Friday, January 30, 2015

Follow Friday - January 30


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 –


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 29, 2015

In Case You Missed It - The Duff by Kody Keplinger


Published: September 2010
Publisher: Little Bown/Poppy
Pages: 280
Copy Provided by: Borrowed from a friend
Summary: Goodreads
Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Review:
Have you ever picked up a book only to be much more entertaining than you ever thought it would be?  The Duff was one of those books for me.  I'm sorry to say this but I was expecting something a bit shallow, easy to read and quick. Instead, I found it to be rather thought-provoking.  I enjoyed the characters and I'm sorry that I waited so long to read this title.

It spoke volumes of the stigmas attached to some of the names we give one another, especially in school as we are trying to discover our own identities.  DUFF was just a nickname, or so Wesley thought.  But to Bianca, it meant something different. She took it to heart and began acting in a way to reflect that name. Perhaps Wesley did as well.  When his grandmother assumed he was a womanizer, he started to act in a way that reflected this.

Bianca went on a journey in The Duff and I was glad to be a part of it.  Although...I wish she would have talked to her friends (Casey and Jess MUCH sooner).  True friends don't care about the labels and they would have squashed Bianca's insecurities quickly without a second glance.

In high school, during adolescence when there are so many cliques and people at trying to figure out who they are, this book is particularly relevant.  It addresses issues of self-identity, peer pressure, sex, friendships and self-image.  Looking back, I do think that this title would make an excellent ISU and I would go so far as to suggest it be required reading material for a pre-teen/teen audience because I feel that many students could identify with the characters presented. 

What I love is that The Duff is coming out as a film this year.  That is what prompted me to read this title (which has been on my TBR list for 4 years).  The movie is coming out next month and it looks pretty good.  My only reservation in seeing it is Ken Jeong. That guy drives me nuts...and not in a good way.  The movie plays up the funny references in the book which could take away from some of the more serious topics in this title.  In the end, what if we gave ourselves and others more positive identities, nicknames and values?  Would we live up to those images?  My take on The Duff?  I'd read it again...and of course recommend it to just about every teenager that I know....










Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - All Fall Down by Ally Carter

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)
 
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
 
I love a good mystery...and although I haven't finished up my series wit Ally Carter, I have usually enjoyed her story-telling and sense of humor!  Looking forward to see how this one turns out!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In Case you Missed it - The Selection by Kiera Cass


Published: April 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
 

Review:
I believe Special K did a review of this title a few years back but for the life of me, I cannot find the review to point you to her opinion.  I do remember her loving the girly dresses though. :)

The Selection has been on my radar for quite awhile now.  Not only are the covers gorgeous (I am such a book snob....I wonder what kind of shoes she has under that gown?) but the story sounds fascinating.  Let's review...

So a new society has been divided into a numbered caste system.  You can be in caste One through Eight.  If you are a One, you are royalty. If you are an Eight, you are homeless.  When the Prince comes of age to be married, eligible girls between a certain age can apply to be a part of The Selection.  They are entered into a draw and each province will send one girl to the Selection process where they will spend time with Prince Maxon and eventually he narrows his choice down to the last girl who will become his princess.  

At first, I wasn't so sure of this system.  It's a little bit like The Bachelor (crossed with the Hunger Games)...but with a bigger prize of ruling the kingdom and marrying into royalty.  I like the idea that The Prince will be considering all castes and marrying someone from his own country rather than someone from another for political ties.  However, I wasn't sure whether to be horrified or intrigued that The Selection is like a glorified high class televised game show.  Good thing I decided to be open-minded about it because I REALLY enjoyed The Selection.  The storyline for book #1 was a tad predictable and there were moments when I wanted to shout loudly at America through the pages but I enjoyed it so much that I have started telling people about the series...I only hope that Book #2 and 3 are as good.
 
Spoiler alert because I need to rant -
 
Celeste is horrible.  How is she not kicked out of this competition by the end of book #1??  She is the epitome of mean girls everywhere, manipulating every situation so that they can outshine their competition rather than shining because of her own merits.  During one scene, Celeste tries to bully America into switching dresses and then rips America's gown right before The Report.  Yet America does not tell Maxon about their encounter.  Was that a classy thing to do or stupid?  What would you have done?
 
OK, the spoiler is done.  Sorry, mean girls who bully drive me mental....
 
Besides Celeste, most of the characters in The Selection are fairly likeable.  Granted, America has a few qualities that seem to constantly get her into trouble but it keeps her spunky and definitely makes her stand apart from the crowd...in a good way.  All in all, I loved the Selection.  I was a little concerned that it would be more surface than substance but Ms. Cass did a good job at creating the foundation for some great characters and a recipe for a good storyline.  Looking forward to Book #2!
 
