Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thoughts on e-Novellas by Special K

e-Novellas – An Argument For

I’m not a huge eBook fan. I have an older Sony Reader, which I do use occasionally (my family travels by motorcycle more than a few times a year – space is a commodity hardcovers eat up rather quickly). I love our library’s eBook service, and as my iPad and iPhone are never far from my reach, I love being able to quickly pull up something to read while I’m in a waiting room or grabbing a bite to eat on the fly. But the bulk of my reading is still in good old “dead tree” books.

However, eBooks have brought forward something I never read before. In fact, something that was seldom published; and if published, very few made it to the general public. They were put in literary magazines, buried on author and publisher websites, or sometimes added as a special feature in the trade paperback edition (which then confused everyone, as you thought it was an excerpt from an upcoming full book. Don’t lie – I know it happened to you).

I’m talking about novellas.

Novellas, short stories, novelettes – whatever you call them – I’m hooked. (FYI – there are specifications as to what makes a short story versus a novella and so on and so forth...but who cares?). I adore getting snippets of story that didn’t make it into the final edit of a book, or were part of an author’s foundation or back story, but made no sense to publish, or flesh out into a full book. “e” format has made it profitable for authors and publishers to put these in the hands of their readers; and readers can snatch them up for a couple of bucks (usually).

I was astounded by “Foundation” – technically a prequel to Ann Aguirre’s “Enclave”.  I had never pictured the society that had come before Deuce’s life in the abandoned subway tunnels – but it made the story more real to read about it. “Glitches” is a prequel to Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder”, and “The Queen’s Army” has me so excited to read “Scarlet” I almost dropped all my other reading to get to it (I didn’t...I have so many books, order must reign).

What about those characters that you lose along the progression of a series? Lauren Oliver’s “Hana”, Ann Aguirre’s “Endurance”, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Dream Dark” – they all give us a little more of those secondary characters we love – they don’t just fade into nothing, and they have lives away from our main characters – it’s like they’re real! Their lives carry on outside the story!

Most eBook stores now carry popular author’s novellas – library eBooks services often get some as well. And they usually cost under $5 – I shamelessly buy them for my iPad now; I especially love them when I’m continuing a series I haven’t read for a while – I’ll almost always check to see if there’s a “half” story I can get my hands in to give me a quick refresher.

If you haven’t ventured into the eNovella foray, I highly recommend it. Don’t have a mobile device you can load it to? You can read them right on your computer – and they’re often short enough you don’t feel silly doing so. Or, you can go ahead and print them to make your own “dead tree” copy. But give one from your favourite series a try – little bites of literary awesomeness.

Monday, April 29, 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 week I snagged - 

What's on your shelf?
- Christinabean

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Foretold by Jana Oliver

Published: Dec 2012
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Pages: 352
Copy: Mine
Summary: Goodreads

In FORETOLD, the fourth Demon Trappers novel by Jana Oliver, Riley faces the final battle for humanity and Beck's heart—and Hell is the least of her problems

Now that Riley’s managed to (just barely) fend off Armageddon, everything’s changed. Well . . . most things. After their passionate kiss before the big battle in the cemetery, Beck is back to treating her like a little girl, as if nothing ever happened. While she’d love to just tell him off and move on, Riley vowed to take care of Beck the way he’s taken care of her since her father’s death—but she’s about to get a whole lot more than she bargained for. When she’s commissioned to go with Beck to his hometown and help him care for his dying mother, they stumble too close to a dark and murderous secret, one that Beck fears will drive Riley away from him forever. As chaos breaks loose, Riley may be Beck's only hope for redemption . . . and survival.

Meanwhile, up in Atlanta, it’s quickly becoming clear that Heaven may have won a battle, but the war is far from over. Riley and Beck face a stormy future, as Lucifer's ex-right-hand-man, Sartael, proves himself to be more resilient than anyone thought. He has Atlanta in his grip and is about to begin a brutal war with the prince of Hell. As the seconds tick down toward a final confrontation, it's up to Riley and the man she loves to finally defeat their old enemy, or lose everything they've fought for.

