Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah



Published: February 2015
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 438
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.


FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
 

Review:

Wow. What a storyteller.  I had read a few reviews about this novel when it first came out so I put it on my TBR list.  I was looking for a gritty book.  Something with substance that was going to make me uncomfortable and touch my soul.   This was definitely it.

There are so many things that I loved about this book.  Heroes were not only found at the warfront.  They were also found at home as well.  And they weren't always men.  Women fought their own battles at home and had to endure a different kind of struggle without the men in their lives.  I love how we see a woman's perspective on the war.  

The main characters are Vianne and Isabelle.  Although Vianne seems to have less spunk than her younger sister, she definitely does not lack in determination and an ability to push through all of her hardships. In some ways she seems to internalize more than her sister.  She appears to be strong for her daughter but on the inside, as you read her thoughts and how she weighs her decisions, you can see how much she sacrifices for her family and for her country.  

Isabelle's sacrifices are more obvious.  She is brave and has many different faces, depending on who she needs to be.  Inside though she is just a scared little girl trying to find the love of her father and sister.  I don't want to spoil the novel by getting into details but it was so gripping and REAL to me.  I wanted to keep on reading until the very last page.  And trust me, as you read the ending, make sure you have a box of tissue because you will be crying.  Mrs. Hannah had the perfect ending to this story.    It made me weep, it made me smile and it made me want to research her other titles.

Beautifully written, Kristen Hannah captured the essence of this story.  I felt like I was living the story instead of stopping into the pages of a book.  It was the first book I have read by this author but it certainly won't be my last.

Monday, June 29, 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)

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

I miss Game of Thrones. I wish the seasons were longer.  How could it have ended the way it did???  I was considering giving up on the series after the final scene. Seriously....but then I thought I should do something more productive instead and read the book. Or rather, attempt to read the book so I found A Dance with Dragons at my secret bookstore for $2.50 and I'm going to attempt to read it.  And finish it.  I may end up falling asleep on the beach and using it as a pillow though....it's the effort that counts though, right?
- Christinabean

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Shout Out to Indies - Gearteeth by Timothy Black



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. Here is this week's selection:



Gearteeth / Timothy Black / Blysster Press (September 2014) / 348 pages/ Paperback, EPUB, MOBI
Book 1 of the Gearteeth series.

Synopsis:
In 1890, a disease that turned sane men into ravenous werewolves swept through the United States like wildfire. On the brink of humanity's extinction, Nikola Tesla and a mysterious order of scientists known as the Tellurians revealed a bold plan: the uninfected would abandon the Earth's surface by rising up in floating salvation cities, iron and steel metropolises that carried tens of thousands of refugees above the savage apocalypse. The remnants of mankind huddled fearfully in the clouds, waiting for the werewolves to devour each other.
 
Twenty years later, only one salvation city remains aloft, while the beasts still rule the world below. Time has taken its toll on the miraculous machinery of the city, and soon the last of the survivors will plummet to their doom. But when Elijah Kelly, a brakeman aboard the largest of the city's Thunder Trains, is infected by the werewolf virus, he discovers a secret world of lies and horrific experiments that hide the disturbing truth about the Tellurians.
 
When the beast in his blood surges forth, Elijah must choose between the lives of those he loves, and the city that is humanity's last hope of survival.


Why Steampunk as a genre?

Early on, the idea of achieving wondrous results above and beyond those our current technology allows with huge and intricate 'low-tech' machines captured my imagination. Even as a kid, I was fascinated with the idea of not only undiscovered science that anyone could build in their garage, but also the hiding away of the smooth, plastic world inside of a more down-to-earth exterior. I've also loved werewolves ever since I could remember, and the idea occurred to me one day to smash them together into a beautifully horrific concept: steampunk werewolves. Pair it with a bit of the Old West, and having the apocalypse occur in 1890, and the stage was set for a tale of horror and discovery. Many steampunk stories concentrate on the gadgets and a Victorian feel to their worlds, but I wanted to put a distinctly American spin on the concept that was both gritty and supernatural, with a protagonist that brings the rebellious aspects of 'punk' back into steampunk.

