Saturday, December 28, 2013

Same Book, Second Look - The Trap by Andrew Fukuda

 
Published: November 25th, 2013
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 322
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


From author Andrew Fukuda comes The Trap, the explosive finale to The Hunt trilogy—perfect for fans of The Hunger Games!

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene's mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.


Well after my minor disappointment with The Prey, I am very pleased to report that I loved The Trap.  Mr. Fukuda seemed to have regained that break-neck feeling that was so present in The Hunt but that I felt was missing in The Prey.

This time around I was able to empathise with Gene and Sissy - in fact, they kind of got under my skin, in that I was almost there with them.  I was hiding in rail carriages, stuck in enclaves and riding in elevators, all the while holding my breath and hoping that I wouldn't get caught.  Only one thing didn't sit right with me and that was the whole heper smell idea.  I didn't quite believe that the hepers could have got away with living amongst the vampires without being found out.  There is a scene where Gene and Sissy are trying to remove all trace of their personal odour from themselves, and I couldn't help thinking that the process in itself would make them smell differently from the vamps. Could be just me over-analyzing though and I managed to accept it as a given.

This is a wonderful trilogy, best read one after the other, so if by chance you haven't discovered it yet, set aside some time and immerse yourself in this fascinating world where we are the minority and vampires rule.  Oh, and be prepared to have your ideas turned upside down at the end.  Gripping and exciting this is one vampire story you have to try.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All


Merry Christmas!


Too bad those bears weren't books eh? ;)



Leaving you with a Christmas medley by some of my favourite cover tune artists - 




Christinabean:  Curlypow, I think we should talk about taking a break from blogging between Christmas and the New Year, yes?  I don't have enough time to read....
Curlypow:  Great idea! I don't have enough time to spend with my grandson...maybe I can read him a few new titles....

Wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  May your stockings be filled with new releases!  See you in the new year!

- Christinabean and Curlypow

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Defy by Sara B. Larsen

 
Published: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 336
Copy: Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads


A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect


I particularly enjoyed the main character in this novel.  Alexa seemed to me to be the kind of person I would like to meet.  She works hard, trains harder and all the while she has to hide the fact that she is actually a girl. 

Now I thought that her reactions when she discovers that her 'secret' isn't so much of a secret after all were pretty realistic.  I don't know about you, but I can keep going through a crisis until it is all over and then I let myself fall apart.  So her minor melt downs seemed pretty reasonable to me.  But I don't understand why she would suddenly start blushing!  I think that was my big complaint.  Either you blush or you don't. You don't suddenly start blushing just because people find out you are a girl.

Other than that, I loved the story.  I loved the two male protagonists, Rylan and  Damian.  They were both so different and both vying for Alexa's affection.  Now for myself I'd go for Damian - give me bad boys every time.  I liked his air of mystery and sarcastic humour.  Whether Alexa ends up with him or Rylan though, you'll have to find out for yourself.  Exciting, mysterious, adventurous and romantic.  A little bit of everything for everyone. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead


Published: Nov 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 438
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Review:

Ahhh....I love Richelle Mead.  Sitting back and reading one of her books is like catching up with an old friend.  It is funny how quickly we fall back into comfortable patterns and even though I feel like she has a tried and true road map to writing, she always manages to throw in a few surprises to keep me reading.  The Fiery Heart is book #3 in the Bloodline series.  Here, we find Sydney FINALLY finding her voice and becoming not only strong intellectually but finding her own inner self-confidence in all things non-academic.  Not only that, but she finds herself a real beau, not the faker coffee maker who thinks he is smarter than Miss Sage.  I mean, c'mon, have we ever  met any character smarter than a grade A alchemist?  Speaking of smarts, Sydney flexes her noggin' and devises some pretty incredible magic of her own by mixing her personal magic with her knowledge of all things Alchemist.  Together, they get her into a heap of trouble...which will lead us to the next book of course.  If you are a lover of the Vampire Academy, then you must have already started reading the Bloodlines series.  If you haven't, then definitely start from book #1 - Bloodlines (even if you haven't read Vampire Academy).  It will have you sitting in your cozy chair and ordering book #2 wirelessly in no time.  :)  Highly highly recommended reading this holiday season....

