Friday, May 22, 2015

Follow Friday

Friday Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –

How do you write your reviews? via
I literally sit down at my computer and start typing.  Often I have to refer back to notes that I've taken throughout my read on my phone.  Generally, I just write down my thoughts on the novel like I'm sitting down having a chat with an old friend....hence the run-on sentences, poor grammar, overuse of slang terminology and made up words like awesomesauce.  :)

- 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, May 21, 2015

Same Book, Second Look - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Published: January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 342
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads


Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories.  I mean sure, I wasn't expecting inanimate objects in this castle to break out into song but I was still hoping for more than what I got.  I'm sorry, I hate to do this but Cruel Beauty was not a hit for me. I feel terrible whenever I read a book and walk away feeling "meh" about it but that's exactly how I felt.  

The most interesting part of the story was how Nyx had keys to all of these different rooms to discover all around the house.  It was confusing how Nyx's father was having an affair with her aunt and I was surprised at how awful Nyx's life seemed to be.  I did feel sorry for her character and her hardships but in the end, the only character I REALLY seemed to like was Ignifex.  He seemed the most genuine and sincere.  More so than Shade (maybe he was just a shady kind a guy...haha...sorry, bad joke).  

So here is my take.  I truly like fairy tale re-tellings but it has been awhile since I've found one that I've REALLY enjoyed.  If you like Alex Flinn and Jackson Pearce, you might really like this one.  Just because I didn't, doesn't mean you won't.  But you aren't hooked by page 25, get outta there and try a new read. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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)

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

I know that Laura Jean didn't mean to fall for Peter and he was OK but I'ms till holding out for Josh....both of them seem like great guys (which is nice for a change) but I'm hoping that Margot is over Josh and has moved on while in Scotland and now sees how right Laura Jean is for the boy next door.
- Christinabean

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Published: December 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 412
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....

When the Falling Kingdoms series first came out, I shrunk back a little from reading it because it just seemed to involved and epic.  I have to admit that it went on my TBR list but I waited until Book #3 so that I could fully immerse myself in the story and didn't have to do the dreaded "wait 8 months to a year for the next book" drama.  I'm glad I waited.  I read all three books in succession and it was awesome.  So let me tell you about Book #1.  

Kingdoms, And neighbouring, arguing kingdoms.  Why is no one ever happy with the land they have or the people who live there? So we have these three kingdoms and of course two of them are not doing very well and one is prospering.  There is so much animosity towards the prosperous kingdom and it has been building up for years.  The youngest princess of the realm triggers a small ripple in one region that leads to a shocking uproar.  Picture Game of Thrones YA style. Morgan Rhodes does a wonderful job of world building and character building. She sets up the story well. It was engaging and I loved the intensity and intricacy of each plot.  The number of characters was almost intimidating and I wish I had had an outline with reference to everyone's relationships!

There was just one aspect of Book #1 that I did not "feel".  It was Theon and Chloe's suddent involvement.  It happened very quickly and I just didn't feel it building up to the degree that Chloe claimed.  To me, it just felt like a girl who had fallen quickly for the man put in charge of protecting her.  Young, unexperienced love.  

Despite this minor detail, I really enjoyed Book #1 and was super-charged to jump into Rebel Spring, Book #2.  If you enjoy watching or reading Game of Thrones, you will like this.  Also, fans of the Legacy series by Cayla Kluver would enjoy this title.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Published: April 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 345
Copy Provided by: Libary
Summary: Goodreads


Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

Ahhh...more fun book covers!  I never did end up reading Hex Hall series so I thought I would give her Rebel Belle series a try! It sounded fun and a little bit of girl kick-ass.  I was expecting Rebel Belle to be a little more pretentious than what it really was. While the novel started out quickly, it lost momentum for me about 1/2 way through.  Unfortunately, I found myself wandering to start another new novel (sorry Rachel).  

The main character Harper seemed to spend more and more time with David (her competitive nerdy counterpart) rather than her hottie boyfriend Ryan. Yes, I understand that her story is far-fetched and how she came into powers is a little questionable to the every day person but why doesn't she tell her bestie or her boyfriend about what is happening to her?  This is a trend I am beginning to see recently in YA fiction. Why does the main character never seem to confide in their best friend???

I had a number of questions run through my head as I read this book - How does she manage to have so much trust in David, a boy who she has been competitive with since childhood and Saylor Stark (a woman she hardly knows but admires) opposed to her own close friends and family? Why doesn't she question her abilities more or the mysterious way she got them? Why does she just seem to try and ignore it all and continue with her life as if nothing ever happened?

