Thursday, February 28, 2013

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison review and giveaway

 
Published: Feb 12th, 2013
Publisher: Egmont
Pages: 336
Copy: Publisher via Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.


I have to be honest, when I started Notes from Ghost Town, I wasn't too sure about it.  I was hovering on the will I/won't I finish it line - but then something caught me and I started reading at a rate of knots and I couldn't get enough of it.  I think it was when I realised that things weren't quite as straightforward as they seemed and the mystery started to get deeper. 

Olivia is heartbroken after the death of her best friend Stern and she is struggling to cope with all the changes in her life.  She was more or less a typical teenager and I found it fairly easy to relate to her, but two things bothered me though - why would she not tell anyone about her colour blindness and the way she just kept blowing off work?  The first just seem silly, and the second completely irresponsible.  To be honest, as I continued to read, the reasons for keeping her disability to herself came to make sense, but I still don't like the way she behaved over work - sorry, that may just be a motherly thing on my part though, but I don't think so. 

Austin is the new love interest here and I kinda sorta had a love/hate relationship with him.  Evemtually though, his character really grew on me and my final decision is definitely positive where he is concerned.  There is a lovely twist with his character that I should have seen coming but I didn't - 10 Things I Hate About You anyone?

In the end, I was really glad that I stuck with Notes From Ghost Town.  It was a mysterious, romantic, heartbreaking ghost story that kept me guessing almost until the very end.  Give it a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The Paperback Princesses are lucky enough to be able to offer our readers a chance to win a hardcopy of Notes From Ghost Town and a paperback copy of The Butterfly Clues.  Thank you so much to Egmont USA. Try your luck -

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Kate's blog:
 
Don't forget that we ALSO have a giveaway going on for a copy of Jennifer Lynn Barne's Nobody &; Every Other Day. ENTER HERE NOW.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Fragments by Dan Wells


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

Summary (by Goodreads)

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.

I didn't get a chance to read book #1 but now is a good time to jump into the series now that Book #2 is out and its predecessor received great reviews.

Don't forget that we have a giveaway going on for a copy of Jennifer Lynn Barne's Nobody & Every Other Day. ENTER HERE NOW.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Musings by Knitwits - Mollie Makes magazine


Christinabean here.  It has been a long time since I contributed to Musings as Curlypow seems to read more craft books nowadays than I do but I wanted to share a special magazine that I love to treat myself to every now and then.  

Mollie Makes is a UK mag all about arts and crafts.  They have excellent articles on makers from all different genres.  Often these articles are accompanied by photos of an artist's workshop or home.  I LOVE to see how people collect and organize their materials.  It fascinates me how some can collect so much stuff/materials/fabric/vintage supplies for our projects and organize it in a neat, user-friendly fashion.  I need to learn how to do that!



As a UK import, we always seem to be one issue behind what is current.  Usually they come with a small project with materials included or some interesting freebie attached to the front cover.  This month they've included a Travelcard wallet (translation for us North Americans, a credit card holder).  The kit includes fabric, ribbon and plastic along with instructions.  Cool eh?

On occasion  I will visit their website to see what the upcoming mag has to offer and check out any other free tutorials they have posted.  The issue I picked up last week has a cute article on how to make this adorable pair of felties.  When I'm feeling a little blue and antsy, I find thumbing through this magazine inspiring.  It helps me get my craft on again and reminds me that even if I only have an hour to make something, I can still complete a small yet satisfying project.

Another thing to note is that Mollie Makes is available online.  That includes current issues as well as back issues.  I've found that they are almost 1/2 of the price of the print copy and you can download the patterns.  Of course, you also miss out on the covermount items (projects) normally attached to the printed version.

If you are interested in Making, Thrifting, Collecting and/or Crafting, you'll appreciate this magazine...and perhaps even look into buying the older issues online, like I have!

