Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday


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

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

This fall marks a huge list of new and exciting titles to be released so I'm going to try and spread out the goodness between now and September.  Frozen is a collaboration by Melissa de la Cruz, author of the Blue Bloods series and her hubby.  Sounds fabulous!  In fact, I've already pre-ordered my copy via the Book Depository!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Legacy Trilogy by Cayla Kluver



Published: June 2011, Feb 2012, Oct 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 496, 490, 438
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary (Legacy):

I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.
In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.
When the palace guard captures and intruder— a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy— Alera is alarmed… and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.
In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.
The Series:

Wow.  I feel a little bit breathless after reading through this trilogy marathon.  For those of you who don't know, I am the slower reader between Curlypow and myself.  Granted, I do work full-time and have a 5 year old so I tend to read at lunch and taking the train to work.  Sometimes, if I'm not exhausted by the end of the day and I can make my 5:30am wake up call, I will stay up a bit and read.  So let me tell you about the Legacy trilogy.  It is an intricate historical romance/war/fantasy world built with strong characters and very detailed alliances.  One of the things that impressed me so much with Legacy, book #1 was how attuned I became to Alera, her situation and background.  Paired with a promising suitor who is much too confident and cocky for his own good, she faces a lifetime of leading her people into the next reign as her father wishes to step down from the throne.  At 16, she tries valiantly to find another suitor to marry for love but the King is dead set on Steldor to rule the lands and if she cannot find someone with equal or greater talent for leadership and military prowess, she will be doomed to a marriage of convenience for the rest of her life.

Enter Narian.  Now of course he is handsome and has the qualifying military skills to match or better Steldor. It's too bad he's from a country considered an enemy. To boot, there is a legend that involves Narian's presence.  What's a girl to do?  I loved how Steldor fights to show Alera he is not the cad and womanizer she thinks him to be.  And how her relationship with Narian slowly peels back a mask of antagonism he has for his family.  So who will she choose?  And what does the future hold for the country of Hytanica?

Unfortunately, I'm not able to tell you much more about this series without giving away the results of Book #1.  I am able to tell you this though, invest the time in reading Legacy and you will be rewarded with a rich story line, so intricately woven so that you can actually "see" the characters grow and develop into mature adults.  I found myself loving the characters I despised in Book #1 and cheering them on.  Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was that Ms. Kluver was not afraid to develop her characters and then kill them off. The events were unpredictable. For me, Legacy was well-written and beautifully executed right up until the last page...even if I was secretly hoping for a different ending.  :)







Monday, July 29, 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. 


Summary: by Goodreads

It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.

The Paperback Princesses will be participating in Paula's blog tour in September!  Many thanks to Tundra books for sending us a copy for review!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas

 
Published: July 9th, 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 400
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads


A cross between the Gone series and Lord of the Flies, Quarantine #2: The Saints continues this frenetically paced and scary young adult series that illustrates just how deadly high school can be.

Nothing was worse than being locked in—until they opened the door...
McKinley High has been a battle ground for eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy will think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.

As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hookup and actually interact with members of other gangs seemed to signal a new, easier existence. Soon after though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.


The Saints brings readers back to the dark and deadly halls of McKinley High and the QUARANTINE series

 As bloggers we are often given the opportunity to review a new book in a series.  If you're like me, you look at it and turn it down, because you haven't read the first book in that particular series.  Occasionally, we are lucky enough to be given access to the original book as well.  That is the case with Quarantine: The Saints.  I reviewed the first book in the series Quarantine: The Loners a short while ago - check it out here - and absolutely loved it.  Of course, this led to some trepidation when I started 'The Saints'.  Would it measure up, or would it fall short?  I am thrilled and delighted to say that not only did it measure up to 'The Loners', it actually surpassed it.

