Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Soul Thief by Jana Oliver

Published: August 2011
Publisher: St Martins Press
Pages: 339
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever…

I seem to have been catching up on my reading lately and finally getting around to sequels that came out last year.  Soul Thief is no exception and I'm so glad I went back to the Demon Trappers series for this amazing follow-up.  Soul Thief picks up immediately after The Demon Trapper's Daughter, about 1 hr after in fact, and Riley is trying to process everything that has happened.  It was very easy to pick up the story and remember what had happened previously, thank goodness.

All the old characters are there - Riley, Simon, Beck, Pete, Ori and there are a host of other characters, some old, some new, that help move the story along.  Most stories these days have a love triangle going on, right?  Soul Thief goes one better with a love quadrangle, or maybe even a love pentangle if Peter gets into the game, but be warned, there are some major surprises coming your way.  I'm still gob-smacked by a couple of them myself, coming so far out of left field I missed the hints completely.

Soul Thief won't make a huge amount of sense if you haven't read DTD, too much went on in the first one that is still relevant.  However, stellar character development, exciting storylines and a deep sense of urgency make Soul Thief a fantastic read.  Enjoy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

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 decided to load up my e-reader with a few titles from my TBR list.  I'm really trying hard not to purchase anything until I get through some of the books I already have or those that are currently on my TBR list.  Of course that does not include Endlessly by Kiersten White.  Hey, a girl's gotta complete her trilogy, doesn't she?  Here's what I snagged from our local library - 

All super happy titles.  Haha!  Guess most people are taking lighter summer reads from the public library?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Published: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Pages: 296
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Monument 14 is an interesting concept, set in the near-future - some time after 2021.  Still a very recognizable world, but with improvements on the internet - The Network.  Of course, no-one ever thinks that the Network will go down, and that's where some of the problems lie.

14 kids end up in a 'superstore' - convenient? Yes, definitely, but the way they arrive there was completely plausible and did not seem contrived in any way.  There is an incredible mix of kids of all types.  No-one is perfect and they all react differently to the escalating crisis.  Some handle it well, others - not so much.

A series of events occur after a natural disaster, and the kids are left to fend for themselves.  An extra dimension is added when, depending on your blood-type, you will react differently to a toxin that is released in the air. Which would you rather have - paranoid delusions, bloody lesions, violent outbursts or sterility at a later date? 

The kids' reactions to the crisis made for an interesting, tense and enjoyable read.  With shades of Lord of the Flies, Gone, and a touch of The Mist, you're never quite sure what's going to happen next.
I enjoyed this one, and look forward to the follow-up, because yes - there is a  cliff hanger ending, damn it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick - Guest Post

Published: February 2012

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Pages: 352

Copy: Library

Summary: Goodreads

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

This is a book of monsters. While some might say that there is only one true monster in the book (and I can almost guarantee it isn’t who you think), I have a feeling that Ms. Bick wrote this book to point out that people are not inherently good or evil. We’re all just people making good or bad choices. But still, this is a book of monsters, if only in the way of choices and situations that rear their ugly heads and come crashing back down to destroy whatever lays in their path.

I’m not normally a reader of contemporary fiction – reading is an escape for me, and that means magic, gadgets, creatures, outer space and more. But I put this on hold at the library because I loved Ms. Bick’s Ashes – it scared me half to death. And a few days after reading it, I was still unsettled. Without mentioning zombies, vampires, werewolves or ghosts, Drowning Instinct once again unsettled me.

Written as a narrative as Jenna tells her story to a police officer, we follow her through the twists and decisions that have led her to where we first meet her (dripping wet and freezing cold in an interrogation room). Her story is unfortunately one that probably isn’t far from many teenagers truths, and noting the triggers for actions and reactions is something Ms. Bick points out to us oh so subtly, in ways many writers cannot. Is it a happy story? Almost. Love is an overwhelming power house here – but it is love as a teenager feels it for the first time: all-conquering.  But the layers of fear and secrecy woven throughout (as well as disdain, which I think you can feel from Jenna’s rhetoric as she lays the story out for Bob – mostly in her cutting way of reminding him that no, Bob, I’m not giving you all the nitty gritty details) add a depth and mystery that can be missing from more upbeat contemporary fiction. In the end we’re left with resolution, but more questions. We’re left to decide the truth for ourselves, depending on where our allegiance lies (FYI, mine actually lies with Bob).
A great surprise for me – a contemporary fiction novel that I didn’t need to relate with to enjoy (although sadly, there are some aspects that I can relate to), characters that pushed the limits of tolerance for the reader (you want to love/like/hate almost everyone at some point) and an author who can breathe life into a simple, stunning, and sad teenage narrative.