Thursday, December 19, 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 – 

Pick a book in your favorite genre that you’d recommend to a reluctant reader.


The Pledge and The Body Finder are both starting books of trilogies by Kimberly Derting.  I LOVE Kim's writing and ability to weave an interesting tale.  Not only is she great at character building and relationships but she does it in a very clean way.  The Body Finder series is a bit of a mystery/thriller type.  There are a few scary scenes which make it all the more thrilling and wanted me to keep reading.  The Pledge was a really interesting twist on a unique story about long lost kingdoms and queens.  They are both completely different reads but each fascinating in their own way.  Ms. Derting is one of the most underrated authors that I know but for the young adults that I've recommended her to, they have also fallen in love with her books.
 - 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.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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)

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

To me, Laurie Halse Anderson is like the Jodi Piccoult of Young Adult titles.  She takes real situations and makes them gritty, readable and unputdownable.  Can't wait for this one to be released January 7th.
- Christinabean


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Poison by Brigid Zinn

 
Published: March 2013 
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 288
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.


Yet again I am stretching the definition of fairy tale, but Poison pretty much read like one - it had that kind of feel to it.  Poison was a wonderful read.  It was short, cute and funny with characters that were a joy to read about.  It's a medieval type fantasy adventure with magic in the form of potions and Kyra is a Master potions maker.  She was smart, pithy and sure of herself.  Willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the country, even if it means killing her best friend.  What I loved about her was that she didn't give up.  She made a mistake and instead of burying her head in the sand, she hides and tries to work out another way to achieve her goal.

Where Ms. Zinn came up with the idea of a search pig, I don't know, but it adds a lovely humourous touch to the narrative. Add to that a handsome adventurer with an air of mystery and the story really takes off., and there was a lovely twist or three towards the end that kept me guessing. I love it when a book keeps me smiling, don't you?  You know as a reader that the situations are unlikely, but you just don't care and keep reading because it's enjoyable.

 I read Poison in just over a day and I was thinking how much I would enjoy reading more by Ms. Zinn, when I discovered that she is no longer with us.   Poison was her first, and now only, book and I feel saddened by that fact.  Give yourself a quick, delicious treat and read Poison and then join with me in regretting that we won't see any more by Ms. Zinn.  A budding talent cut short, but I'm just glad I had a chance to read and discover her.

Monday, December 16, 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. 

This week I received - 


Summary (by Goodreads)

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

Sounds like an ominous title....I can't wait to dive into it and get to the nitty gritty.  :)
- Christinabean

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Shout Out to Indies - ZEIN by Graham Wood


   

 


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 -


 
 
 
 
One hundred years ago, fleeing terror in their homeland, The Zein Expeditionary Force arrived in a new galaxy, where they found planet Earth and its rich supply of the extraordinary and rare raw material zinithium. They also found Earth to be inhabited by humans; an aggressive race similar in appearance to their own, but technologically inferior. The indigenous species were too numerous to conquer, yet too engrossed in their own wars to make peace with. Instead of joining with the humans, the Zeinonians settled in four quadrants in the skies above Earth, masking their presence with their advanced alien technology. For decades they lived peacefully, mining the precious zinithium, awaiting a time when the human wars would cease, and the two might live side by side, in harmony.

One hundred years later and peace continues to allude the Earth. The Zeinonians must now face their own uprising, as the evil Zylar leads a powerful sectarian rebel army against the remaining protected quadrant, to once and for all take control of the Zein Earth Colony. Zylar’s plan is to invade and conquer Earth and plunder the precious zinithium to aid his empirical ambitions across the entire known Universe. There is only one Zeinonian who can prevent a devastating interplanetary war; young Kabel Blackstone, destined to be one of the most powerful Zeinonians to have ever lived. Following the mysterious ‘Ancient Prophecy’, Kabel travels to Earth where he forms a small band of unlikely human companions. Amongst them is Tyson Mountford, who has recently started to experience disturbing new powers and abilities; signs that he could be the key to the Ancient Prophecy. Kabel and Tyson, two strangers from different worlds, must join forces to overcome the tyrannical forces that threaten their lives, their families, and the future of their races. If they fail, Zylar will stop at nothing to destroy their home planets, on his mission to dominate the Universe.

