Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Break - December 24 - January 2



Every year we try to do something special for our Christmas post.



This year we will leave you with a special event that WestJet does every year.  Get your tissues ready...



Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

- Christinabean and Curlypow

Monday, December 22, 2014

Boxing Day savings at Book Outlet

 

 
I wanted to share this special savings with you...Book Outlet is having 50% off everything on December 26th.  Click on the link below and share it with friends to receive a special code for your savings!!
 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay



Published: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 400
Copy: Netgalley (and library)
Summary: Goodreads

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?


One of the things that I loved most about Princess of Thorns was the continued references to many and varied popular fairy tales, there's  the Swan Princes of course and Sleeping Beauty, then we have Red Riding hood, Rapunzel and several others.  They just keep popping up and it's easy to miss them, but Ms Jay is obviously a huge fan.

Princess of Thorns is at heart a fantastic romance - one of the best I have read in a long time. It is also a wonderful adventure story, and the two are melded beautifully into one easy to read and engrossing tale.  Let's go back to the romance - future romance writers be aware.  This is how it should be done.  A slow simmer, where the characters get to know each other before the lust sets in.  Oh, it gives me shivers just thinking back on it.  The reader learns about the characters as the characters learn about each other and for the most part these are nice people.  I had such a clear picture in my mind of Niklaas and Ror.  I also loved the fact that Ror (Aurora's) fairy blessings have a major down side and all is not roses.

Princess of Thorns is a wonderful book to get lost in, but it is NOT a Game of Thrones if that's what you're expecting.  You'll be disappointed if you are.  But, if you're looking for fun, romantic adventure with a fairy tale twist or three, you'll love it.

Friday, December 19, 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 –

Do you have a go to genre when you’re happy, sad, or angry? – via Take Me Away…
I do choose the genre of book I am going to read depending on how I am feeling.  I will go for Dystopian when I'm feeling a bit down or Fantasy when I'm looking for adventure or Contemporary when I am feeling more emotional.  When I'm feeling happy, I tend to do a mix of everything (usually I am reading a few different books at once).
- 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, December 18, 2014

The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton



Published: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 369
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Fans of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Holly Black's "The Curse Workers" will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities. 

When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.


Review

Oh my goodness, how much I enjoyed this book.  It picked me up within a few pages and carried me through the story to the very end.  The United States of Azgard became real to me and I was travelling through the center of them along with Soren, Astrid and Baldur.  

A short while ago I reviewed a book (the name of which escapes me right now) where I commented that although an alternate version of our world, everything had the same names and the characters spoke the same and it was hard to tell the difference between universes. In The Lost Sun, Ms Gratton has created a world that has developed alongside ours at the same pace, but is in its own way totally different.  People use the interweave, not internet, have televisions, but watch the Gods live.  The states are just slightly different Mizizibi/Lafloride/Montania - they eat a ham LT or Arnold chips. This world is complete in every way and was so easy to believe.

As were the characters - Astrid and Soren were so real, with their wonderful personalities and so full of doubts and laughter.  True to themselves and each other and always growing in knowledge.  Soren's boon from Odin was so right it gave me shivers.  Theirs was a true love story -  I laughed and yes, I cried too.  A perfect mystery that needed to be solved.  The Lost Sun is a beautiful coming of age story that shows us the power of belief in ourselves and other.  If you're in the mood for a perfect love story with a difference, try The Lost Sun.  Maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Suspicion by by Alexandra Monir

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)

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Jessica Brody compares it to Alfred Hitchcock directing Downton Abbey!  I love the time period of Downton Abbey with the mystery of Alfred Hitchcock!  Seems like a fresh new take on YA to me!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fantastic Fairytales - Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis




Published: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 338
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Review

Who's up for a space opera Snow White?  You are?  Well this is the book for you.  We have a princess on the run, taking care of the seven drones - what a wonderful reincarnation of the seven dwarves they are - and just trying to survive and keep things low key.

Enter our Prince Charming - Dane - who is far from charming this time around.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between Essie and Dane. It had me laughing out loud on a couple of occasions.  Every character had his/her own agenda and half the fun was unraveling the threads of the story. My favourite characters - the drones.  They really did seem to have  personalities of their own.

This was a very clever retelling of the perennial favourite, and reminded me in a few small ways of 'Cinder' and 'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer - more because of setting than because of actual plot, so if you enjoyed those two, be sure to pick up a copy of 'Stitching Snow.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Monday, December 15, 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 got: 
 
 
I love trying new recipes and showing my daughter how important cooking and baking skills are.  What a great book! Thanks for sharing NetGalley!
 
- Christinabean
 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes - A short review.


Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3)

Published: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 416
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads


In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.


Ok I have very little to say about this book that isn't in the blurb above.  Not because it was bad, but because it was really good. If you've already ready the first two ('Falling Kingdoms' and 'Rebel Spring'), you're going to love it, if you haven't read the first two, don't start with this one - go back to the beginning.

However, I do have to exclaim, rather loudly, WT ........  I thought this was a trilogy, but apparently NOT.  I got to the end and I was left hanging! By my fingertips! Right at the edge of the cliff!! AAARRRGGHH!