Mr. Thomas has put together a very large group of kids and has them separating into groups, or cells, according to type.  We have Varsity, Sluts, Skaters, Loners and many more.  Then in this volume we add The Saints into the mix.  If I tell you where they come from it will be a huge spoiler, so I'm not going to do that.  The introduction of a new group completely screws with the dynamics of the situation and upsets the status quo. From first book to second, the situation has deteriorated completely, but not in any way that I expected.  There was surprise after violent surprise, most of them coming at me from out of left field, and I was constantly changing my mind about what was going to happen.  I loved that about this book.

Mr. Thomas has also managed to give his characters huge growth as the story develops.  As each new situation develops Will, Lucy and the others have to change and adapt just in order to survive.  Some characters adapt positively, and others - not so much.  I'm not going to get into specifics, as it would spoil the surprise, but just say that I'd love to have Lucy on my side.  What a girl. 

 Quarantine: The Saints, is a roller coaster disaster ride that will pull you in from the very beginning.    There is just so much more going on in the story than just the action.  Society - or in this case a microcosm of society - is breaking down irrevocably and whether the characters survive or not isn't always just up to them. Fast-paced, violent, thrilling and surprisingly romantic, Quarantine: The Saints is a superb book that should be an absolute must read for fans of Gone, Divergent, The Hunger Games, Dust and Decay and others in this genre.  It is a treat to read.

 This series is right up there at the top of my favourites list along with Jonathan Maberry's Dust and Decay series.  I continue to believe that Mr. Thomas must have read and loved The Lord of Flies, if you read 'The Saints' you'll understand why.  Go out and buy, borrow or steal a copy asap.  You're missing out if you don't.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed

 
Published: May 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Copy: Library
Summary: Goddreads


After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.


The Beautiful and the Cursed was an interesting and different look at Victorian Paris.  Angels and demons abound, as do gargoyles.  I don't think I've ever come across gargoyles before and it was rather refreshing.  Gargoyles are humans who have sinned by killing a member of the clergy and have been punished by living a very long life protecting the 'humans' who come into the sphere of their church, or house, or building etc. The mythology of  the gargoyles in The Beautiful and the Cursed was well thought out and very engrossing.  As was the 'secret' society tasked with keeping an eye on the gargoyles. 

Two sisters, Ingrid and Gabby were very different.  Gabby is 15 and very spunky and ready for anything.  Ingrid is a little more serious and careful, but both were relatable to and likeable.  I loved the two society members who end up as love interests.  Vander and Nolan.  Luc, the primary gargoyle is a study in contrasts - hard and yet soft, loving yet also uncaring.  He is punished for allowing harm to befall one of his humans - Ingrid and Gabby\s brother, Grayson,  The five characters, plus a few others come into conflict with both angels and demons while trying to find him.

The solution to the mystery, while unlikely is yet nicely plausible and I enjoyed the conclusion.  Everything ties up very neatly, but just enough is left dangling that we know there is going to be a follow-u[, which I am personally looking forward.  All in all this was a nice change from the usual paranormal fare.  Worth trying.

Friday, July 26, 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 –

What do you do with your books after you’re done reading them?

If I own the book (store bought or an ARC) and I loved it then I may consider keeping it.  If I liked it but didn't love it, I will evaluate it in terms of age-appropriateness and give it to a friend's daughter who loves to read.  If there is no more room on my bookshelf, I might add it to a box to donate to the local library or school library.  Has anyone ever tried Book Crossing?  It is a great way to leave good reads lying around in random public places to be enjoyed.  You label your book inviting someone to pick it up and take it home, register it online and log it online.  Then you can follow it on it's journey!
- 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.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nicholas Sparks and 'The Novel Learning Series'

                                  



As some of you may be aware, Christinabean and I started The Paperback Princesses because we wanted a platform to recommend YA books for ISU studies.  So I was really thrilled when I heard about this new series of books by Nicholas Sparks.  I just had to pass along this information as I'm sure it will be of interest to any librarians or teachers who happen to read the blog.  Thank you so much to Angela at Goldberg McDuffie Communications for giving us the heads up. Check out the following press release:
 
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Sparks’s
A Bend in the Road and Dear John added for 2013
 
Series helps teens prepare for college entrance exams and
aligns with ELA Common Core standards
 
New York, NY (July 24, 2013)—New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks’s Novel Learning Series (NLS) will be expanded this summer with three more titles for teenage readers, Grand Central Publishing announced today. The three new books, which will be published in new formats including study guides and “question and explanation” sections, are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Sparks’s own Dear John and A Bend in the Road.
 
