to's with lots of Quick Tips, Knitterly Advice and Dirty Secrets. There are an abundance of charts detailing things from different needle sizes to what to knit next after a scarf. The one thing I was very aware of as I was reading Beyond Knit and Purl is that Kate does not assume that you know what she's talking about.  She explains things as if you are finding out for the first time, but she manages to do it in such a way that the knitter will never feel talked down to.  Nothing is too small to be explained, and explained in clear, precise language that even the absolute beginner can understand.

The second half of the book goes into a little more detail about stitches and projects.  There are an abundance of clear, close-up pictures that make it easy to see and understand what is being explained. Oh and there are patterns.  Several of them in fact, that illustrate each technique that is explained.  Each new technique has a very simple pattern for you to try out first, before moving on to something a little more complex.  How about practicing your knitting in the round by making a cat toy first, then going on to a slouchy hat and wrist warmers? Start sock knitting with a training sock, big enough for a baby or doll, before you tackle a full size sock, toe-up or top-down, your choice. Want to try cables, try a coffee cup cozy.  Lace? How about a simple scarf and then move onto a shawl.

Really, with Beyond Knit and Purl, the sky's the limit.  I have been knitting for a long time, but I have to admit that I learned several new tips from the book and I'm very proud to recommend it to anyone who is thinking about picking up needles for the first time, or who's been knitting for a while and is ready to branch out into new territory.  It's the quintessential reference book for knitters and should be on every shelf.

Kate has been kind enough to offer up a digital copy of Beyond Knit and Purl for one of our lucky readers.  If you think you'd like a copy, leave a comment with your email address and we'll pick a winner in 2 weeks.  Good luck.

If you can't wait, the second printing is now available and you should  find a copy of Beyond Knit and Purl at most local yarn stores, Knitpicks.com and http://www.cooperativepress.com/shop/ for physical and digital copies..

Knitterly Advice: If in doubt, ask another knitter - you'd be surprised how happy 99.9% of knitters are to be helpful and share their experience - Susan Clifton, knitter.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - June 25th


Stacking the Shelves allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received. 

Hey there, Curlypow here.  This week I picked up some interesting titles from the library:





I haven't heard much about the first two, and I've already finished the third one - a very quick read.  Keep an eye out for the reviews.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shout out to Indies


We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaring EVERY SECOND SUNDAY our SHOUT OUT TO INDIES MEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule. We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting. Lastly, for you readers, this is a bit of a test so please do comment and let us know what you think. We will also be offering up giveaway copies whenever we can! So without further ado, here are this week's picks -



Publication date: May 2012

On his sixteenth birthday Daniel Henstock's parents are murdered and he discovers that his life, so far, has been a lie. He's been genetically engineered and those responsible want him back.

To survive Daniel has to run. And run hard. But it was never going to be easy or simple.

When his liberator is captured Daniel returns and puts his life on the line to re-pay the debt.



Expected publication date: September 2012

Revenge doesn't have a name, but has chosen a victim--Shamira. But she's never been the type to lie down and let someone hurt her family or her friends. In order to find the mastermind behind the threat to all she cares about, she must give up the one person who's found his way into her guarded heart, Valens. Valens refuses to back off easily, and neither will Shamira's friends. They join forces with her in order to deal with a new enemy who seeks to kill everyone in Shamira's life that dared save the missing kids on Mars.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta


Published: July 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Pages: 368
Copy: Courtesy of publisher and Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads


When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?


I have been following Ms Acosta's blog for quite some time and I was delighted when she started talking about writing a YA book. Having read some of her adult fiction, Dark Companion was a wonderful surprise for me.  She maintains her trademark humour, but the story was just a bit different.

The story evolves slowly, but maintains a high level of interest, partly because of the stellar character development.  Jane is a prickly orphan who is trying to find her feet amongst a group of strangers.  She is both strong and vulnerable and although she has street smarts, there is a niaivity to her that is remarkably compelling.  One of my favourite characters is Mary Violet, or MV, who has a severe case of verbal diahhrea and had me in hoots.  I just loved her. We have two seriously hunky guys in the mix, brothers by family if not by birth, and totally different.  Lucky is spoilt and self-centred and a little mysterious.  Jack is flippant and funny but with depth, and he has become my new favourite book boyfriend. I would like to meet him very much!

