Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - The Geography of You and Me

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)

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

This title is already out but I wanted to make mention of it.  Especially since the inspiration for the story occurred during the 2003 blackout that covered 9300 square miles across the USA and Canada.  I was a part of that and remember trying to eat up whatever was in the fridge that would spoil first, bbq'ing and enjoying time with my family without electronics.  We should have more blackouts and call it family cohesion....or (for those who don't get along with family) the 215th season of Survivor.
- Christinabean

Monday, April 21, 2014

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 received - 

I just finished book #1 - Shadow and Bone and I LOVED IT!!  So of course I bought book #2 right away...look for my review shortly...
- Christinabean

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shout Out to Indies - The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan AND The Wish by Dominic Affleck

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 is this week's pick

Originally published: October 2012
Pages: 298
Summary: Goodreads

Enter a hidden world of magic, mystery, danger and romance in this YA fantasy from Amazon bestselling author, Rachel Morgan...

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamor follows her into the Fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the Fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out alive.

[This novel was originally published in four separate parts:
Guardian, Labyrinth, Traitor and Masquerade. It includes bonus scenes at the end that were not published in the individual parts.]

Rachel had this to say when we asked her why she writes for YA

I love writing YA because I love writing about firsts. When you’ve kissed someone hundreds of times, it’s not that exciting anymore, but the first time . . . Well, it’s a kiss to remember, for good or for bad! The first time someone holds your hand, the first date you go on, the first time your heart is broken, the first time you sneak out of the house to do something you shouldn’t . . . Life goes on and you can forget what these things feel like, but pick up a YA book and an author can make you remember exactly what that moment felt like when you were first there. 

For our second choice this week:

Published: April 26th, 2014

Troubled schoolboy’s life becomes even more challenging after he accidentally acquires dark magical powers, in teacher’s exciting Young Adult fiction debut.

“If you could have your very own wish, what would it be?”
When fifteen year old Jamie Lomax moves from London to the countryside, he is plagued by the usual anxieties of fitting in, making new friends, and talking to girls. After he inadvertently offends Spencer, the school bully — who threatens to make Jamie’s life a misery — things get even worse. When Jamie finds himself stuck at home one weekend, sheltering from his new tormentor and the rain, he come across a mysterious glass orb which seems effervescent with life. He soon discovers that the artefact has magical powers; powers only he can activate. Jamie learns from his enigmatic grandmother that whoever has the ability to unlock the orb’s magic must use their powers to help five other people. In return, they will be granted a single wish. Though drawn by such temptation, Jamie discovers that the price of failure is high: he risks losing his soul forever.
Before Jamie has a chance to even consider whom he might help, he accidentally activates the orb and finds himself face-to-face with a sinister figure, known only as The Warrior. He is the orb’s original owner and the malevolent force behind its power, who will come to claim Jamie’s soul should he fail to complete his quest within one month. Will Jamie be able to complete five good deeds before his time runs out? How will he know who really needs his help? And, if he does succeed, what will be his only wish?

We asked the author why he writes for a YA audience:

Displaying Dominic Affleck Photo.jpegI've always written stories, but really took up the habit at university. I wrote stories with children for one of my dissertations and have carried on ever since. I have notebooks full of ideas ready to make a break for freedom one day. The Wish was one of those ideas that took a life of its own.
As I teach children how to write creatively, I wanted to give something back. Young people don't have the experience of life that we as adults do, but their ideas are priceless and my job is to help them learn the skills of storytelling. In my book, I'd like to think that children and teenagers would enjoy the language and the very idea that they could be granted a wish.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison

Published: January 2014
Publisher: Harliquin Teen
Pages: 304
Copy Provided by: NetGalley:
Summary: Goodreads

Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.


Right from the beginning this novel screams awkward tension within your BFF relationship.  Cardinal sin #1 is to stay away from your BFF's boyfriend.  Every girl knows it but in Anything to Have You, the story unfolds so carefully and slowly that the relationship between Natalie and Aiden is subtle.  I definitely saw the foreshadowing Ms. Harbison used for the future events which would dictate the direction and flow of the novel but there were still some surprises.  