Author Bio:

Award-winning author and popular podcaster, Timothy Black was born in the Deep South where he hit the road at an early age and quickly learned it could hit back. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, he studied Geology, Astronomy, and the Occult, ending up with a degree in Philosophy that twists through his writing. After traveling the world to find his great loves he settled down in the Pacific Northwest, where he writes unique twists on disturbing fiction. A serial killer of coffee and whiskey sours, he stays one step ahead of retribution with a rebellious cackle.

To learn more about Gearteeth click here!
Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Control by Lydia Kang

Control (Control, #1)

Published: December 2013
Publisher: Dial books for Young Readers
Pages: 393
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads



When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.



I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I love it when I discover a book at work that seems to have missed my orbit completely and then I end up loving it. It looks as though the second book in the series 'Catalyst' came out in March of this year, but I haven't managed to find a copy of it yet.

Control is just a little bit strange, with shades of 'Steelheart', without all the fuss and fanfare, and a slight nod to X-men.  What I'm talking about is kids with 'powers', but no superhero vibe - they have some odd physical abnormalities as well.  I absolutely loved the diversity of the characters - Vera,  who is green and has an affinity for plants; Hex, who has an extra pair of arms; Wilbert who has a second head/brain and doesn't have to sleep conventionally; Cy, who has an affinity for healing and Zel, our protagonist, who seems not to age or grow.  The bad guys are equally fascinating.  Micah, Tegg, Blink and Caliga and our mastermind SunAj, who gave me the heebee jeebees!  I am constantly in awe of authors who have the imagination to come up with such completely individual characters.

The story trots along at a steady pace with several exciting incidents that get the heart racing and the synapses firing.  I just loved Zel's determination to get to the bottom of things and I enjoyed her relationship with Cy, with all it's ups and downs and insecurities.  There is a fair bit of science in the book as we are trying to find out what is in Zel and her sister Dyl's DNA, but it made sense most of the time and I didn't find it too boring.

There is a great mystery, great romance and great characters and I for one can't wait to see Catalyst.  Your either going to love this one, or hate it - there doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground here. Me - I loved it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Broken Hearts, Fences and other Things to Mend by Katie Finn


Published: May 2014
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Pages: 339
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already.

Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour, Katie Finn's first novel in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series sizzles and delights.
 

Review:
What caught my eye with this book is not only the title but the cover. It looked like a GREAT summer read. And it is. Not too intense but SO MUCH FUN!!  So Hallie has a bit of a chip on her shoulder. Not that she isn't entitled to it but she has literally invested YEARS into plotting against Gemma.  They were friends when they were younger and then all hell broke loose and an instead of coming clean with her friend, Gemma's lies have caught up to her in a BIG BAD way.  

I really enjoyed this title. Although some of it was a little disheartening to read (the extents that these girls go to in order to mortify the other), it is still a fun, light read.  I do think you should read Hallie Hath No Fury prior to reading this title so you get both character POVs.  I had so much fun that I had to buy and read book #2 as soon as this one was done!

If you are a fan of crazy stunts and misinterpretations, you will love this story.  It reminded me of the crazy antics in the Shopaholic series...  This is why you never want to piss off your girlfriends.  Guys have it so easy. They get mad and physically hit one another and then shake hands and move on.  Women are so much more calculating and manipulative.  Bad scenario upon bad scenario all stacked up.  Does the truth REALLY set you free when you are tangled up in a web of lies?  Great title to add to your summer reading list!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hallie Hath no Fury by Katie Finn


Published: February 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Pages: 32
Copy provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

There are two sides to every story, right?

Hallie's life was ruined five years ago when her supposed best friend Gemma plotted against their parents getting together. Well now the tables have turned, and it's Hallie's turn to tell her side.

This satisfying e-short story will give readers of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend history and insight on how Gemma's former best friend, Hallie dealt with the fallout.

Review: 

I had had my eye on Broken Hearts and Fences to Mend for AGES so I bought Hallie Hath no Fury as a short story to see if I would enjoy the series.  Hallie is SO ANGRY and reading her side of the story, she does have a right to be but she becomes downright obsessive with making Gemma pay for what she has done to her family.  Years were spent devising a plan to make Gemma's life and take away the things that Gemma loves but in the end, is it all worthwhile? I really felt for Hallie and what had happened to her.  But when you look at the bigger picture, how much time had she invested into this scheme when she could have been expanding herself in better, more positive ways?  Does her anger and negativity really fuel her soul.  by the end of the book I felt more pity than anything for Hallie for wasting so much time in her life....but I immediately bought Book #1 to start reading the series from Gemma's point of view.  If you thought girls were complicated, you have no idea.....This would be a great summer reading series for your to-read list!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Guest post from Catherine Linka

Today we are happy to feature a guest post by Catherine Linka, author of the Young Adult books A Girl Called Fearless and AGirl Undone - which is published today.


