Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {102}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! Since the holidays are over, I'm working a lot less, which is giving me more time at home. So far, that's meaning more reading time, which is wonderful! Hopefully that continues. :) 

For review: 
The Novice by Taran Mathau
Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Joyride by Anna Banks

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

This Shattered World (Starbound Trilogy #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (plus THE POSTERRR and signed!)
I got it!! I squealed when I saw the package sitting on the couch, waiting for me, when I got home. Every year for Christmas my parents get me a book, and this was their gift this past year, so happy belated Christmas to meee!

Plus some awesome swag from M.G. Buehrlen! :)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Books I read this week:
Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'm currently reading:
Clariel by Garth Nix

So that's been my week! Not much blogging, but a lot of reading! And it was all really good stuff, which is just the best. I know I'll love Clariel, so I'll happily continue on a good book streak. :) Ooh, and I did the baking for my first Baking By the Book post, so that'll be up this week! (Spoiler: It was delicious!) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson {77}

Title: Rebel Mechanics
Author: Shanna Swendson
Release date: July 14, 2015
A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

This just sounds so good! I can't get enough of this kind of stuff. Nothing hooks me more than the mention of an alternate history. :D :D

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill {103}

Title: When Joss Met Matt
Author: Ellie Cahill
Release date: February 24, 2015
Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love. 

My teaser, from 9% in the egalley:
I slumped forward and covered my head with my arms. "I tried to get a frat guy named Jeff to sleep with me," I said to my lap.

Matt's hand landed on my back and he drummed his fingers in thought. "I'm not sure if it's more pathetic that you thought that was a good idea or that you actually failed to get a frat guy to sleep with you."

I looove Liz Czukas' books, so I'm very excited to try out a new adult book from her as Ellie Cahill! I'm sure it'll be just as funny. :)

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! :) Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Release date: January 6, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
The Ghosts of Heaven is a remarkable book. It's so unlike any other young adult book I've read and one that will remain prominent in my memory for a long time. Using four very different, yet somehow connected, stories, Sedgwick weaves universal threads into a narrative that tells so much more than it says.

Each story is vastly different from the next, and at first it's terribly difficult to see how they are connected, aside from the characters' interest in spirals. But as the stories go on, for me, overarching ideas come through very clearly. At the same time, each reader will certainly draw their own conclusions. 

Though at times difficult to read, each story stands out in its own light. I'm not a big verse reader, but the opening story was striking in the simplicity of its writing and I can't say any other style would suit it better. The rest are straightforwardly written, but call attention to certain things in their own way. Marcus Sedwick has a wonderful style.

While I'm afraid many who read solely young adult won't take to The Ghosts of Heaven the way they could, it's a book I wholeheartedly recommend for its complexities and its ability truly to make you think, such a rarity.

About the author:

MARCUS SEDGWICK was born and raised in East Kent in the South-east of England. He now divides his time between a small village near Cambridge, England, and a remote house in the French Alps.

Alongside a 16 year career in publishing he established himself as a widely-admired writer of YA fiction; he is the winner of many prizes, most notably the Michael L. Printz Award for 2014, for his novel Midwinterblood.

His books have been shortlisted for over thirty other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (five times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times). In 2011 Revolver was awarded a Printz Honor.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {101}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! Very slow and unexciting, but I kind of like that. I'm kind of in a reading slump, I think. I keep starting and stopping in books, like the two I listed that I'm reading now. They're not just calling my name. I need something absolutely fantastic, I think, because I haven't read anything wonderful so far this year. Eh.

For review: 

Tuck Everlasting, 40th Anniversary Edition by Natalie Babbitt

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Thursday - Review: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Books I read this week:
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

I'm currently reading:
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
Hellhole by Gina Damico

So that's been my week! I was awful about posting this week, awful. I think there's something about not being all that busy that just makes me lazier, if that makes sense. Gotta get busy and get productive! :) :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

Release date: January 6, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls. 

Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks. 

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?
The Boy Next Door is the kind of book that I get excited and happy to read. I mean, how could you resist a friends to lovers romance that involves ice skating?? I'm glued to the TV every time I find any kind of skating competition, so of course a book involving just that is going to just call my name. And The Boy Next Door delivers exactly what I was hoping for: lots of skating, a sweet romance, and a satisfying ending.

When it comes to the romance, I was happy to find that it had a larger dynamic than just the friend-to-lover thing. Instead, Maddy and Gabe have been best friends and skating partners for, basically, their entire lives. They're a fantastic duo on the ice, and moving their relationship forward doesn't just jeopardize their friendship, but also their future in skating. They have the worst example in their practice partners, who have dated almost as long as they've skated together, and whose careers aren't going far, largely because their performances depend on how they feel towards one another. Maddy and Gabe struggle with the idea of ruining the two most important things in their lives: skating and one another.

The drama is also frustrating, though, because some of it feels unnecessary. If Maddy and Gabe just talked, things would be easier, but instead they flit back and forth, which is just annoying to read at times. Even so, you know they're meant to be together (and how books like this end), so it doesn't ruin the book. The other drama in the book, mostly dealing with Maddy's family, is something I quite liked. Both sets of parents are present in the story and they're largely very engaged in their children's lives. It's nice that there's not solely romance drama.

Though at times I felt the romance was overly dramatic and complicated, I still very much enjoyed The Boy Next Door. There's so much skating jargon that even the biggest nerd for skating (aka me) will be satisfied. Maddy and Gabe are so sweet together, and of course you get the happy ending I know you'll be dying for.

About the author:

Growing up less than a block from the public library, Katie has always loved books and admits to crossing the street while reading. She learned to skate as an adult and to write after that and is a firm believer that it's never too late to follow your dreams. A former teacher, she now writes full-time and still skates weekends with her synchronized skating team. She lives in Michigan with two daughters, two cats, and one very patient husband (her high school sweetheart). She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and of Romance Writers of America. The Boy Next Door is her first novel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson {76}

Title: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release date: July 7, 2015
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

Squiggledy-squeeeee! I loved The Kiss of Deception, so I'm kind of dyinggg for more. :) :D

 So what are you guys waiting on this week? :)