Friday, January 31, 2014

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 –

Time for Book Spine Poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic.



Well, I'm not sure if I would say it was epic but book poetry is kinda fun to do.  :)
- 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, January 30, 2014

Avalon by Mindee Arnett


 
Published: January 21st, 2014
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 432
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.


I am a huge fantasy fan, but my second and probably oldest love, is SF.  It's hard to find good YA SF, my most favourite recent offering being the 'Black Hole Sun' trilogy by David MacInnis Gill, so it was a lovely treat to see another title hit the shelves. (For those of you about to protest, yes Across the Universe et al, fit the bill too :) )

It is a nice change of pace to get a compelling family story set in space, even if the family isn't all by birth, but more by circumstance. Each member of the family was easily recognisable as an individual and not just clones.  The ship - the Avalon of the title - is almost another character in its own right.  One of the things I loved was that Jeth continued to look after his uncle, even though he had disappointed him many times, and was really the architect of most of Jeth's troubles.  Lizzie, Celeste, Shady, Flynn, then Sierra, Vince and Cora all have separate yet integral importance to the story as a whole and I enjoyed their individuality, yet cohesiveness as part of a team.

There are several twists that develop throughout the story, some took me by surprise, some didn't, but none felt too contrived, and as for the 'bad' guys - well a nastier set of villains would be hard to find.  I really don't ever want to meet Hammer! Many reviews have made reference or comparison to Firefly, which I happen to agree with.  I know Annette over at Annette's Book Spot didn't really care for 'Avalon', and felt that the comparisons were unwarranted, but I recognised the dynamics.  Perhaps the actions of the characters do not reflect Firefly, but I could definitely see some similarities otherwise.  Annette and I usually pretty much agree on books, so it was interesting to me that we felt completely opposite in this case.  Check out her review to get a totally different perspective on 'Avalon'.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Avalon and I'm looking forward to seeing the further adventures of the ship and its crew. It's light SF and would be a fairly quick read for those of you interested in trying something in this genre.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Double Header

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)
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I downloaded the first few chapters of Cress from NetGalley last week on a whim.  The Lunar Chronicles was a series that I was always interested in but I wasn't motivated enough to get started.  Reading this little blurb from book #3 got my interest piqued enough to start from the beginning and sail my way through book 1 and 2.  Look for my reviews coming soon!


Summary (by Goodreads)

A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series.

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

It seems that today is the day for story re-tellings!  Prince of Shadows is the newest release by Rachel Caine.  I am particularly interested in this one because I'm absolutely hooked on Rachel's Morganville Vampire series and tracking her progress in getting the web based episodes of Morganville online soon!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi




Published: January 28th, 2014
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Pages: 400
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.


This is going to be a short and sweet review.  There is no point in going over the story - if you're a fan then you already know what's happened and I won't spoil what's coming.  If you're not already a fan, then telling the story would spoil the experience. 

Let's just say that Ms. Rossi has managed to write a trilogy that has kept up the suspense from start to finish.  Her characters grow from book to book and most readers have taken Aria, Perry and Roar and all the others, into their hearts.  With this last book, Ms. Rossi has pulled everything together, stirred up the pot to near boiling and then produced a wonderful repast.  If you're like me, you'll want to sit down and digest the contents and then smile and sigh.  Happy that the ending is a good one, yet sad that it is all over.

Yes there were a couple of places where my reaction was a resounding 'are you kidding me', but in this case these perceived lapses were easily forgivable by the end, it is fiction after all.  I thoroughly enjoyed this series and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Rossi will come up with next.  If you've not tried the Under the Never Sky trilogy yet, you are in for a sweet treat. Enjoy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

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)

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.


Summary (by Goodreads)

Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can’t fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn’t care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.

Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren’t the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?