Don't forget that we have a giveaway going on for a copy of Jennifer Lynn Barne's Nobody & Every Other Day.  ENTER HERE NOW.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - February 25


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


I couldn't wait for this one to come out.  Unfortunately, the shipment to my nearest store was late and didn't arrive until close to noon.  Lucky for me, they cracked open a new box so I could make their first Indigo Spell purchase for the day! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shout Out to Indies - Shadow Eyes by Dusty Crabtree, Blog Tour and Guest Post

 
 
 


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 is this week's pick -

 
Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be
 
The Paperback Princesses are proud to be part of the blog tour for Dusty Crabtree's new book Shadow Eyes.  We asked Dusty why she chooses to write for the Young Adult audience.
 

Thank you for hosting me on your Shout Out Sunday, ladies! I’m not exactly an “Indie” author, but I do come from a smaller press – Musa Publishing, so I appreciate what you do for us authors!

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes, your full name in the sequel, and a KINDLE FIRE!)

So about the question – Why young adult urban fantasy?

Let’s start with, “Why urban fantasy?” I’ve actually loved these types of books ever since I read Twilight. Yes, I said it…I’m a Twilight fan. Although I have since fallen in love with several other series that I think are better written (Hush Hush and Fallen are two of my favorites), I still owe my love of YA urban fantasy to Twilight.

There is something unique and intriguing about the idea of having a fairly normal life (unlike in straight fantasy, such as Harry Potter) but with paranormal people, elements, and events. I think that because everything else in the main character’s world is basically normal, it’s easy to identify with her or him. The result is getting to vicariously experience all of the crazy, fantastical things the main character experiences, and I love that!

So why young adult? I’m almost thirty now (shhh, don’t tell anyone), so I know I could very easily write adult urban fantasy. There is definitely a market for that as well. But I think I’ll stick with the teen audience, and there are several reasons why.

For one thing, I have a feeling my writing would be too, um…how do I say this?...tame and pure to be considered adult urban fantasy.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, by no means is Shadow Eyes completely PG and I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it to someone under 13, but the overall feel of it is, well…more pure. You’ll have to read it to know what I mean.

For another thing, I’m a high school teacher and youth sponsor at my church, so I feel like I know teens well enough to be able to relate to them. Plus, I get enough exposure to teens to gather inspiration and to, I hope, make my writing and dialogue authentic.

Lastly, since I do teach high school and have committed to being a youth sponsor, you can probably surmise that I have a passion for teens. I truly want to touch their lives, whether it’s helping them get through difficult times, giving them hope when they feel there is none, or simply giving them an enjoyable, inspiring book to read. Whatever the case, I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to write for teens and, in a way, play a small part in their still impressionable lives.

.


A Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out Dusty’s blog at http://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/
Find her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dusty.crabtree.1
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/dustycrabtree
Buy Shadow Eyes at http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=176
(also available at all major online bookstores)

Thanks Dusty for joining us today.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Blog Tour - Review and Giveaway



Published: January 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Egmont
Pages: 400
Copy: From Publisher
Summary: Goodreads


There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.


This book just blew me away.  I LOVED it in every way.  It is a mysterious thriller with a thrilling mystery that starts with a bang and does not let go.   I honestly can't think of anything I didn't enjoy about this book.  Nix and Claire are just so absolutely perfect for each other in every way, it is not so much a romance, more an inevitable collision of forces.  I found myself wondering how lonely it must be to go through life totally unnoticed. I felt so sad for both of them, that it was almost a relief that they find each other.  And the great play on words with Nix's name - he is a nothing, a nobody, a zero, and to nix something is to remove it from existence, to veto it - very cleverly done.

Nobody is hard to describe.  It is not quite a paranormal, not quite a mystery, not quite a thriller, but it is one of the most engrossing books I've read in a while. There is a breathlessness to the narrative that just kept me reading without a break - so much so I was almost late for work! As I was reading I was reminded in a very small way of the movie 'Wanted'.  Not so much because of the characters, but more because of the secret society that trains assassins.  It's not a strong resemblance, but it was there, for me anyway.

What more can I tell you?  Great, believable characters with heart, intriguing situations and a fantastic new world.  Buy it, read it, love it.