Thanks again to Special K for this great review. We love you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Readathon

OK, I'm gonna do it.  For the duration of the London Olympics I will be reading like a crazy book lady (Oh, sorry to take your title away Curlypow....).  Random House of Canada is holding an Olympic Readathon.  Its an opportunity for you to chip away at your TBR pile and get as much reading done as possible.  Be sure to tweet @RandomHouseCA with the hashtag #OlympicReadathon with your progress.  You can also add your name to the spreadsheet to help monitor your goal.  I'm number 113 with a goal of 2000 pages.  Please comment on this post if you decide to sign up with your goal.  I'd love to connect with my fellow "reading athletes"!!  

Follow Friday

Feature and 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 weeks question is:

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

OMG, how can you expect me to remember that far back, LOL?  Alright, if I stretch my memory really hard, I think it would have to be Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  Yeah, I know that's a little strange, but it's one of the few books I still remember almost from start to finish, and its message stayed with me a long time. A close second would be To Kill a Mockingbird I think - I've never forgotten its message of tolerance.
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, July 26, 2012

Drain You by M Beth Bloom

Every night I'd lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there'd be consequences.

Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn't wash off.

Quinlan Lacey's life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There's also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn's whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.

But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn's new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).

There's normal, and then there's paranormal, and neither are Quinlan's cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn't so easy breezy.

Sad to say, Drain You was another of those books I enjoyed,  but .....  This time I enjoyed the story itself, but I absolutely did not like the main character, Quinn.  She was, to me, a spoilt brat, with too much time on her hands and no sense of responsibility or boundaries.  She appeared to me to use people shamelessly, and over-react to anything and everything, and I never did  understand the relationship between Libby and Quinn.  Were they best friends, or not?  Quinn seems such a huge drama queen who spends an awful lot of time lying around unwashed and feeling sorry for herself, and I kept wanting to shake her and tell her to have a shower. I found it hard to have sympathy for someone who turns up for work in a bikini top!

As usual there were lots of hot guys running around, and in this case, as the title suggests, they are vampires.  James is the good looking, 'good' vampire, but he seems to disappear when he's most needed, leaving the field open for the 'bad' vampires.  Them I liked!  They were just nasty sleaze buckets and I could not understand why Libby got involved.   Sorry, don't want to give away too much story here.  One character I did like was Whit, James's brother, but I couln't understand what he found so appealing in Quinn.

 To cut a long rant short, the storyline was interesting enough to keep me reading, but in the end I didn't find it anything special, and the ending just drove me bonkers - so strange.  I'm certain there are many vampire fans out there who will drink it up - pun intended - and I'd love to hear from you, but I'm sorry Drain You, I'm just not that in to you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 25

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

Ohhh....the dead are rising in Philly!  This one is about zombies!  I mean, c'mon, who doesn't like zombies?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musings by Knitwits Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Published: August 7th
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pages: 176
Copy: From publisher and Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

A charming collection of updated recipes for both classic and forgotten cakes, from a timeless yellow birthday cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, to the Christmas standard, Bûche de Noël, written by a master baker and coauthor of Rustic Fruit Desserts.

Cakes are central to the way we celebrate, whether that celebration is a birthday, a wedding, or just a warm summer evening. With recipes for no-bake, roll, layer, and upside-down cakes from both the recent and more distant past, Vintage Cakes is a confectionary stroll down memory lane. Some of the delicious favorites to be rediscovered include: a frosted fairy cake (a hit at children’s birthday parties), the picnic-ready lemon icebox cake with white chocolate cream, and a boozy eggnog bundt cake with brandy butter glaze. With Richardson’s modern look at beloved baked goods, these 65 nostalgic and fool-proof recipes rekindle our love affair with cakes.