Mockingbirds is a book I have been wanted to read for years.  Glad to have picked it up from the library.  In Too Deep also seems so interesting!  I love adventure!
- Christinabean


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Shout out for Indies Chaos Unleashed by



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 are featuring two titles from WEbooks

 Moonfall: Tales from the Levant by Vanessa Morton



To save her little sister from a life of servitude, sixteen-year-old Rachav allies with a mysterious nomad who wields an ancient force so powerful it may destroy not only her sister’s captors but the entire kingdom.

and Chaos Unleashed by Alec Sillifant




Chaos runs through the dark night; head down, teeth clenched, eyes peeled. The rain lashes his face, thick clumps of mud fly up as he runs, but nothing will stop him discovering the dark secret of the Academy, nothing.

Alec Sillifant's first novel will drag you in and hold you hostage in a world of tension, fear, treachery and adventure, refusing to let you go. The ransom? A dare to make it through until the very last page. Enter the double life of Jake Highfield: school boy, operative, fugitive.

When the Academy turns against Jake, he finds himself outside of any authority, forced to put his training and his past to use in a deadly situation, tainted by corruption, where enemy and friend could be one and the same.


Both of these look interesting and I can't wait to get to my copies.  WEbook is a social media site that helps unknown authors get published, with the support of a community of readers that read and rate unpublished manuscripts. Once a book has successfully completely several rounds, it is released in print and e-book form.  If you are interested in finding out a little more about WEbooks try their website HERE





 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Press release - Glamour by Andrea Janes

This is a little bit different for us, I don't think we've put up an actual press release before, but this one sounds so intriguing I just had to let others know about it.

This is the only photo I've been able to find as well.  Does anyone else think this one sounds like fun?

Coming Soon with World Weaver PressAlpena, MI (January 24, 2014) World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced Glamour by Andrea Janes, a new paranormal YA novel, will be available in trade paperback and ebook Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
 
Townie. That’s what eighteen-year-old Christina Sundy is. All year round she lives in a one-stoplight town on Cape Cod and when summer comes she spends her days scooping ice cream for rich tourists, who she hates. So when one of them takes a job in the ice cream shop alongside her, she’s pissed. Why does a blonde and perky Harvard-bound rich girl like Reese Manning want to scoop ice cream anyway?
Something else weird is happening to Christina: tiny blue sparks seem to be shooting off her fingers. It isn’t long before she realizes the truth about herself — she’s actually a powerful hereditary witch. But her newfound powers are too intense for her to handle and, in a moment of rage, she accidentally zaps Reese into another dimension.
So that no one will notice that the rich girl has disappeared, Christina casts a disguising spell, or “glamour,” and lives Reese’s life while she tries to find a retrieval spell. But as the retrieval spell proves harder than anticipated, and as she goes about living Reese’s life without anyone on the outside noticing the switch, Christina realizes that there’s nothing to stop her from making the glamour permanent… except, of course, her fellow witches, a 16th century demon, and, just maybe, her own conscience.
 
Glamour will be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com, and other online retailers.

Displaying Andrea Janes.jpgAndrea Janes writes horror, dark comedy, thrillers, and historical slapstick. She is the author of Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories. She is also a licensed NYC tour guide, and offers a variety of ghostly tours around the city. Her many obsessions include New York City history, old photographs, Mabel Normand, all things nautical, and beer. She maintains a personal blog over at Spinster Aunt, where she discusses these obsessions in more detail than is probably healthy.

World Weaver Press is a publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, dedicated to producing quality works. As a small press, World Weaver seeks to publish books that engage the mind and ensnare the story-loving soul.
 
 
Publication Date: March 18, 2014 • Paranormal YA
 
Publicity/review requests: publicity@worldweaverpress.com
 
Information:

Friday, January 24, 2014

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 books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

I just recently started reading the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer so I am looking forward to #3, Cress as well as the final installment of The Mortal Instruments Series (not sure whether to cry or smile) - City of Heavenly Fire
- 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, January 23, 2014

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan


 
Published: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 384
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.



We featured this book yesterday as Christinabean's WoW, but I'm not sure that I told her I had an advance copy of it, lucky me.  Uninvited was a very frightening book for me, not necessarily for the actual story itself, but more because the premise of the story is so entirely possible that it gave me the heebee geebees.