Published: June 23rd, 2015

On the run with deadly government secrets, Avie must decide if she can live up to her name and truly become fearless for the cause or if it’s better to just give in.

The sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless.


Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.

Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.

Equal parts thrilling and romantic, A Girl Undone is sure to keep your heart racing right until the very end.


From Catherine:

While writing the character of Avie in A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be fearless. Sometimes people say they wish they were fearless like it’s a power you’re either born with or not. And I think that’s because they believe being fearless means rushing into danger and never being afraid.

But here’s what I believe:

Being fearless means not letting fear stop you from trying.

We are all afraid at times. Yeah, maybe you can’t ace that interview or climb that rock wall, or sing in front of 200 people, but maybe you can. And if you take the first step or sing that first note, you’re not letting fear bully you around.

You aren’t born fearless, you become fearless.

I don’t believe being fearless is something you either have or don’t have; it’s more like a skill you can develop. Each time you try something new or scary or intimidating, you get a little bit more comfortable and a little bit better at dealing with your fear. And the more you try, the less your fear will control you.

You don’t have to be a superhero/ninja/assassin to be fearless.

There are a lot of brave characters in the Fearless series, and sometimes their bravery is as quiet as providing an alibi or teaching a secret code, while at other times it’s as dramatic as walking into a firing squad. Being shy, unsung heroes doesn’t make them any less remarkable than the ones who get the glory.

Be fearless!

Catherine Linka is not afraid of speaking in front of hundreds of people, but she is afraid of biking down hills. She has moved to a new city with no job and no friends (four times!), but she can’t watch horror films. Catherine pukes her guts out almost every time she gets on a small boat, but sucks it up because she loves going whale watching.

Thank you so much for joining us today Catherine, and good luck with the book.

Catherine Linka is the author of A Girl Called Fearless, which was an ABA Indie Next Pick and won the Young Adult Novel Award 2014 from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. A frequent speaker at writing and teen conferences, Catherine received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and worked as a young adult book buyer for an independent bookstore for seven years

Monday, June 22, 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: 

On a storm-swept terrace high above the streets of Manhattan, Mason Starling holds the fate of the world in her hands as her beloved Fennrys lies bleeding at her feet, his life hanging in the balance. The ancient Norse prophecy of Ragnarok stands poised on the knife edge of fulfillment. Mason’s transformation into a Valkyrie—a chooser of the slain and the one who will ultimately bring about the end of the world—is complete. Still, she remains determined to thwart her father’s apocalyptic desires. Whatever is to come, it won’t happen because of what the prophecy foretold, or what Gunnar Starling has planned, or what the fates have already decided. What happens next will be up to Mason and the Fennrys Wolf. The world had better hope they haven’t reached the limits of what their souls and swords can survive.
I was watching Dark World (Thor #2) on television recently.  With the whole Thor/norse god theme, I realized that I had not yet finished reading the Starling series by Lesley Livingston!  So I snagged the last book and plan on adding it to my summer reading.  Are there series that YOU haven't finished but would like to?
- Christinabean

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan


Published: May 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Reader
Pages: 375
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: By Goodreads

Summary:

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.
 

Review:

Generally, I love NetGalley....except when we only get a sneak peek of a title and are left to WAIT for the release date.  Miss Ryan sure knows how to pique a reader's interest.  We jump right into the story of the sole survivor from a ship that had been hijacked. She has experienced an extremely traumatizing event as all passengers were systematically shot and killed before the ship was set on fire and then destroyed.  But then two other survivors step forward and they tell a completely different story.  Why would they lie about this?

And this is where NetGalley left me. Waiting...for a couple weeks until the release of the book.  Thank goodness I am so slow at reading that I read the teaser with ONLY 2 weeks until the release.  I can't imagine the torture of waiting longer than that.  As it was, I would forego sleep AND some of my favorite TV shows to finish reading the book in less than two days.  Yes, my faithful followers.  It was THAT good.  