 


Monday, January 26, 2015

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: 

 
Summary (by Goodreads)
 
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
 
I went to the local library this week and came across The Peculiars.  It is a couple years old and I don't remember hearing about it before but the summary sounds fascinating so I thought I'd give it a try.  Maybe its and elusive diamond in the rough?
- Christinabean


Friday, January 23, 2015

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 –

Question of the Week: Do you post your reviews anywhere besides your blog? Where else do you post reviews? - Suggested byA Great Read
I used to try and post my reviews on Goodreads, NetGalley, Amazon and the Chapters Indigo review area but after awhile it gets too hard to track.  Plus I forget where I've posted.  I have a tough enough time updating the blog with a busy schedule sometimes. 

- 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 22, 2015

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia


Published: October 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 305
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia. 

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.


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

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

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

Review:
Kami Garcia is one half of the super-team who wrote Beautiful Creatures.  While the movie did not do this series justice, it remains on my top 10 most beloved YA series.  So Kami and her co-author Margaret Stohl parted ways to write their own titles.  Unbreakable is book #1 in The Legion series.

The initial feeling of Supernatural meets Da Vinci Code is the precise interpretation that I have of The Legion series.  A couple of the main characters - Jared and Lucas remind me of a younger version of Sam and Dean...although perhaps just a wee bit less rugged and good looking in my mind .  :D  But the references to certain secretive organizations is fascinating to me.

Although I am enjoying the main character, Kennedy, I feel like the love relationships starting to form are not convincing as a reader.  I understand where Ms. Garcia is heading but there was a lack of electricity between Kennedy and Jared for me. It did not feel believable (Sorry Kami).  I just didn't feel the chemistry as I did with Lena and Ethan in Beautiful Creatures.  

There was one scene in particular which was a little disturbing to me.  The well scene...it brought back images of The Ring.  If you have a good imagination and like adventure and some horror books, this might be a good title for you.  Once this Scooby Doo team unites and begins their quest, there are quite a few obstacles they face in order to complete their mission.

Action, adventure, mystery, secret organizations and an ending that I was not anticipating....all a fantastic start to a new series.  Oh, and there is not enough romance to make it icky for boys.  ;)  Bring on Book #2!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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:





In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.


Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series

Eeeekkkk!!!  I am SO EXCITED to read this one!!!!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's Hear it for the Boys - The Prey by Tom Isbell


Published: January 20th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 416
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.

Review

This is going to be a difficult one for me to review.  It was one of the ones I finished, but couldn't really find anything about it that stood out for me.  The premise is ok - Kids in camps being trained for, something.  Suspicion that things are not as simple as they seem.  Main characters find out what is really happening and have some rough times trying to get out of camps.

In this case I felt the lack of some back story.  I was never really sure what had happened to get to this point and I never really connected with the characters.  In all honesty other than some rather impetuous moves I don't think there was anything that I truly disliked, but 2 weeks after reading, I'm having trouble remembering any details of the story.

Having said this, I can see the appeal of The Prey for younger readers who are fans of stories of the  'after the apocalypse' type.  I know of a couple of my kids at work who will enjoy the story, so I will be recommending it, but I won't personally be continuing with this series.

Monday, January 19, 2015

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 remember Special K reading and doing a review of The Selection. She gushed about how much she loved it.  I FINALLY started reading it last week and am enjoying it so much that I snagged the other two books.  Look for my review shortly. 
- Christinabean




Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shout Out for Indies - Seabound by Jordan Rivet


Displaying Seabound - Jordan Rivet.jpg



SEABOUND by Jordan Rivet

When an apocalyptic catastrophe decimates the land, a lucky few escape to sea. 1,003 survivors make their home on a souped-up cruise ship called the Catalina. After sixteen years, the strain begins to show in a floating world of distrust and shifting allegiances. 

Esther is a young mechanic who wants to prove herself, and she’s willing to take risks in the name of progress. But when the fresh water tanks explode, endangering the lives of everyone aboard the Catalina – it’s all Esther’s fault. 
With only a little water left, the crew of the Catalina must use its last fuel to sail for help. They head to an unknown seabound metropolis called the Galaxy Flotilla. The inhabitants of the Galaxy are keen to parade their lives of luxury, but what do the saviors really want in return for their warm welcome? And what is really going on below decks? 

When disaster strikes again, Esther must fight to save the lives of her friends aboard the Catalina before it’s too late. 

Find out how far Esther is willing to go to save her home in Seabound, the fast-paced first novel of the Seabound Chronicles. Available as a paperback and e-book from the following retailers: 

On why I write crossover novels:

I write fiction for adults who love YA. There are so many terrific YA books with immersive world-building and riveting characters. They are fast-paced, heartfelt, and unpretentious. Adults (myself included) read YA just as much as teenagers do because we want to get completely lost in a fictional world. I wanted to write something for these readers, but I also wanted to explore the possibilities for a slightly older character in a YA-like dystopian setting.

