Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg


Published: June 18th, 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 320
Copy Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

From Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, bestselling author and television writer for Monk, comes the first adventure in an electrifying new series featuring an FBI agent who always gets her man, and a fearless con artist who lives for the chase.

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.


Janet Evanovich is well known for her Stephanie Plum series, which is one of my absolute favourites, so I was really curious to see what this new collaboration would produce.  I'm very happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least. 

What can I tell you about The Heist that isn't already covered in the blurb?  Well, I don't think it's going to win any awards, but if you are looking for a laugh out loud,  romantic romp then look no further!  The characters are stellar - Kate, Nick and Willie - all slightly over the top, and totally loveable in their own oddball ways, as a team they work brilliantly.

There is some great action, including Evanovich's trademark explosions.  Add in some drug lords, embezzlers and a few pirates and the mix is volatile.  There is some wonderful dialogue that just crackles with sexual tension, and there are lots of laughs.

As the beginning of a series, The Heist was a beautiful set-up and I cannot wait to see the further adventures of Kate and Nick.  For fans of humorous improbability - you can't go wrong.  Well worth reading.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry


Published: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 462
Copy: Publisher via Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."


If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....


Dare You To is a nice little story of 'boy meets girl from wrong side of the tracks, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back again.'  Sound familiar? 

Ryan has his problems with his father, who is a very controlling person, and his Mum, who seems to be a bit of a doormat.  I was particularly upset with her seeming acceptance of the treatment of Mark, Ryan's older brother - sorry, any more than that would be a major spoiler.  Unfortunately, I didn't like Ryan's habit of saying 'I don't lose' - it made him seem like a bit of a jerk, and overly arrogant.  To me it hinted of a bit of darkness within.  Let's face it - everybody loses sometimes.

 Beth has had a tough life, but she seems unwilling to believe that she deserves anything better.  Her journey is hard and frustrating. Much as I love this kind of story, sometimes I get a little peeved at how the characters run away before getting explanations or reasons for whatever has occurred.  I understand that people are fragile and have had a hard time, but sometimes I wish they would question the bad stuff and stop accepting things at face value.

I don't mean to be overly negative here, because I did enjoy Dare You To, but I am coming to the conclusion that contemporary romances are not really my thing.  So for me this one was no more than an ok beach read. However, if you are a fan of contemporary romance, I am absolutely certain you will enjoy it.  Don't let my negativity put you off.

Friday, June 28, 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 will answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –


Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

I think it depends on how I'm feeling.  I love to read thick books on my e-reader or tablet.  With something more manageable in size, I like to read paperbacks.  I store books everywhere (on my reader, tablet and in my phone, in my work bag).  That way, I can always read when I have a  moment or during a lunch hour.
- Christinabean


I find these days that I am reading more and more on my Ipad.  It's just so darn convenient.  I can be reading three different books, and only have to carry around 1 tablet.  I do read hard covers when I'm at home though, and I do still prefer the feel and smell of a 'real' book, but they are so heavy to carry around and get damaged so easily.  So my preferred format would be hardcover, with a soft chair and a drink by my side, but that doesn't happen often these days.
- 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.

Don't forget to check out our Canada Day Blog Hop Giveaway!

Win up to 2 books totaling up to $20Cnd from The Book Depository!
You must be a follower to enter.
Good luck!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Canada Day Blog Hop - June 27th - July 1st




Welcome to the Paperback Princesses
Curlypow and I are both Canadian and love to give "shout outs" to our fellow Canadian authors.  You may see us in attendance at a few book signings around the country.  Unfortunately, we also (now) live on opposite sides of the country.  :(  Since there are two of us at the Paperback Princesses so we are giving away 
TWO titles up to $20CND TOTAL from The Book Depository

First, before you go, we want to send out a special thank you to the co-ordinators of this yearly blog hop.  Thank you to 

and

Now on to our goodies...

You must be a follower
 Our giveaway is international and open to anywhere the Book Depository delivers
Are there additional entries?  Of course!  See our list below!



Entries - 
One freebie for being a follower
One for follwing via Twitter
One for tweeting
One for commenting your favorite thing about Canadians

Check out more of the participants in the Canada Day Blog Hop here.