I loved, loved, loved this book and I am so sad that this series is now over.  I absolutely fell in love with the characters, Riley and Beck in particular, but most of the secondary characters as well - Grand Master Stewart was such a great guy.   Ms. Oliver seemed to be able to imbue her characters with a sense of family - a trapper family - and the caring between them all was incredibly touching and real.

If you've read the series you'll have to agree with me that there really never was any doubt that Riley and Beck would get together - the question was just how, and at the end of  Forgiven I was just about ready to tear my hair out with frustration.  But Ms. Oliver came through and in Foretold she managed to bring their story to a fantastic end.  I was even a little misty-eyed when I finished the last page. 

I've been trying to come up with a suitable description for this series and I think that if you take the best parts of Buffy and the same of the early seasons of Supernatural, put them together and mix them up a bit, well you might get an inkling of what it's all about.  Riley doesn't look like Buffy, but she has the same characteristics and is equally kick-butt.  Beck reminds me a bit of Dean Winchester, hard on the outside, but oh so caring underneath it all, although he'd die before admitting it.

Book doppelganger - I'm thinking Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon Lexicon trilogy - if you enjoyed it, you're sure to like this Demon Trapper's series.  I'm not sure why, but here in Canada the first volume was called The Demon Trapper's Daughter, then they changed it to Forsaken, followed by The Soul Thief, which changed to Forbidden,  then Forgiven and then on course this one, Foretold.  Check out my reviews of them all.  This really was a marvellous book, finishing off a marvellous series and if you haven't tried them yet, treat yourself - and you have the added bonus of not having to wait for any to come out. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Adorned Cover Reveal

We were lucky enough to be included in a cover reveal for a new series - The Trinity of the Souls by Georgeann Swiger.  Here's the summary - 

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.
Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light. 
With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya.  Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.

Sounds great!  Looking forward to reading this one.  The official release date is November 4th!  

About the Author
Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV.  After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy.  Imagining interesting characters and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher.  She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.

Friday, April 26, 2013

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

Q:  Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?

My answer for this one is a bit of a generalization.  I am venturing out into genres that are new to me and one of them is contemporary.  I used to find it a bit too angsty but now I enjoy reading them once in awhile.  Remember those moments when you were younger (or maybe you still are young), falling in and out of love, chasing someone (not to be confused with stalking) and having those feelings returned?  Well, I REALLY like this cover tune mashup of Call me Maybe and Payphone.  It reminds me of many of the contemporary novels I read.  Hope you enjoy it as well!

- 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, April 25, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Published: March 2013
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Pages: 568
Copy Provided by: 
Summary: Goodreads

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.

A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.


What can I say?  The Infernal Devices is such a wonderful trilogy building up as a prelude to The Mortal Instruments.  Cassie Clare sets the framework for her series beautifully and everytime I read her books, I want to go back and read them from the very beginning.

Tessa struggles with her love triangle but there is urgency as Jem's health deteriorates.  Does she marry Jem?  Will she foresake him for Will?  As readers, we are also still unclear as to what part Tessa will play in Mortmain's master plan.  Why does he want her so badly?  What role does she play in his plan with his Clockwork creatures?  Everything comes together smoothly though as the story unfolds.  There were a lot of concepts that I had not considered in this plotline...clever Cassie!!

I usually don't have anything negative to say about Cassandra's writing style or storyline but I do have to say one thing that irked me throughout the book....constant references in different languages (Mandarin is one of them) drove me nuts!  Even though I can understand some Mandarin, I felt like I needed a translator!  Sometimes there was commentary with the English derivative which made things easier but I did find this awfully irritating.  If I could change one thing about this book, it would be this.  I found it cut into the flow of the story.  Anyone else feel this way?

Something I want to caution eager readers on is this (and you may be tempted after reading my blurb) - 
In order for this plotline to be a surprise, DO NOT look at the inside of your book jacket (hard cover editions).  It shows a genealogy chart involving most of the main characters and WILL give you hints as to what happens in the novel.  I stumbled upon it 1/2 way through and was able to predict some of what would happen.  I know it may be tempting but if you want this story to be fresh and exciting, DO NOT peek at the chart....

