Monday, March 31, 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)
In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

I downloaded this title on Friday because it sounded interesting and ironically, I found it on Netflix a few hours later which only solidified my interest!  Have I been living on a different planet??
- Christinabean

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano


 
Published: March 25th, 2014
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Pages: 388
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.


I'm away for the weekend right now and have very limited internet and computer access, so this will be a very quick review. 

What can I tell you about 'Nearly Gone'? Basically, it blew me away.  I started with no expectations at all - I hadn't heard anything about it, good or bad, but the blurb sounded intriguing so I thought I'd give it a go.  Turns out, it was a really, really good decision, and I was most definitely not disappointed.  One of the things I really enjoyed was the mystery.  It required thought on the characters part.  Nearly had to investigate and rarely leapt to conclusions.  I have to admit to having been completely in the dark as to who the killer was.  I did actually guess towards the beginning and then dismissed that thought completely - I decided my decision was based solely on the fact that I didn't like the character, rather than any actual evidence. 

This was a story that should appeal to any fans of good mystery or romantic suspense.  Full of tension, mystery and romance, 'Nearly Gone' was a wonderful story that captured me from the get-go.

Got to get back to my stitching - have a great weekend.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Follow


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 –


Snap it Time! A picture is worth a thousand words. Anything and anything. Just give us a pic.

I love totally random stuff...Here is some graffiti I came across on a walk


This is my dog. Sometimes he gets his tongue stuck OUTSIDE of his mouth and it looks hilarious!


This is a quote I took from a calendar...so sweet!


And this is one of my favorite places to be.  I was in Disneyworld last month and LOVED it....I don't care what people say. Its where dreams come true.  :)



- 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, March 27, 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green


Published: March 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 416
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?


Review:

This really was like the summary - a stunning, magical debut.  I LOVED it.  Throughout the novel I had so much compassion for Nathan.  He was born to a family that didn't want him.  His father was an evil tyrant and his mother died when he was young.   Plus she has an older sister that treats him like he has the plague and blames him for their mother's death.   Sound dysfunctional enough?  Luckily, there were 3 people in his life who loved him and did not think him to be a monster.  His brother Arran, sister Deborah and grandmother love and care for him.  They constantly made an effort to make him feel loved and safe.  

Despite having a father who is considered evil and feared, Nathan still feels the need to discover his roots as he grows older. The actions of the witches who ostracize him from society only feed his desire to be connected.  Hunters capture him and begin tests on him like an animal because of his black witch side.  Caged like an animal, he is tested physically and mentally.  And the torture...oh the torture they put him through.  I'm not sure how he managed to keep his temper in check and his sense of humor around but it just made his character stronger in my mind.

While this first book explored Nathan's abilities as a witch and was used for character building, there was plenty of action to keep me as a reader entertained.  His trials to survive were intricate enough to move the story at a quick pace while allowing the reader to identify with the main characters.  

The author also injects a little bit of her own humor into this novel.  For instance, during on scene, Nathan finds a cottage in the woods where he finds porridge...just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Hilarious!

There is some language in this novel so it might not be good for a younger audience.   

Overall rating?  Half Bad was ALL GOOD!!  Fantastic debut!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Cold Calls by Charles Benoit

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 the vein of the teen suspense classics I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Face on the Milk Carton, Cold Calls is a chilling thriller, an unsettling mystery, and a provocative exploration of bullying, culpability, and the cost of keeping secrets.

Three high school students-Eric, Shelly, and Fatima-have one thing in common: "I know your secret."
Each one is blackmailed into bullying specifically targeted schoolmates by a mysterious caller who whispers from their cell phones and holds carefully guarded secrets over their heads. But how could anyone have obtained that photo, read those hidden pages, uncovered this buried past? Thrown together, the three teens join forces to find the stranger who threatens them-before time runs out and their shattering secrets are revealed . . .

This suspenseful, pitch-perfect mystery-thriller raises timely questions about privacy, bullying, and culpability.