The main character of Seabound, a ship's mechanic named Esther, is 22 years old. She has more responsibility on the ship than she would as a teenager and her skills are more advanced. However, she is still trying to prove herself and figure out her place in the world. YA fiction is often about coming of age, and Esther strives to do that in the midst of extraordinary (and often life-threatening) circumstances. I hope her story will resonate with YA readers of any age. 

Jordan Rivet is an American author of post-apocalyptic fiction. She lives in Hong Kong.

Website: JordanRivet.com
Twitter: @Jordan_Rivet
Booktrack (two sample chapters with a movie-style soundtrack)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Written in Red by Anne Bishop


Published: March 2013
Publisher: NAL Hardcovers
Pages: 433
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads


No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.


 My thoughts:

Why haven't I read anything by Anne Bishop before now?  I really don't know!  I've seen her books at work and thought 'Hmm, looks interesting' but never got around to reading any of them.  I think I even took this one home on one occasion and took it back unread.  Why now? Well I was reading some of the blogs I follow regularly and in one of them the virtues of Anne Bishop were being extolled - yep you're right, I can't remember which blog I was reading, sorry, but this person was waxing lyrically about how much of a fan she is of Anne Bishop and I thought to myself, 'self, maybe it's time to try her books?  Then I happened to notice that the third book in this series is due out soon and  I have an advanced copy to read, so I just had to start the series. The rest is history.

Written in Red was so much fun.   It's Urban Fantasy at it's best.  A more or less contemporary world that is peopled with supernatural monsters.  But these are not quite the same werewolves and vampires as we are used to.  In Ms Bishop's world the 'supes' are very much in charge and merely tolerate humans instead of the other way around.  

Meg, the main protagonist,  had just the right blend of knowledge and naivety to make her seem very plausible and I loved the way that she so quickly tried to fit in, without being pushy or presumptive.  At heart, this novel is about accepting people for who, or in this case what, they are and the message comes across clearly without being in any way preachy.

I've already downloaded the second book 'Murder of Crows' - ok, I've not just downloaded it, I've read it and it is just as good as this one, so I feel I can do justice to number three 'Vision in Silver' which is due out March 3rd.  Btw, these are adult books, and there are some gruesome parts, so I definitely would not recommend them to younger teens, but they would be fine as New Adult if you enjoy Urban Fantasy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Follow - January 16



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 own any doubles of your books? What led to getting that second…or third or fourth…copy?  – A Great Read

I do own a double of my books.  Sometimes I receive an ARC from the publisher and I love it so much that I go out and purchase the hardcover copy when it is released.  Once, I won 3 copies of Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong.  I gave one away to a friend when we went to Kelly's signing but I think I still have two copies sitting on my shelf.  I try to weed out books to make room for more but I am discovering that I tend to lean towards e-books right now because I'm lacking space.
 - Christinabean

I own a few doubles, but they are all hard copies and then e-books.  I've been known to read the hard copy at home and then continue reading the e-book copy of the same book when I'm out. It keeps the hard covers in better condition when you don't have to carry them around with you. BTW Christinabean gave ME the other copy of Waking the Witch, so she only has one left.  Lucky me.
- Curlypow

Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! Make yourself at home, take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. We often try to comment on your comments as well so feel free to start a conversation! Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and event postings. Be sure to check out our own personal meme page. Check out Fantastic Fairytales, Let's Hear it for the Boys, In Case you Missed it and a few others. We try to not only focus on new YA books but also great titles from the past.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - When by Victoria Laurie


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)

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not thehow, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?
 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fantastic Fairy-tales - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black



Published: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


No-one does faerie stories quite like Holly Black!

Faeries are real in Fairfold and Hazel and her brother Ben are up to their ears in Faerie troubles, even if they don't know it.  Ms Black pulls on several well known fairy tales - Sleeping Beauty being the most obvious - in this modern tale of fae and human interactions.  I could just picture Hazel and Ben as kids, with their pretend costumes and swords, trying to save the sleeping faerie prince.

There are some intriguing twists and false leads in the story, so that the reader is almost at as much of a loss as the characters to know what is going on, and there is enough mystery and adventure to keep most people happy, and just enough romance too, although some of it might surprise you - not quite the usual 'happily ever after'.

This was fun and quick to read and if you like your faerie (fairy - what is the difference?) tales with a modern slant I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.

Monday, January 12, 2015

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: 


So I watched The Maze Runner over the weekend and had forgotten what a GREAT series this was.  I felt that they actually did a pretty good job of bring the book to life (your thoughts?).  The creatures in the maze were not quite how I had imagined them to be but it was still a great interpretation.   I had previously read Book #2 but now watching the movie has re-newed my interest in the series so I snagged #3 from the library this weekend. What's on your shelf?
- Christinbean

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard


Published: December 30th, 2014 
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 368
Copy: Won from Luanne at A Bookworms World
Summary: Goodreads


A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.
 