“I am delighted to expand the options in the Novel Learning Series with these selections,” Sparks said. “My hope is that by introducing teenagers to these stories in a manner that is fun, illuminating, and educational, we will encourage them to read more for pleasure this summer and for the rest of their lives.”
 
Sparks and Grand Central Publishing launched the NLS in 2013 with four of Sparks’s books: The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, The Last Song, and Three Weeks with My Brother. The publisher also announced that three of the books in the series—The Notebook, Dear John and The Last Song—will be part of Walmart’s back to school promotions beginning in stores across the country this week.
 
“The Novel Leaning Series is truly resonating with consumers across America,” said Jamie Raab, President and Publisher, Grand Central Publishing. “Studies show that students who read for enjoyment become more proficient readers, and that motivated readers tend to read more, leading to improved vocabulary and comprehension skills. If we are able to excite more young people about reading, while also introducing them to popular and enduring works such as Frankenstein and The Notebook, that is a winning combination.”
 
Each student guide in the Novel Learning Series features the full book’s text interspersed with learning guides. The NLS also addresses the needs of teachers: each title in the series is aligned with the ELA Common Core State Standards and fulfills protocol requirements used by almost every state.
 
Special features included in the books:
·         Questions and explanations about the text after every few chapters to check comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and usage, style and characterization and literary terms
·         Standard test questions format style throughout to help students prepare for standardized tests with SAT- and ACT-style questions using vocabulary and grammar from the books
·         Step-by-step sample writing prompts and essays and evaluation rubrics to guide students through the elements of an above-average, average and below-average essay – and explain why
·         English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards alignment
 
The Novel Learning Series provides students and teachers with seven compelling, dramatic novels packed with additional resources that help with critical thinking and comprehension skills development. Future publishing plans include more titles from Sparks as well as other classic works by a variety of noted authors. The titles in the series are available wherever books are sold.
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 89 million copies in print worldwide. Eight of his novels have been adapted into major motion pictures. Sparks is a household name to a generation of teens who have grown up devouring his books and eagerly seeing his films upon release.
 
Micah Sparks has worked extensively with John Wiley and Sons, publishers of CliffsNotes, and has spent years working with English teachers across the country. Their passion for education and student enrichment led him to develop the concept of integrated learning, the foundation for the development of the Novel Learning Series.
 
Rich Wasowski has been teaching high school English for nearly twenty years, has written model curriculum for the Ohio Department of Education and has served as a content-area consultant for Reading & Writing across the Curriculum: STEPS for the Common Core.
 
THE NOVEL LEARNING SERIES:
A WALK TO REMEMBER: 978-1-4555-0856-3; $14.99, PB;
THE NOTEBOOK: 978-1-4555-1559-2; $14.99, PB
THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER: 978-1-4555-1561-5; $14.99, PB
THE LAST SONG: 978-1-4555-1560-8; $14.99, PB
DEAR JOHN: 978-1-4555-2944-5; $14.99, PB
A BEND IN THE ROAD: 978-1455529421; $14.99, PB
FRANKENSTEIN: 978-1455529438; $14.99, PB
 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

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 this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.

Sounds like my kind of read!  Thrilling and suspenseful.  In fact, this may be your next "Let's Hear it for the Boys" review....