I was one of those lucky kids blessed with a mother, aunt and grandmother who baked - all the time.  And they all baked different things, which made it even sweeter (pardon the pun).  I remember standing watching all of them at one time or another, and thinking' one day I'll do that'.  Now I do, only very occasionally.  It seems that these days we have grown away from spending time in the kitchen and making things from 'scratch'.  Perhaps Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson will nudge you back into trying cake making again.

Vintage cakes is choc' full of gooey sweet goodness that is just crying out to be baked.  Arranged into chapters by type of cake, there is sure to be something that appeals to everyone.  Try Hasty Cakes - Rhubarb Pudding Cake anyone?; Everday Cakes - how does Not For Children Gingerbread Bundt Cake sound? (it's the brandy that's the key here); Little Cakes and Light Cakes - Boston Cream Pielets for dessert sounds good; Flips and Rolls; Layer Cakes; Party Cakes - Double Dip Caramel Cake sounds like heaven - and then there's a chapter just on Fillings, Frostings and Icings - 19 of them if I counted correctly. Oh my mouth is watering just looking at these pages.

Each individual recipe is explained clearly and although some are a little long, all of them sound wonderful.  I did wish there were a few more pictures of these wonderful cakes, but then I reminded myself that my grandmother et al didn't have coloured pictures to look at when they baked, just a recipe.  They tried it once and if everyone liked it, it got made again.  Vintage Cakes just cries out to be tried once, twice, over and over again.  Have a look for it and see if you can resist it. I tried the Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake and - though I say it myself - mmmmmmmm good! Now which one will I try next?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jessica Brody's new book - 52 Reasons to Hate my Father

Jessica Brody has a new title out.  The reason why I'm blogging about it is because I love this author.  She had me at Karma Club.  It was hilarious!  I love her sense of humor and wit.  If 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is anything along the same lines, I'm in.  

One more thing, you have to check out this trailer.  It's a little bit like that show with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie...only I think I'll like these characters better.  Acting too.  :P

I said one more thing and I lied....ok, last thing.  Jessica is holding a contest on her website for you to win a Compete Heiress Makeover.  Its open to the USA and Canada only.  Check it out here.  The deadline to enter is August 15th.  Good luck!

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 for me was all about feeding my reader - check out some of the goodies I picked up. (Thank heavens for discount coupons.)

Now if I can just find time to read them all!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shout Out to Indies

We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaring EVERY SECOND SUNDAY our SHOUT OUT TO INDIES MEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule. We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting. Lastly, for you readers, this is a bit of a test so please do comment and let us know what you think. We will also be offering up giveaway copies whenever we can! So without further ado, here are this week's picks -

Published: May 2012

The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.

Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.

   Jessie Lane is the writing team of Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl. The two sister-in-laws share a great love of breath-taking romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters. (They’re kind of megalomaniacs)
When not loosing themselves in a story they remember they have real lives. Crystal lives in Kentucky with her husband and two little girls who plot daily the many ways they can drive their poor mother crazy. At the end of the day Crystal then calls Melissa and threatens to ship her two nieces to their favorite Aunt with lots of air holes punched through their box. Melissa answers Crystal’s crazed calls in Washington state where she lives with her husband and big furry baby of a Rottweiler named Yuffie and reminds her that children are not shippable.
This is their first novel but they are all geared up and excited to be releasing other projects soon.
Writing with a Co-Author
 It might help to explain the back story to us and why we went the route of writing together. Unfortunately we live really, really far apart. I live in Washington and Crystal lives in Kentucky. We normally talked about once every other week on the phone or on Facebook. So for Crystal to call me late at night was not a surprise, but I answered quickly anyways. (Most Hilarious conversation we have ever had, and yes some whiskey was involved on both sides). And yes Crystal, drunk dialing will always be hilarious!
So back to the story, she was frustrated about the book, and couldn’t concentrate on having to revise and reread it again and again. So I told her she needed a set of fresh eyes to go over it and to send it to me. I’ll send it back to her in a few weeks and then she can look at it again after I made corrections to the best of my abilities. I jokingly told her all she had to do was make me brownies as a thank you. She agreed and then sent me a list of things she wanted changed and flipped and cut out and so on. It took me about three weeks before I sent it back to her and prayed she wouldn’t be pissed at the outcome.
Three days later she called me and her voice was care free while she kinda shouted in my ear ‘THANK YOU SIS’! Pretty much after that phone call we started to collaborate on the rest of the ideas swimming around in our minds and decided that we needed to work together for the sake each other’s sanity and because we had more hilarious phone calls to add to the first one that started it all.
We both have active and vivid imaginations and having someone else there to help with the releasing of those ideas is so refreshing. We get each other easily, sometimes finishing each other’s thoughts. So when one needs a break the other takes over. Now we are inseparable. She’s not just my sister-in-law; she’s one of my closet friends, and my partner in crime. (On my recent visit, her husband (my brother) and my dad, were laughing at us because we were trying to make a ‘basket’ with the paper off of the straws into each other’s shirt, yes we know we are immature but it was funny - until she got the kids involved. She cheated and I quickly ran out of ammo.) We keep it simple and fun. We agree on a lot of things and when it’s put to paper, it’s amazing.
 Since I am writing this from my home in Washington, I know Crystal agrees with me on this. We wouldn’t be Jessie Lane without the other and that Crystal still owes me brownies. Love you SIS!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Black Heart by Holly Black - Guest Post

