Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blog Tour - Salvation by Anne Osterlund - Guest post.


Published: January 10th, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers

Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?

When I discovered Anne Osterlund a couple of years ago I had so much fun reading her books.  I now wait anxiously for the publication of each new book and I am thrilled to see Salvation hit the shelves. One of the things I particularly love about her books is her strong characters, who are always easy to relate to.

As part of the Salvation blog tour, I had the chance to ask Anne exactly why she writes for the young adult audience, and how she chooses her subject matter.  I'm sure you'll have as much fun reading her answer as I did:

Losing at Poker by Anne Osterlund (with help from Salva and Beth, the main characters in Salvation)

I look at Salva.

He ignores me, pretending to focus on his hand of poker cards. I’m getting the distinct impression he thinks someone else should answer this question, but Aurelia, the heroine of my earlier books Aurelia and Exile, is busy dealing. And Robert as well as Aerin and Dane, from Academy 7, wisely declined to join the game. Besides, this is Salva’s blog tour, and he should really take the lead in answering the guest posts.

“Why do I write YA?” I say to him.

He switches around the cards in his hand, then stretches out on the carpet, rolls over on his back, and pretends to be concentrating. “Not sure. You love teenagers?” he pretends to answer.

“That is such BS and you know it,” I say.

He rolls back over on his stomach, trades in a card, and feigns nonchalance. “You find us more of a challenge than adults?” he asks.

I squelch a smile. There may be something to that. Salva, Beth, and I do have a hard time taking the easiest path.

“You read YA,” Beth says calmly. She exchanges a card, then refills her snack bowl with M&M’s.

Salva reaches for the bowl, but she tugs it away.

“Yes, I read YA,” I say. “I like young adult books because they’re fast and get right to the action and the writing is often stronger than adult fiction; but really, you know, it’s because of—”

“The characters,” Aurelia blurts out.

I glare at her. We had an agreement that she wouldn’t take over this tour.

She claps her hand over her mouth, rolls her eyes at Salva, then ditches her cards and heads for the kitchen. Clearly poker isn’t her game.

“True,” I admit. “I read YA for the teenage characters. Because, I think, by their very nature . . . the fact that they have their own minds, their own opinions, their own view of the world—”

“And they aren’t trapped in that viewpoint,” Beth adds.

I nod, folding my cards. It’s pretty obvious this game is going to be won by either Salva or Beth.

“And because they haven’t lived their entire lives yet,” I continue, “there’s always . . .”

Salva calls.

“Hope,” Beth says, laying down her cards.

He grins, pushing his chips in her direction.

She passes him the M&M’s.

He empties most of the bowl into his hand, then looks at me and finally contributes to the conversation. “And you choose your subject matter based on the stories we tell you. You really don’t have any say in it.”

“Maybe not,” I admit. “But I do provide the M&M’s.”

Thank you so much to Anne for joining us here on The Paperback Princesses.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Scarlet 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

There was so much buzz about Book #1, Cinder that I wanted to wait until Book 2 was close to being released before jumping into the series.  What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Published: October 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 454
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads
Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.
I think the toughest part about reviewing a book in a sequel is recalling what had happened in the last book.  It has been awhile since finished up Silence (book #3) in the Hush Hush series.  If you are just starting out on the Nora/Patch saga, it is best to read Book #1 - Hush Hush.  The good news is that you can read it from start to finish without any publishing interruptions!  There will be lots of spoilers in this review so please stop reading now if you have not yet read the rest of the series!

So Finale (book #4) leads us to Nora becoming the head of the Nephilim.  She has a bit of a conundrum - does she bring her people to war or does she destroy the fallen angels?  What's a girl to do?  As much as I enjoyed this series, it lacked some believe-ability for me.    How does a young girl go from being human to taking over an army of Nephilim without having something behind her to back her up?  Like super strength, brutality, leadership?  Things I just didn't see in Nora at this time.

