Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday Reviews #2

And, I'm back with some Throwback Thursday Mini Reviews. 

You ready for this?

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: Most of you have heard of this one, I'm sure. If not, drop what you're doing and get this book immediately. Clear a few hours for yourself to devour Mary Pearson's work because if you don't, I guarantee you'll miss some appointments or be late. I almost missed my train stop. A few times. KOD is pretty much my dream novel. Magic, friendship, plot-twists, princesses…the list goes on. The writing, characters and setting are superb. Pearson, who you might recognize from the Jenna Fox series, is so versatile. When you're done, you'll be begging for the next one. Good thing it comes out soon…ish. From my Teenreads review: "The wording was so evocative and the tone so gentle that at times, I felt like the characters were sitting around me and whispering their stories. Yes, it was that good."

One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington: Full disclosure for this review: I worked at Bloomsbury as an intern while this was being published. So I'm a bit partial to it. HOWEVER, that didn't affect my review at all. I kind of expected to hate it a bit. And at first, I wondered if I would DNF. But I'm so glad I kept reading. It's such a different story and Shirvington shares such wonderful (Ethan) characters with readers so that we're enamored with the book just on principal. I loved the idea of our main character living too completely separate lives. I especially loved that this novel wasn't completely contemporary or completely science fiction. Sabine was a regular girl who had an extraordinary gift, the ability to live two parallel lives one after the other. At times heartbreaking and stunningly real, I definitely recommend this book to just about anyone willing to try something different. From my Teenreads Review: "I love that [Sabine’s] she’s not just a privileged character or a down-trodden one. She’s both of those things, and the combination of that makes her really fascinating."

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally: This novel was so beautiful and inspiring. It not only made me want to do something uplifting for myself but after reading it I considered running! That's how wonderful this book was. I really cannot say more about it except that I found it very realistic and powerful. A seriously gorgeous book. At first I was a little put off by the subject matter (it's pretty tough) but I found it to be quite inspiring. Annie is a great character to follow around on her journey and I'm so glad I did.  From my Teenreads Review: "I was inspired by Annie’s story. It honestly made me consider starting to jog or at least working toward some sort of similar goal.I was inspired by Annie’s story. It honestly made me consider starting to jog or at least working toward some sort of similar goal."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let the Storm Break (Let the Sky Fall #2)

Author: Shannon Messenger
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
Pages: 400
Format: ARC from Swap

Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fall, which Becca Fitzpatrick called “charged and romantic.” 

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Devine Intervention

Author: Martha Brockenbrough
Goodreads Rating: 3.46
Pages: 304
Format: ARC from BEA12

There is a great legend of the guardian angel who traveled across time and space for the human girl he loved, slaying those who would threaten her with a gleaming sword made of heavenly light.
This is not that story.
Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.
Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head - one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone.
When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever.
Martha Brockenbrough's debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that's wicked as hell, and writing that's just heavenly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Want to Go to BEA, Now What?!

So you've been hearing about it for months, maybe even years, but now you've decided you want to go. Or many this post is inspiring you to ask "What the Heck is BEA?"

The What

BEA or Book Expo America is the Comic Con for book fans. As a Blogger, this is your Promised Land with books and swag and fantastic people every which way that you turn. This event occurs every year in May and it is something that people in the book world look forward to all year.

The When
This year it's taking place starting May 27th ending on May 29th. If you're feeling ambitious, you can check out BookCon on May 30th and 31st. This year has had a few changes, starting with it being entirely during the week, and as someone who doesn't get many vacation days, it's worth at least one.

The Who
Not the band, but you! Book lovers from all around the world are going to be coming to this, so if you can, then you should too! I met Hannah from Hannah Reads Books who was from Australia as well as Kat from Cuddlebuggery who is also from Australia. There are so many people there and you don't have to worry about finding something in common, because you already have the most important thing in common; Books.

The Where
For the last year, come on out to New York for the greatest Book Convention ever. Live in the tristate area? Great! You should take some kind of transportation in and come check it out, even if it is for a day!

