Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monsters by Ilsa J Bick Review and Giveaway

 
 
Published: /September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 688
Copy: Publisher
Summary: Goodreads
 
The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End...is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse-until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue-on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won't quit-she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn't over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And...they've had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.
 
Review:
 

What can I tell you about Monsters?  WOW.  This is an incredibly powerful ending to an amazing trilogy, but it is not for the faint of heart - for two reasons.  It's long and it's very violent.  Monsters continues to shock readers with the depravity of so called sane people.  Sometimes it's hard to remember just who the monsters really are. 
While I really enjoyed this final book in the trilogy I still found it a little confusing and I had to concentrate to keep it all straight in my mind.  The action is continuous and jumps around from focus to focus with alarming frequency and I found it difficult sometimes to remember just who's story I was listening to.  There are so many characters that you really have to focus and I found myself several times trying to remember just exactly who was who.  I'm really glad that I read Shadows and Monsters back to back, but I still wish I had re-read Ashes just to help with my memory.
Tom is still hunting for Ellie and Alex, who is still hunting for Tom and Chris, who is still  hunting for Alex and Peter, who ends up in a whole heap of trouble, and so on and so forth. Most of that trouble is centred around Rule, and I am extremely glad I don't have to visit there.  It made me quite breathless at times, and it was never possible to  anticipate what was going to happen, so the tension keeps up without respite.  Not only are there a lot of characters to keep tabs on, but there are also a lot of plot lines that take sudden twists.    One thing is for sure, you will definitely never get bored while reading Monsters.  It's a little like reading a train wreck - you just have to keep going and find out what happened.
An interesting factor in the story is Alex's heightened sense of smell.  There are continued references to various strong and memorable scents - most of an unpleasant nature - and it almost becomes a character on it's own. Sometimes I found myself wondering how these smells would taste on the back of my tongue.  I also loved the play on words with the title.  There are so many monsters, of varying degrees and types and Ms :Bick really illustrates the monstrous side of human nature and the depths of depravity to which we will sink. 

In the end though, through all the confusion, the tension, the horror, the final message for me was hope and love, and I loved it - it actually made me cry.  Well, snivel anyway.


We are lucky enough to have  one hardcover copy of Monsters to give away to one lucky reader.  US only though - sorry Canadian peeps, next time. So give it a try why don't you?
Important information about the MONSTERS giveaway:
* The giveaway is one hardcover copy of Monsters. and is open to US residents only - sorry Canadian peeps.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

* Amazon: 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - October 30

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)

Delve into the details of all things Shadowhunter with this illustrated guide to the knowledge and lore of the Shadowhunter world.

Since the thirteenth century, the Shadowhunter’s Codex has been the one and only manual for Shadowhunters looking to brush up on their demon languages, learn proper stele use, and discover just what exactly a pyxis is. Featured in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, this guide is a necessity for any young Nephilim on their journey to becoming a Shadowhunter. Beautifully illustrated, the Codex contains images of the famous Shadowhunter homeland of Idris, as well as depictions of demons and other Downworlders.

But this isn’t just any copy of The Shadowhunter’s Codex. It’s Clary’s copy, and as an artist herself, she’s sketched pictures of her friends and family in the book, and scrawled helpful advice in the margins. Of course, she couldn’t exactly stop Jace or Simon from adding their thoughts either. Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual—complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all—this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the #1 New York Timesbestselling series.

Here's a title that came out this week but it sounds fascinating.  For those of you who love the Mortal Instruments series like I do, this may be another title to enhance your Cassandra Clare bookshelf...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - October 28


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

This week I received - 


Summary (Goodreads)

Ted Bundy. The Son of Sam. The Boston Strangler. Albert Fish. Henry Lee Lucas. 

The DNA of the world’s most notorious serial killers has been cloned by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new breed of bioweapon. Now in Phase Three, the program includes dozens of young men who have no clue as to their evil heritage. Playing a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator. A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Castillo didn’t count on the quiet young man he finds hiding in an abandoned house—a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country on the trail of the rampaging teens, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears—and who may also be his last hope. Melding all-too-plausible science and ripped from- the-headlines horror, Cain’s Blood is a stunning debut about the potential for good and evil in us all.