As part of the blog tour, we are lucky enough to be able to offer a fantastic giveaway. You will be entering for  one hardcover copy of Nobody and the new paperback release of Every Other Day, which pubs on the same day as Nobody (January 22nd).  Good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just in case you're interested, here are a few links for you to check out.
Two videos featuring Jen talking about Every Other Day, which is releasing in paperback on January 22, the same day as Nobody:
 

 
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Follow Friday



Friday 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 wil answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –

We always talk about books that WE want. Let’s turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?


It has been a long time since I've given a book as they are so individual.  To me, I feel like books are similar to giving perfume.  You really have to know the individual before you give away something so personal.  The last time I gave a book away, I was looking through my shelf for a title appropriate for my friend's pre-teen daughter.  She made away with a few YA books including Fallen by Lauren Kate and a signed copy of Inara Scott's - The Candidates (original cover).  She got hooked on two new series and I had a new admirer. :)

Curlypow here. Just thought I'd add my 2C worth - for me, I kind of give books away every day when I recommend a title at work.  Working in a library is wonderful that way and I am always happy when I see customers come back with a smile asking for something else by that same author.  One of my favourites lately has been a 12 year old boy who is reluctant to read and because of my 'gentle suggestion' is now on no 8 of the Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan.  How cool is that? And to make it even better he has convinced his Dad to read the series too.  I love my job.


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 21, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White




Published: February 19th, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 256
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.


The title of this story is so totally apt - the whole book is one mind game after another - that I can't imagine why the Brits changed the title to 'Sister Assassin'.  Well, I guess it makes sense too, but I don't like it as much.  Just saying ....

Anyway, with that out of the way, I can tell you that Mind Games was incredibly clever, fast-paced and intriguing. There is an amazing display of sibling loyalty between Fia and Annie.  Both are constantly manipulated and used against each other, but they stay true in their own ways.  The strange myterious 'bad' guy - Mr Keane - makes you extremely unsure of just exactly whose side James is on.  Is he good, or bad?  At the end of the book I still wasn't sure.

I did find myself getting a bit annoyed with the constant repetition of words, but I fully understand that they are used to highlight the confusion and instability of Fia's mind, and as such it was very successful.  I'm sure that it won't bother younger readers nearly as much as it did me.  For those of you who read and loved the Paranormalcy series, Mind Games is absolutely nothing like it at all.  It's faster paced, edgier, grittier and altogether more disturbing.  I loved it!

Btw, which cover/title do you prefer:



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Mind Games by Kiersten White

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


Summary (By Goodreads)

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Kiersten White is stepping away from the paranormal and stepping into a different genre.  I've heard great things from the bloggers who received ARCs.  Can't wait to dig into this one!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales

 
Published: September 12th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Summary: Goodreads

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.


OK, I have to confess I haven't read this one yet, but I'm thinking that if it's anywhere near as good as Sweetly and Sisters Red, it should be worth my while.  Any thoughts on this one.

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a bit of a hole in the fairytale market, or is it just me?

Curlypow

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - February 18


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

I got a book this week from Penguin Canada, but I have to be honest, I have absolutely no idea why I got it.  There was nothing in with the book  to give me any indication who it was from or why.  Maybe I entered a giveaway and I've forgotten about it. Anyway, thank you, whoever sent it.  I love Jack Whyte's books.

 
 
I also received this one from Brenna at Esther's Ever After when I won a giveaway there.  Thanks Brenna. 
 



What did you get this week?

Curlypow

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Every Never After by Lesley Livingston


 
Published: March 12th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Pages: 256
Copy: Publisher via Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads
 
 
Despite their vow to each other at the end of Once Every Never, best friends Clare and Allie once more find themselves in trouble—and travelling in time. Indulging in a low-key vacation at Glastonbury Tor, taking part in an archaeological dig while soaking up the sights of summertime England, the girls have promised each other: no time travel shenanigans; no involvement with dangerous Druids or villainous museum thieves; and definitely no weirdness about the fact that Clare is now seriously dating Milo, Allie's super-genius hottie cousin!