- Christinabean

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Musings by Knitwits - One Skein Lace Wonders



 
Published: September 2013
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Pages: 304
Copy: Netgalley
 
 
 
I am a huge fan of projects that can be completed using one skein of yarn, for two reasons.  firstly, it's a great way of tidying up your stash - come on, how many single skeins do you have left from other projects (or how many single skeins did you buy just because you loved the yarn)? Secondly, if you're only using one skein of yarn, chances are, it's going to be a fairly quick project - the exception being lace yarn shawls. Thirdly (oops, I should have said three reasons) if you're buying new yarn, it will be much cheaper than larger projects.
 
Lace One-skein Wonders did not disappoint me.  As you can see from the cover, there are 101 different projects available in the book, all with full instructions.  There are hats, caps, gloves, mitts, socks etc.  Scarves, cowls, shawls and stoles.  There are kids knits, there are lacy accessories and then there are home accessories.  101 choices. 
 
I am a sucker for the scarves and shawls myself.  I don't think you can ever have too many scarves.  oh, and socks for that matter.  and there are some absolutely beautiful patterns in this book.  Some are simple, some not quite so much, but there is so much variety that I doubt anyone would be disappointed 
 
One thing I should clarify is that this book is full of LACE projects all using one skein of different weights of yarn, NOT all using lace yarn, which is what I thought originally. So if you are shy of lace knitting, this might not be the book for you.  But then again, if you're not sure about lace knitting, what better way to learn, than with a small project that only uses one skein of yarn.
 
Final verdict - knitters, add this book to your library, you will not be disappointed.  Non-knitters, add this book to your library anyway - then find yourself a friend who knits, and ask them nicely if they will knit something for you, or get them to teach you.  If you don't have a knitting friend - just look at the pictures.  They're beautiful.
 
I'm just really sad that my copy will expire in just a few day.  I'm definitely going to have to go out and buy myself a copy.
 


Monday, July 22, 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. 


Summary: by Raincoast Books

Freesia's life is perfect. She lives on the beautiful tropical island of Agalinas, surrounded by idyllic weather, fancy dress shops, and peacocks who sing her favorite song to wake her up in the morning. She has so many outfits she could wear a different one every day for a year and not run out.

Lately things on the island may have been a bit flippy: sudden blackouts, students disappearing, even Freesia's reflection looking slightly . . . off. But in Freesia's experience, it's better not to think about things like that too much.

Unfortunately for her, these signs are more than random blips in the universe. Freesia's perfect bubble is about to pop.

Ahhh...life sounds rough for Freesia...she kind of reminds me of some of the socialites we read about in the tabloids...wait a minute...I wonder if she carries her dog around in a purse?  Thank you to Henry Holt and Company and Carol Snow for sending me this title!
- Christinabean

p.s.
LOVE THE COVER...so Barbie-esque!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tighter by Adele Griffin


Published: June 2012
Publisher: Ember
Pages: 240
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead. 

Brilliantly plotted, with startling twists, here is a thrilling page-turner from the award-winning Adele Griffin.

Review:
I was expecting a ghost story with lots of mystery and intrigue when I first picked up this title.  Jamie as a character was confused and misguided teen who had become dependent on medication to numb reality.  In her family, she seemed like the "forgotten" child.  Now her parents were shipping her off to a small town to play nanny to a young girl she had never met in a creepy town where everyone knows your business. 

To take the edge off of life, Jamie pilfers her parent's medicine cabinet.  She sneaks a few pills from random bottles and throws them into a baggie to be mixed up and plucked out like jelly beans whenever she needs a fix.  I was a little horrified to see how frequently she popped these unidentified pills.  At any point in time, she never really knew which pill she was popping.  Was it a pain killer? A sleeping pill?  I'm not really up to date with current teen issues but perhaps this would be a good one to address if you were doing a novel study.

All in all, Tighter would make a good ISU title.  There would certainly be lots to analyze.  Adele Griffin is a highly acclaimed author and I did enjoy her writing style.  I would be interested in reading some of her other novels as they are stand-alones (something of a rarity nowadays).  Had Tighter been longer in length, I'm not sure I would have finished it.  I felt compelled to find the answer to this one question - Is Jamie REALLY seeing ghosts or is it all in her imagination?  Read the book and find out!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

 
Published: September 2012
Published: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 368
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

In this apocalyptic sequel to Dark Inside’s “well-balanced, realistic suspense” (Kirkus Reviews), four teens continue the struggle for survival as they face a world gone mad.

Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population, and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers, and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, even if he is still alive. Michael is still haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive
.

It has taken me a while to get around to reading this sequel to Dark Inside, not sure why.  Yet again, Ms. Roberts takes the reader on a wild ride.  We get to reconnect with the characters and situations that occurred

The events occur in a complex apocalyptic future and are narrated through the eyes of 4 teens, Mason, Michael, Clementine and Aries.  Then there is 'Nothing' who narrates the odd chapter and really gives me the collywobbles.  Who is this Nothing?  Is he/she going to betray the others? At the end of the second book, we still don't know, so I'm assuming there will be a big reveal in #3. 

With so many different pov's I find it a little confusing sometimes, and I have to admit that it took me several chapters to get back into the world and remember what had happened.  I do have one question though.  If the 'Baggers' are supposed to be so violent, mad and sociopathic, how come they are the ones that are getting organized and running around in all white vans, and not the 'regular' survivors?  I'm still not sure about that one.

There are some interesting events that occur - no spoilers this time and the action is yet again tense and engrossing, but I didn't find Rage Within quite as spellbinding as Dark Inside.  I'd definitely recommend it for lovers of the genre though.  Just make sure you read the series in order, or you will be completely lost.

Friday, July 19, 2013

This has been a sad week for Gleeks


Cory Monteith  (May 11, 1982 - July 13, 2013)

Every now and again I will do a little Glee feature here on our blog.  Curlypow and I like to indulge in our television series.  Glee is one of my favorites.  Sadly, one of the main actors, Cory Monteith (Finn) passed away suddenly this weekend from a mixture of heroin and alcohol.  He was born in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta.  I will miss seeing him in Glee and hearing him belt out old school tunes.  Rest in Peace Cory.  My heart goes out to your friends and family as I am sure you will be missed dearly by all.

I wasn't able to access Glee On Fox via YouTube (since I'm in Canada...tsk! tsk!) but I did find this nice mix to one of the songs I will always remember Finn by - 


Lea Michele and Cory had been dating for the past two years.  Lea, my heart is breaking for you girl.  

- Christinabean

Thursday, July 18, 2013

White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

 
Published: July 9th, 2013
Publisher: Gallery books
Pages: 240
Copy: Publisher via Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads


A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . .

Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . .

His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .


Unfortunately, White Trash Beautiful did not captivate me at all.  I personally found it trite, predictable and boring.  BUT, I am willing to admit that the reason is not because the book or the writing is bad.  It's because I have finally accepted that I just don't really like any books in this genre.  I'm finding them all trite, predictable and boring. 

 I had a hard time relating to Cass because I absolutely could not understand why anyone would stay with a deadbeat like her 'boyfriend' Jax.  Leave him!  No-one deserves that kind of treatment, and it just makes me angry to read about it.  Tucker was a nice guy, who had been able to follow his dreams, and maybe there really are guys out there who are as much of a white knight as he was, I don't know, but here, he just seemed short sighted.  I couldn't accept that he really believed Cass would walk away with him. .

However, while I personally did not care for the book, I do acknowledge that there are hundreds, in fact probably thousands, out there in book land who absolutely love this kind of novel.  Will I recommend White Trash Beautiful - yes I probably will - I can think of at least half a dozen regulars at work who would adore this book and I will happily place it in their hands. 

By the way,  I apologise to Ms. Mummert for using her title  to illustrate my dislike for New Adult/contemporary romance in general.  Now I'm off to find a nice juicy fantasy that I can lose myself in.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Descendant by Lesley Livingston

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)

The last thing Mason Starling remembers is the train crossing a bridge. An explosion . . . a blinding light . . . then darkness. Now she is alone, stranded in Asgard—the realm of Norse legend—and the only way for her to get home is to find the Spear of Odin, a powerful relic left behind by vanished gods. 