I loved the way that the tension slowly builds in Dark Companion.  Nothing truly overt, but the menace simmers below the surface.  I was taken completely by surprise by the 'bad guy' - did not see it coming at all.  Well done Ms Acosta, it's not often that happens.  Ms Acosta handles an overworked genre with a new take and it was very well done.  One of the things is felt at the beginning was a little bit of a comparison to Jane Eyre, and I have since read on Ms Acosta's Goodreads blogpage, that I wasn't far off. A dark gothic feel overall adds to the little bit of mystery and with the addition of a little bit of magic we have a lot of reading fun.  I loved every minute of it. Highly recommended.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Follow Friday



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:

If you could "unread" a book, which ones would it be?  Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

When I think of "unreading" a book, I think of a book that I wasn't enjoying...and getting that time back.  If I were going to start over and experience a book again, I'd just re-read it (which I have done before).  I hate to say it but for me that  "unread" book would be Libba Bray's Beauty Queens.  I was totally looking forward to this read and I couldn't even finish the first 50 pages without getting distracted by something else.  What makes me sad is that I'll never get that time back...sigh....wish I felt differently about it but it just wasn't meant to be. 

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 21, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass



Published: April 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


Wow! This book has been on the YA Lit radar for sometime, with the rights for TV and movie options floating around (they have been grabbed by Warner Bros. if IMDB can be trusted) before the book had even been released! That mixed with the stunning cover, meant that the book had a big reputation to live up to. And I of course, am a sucker.

For those who haven't heard all the buzz, The Selection is exactly what it sounds like: a wonderful mix of The Hunger Games and Beauty Queens, or The Bachelor and Survivor for our TV-minded friends. Despite the clear sources of inspiration, Kiera Cass has stepped into the authoring world with her best foot forward, and weaves a dazzling story with characters you cheer for, and have your heart break for. Despite my dislike of our heroine’s name (America…although Ms. Cass gave me a legitimate reason for her being named so…which made me hate it a little less), she is a character I can relate with on so many levels it was a little scary at first: strong, and while confused, she doesn’t make decisions rashly that make you question her character. Heartthrob Aspen is a little harder to wrap your head around (I can’t understand his way of thinking…which is hard to explain without spoilers), but he is a heartthrob, so we’ll let him get away with it. Prince Maxon is absolutely wonderful, and he performs up to The Bachelor standards, kissing girls despite not-quite-made declarations to others. Add that to the rise from a not-quite-destitute setting, to the lavish descriptions of the palace and dresses that sound like they are to die for. All in all, despite being yet another book with a girl-in-gorgeous-dress cover (I thought I was done with this trend), The Selection’s stunning outside is mirrored by a stunning debut on the inside.

I stayed up past my bedtime to finish this book off (I got through this in 2 days, which is an amazing feat with my schedule), and was heart broken! A huge cliffhanger means I have way too long to wait for book two. And trust me, this will be a book I go out to buy so I can devour it ASAP. And I truly believe that if you love YA, you’ll feel the same way.

Many thanks to Special K for todays review.  We love you 'K'

Little Free Library


On the way to school in the mornings, I often pass a house with this cute little red box out in front.  Last week I drove up to the box to see what it was.  To my surprise, it was a LITTLE FREE LIBRARY.  A little free library is exactly how it sounds.  Books can be left or taken, notes and cards can be left as well.  I looked up more information online and found that this phenomenon was happening all over North America.  Check out this website - Little Free Library to find out more and even order your own book shed.  Isn't this a great way to pay it forward and connect with your neighbours??  Kudos to the people who started this project!  There is also an interactive map to see if there is a Little Free Library in your area!

p.s. Once we get back on our feet again in a new home, I am SO going to do this!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Breaking Dawn video



A new Breaking Dawn trailer was released just a few hours ago...enjoy!