Normally by this time I'd be gushing about the last book of a series.  I like to gush for my favorite series.  Heck, when I make it book 3, that should be a cause for celebration!   Despite the lack of believe-ability,  I still finished the book and enjoyed the ending to this series.  So what am I trying to say?  I enjoyed the Hush Hush series but found that book #4 did not have the same strength and writing mojo as books 1 - 3.  Sorry Becca.  I liked it but I didn't LOVE it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

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 triple-layered tale of bloodshed, heartbreak, and tangled court intrigue kept me turning pages very late into the night." —Lesley Livingston, award-winning author of Wondrous Strange

After seeing this comment on Goodreads from one of my favourite authors, I just had to pick this one up.  Can't wait to get started on it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shout out to Indies - The Twisted Litsters

Guest blog post from Twisted Lit-sters Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Two of the simplest credos in writing fiction are to write what you know and to write what you love. As former English majors (Kim’s currently getting her Masters in English lit, incidentally), we’ve studied plenty of Shakespeare over the years. And, well, it goes without saying that we get absolutely geeked-out over any chance to see his plays performed, on stage or on film. So when we teamed up to write our first novels for a YA audience, we decided to look to the Bard for inspiration. Shakespeare’s universal themes resonate with readers of every age and walk of life, and the possibility of yanking his stories into the 21st century with fresh concepts and thoroughly modern characters proved just the motivation we needed to write the first two books in our “Twisted Lit” series. Described as “compulsively readable,” they pay homage to classic literature while putting a new and different spin on the Bard’s original works. Even Shakespeare-phobes have found themselves engrossed in the stories. Considering the playwright himself drew inspiration from previous writers when penning his masterpieces, we don’t think he’d mind at all that we’ve tinkered with his ideas and had fun finding ways to cleverly re-interpret his plots, themes, and settings. (Tempestuoustake place in a mall where a group of high school students have been snowed in overnight, for example!) See if you don’t agree by checking out our debut novels, Tempestuous: a modern-day spin on Shakespeare’s“The Tempest” and Exposure: a modern-day spin on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

 Published: Dec 18th, 2012                                                                              Published: Jan 18th, 2012

My review of Exposure -

Move over Shakespeare and make room for the Twisted Litsters.  If you have ever wondered just exactly what Shakespeare is trying to say, look no further than Twisted Litsters Kim Askew and Amy Helmes and their new series of 'updated' Shakespeare tales.  I just finished Exposure this morning and I am thrilled to say I loved every minute of it.  I am a bit of a closet Shakespeare fan and it was with some trepidation that I started reading Kim and Amy's modern take on Macbeth (or 'The Scottish Play' as it is referred to in the theatre).

No worries - Exposure was amazing.  The story is narrated this time around by photography geek Skye and we find out the twisted and torturous goings on in an Anchorage high school.  MacBeth has always been incredibly tragic, and Exposure pulled that tragedy into the 21st century and made it relatable to todays teenagers.  I loved the characters, all of them. Even cheerleader Beth, who was a brilliant take on the conniving Lady MacBeth from the original. Her fall from grace was very well done and completely exposed the insecurities that plague so many teens today. The three witches this time around are a trio of Native American girls who love to highlight their heritage.  I adored Cat, Tess and Kaya and the fact that they are so comfortable in their skins.

The usual high school angst is heightened by the tragedy of Duncan's death and Craig's  journey to admitting his wrong-doing is heartbreaking and yet enlightening.  There is so much going on here that I found it difficult to put the  book down, and I am not normally a great fan of contemporary fiction.  One definite plus is that if I didn't know that the book was written by two different people, I wouldn't have known - their writing styles are seamless.

A wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am waiting impatiently to see what they come up with next.  I fancy seeing how they handle Twelfth Night or Romeo and Juliet. [I checked with Amy and discovered that they are in fact working on 'their' version of Romeo and Juliet, but it will be about a year at least before we see it.  What a pity. ]

If you'd like to, check out my review of Tempestuous

For more information, visit 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers - Lynn Weingarten

Published: December 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

If there’s an upside to having your heart broken, it’s this: A broken heart makes you brave.