In true Clare style, this trilogy is wrapped up neatly and jam-packed with action, adventure, romance and plenty of surprises.  I found it sad to say goodbye to these characters because I feel as though I've traveled a long road with them but at the same time, it was satisfying to see how things ended.  Besides, we can continue on new journeys with future generations (ie. Jace).  ;)  The Infernal Devices is not as strong a trilogy as the Mortal Instruments series but it is a fantastic intro to the world of Shadowhunters.  I would highly recommend this entire series to anyone (advanced reading pre-teens as well) up to adult readers.  

By the angel, if you haven't already started this series, you're missing out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Ward by Jordana Frankel

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:

Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

I am just lovin' the sound of this one.  Can't wait to read it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Post from Amy Helmes and Kim Askew

In honor of William Shakespeare’s birthday (celebrated on April 26), authors Kim Askew and Amy Helmes, have dropped by with a guest blog post to announce a special contest!

Get A “Twisted Lit” Character Named After You!

We reimagined William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Macbeth,” with our “compulsively readable” YA books, Tempestuous and Exposure. Ever since the novels were published a few months ago through Merit Press we’ve encountered a frequent question: Which of Shakespeare’s plays will inspire your next books in the Twisted Lit series?

While we’re currently hard at work putting our own spin on the Bard’s “Romeo and Juliet” we thought we’d look to you, the readers, to help us pick the fourth Shakespeare play that will inspire our next book in the series. Got a hankering for a new spin on “Hamlet?” Love to see “King Lear” get a YA update? Would you make much ado over our take on “Much Ado About Nothing?”

Go to our Facebook page (Facebook.com/Twistedlitnovels) and write on our wall to weigh in on which Shakespeare play you’d like us to revamp next. In doing so, you’ll be entered to have your very own name mentioned in one of our upcoming books (either as a character or some other fun reference). If you’ve always wanted to see your name in print — in a YA novel, no less — now’s your chance! The winner will also receive autographed copies of our first two novels, Tempestuous and Exposure.

We’re looking forward to hearing your suggestions! (And don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @kaskew and @amyhelmes.)

* Winner will not be compensated for use of his or her name, and publication is not guaranteed. Details of plot and character used in connection with the name as it appears in the book are up to the sole discretion of the authors. Contest ends June 1.

Kim & Amy

Back in December, I reviewed Tempestuous and in January I reviewed Exposure. I loved both of them and can't wait to read the next book, Romeo and Juliet. 

Monday, April 22, 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.

Can't wait to get started on these ones.  Fragments first I think.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Same book, Second Look - The Essence by Kimberly Derting

Published: January 2013
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Pages: 341
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

Christinabean's review

I thoroughly enjoyed The Pledge and have been waiting eagerly for The Essence to cross my path.  Unfortunately, for me, there was a little bit of something missing.  I really don't know what.  It wasn't that I didn't enjoy it, because I did - it just didn't blow me away the same way that The Pledge did.

There was quite a lot going on in the story, but I found myself becoming frustrated with Charlie.  After all the problems that Sabara has caused, WHY would Charlie not tell anyone that that her consciousness was still there.  It just seemed cowardly and somewhat selfish and I couldn't understand it, other than as a plot device. I get that Charlie was a bit embarrassed by it all, but still - it just didn't ring true for me. 

However I absolutely adored Brook this time around.  What a wonderfully strong character she is, and I loved her relationship with Aron.  I actually got more shivers from their relationship than I did from Charlie and Max.  There are some exciting goings-on throughout the book - tension and intrigue aplenty, but somehow, the spark was missing.  As it turns out, Christinabean felt much the same way as I did.  I will read #3, because I do want to find out what happens, and I feel I owe it to The Pledge, which has had so much positive press.  I just hope that Charlie is a little more sensible next time around.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Summerset Abbey by T J Brown

Published: January 15th, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 288
Copy: Publisher through Edelweis
Summary: Goodreads

1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society in this stunning series starter that fans of Downton Abbey will love.