The Fennrys Wolf knows all about Asgard. He was once trapped there. And he’ll do whatever it takes to find the girl who’s stolen his heart and bring her back—even if it means a treacherous descent into the Underworld. But time is running out, and Fenn knows something Mason doesn’t: If she takes up the Spear, she’ll set in motion a terrible prophecy. And she won’t just return to her world . . . she’ll destroy it.

In this pulse-pounding sequel to Starling, Lesley Livingston delivers another electrifying blend of nonstop action and undeniable romance that will leave readers breathless.

I have a couple of favourite Canadian authors and Lesley Livingston is one of them.  I REALLY enjoyed Starling so I'm going to throw in Descendant as my WOW early just to get you excited about it's release at the end of August.  At least this way, it will give you plenty of time to read Book #1 before this one comes out. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast has been my favourite fairy tale for as long as I can remember, other than a brief interlude with Goldilocks and the three bears when I was little. There is just something about the idea of getting to know someone for who they really are and not relying on the superficial.  I think it struck a real cord with me when I was working at a university library in my early 20's and one of our students looked really fierce and unapproachable - he had tribal scars all over his face.  When I got to know him, I discovered that he was the gentlest, sweetest person you could ever hope to meet. It taught me a very valuable lesson about not always assuming the worst and giving people a second chance.  Beauty and the Beast is at its heart a story about second chances.

So I am thrilled and delighted to have discovered two new retellings of Beauty and the Beast.  I am really looking forward to reading both of these.  If you've already had a chance, let me know what you thought.

 
Published: July 23rd, 2013


In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.


 
Publication: January 28th, 2014

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom—all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her. As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. But even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, could she refuse her duty to kill him?

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Monday, July 15, 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. 



Summary (by Goodreads):
It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.

I received this one from the lovely people at Tundra this week. Sounds ominous and it's one to look out for this fall.  We will be part of Paula's blog tour in September!  
- Christinabean

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Same Book, Second Look - Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire


Published: August 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 418
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Review:

Many moons ago I downloaded this title from NetGalley with the intention of reading it right away but then of course my TBR pile sky rocketed exponentially and things got out of control.  When I finally had time again to read, I thought I'd give it a shot and I truly could not put Beautiful Disaster down.  Jamie McGuire's words create a streak of fire between Abby and Travis.  The magnetism between these two is electric and jumps off the page!  I don't know how Ms. McGuire does it but she mastered these characters and molded them into polar opposites and then fused them together.  There are not many coupled characters that I have read with so much intensity.  It was an excellent introduction to the complicated relationship of loving someone so fiercely and letting them go.  Be prepared for high drama and an the emotional roller coaster called love.

In terms of recommending this book to readers, I would aim for a more mature teen audience.  The characters are university aged students.  Be forewarned that there is sex, violence and drinking involved. Probably best left off your recommended reading list for a tween.  I'm certain that our adult YA following would enjoy this one.  I mean, who doesn't like falling for the bad boy?  Think Patch from the Hush Hush series...but without the wings and supernatural abilities.  :)

Jamie's second book in this series is entitled Walking Beautiful and has reserved a spot on my e-reader already.  Can't wait to dig into it!  Looking for another opinion?  You might want to check out Curlypow's first impression review here

Friday, July 12, 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 – 

Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other then your home)

I love reading while I'm on vacation, sitting my the pool or with my legs submerged in the pool.  I always bring at least one book with me while I'm away.  It is when I can truly relax and have few interruptions.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a good vacation for awhile...doesn't stop me from reading though!

- 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.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rush by Eve Silver

 
Published: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: Kathleen Tegan Books
Pages: 361
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads


So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.


Think Hunger Games, I am Number Four and throw in a touch of City of Bones and you just might begin to get the feel of Rush.  There is a constant feeling of breathlessness throughout the story, so that the reader is never quite sure what is going to happen next.  The action starts right at the beginning and the sequences are bloody and violent, without ever getting too gory.