Published: April 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 296
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

Let us go back a little. I loved White Cat. It was so different. A wonderful blend of mystery, gangsters and magic. Next comes Red Glove, which while I enjoyed and the story kept moving, it suffered from a mild case of second-book syndrome in my eyes. Now, we’re onto Black Heart. And be still my heart!

Black Heart picks up where Red Glove left off (which let’s be honest, it was a bit of a mess, what with dead brothers, Lila moving up in the family business and so on). Holly Black never disappoints, but she was on point with Black Heart, tying up all the loose ends and making sense of Cassel and Lila (sort of...). The action never stopped, and I was always left questioning – WWCDN? (What Would Cassel Do Next?). Lila stepped into her father’s business wonderfully, without jeopardizing the character of the scared (but willing to rip your head off) little girl that once upon a time was a cat. The banter between Barron and Cassel is also enjoyable, although I would love another book from Barron’s perspective, just to figure out what is going on in the man’s head.
All in all, a wonderful and awesome, awesome end to a trilogy. Or will it be more? Do we get more Curse Workers books? I’d also love to high-five Ms. Black, to the nods to her fellow YA writers (I do believe the pageant from Beauty Queens was on TV at some point, watched by a character named Jace). And her subtle way of letting us know just what kind of a world this was she has built (an alternate reality. Yes, that means that in another dimension, you could be wearing gloves full time for fear of being worked!). Wonderfully subtle, and exciting for those in the know (you know when you see an Easter egg in a book or website, it always gets you giddy).
Lastly, I couldn’t end my ramblings without addressing the re-styling of the books. Personally, I’m on the fence about it. While I never loved the covers previously, I still don’t love the new style covers. And they have the added benefit of irritating me by ruining my matching set – I own both White Cat and Red Glove...but I refuse to buy Black Heart because I can’t get a cover to match the two I own. Is this wrong? Am I being ridiculous? Likely. But I wish publishers and authors would recognize that people like me exist, and save their re-designs for the trade paperback and pocket paperback editions. Or the re-issue of them in 5 years. But I got over it. Thank heavens for libraries –so I could read this gem of a book, regardless of what its cover looked like!

Thanks so much to Special K for this great review of Black Heart.  I can't wait to read this one.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Follow Friday

Feature and 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 weeks question is:

It's Christmas in July!  Someone gives you a giftcard for two books.  What two books will you buy? 

Hmm...this is a toughie.  I think I'd like to work on completing some of the series I've collected.  I'd like to snag Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade #3) and Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3) by Kiersten White.  Of course if these were sold out at the store, I'd probably pre-order Hidden (Firelight #3) by Sophie Jordan.

- 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, July 19, 2012

Starling sampler - Lesley Livingston

Published: August 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Copy provided by: Sample by NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads 


"Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.