I  love scary YA titles and this certainly fits the bill.  Sounds like it could even be a good ISU title!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

 
Published: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Colllins
Pages: 416
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads


In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever


Sea of Shadows is told through the eyes of 2 girls, Moria and Ashyn.  Identical twins, they are so alike yet so different in temperament.  Moria is fierce, fearless and intensely loyal .  Ashyn is gentler and less self assured, but no less loyal than her sister.  The are bonded to animals - Moria to Daigo - a large cat, and Ashyn to Tova, a hound.  The girls are the Keeper and Seeker and are charged with keeping their village safe at the edge of a wood where the souls of the damned take shelter.

Without giving away too much of the story, Moria pairs up with Gavril - a young warrior whose father has been exiled - and Ashyn with Ronan - a young thief, exiled for the sins of his father and uncle.  I adored the slow bonding of these two pairs.  They are sceptical and unwilling to bend, but circumstances cause them to accept each other, willingly or otherwise. Layers are peeled away slowly and relationships are formed with no instances of insta-love or unreasonable infatuation.  In other words, it felt real.

The oriental background to the story lays the groundwork for filial obedience and causes quite a twist at the end of the story, which I will admit I didn't see coming.  In hindsight, I guess I should have seen it, but I was too wrapped up in just enjoying the characters and the world building. The inclusion of some incredible monsters was a nice touch as well.  I was about 3/4 of the way through when I finally accepted that there was way too much going on for this to be a stand-alone novel, and while I'm mad that I'm going to have to wait, I'll be very happy to revisit this world and see what happens.

A wonderfully exciting and tense fantasy with engaging characters and believable world building, this one is a pleasure to recommend.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - March 24


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)

Since defeating Lord Scargrave with her music, Lucy, the last Chantress, has lived by the sea, mastering the intricacies of Wild Magic. But now her quiet life is about to end: the wheat crop has failed, the people are rebelling, and Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry IX’s court. There she finds the Inner Council planning to save England by making gold through alchemy. But the golden crucible — the critical element in the alchemical process — has been stolen, its guards murdered. Lucy is charged with finding the traitor behind the attack. 

Meanwhile, enemies old and new are gathering. Scargrave's brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry's closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Worst of all, something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart — a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all. 

I haven't seen many titles where music plays a role in the story.  Chantress Alchemy is book#2 in the series but I'm keen to check out book #1!  Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me the ARC!
- Christinabean

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shout Out to Indies - Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat From the Past by Paul Cude

 
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 are this week's picks: 
 


Published: October 2011

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Part is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you'll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you're wearing nothing but your smile! You'd be flamin' mad to miss it.

I had been emailing backwards and forwards with Paul to get a paragraph or so from him and my computer decided to eat all the emails.  When trying to find a way of reaching him I discovered that his life is a bit out of control right now and his daughter is extremely sick.  So Paul, forgive the Paperback Princesses for not putting up a proper post, but I didn't think you'd want to be bothered right now.  Our best wishes for the speedy recovery of your daughter.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Troop by Nick Cutter


Published: February 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 368
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.

Review:

I absolutely love scary YA novels and this was by far the scariest book I have read in 2014 so far.  Nick Cutter did a fantastic job of intermingling his plotline with "News articles" and interviews sprinkled throughout the novel giving the story a very realistic feel....like this could actually be happening in real life (God I hope not).  In some sick twisted way, there is a bit of humor mixed in this terrible scenario as well.  For instance, as one of the characters becomes ravenous with hunger, his mind cycles through food jingles.  

Each character reacts to this sickness in a different way. I loved how Mr. Cutter defined each character by their internal thoughts and reactions.  For instance, Shelley is like a puppeteer for the other members of the troop. He fades into the shadows and subtly shifts the balance of power amongst the boys.  It is eerily scary how he manipulates the other boys because he seems void of emotions.  He has no loyalties and secretly watches as the troop falls apart.