Rowena Buxton

Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle’s guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the “underclass” in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic “rebels,” Rowena must decide where her true passions—and loyalties—lie.

Victoria Buxton

Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret—Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever...

Prudence Tate

Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess’s daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society—as lady’s maid to her beloved “sisters.” But Pru doesn’t belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she’ll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey

Calling all Downton Abbey fans.  I'm sure there must be a few of you out there.  Are you ready for a reading fix that will help fill your cravings?  Summerset Abbey pretty much fits the bill.  There is a certain allure to that time before the First World War isn't there?  There still seemed to be a kind of innocence.  Class divisions were still firmly in place; women were still very much protected and sheltered; society still had very strong rules that had to be followed.

In Summerset Abbey we see what happens when 3 girls have been brought up in such a way as not to follow society's stringent rules. Then circumstances occur where they are plunged back to reality, and are more or less powerless to do anything about it.   Rowena, Victoria and Prudence are victims of circumstance.  They don't like what happens when their father dies, but can do very little to change what happens.

I found it very interesting to read about what happened to them and kept wishing and hoping that they would react to the events with modern sensibilities, but of course they can't. Something happens with Prudence that terribly disappointed me, but when I though about it, I understood why she acted the way she did.  In our present society, we forget just how much freedom we girls have.  In the early 1900's that freedom was not available.  Summerset Abbey tells a marvellous story about what happens when the girls lose control of their own futures.  It was a compelling and interesting read that left me mad with society and frustrated that Rowena, Victoria and Prudence couldn't do more for themselves. 

As I said, a sure fire hit for Downton fans, and probably for anyone who likes reading about that time in history.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the girls.

Friday, April 19, 2013

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

Q:  If you could hang out with any author (living) who would it be and what would you want to do?

I would love to hang out with Meg Cabot.  She just seems like so much fun!  I love her sarcasm and she seems like a great "girl" friend.  What would we do?  We'd hit a theme park, ride all the roller coasters, scream our heads off and eat lots of junk food!

- 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, April 18, 2013

The Heroes Guide to Storming the Castle - GIVEAWAY, Exclusive artwork reveal and excerpt


Published: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Walden Pond Press

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don't you? They're the Princes Charming who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses - Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose - to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms.

But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening - even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, takes us back to the hilariously fractured fairy-tale world he created for another tale of medieval mischief. Magical gemstones, bladejaw eels, a mysterious Gray Phantom, and two maniacal warlords bent on world domination - it's all in a day's work for the League of Princes.

Last year we were happy to be part of an artwork reveal for the first book in this series The Hero's Guide to Saving the Kingdom.  This year, we are lucky enough to once again be part of the reveal and we have an exclusive piece of artwork to show you.  What is really exciting is that we have a special giveaway as well this year - you can win a  framed copy of this piece of art, signed by artist Todd Harris, along with a hard cover copy of the book.  What an amazing giveaway - right?

  Artwork Copyright © 2013 by Todd Harris

I just love this picture of Duncan writing.  That rabbit sitting on his head just cracks me up. Now how about an excerpt from the book -

Hello! I’m Prince Duncan of Sylvaria. You may remember me from bard songs such as “The Tale of Snow White” or “Cinderella and the League of Princes.” Although that first one never mentions my name and the second is full of factual inaccuracies. For instance, I did not escape the Bandit King by donning a magical “ring of flight” as the song suggests; I simply fell off his roof.

But at least it gets one thing right: I’m a hero. But did you know there was a time when I didn’t even realize I was a hero? It’s true. In fact, I thought I was kind of a loser. That’s what everyone always told me, anyway. But then I joined the League of Princes, and along with my good friends Liam (the one from “Sleeping Beauty”), Frederic (the one from “Cinderella”), and Gustav (the one from “Rapunzel”), I outwitted the trolls, vanquished the giant, tamed the dragon, and destroyed the evil old witch, What’s-her-name, without even breaking a sweat. Because sweat is gross.