You know, I'm thinking that I shouldn't even call this a review.  More of a teaser.  I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Starling from NetGalley and it was AWESOME!  Ms. Livingston does not hold anything back when she dives into her heart-pounding adventure.  Starling is one to watch in the coming month and after reading just a couple chapters of this title, I can guarantee you it is making its way to the top of my TBR pile in August when it is officially released.  One last thing, shame on you HarperTeen for only letting us have a sneak peek at this book!  Talk about a book tease!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 18

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

What a gorgeous cover eh?  Love this series...plus Kiersten White is so freaking hilarious.  Endlessly is book #3 in the Paranormalcy series.  What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fantastic Fairytales - The Faraway Tree collection by Enid Blyton

Originally  published: 1939

The Enchanted Wood is one of Enid Blyton's most memorable and truly imaginative stories, capturing a world where almost anything can happen if you just believe in the magic of nature and its creatures.

Many adults will have fond memories of discovering the world of The Enchanted Wood: from the delightfully gentle Silky the Fairy, to the wonderfully bizarre but terminally jolly Moon-Face who along with a host of strange and mysterious characters live among the branches of The Magic Faraway Tree.

Kate Winslet, the award-winning actress, was captivated by the stories at an early age and during her pregnancy approached the company who own the rights to the Enid Blyton name to ask them if they would be interested in having her record these magical stories on tape. The result is stunning.

Winslet, with her gentle, singsong voice, captures the pure joy of these unforgettable stories from the moment the tale begins, and Joe, Beth and Fanny--the three young children who move from the city with their family to the country house surrounded by the Enchanted Wood--are captured as the wide-eyed and open-minded children they really are, eager to become involved in all manner of adventure and never once questioning that this strange world they have entered might not be quite, well, normal.

Whenever I am asked what book first started me reading, my answer is The Enchanted Wood, by Enid Blyton.  That's not strictly true, I had read many books before that - I was one of those annoying kids that could read chapter books almost before I started school - but this was the book that convinced me completely that reading was going to become a lifelong passion.

The Enchanted Wood  is a tale about 3 kids who discover a magic tree in an enchanted wood.  As you climb this tree you find different fruits growing on different branches - so cool.  As you are climbing you meet different 'people' who live in the tree: Silky the fairy; Moon Face the ?(sorry, never did quite work out what he is, maybe an elf?); Mr Whatchamacallit, who can't remember his name; Dame Washalot, who is constantly pouring dirty water down the tree; The Saucepan Man, who makes so much noise when he walks, and so many other diverse characters that I can't remember them all.  The best part about this tree though is that when you reach the top the branches lead into different worlds - and that's where the real adventures begin. Then when you are finished with your adventure you can pick up a cushion and slide down the inside of the tree to the ground.  Tell me, what could be better than that?

I remember visiting Upside Down world, and trying for days afterward to walk on my hands.  I had tea with the three bears, but not quite the ones I remember.  There were candy worlds, empty worlds, sad worlds, happy worlds.  So many I can't remember, but each world had at least a chapter all to itself and I was transported it my mind.

Enid Blyton wrote so many novels about so many different things.  Does anyone remember The Famous Five books - finding treasure on Kirrin Island (gold ingots in fact) - there were 21 of those and my kids read all of them.  Love boarding school books?  Ms Blyton wrote one of the best series about being away from home at school with the Mallory Tower books - the first one in 1946 - and don't forget the 6 St Clare's books, also about boarding school and written even earlier.  But for me it was the Faraway Tree books that were favourites.  There are four of them in all: The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree were the originals then there was Up the Faraway Tree - I didn't enjoy it quite so much, I think because some extra kids were added and the dynamics changed.

Yes I know they are incredibly dated now, but they hark back to a time when parents let their kids go out all day, as long as they were home for supper.  There were no electronic device and the world seemed just a little less scary.  If you haven't come across them yet and you ever see them, give them a try and let your imagination soar.

I think I'll have to try and find the recordings by Kate Winslet, just to see what she does with my favourite books.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Clockwork Princess cover reveal

Oooohhh!!!  Ahhhh!!!  Isn't it lovely?  Here is the new cover for The Infernal Devices #3 by Cassandra Clare!

By the way, if you haven't already jumped on the Mortal Instruments bandwagon (shame on you!), the movie will be coming out this fall and Simon and Schuster is offering up one heck of a deal to get you motivated to read.  For a limited time only, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is only $0.99 in e-book format.  I found it on Kobobooks.  It is also available on Google Play.  Check out your e-book store!

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received.

