Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig

The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12)

Published: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 528
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.
It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.


Well this is the last book in the series and I am very sad about that.  However, I'm also glad that Ms Willig has ended the series before most of her readers got fed up with it.  I'll be honest, I listened to a lot of them, and that made them all the more enjoyable for me.  I couldn't wait for the audio of this one, but I'll probably listen to it anyway when it comes out, because I love the narrator (Kate Reading) so much.

To be honest, if you haven't already started the series, I would absolutely say DON'T read this one.  Go back to the beginning and learn about all the different characters who just keep popping up in various guises.  I was kind of sad not to see Miss Gwen in this one, but since she had her own story in the last book, it was understandable that she was too busy for this one. 

A regency romp full of fun and danger, laughter and sadness and a nice neat ending to a series that has long been one of my favourites.  I hope that if you are not yet aware of this Pink Carnation series that you'll seek it out and try it.  If you enjoy historical fun and spy frolics I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Friday, October 2, 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 –

Pick three book characters… Kiss? Marry? Kill? via Watcha Reading

Oh! Oh! We played this game at the book signing with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

 Daniel (Fallen Series by Lauren Kate)...because not only do I picture a hunky gorgeous guy....duh....who doesn't want their own personal hunky FALLEN ANGEL??!!
In keeping with supernatural blessed beings...I'm going to have to say that Jem from the Infernal Devices seems to be quite the keeper. Not only is he a "stand up" kinda guy...but man, does he have everlasting-romance skills!!
(I can't remember his name) The boy who started it all in the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes.  He is a spoiled pompous brat who decided to kill someone over a petty argument and his actions were the catalyst to a war that was waiting to happen.

- 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, October 1, 2015

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

Published: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 400
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.

When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.


This book is very, very hard to pigeonhole.  It's a little bit dystopian, a little bit historical and a little bit fantasy, and it all mushes up together into something that took me quite some time to get in to the swing of, but in the end I absolutely loved it.  At first I was sure I was reading about the US Civil War - there's the historical part.  Then you discover that there are old ruined cities and bridges from 'long ago' - there's the dystopian.  Then there are strange things falling from the sky, burning everything they touch - fantasy anyone.  At one point I was so close to giving up on it, but I changed my mind, and I'm really glad I did.

Hallie is a mixed up 16 yr old who is fighting old ghosts and trying to make the best of a bad situation.  Sometimes I wanted to hug her and other times I wanted to smack her upside the head.  She is so distrustful of everyone and everything.  Heron is a major enigma.  The reader knows something is a little strange there, but we don't find out what until much later.  I did have my suspicions about him, and I turned out to be right, for a change.  My favourite character though is Tyler.  He is damaged, both physically and mentally from the war down South, but he is such a sweet young man.  I just adored his interaction with Hallie and the hesitation between the two of them

In the end though, I completely fell in love with the story and I sat with tears in my eyes as the story neared its finish, which completely surprised me.  Ultimately, it's a story about survival, family and hope. and I urge you to push past the slightly odd beginning and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Six of Crows

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)

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

I'm really looking forward to this one. I really enjoyed the Grisha Series.  The first time I tried to read it, I wasn't in the right frame of mind and put it down for a couple years until just before Book#3 was released.  I would wholly recommend that series to new readers of Leah Bardugo before reading this one.  I hate it when summer ends but I have to say, I love all of the NEW books for the fall!!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Published: Sept 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 648
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I think this was the best book I have read all year.  No seriously.  Have you read the Throne of Glass series?  If you haven't, stop whatever you are reading, start with Book #1 and then read about Celaena Sardothian.  This woman is absolutely amazing and unstoppable. And just when you think someone is stopping her momentum, something happens to give her one little sliver of hope to save her kingdom.  This series was NOTHING like I was imagining.  There are so many stories playing into the main character's life that it is hard to keep track of. Once I started reading Book #4, I considered re-reading Book #3 just as a refresher because I had a hard time remember what had happened.  

One of the things that I REALLY enjoyed in this series is how Sarah J Maas managed to break down Celaena's identity and re-build her as Aelin.  They are two different characters fused into one unique and incredibly strong woman.  As Aelin she takes responsibility for the people.  For her court. As Celaena she is angry and has trouble controlling her emotions to do anything but slaughter anyone who comes in her path.  Queen of Shadows exemplifies how Aelin's priorities have changed.  How much stronger and in control she is of herself. She is self-assured and exhibits leadership.  Another aspect of this novel that turned me upside down is how her relationship with Lyssandra changes.  Yes, that's right. I said Lyssandra.

Other characters play a key role in this edition as well.  Rowan and Aedion, Chaol and Dorian.  They are all major players in what goes down in Queen of Shadows.  Rowan....sigh...why can't we all have a handsome fae prince around? I love her private conversations with Rowan.  Ms. Mass does a great job of building up the tension between the two of these characters.  They become strongly attached and nearly animalistic towards one another.  I used to cheer for Chaol but now I can barely remember his name.  Yup.  He never had a chance once Rowan stepped into the picture.  

A couple notes I made while I was reading...perhaps you will also feel this way as you read

Chapter 44 - WHY???!!!!!!

Chapter 47 - Holy heck!  This just got incredibly interesting.  She is absolutely brilliant!!  

From this point on, I actually stopped taking notes because I didn't want to stop reading.  I was pretty much non-stop until the end of the novel.  So it is hard to get into the story without giving anything away but if you have read Books #1-3, you NEED to read this one.  It is PACKED from the get go with action and adventure.  There will be death and dying and lots of gruesomeness.  Plus witches.  The witches are discussed throughout the book and I have a feeling they will play a major part in Books #5 and 6.  Have tissue ready, a comfortable chair, plenty of good reading light and perhaps a small snack.  Oh, and turn off your phone because you aren't going want to get up for ANYTHING once you start reading this book.  It was STUNNING.  Absolutely, positively STUNNING.  Well done Ms. Maas.  Throne of Glass just bumped up a couple spots on my Top Ten best YA series of all time.  

Monday, September 28, 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)

Simon and Clary reunite as they witness a Parabatai ceremony…and discuss their own plans to be bonded. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

Simon and Clary act as witnesses to the parabatai ceremony of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn…and discuss their own parabatai plans in this precursor to The Dark Artifices.

This is the 8th book in the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy set.  I love how Simon's mind is slowly unwound and he begins to mold himself into the hero we all know he is from the Mortal Instruments series.  Can't wait!!
- Christinabean

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dreamland by Robert L Anderson

Published: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

A quick review:

'Dreamland' is another book I'm feeling a little conflicted about.  In general I enjoyed the story, and it certainly is a little different.  However, as the story progressed, things started to fall apart a little for me. I couldn't make up my mind if the story was supposed to be horror or fantasy, and I was never completely in tune with the characters.  I may have been expecting too much from it, but in the end I was  disappointed.  

I'm realizing that I get a bit frustrated with novels where parents don't tell kids things 'for their own good' or to 'keep them safe'.  How can they possibly be safe if kids don't know what they are facing  In 'Dreamland', Dea's mother has set a very few rules and then tells her nothing else, nothing at all, so she's left to flounder in the dark - literally and metaphorically.  How frustrating is that?  It's no wonder she breaks the rules.

I did finish 'Dreamland', but now that it's over I'm not sure why I bothered.  I'm certain that there are many readers out there who will love this one, but not me.  I'm curious to know what others thought of it.
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