One last thing...(yes, I know it seems like I go on and on and on).  I am from Calgary and last week most of Southern Alberta experienced extreme flooding.  Many people have lost their homes and many pets are displaced.  I was fortunate not to have any flood-related problems (except for work) and my family is safe.  Calgary is the town I grew up in. Although I just recently moved back, it is a place I have always called home and although so many are pitching in to assist, it saddens me to see that so much more is needed  






 Please consider making a $5 donation to the Canadian Red Cross   If you are a Rogers user, you can contribute $5 by texting ABHELP to 4664.  For other mobile companies, you can text REDCROSS to 30333.  The Calgary Stampede will go on this year as planned starting next Friday (July 5th).  To raise money, the Calgary Stampede is offering up tees that say "Come Hell or High Water", a slogan recently popularized from our current situation.  You might want to check them out as well - Calgary Stampede tees. Thanks for sticking around and hearing me out!
Humbly yours, Christinabean

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - In the After by Demitria Lunetta

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)

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

I love thrillers and this one definitely sounds like it's my speed!  What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Musings by Knitwits - Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison



Published: April 2012
Publisher: C & T Publishing
Pages: 143
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Are scrap piles wreaking havoc in your sewing space? Not sure what to do with all those tiny bits of gorgeous prints you hate to part with? Modern quilters Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison share a passion for scraps, and they re here to help you get creative with 16 scrappy quilt projects that include piecing, applique, and improvisational work. This book has ideas on how to adapt patterns for your own personal Sunday morning style, plus tips for effectively cutting, storing, and organizing your scraps. Your Sunday mornings just got a whole lot cozier!

Review:
Last year I inherited all of my mother's quilting/craft supplies.  I could literally open my own store with this stash.  In fact, I downsized my new stash by donating 14 garbage bags of fabric and supplies to a local charity.  Now I struggle with finding inspirational patterns to work with all of this fabric.  One of the problems I have encountered is that my mother's style is not my style.  I like a modern style, bright colors and even something that is a little 30's kitchy.  

Below are a sample of some of the quilts by Cheryl Arkison using patterns from Sunday Morning Quilts




Sunday Morning quilts delivers and even explains how a pattern, colors and design can be transformed into a more Modern look.  This title is easy to read and perfect for a beginner to intermediate quilter.  If you have a ton of fabric, especially scrap size and are having trouble organizing, Sunday Morning Quilts offers some great ideas.  You CAN conquer the overwhelming feelings of digging through a haphazard bag stuffed with scraps. Jean and Cheryl also show you how they work in small spaces and give you tips to remain inspired.
Personally, I think my Sundays just got a lot more interesting!

Follow up - I just discovered that Cheryl Arkison is a fellow Calgarian.  For those of you who don't know. Calgary has had massive flooding since last Thursday.  In fact, our entire downtown city core was shut down.  So many people have lost their homes and belongings to water damage.  Calgary is my hometown and I am thankful that my friends and family are safe.  To get an idea of how bad it was, check out this link - http://globalnews.ca/news/661667/photo-gallery-calgary-floods-before-and-after/.  Knowing that Cheryl was also born and raised in Cowtown makes me doubly proud to promote her title on our blog.  :)  Want to connect with Cheryl?  She has her own blog.  Luckily, Amanda Jean Nyberg is in Wisconsin and was not near the flooding in Alberta.  She also has her own blog.  Buy Sunday Morning Quilts and make your weekends brighter!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves


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


I just finished reading Shadowland by Kate Brian and happened upon Hereafter (Book #2 in the series) on NetGalley.  Can't wait to get into this one!


I am just finishing up Legacy (book #1) in this series and also loaded Book 2 and 3 onto my tablet this week.  So many series, so little time!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charboneau


Published: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifllin
Pages: 336
Copy: Netgalley/Publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.


The Testing was a really enjoyable thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat and threw a few surprises at me.  Ms. Charbonneau has created a very interesting dystopian world with believable and engaging characters.

Cia is 17, young, na├»ve, trusting and very smart.  She has such a good heart.  Tomas was a favorite of mine.  Something I really liked was that he isn't 'hot stuff'.  He's thoughtful and caring but he's willing to do what's necessary.  Then we have Will - I wasn't too sure about him, but he definitely had that vibe about him that makes you wonder if he is exactly what he seems.  Roman on the other hand is exactly what you see - ready to do anything to win. 

There is a wonderful mystery within the story - just who has the crossbow?  Why does Michal appear to be helping Cia?  Who is the strange gray haired man Cia meets out on the testing ground.  Why are their memories of the Testing taken away?  All of these questions and only some of them answered.  By the end of the story, we still don't really know why the candidates have been tested in such a bizarre way - maybe we'll find out in book number 2

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. One of the best dystopians in the last little while and a definite must for Hunger Games fans. This one really does measure up.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian


Published: Jan 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 336
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye. 