The Troop is a darker title for older teens.  Subject matter at some times became gruesome and disturbing and there was language in the book.  It could be turned into a great ISU discussion though!   I think the scariest part about this title is that it made sense.  It was something that could happen in real life.
This would be a great title to add to your pre-Halloween creeptastic reads for October as well!

The Troop reminded me of an updated version of Lord of the Flies written from Stephen King perspective.  (Coincidentally the author makes mention of Stephen King in his author's comments at the end of the book).  You know what makes this a fantastic read?  It is frighteningly plausible and brilliant!

Nick Cutter (aka Craig Davidson) is a part of The Dark Side Mystery tour across Canada.  See the website for details!!

Friday, March 21, 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 –

How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Do you read more? Less? Why do you think your habits changed, if they did.

I think I read less than I have been able to in the past.  Mostly due to lifestyle changes.  I am starting to read more non-fiction adult titles and branching out past YA as well.  I also find that I spend less time on DNF books.  If I am not into it, I move on more quickly and spend more time reading what interests me than what is currently popular in the market.  I'd like to call it better time management.  :)

- 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, March 20, 2014

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown


Published: May 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look. 

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story.

Review:

If you are looking for a light read, it is best to move past Thousand Words.  It is a heavy subject and tore at my heartstrings.  Jennifer Brown has a way of taking you for a roller coaster ride of emotions...but it's a good thing.  She connects with the reality of the situation so you can see all points of view and have true empathy for the characters involved.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, does things that they regret later in life.  Mistakes are how we all learn but sometimes, mistakes can be a bit more public than others.  With the new culture of social media and a younger generation that is open with information in their lives, where are our limits to privacy?  How do we draw the line to those things that should not be shared with others?  

At one point I got that "sick to the pit of your stomach" feeling as Ash realized that her photo had been distributed amongst her peers. So many questions raced through my head.  Particularly - WHY?? Why would he do something like that to her?

Thousand Words will make you question some of the texts and images you send to friends and how they affect others.  Ashleigh was a victim of her ex-boyfriend's actions but in sending the photo, the consequences had never crossed her mind.  She was humiliated and treated with contempt and bullying from her peers once it went viral.  Jennifer Brown also explores how Kaleb's life changes from his actions, something I had not considered before.

For me, Jennifer Brown is the Jodi Piccoult of YA.  She takes these incredibly difficult topics and sucks you into the vortex of the situation so you are no longer an observer but a participant in what is going on.  If you haven't yet read Hate List, I also highly recommend that title as well.  I would recommend Thousand Words to high school students for ISU projects and as a contemporary novel.  Because of the topic and the language in this book, it might not be suitable for advanced, yet younger readers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Only Everything by Kieran Scott

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)

High school romance is tough—even for a bona fide love goddess. Can Cupid succeed as a mortal matchmaker?

When Eros (aka Cupid) is expelled from Olympus for defying Zeus after falling in love with Orion, she is banished to what she believes to be hell. We call it New Jersey. If she ever wants to go back to the comforts of her old life, she will have to find love for three couples—without using her powers.

Eros, now calling herself True, immediately identifies her first project in Charlie and believes finding him love will be a piece of cake. Charlie is new at school and eager to break out of his old image of band geek, so it’s lucky for him when he falls in with the right crowd on his first day. But music is still his passion. That is, until he meets Katrina...

Katrina is floundering after the death of her father and takes refuge with a boy who, while not entirely supportive, will be there when she needs him, unlike her mother. Too bad True thinks any girl Charlie talks to is perfect for him. Can she get out of her own way and help Charlie and Katrina connect, or will she be stuck in New Jersey forever?