As for the characters, well I enjoyed them.  They are nice and well rounded and believable.  Jackson is the perfect 'bad guy'.  Dark and mysterious and I absolutely fell in love with him from the get-go.  I wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be ok, but I'd never get near enough.  He's why I thought of City of Bones - he's very Jace like in that way.  Luka was also a great character.  He's also good looking, but he's more of a follower - second-in-command type, not a leader.

Mimi's kind of dropped in at the deep end, and we learn what is going on at the same time as she does.  The sexual tension between Mimi and Jackson is  wonderful, it gave me the shivers. I don't think I really liked Mimi's best friend Carly, though.  Her reactions seemed a little OTT and childish, she's a bit of a drama queen.  Oh, and I loved Mimi's father.  Especially when he is trying to give her the 'birds and the bees' talk - it was priceless! There is a slightly dreamlike feel to the whole story, which added an extra dimension for me - pardon the pun.

I suspect if you are a gamer, or at least interested in gaming you would get even more out of the story than I did, but it did not affect my enjoyment  of Rush one little bit.  Loved it and can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Hear it For the Boys - Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas


July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Egmont, USA
Pages: 416
Copy: From Publisher
Summary: Goodreads


As original as The Hunger Games, set within the walls of a high school exactly like yours.” – Kami Garcia, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

"Take Michael Grant's Gone and Veronica Roth's Divergent, rattle them in a cage until they're ready to fight to the death, and you'll have something like this nightmarish debut...Thomas' whirlwind pace, painful details, simmering sexual content, and moments of truly shocking ultra-violence thrust this movie-ready high school thriller to the head of the class." - Booklist (starred review)


I started Quarantine: The Loners because I had been asked to review Quarantine: The Saints, and you can't read the second without knowing what comes before, right?  I hadn't heard anything about it, which was a little odd - it's been out for almost a year - so I wasn't too sure what I was getting into.  It didn't take me more than about 20 pages though to realise that this is a hidden gem.  Loners starts of with a huge bang, literally, and then slides provocatively into chaos and mayhem.

We meet all the characters fairly quickly, but it is the slow reveal of their true selves that I found most fascinating.  The relationship between brothers David and Will was amazing.  Seeing that relationship from both sides highlighted just how much of what we see is personal perception - not necessarily the truth.  Add in the fact that Will is epileptic and they are both crushing on the same girl and it's instant fireworks. Two other characters that intrigued and appalled me were Sam and Hillary - what a pair.  Sam is a little stereotypical at the beginning, but by the end - wow, he is such a nasty piece of work.

Mr. Thomas takes the natural arena of cliques in high school and turns it on its head.  I think if you take the best parts of The Hunger Games, Gone, Maze Runner and then throw in a bit of Lord of the Flies you might just begin to get an inkling of what it is like at McKinley.( Don't forget Divergent as well, as Booklist suggests!)  The pace of the story is frenetic and it truly illustrates the clich├ęs 'survival of the fittest' and 'dog eat dog'.  But in the end, I was just saying 'yeah for the little guys!'

This story grew on me with every page I read, and when I got to the end I was smiling, not because of what had happened, but because the last line is just so typically Sam I couldn't help myself.  I'm off now to start on Quarantine: The Saints, and I suspect it's going to be a whole different set of problems for everyone.  I can't wait.

Note:  Quarantine: The Saints is out today, July 9th.  and there is a special promotion on Quarantine: The Loners - it's available as an e-book for just $1.99 until July 2nd.  Trust me, it's worth buying.

Monday, July 8, 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 was lucky enough to receive a couple titles from author Daria Snadowsky - 


Summary (by Goodreads)

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.


Sunnary (by Goodreads)

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel toAnatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one. 

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever. 

I LOVE these covers.  The titles look like so much fun and the perfect summer read.  Thanks Daria!


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