Oh how I've missed Carrie Ryan's writing style.  This author sucks you in and paints her settings, her scenarios, her characters with such detail that they morph off the page and into your imagination.  She can make you feel so much compassion for her characters whether they be flesh-eating zombies or a revenge-driven disaster victim.  I feel like Ms. Ryan is the Master of Metaphors.

Frances/Libby is startlingly scary. She is so obsessed with this one piece of her life.  So much like Emily in the TV series - Revenge.  Years have been dedicated to plotting, planning, acting and reacting.  I have recently read Katie Finn's Broken Hearts and Revenge series (keep your eyes out for the review) and Hallie REALLY needs to take a lesson or two from Frances.

Sidenotes

Chapter 24 - Frances talks about Libby and their experience in the lifeboat and it made my eyes well up with tears. How they went through all of these different stages of dehydration and then the last moments as Libby started to give up on life.  Unfortunately, it was also only an hour later when Frances was rescued.  If Libby had just hung on a little longer, she could have been saved as well.

There were a few things that I didn't feel were consistent in this story. Questions I had that didn't seem to have answers but I didn't want to stop and question the validity of the story. I just wanted it to keep going until I got to the end.  But here are my loose ends - 

How long was the cruise ship for and how did they get so close so quickly? Frances talks about falling in love but did she have time to get so close to the senator's son?  What did the senator think of Frances? I thought that Libby fit in more with the rich crowd than Frances did so if the senator's son was getting involved with her, I'm sure the senator would have had met her.

About 3/4 of the way through the book, I started to have doubts about one of the main characters and his motives. It is awful but I started to doubt Shepherd's innocence. If Libby is out of the way, wouldn't he and his brother inherit the estate and all of its holdings?

All in all, as the story unfolded, I stopped wondering about my questionable loose ends and started falling in love with the book. The ending of the book was awesome. I LOVED it.  I especially loved the last page except for one thing - DOES HE???   Read this. If  you are going to read one book this summer, let it be Daughter of Deep Silence. It was so satisfying and I am so happy that she wrote it as a stand-alone title.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne



Published: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: MacMillan
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*

Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.


Another one that took me by surprise. Some caustic humour manages to disguise some really scary situations. So this ends up being quite the horror story, but should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.  Ms. Laybourne states at the end of the book that she didn't set out to write an 'issues' book, but there are very clear messages about the current fads in body image regardless.

I love that our main protagonist, Laurel, is happy enough with herself to resist the temptations of the new sweetener and I enjoyed the visits inside Tom's head, he seems to be a pretty straight forward guy, even though his childhood was conducted entirely in the public eye.  But I'm not entirely sure that I understood what the attraction was between the two of them.  I saw them more as friends than as potential boyfriend/girlfriend.

And then things started to get a little silly.  This is the point where the 'issues' fly out the window and the fun starts.  As I mentioned, if you take a very large pinch of salt and don't take things too seriously, then you'll enjoy the fun and games.  But if you're expecting a serious outcome you are absolutely not going to get it.   Ms Laybourne appears to be poking fun at many things in this novel and I for one quite enjoyed it, but I can understand why many people seem a little disappointed. Not a contemporary novel as such and not quite a horror story, Sweet hovers somewhere in between and definitely not for everyone, but I for one, enjoyed it.





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 –

IF YOU WERE TO GET A TATTOO, WHAT WOULD IT SAY OR WHAT WOULD THE GRAPHIC BE? OR IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, SHARE A PICTURE AND ITS MEANING. – SUGGESTED BY SECOND RUN REVIEWS.