—from The Hero’s Guide to Being a Hero by Prince Duncan of Sylvaria, a.k.a. Prince Charming (the one from “Snow White”)
  Text Copyright © 2013 by Christopher Healy

a Rafflecopter giveaway -         

Good luck with you entries, I wish I could win this one!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Elite by Kiera Cass

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's for you Special K....I'm expecting to see you waiting for Chapters to open on April 23rd!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fantastic Fairytales - Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Published: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Children
Pages: 339
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

As I was reading Strands of Bronze and Gold it occurred to me that Bluebeard is a fairy tale that I am completely unfamiliar with.  Apparently there are versions by both The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, but I have no recollection of reading either, which is unusual - I thought I'd read most tales by now. So, I have nothing to compare Strands of Bronze and Gold to.  One thing is for sure, it is a very disturbing story.

Ms. Nickerson has crafted a delicious Southern Gothic mystery, that unravels slowly and carefully.  The reader is aware that something strange has gone on, but unless you know the story, you find out what happened along with Sophia.  One of the most disturbing aspects of the story for me was the extreme age disparity between Sophia and Monsieur de Cressac.  Ugghh!  What a nasty piece of work he is.  Sometimes I think the worst villains are the ones who manage to hide their evilness under a veneer of charm, and he does it so well.  Ms. Nickerson has set her version of the tale in the South and has incorporated aspects of the Underground Railroad.  It's creepy and disturbing but a good read.

This was a fairy quick read for me - about 4 hours - but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am now determined to find the original story and correct that deficit in my fairy tale education.  For fairy tale lovers everywhere - read and enjoy.

Monday, April 15, 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 was incredibly lucky to receive a couple titles from Rhiannon Paille's series - The Ferryman and the Flame

It is no secret that we LOVE Canadian Authors.  Can't wait to dig into these Rhiannon!  Thank you!

- Christinabean

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Farm by Emily McKay

Published: December 2012
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Pages: 420
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

 The Farm was an exciting and intriguing apocalyptic vampire story with a bit of a difference.  One thing I have heard is it being compared to the Hunger Games.  I'm not sure why people do this.  Yes, I am absolutely certain that the people who enjoyed THG will enjoy The Farm, but the storylines are not alike it at all - well not enough for that kind of comparison anyway

Government experiments have produced warped monsters, referred to as the undead although I'm not sure why, but these monsters definitely have a similarity to those in Resident Evil.  In this world we discover that vampires are real and taking advantage of the situation.  There is some incredibly complex world building going on here that makes The Farm very intense and readable.

Told from three alternating POV's  - those of Lily, Mel and Carter - this allows us to see the story from different angles and understand the reasons behind certain actions.  Carter is a rather complex guy and I liked his character and his obvious concern for Lily.  Lily has many layers, but her overwhelming reason for living is to protect her sister from anything and everything.  I did enjoy the way that she was willing to change her mind about people when her opinions were proved wrong - McKenna and Joe being the most obvious examples.  The short segments seen from Mel's POV were strange, yet enlightening and added another dimension to the story.  Another interesting character was Sebastian - a vampire who is helping the rebels. 

I'm really interested to see where this story is going - there was a marvellous twist at the end that I wasn't expecting - and I'll happily read future volumes, when ever they happen to arrive.  A great title for apocalyptic fiction lovers, and yes -  for fans of the Hunger Games as well.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan


Published: 2012

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Copy: Library

Pages: 324

Summary: Goodreads


Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I’d never read a David Levithan book before. And the only reason I tackled this one was because of a recommendation from my favourite author (Orson Scott Card), who’s “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything” column I stalk a little too regularly.

And so I was introduced to A. And at first I thought, this is going to be weird. How can you have a non-gendered individual in a story line? Something that is corporeal but not? But David Levithan’s prowess as a writer has not been overstated, and it was wonderfully written (and there were no slip-ups on gender assignation...I watched for them!).

A is essentially a body snatcher. Every day, for as long as s/he can remember, s/he wakes up in a new body. Mercifully that body is also close to what s/he assumes is his/her real age. (That was confusing  - Mr. Leviathan does it better than I do, so for the sake of convenience, I’ll refer to A as “he”). A doesn’t think this is strange – but manages to keep it a secret. He’s been fat, thin, popular, shunned and everything in between. He takes over their life for one day – and he’s always been content to continue to move on every night.