The first day of sophomore year doesn’t go the way Lucy planned. After a summer apart from her boyfriend, she’s ready to greet him with a special surprise and instead gets a shocking one in return: He’s breaking up with her. Beyond devastated, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life.

Enter three stunning girls with the unnatural ability to attract boys and an offer Lucy can’t refuse: They can heal her heart in an instant. And then she’ll be one of them—a member of a sisterhood that is impervious to heartbreak and has access to magic distilled from the tears of brokenhearted boys. But to gain their power, Lucy must get a guy to fall in love with her the old-fashioned way, and then break his heart in the next seven days.

While the sisterhood may need another Heartbreaker, Lucy’s only desire is to get her ex back. But how far is she willing to go, and who is she willing to cross to get what she wants?


I hate doing this.  I really do...but I did not finish this title.  I wanted to like it, I truly did...I even read about 40 or 50 pages but then I just couldn't take it anymore.  LUCY WAS DRIVING ME NUTS!!  There. I said it.  I found a character in a novel that drove me to stop reading.  She was becoming so whiney and insecure and obsessed with getting her old boyfriend back.  But as we read about their relationship, we see it wasn't nearly as perfect as she thinks it was.  She was putting in 80% of the effort and he was just taking advantage of her nice thoughts and gestures.  Maybe I would have continued reading if the whiney part was shortened...I wanted to yell at the pages of this book and say - GET A BACKBONE AND MOVE ON!  HE'S JUST NOT INTO YOU.  Instead, I now find myself saying - I'm sorry (Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers), I'm just not into you...maybe you'll feel differently though.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow Friday - January 25

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 wil answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –

What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?  That's an easy one for me (Curlypow) this week. It's Nobody, the new book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which came out on Jan 22nd.  Amazingly fabulous book that I devoured in 24 hrs or so.  Check back Feb. 23rd, when we are part of the Nobody Blog Tour and we will review the book and be giving away a hardcopy of Nobody AND a pb of Every Other Day - worth coming back for, right?  Seriously though it was a fantastic book, I could not stop reading.

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 24, 2013

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Published: Sept 2012
Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.


The Players
Sugar and spice and everything nice.  That's what girls are made of.

Yeah, right!  Not these girls....they represent the popular crowd, the misfits and the wallflowers - Kat, Lillia and Mary are all out for revenge.  They are our unlikely protagonists and even more unlikely companions as they seek to right those who have done wrong by them.  Burn for Burn had a little element of Carrie (by Stephen King).  It is a contemporary novel with a slightly supernatural twist.  Love 'em or hate 'em, you will identify with someone from this novel.

How to play nice
Boys.  Now boys seem to work out their issues differently than us gals.  They literally fight it out and then 5 minutes later they are back to fist-pumping and playing video games.  There is no scheming to get back at someone.  You just work out your issues physically and then move on.  Girls on the other hand are manipulative and foxy.  We tend to play mind games that have consequences lasting days, months and even years.  

The Writing Team
I'm always amazed to see what two authors can come up with.  Writing a book alone is a feat but collaborating with someone else is a mega-challenge.  The dynamic duo of Han and Vivian pull it off seamlessly as they weave an intricate tale of relationships where friendship is a chessboard and each move is vital to getting revenge.

The Last Word
Miss Han and Miss Vivian are big on the contemporary scene and I'm usually more into the supernatural/paranormal genre but every now and again its good to step out of my comfort zone and venture into new territory.  Burn for Burn was a page turner that I'm eager to read more about.  I was quickly thrown into the world of high school cliques.  It is amazing what people do to one another for self- preservation.   Burn for Burn left me hanging by a thread and I'm a little bummed that I have to wait a whole year for book #2.  In fact, there are two more installments of this series scheduled in 2013 and 2014 - Fire with Fire and Ashes to Ashes.  I cannot wait to see what these two authors have in store for us in the future!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Archived by Victoria Schwab

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)

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Now this sounds AWESOME!!  I'm so pissed that I missed downloading the preview from NetGalley!!  Oh well, guess I'll have to go out and get the eBook...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Musings by Knitwits

Published: January 22, 2013
Publisher: DK
Pages: 320
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Edelweiss

This is the all-in-one guide to knitting for just about anything and everything knitters want to make.
Covering equipment, techniques, stitch patterns, and more than twenty designs for cute things to craft and warm things to wear, Classic Knits will be the knitting “recipe book” crafters keep on their shelves for years to come. Whether it's a new earflap hat or bright, cozy socks, the comprehensive range of projects will appeal to style-savvy beginning and experienced knitters alike.