Waiting on Wednesday - June 20th

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


Jodi Picoult and her daughter are paving their way into the YA section with this new release.  Hope it has the same twists so popular with Jodi's adult audience!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Winner of Goddess Interrupted


Congrats to our newest winner of Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Kristin B!!!

Great win Kristin!  We will be contacting you shortly via email and the publisher will be sending out your title.  Thanks for following the Paperback Princesses!  Our next giveaway will be the Canada Day Blog Hop in a couple weeks.  Stay tuned!!

Fantastic Fairytales - Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey


Published: October 2011
Publisher: Luna
Pages:329
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella--Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant--vows to escape the usual pitfalls.

Anxious to avoid the Traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf--who turns out to be a cursed nobleman Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh--when he isn't howling at the moon.

Breaking spells is never easy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he's only an occasional werewolf) and a little godmotherly interference might just be able to bring about a happy ending....

Beauty and the Werewolf is the 6th book in Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series.  Each book in the series is based on a fairytale, and in this case, obviously, the fairytale is Beauty and the Beast - my favourite.

Ms Lackey has crafted a delightful fantasy with a feisty Beauty and a sweet and lovable Beast, well most of the time, anyway.  What makes this tale different is the addition of an extra antagonist, who has more sides to him than can be counted and who I found myself loving and hating in equal measure.

What I particularly enjoyed about this version of the story are the nods to Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.  Beauty has a stepmother and two stepsisters and goes to visit Granny in the woods wearing her red cape.  So much fun! Then there are the magic mirrors and mysterious servants in the mirror, a la Snow White. And don't forget the invisible servants! Add in a pinch of Tradition and Ms Lackey takes the traditional tale and twists it this way and that to produce an entrancing story that I finished in one day and loved every minute of.

Fairytale lovers, if you haven't yet encountered Ms Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms, then give yourself a treat and search them out.  They shouldn't be too hard to find.

1.The Fairy Godmother
2. One Good Knight
3. Fortune's Fool
4. The Snow Queen
5. The Sleeping Beauty
6. Beauty and the Werewolf

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - June 18th


We have decided to switch our regular Monday meme from In My Mailbox to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga's Reviews.  It is a new meme hosted by Tynga and seems to suit our needs better.  Plus of course, we love to support our fellow Canadians.
Stacking the Shelves allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received. 

Because my TBR pile is so huge and I am trying to be more environmentally responsible, I only added one book to my shelves this week and its in e-book format.


I'm so psyched to read this...of course I do need to finish reading the books I have on the go right now though (Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Changeling by Philippa Gregory, Surrender by Elena Johnson and Passion by Lauren Kate)!

Curlypow here, I just thought I'd add my 2 cents worth - today I picked up these two from the library


Can't wait to read both of them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Insignia by S J Kincaid


Published: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 444
Copy: Courtesy of publisher and Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?

Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.


Insignia was an interesting and exciting story that takes a few 'what if' questions and runs with them.  What if big corporations become more important than governments?  What if wars are fought not by countries, but by individuals plugged into computers.  What if teenagers are the only ones whose brains can handle the computer interface.  Scary concepts right?

Well S J Kincaid has made all  of these concepts alarmingly plausible.  Tom Raines find himself at a training academy where he plugs himself into a computer every night to download his homework.  His brain can be controlled by programs and things are definitely not what they seem. The idea that some other person could tell my brain to make me bark like a dog, or eat grass both fascinated and terrified me. 

Intelligent, believable characters help to make Insignia intriguing and fast paced and not all of the situations were beyond the realms of possibility. Insignia was one of those books that kept getting better the more you read.  The tension ratchets up slowly, the character development builds and the whole thing was fun to read.  I've noticed since I finished reading that the book has stayed with me and I find myself thinking about direct human/computer interfaces at odd times and I shudder.  Not a concept that I'm looking forward to at all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad


Published: April 2012 (originally published 2008)
Publisher: Atom
Pages: 355
Copy: Personal
Summary: Goodreads


It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2—a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world.


