Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Same Book, Second Look - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Published: January 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 328
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


I had no idea what to expect from this title.  The last series I read of Holly's was the Black Cat series on Curseworkers so this seemed like it might be a fairytale mash-up/remake.  It sounded interesting and unique plus I love Holly's previous work.

How do I even describe this novel? It was so bizarre at first.  There are a lot of things going on and Hazel has flashbacks of her childhood with Ben as she tries to unravel the mystery of the boy in the glass coffin....especially once he wakes up.  What is her role in his disappearance and is he really the sleeping hero that they have always portrayed him to be or is he much more sinister than that?

What I liked about this novel was that it was completely unpredictable to me.  Hazel was a much more complicated character than I had first imagined and while I thought the story would centre more around the mysterious horned prince, I was mistaken.  Give The Darkest Part of the Forest a read if you are looking for a unique stand-alone and prepared to dive into something unusual.  I enjoyed it!

On a side note, have you ever taken the time to read an author's dedication (at the beginning) and notes (at the end of the book)?  Often I see names of other familiar authors that I have read. It makes me feel like I am part of some exclusive club without paying a ridiculous initiation fee.  It is also a great way to find other authors you may enjoy along the same genre vein.

Parents, there was a little bit of language but not much.  

Monday, March 30, 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: 

Summary (By Goodreads)

After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

**Please don't read this if you have not yet finished all 6 books in the Mortal Instruments series**

Book #6 left us hanging with some big changes in everyone's life.  Surprisingly, Simon's life seemed to change most dramatically.  Now he is a bit lost and looking to find a new path as a Shadowhunter.  I LOVE the novella novels that follow this series.  It's like the characters never go away and I get a quick glimpse into their lives once more....AWESOMESAUCE....
- Christinabean

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Published: March 30th, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 288
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.

Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.

Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.

Curlypow's thoughts:

How to describe 'The Cemetery Boys'?  Lets go with a pinch of Poe; a soupcon of King and a liberal dash of weird and we might just about be there.  This is a strange book that was more than a little disturbing.  I'm not even sure that I really enjoyed it, but I have to admit that I read it pretty much in one sitting and never considered putting it down. It's not quite horror, not quite supernatural, but very atmospheric and quite engrossing.

Cara and Devon are strange - very strange and the way they warp Stephen's mind is so disturbing. Even after finishing this book I'm not entirely sure what happened. And what's with the crows? Seriously! I almost feel that I need to read it again to find out if I missed anything. 

What did you think of it?

Friday, March 27, 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 –

Have you ever been to BEA, if so what was your favorite experience there?
I have never been to BEA but I have wanted to for so many years.  SO. MANY. YEARS.  I know that my time is coming though....maybe next year....or maybe I just need to clear enough room from my shelves to be able to appreciate BEA properly.  So for now, I will resort to drooling over every one else's posts.  :)
- 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, March 26, 2015

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M Lee

Published: August 4th, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 335
Copy: Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Is there such a thing as a dystopian fantasy? I'm not really sure there is, but that's the only way I can think to describe 'Gates of Thread and Stone'. There is a definite fantasy feel to the story with Kai being able to manipulate time the way she does, but she and her brother live in a freight container 'suburb' in an old broken-down city, which gives things a definite dystopian feel.  See where my confusion comes from?

Anyway, there is some very complex world building going on here and Ms Lee was very successful at it. When Kai and Avan are spending some time with Famine in his compound I had no trouble at all picturing the strange environment.  Well done Ms Lee.  Kai is a tough, resourceful girl who will accept help, but doesn't always need it and her relationship with Avan though born of neccessity was heart wrenching and tender.  I was intrigued by the story from the start and the pacing really never slowed down.  

'Gates of Thread and Stone' is both thrilling and romantic, mysterious and gripping and the story  keeps the reader wanting more.  So I'm off to read 'The Infinite', which just came out a week or so ago - I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fantastic Fariytales Double Take - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Published: February 2015
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 320
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: By Goodreads

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?


It has been ages since Curlypow and I have done a double-take!  So much fun!

So I had only recently heard about Red Queen and what made me intrigued was that I had read some interesting Twitter feeds about Red Queen so I grabbed it from the library and flew through the novel.

Red Queen is based around the idea of a caste system divided by blood type.  Royal blood is always silver but towards the end of the book, we also learn that silver blood has its own hierarchy and even though you are born silver, it does not necessarily mean that you are upper class.

Something that I found fascinating in this society was that conscription occurs across both genders.  In the past, conscription only applied to males.  Here, it applies to both males AND females.  It makes me wonder if we were to experience World War III, and countries installed conscription, if both males and females would be included.  Societal values have changed much since the last World War.  Good point there Christinabean.  

The abilities of Silvers reminded me of X-Men  (Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson)while Mare and her unusual skills reminds me of The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Mare may be the one person who will change everything.

Let's talk characters.  There will be spoilers...just saying...for those of you who have not read the book.

Mare.  OK, this girl can be so ridiculous.  Was she friends with America Singer from The Selection in another life? Something tells me they would have gotten along famously. Sorry, I never did get around to reading the Selection so I can't say, but she certainly was determined.

Cal. I like him.  He sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders.  He exhibits emotion and character.  I would have liked to see more interaction between him and Mare.  More talking!- less fighting and assumptions.

Maven...hmmm...well what can I say about Maven.  I was disappointed in him.  Maybe his attitude will change with future titles.  To have all of that hostility and resentment build up through the years.  And at the end, what he and his mother plot to do was hard to read but if he is like his mother, perhaps understandable.  Was she really that wicked?? Yes I think she really was that wicked!

Something that bothered me about this book was the pace in which Maven and Mare connect to assist the rebels is much too quick.  I would have expected the author to develop a relationship and a degree of trust and put this in the second book.  After reading Book #1, I understand the urgency of this event to happen but it was like they were strangers one minute and then plotting together AGAINST the monarchy the next.  Did I miss their connection or was it absent from the beginning?  When did she really start to trust him?  I felt more of a connect with his brother than with Maven. I have to agree there, I much preferred Cal to Maven.  There was something just a little too smooth about Maven for my tastes. 

True, the book was a little bit predictable but still an enjoyable read for me.  It was not as smooth as I would have liked but still a highly recommendable read.  I am eager to see where the story leads and I want to see the author do more world and character building.  Plus, we as readers really need to see what Mare can do with her powers.  I enjoyed this one too. I kept questioning why Mare was doing what she was doing, but the story made sense in the end. I look forward to seeing more of these characters.

Monday, March 23, 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: 

Summary (by Goodreads)

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

I am excited to read this title because Lauren Oliver was one of the first contemporary YA authors who inspired me to keep reading YA.  Her novel - Before I Fall was so touching. It made me laugh and it made me cry.  It made me contact her and tell her how beautiful her writing was and most of all, it made me inspired to keep on reading. 
- Christinabean

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