A few weeks ago we took part in the Canada Day Blog Hop and so I also perused our fellow Canadian blogs and entered a bunch of giveaways.  Lucky for me, I won a book!  Here's what I nabbed from Gef from Wag the Fox.  Thanks Gef!

What?  Its not YA?  Aww, that's ok.  It's good to try new things.  :D  Besides, I guess I should try an adult title now and again...

Curlypow here, strangely enough, my shelf stacking this week was also for an adult book:

This is the 24th novel in the Pern series and is a little bittersweet for me.  I have been following this series since the very beginning and it is one of my favourites, but sadly the author, Anne McCaffrey, died earlier this year.  Thankfully her son Todd has taken up the Pern reins and I have high hopes of the series continuing for many more years.  BTW, they are all pretty much suitable for YA readers, so if you like dragons, give them a try.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Winging It by Deborah Cooke

Published: December 2011
Publisher: NAL Trade
Pages: 328
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.

Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Megan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Megan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets . .

Winging It is the second book in the Dragon Diaries series after Flying Blind, which I reviewed a few weeks ago.  It was full of more wonderful dragon-y fun.  One of the most memorable things about this one is the number of amazingly hot guys who just seem to keep climbing out of the woodwork.  There are dragons - Liam, Nick and Garrett; mages - Trevor and Adrian; wolves - Derek and spellsingers - Jared,  (there may even be more that I\ve forgotten).Not all are good, sometimes you're not sure who is which, if you get my drift, but oh the testosterone!

Not to worry, there are some great girls to help soak up all this maleness.  Zoe is still a wonderful main character, who is slowly coming into her own as the Wyvern, and her best friend Meaghan is one of my favourites.  Their relationship is full of complexities and the hurt feelings and mis-understandings really ring true. There is a little romance in amongst all the goings on, but it's not the main focus of the tale, although it is intriguing, with a little bit of a triangle forming, just for good measure.

No-one seems to really know who to trust and there are countless twists and turns that keep the suspense alive, but ultimately make complete sense.  Full of excitement and adventure, Winging It is not going to make a huge amount of sense if you haven't read Flying Blind first, but I strongly recommend that you try them.

The third volume, Blazing the Trail, is sitting on my shelf already just waiting for me - what fun!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Published: May 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 256
Copy Provided by: Simon and Schuster Canada
Summary: Goodreads

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.     

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.     

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.      

The first in a series, this epic and richly detailed drama is grounded in historical communities and their mythic beliefs. It includes a medieval map of Europe that will track their journey; and the interior will include relevant decorative elements as well as an interior line illustration. And look for a QR code that links to a note from the author with additional, detailed information about the setting and the history that informed the writing. With Philippa Gregory’s trademark touch, this novel deftly brings the past—and its salacious scandals—vividly and disturbingly to life.

I always find it interesting when a popular adult author takes the reins of the YA genre and decides to jump in.  Do they continue with with the same themes or try something completely new?  I've only listened to one Philippa Gregory title but the story was rich and captivating.  Ms. Gregory has a gift for writing history and placing the reader right into the pages of time.  I was eager to read Changeling, thinking I'd feel the same way.  Unfortunately, I didn't. 

I sometimes hate to write this kind of review because what I'd really like to do is gush over every book I've ever read but that just wouldn't be realistic.  For me, Changeling was a bit of a disappointment.  I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and it never did!  I felt like the story was leading up to something that was going to be wonderful and thrilling but then it was a bit of a let down.  I do have to say that I was surprisingly amused by Freize, a side character in the book.  He had some great lines and quite a bit of cheek.  He was the highlight for me.  However, as in all reviews where I don't gush, I do recommend that you try it for yourself.  I wasn't thrilled with this title but I DID finish it after all.  Don't walk in expecting something similar to The Other Boleyn Girl or The Red Queen.  If you do, you'll just be disappointed.

If you are interested in historical fiction, this one might pique your interest because of the author's previous work but you might want to try it in audiobook format.  It may be more interesting that way!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Follow Friday

Feature and 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 weeks question is:

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

Christinabean kept nagging me to start a blog since I spent so much time at work talking up books I had read.  Eventually I just had to give in when she said she'd join me and The Paperback Princesses were born.  We still like to highlight as many books as we can find that will work for ISU's for school - there are so many great YA books that get missed for book reports - and we love to highlight as many books as we can that boys might like to read.  It's amazing how many reluctant male readers come into the library, but once they get hooked on a good book, the sky's the limit.  Now we've been going for just over 2 years and we're still having fun, although the old adage certainly rings true - so many books, so little time!
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.