But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now—a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun. . .

I picked up 172 Hours on the Moon at the bookstore in Manchester airport on my way back from vacation.  I wasn't too sure what it was about, but it was the only title there that I didn't remember seeing before in Canada, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Turns out it was originally published in Norwegian in 2008.  172 Hours on the Moon was an interesting if somewhat odd story that intrigued me enough that I kept going. 

Its a sci-fi thriller really, and there aren't that many of them in YA, which is what attracted me to it in the beginning.  The first thing that struck me is that none of the 3 main protagonists is from the US.  It seemed a little strange at first.  3 very different teenagers are chosen by lottery and we follow their journey before, during and after take-off to the moon. 

The story is written from 3 different POV's - each of the kids, which adds dimension and was interesting to follow.  There is a major conspiracy going on that the kids are unaware of and there are some strange goings on even before they actually make it to the moon.  At one point I wasn't too sure if I was going to finish it, but things started to get interesting and decidedly creepy.  What makes 172 Hours worth reading in my mind are the last half dozen chapters.  I know that might sound a little weird, but the ending makes it all worth while.

While I wouldn't recommend rushing out and ordering it immediately, it is worth picking up if you get the chance.  It will probably surprise you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Follow Friday


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:

Happy Father's Day!  Who's your favourite dad character in a book and why?

Hmmm...this is a toughie.   There haven't been many books recently where parental figures are prominent.  If I had to choose one, I'd say Sirius Black in Harry Potter.  True, he wasn't Harry's real dad but he certainly cared for Harry in a way that Harry hadn't experienced before and Sirius was the only clear tie to his family.  Sirius could tell stories about his parents and understood him.  Plus, he was pretty cool.....

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 14, 2012

Surrender - by Elena Johnson


Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....

Today I'd like to talk about a new book by Elana Johnson entitled Surrender.  It is book #2 in the Possession series.  Imagine a Dystopian/Sci Fi novel where everything is about control.  I purchased this title online from kobobooks.com (I seem to be buying fewer paper copies.  Sorry Chapters!) and have been reading it on my phone on the way to work.  I'm not quite ready to do the review yet but Elana has a Never Surrender blogfest happening.  She is challenging everyone to tell a story about a time when you didn't surrender.

I'm not sure if this would be considered as "never surrendering" but it was certainly a challenge for me.  In September 2010 my Mom was diagnosed with ALS.  Her health deteriorated very rapidly.  By February 2011 she was unable to move anything below the neck.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the disease, it is also called Lou Gehrig's disease.  No one knows what causes it, there is no cure and it affects people in different ways.  Most of the time it causes your muscles to stop working.  I made the incredibly hard decision to move across country to spend time with her, taking my daughter (aged 3) with me and leaving my husband behind to work.  I was granted a year's leave from my own job.  We had to sell our house and share a room (both of us) in the basement at my sister's house.   As the year progressed, my Mom's condition actually worsened.  Eventually she was unable to speak and had trouble eating.  I spent most days feeding her, spending time with her her and talking with her when I could to give my Dad a break. He's in his 70's and wanted to keep her comfortable at home.  Imagine how difficult things were for him looking after my Mom 24/7 at his age.  In December 2011, she was having difficulty chewing, swallowing and even breathing.  Once diagnosed, most patients have between 2 - 5 years to live.  My mom hung on for 18 months.  She passed away just after Christmas.  Never surrendering to me means that even when things feel like they are at their lowest, you just take it one day at a time.  I came across an interesting fortune recently.  If you want the rainbow, you'll have to put up with the rain.  I'm expecting a huge freaking rainbow once my life settles down again.  Although difficult, the last 5 months with my Mom was worth the heartache.  Not only did I get to spend time with her but she was also able to get to know her granddaughter a little and I was able to teach my daughter the importance of family.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - June 13

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


Here's one that I know will be on Curlypow's TBR list.  Louise Rennison is like a reader's laugh your ass off author.  A Midsummer Tights Dream is book #2 in the Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series.  Have you read Withering Tights yet?   