But when Allie makes an unexpected discovery at the dig site—a skull—the grisly artifact sends her spiralling back in time to a Roman encampment besieged by rampaging Celts. Caught between the Legions and the war band, Allie is rescued from certain death by Marcus, a young Roman soldier with a secret. As she struggles to survive in the past, Clare and Milo race desperately against time in the present to bring Allie home...before she loses her head OR her heart

There are some books that you just have to write a review of immediately. They are sooooo good, that you don't want to forget any of the amazing comments that are running through your head.  Every Never After is one of those books for me.  Regular readers may remember that I am such a dorky fan-girl where Lesley Livingston is concerned. (This is extremely embarassing for me when you consider my age!) Her writing style clicks with me in every way, and this follow-up to Once Every Never was no exception.  I LOVED it - every minute of it. 

Every Never After takes us back into the lives of Clare, Allie and Milo and quickly throws them, and us, back into the convoluted workings of a time paradox circle.  This time it's Allie who gets catapulted backwards into the past and Clare and Milo are left behind to try to bring her back. Time shenanigans ensue and the hoops that Clare has to jump through to bring her back will have you almost in tears - most of them involving laughter I might add.

Speaking of laughter, I have to add in a couple of quotes, with the caveat that these are from the e-arc and may not make it into the finished book.  However if they don't, I will be extremely sorry.

Allie seeing Marcus in the river:

' .... She thought of the one and only time she'd seen male buttocks that hadn't belonged to a toddler - when her brothers had thrown her into the guys' locker room at school after football practice for a joke - but, really? No comparison. None.
     Somehow her fingers slipped and she accidentally snuck another peek.
     Now that is what I call a tight end, she thought.'  (p170?)

Milo meeting Marcus for the first time:

' "Nice to meet you. You're a terrible liar."
"Nice to meet you, too. Your cousin's a total babe."
Milo eyed Marcus's Roman tunic and leathers. "Wicked party dress."
Marcus took in Milo's spiral Druid marking. "Bitchin' body paint."'  (p226?)

The characters are so very real and I just love them all - even nasty Stuart Morholt, who remains the villain of the piece, right up to the very end. And what an ending.  Had I actually been holding a physical book and not my Ipad, I would probably have thrown it at the wall. So ....  How could she do this to me?  Another year to wait until I find out what happens!  Every Never After is an amazing and thrilling blend of mystery, humour, time travel and romance that captures the imagination and lets it soar. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.  


 Ms Livingston's love for this era shines through in her writing, and makes it so enjoyable to read. I couldn't find a video for Every Never After but this one for Once Every Never shows Ms Livingston talking about her love of Celtic history.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rebel Heart by Moira Young

 
 
Published: October 30th, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 432
Copy Provided By: Purchased
Summary: GoodReads
It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.
What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.
 
This second book in the Dust Lands series has been sitting on my shelf since its release date when I ran out to Chapters and went a little spending crazy (a lot of awesome books came out last fall!). My New Year’s resolution to actually read the books I’ve purchased is still fresh in my mind, and Rebel Heart was high priority for me. I loved Blood Red Road – yes, even though Saba’s ‘voice’ can be a bit of a reading challenge. So I was dying to get back into the series.

And I was slow to get back into it. It wasn’t Saba’s voice – that took me only a dozen pages or so to get used to again (and I actually caught myself sending text messages with “yerself” and “fer” in them...so horrible!). This doesn’t have a bad case of second book syndrome, there is quite a bit going on. The problem is Saba and the plot holes. We left Saba she was a warrior, sad but still tough. Now, she’s this whining, self-centred ruin of a human. Towards the end of the book, I was actually sick of her. I loved the plot twists with DeMalo, but Saba fell way outside her character range once that kicked in – I no longer believed her actions and decisions were plausible. And that crushes me when it happens with a character, especially when the writer seems to be as talented as Ms. Young.

Then there’s the gaping plot hole – I won’t spill the beans, since it would be a bit of a spoiler. But something that seems like it will be a huge deal just disappears. Nothing comes of it. I mean, come on!
Luckily, the story was saved in the last paragraph. That’s right. One paragraph saved it for me, and got me excited again for the third book. Tommo has stuck with Saba and crew through the book, and our last paragraph is actually a glimpse of the final setting as he sees it. And wow. Talk about powerful! It’s not even a long paragraph, but it has set up book number three for a whole bunch of excitement.