Thanks first to Luanne at A Bookworms World and to Penguin for this fantastic book.  I hadn't heard anything about it when I entered Luanne's giveaway, but I'm a sucker for anything with dragons, so I had to enter.  So glad I won.

'Moth and Spark' was a pleasure to read, from beginning to end.  Ms Leonard's writing is lyrical and engrossing and captured me at once.  One of the things I loved was the language that she used and it was very interesting to read in the acknowledgements that  'Finally I am indebted to Jane Austen whose language I liberally borrowed from'.  As a huge Jane Austen fan I understood immediately why I had fallen in love with her 'voice'

I also was very enamored with her characters - every last one of them, even the not so nice ones.   I felt as if I could relate to all  of them, and though the situations are certainly nothing I have ever had to cope with, I could understand why the characters reacted the way they did.  There is a huge case of almost insta-love, which I am not in general too fond of, but somehow  this time around it felt real, not forced, and Tam and Corin just seemed made for each other. Would you be willing to sacrifice all for the 'greater good'? I'm not sure I could be as selfless as these two were. 

Oh, and did I mention there are dragons in this book - lots of fire breathing dragons, and an unscrupulous tyrant, and an evil emperor and hidden wizards and assassins and handsome captains and lots of other fun things that escape me right now. SO much fun. It's also a stand-alone, which is refreshing these days.  No waiting for a sequel.

Moth and Spark is sold as an adult book, but it's more of a New Adult to my way of thinking and I'm sure that older teen fantasy fans will just adore this book as much as I did. I'm immediately recommending it for purchase at the library.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

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 –

Question of the Week: Do you have any fun collections (other than books)? - Suggested byPeace Love Books
I do have some other fun collections but I don't have pictures (maybe I can find them (they are packed away) and take some pictures later.  I had started a thimble collection a few years ago.  Sometimes I pick up interesting thimbles from yard sales off Ebay. I like them because the thimble is such a useful tool and they don't take up too much room. You can keep them in a little box.  Plus there are so many beautiful designs to thimbles.  That's just one of my collections. I also have a button collection that I inherited from my Mom. She used to have drawers and bags of buttons so one day I set up some mason jars and my daughter and I sorted them by color. Now they line a shelf and look very pretty.  I use some of them for making leather wrapped bracelets with beads....yet another post I need to do.  I'd better get hopping with these pictures eh?- 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 8, 2015

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

 
Published: September 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 562
Copy Provided by: Borrowed from the Library
Summary: Goodreads
 
 
Summary:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
 
Review:
 
First of all, Heir of Fire is book #3 in the Throne of Glass series and I don't recommend jumping in and reading from here.  Read books 1 and 2 first before you tackle this one or you will be completely lost.
 
At first I found it very difficult to jump back into the plot of this novel and recount what had happened in previous books.  However, once I got into the thick of things, it was such a hard novel to put down. I found myself reading whenever I had a chance...waiting in line at the bank....going up in the elevator....sitting as a passenger in the car...thank god for e-books!!
 
There is a new set of characters that are introduced into this book - the witches.    They seem incredibly fierce and hell bent on taking over the world and righting long-held grudges.  I wonder what kind of role they will take on in this final battle?
 
As I was reading Heir of Fire, I found myself comparing the story to a YA version of Game of Thrones.  You've got lost heritage lines, people coming back from the grave, a magical mystery element, mythical creatures, lots to keep a reader interested!
 
The relationship between Nehemiah and Celena plays a big role in how she copes with her abilities in this book.  She is barely hanging on emotionally and the guilt she has in Nehemiah's death drags her to the utter depths of despair.  Their friendship was more of a sisterhood.  I'm not sure that men have the same kind of bonds that layer emotionally.
 
About halfway through my heart broke for Celena.  Sarah J Maas set this up perfectly for her main character to crash and burn all the very long way down only to be built back up again.  I was so sad for Celena but I felt like I was cheering on the sidelines for her recovery.
 
A couple things to note.  There is language in this book and the subject matter is quite involved.  The story is intricate and I would highly recommend it to a reader who likes to read back stories as well. The accompanying novellas to this series make it quite interesting.
 
This is such an intricate and intriguing tale that I have enjoyed immensely over the past couple years that I believe I would add it to one of my top favorite series.  I though this was a trilogy and wasn't sure whether to jump up and down cheering or crying when I discovered when there was a Book 4.  Cheer because the story will continue or cry because I have to wait until SEPTEMBER 2015!!! According to Goodreads, there will be 6 titles in the series.  Yay for Sarah J Maas!!  Sad for me and my patience.....


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


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)

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

I love Holly Black. I need to read this.
- Christinabean
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