Canada Day Blog Hop Winner!

And the winner of our 2nd annual Canada Day Blog Hop is....


Congratulations Nicole!  Your book will be arriving in the mail shortly!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated.  Once again a massive thanks to our hosts

Chrystal (from Snowdrop Dreams of Books)
Carmel (from 
Rabid Reads)
and Aislynn (from 
Stitch Read Cook)

We had a fabulous time and can't wait until next year's hop!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Published: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 296
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

The Hunt is a vampire book with a difference.  Most books claim that, but this time it is actually true.  In fact I don't recall actually seeing the word vampire anywhere, (I could be wrong there, but I don't think so).  Humanity is all but extinct, in this unspecified, dystopian future, and the vampires are the
dominant species. They are not 'regular' vampires, but nasty dirty creatures who need blood cups under their chins when they eat, and sleep holding onto handles in the ceiling - lovely nod to the old bat analogies.  The descriptions of the involuntary drooling are downright disgusting, but they treat it so nonchalantly.

'Two rows in front of me, Phys Ed's head suddenly twitches violently backward.  A short line of saliva flies off his fangs and swings upward, splatting across his face diagonally.  He shakes his head. "Pardon me," he murmers' (P88)

The main protagonist is not actually given a name until about half way through the book, when he remembers his original 'designation' - Gene.  Gene himself refers to other characters in the book by his own made-up designations like 'Crimson Lips'; Phy Ed; Abs and Ashley June.  And of course, she is the only other character of immediate significance with a name!

It is very interesting that when Gene meets the captive Hepers, or humans, he actually feels supeior to them, and doesn't consider himself on their level, but much higher.  Although he is a human himself, because he has been 'passing for so long,  he looks at the other hepers with disdain. It's kind of creepy actually.  There is a thread of tension that runs throughout the book and the sense of unease and impending discovery is very insidious and never really lifts.

The Hunt is a tense, action filled drama, that will have your heart pounding, but don't expect the usual vampire romance - you won't find it, anywhere.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - July 11

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:

This one sounds exciting.  Goodreads say:s Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure.  I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let's Hear It For The Boys - I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Published: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 361
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I Hunt Killers is a very disturbing book.  Disturbing on so many levels - the subject matter, the violence, the potential for violence, it's underlying theme of Nature vs. Nurture.  Lyga has managed to get into the mind of a killer, or potential killer, and he lays open all the disturbing options and realms of possibility available.  Particularly disturbing is the way Jazz finds himself following his father's teachings just to get by.

'"It was a misunderstanding," he assured her, pouring on the charm.  He allowed his face to relax into a lazy grin, a "nothing's wrong in the whole wide world, darlin'" sort of smile that immediately put people at ease.  He'd learned it from watching Billy, and it was way too effective.  Also, it was far too easy to slip into.' (p181)

My heart broke for Jazz, for all he's had to go through and for his self-awareness - the double life he leads trying NOT to be a killer.  Connie and Howie are true friends, who know Jazz's background and accept him for what he is, not what he might become - a copy of his father.  It is a novel about acceptance - acceptance of colour, background and disabilities - and does not make assumptions.

Lyga has a wonderful way of describing people and events that is a little bit out of the ordinary, but gets right to the heart of the matter:

'He checked her pulse.  She was fine.  She would sleep soundly for hours.  He easily gathered her in his arms; Gramma was made up of skin and bones and hate and crazy - and hate and crazy don't weigh anything.' (p183)

In spite of the above, or because of it, I Hunt Killers is primarily a roller-coaster thrill ride that will have your heart pounding as you try to solve the mystery.  Who is the killer?  And just when you think you've got it all sorted out, think again, Lyga throws in a twist that will have your heart pounding all over again.  An exciting, unusual thriller that will have you begging for more!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Stacking the shelves

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received.

This week I visited my local library and raided the new additions book cart -

I've got a ton of reading to do this summer.  What's new on your shelves?