Last but not least, I can’t review this book without once again ragging on publishers for cover changes mid-series. Especially to something weird and metallic. Now I own two books of a series, which don’t even come close to matching – and I liked the first book’s look! I do like the male silhouette here though – with all of Saba’s whining and self-centeredness, all of which surrounds the three main men (Lugh, Jack and Tommo), that silhouette could really be any of them. After the last paragraph, by bet is on Tommo...now if only it wasn’t so shiny!
Thanks once again to Special K for this great review.  I never did get around to reading this series.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Follow



Friday 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 wil answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact.

This week’s question – 
 
Q: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a "few things". - Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker
 
Wow, these questions don't get any easier do they?  My letter would be to a decidedly non-YA character from the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton
 
 
Dear Anita,
 
Ok, I know variety is the spice of life, and you certainly have an over abundance of variety in your many, many, many honey buns, but please, for pity's sake, CHOSE ONE and stick with him.  I'm getting dizzy just trying to keep up with them all, and let's face it - it's time you settled down. You're not getting any younger!
 
 
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 14, 2013

The Essence by Kimberly Derting

Published: January 2013
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Pages: 352
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

Review:
The Pledge was such a fascinating novel and I was counting down the days for the Essence to be released.  

While I did enjoy The Essence, it lacked a lot of the initial intrigue of The Pledge and I found myself frustrated with Charlie's lack of honesty with her friends.  The same friends who supported her and stood behind her in the rebellion.  Why would she not share with them that Sabara still existed? Leaning on your friends and people you trust is a part of making things work.  Making a kingdom work especially when implementing HUGE changes to societal rules requires a dedicated staff. Another thing that irked me about Charlie was her lack of interest in her personal safety.  As the monarch of a country, she should be heeding her advisor's warnings and put her safety first if she wants to rule.  This is where Sabara's influence could have come in.  Her experience could be teaching Charlie how to be successful.  I was so frustrated with Charlaina's attitude by the end of the book that I actually began to wonder if I had missed something very important in book #1.  (So much so that I picked it up from the library and I'm going to re-read it. Sad huh?)

Despite my griping on the main character's flaws, The Pledge series is still a favorite.  Kimberly Derting ranks as one of my favourite authors.  Both her series - The Body Finder and The Pledge would be in my top 10 and she definitely doesn't get enough credit for her work.  By the end of the Essence, I couldn't wait to learn more aobut the neighboring Queens and their territories.  Even though Sabara was brutally evil in book 1, we see a different side of her in The Essence when love comes into play.  She has a sense of vulnerability and, as a reader, I'm not sure whether to trust it. 

Overall, Ms. Derting quenched my thirst for a bit of fantasy and romance sprinkled with a touch of the supernatural.  Bring on Book 3!! (Still untitled and to be released in 2014...awwwww!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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


Summary (By Goodreads)

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

If you are a fan of the Vampire Academy series, this spinoff will help you meet your Richelle Mead fix.  When I first read Vampire Academy, I couldn't put it down.  I read them sequentially over a couple weeks and felt like an addict for Mead's books.  Good thing she came out with Bloodlines.  :)  Don't start with this one.  Try Bloodlines (Book #1) first.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let's Hear it for the Boys - The Vindico by Wesley King

Published: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 272
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they’re not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire—after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . .

With fast-paced action, punchy dialogue, and sarcastic humor, this high-stakes adventure from a talented new YA voice pulls you in from the first page.


The Vindico is an irreverant look at an alternate universe where superheroes are real and the villains are recruiting to enlarge their ranks.  Of course in typical antihero fashion, the villains decide to kidnap the proteges and that's when the fun starts.

James, Emily, Lana, Sam and Hayden are actually having fun while learning the ins and outs of the evil villain trade and I found their voices to be  both real and amusing.  Let's face it - how many teenagers would pass up the opportunity to gain super strength, or mind powers if given the chance.  I wouldn't have. 