Until he meets a girl who shakes him. That makes him drag the bodies he possesses to run into her, to see her. Because although he changes every day, he wants her to stay the same.

Levithan approaches this subject and covers almost every loophole you can imagine – he also hits all the plot lines you can think of, and his characters take them on realistically (as you can get in these scenarios) and with grace and poise. They struggle; A’s love, Rhiannon might just love him too – but can she shed all the preconceptions and love A when he’s a girl, despite her being straight. Or when he’s a 400 lb teen that has kind of given up on the whole “image” thing? And what happens when the possession doesn’t go smoothly – usually A makes as few ripples in that person’s life as possible – but being left unconscious on the side of the road or bailing on a wedding can have some big repercussions.

But it works. And it was beautiful and everything I expected, not only from a review by OSC himself, but from the reputation that has preceded David Levithan in my literary world. Another great ISU read, and fabulous one for teens looking to step into David Leviathan’s writing, but afraid he’ll be just another gay author.

Friday, April 12, 2013

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

Q:  We are about to see a lot of posts & tweets about reader conventions, RT, BEA, ALA and many more are starting soon. Which one would you love to attend? Where and why?

Hands down I want to go to BEA.  I've been wanting to go for 3 years straight but I don't really want to go on my own and life intervenes so I never end up going...one day though...I will be in New York, battling the crowds, gushing at the author signings and paying hundreds of dollars to ship my goodies home.  Why?  Because it is a book lover's dream come true.  Kind of like winning a 5 minute shopping spree for a shoeaholic at Jimmy Choo's....

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, April 11, 2013

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Published: April 1st, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Pages: 272
Copy: Publisher, by way of Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth.

Spellbinding was a quick fun read that didn't really have any surprises for me.  High school nobody who for one reason or another comes into her previously unknown 'powers' - in this case witchcraft.  She goes from being a invisible nobody to an intriguing somebody, with boys suddenly showing an interest in her like never before.

Throw in an unknown evil force, or bad guy, discover that with great power comes great responsibility (sorry, don't remember which hero was originally told that) and when push comes to shove, make the right decision and regret your bad ones.  Oh, and chose one of the two good looking, hot boys,  'cos let's face it, one is enough for anyone, right!

Ok, sorry if that made it Spellbinding sound bad, it really wasn't.  I had fun reading it, but there was nothing in it that really made it stand out from any of the other high school based, new powers arriving titles, that are out there. I will recommend it for a quick summer read that is suitable for younger teens though.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

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

Dead Silence is book #4 of the Body Finder series.  As far as I know. it is the last book in this series (that makes me so sad if it's true).  Here's the summary (by Goodreads) - 

Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

I know I've said it before but I just have to say it again...I think that Kimberly Derting is one of the most under-rated authors in the YA-universe.  She is like a gem for young readers and is perfect for those who want a book they can really get into without the excessive sex, language and violence.  If you are a parent, teacher or librarian and are looking for a series to satisfy a young reader, try either her Pledge series or the Body Finder.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let's Hear It for the Boys - Shadow on the Sun by David Macinnis Gill


Durango has always relied on Mimi--once his tough-as-nails squad leader, she is now the bitingly sarcastic artificial intelligence flash-cloned to his brain. Mimi is the only reason he is alive.

Durango has always looked out for his devastatingly beautiful and brave second-in-command, Vienne--now wounded, crushed, missing. Vienne is the only reason he wants to live.

Durango hasn't always despised his father. But he does now. Lyme wants Durango to be the Prince of Mars, and he'll stop at nothing to realize that dream. He'll sacrifice anything and anyone in the name of domination. Even Mimi. Especially Vienne.

Lyme forgot one thing. You don't want to mess with Durango.


I want to hand it to Mr. MacInnis Gill.  He has managed to write a marvellously thrilling SF adventure that is full of mystery, tension and a frisson of romance, but the main characters are separated for the majority of the book.