OK, first off, don't let the cover of this book fool you.  It is absolutely chock full of fantastic knitting projects - a large number of which could be easily handled by beginners.  Dorling Kindersley have done it again.  They have produced a colourful, instructive book that is perfect for all levels of knitters and I think should become a staple for most people. Why, you ask.  Well, because if you have ever wanted a quick project to finish as a gift for anyone, look no further, this is the book for you.  There are sweaters, for men, women and kids, that start off easy and get more complicated.  There are hats, scarves, gloves, mitts, shawls, blankets, leg warmers, pillows, bags, toys and embellishments.  So much for everyone, from the very basic to complex and colourful.  As it says on the cover, there are more than 100 different projects for you to try out. and it's coming up on Amazon for about $25 - money well spent I'd say.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

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

I LOVED The Pledge!  It was such an entertaining read.  Different from the Body Finder series.  I'm a huge fan of Kimberly Derting!  Haven't read it?  Check out The Pledge, book #1.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pivot Point by Kasie West

Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 320
Copy: Publisher through Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Pivot Point was a fun, yet slightly mysterious read about options, or choices.  How much is our life affected by the choices we make and does it really make a difference?  Is the end result going to be the same?  Pivot Point tries to answer those questions.

It was a fairly quick read for me that I enjoyed, but the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking - Sliding Doors -  have you watched that movie?  If you haven't you should, it's a wonderful movie, and this book reminded me of it very much. Although in this book, Addie can consciously look into her divergent future and make a definitive decision based on what she 'searches'.  Sounds great right? Well Ms. West manages to convey quite nicely that it is not  nearly as great, or as easy as we might think. 

It was rather interesting watching the same scenario play out from two different directions and the way that the characters handle themselves.  I liked Addie, loved Laila, adored Trevor and was so so about Duke.  I particularly loved the fact that Addie's Mum could 'persuade' her to do things and her Dad was a human lie detector - a teenagers worst nightmare for parents.

At the end of it all, I found myself thinking I'm quite glad I have no abilities - I'm not sure I could handle the responsibilites.  A fun, quick read for contemporary paranormal fans.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Published: September 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 306
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.


I LOVED this title.  Once again Melissa Marr strikes out into a new series and makes it fantastic!  The intricacy in her stories always makes you wonder where things are going while reading and then BAM!  It all comes together and you think - wow!  How did she set this up??  Carnival of Souls is a complex story diverse with rich characters.  Each storyteller has something special to share with the reader and it is never what you expect it to be.  

One of the main settings for this story (obviously) is the Carnival of Souls which was reminiscent of the Goblin Market in Sarah Rees Brennan's series - The Demon's Lexicon.  Although they are completely different novels, both supply an area of trade and entertainment for anyone who is not human.  In Marr's environment, there is a heavy emphasis on caste and different levels of society.  The Carnival of Souls offers readers a multi-faceted world where anything can happen.  The interplay between characters is brilliant and their motives are fascinating.  Ms. Marr has laid the groundwork for a series that could last several years.  Well done!

I would recommend this title to lovers of The Demon's Lexicon, Graceling, and Nightshade.  If you enjoy a story that you can really sink your teeth into and commit yourself to reading sequel after sequel, I think you'll enjoy this one.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Celebrity Look Alikes

Recently there was an article showing celebrity look-alikes and it got me thinking about a few celebrities that could be siblings....or maybe just have the same hairdresser.  What do you think?