Zein is the fast-paced sci-fi thriller charting an epic battle of good against evil, as an alien species allies with the human race to fight dark forces, both on Earth and in the skies above it. Whilst aimed at a young adult audience, Zein explores pertinent themes of romance, friendship and adversity which will undoubtedly resonate with many adults, too.


We asked Graham if he would like to tell us why he chose to write for a YA audience:

Thank you for the opportunity to post on your excellent site. We ‘indie’ authors appreciate the support you can give. You ask a good question on why I have selected the young adult market and
I will have to say that I didn’t consciously write the book to deliberately target this audience. I was caught up in the storytelling and by chance the end product is suitable to both YA and wider sci-fi
followers. However, I am really pleased that a number of YA sites are showing interest in my trilogy. When I was a child I had difficulty forming my words and had a speech impediment. To combat this I read many books and once I had exhausted the limited number of young adult books I had little choice but to read my dad’s novels.


Now the choice is immense and if I turned back the clock I would be spoilt for choice. I have recently read the Suzanne Collins trilogy (Hunger Games) and George RR Martin series of books (Game of Thrones) and enjoyed them thoroughly. I am only too pleased to be able to add my books to the pile.

Completing this book was a great personal achievement of mine. When I sat down in front of a
battered electronic typewriter when I was 15 years old and started my first attempts at producing
a novel I never thought it would take me 30 years. In fact it took me only four months to write and
seven months to edit once I started. The question I ask myself is why did I leave it so long? If I can
inspire the next 15 year old whose dream is to write then that would be great. I just hope they don’t
let life get in the way of their dream!

I have to pay a tribute to my daughter who via her bravely on facing, experiencing and recovering
from her open heart surgery made me realise that it was now or never to write my first novel.
I found writing an escape from the endless worry and this is a way I can thank the hospital that
operated successfully on Becky. Knowing that 50% of profits will be going to the hospital in the next
three years, was a great motivator.

I hope those readers who purchase the book enjoy the story and I can only promise that books two
and three are full of action, relationship issues and excitement. Just what I hope most young adults
crave for. I may be no longer a young adult but in my mind I am firmly that boy, unable to form
words clearly, with his nose in a good book. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

 
Published: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 310
Copy: Publisher through Edelweis
Copy: Goodreads

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Back in June I reviewed the first book in this series 'The Testing'  and I really enjoyed it. So of course I was a little apprehensive when I started Independent Study, just in case it didn't measure up.  No worries - no worries at all.  Independent Study was every bit as good.  Not better, but definitely just as good. 

I found it really easy to step back into this world that Ms. Charbonneau has created and to relate once again to her characters.  It was very interesting to see these characters after having their minds wiped and their memories of the testing erased. This time around we are introduced in more detail to some that we met before and we also get to know some new characters.  So many of the adults in this story have that aura of dishonesty about them, but that of course could just be because we're seeing them through Cia's eyes.  She doesn't know who to trust or what is going on really, but she is sure that whatever it is, she has to stop it.

There is a nice gentle romance going on in the background.  Nothing too complex, but not too straight forward either and there is just enough uncertainty to keep it interesting.  On another level, Ms Charbonneau is definitely not afraid to kill off her characters, so be prepared for upsets.

Yet again there are a whole host of surprises and the events take place with mystery and tension in spades.   This series is a worthy successor to The Hunger Games - entrance exams should never be like this!  I really do not want to wait another year to find out what happens.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill

 
Published: July 2010
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 320
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst Academy?

In the wake of the accident that killed her family, Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy, a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana. There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school, which her parents also attended, but to magic.

All the students at Oakhurst have magical powers, and although Spirit’s hasn’t manifested itself yet, the administrators insist she has one. Spirit isn’t sure she cares. Devastated by the loss of her family, she finds comfort with a group of friends: Burke Hallows, Lachlann Spears, Muirin Shae, and Adelaide Lake.

