Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Published: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 400
Copy: Netgalley (and library)
Summary: Goodreads

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

One of the things that I loved most about Princess of Thorns was the continued references to many and varied popular fairy tales, there's  the Swan Princes of course and Sleeping Beauty, then we have Red Riding hood, Rapunzel and several others.  They just keep popping up and it's easy to miss them, but Ms Jay is obviously a huge fan.

Princess of Thorns is at heart a fantastic romance - one of the best I have read in a long time. It is also a wonderful adventure story, and the two are melded beautifully into one easy to read and engrossing tale.  Let's go back to the romance - future romance writers be aware.  This is how it should be done.  A slow simmer, where the characters get to know each other before the lust sets in.  Oh, it gives me shivers just thinking back on it.  The reader learns about the characters as the characters learn about each other and for the most part these are nice people.  I had such a clear picture in my mind of Niklaas and Ror.  I also loved the fact that Ror (Aurora's) fairy blessings have a major down side and all is not roses.

Princess of Thorns is a wonderful book to get lost in, but it is NOT a Game of Thrones if that's what you're expecting.  You'll be disappointed if you are.  But, if you're looking for fun, romantic adventure with a fairy tale twist or three, you'll love it.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Follow

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 –

Do you have a go to genre when you’re happy, sad, or angry? – via Take Me Away…
I do choose the genre of book I am going to read depending on how I am feeling.  I will go for Dystopian when I'm feeling a bit down or Fantasy when I'm looking for adventure or Contemporary when I am feeling more emotional.  When I'm feeling happy, I tend to do a mix of everything (usually I am reading a few different books at once).
- 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, December 18, 2014

The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton

Published: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 369
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Fans of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Holly Black's "The Curse Workers" will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities. 

When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.


Oh my goodness, how much I enjoyed this book.  It picked me up within a few pages and carried me through the story to the very end.  The United States of Azgard became real to me and I was travelling through the center of them along with Soren, Astrid and Baldur.  

A short while ago I reviewed a book (the name of which escapes me right now) where I commented that although an alternate version of our world, everything had the same names and the characters spoke the same and it was hard to tell the difference between universes. In The Lost Sun, Ms Gratton has created a world that has developed alongside ours at the same pace, but is in its own way totally different.  People use the interweave, not internet, have televisions, but watch the Gods live.  The states are just slightly different Mizizibi/Lafloride/Montania - they eat a ham LT or Arnold chips. This world is complete in every way and was so easy to believe.

As were the characters - Astrid and Soren were so real, with their wonderful personalities and so full of doubts and laughter.  True to themselves and each other and always growing in knowledge.  Soren's boon from Odin was so right it gave me shivers.  Theirs was a true love story -  I laughed and yes, I cried too.  A perfect mystery that needed to be solved.  The Lost Sun is a beautiful coming of age story that shows us the power of belief in ourselves and other.  If you're in the mood for a perfect love story with a difference, try The Lost Sun.  Maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Suspicion by by Alexandra Monir

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)

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Jessica Brody compares it to Alfred Hitchcock directing Downton Abbey!  I love the time period of Downton Abbey with the mystery of Alfred Hitchcock!  Seems like a fresh new take on YA to me!
- Christinabean

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fantastic Fairytales - Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis

Published: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 338
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.


Who's up for a space opera Snow White?  You are?  Well this is the book for you.  We have a princess on the run, taking care of the seven drones - what a wonderful reincarnation of the seven dwarves they are - and just trying to survive and keep things low key.

Enter our Prince Charming - Dane - who is far from charming this time around.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between Essie and Dane. It had me laughing out loud on a couple of occasions.  Every character had his/her own agenda and half the fun was unraveling the threads of the story. My favourite characters - the drones.  They really did seem to have  personalities of their own.

This was a very clever retelling of the perennial favourite, and reminded me in a few small ways of 'Cinder' and 'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer - more because of setting than because of actual plot, so if you enjoyed those two, be sure to pick up a copy of 'Stitching Snow.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Monday, December 15, 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 got: 
I love trying new recipes and showing my daughter how important cooking and baking skills are.  What a great book! Thanks for sharing NetGalley!
- Christinabean

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes - A short review.

Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3)

Published: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 416
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

Ok I have very little to say about this book that isn't in the blurb above.  Not because it was bad, but because it was really good. If you've already ready the first two ('Falling Kingdoms' and 'Rebel Spring'), you're going to love it, if you haven't read the first two, don't start with this one - go back to the beginning.

However, I do have to exclaim, rather loudly, WT ........  I thought this was a trilogy, but apparently NOT.  I got to the end and I was left hanging! By my fingertips! Right at the edge of the cliff!! AAARRRGGHH!

Great fun, great adventure, great character development, great romance, great story.  Well worth reading. Now where is the next installment?

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