What I found refreshing about The Vindico is that it is written from the bad guys' perspective.  We get a glimpse into the minds of the villains and we see how they become twisted and yet convinced that they are in the right.  Mr King has written a book that can easily be read and enjoyed by both younger and older teens.  It reads a little bit like a movie plot and I can easily see this on screen - in the same vein as Sky High (remember that one?), or perhaps Zoom.  It looks like there is a follow-up to come in July next year called The Feros and I look forward to reading it.

On a side note,  Mr King is practically a neighbour of mine, he's from the next town over - way to go Wesley! I love it when local authors get published.

Blog Tour - Bad Blood by Ginny Lurcock





 
Published: February 5th, 2013
Publisher: Ginny Lurcock
Pages: 252
Copy: From author
Summary: From author

Book Synopsis
High school senior Victoria “Tori” Reeve has it pretty good. She’s rich, she’s smart, and she’s popular. What more could a girl ask for? Sure, she’s a little lonely, what with being single and her best friend going off to college and all, but she’s got her work at the Spaulding Crisis Center to keep her busy. When she gets a new boss in the very easy on the eyes form of Isaac Larsen, suddenly her volunteer work feels a lot less like work. Even if he does seem to cause Tori to break out into spontaneous fits of foot in mouth disease. Somehow in spite of her blunderitis, Isaac still seems to be interested in her in a more-than-employer or even more-than-friends kind of way.

So really she should have known that things would go sideways.

Trouble comes to Spaulding, and that trouble seems to be centered on Tori and the Crisis Center. Is she really the focus? Or does this all have to do with the new mysterious man in her life? In her efforts to find out, Tori stumbles across some secrets. Skeletons that might have been better off left in the closet. As it turns out, Spaulding is a hot spot for bad blood…


My Review

Bad Blood struck me as a very tongue-in-cheek homage to Twilight and I loved every minute of it. Tori is basically a very sensible, hard working teenager who is totally in control - that is unless Issac is anywhere in the vicinity.  There are definite shades of Edward here, with the slightly old-fashioned manners.  It hints that there is something a little strange about him, but nothing concrete.

I did find it a little strange that Tori was willing to forgive Quinn for being a vampire, but was unable, or unwilling to forgive Issac - oops, sorry if that's a spoiler - but I did enjoy the fact that Issac didn't suddenly become this alluring person that she couldn't live without.  Following on the Twilight theme there is also another love interest - Drew.  Now him, I loved.

This is one of my favourite quotes (p178) - but note, it is from the ARC -

'"ANDREW MICHAEL ANDERSON YOU ARE SO NOT HELPING RIGHT NOW." I pinched the bridge of my nose and prayed for the compusure not to throttle either of the two chuckleheads.  "I never thought I'd have to say this, but please stop purposefully antagonizing my vampire ex boyfriend.  As for you, creepy-stalker-vampire ex boyfriend.  Wait, how the hell ar you outside anyways? Shouldn't you be burning or something?" God, please do not tell me that vampire actually sparkle, that would be more than I could take right now.'

This type of humour runs through the entire story and I was laughing out loud in places.  I just adoredthe witty dialogue.  There are a couple of places where the action becomes, if not x-rated, certainly a little more than younger teens should handle, but oh my, it was fun.  I you get the chance to try Bad Blood, go for it.  It's so much fun to read.  I can't wait to see where the second one takes us.


About the Author (taken from the back of Bad Blood)
I am so bad at these, that it causes me physical pain. No wait, that was a splinter… Never mind.

Ginny Lurcock lives in New Hampshire with her husband whom she adores, her daughter, whom she also adores, and their cat. Who she likes alright.

Oh, and her father, his two cats, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend.

When not writing she enjoys playing games (of the board and video variety) or reading to the point of obsession (she’s not an addict, she can quit whenever she wants), watching intelligent television, mindless television, sports, movies and listening to music.

Basically, she likes all the things.

ALL.THE.THINGS

And somehow she still manages to find the time to be bored.

She also breaks the seal.

Bad Blood on Goodreads
Ginny Lurcock Website
Ginny Lurcock on Goodreads
Ginny Lurcock Facebook
Ginny Lurcock Twitter




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