Summary (by Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.

There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.

When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?

What better way to get ready for Halloween than to start reading some freaky stories about the DNA of serial killers??  Honestly, I was rather surprised to see these titles in the teen section but I do like horror novels and these certainly seem to fit the bill.  I'll let you know how they fare...
- Christinabean

Friday, October 25, 2013

Follow Friday - October 25


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 – 

Bookagram: Photograph your fave read in a funny place.


This is my washing machine.  They certainly are "lost" aren't they?  What I REALLY wanted to do was throw up a picture of Fifty Shades of Gray in my washing machine and tell y'all that I like to read dirty books...that perhaps that would have been inappropriate for our YA blog.  hahahahaha!!!
- 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, October 24, 2013

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

 
Published: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 384
Copy: My Own
Summary: Goodreads


There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


Review

Brandon Sanderson is an author I have been wanting to read for quite a while now, but for some reason I've never got around to it.  So when I realised he had written a YA novel it seemed like the perfect opportunity and  Steelheart did not disappoint. 

David has spent most of his life trying to work out Steelheart's flaw, or rather his weakness.  HIs sole purpose is to join with the Reckoners, a group of mysterious vigilantes, and to kill Steelheart.  His motives were believable and his actions made sense.  When he meets up with the Reckoners his transition from newbie to part of the team is fraught with danger and excitement.

The team members, Megan, Prof, Cody, Tia and Abraham, have such a great dynamic that it was a pleasure to read about them.  Of varying ages each one has a part to play and does it well, but we have to get to know them along with David. This world that they live in is so well imagined that it was possible to climb through steel tunnels along with them and to witness the illusions as they happen.

Steelheart is an exciting roller coaster ride into a new world filled with megalomaniacs and unsung heroes.  It's fun and interesting and basically un-put-downable!  Librarians, this is a great one to recommend to the boys.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - October 23

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)

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

I love the way Lauren Kate writes her romances.  I have to admit that I have yet to finish up the Fallen series (sorry, just too much to read) but I do enjoy the way she portrays hot angelic men.  :P
- Christinabean

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - October 21


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

This week I received - 



Looks like I've got a thing about "minds" this week!  What's on your shelf?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shout Out to Indies - The White Stag by Linden Flynn



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

 
Today we're very happy to let you get your teeth into an excerpt from The White Stag by Linden Flynn. 
 
 
 
Published: August 29th, 2013
 
Win and become the King. Lose your armor, lose your life. A kingdom in chaos, and countless men dead. When Cypress emerges from her village in the forest to seek her fate in the outside lands, she doesn't bargain on becoming part of the realm's politics with the Knight's Game. Twelve men were chosen for the Game, each with his own symbol, and the last one standing becomes the next King. One man wears the sigil of the white stag, an unearthly being from Cypress' own forest, that draws her into a world she never dreamed of. But when Cypress comes face to face with her spitting image, the father she never knew, she joins the Game to ensure his tyranny will not become law, all while hiding a secret that could get her killed - that she's a woman. (from Amazon)
 
 
 