This isn't the first time we've seen Greek gods and goddesses re-written in YA fiction but this is the first time I've seen Cupid as the main character!  Sounds like fun!
-Christinabean

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fantastic Fairytales - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge



 
Published: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 362
Copy: Edelwiess
Summary: Goodreads
 
 
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

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

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

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


Cruel Beauty was an intense and fascinating retelling of Beauty and the Beast that harkened back to earlier less sanitised versions of the fairytale.  In fact Beauty, in this case Nyx, is really quite an unlikeable character.  She's self-centred and selfish, and while it can be argued that she has just cause, since she has known for most of her life that she will be sacrificed, she's basically just not a nice person.  That said, it was very intriguing watching Nyx work her way through the mysteries and intricacies of Ignifex's castle.  Very occasionally we even see small hints of selflessness and true feelings, but not often.

As for Ignifex & Shade, well I rather liked Ignifex, but then I've always been a bit of a sucker for the bad boys.  Shade was a bit of a puzzle and slightly strange, but I did manage to work out what his story is - no spoilers here folks.  Let's face it, we know more or less what's going to happen in the end, don't we?  In this case though, the journey was intriguing and different.  All in all, not a bad retelling, but not one of my favourites.

Monday, March 17, 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)

Abdi Taalib thought he was moving to Australia for a music scholarship. But after meeting the beautiful and brazen Tegan Oglietti, his world was turned upside down. Tegan's no ordinary girl - she died in 2027, only to be frozen and brought back to life in Abdi's time, 100 years later.

Now, all they want is for things to return to normal (or as normal as they can be), but the government has other ideas. Especially since the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia's cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust, and when they uncover startling new details about Project Ark, they realise thousands of lives may be in their hands.

A suspenseful, page-turning sequel to When We Wake that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and make them call into question their own ideas about morality - and mortality, too.

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for sending me this ARC.  When We Wake is book that has been on my TBR list for awhile.  Now I have proper incentive to read it quickly!
- Christinabean

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Same Book, Second Look - Mind Games by Kiersten Whitem


Published: December 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 237
Copy Provided by: borrowed
Summary: by Goodreads

Summary:

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Review:

I love Kiersten White.  Have you ever visited her blog?  She is one wild and crazy girl...kind of like one of her characters from Paranormalcy.  The Mind Games series takes a bit of a turn though.  It is much more serious and a little darker.  The mystery revolves around two girls, one of them blind and able glimpse visions of the future.  The other with amazing instincts honed to kill.  

Mind Games was such a departure from the kinds of books I normally associate with Kiersten. However, she has demonstrated with Chaos of Stars (a standalone title) that she can be extremely diverse when it comes to her writing subject matter.  Mind Games focuses on the use of young people, who have special talents, controlled by a private corporation to do their bidding.  A little bit like Alias but each person has a particular focus.  

One aspect of this novel that I found fascinating was how Fia needs to be completely spontaneous with her decisions/actions in order to avoid her future being seen.  I cannot imagine not planning at least a little bit in advance for anything.  And she needs to make spur of the moment "smart" decisions (something else I would be horrible at).  

I really enjoyed Mind Games and now that the characters have started to mold into their perspective identities, we see that Annie is not "blind" to everything in her life.  In fact she is rather independent and clever.  On the flip side, her sister Fia is an internal mess.  Her physical reflexes seem to be quite sharp but her emotions are a minefield.  Now that we have established where this story is going, I am eager to see where Ms. White takes us.  Should be an interesting journey....getting ready to jump into book #2 shortly as soon as I get my hands on Perfect Lies!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Liv Forever by Amy Talkington


Published: March 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 280
Copy Provided by: ARC from Soho Teen
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want. 

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride. 

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

Review:

I had not heard of this title prior to receiving the ARC from Soho Teen (thank you!) but boy am I ever glad to have had the opportunity to read Liv, Forever.  Olivia is a bit of a wall flower but an interesting character.  Taunted by some of the "cool" crowd, she tries to blend and become invisible, making one friend - Gabe, fellow wallflower.  However, she is singled out by one of the more popular boys (Malcolm) at her school.  He is drawn to her and shares her interest in art.  They begin a slow but sweet romance before she is suddenly murdered.  