On another note, Harper is a Southern debutante and seems to have some rather set ideals about society and the way you should act.  It's hilarious how David and Harper try hard not to swear and act as civilized as they can, given life threatening situations. I think I would have sounded like a trucker if I were constantly on the run from unknown bad guys.  Despite them trying not to swear, there is a little language in the book.  

Despite Rebel Belle's slow start, I have to applaud Ms Hawkins ending which came as a complete surprise to me.  Wow. The spin with Saylor was completely unexpected. What a messed-up turn of events.  I definitely would have said that using the F word would have been totally appropriate.

Conclusion? If you are looking for a fun read, try this one out.  Push yourself through the slower parts because it really picks up at the end and is worthwhile. Don't try to guess it, just pretend you are watching a fun movie unfold.  Miss Mayhem, BRING IT ON!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

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

This week I got: 

Happy Victoria Day to all of my fellow Canadians. I am wishing you sunshine and nice cool icy drinks!

Everybody knows how much I like pretty book covers. I was looking for something fun to read this week so I borrowed these two books from a friend.  So much fun! Who doesn't like to read about a little creative revenge scheme once in awhile?
- Christinabean

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shout Out to Indies - One Prince, Two Kindoms by Jana Grissom

We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaring EVERY SECOND SUNDAY our SHOUT OUT TO INDIES MEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule. We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting.  Here is this week's selection:

My forehead’s throbbing. One minute this girl is yelling at me for giving up and the next, she’s laughing. Whiplash.
I squint my eyes at Danielle and whisper with my lips firmly in place, “I will never give up.”
Her voice is high and cheerful, “So what’s your plan?”
Johnny Boggs is a teen with trouble to spare who has learned one thing in life - trust no one. Paranoia befriends him as he moves into his fifth foster home and discovers no one appears as they are, his dreams are not just dreams, and he is supposedly the Prince of Shamayim.

On Johnny’s sixteenth birthday, fate requires him to leave the protection of this world but allows for him to choose to reign over the light or turn to the darkness. A vicious competition begins as two kingdoms fight for his loyalty while two beautiful girls, Danielle and Shay, fight for his attention. Time is running out; a decision must be made. Johnny finds it impossible to resist the beauty of his dreams, nor can he turn away from the one who has his heart.

One Prince, Two Kingdoms is not your average read. Most novels take you on a journey through exciting twists and turns, ending with the author’s choice of resolution. Not this time! 1P2K takes you on a journey with Johnny, a teen stuck in foster care, as he learns that he’s the prince of the spirit world. Catch is, he has a choice to make, rule over the Kingdom of Light or Kingdom of Darkness?

Author Jana Grissom did not want to force readers to follow Johnny on one path because as she says, “Everyone chooses their unique path through life. So, why not allow them that same choice for Johnny?” Readers actually get to choose the ending! How is this possible? One Prince, Two Kingdoms leads the reader to the point where Johnny must make a choice. Then, the reader takes a Citizen Quiz to find out which kingdom they belong to. Finally, the quiz sends the prince and all citizens to their kingdom’s ending chapter. Jana is currently writing two sequels that will be released next year for readers to continue following Johnny as The Prince of Light or The Prince of Darkness.

So, join Johnny on the ride of a lifetime where you are the one in the driver’s seat! #1P2K 

We asked Jana if she could tell us why she wrote One Prince; Two Kingdoms -

I am the debut author of a YA Urban Fantasy, One Prince; Two Kingdoms. Also, I am a middle school teacher and advocate for foster children and at-risk teens. My novel was written in response to disturbing nightmares my two foster children at the time were experiencing. After several nights of being awakened by their screams and running to comfort them, I had an idea – write a story and let their imaginations defeat their fears. The children were excited to hear stories of magical worlds and powerful celestials sent to guard them. Each night before bed, I would add new scenes and more adventures. After a few weeks, the nightmares were replaced with excitement to hear the next chapter read.

The children are now living with their grandparents, but their pictures remain on my walls. “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” is dedicated to them and all the foster children who have been in my care, as well as my past and present students; my family, my two amazing teens, Kaylee and Cody, and my husband and best friend, Roy. I hope “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” will encourage children in a place of transition to have hope and never give up

Official Author Bio:
Jana Grissom is a middle school teacher, an advocate for foster children and at-risk teens, a mom of two amazing teens, and married to Roy, her high-school sweetheart. Jana holds a Master of Education in Administration and Policy Studies and offers professional development in bullying identification, prevention, and intervention. She is available to speak to students at secondary schools about the writing process or bring a message that challenges them to S.T.O.P. bullying and suicide.

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