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

Review:
This book was not what I expected. Rory Miller escapes from a brutally scary encounter with a killer and is put into a relocation program with her family.  The killer is intelligent, stealthy and always one step ahead.  I was suspicious about his whereabouts every time I turned the page.  Ms. Brian built up the suspense so that it was nearly palpable.  

The characters, Rory and Darcy are just normal teenagers who don't want to miss out on other teenage events.  (Darcy more so than Rory).  They think they're safe from the killer but they aren't and they begin to let their guards down every so slightly.  It had me on the edge of my seat wanting to yell out - YOU AREN'T SAFE!!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING??

What I did not understand - Steven Nell had killed a number of girls before.  He was a serial killer.  If this was such a high profile FBI case, then why was her family not escorted to her new location and why didn't someone assist them better?  How could her family (sister and dad) be so focused on how the relocation affected their work and social lives rather than their safety?  Eventually, my questions were answered. 

What I loved most about this novel is just when I thought I was figuring things out, I was wrong.  


Sometimes I complain about books that make me question motives, scenarios, inconsistencies within a novel and character reactions. But sometimes, just sometimes, the more questions you have, the better the book becomes.  Kate Brian had me guessing all the way to the end of the book.  I realize that this is a series but honestly, it would have been great as a stand-alone title.  It was completely and totally not what I was expecting. Well done!

Friday, June 21, 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 –

Share your favorite literary quote
The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. 
 - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

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 20, 2013

Necromancing The Stone


Published: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 344
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?


Necromancing the Stone is the follow-up to Hold Me Closer Necromancer, which I reviewed back in 2011.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first one, particularly the humour in it, and I'm thrilled to say that this one didn't let me down at all.

This time around the humour is provided by the extra inhabitants of the garden in Sam's new house - well the one he inherited from Douglas after killing him anyway.  These inhabitants include garden gnomes - Twinkle the Destroyer anyone, or Chuck Norriser to name just two - statues of gladiators and minotaurs and various other denizens.  The antics of this group and Frank are just hilarious - holding Thunder Gnome in the backyard to see whether Frank can become an honorary gnome?

The story is written so that the reader is aware of what is going on, but the characters are not, and this led to several 'Oh no, don't do that!' moments for me.  It was really rather fun.  Sam is such a wonderful character.  I absolutely adore him.  If I'm honest, I think he is nearly at the top of my favourites list.  Not because he's handsome and brave etc., but because he feels real.  He's unsure of himself and his powers, but instead of just charging ahead blindly he asks for help - and he listens to the answers.  He is kind and caring, funny, sweet.  A great friend and really just an all round nice human being.  I wish I could meet him.

I would recommend reading Hold Me Closer first if you haven't already, because this one will make more sense that way, but it could stand alone.  Ms. McBride, I love your writing and I really hope you write more about Sam and his friends, but you finished this one off so nicely I'm thinking maybe this is it.  I hope not anyway.  I for one would love to see more. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

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


I'm excited for this title because there are 16 short stories by some of my favorite authors.  Check out some of the authors lined up in the summary below....

Defy the Dark, an all-new anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell. Coming Summer 2013 from HarperTeen!

It features 16 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark. Authors include Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Ryan, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, Sarah Ockler, and more.

Contemporary, genre, these stories will explore every corner of our world- and so many others. What will be the final story that defies the dark? Who will the author be?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Nameless by Lili St Crow


Published: April 4th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 304
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has crafted an evocative update of Snow White, set in a vividly imagined world and populated by unforgettable new characters.


Nameless was a surprising, dark and very gritty  retelling of the perennial favourite, Snow White.  This time around the seven dwarves are represented by 'The Seven', families that have a striking resemblance to the mafia, but in fact are vampire families, with all the inherent politics.

Cami is deeply scarred, both physically and metaphorically from her life before the Seven.  The mystery of what happened to her previously is what drives the story.  Cami's relationship with Nico, her adoptive brother is somewhat strange and unusual.  Nico is not a particulary likeable character, but he is very protective of Cami.  I don't want to give any spoilers so I'll just say their relationship might surprise you. The introduction of a 2nd male character adds an interesting twist to the story but anything else would be a major spoiler, so I'll leave it at that. 

There are some rather confusing dreams about apples, which I never fully understood, but which add significantly to the darkness in the story and Cami's constant nightmares about her time before are not pleasant.  I was so glad to find out eventually why Cami is so scared of stairs - that was very unique and not at all what I expected. 

There is definitely nothing Disney'ish about this Snow White.  It's creepy and cold, very dark, and rather alarming at times.  Had my heart racing on a couple of occasions.  A quick but very worthwhile read.  I loved it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves


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



Looks like the theme for this week (for me) is girls who go missing or end up dead.  Most of us have heard of Gone Girl so I won't bother with the summary.  It is an adult title but Dangerous Girls is an ARC sent to me by my lovely contacts at Simon and Schuster.  Thank you!