Testing for gene markers is something that we are already doing, so testing for the HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) gene was just so plausible it was scary.  The whole idea that we could be punishing members of society for something we think they 'might' do - is horrifying to me.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters.  Davy was easy to relate to, even though she is a musical prodigy, and her intense confusion and resentment of her circumstances rang true.  Her interaction with and attraction to Sean was not too overdone and the plot moved along at a fast clip.  It really was quite a quick read, but for me the great characters and great action made it worthwhile.  I have to add that the fact it is being promoted as a duology is also an appealing factor - I'll only have to wait for one more book, not two.

An Aplogogy

Just a quick note to apologise for my sad lack of reviews lately.  My husband has just undergone major surgery and is virtually bedridden for the next few weeks.  What with that and work, I'm finding it a little challenging to keep up with my reviews.  I'll do my best to get caught up soon, but if they are a little short on content (see above) or missing entirely for a while, please forgive me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

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 Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Keep your eye out for Curlypow's review of Uninvited coming soon!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fantastic Fairy Tales - Towering by Alex Flinn


Published: May 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 293
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.


Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her. 

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now. 

Review:
When  it comes to fairytale re-tellings, I always turn to Alex Flinn.  She incorporates not just one but several aspects of fairytales into her novels.  It is usually always a fresh new take on an old tale.  Ironically I had just finished watching Disney's Rapunzel prior to reading this novel.  The HarperTeen version characters did not burst out into song  as I envisioned scenarios in my head though.  In fact, they were a teeny bit darker.  

Towering started out slowly at first and about 1/2 through I was debating whether or not to put it on my DNF shelf but it improved as the story developed.  Wyatt uncovers quite a few different secrets in his mother's old town.  I would have liked to see more about her relationship and life in the town as a teenager besides her relationship with Danielle.  Perhaps even more about Wyatt's relationship with his mother.  He didn't have the same pizzazz and dazzling self-confidence as Flynn Ryder but he was a very honorable character with good intentions.  

For me, Towering was interesting but not memorable.  I was expecting there to be a story line with more magic.  Maybe I should have stuck with the Disney version instead?

Monday, January 20, 2014

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)

Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.Professor David Ullman’s expertise in the literature of the demonic—notably Milton’sParadise Lost—has won him wide acclaim. But David is not a believer.

One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.

What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.

I received this one from Simon & Schuster Canada (thank you!) this week.  While it is not a young adult title, I look forward to reading it because it sounds like a Dan Brown read alike. 
- Christinabean

Friday, January 17, 2014

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 –

Question of the Week: Who is your blogger BFF? Tell us a little bit about him or her? If not tell us why you need or don’t need a blogger BFF.


That's an easy one!  Curlypow is my blogger BFF.  She is incredibly well read and is an expert at YA reader's advisory.  She can also multi-task like it's second nature.  She knits and stitches like a banshee all while watching the Space channel...crazy woman...but I love her anyway!
- 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, January 16, 2014

The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney


Published: October 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Copy Provided by:
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

Review:
It's funny, when I was reading this novel, I really enjoyed getting lost in a book that closely reminded me the Dark Knight.  I loved Anthem's character but when I stopped to think about the review, a few things started to bother me about this novel which seemed very disjointed.  How did Anthem fall in love so quickly with Gavin?  How is it that this very dedicated prima ballerina managed to dodge her classes for so long without someone discovering the truth?  If she was so disciplined in her craft, how did she manage to blow it off so often to spend time with Gavin?

This title was definitely not all hearts and flowers.  As the cover suggests, it is very dark and there are some violent, suggestive scenes.  Anthem's family seems very sheltered in their wealthy lifestyle and there are very loose "family" ties between her and her parents.  The existence of her older sister and her tragic death is an interesting segway which I would be interested in knowing more about.  All her life, it seemed as though Anthem was trying to compete with the ghost of a girl she was created to replace.  It was all very tragic.