 
When she opened her eyes, she saw mere shapes in the darkness. She was seated but slouched uncomfortably, her arms bound behind her with rope. The room was dimly lit by one candle, and the figures slowly resolved into a room full of furniture and the large man from the bar.
       “Dirk,” Cypress muttered. Her pain intensified when she spoke.
       “Where’s Noble?” Dirk growled.
       “You waited for me,” Cypress whispered.
       “Where is he?”
       “And then you took me.”
       “Noble. Where?”
       “And the barmaid… Did she know?”
       “I won’t ask you again!!” Dirk boomed. “Where is Lyle Noble?”
       Cypress chuckled. The amusement sank down into her stomach, and she threw her head back and roared in laughter. The irony of it all. “Noble didn’t come and find me like he promised,” Cypress said. “So if you took me merely to find him, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.”
       Dirk snorted. “He’ll come for you one way or another.”
       “He won’t,” Cypress said. “He broke his promise. Are you dense?”
       She should have known not to mouth off. Dirk jumped from his chair and cracked his hand against her lip. She tasted blood, and her head pulsed with the same rhythm as ripples in a lake.
       “You’re going to wait,” Dirk said. “I’m going to make sure Noble knows the situation he’s in.” Dirk knocked twice on the door and opened it. Dirk’s skinny friend from the night before was standing guard. “Don’t even think about running, girl.” The room shook when Dirk slammed the door. At least he was gone and Cypress had peace to think.
       Foolish girl, she realized. She hadn’t even given Lyle her name. How would he ever come looking for her? And what if Hazel came to find her?
       Oh, Hazel… She should have listened to her and left the city with or without Lyle. The trouble with Dirk had been a warning, and now she was paying the price for trusting an outsider.
       Her bow and arrows were laid out on the bed, though her hunting knife had been missing since the previous fight. She needed something to cut the ropes, and she knew her arrowheads were sharp enough. If only she could reach them…
       She was tied to the chair but not completely immobile. By pressing her feet hard against the ground, she could effectively push the chair across the floor to the bedside. After each movement, each scrape of the chair against the wooden floor, she looked towards the door and waited for the guard to come in. Luckily, he never did.
When she finally reached the edge of the bed, she grabbed the top quilt and tugged it towards her inch by inch. Her bow slipped past her fingers, but she nabbed her quiver and from it retrieved an arrow. She turned the arrow in her fingers, pressed the flint head against the thick cord binding her, and cut at her restraints.
       The rope loosened itself around her wrists until her hands were free. Blood flowed down into her fingertips and burned her hands like she had thrust them into a flame. With no time to wait for the sensation to pass, Cypress set to work on the rope around her ankles. When the restraints fell away, she stood, free to escape out the window, but just as she touched the windowsill, she heard heavy footsteps outside the door.
       Had she been too loud? Had the guard noticed her movements? No, she could hear his voice—Dirk was returning to the room.
       She sat back down in the chair and kicked the loose ankle restraints beneath the bed. Pulling her arms behind her, she kept the arrow tight in her right hand and adopted the look of a pained captive.
       “The whole town knows you’re gone now,” Dirk said as he entered. “Been here a day and you’re almost noteworthy.” Cypress said nothing; she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “Your little friend is asking about you at the bar. Cypress, huh? Strange name for a strange girl.” Cypress looked up at the mention of Hazel. At least she was safe and in a crowded place. Cypress hoped she stayed there instead of looking for her. She would be safer with Rose.
       “You shouldn’t have tried to fight me,” Dirk said, standing in front of Cypress’ chair. “I was there to pick a fight with Noble, not you. But if you want to help me get his attention, I’m more than willing to use you.” Cypress caught the smirk on his face, and it made her sick. “Come now,” Dirk said. “Why so quiet?” He reached a hand to Cypress’ face, and she knew that if she did not strike now, she never would. She lunged out of the chair and drove the arrow deep into Dirk’s eye. The man backed away, howling in pain and grabbing at the arrow.
       Cypress seized her bow and quiver, notching an arrow onto the bow. Dirk’s friend opened the door, crying, “What?” Cypress loosed an arrow into his shoulder, and he stumbled out of the doorway. She ran and did not look back. The last thing she glimpsed was Dirk trying to pull the arrow from his eye.
 
Good luck with the book Linden

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Countdown by Michelle Rowen

 
Published: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 336
Copy: Publisher through Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads


3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.

GAME OVER


Review

I almost didn't get to this one.  I kept passing over it, for no real reason that I can establish other than time. Then I decided to give it a go and  I am so glad I did.  This book is not part of a series - how unusual is that these days?  In fact it was originally published in 2008 and has been 'reworked' as a YA novel.  Well, it definitely worked.

Countdown was exciting.  We join Kira as she is dropped into the frying pan, and we basically have to go through the fire with her to find out what is going on.  I've been trying to come up with a comparison for Countdown and it's difficult.  In fact I couldn't come up with any book titles, just two movies  Death Race and Gamer. I don't know if you've seen either of those, but the idea that you are dumped into an arena, of sorts and you have to play a game to the death for the entertainment of others, just gives me the creeps. Oh, wait a minute, I guess Hunger Games would fall into that category, wouldn't it?