About 1/2 way through the story, the narrating voice switched from Natalie to Brooke.  We were able to see the real motivation behind Brooke's seemingly perfect fun personality and her character gained more depth.  I felt more empathy towards her and her situation.

I liked Aiden as a character as well but I wished we could have learned a bit more about him.  

Ultimately, this would be a great read for young women who have strong relationships with their best girlfriends.  Put yourself in Natalie or Brooke's shoes and ask yourself - What would I do? Paige Harbison nailed the relationship dynamics we have between women and our men.  Bravo!

Sex, language and subject content is why I would recommend this read to an older teen audience.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick

Published: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Pages: 226
Copy: Publisher through Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads 

Penny is furious, and who can blame her? She has to spend Christmas break alone at the Black Butterfly, an old inn at the coldest, bleakest edge of America—the coast of Maine. This "vacation" is the brainchild of Penny's flaky mother, who's on the other side of the country hunting ghosts. Penny most definitely does not believe in spirits. Or love. Or family. Until, that is, she discovers two very real apparitions which only she can see…and meets George, the handsome son of the inn's owner…and crashes into some staggering family secrets. If only Ghost Girl didn't want Penny dead. If only George were the tiniest bit open to believing. If only she could tell her mother. Then maybe this could still be a vacation. But it's not. It's a race for her life, her first love, and her sanity.

Shirley Reva Vernick is rapidly becoming the new hot item in young adult fiction. Her first novel, The Blood Lie, won the Simon Wiesenthal Children's Book Award, was silver medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, and was an ALA 2012 Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Remember Dippy—a feel good adventure about a fourteen-year-old boy shepherding his older autistic cousin through his summer vacation—was released in spring 2013 and won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council For Exceptional Children. This time around, Shirley wanted to let loose with a page-turning coming-of-age romance mixed with ghosts and adventure. Shirley is the creator of the much visited storytelling website She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Penny arrives at the Black Butterfly Inn mad at her mother and the world and seemingly determined not to give anyone a break.  I could understand why she was mad at her mother, but that didn't make her behavior any more palatable for me.  She did redeem herself a little as the story went on, but not quite enough.  Her almost insta love with George was another factor that puzzled me.  When she first met him, she was utterly unimpressed, then wham, all we hear about are his dimples and nice eyes.  Still, in the end I was able to accept it, so it can't have been all bad.

The ghosts?  Well, look at the cover of the book - does it say scary ghost story to you?  The Black Butterfly was a quick and easy read that unfortunately never quite hit the 'creepy' scale for me.  Perhaps it is written for younger teens and that is why, but somehow that sense of malevolence that I expect with my ghost stories was somehow missing.  Blue was basically just a nice guy hanging around, and Starla to my mind just needed a swift kick.  The real sense of dread did not materialize.

When all is said and done, The Black Butterfly was only an OK read for me, however I can see its appeal for some younger teens, and I can already think of a few of my regulars who would enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Double header!

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)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Everyone has a list of crushes.  Or at least everyone I know has a list of secret crushes.  Can you imagine if they all knew how you secretly felt??  Sounds like a shockingly delicious read!

Summary (by Goodreads)

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

YA them.  I normally don't promote so many contemporary novels but lately I've started to expand my horizons.  Good idea to step out of your comfort zone every now and then, don't you think?
- Christinabean

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grim edited by Christine Johnson

Published: 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequine Teen
Pages: 480
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skrovan

Ok, I have to confess, I haven't had the time to get to this one yet.  I brought it home from work, and then had to take it back as there was a hold on it.  I'm back on the waiting list and I will get to it - eventually.  Some of my favourite authors are featured here, and I'm really quite looking forward to it. It has a four star rating on Goodreads, so it must be pretty good.  Has anyone out there in fairytale lovers land read this one yet? If you have, let us know what you thought.

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