Despite my earlier questions regarding the believability of The Brokenhearted, I still found it entertaining and very different from the novels I have been reading recently.  I would suggest giving it a chance but don't expect layers of depth.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale

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)

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

OK, so I cheated a bit and threw this one in.  It was released last week but I love how creepy it sounds!  I love reading thriller/mystery YA titles.  Looking forward to this read!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's Hear It for the Boys - The Assault by Brian Falkner

 
Published: September 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads
 
 
It's 2030, and humanity is losing the war against alien invaders. A Band of Brothers meets Ender's Game in this sci-fi military thriller.

A team of six has been chosen . . .

. . . to infiltrate the enemy's headquarters in the heart of the Australian Outback. The six teens have been modified to look like aliens. They have spent years mastering alien culture so that they can talk, act—even think—like their enemies. But from the start, the recon mission goes terribly wrong. It's only when they are close to discovering the shocking truth of the aliens' plans that the team is forced to ask:

Who among them is a traitor?

Brian Falkner, author of The Project, Brain Jack, and The Tomorrow Code, delivers a page-turning military thriller with his signature heart-pounding action and unique sci-fi twists.


I have been reading The Assault exclusively at work in small doses in my lunch hour.  It stood up well to that type of reading.  I didn't get  bored and had no problems at all keeping up with the story and the characters, which was great. 

One of the things I loved was the easy camaraderie amongst the characters.  They really sounded as if they had lived and trained together and felt authentic.  There was a nice level of tension that kept up throughout the story which kept it interesting and there were enough explosions and gun battles to keep even the most avid gamer happy.  It was very easy to forget that the characters were just a bunch of 17 year old kids out on their first mission. 

 Librarians out there, remember this one for your reluctant male readers, or those who like playing military video games. It was an exciting and thrilling read.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

 
Published: January 18th, 2014
Publisher: Merit Press
Copy: From authors via Netgalley
 
 
These violent delights have violent ends...

Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster? Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.

 
 
Kim Askew  and Amy Helmes have returned with the newest entry in their Twisted Lit series, Anyone But You.  This time around they are tackling the quintessential tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet.

Set in contemporary Chicago, Anyone But You outlines the story of teens Gigi and Roman as they meet and fall in love, defying the boundaries of their decades old family feud.  Unfortunately, the story does not convey the depth of tragedy that we have come to expect from a Romeo and Juliet retelling, but that's not to say that it isn't a great read on its own. 

One of the things that has always frustrated me about the original, is that we never know why the Montagues and Capulets are feuding.  Helmes and Askew have solved that problem for us this time by outlining a wonderful back story that fills in all those blanks.  I particularly enjoyed this look back to a Chicago at the time of the World's Fair and around the war.  Actually, I think this part of the story was more tragic than the modern part.

In present day Chicago, all of the requisite characters are represented, with my favourite being Chef, a big burly, Italian cook with a heart of gold, who takes the place of Nurse. Several cousins flit in and out of the picture and tempers are hot, if somewhat stereotypically Italian, and fights ensue.  Without giving away too much of the modern plot, this is where the tragedy fell short for me. Still, it was slightly more realistic for present time, so for me was ultimately forgivable.

In a nutshell,  this was a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary romance, that fell just a little short of being a tragic retelling.  Worth reading?  Absolutely!   I look forward to seeing what's up next for these two talented authors.

Same Book, Second Look Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White


Published: September 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.


Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.


Review:
Kiersten White is a fantastic author.  I loved her humor and wit in Paranormalcy and have been eagerly awaiting her new titles.  While I have yet to read Mind Games but I wanted to try out Chaos of Stars because the premise seemed fresh and new.  Hmmm....a young teen Egyptian god.  Interesting...

So the story started out a bit slow for my taste but quickly picked up.  Turns out Isadora has the same teenage angst as the rest of the average teenage population in North America.  Minus having immortal gods for parents of course!  She has the same kinds of insecurities and dating apprehensions but then she meets Ry.  He sure sounds like a stunner.  I'd like to meet Ry in person one day.  :)  She struggles to find her own identity while separating herself from the myths of her mother yet in the end, it is her family that she values most and she eventually learns that the stories that used to bother her are now the fabric of what makes her and her ancestors truly unique.  This was a nice change from my most recent dreary dystopian reads.  It was refreshing and heart-warming.  Two thumbs up for me!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Post of Randomness


There are a few things I wanted to share with our followers this week.  Random House has a cool little gimmick to get you back on the reading train.  Add some variety to your regular reading routine and play a little YA reading bingo - 


How many lines can you fill?  