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let's Hear It For the Boys - Invisible Sun by David MacInnis Gill



Published: March 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 370
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Obsessed with MUSE, the clandestine project that created the AI in his brain, mercenary chief Durango draws the ire of the government when he steals part of the secret project data and hightails it with his lieutenant, Vienne, to an ancient monastery. There, he meets the monks who raised Vienne from an orphan and also encounters soldiers working for his old nemesis, the crime lord Mr. Lyme. Lyme controls the territory surrounding the monastery, as well as the datacenters housing the rest of MUSE.

Undeterred, Durango and Vienne pull off an ill-advised raid on Lyme’s complex. During the ensuing battle, however, Vienne is captured, and Durango is beaten and left for dead. Now, wounded and shaken, Durango must overcome bounty hunters, treacherous terrain, a full scale civil war, and a warrior monk with an eye for vengeance (not to mention his own guilt, self-doubt, and broken arm) to find Vienne and free her from Archibald, a brain-washing pyromaniac with a Napoleon complex who wants to rule Mars--and kill Durango in the process.


Back in February of last year I reviewed Black Hole Sun, the prequel to Invisible Sun.  It was one of my 'loved it But...' reviews.  I did enjoy it enough to jump at the chance to read Invisible Sun when I saw it at the library, and I am so glad I did.  It was great - no buts this time around.  For me this definitely did NOT fall into the second in series slump.  I was sucked in from the first line -

'Vienne points the gun, squeezes the trigger, and fires a live round square into my chest.'

- and loved every minute until the very last page.There is high octane action, grin inducing humour, heart stopping tension and a wonderfully kick-ass hero and heroine. 

Mr MacInnis Gill does not hold back on the violence, but it never seemed gratuitous.  Durango and Vienne are trying to find out more about MUSE and nothing seems to be going their way.  This Mars is gritty, inhospitable and extremely dangerous and just about anything can, and does, happen.  There is more filling in of backstory this time around - which I thought was missing in Black Hole Sun - and we find out a little more about the main characters.  I'm thinking Durango is a little more than 17, but I'm still not sure.  Must do some investigation here - the Mars years don't seem to correspond to ours and there is talk of him being 'year nine'!  Vienne is just so tough and hard-core, but we get a glimpse of a slightly softer side - for about 2 minutes.

I get the impression that Black Hole Sun was started as a stand-alone, but Invisible Sun - called the 'companion' to BHS - ends very definitely set up for a sequel and I for one cannot wait for the continuing adventures Shadow on the Sun (Spring 2013).  You don't need to have read the first to read this one, but it doesn't hurt.  I'm sure you'll enjoy them both.

Check out the webpage   I just love the new artwork.

Monday, June 11, 2012

In My Mailbox - June 11th

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.

Got this one from the library this week, can't wait to read it.

These two I added to my personal library to finish up sets:


And this one I got for review - check out the giveaway at the end of the month on our Musings by Knitwits post on the 26th.



That's about it for me this week.  I don't know what Christinabean picked up.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shout out to Indies


We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaring EVERY SECOND SUNDAY our SHOUT OUT TO INDIES MEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule. We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting. Lastly, for you readers, this is a bit of a test so please do comment and let us know what you think. We will also be offering up giveaway copies whenever we can! So without further ado, here are this week's picks -



An Island that Shouldn't Exist...
A Life He Didn't Know...
A Destiny That Can't Be Escaped

There was no turning back. We were going to set into motion a revolution that could either save Atlantis or leave it destroyed in the process.

Sixteen-year-old Trey Atlas' known life is a lie. While he was raised in Miami, Trey was actually born in Atlantis. Sent off the legendary island as a baby for his own safety, Trey is the only living heir to the Atlantean throne. Whether he likes it or not, Trey has to go back to his birthplace and accept his role as the Ruling Prince and lead the revolution to defeat the Knights of the Abyss. Otherwise, thousands of innocent lives and his true family legacy could be lost forever.





The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional
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