After the explosive events of Invisible Sun, (my review here), Durango and Vienne are separated and trying in their own unique ways to find each other again.  Of course, Durango's father, Lyme, has a different path in mind for him and Durango's biggest problem is how to foil his devious plans.  As has been established in Invisible Sun and Black Hole Sun, this is not Mars as we have come to expect it and pretty much anything can and does happen.

There are more mercenaries this time around and I couldn't help but laugh at the Brothers Koumanov.   Mimi, the artificial intelligence that is attached to Durango's brain stem, plays an even larger part this time around and I absolutely adore her sarcastic sense of humour.  She so keeps Durango grounded. There is more character development also and we catch more than a glimpse of the real Vienne  and Durango. They are so not your typical romantic figures, but this is definitely a story about finding true love.  It just happens to include a lot of fighting, treachery, explosions and  all the other fun and frolics we've come to expect. This is romance for guys - no mushy stuff.

If you haven't tried this trilogy yet, now is the time, when you don't have to wait for the next one to come out. 

Monday, April 8, 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 hopped on the George R.R. Martin train and purchased the series of A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Now, how I plan on reading all 5000+ pages is still a feat I'm trying to figure out but I'm sure after watching the series, I'll want to jump ahead and figure out what is going to happen before the next season.  Not very YA-ish but still lots of fun!  What's on your shelf?
- Christinabean

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Published: January 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 328
Copy Provided by: Library
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.


Victoria Schwab is not a new name to me but her name may be new to some of you readers.  She has written The Near Witch (which I will be reading shortly) and The Archived.  When I first started blogging and reviewing, I was all over the map learning about different authors and new books coming out.  A few years ago I remember a state being badly hit by floods.  Actually, I'm not even 100% sure of the disaster that hit but I was absolutely inspired by a particular group of young authors who had come together and networked with their writing community (Do the Write thing for Nashville).   Together they used a blog to host a series of online book auctions and donated the money to rebuilding their community.  Victoria was one of the young authors who organized this entire project.  She truly is an inspiration to her craft.  So now let's talk about her book...

Wow.  What a ride.  It has been a long time since I have read a stand-alone title that I have enjoyed half as much as The Archived.   The concept was a little hard to grasp at first but once I started reading, it was hard to put down.  Victoria has a great gift for the written word.  Her story flowed right off the page and right into my imagination.  She is an incredibly talented writer and it would be a shame not to try reading one of her titles.  If you are looking for a truly unique plotline as a stand-alone title, this is the one to try.  You will not be disappointed....especially if you work in a library.  :)  Love it like I did and share this under-acknowledged author with your friends.  Definitely a gem not worth missing.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Silvered by Tanya Huff

Published: November 2012
Publisher: Daw
Pages: 454
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…

 The Silvered is not categorised as a YA novel, but the main characters are 18/19 if I remember correctly and the story is really just a great fantasy.  It has a slightly Victorian feel to it, but with a bit of steam punk possibilities - confusing?  Sorry, but it's the best I can do. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

 Mirian and Tomas play beautifully against one another and their character development is entertaining and believable.  There is a lovely touch of tongue-in-cheek humour that shows itself every now and again and the odd bit of sexual innuendo was hilarious.  Tomas humping Mirian's leg is a perfect example, but you have to read it to get the full impact.  Tomas is a shapeshifter - I certainly never thought of him as a werewolf - and he wanders through the story either in 'skin' or in 'fur'.  Clothing seems to be optional for him - great visuals as you're reading, believe me.  Mirian is a mage with very little skill - or not, as we find out, and learning the limits of her skill is a complicated and dangerous task.  The long journey that the two of them embark on to rescue the five kidnapped mages is fraught with danger, frustration and surprising tenderness.  Following  them on this journey was an absolute delight.

Tanya Huff should be known to Canadian readers as the author of the Blood Ties novels that were the basis for the TV series.  She has also written a great series of military SF with a very strong female protagonist.  The Silvered is much more of a fantasy than her other books, but was every bit as enjoyable. If you haven't tried one of her books yet, this is a great place to start.