But something strange is going on at Oakhurst. Students start disappearing under mysterious circumstances, and the school seems to be trying to cover it up. Spirit and her friends must find out what’s happening—before one of them becomes the next victim…


Legacies is the first book in a series that I missed when it first came out.  It crossed my line of sight at work and since I'm a huge fan of Ms. Lackey and figured I'd better give it a try.  The books I normally read by Ms. Lackey tend to be more traditional fantasies (pretty much all of which are suitable for older YA readers) so I was really intrigued to see how she would handle the typical YA boarding school outline.  I'm very happy to say that she and Ms. Edgehill succeeded very well.

The school in this series is also an orphanage - was successfully does away with all those pesky parents who might object to any mistreatment of their children.  Of course the twist is that these kids find out that they all have some form of magic.  It could have been corny, but actually it managed to retain a sense of menace, that ran through the entire book. There are a couple of nods to Harry Potter here - particularly with the Principal - long white hair and beard - but he is no Dumbledore and  there seems to be no softness to him at all.
Loch, Burke, Muirin and Addie, along with Spirit realise that something is seriously wrong at the school and try to solve the mystery of why so many kids go missing.  It's obvious to the reader, and to the kids, that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye, but the clues are buried deeply, and the kids have their work cut out.  I enjoyed the logical progression of their search and that there was very little leaping to convenient conclusions. A little bit of magic, a little bit of mystery and a little bit of menace all meld together into an enjoyable read.

One of the nice things about finding trilogies late is that you don't have to wait for the succeeding volumes to out.  I've already put holds on Conspiracies, and Sacrifices and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the kids handle what's coming next.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

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 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins. 
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld. 
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. 
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders...because she keeps finding the bodies. 
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away ...or even worse, another witch is killed?

A new series release by Alyxandra Harvey!  Witches!!  Look for A Breath of Frost to come out January 7th!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let's Hear It For the Boys - The Eye of Minds by James Dashner


Published: Oct 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 323
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Mindsis the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Review:
James Dashner is one of my favourite go-to authors for guy reads.  The Maze Runner was a great series packed with a thrilling plot, lots of action and plenty to interest those who tend not to be interested in reading.  The plot of the Mortality Doctrine is off to a great start in captivating the gamer genre in a virtual world filled with just as many twists and turns as The Maze Runner.  

Mr. Dashner does an excellent job of creating worlds where regular every day kids are transported and have to accept the challenges of most adults.  His characters always seem tested for their survival abilities and quick thinking to escape horrific situations.  Although this title may appeal to gamers, please be forewarned that there are some graphic scenarios that are quite brutal and may not be appropriate for a younger audience.  Mind you, if your kids are playing older rated games, the scenarios are probably similar.  

Like I mentioned before, I am a fan of James Dashner and his writing.  To be honest though, I had a hard time finishing this novel.  I am not a gamer so I had it hard to identify with parts of the story and conceptualize the scenes.  HOWEVER, in saying that, I also did like the way it ended and would recommend this title to our upcoming techie generation.  Although I would classify it more as a "guy's read", it certainly would not be lost on girls who also enjoy gaming.

Monday, December 9, 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. 

This week I received - 


Summary (by Goodreads)

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

I LOVED reading Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series.  It is one of my favourites.  The Bloodlines series is just as cozy as we see a spinoff of a few minor characters from the original series.  What I like most is that it is like sitting down and catching up with an old friend.  Watch for my review of this one coming soon!
- Christinabean

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia


Published: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 305
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia. I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way
.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels


Wow, what a powerful book.  I've heard it described as Supernatural meets the Da Vince Code, or Supernatural meets Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, but personally I'd have to add in a bit of Demon's Lexicon and just a touch of Ghostbusters.  If you put all of those together, you just begin to get an inkling of what is going on in this amazing book.