Dangerous Girls (Summary by Goodesds)

Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...

Sigh, I love thrillers...can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.  Maybe I'll wait for a dark and stormy night...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

45 Pounds by K.A. Barson


Publlished: July 2013
Pages: 256
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Review:

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this title but it was definitely enjoyable.  Perhaps I was looking for a comparable read to Meg Cabot's Heather Wells mysteries.  I think I was expecting more humor. You'll understand more when you read about Ann's encounter with a dress in the change room of her favorite store.  Ann vs. cute dress.  Who do you think will win the match?

The truth is, Ms. Barson brought together so many issues in this book that made me laugh, cry and reflect.  She addressed issues of weight management, family dynamics in a blended unit, self-confidence, all issues that are relevant in today's society.  Ann's character was real and very identifiable.  This would make an excellent ISU teen book review. 

Through Ann and her experiences, we see how insecure she really is about life and how her behaviors are often a reflection of what she has learned or as a result of what she has experienced.  This book isn't all about weight as it may suggest.  It is about self-discovery and life lessons.  Watch Ann grow and bud into a beautiful girl regardless of her size.  It is only through her younger sister that she learns just how her image and behavior has affected others.  We may think we know more than kids but ALL YOU EVER REALLY NEED TO KNOW, YOU LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN!

This was a very enjoyable read.  I'd recommend it to ages 15 and up and even some of you YA adult readers.  It was a "sink yourself in a comfy chair and feel good when you're finished" read.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer


Published: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: K Teen
Pages: 301
Copy: Netgalley/Publisher
Summary: Goodreads

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…


Spirit is the newest title in Brigid Kemmerer's Merrick Brothers series.  So far I have enjoyed them all -  3 Novellas:  Elemental, Breathless and Fearless and 3 full length novels: Storm, Spark and Spirit- and this one was no exception.  Each book is about a different brother and we get to see some great action in each one, along with wonderful character growth.

Spirit is a little different because the main character is NOT a Merrick brother.  Hunter Garrity is actually a hunter of elementals, which is of course what the brothers are,  and it is interesting to see how circumstance collide to turn his life upside down.  How Hunter comes to realise that all is not as he has been told makes for a great read.

The books each have an intriguing mystery and some great action. If you haven't tried this series yet give them a go.  Four misunderstood hot brothers?  What's not to love?



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Identity Theft by Anna Davies


Published: April 2013
Pages: 256
Publisher: Point
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Hayley is going to have the best year ever. After years of careful planning, she's ready to serve as student council president AND editor-in-chief of the newspaper. Ivy League, here she comes!

However, just before student council elections, someone creates a fake facebook profile for Hayley and starts posting inappropriate photos and incriminating updates. It must be the work of a highly skilled Photoshopper, but the attention to detail is scary. The embarrassing photos of "Hayley" in her bathing suit reveal a birthmark on her back--a birth mark Hayley has never shown in public. . . .

The situation escalates until Hayley's mother reveals some shocking information. Hayley isn't an only child: She has a twin sister who was adopted by a different family. And that's not all. Soon, Hayley discovers that her long-lost sister isn't just playing a prank--she's plotting to take over Hayley's life . . . by any means necessary.

Review:

Hayley is a perfectionist and the ultimate nerd.  Everything is so methodical and routine that when things start to go awry, she has trouble adapting and understanding that someone else is controlling her life.  Imagine mapping out your entire life.  Having an end goal and only one road to get there.  Dropping all of your friends and any sense of social normality in order to achieve this one objective.  If Hayley had any friends, I'm sure Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars would be either her BFF or her Frenemy (competing against her).

While I appreciated the suspense in this novel and I did want to keep reading, there were inconsistencies that I couldn't turn my back on.  For instance, although Hayley didn't have a lot of friends, she had a decent relationship with her family.  Her Mom seemed pretty approachable so why didn't she tell her Mom about the strange things happening in her life?   Also, about 2/3 of the way through the novel, Hayley flips out on her mother.  it was not the kind of reaction I was expecting from the conversation they were having.  It felt forced and a little inconsistent with the way that Hayley's character behaves. 

Lastly (**this is a spoiler**)
I thought it was totally unreasonable for Hayley to think she killed her twin in the womb, purposely wrapping the ambillical cord around her neck...AS A FETUS!!