But Countdown didn't remind me of Hunger Games as I was reading.   Kira and Rogan are not fighting for any purpose other than as entertainment for faceless 'others' who are watching them via implants in their brains.  The action really never lets up.  These poor kids are basically given 3 minutes to get out of a room and start surviving tests - each one lasting about 30 minutes.   OK, just thought of another book - The Testing by Joelle Charboneau - but again, I didn't think of it while I was reading.

Considering the time constraints in the story, the character development was fairly believable.  Not insta-love, but insta-attraction, and I'm a firm believer in that. Kira and Rogan don't trust each other immediately, but have to work to gain that trust throughout the game, and there is one instance where I was beginning to think 'oh no, but Ms. Rowen brought them to their senses, thank goodness.

Countdown is definitely not a feel good, nice book.  It's gritty, violent and suspenseful, with believable characters and a story that finishes with a very satisfying conclusion.  Please Ms. Rowen, don't be tempted to continue with this one.  Much as I'd love it, I'm quite happy with the way it ended.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Follow Friday - October 18


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 – 

Normally I'd do a Feature Follow here but I messed up last week and put this week's question up under last week's post so I'm going to do something totally faux pas and make up my own question....

If you could choose two authors to co-write a book, who would they be?

I personally would love to see Cassandra Clare and Holly Black write a book together.  I saw them together at a book signing and they play off each other so well.  Not only do they critique each other's work but they also have very different styles that could lend well to one another.  They are also good friends and aren't afraid to tell the other an idea is crap.  ;)
-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, October 17, 2013

Shadows by Ilsa J Bick

 
Published: September 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 528
Copy: From Publisher
Summary: Goodreads


The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.

Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.

Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive.

Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.


Review

When I was approached by Egmont to review the final book in this trilogy, Monsters, I realised that I hadn't read Shadows.  Not sure why, I guess it just passed me by.  Luckily, Egmont very helpfully gave me access to a copy so that I could catch up.

I had forgotten just exactly how much is going on in this trilogy.  There are so many different pov's that it is very easy to get lost and to lose track of what is happening to whom.  There's Tom, who's  looking for Alex, whose looking for Chris, who's looking for Alex, who may be dead, but maybe not.  And then there are Melly and Weller who are helping Tom look for Alex, but not really, because they have their own agenda and they don't really care who gets hurt in the process as long as it upsets the bigwigs in Rule. Then Chris, with Lena and Nathan are getting sidetracked, and it looks as if something is wrong with Lena, which could complicate things even more. Oh, and I forgot Peter, who I think is looking for both Alex and Chris, but I could be wrong there. Then of course there are the Chuckies, or changed, who are really the bad guys, but sometimes I think the regular humans are just as bad, if not worse - except for the eating human flesh bit.

Does it sound confusing?  Well it is and it isn't.  If I managed to sit down and read for more than 10 minutes at a time, it seems easier to keep track of what's going on.  The thing is, despite all the weaving in and out of different story lines, Ms. Bick mhas managed to create and keep a level of tension that is hard to fault.  The story is gritty and violent and complex and very engrossing - enough that the jumping around is forgivable - and talk about a cliffhanger ending!  If you haven't read this trilogy yet, my recommendation would be to read them quickly, one after the other, so that the characters and actions remain fresh in your mind.  I have Monsters set up to go and I'm looking forward to find out exactly what happens.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - October 16

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)

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I am embarrassed to say that I have fallen behind...like waaaay behind in the Divergent series.  Let's just say that I have yet to read book #2...and now book #3 is already upon us??!!  GAGH!  So much reading...so little time.  Now if I didn't have to sleep, I'd have my TBR pile finished up in no time!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Beauty by Nancy Ohlin (writing as Nancy Butcher)

 
 Published: May 2013, Originally published 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 175
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Ana is nothing like her glamorous mother, Queen Veda, whose hair is black as ravens and whose lips are red as roses. Alas, Queen Veda loathes anyone whose beauty dares to rival her own—including her daughter.