Ms. Garcia has put together a rag tag bunch of orphans and has dropped them into the proverbial deep end - only there's no-one there to save them except themselves - and they do save each other, several times.  Priest, the youngest, is a genius and loves to make weapons (he's what made me think of Ghostbusters, he does amazing things with water guns!)  Alara is from money but is more than happy to share what she's got if it will help kill the demon.  I particularly enjoyed the way her character opened up and warmed to Kennedy.  Lucas and Jared?  Well, they are tall dark and handsome twins - a love triangle waiting to happen, and of course it does, but I enjoyed the way it was handled. The boys may look alike, but that's where the similarities end.  Kennedy, the main protagonist, is broken, and we find out more about the reasons why as the story goes on.  She doubts herself and her abilities and she is thrust into some really nasty situations where she has to make split second decisions, and not always the right ones.

Unbreakable was a powerhouse of supernatural tension, romance and mystery that was a pleasure to read.  I can't wait to see what comes in the second installment.

Friday, December 6, 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 – 

Tell us at least one new or unusual thing you’ve done in 2013.

I did something that I have wanted to do for a long, long time.  I took my favourite book series - The Mortal Instruments - used the runes from the book and turned them into a personalized tattoo...which I had tattooed onto my lower back this fall.  Yup.  I would share it but it is so personal that I don't want other copying the design...stingy, I know.  :)

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, December 5, 2013

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda


Published: November 2013
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene's mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

Review:
FINALLY!!  Book #3...the final installment of The Hunt!  I was so excited to read this and devoured it in just a couple days (that is a miracle for someone who doesn't have much time).  The entire series is fast paced and thrilling and doesn't seem to ever slow down.  The Trap is no exception.  

STOP READING HERE IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BOOK 1 AND 2.  THERE ARE SPOILERS!!

So here it is - Gene, Sissy, David and Epap have made it onto the train with other Mission occupants and are headed to the city.  Some will survive and some won't.  It will be a horrifying experience and nothing is as it seems.  Will they finally have the reunion with Gene's father that they have been craving?  How many other humans are out there?  Can they free them all?  Or is the human population quickly becoming extinct?  Will Gene and Sissy be able to reverse the virus and change everyone back?  We finally have the answers to all of these questions...and I gotta tell you, blood will be shed.  Characters will die and nothing is as it appears.  

As much as I loved this series (and I really did), the conclusion did not hold me as the rest of the series did.  I was expecting an explosion of understanding and all I thought was - that's it?  It's over?  It was an interesting way to wrap things up but didn't have the same "omph" as the momentum from the rest of the series.  Sorry, don't mean to burst any bubbles.  Still a recommended read but the ending didn't have the impact I was hoping for.   My conclusion - Come along for the ride.  Immerse yourself in the story and be open to the ending.

This would be an excellent "guys" read but also has appeal to girls as there is a minor love triangle throughout the series.  If you enjoyed the Hunger Games and Twilight, you will enjoy The Trap.  Be prepared for some gruesome descriptive scenes with vampires and their ummm...bodily fluids.  There seemed to be excessive oozing in this last book.  :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

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)

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

I haven't read The Madman's Daughter but book #2 certainly sounds intriguing...looks like another series to add to my list!

Monday, December 2, 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. 

This week I received - 


Summary (by Goodreads)

True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

I love Kimberly Derting titles....The Body Finder series is one of my favorites and so is The Pledge.  The Offering is the final title in this series.  A huge Thank You to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me this one.  Mwah!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How to Love by Katie Cotugno


Published: October 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 389
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Review:

I don't read a lot of YA Contemporary fiction but every now and again I crave something heart-breakingly achey to remind me of what it is like to experience the craziness of hormonal love.  How to Love fits the bill! When I first read the summary blurb I was angry at this Sawyer guy.  Leaving a girl alone and pregnant only to resurface in her life again years later!  The nerve!  How dare he!  But as the story unfolds, we see that nothing is as black and white as it seems.  Reena has been tiptoeing in a precarious life limited by her need to please everyone except for herself.  When Sawyer arrives, he disrupts this delicate balance and throws her off her game...but in the process, helps her re-ignite some of her old passions again.  

I LOVED this book.  Miss Cotungo, you made me believe in love all over again....thank you!
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