Also, Hayley and her mom get into a big argument in the park about her being a twin and not knowing.  I found it disturbing to think that Hayley's mom left her there, clearly upset and decided to hideout at her boyfriend's house. 
(**end spoiler**)

So to wrap up this book...I loved the pace of this novel.  It was quick and driven by suspense but there were a lot of inconsistencies which took away from the novel's believability.  The first 2/3 of the book were great but I would have liked to see the author clean up the last 1/3.  I still finished it and would consider it an interesting read but tuck it lower on my TBR list when recommending a suspenseful, thrilling read to friends. 

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Linked by Imogen Howson


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


I was lucky to get the ARC of this one from Simon and Schuster Canada.  Take a peek at the summary - 

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. 

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. 

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. 

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. 

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Let's Hear it For the Boys


While I haven't managed to read either of these this month, they both look really good.  Eoin Colfer is always good - Artemis Fowl anyone?  Barry Lyga wrote the astounding and creepy I Hunt Killers and Game is the follow-up.  If it's even half as good it will be well worth reading.  I have my copies from the library and I'm looking forward to reading them both.  Let me know what you thought if you've already read them.
 
 
 
 
Published May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick.

In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world


 
Published: April 16th, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown, Young Readers
 
 
I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jasper (Jazz) Dent, the son of the world's most infamous serial killer.

When a desperate New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help with a new case, Jazz can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple--and its police force running scared with no leads. So Jazz and his girlfriend Connie hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.

Meanwhile, Jazz's dad Billy is watching...and waiting.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Stacking the Shelves



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


I had heard so much about this title last year that I thought I'd give it a go.  Watch for my reviews in the coming weeks!



Sunday, June 9, 2013

True by Erin McCarthy


Published: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 222
Copy: Publisher/Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads


When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost....


When I did a Goodreads review for this title I put down 'Not bad, but it didn't wow me.'  Then I sat down tonight to write this review - 3 weeks later - and I hate to admit that I really can't remember anything about it.  I checked my notes and discovered I had written that Tyler is a typical example of appearances being deceptive, but I can't remember why, I don't have a clue.

I remember thinking as I was reading that it would be a good title for contemporary fans as a quick summer read, but I absolutely can't remember any details about the story at all.  Even the blurb doesn't bring back any specifics.  I feel very sad about this, and I did consider fluffing my way through a review, but no.  I have to just admit that I read it, enjoyed it a bit at the time, and now I can't remember why.

So I'm really sorry Ms McCarthy, but True just didn't stick with me.  If you liked it, let me know, maybe you can jog my memory a bit.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What Happened in Peru - Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan


Published: April 2013
Pages: 70
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices know that Magnus Bane is banned from Peru—and now they can find out why. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles, What Really Happened in Peru, is written by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.

Review:

This is the perfect book for those of us who are obsessed with the Mortal Instruments series.  It is a short one, only 70 pages long and in e-format which is awesome to dive right in for an evening of reading.

What I love about this title is that it brings to light the quirkiness of Magnus Bane's personality.  It is apparent how much fun Cassie and Sarah had in writing this series. This dynamic writing duo will succeed in providing you with ridiculous scenarios even a warlock could write in his memoirs.  The images burned in my mind as I read through Magnus, Ragnor and Catarina's adventures in Peru.

My favorite line

"After breakfast, which was five drinks for Ragnor and seventeen for Magnus..."

(Poor Magnus.  I suppose when you love forever, it is hard to find a BFF without their own centuries old issues.  I'm sure a few drinks make things more tolerable....)

Here's a thought - Have you also read Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon trilogy?  If you have, you should be familiar with a certain demon hottie named Nick.  Now, imagine what would happen if Nick and Jace had a bromance?  Would you call them besties or beasties?  The creative juices of both authors flowed in this short story and are sure to give you a giggle or two.  If you are looking for a fun, light-hearted read with characters you are already familiar with, have a go at the Bane Chronicles.   I think it will bring a smile to your face.

Friday, June 7, 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 –


Q: Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why?

This one's easy.  I've broken up with many series.  All for different reasons.  Tricia Rayburn's Siren's series is one of them (I lost interest).  Another is the Gone series by Michael Grant (they were too brutally long for me).  Unfortunately, another that is close to the chopping block is the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I am on the last book but finding it hard to finish.  Nowadays everything is a series.  Does anyone else have trouble finishing them?

Curlypow here at 9:00 am - I can't believe that Christinabean added Gone and Beautiful Creatures to that list - they are two of my absolute favourites.  But, in retaliation I have to add the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.  I couldn't get into it and I know it's one of her favourites.  Also Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.  It just goes to show that we all have individual tastes, even though we do enjoy many of the same series - Cassie Clare anyone?

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.
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