And despite Ana’s attempts to be plain to earn her mother’s affection,
she’s sent away to the kingdom’s exclusive boarding school.

At the Academy, Ana is devastated when her only friend abandons her for the popular girls. Isolated and alone, Ana resolves to look like a true princess to earn the acceptance she desires.

But when she uncovers the dangerous secret that makes all of the girls at the Academy so gorgeous, just how far will Ana go to fit in?


As much of a fan as I am of fairy tale retellings, for some reason this one didn't catch my interest too much.   Beauty is very, very loosely based on Snow White, - wicked queen obsessed with beauty and jealous of her daughter, but this one while not modern in setting, had a modern feel to it. 

Beauty in this instance is a drug, in pill form, that the girls become addicted to.  There is a 'little man' who is helping the queen to keep her beauty but nothing really clicked about him.  I'd love to be able to pin down what I wasn't keen on in this book, but I think it was just in general.  I didn't connect to Ana, and because of that couldn't connect to the others.

Still, if you are a fan of retellings, give it a try (it's a really quick read) and let me know what you think.  It wasn't bad, just not for me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - October 14


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

This week I received - 


Two of my favorite authors released books in the past couple months that I'm dying to start reading.  What books have you been itching to start?



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston


Published: Sept 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
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.

Review:

I pre-ordered this title after hearing about it from Melissa de la Cruz's newsletter.  I was intrigued to get back on board with a new series by this author and wanted to see how this husband and wife would work as duo authors.  I have to admit, the idea of Vegas freezing over and a new bleak, dystopian future sounded intriguing (albeit a little depressing).  The main characters start out in New Vegas but are in fact searching for "the Blue". I truly thought that it would have centered more around the area and this particular reclimatized location would play a major role in their surroundings.  It sounded like a very interesting place to be.  Gambling still runs rampant despite how most people seem to have very little and have lost much.

Nat asks a ragtag crew to take her to "the Blue".  It is like a fabled area where the skies are blue and the water is clean and the sun is warm.  Basically a paradise most believe does not exist.  Throughout their journey they run into all sorts of problems.  Natasha also begins to discover that she has some magical abilities that she is not able to control (such as levitating objects).  It was an interesting journey fraught with danger, romance and even a little death.

By the end of book 1, I certainly felt like the authors were setting the stage for an epic series.  Reminiscent of a new Fellowship,  Natasha's companions - a couple dwarves, what I pictured to be an elvish woman, and the other humanfolk seemed to mimic a similar group we know of...except they were not searching for a ring. Lord of the Rings crossed with an episode of Merlin and a dash of Serenity.  Is it a recipe for success?  Only time will tell...

Overall, this was a great start to a new series.  I agree with Margaret Stohl's comments when she says "more dragons please!"  Keep 'em coming Mr and Mrs. de la Cruz....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


Published: August 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 528
Copy Provided by: ARC from publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...

Review:

Second novels are always iffy for me.  I have to had really enjoyed book #1 to make it to book #2 and the latter has a lot to live up to.  What I loved best about Fire with Fire is that Han and Vivian delivered.  They took what I thought was a contemporary novel and bumped things up a notch.  I thought I knew where things were headed but in reality, I HAD NO IDEA!  After thinking I was so smart in keeping up with the story for the first 90% of the book, it took a major detour!  What a shocker!  To have books turn my book reality upside down in a truly convincing and believable way is something I look forward to.  I want you to shock me, entertain me and leave me flabbergasted.  I have to say, as far as a second book series title, this was the best, if not one of the best for 2013 for me so far this year.

Originally I thought that the Burn for Burn series was comparable to Gossip Girls.  Now I'm thinking it is a little more akin to Carrie by Stephen King...well done ladies.  It was a heck of a long book but very enjoyable...


Friday, October 11, 2013

Follow Friday - October 11


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 are some of your favorite magazines?

I love crafting magazines.  I get inspiration from seeing what other people make and sometimes spin off my own ideas.  My favorite mags are Mollie Makes and Craftmaker.  Both are from the UK. Because I don't have a lot of time, I often look for very short easy to make items.    

- 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.

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