Lindsay Lohan and Emma Stone 

Josh Lucas and Matthew McConaughey

Taylor Momsen, Taylor Swift and Ashley Benson

 How about these three?  Chase Crawford, Ian Somerhalder and Rob Lowe.

Follow Friday - January 18

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 wil answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –
Who is your favourite villian from a book?
I'm not to commit to saying that he is my FAVORITE villian but certainly one that sticks out in my head from a recent book I've read (no rhyme intended).  Jack Dandy from Kady Cross's Steampunk Chronicles is a great villian.  You never really know if he is a good guy pretending to be bad or a bad guy prentending to be good....

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 17, 2013

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen -Tour and review




Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: 12/11/2012
Pages: 304
Copy: From Publisher
Summary: From Publisher

About ALL THE BROKEN PIECES: What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

Praise for All the Broken Pieces:

"Kept me guessing and frantically flipping the pages. A unique story I couldn't help but fall in love with." -- Nyrae Dawn, author of Charade

"[An] interesting story of a girl who can't remember her early life…Liv's high school relationships, especially her conflicts with the popular girls and her first dealings with romance, ring nicely true. Intriguing."  Kirkus Reviews

 My review:

All the Broken Pieces was a mysterious, thrilling and romantic read that had my head whirling with possiblilites.  It was one of those books where you are sure you know in your head what happened, but in fact you don't really know what happened and you just have to keep turning pages faster and faster to find out what actually did happen - if you see what I mean!

Despite all of Liv's memory problems and the strangeness surrounding her life, she was a very likeable and believable character.  It was very easy to empathise with her and wish for some understanding for her.  Navigating high school is a difficult job at the best of times, and when you have no memories it becomes that much harder.

The relationship between Liv and Spencer seemed very authentic and I found myself rooting for the two of them.  There is something endearing about two broken souls trying to get better.  There is a lot of mystery to the story as well, as the reader is unaware of the reasons behind Liv's uncertainties.  We  know something is not right, but it is all guesswork. One of the things I really enjoyed about the story was the moral/ethical dilemma that becomes apparent as the story nears the end.  You'll have to read it to see what I mean, but I can see it sparking some serious discussion. 

All in all a surprising and enjoyable read that I will be recommending without hesitation

About Cindi Madsen: Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Cindi’s Links:

Buy Links:
Book Depository (paperback, released January 3, 2013):

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Brenna Yovanoff has such unique stand alone books.  I love how she is so creative with her ideas and each is very unique.  My favourite so far is still The Replacement...I'll have to see after I read Paper Valentine!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Published: September 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 404
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads


She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

Let me first say this.  I need to find myself a Cole....

I thoroughly enjoyed Alice in Zombieland.  Gena Showalter has been on my radar for years and I've always wanted to read one of her adult novels.  What originally attracted me to this title was the assumed mash-up storyline.  I like fairytales and I like zombies so I thought I'd give it a shot.

It has been a long tme since I've seen Alice in Wonderland.  When I say a long time, think YEARS!  I was having trouble drawing similarities between this and the original aside from the appearance of a rabbit made of clouds (effectually the"white rabbit" in Gena's rendition).  I haven't determined who "the queen" is yet.

Alice's character starts out fairly delicate and girly but she toughens up throughout the story.  Gena does an excellent job in creating sexual tension between Ali and Cole.  It was palpable.  Their connection is so strong!  It reminded me of some of the tense moments between Nora and Patch in the Hush Hush series. The first time they see each other each day, they have a shared vision of what is to come.  Joint prophecy?  Interesting concept and mighty embarassing when you haven't even struck up a relationship with your prophetic partner!  

Another concept which I found was different from other zombie books was Ms. Showalter's interpretation of zombies eating spirit rather than flesh.  It is different than our typical idea of zombies and felt a little bit more intimate.  The thought of a creature you CAN'T see entering your body to snack on your soul.  Ew...

Overally this was a great introduction to the series and there were many interesting loose ends, encouraging the reader to continue into Book #2.   On a side note, I would love to see Ali meet Nora Dearly of Dearly Departed and compare zombie notes.  What a conversation THAT would be!