The Why
I'm not sure I really need to explain this one to you, if you're on my blog, looking at the 5 W's of BEA, then maybe you already have a clue about why you want to go to BEA.

BEA is my favorite time of year, not just because of the books, but because this conference brought me my two best friends, and some of my favorite memories. This conference is more than just books, it's about bringing people together and proving that this isn't a dying business.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Let The Sky Fall

Author: Shannon Messenger
Goodreads Rating: 3.91
Pages: 404
Format: ARC gifted from friend

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.
Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday Reviews

For those of you who don't know, I review books at Teenreads. It's a wonderful outlet and one that I've been following since I was a little bookworm, scouring the Ultimate Reading List to find my next read. But reviewing for Teenreads kind of puts me in a tough position with blogging. How do I decide which books I review for Teenreads and which books I review for the blog? And because I have to give TR a list of five books, I often have no choice in the matter, books are just chosen for me by my supervisor. And because I read so slow (25 pages per hour?)…I end up devoting a lot of my time to Teenreads rather than Paperback Princess.

It's not a bad gig. I love it a lot. But it means that I've neglected blogging when I really didn't want to.
So I thought I would round up the reviews that I posted at Teenreads on the blog, that way I can share my thoughts more widely and also feel that I'm contributing more to the blog. Win-Win, right?

Do any of you write for more than one outlet? How do you choose what to review and how do you keep up with it? I'm curious!

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman: Not going to lie, I was extremely wary about this one. It's not that I don't enjoy historical fiction, it's just that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to read through Nazi Propaganda, no matter how fictionalized. I was presently surprised by it. The unfolding intrigue and mystery was enough to keep me turning pages and I really loved the character development. Gretchen goes from being a disillusioned sycophant to a strong young woman, capable of standing up to the monsters she grew up with. I could also tell that Anne Blankman had done her fair share of research and was impressed by the way she chose to use it. I would totally recommend this to readers who are looking for something different but also for those who love historical fiction. From my Teenreads review: "PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG gave me chills…due in part to its complexities and unforgettable main characters, I will be thinking about this novel for a long time."

The End or Something Like That
by Ann Dee Ellis: This book was a total surprise. It wasn't on my radar at all and I probably would have never read it if not for Teenreads. That being said, I have a hard time explaining this book. I can tell you that it's one of my favorites. But it's also a mixture of heartbreaking black humor and a bit of magical realism. The End Or Something Like That reminded me a lot of Going Bovine. Very speculative. And very amazing. Like Going Bovine, this book navigates death with a quirky sense of humor. Before she dies, Emmy's best friend Kim plans out exactly how they're going to communicate when she finally dies. But instead of Kim, Emmy is visited by a a host of other ghosts that she never wanted to see. But what follows allows not only the ghosts that keep appearing to move on but Emmy as well. From my Teenreads Review: "Emmy is impossible not to fall in love with --- her perspective and voice draw you in and you can’t help but feel for her."
Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff: I am so conflicted about how I feel with this book. I really enjoyed it and I thought it was very true to teenage experience, especially in light of our real and online lives. However, I felt like it was too real. Like a kick in the face. Every description, every piece of dialogue pulled you in so effortlessly that I felt like I was in high school again and hanging out with our main characters. But sometimes I wish I could have pulled away a little bit more. I like stories to turn out well. I like my happy endings and swoon worthy heroes. Sometimes being confronted by reality is tough, especially in a book about online avatars, roleplaying games and generally pretending to be someone you are not. This book was definitely well written and different. I recommend it a lot. I could have done without the roleplaying interludes but I understood why we needed them. I want to recommend this wholeheartedly but I do so with caution. It will make you think but maybe you're better off. From my Teenreads Review: "The writing is so spot-on that I feel like I have an understanding of every character, even if I only was treated to the point of views of two."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Testing

Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Goodreads Rating: 3.94
Pages: 336
Format: Finished Copy from BEA13

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.


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