Great fun, great adventure, great character development, great romance, great story.  Well worth reading. Now where is the next installment?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil


Published: September 2014
Publisher: Balzar & Bray
Pages: 320
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads)

Summary:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Review:
Get Even was a fun novel about revenge with a bit of mystery.  I would say it was a cross between Pretty Little Liars and the Burn for Burn series by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivan.  There were so many characters right off the bat that I had trouble keeping them all straight.  It got better though after I sketched out a cheat sheet.  KIDDING!!  I considered it but after about 30 pages I was ok.

One of the things I love about Gretchen is that her titles tend to be stand-alone books.  However, this was a SHOCKER.  there was NO WAY Get Even could have an ending like this and not continue.  I LOVE IT when books surprise me like this.  The ending was so abrupt and made me want to scream out WHY??!!  in a half-crying, half-hysterical way.  You need to read this and tell me what you think because I need to pick someone's brain....

This would make a great ISU book...especially if you highlight the bullying aspect.  Loved it.  Try it and then tell me what you think. 

- Christinabean


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Zero Day by Jan Gangsei


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)
Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished--and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president's daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family's fold, but who is this sixteen year old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president's political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Noah Stark, a nineteen-year-old White House intern the Websters have hired to tutor Addie, he doesn't know what to think. How the hell could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Noah agrees to spy on Addie without the White House's knowledge.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come home with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?
 


Now here is something TOTALLY different from what I've read before.  Sounds intriguing!!
- Christinabean

Monday, December 8, 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 got: 

Wait a minute...I didn't get anything.  For once I am trying to get through some of the books on my TBR list instead.  :)  How's your list doing?
- Christinabean

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Heart of a Dove by Abbie Williams


Published: December 5th, 2014
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Set in post Civil War America, the story follows Lorie Blake, a southern orphan sold into prostitution at fifteen.  Two years have passed, leaving her with little hope of anything more. Meanwhile, three longtime friends and a boy with a heart of gold are traveling northward, planning to rebuild their lives in the north and leave behind the horrors of their time as soldiers in the Confederate Army.
Fate, however, has plans of its own, causing their lives to collide in a river town whorehouse. Forced to flee, Lorie escapes and joins them on the journey north. But danger stalks them all in the form of a vindictive whorehouse madam and an ex-Union soldier, insane and bent on exacting revenge. At last, Lorie must come to terms with her past and devastating secrets that she cannot yet bear to reveal.
Heart of a Dove is the first book in a gripping, sweeping romantic saga of pain, unbearable choices, loss and true love set against the backdrop of a scarred, post-Civil War America.

Review

Historical fiction fans rejoice.  Heart of a Dove is an beautiful historical tale that will have you holding your breath, crying and even occasionally laughing.  Having been born and brought up in the UK, US history is not something I know an awful lot about so this lovely book was a little bit of an eye-opener for me.  This story is set just after the American Civil War and chronicles the lives of Lorie and her companions.  I was amazed and disturbed in turn by the historical facts in the book, and the fact that most of the really disturbing ones were happening to a 15 yr old girl had me cringing as I read.  Ms Williams very quickly made me feel as if I was in the whorehouse with Lorie and it was very emotional. Ms Williams has created a host of characters that, after a very short time, begin to feel like family and I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them. Sawyer was such an enigma to start with that it felt like peeling an onion getting to know him.  Malcolm was a treasure - everyone's favourite little brother.

The book is fairly slow paced, but manages to retain a sense of urgency as Lorie and the boys run to get away from their hunters.  Yes, I know that is a contradiction, but it's true.   The great distances they have to travel on horseback, with almost no contact with other people are almost impossible to believe in our crazy busy world. One slight negative for me was that it got very, very mushy towards the end.  Now I love a good romance as much as the next girl, but I felt that things were just a little overdone and I could have done with less protestations of undying love, but I do acknowledge that is just my preference.

All in all this was a lovely book to read and I'm only sorry that we have to wait til next year to find out what is going to happen.

My apologies to Central Avenue Publishing.  I had promised to have this review up at the end of November, but I ended up going to England rather unexpectedly, and I just did not have time before I left.  So sorry.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

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)

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Here is a great fairytale re-telling for those of you who are fans of the classics!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


Published: August 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
 

Review:

I'm fairly certain that I read these all out of order but does it really matter??  What matters is that Stephanie has a special writing gift that allows her to capture the absolute essence of falling in love and spill it all out on the pages of a YA novel.  She did it again.  She took everything passionate, innocent, lust-worthy (in a PG sort of way) and turned it upside down and inside out to make a wonderful novel that I think all teens need to read.  If you can remember Anna and Etienne in Paris chasing one another around and pretending they weren't falling in love, but really were....well, Josh is Etienne's best friend. He doesn't have the same kind of charisma but he has a new sort of confidence all his own.  And Isla has liked him for years.  Are any of your following this? Years.  Put your hand up if you have ever done this. Its like stalking...but more discreetly.  I've done this.  I remember there was this one guy I liked so much that I used to write pages and pages of I love Tony in patterns. With colors. Yes, it was pathetic.  But Isla does something similar so at least I know there are others out there like me.  She knows dates.  Remembers certain events.  Like when he first smiled at her.  Or when they've talked.  Coming face to face with your crush can be mind-numbingly horrific and there are events in this book that made me laugh out loud...and others that made me cry.  As Isla and Josh try to work out what they "have" and "don't have" with one another, it truly is a work of art.  Thank you Stephanie Perkins for capturing so perfectly, those first love moments.  :)

Monday, December 1, 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 got: 


Thanks to NetGalley!!

- Christinabean



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