This is where the story really begins to unfold.  Gabe can see and talk to ghosts so he works with Liv and Malcolm to unravel the mystery of disappearing scholarship students over the years at Wickham Hall.  Why are people dying? And who is killing them off?  

Once this story started rolling, it was quite fun!  OK, so the main character dies but it is her journey that is interesting.  I found her romance with Malcolm to be sweet but it did not feel like an epic love story as they didn't seem to have much time together.  Liv's character was so interesting and her "essence" as a ghost was also an interesting twist to the story.

Overall I found this to be a quick and enjoyable read and I was quite satisfied with the ending.  :)


Friday, March 14, 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 –

Spring is in the air! Show off your favorite outdoors reading spot. If you don’t go outside…well where else do you read that isn’t inside your house? We want pics!



I know we've done this one before...unfortunately, I don't have very many places to read because I'm so busy so I read on the train to and from work.  I think it works out to be about 40 minutes a day plus any time I can get before I go to bed.  I used to bring books on the train but if I can't get a seat, it is hard to juggle while trying to balance in the aisle and holding onto a handgrip. The picture below is where I'd LIKE to be reading this spring....
- Christina


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, March 13, 2014

Into the dark, book 1: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

 
Published: March 11th, 2014
Publisher: Egmont
Pages: 380
Copy: Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.



I thought I had already read some titles by Bree Despain, but it turns out I haven't, and now that I've finished 'The Shadow Prince' I'm wondering why not, since I absolutely loved this one. Both Daphne and Haden seemed well grounded in this story, which is interesting because they are both from such disparate backgrounds.  Haden is outwardly very strong and capable, but there is a vulnerability to him that softens his tough edges.  His initial brashness is easily explained by his upbringing and I loved his slow acceptance of his new situation. Daphne is landed into what initially seems like a sweet deal, but she has to get used to a completely different lifestyle and she does it well.

One of the big questions is why and how Daphne is involved in all this mystery surrounding the deaths and disappearances  of students, and there are several twists and turns that lead the reader to all the wrong conclusions.  Secondary characters add another level   - Dax and Simon for starters.  Just exactly what is the real story with these two? Even by the end of the story, I still wasn't completely sure about Simon - is he Mr Sunny, or isn't he?   Ms. Despain has put together a complex mythology, based on the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone.  By placing the 'action' at the 'Olympus Hills' community and school, she is giving a lovely nod to the Greek legends. There is so much going on in the story, yet my attention never wavered and I raced through it.

In certain ways I was reminded of Josephine Angelini's 'Starcrossed' trilogy, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The Shadow Prince should appeal to all lovers of mythology and contemporary mystery.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

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 sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

I enjoyed reading Mind Games (see my Same Book Second Look review coming soon) by Kiersten ad LOVED her Paranormalcy series plus the Chaos of Stars standalone title.  Perfect Lies is book #2 in the Mind Games series.  Last we read about the sisters, Fia had said goodbye to her sister and re-entered the Keane Foundation, intent on destroying them from the inside.  I'm keen to read book #2!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Let's Hear it for the Boys

 
 
I haven't had a chance to read either of these yet, but they are on my shelf, both from the library, and I thought they fit perfectly for our Let's Hear it for the Boys post.  Both of them look pretty exciting.  I met Mr Walters briefly when he came to my library for an author visit.  He's a fascinating man and his stories are incredibly well researched, so I'm really looking forward to The Rule of Three.  Let us know if you have read either of them and what you thought.
 
 
 
 
Published: November 2012
Publisher: Dial


A lost colony is reborn in this heart-pounding fantasy adventure set in the near future . . .

Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.

In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’ world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine



 
Published: January 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux


One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

Monday, March 10, 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)

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

I love Kelley Armstrong...and she's Canadian...that's why I'm so excited to read this. :)

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