Something else that I came across recently was this - 


DIVERGENT HITS THEATERS IN MARCH!


BITTEN IS COMING TO THE SPACE CHANNEL!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Two'fer - Conspiracies and Sacrifices by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill


 
Published: July 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 342
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads
 
The second book in the Shadow Grail series by the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
Spirit and her friends Burke, Loch, Muirin, and Addie have managed to defeat the evil force that has been killing students at Oakhurst Academy for the past forty years—or so they think. When a series of magical attacks disrupts the school, Doctor Ambrosius calls upon alumnus Mark Rider to secure the campus—and start training the students for war. The only student without magic, Spirit doesn’t trust Mark or his methods. She knows that Oakhurst isn’t safe. And if Spirit and her friends want to live long enough to graduate, they have to find out what is really going on—before it’s too late.

 
Published: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 304
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

The third book in the Shadow Grail series by the New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

The students of Oakhurst Academy believe they have triumphed over the Shadow Knights. But Spirit, Burke, Muirin, Loch, and Addie know better. Under the guise of a company called Breakthrough Adventure Systems, the Shadow Knights have actually taken over the campus. The new regime is brutal, designed to turn the students into soldiers wielding both weapons and magic. Anyone who protests disappears.

Desperate, the group decides that Muirin should go undercover to spy on Breakthrough. But Muirin’s act is a little too good, and Spirit begins to fear that her friend’s loyalties might have truly changed. Surrounded by enemies and friends who suddenly seem like strangers, Spirit has decide who can—and cannot—be trusted.



I recently reviewed the first book in this series by Lackey and Edghill, Legacies - you'll find it HERE if you're interested - and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The bonus being that the 2nd and 3rd volumes of this 4 part series were already published.  Since I read them back to back, I thought I'd cheat and make it one review for two books.

I'm happy to report that the tight plot lines and sense of all-pervading menace have not disappeared in Conspiracies and Sacrifices.  In fact, these two talented writers have upped the ante considerably.  As the story progresses through these volumes the mystery just keeps getting deeper and deeper.  Woven around old Arthurian legends, it is very obvious that the ladies have done their research.  The further into the books that you read, the deeper into legend you go and the stranger and more twisted the plot line becomes.  This could become confusing, but thankfully did not. 

Main characters Spirit, Burke, Muirin, Addie and Loch spend time researching and rarely leap to conclusions.  They are puzzled and frightened and nasty people keep arriving at their school, Oakhurst, and even nastier things keep happening, but  there was always a reason behind the action which I just loved. 

Towards the end of Sacrifices the reader becomes aware of something that the characters haven't figured out yet, which results in a bit of an AHA! moment.  We all know that Spirit is destined for something, but up until this point, no-one has a clue just exactly what that is.  Ok, let's face it, I still really don't know, but I have a very strong idea and I'm going to be champing at the bit until April to find out.

The relationships between the main characters always stays real and interesting.  There is no insta love or unreasoning hatred, but the characters continue to develop and grow along with the story.  All in all I'm loving this series.  School/orphanage for magical teens coming into their abilities and fighting the bad guys. FUN.  This is also a fairly clean read that is more than suitable for younger teens.  In fact if I have anything bad to say about the series so far, it's that very occasionally the characters thoughts seemed a little young, but that could just be from my older perspective.

Keep your eyes open for this series and for the final volume, Victories, which appears to be hitting bookstores in April.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - The Offering by Kimberly Derting

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)

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.  I love the Body Finder Series and I love The Pledge Series.  This title was released on January 31st and I did get an ARC from the publisher.  Please keep your eyes out for my review shortly! (TOTALLY AWESOME READ!!)


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