I have a tattoo.  I had been thinking about getting one for years but I REALLY wanted it to have meaning to me.  Sure, I like certain symbols and designs but I wanted something unique.  Something one of a kind.  Something that had a story behind it.  So this is what I did....as many of you know, I LOVE the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series. Cassandra Clare is my favourite author and I love to immerse myself in the Shadowhunter world.   So I took some of the runes from her series and I combined them to design a dragonfly tattoo.  I had it centered on my lower back so even then it is private.  This was a couple years ago....  When I was going through some major life changes and wanted to start working on my bucket list.  Dragonflies are symbolic of change and all of the components that create the dragonfly have meaning.  My drawing was absolutely terrible but the tattoo artist tidied it up and made it more feminine. He also added color so it is black and violet.  I would LOVE to post a photo of it but because it is unique to me, I would not want anyone else to copy it...part of that one of a kind thing. Maybe one day I'll share but for now, I'm going to be selfish and let you use your imagination.  :)
- 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, June 18, 2015

Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas


Published: May 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 416
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads

Summary: 

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


Review:


I'm a huge fan of Sarah J Mass' Throne of Glass series so I was very excited for this new series to arrive...but a little hesitant. It is hard to read your favourite author when you already have pre-conceived expectations about the likability of a new series.  Well people, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.  Court of Thorns is spell-binding and action packed and I found it very difficult to put it down.  In fact, I believe I may even have put my entire life on hold to finish the last half of the book.  I think I told my 6 year old that she was free to choose any cereal she wanted for dinner as long as I was able to keep reading.  Tsk! tsk!  Bad Mommy!!

So let's dive in, shall we?  Feyre is the main character in the story and she grows up in a brutal environment.  She is has to hunt in order to find food for her entire family and her sisters are almost like the wicked sisters in Cinderella (although not as NASTY but definitely ungrateful).  About 11% of the way through I was already feeling like this novel was a bit of Cinderella/Hunger Games and Beauty and the beast all swirled together in a fairy mash-up!

Not too long after we learn of her harsh life, a situation occurs whereby fairies come and take Feyre away.  She is not a slave though.  Nor is she a prisoner.  But she does have to commit the rest of her life to living with the fairies for an accidental injustice.  They may taunt her a little but they are hardly torturous.  She has heard of all these fables of fairies but has never met one until now and while he seems harsh, he brings her to his castle and has not hurt or harmed her. The problem is, despite his "caring" for her basic needs, Feyre is very suspicious of Tamlin and she is so stubborn and angry and cannot accept the kindness he has offered.

Something happens about 37% of the way in and I have to hand it to Freyre, she has guts. Either she is fearless or incredibly stupid to do the the things that she does in pursuing her goals. She faces unknown creatures with knowledge that may or may not be accurate.  Yet she strikes out into the unknown to find the answers she needs.  Further down in the book, Freyre does more to make me wonder if she has a death wish.  Her listening skills are horrible!!  Why would she not stay in the safety of the house during the festival?  How reckless is she when there are creatures roaming about (again, with unknown abilities, skills and natures).  Not only that but she was very strongly THREATENED NOT TO attend the ceremony and yet she did and caused undo stress upon herself and Lucien.

A few notes on the characters

Tamlin is one of the other main characters in Court of Thorns and Roses.  I like how he becomes less of a beast and more human-like with complex emotions rather than the raw power and instinct of an animal. In his court, he doesn't seem to play the same fairy games as the rest of the courts and is very conscientious of caring for his subjects.

As the story progresses, you see Freyre change in amazing ways. The strength of this character is phenomenal.  I was expecting the novel to revolve around Tamlin and the fairy realm but it really did revolve around Freyre and how she gains an understanding of herself and conquers fears, faces incredible odds and does it all for someone she loves.

Although I hated Rhysand to begin with, especially when he made Tamlin beg, I started to develop a liking to him as we learned how he was also trapped by Amarantha. I guess it is a case of choosing the lesser evil when you befriend or assist the fae.  I am expecting to like him more and more as the series progresses.

The ending to this story just blew me away. I LOVED IT. In fact, for the last 3/4 of the book, I stopped writing notes because I didn't want to take the time out to stop reading!!

So my conclusion about Court of Thorns is to definitely read this title. It is an exhilarating beginning to Sarah J Mass' new series.  Can't wait for book 2!!

For those of you recommending this title, you should know that things get to be highly sexually charged at one point in the book and sex does play a role in this series.  You might want to hold back from recommending it to a younger audience.  It definitely has more mature themes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

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)

Modern-day sisters discover deadly ancient magic in book 1 of this Falling Kingdoms spin-off series!

Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.

Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.
 

I got hooked on the Falling Kingdoms series last month so it is FANTASTIC to see that Morgan Rhodes (a Canuck author) has tossed us a new series spin-off from the same setting.  I can't wait to dive into this one!
- Christinabean

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