Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {131}

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 pretty good! I am SO excited, because I'm going to Libba Bray's signing in New Orleans on Wednesday! Nothing else much is going on, honestly. :)

For review:

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison

The Conspiracy of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin


Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Friday - Review: A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Books I read this week (last two weeks, really):
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

I'm currently reading:
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

So that's been my week! I have not been doing as much reading as I'd like... I might be watching altogether much Bones. I decided to rewatch the whole series, because I stopped watching years ago, and wanted to catch up again. There are a lot of episodes! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Release date: August 25, 2015
Author info: Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
(Pre-order the Kindle version for $2.99!)
Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.

Paris, 1832

A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart.

Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree, and the baby brother she loved. But mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat, and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend.

Now, at sixteen, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship--the love of a boy?
Les Miserables is, without a doubt, in my top two favorite musicals. And Eponine is a character who, despite my love of the musical, I never really connect with. "On My Own" isn't my favorite, a song I listen to often, or even cry at. (That title goes to "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", which turns me into a blubbering mess every time.) So, as a diehard fan, of course I was dying to read A Little in Love, but I wasn't sure it could make me love Eponine. Boy, was I wrong. While I'm unsure at how supported much of her narrative is by the original book, A Little in Love does everything right by Eponine.

We follow Eponine's entire life, told as a flashback, and see how she thinks, how she grows, and her deep desire for love, something her family deprives her of in their constant fight to stay alive in the most nefarious of ways. She's torn countless times between pleasing her parents in hopes of making them care for her and following her heart, which proves itself over and over again to be deeply caring and loyal. Everything changes for Eponine when she meets Marius Pontmercy. 

If you're familiar with the musical, you know how Eponine's story goes. Susan Fletcher doesn't change Eponine's story, only gives her a voice and shows you into her head. We know why she takes each action and it removes any real villainy, without taking away her responsibility for her actions. 

The writing is simply gorgeous, with a strong retrospective tone that really works to convey Eponine's story. It benefits from having her look back on what she's done and why she did it, and her character evolution is stronger for it. 

While A Little in Love doesn't deliver surprises for those who know the story (and it tells you the end in the first pages, so even the uninitiated know where they're headed), the fresh look at Les Mis is just lovely. It adds a level of nuance to the story that not only makes it more beautiful, but also more tragic.

About the author:

Susan Fletcher was born in Birmingham and now lives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Her first novel for adults, Eve Green, won the 2005 Whitbread First Novel award.

She has since written three other adult novels – Oystercatchers, Witch Light and The Silver Dark Sea. A Little in Love is her first book for young adults.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas {104}

Title: Queen of Shadow (Throne of Glass #4)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release date: September 1, 2015
Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. 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.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I waited this long to feature QoS just so I wouldn't get too freaked out in anticipation. Yep. Now we're SO CLOSE that I can let myself get excited! What's going to stink is that I'll have work that day till 4:30 and won't get to read but a bit on my lunch... Maybe I need to request the day after off so I can read all night and not care? :)

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy {127}

Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
Release date: September 15, 2015
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

My teaser, from 71% in the egalley:
She's right. It's not fair to her or Amanda or Millie or Hannah. When I get home, the first thing I do is sit in front of my computer with Riot curled around my feet as I compose an email. The subject line reads: SOS.

I'm fully in love with Willowdean. This book is awesome. That's all I have to say. :)

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3) by Tessa Dare

Release date: August 25, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.
I'd say it's fully official: I love historical romance. And thus far, Tessa Dare is my favorite. While the books in this series are wholly fun, they're also wonderful in that the heroines are so self reliant and headstrong.

Maddie is no different. But she's also desperately awkward around others, unable to be part of a crowd. In an attempt to avoid the season, she invented a fiancee, Scottish Captain Logan MacKenzie, a lie that spiraled out of her control but also spared her. She's lived with the guilt of lying to everyone she loves for years but she's been given a life that suits her. A real Captain Logan MacKenzie showing up in her life--definitely not dead--certainly throws a wrench in her plans.

But from the first moment, Maddie and Logan are simply wonderful together. Their relationship quickly proves itself to be compatible, even as they argue and work against one another. It's too charming and it's too fun, all the way through.

Truthfully, I don't have much to say, aside from how wonderful this book is. Tessa Dare is who got me started and this series never failed me. Even as the first two books are great, When a Scot Ties the Knot is probably the best. Just be prepared to grin like an idiot.

About the author:

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {130}

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! I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off this week, and I'm pretty tired, but I'm really enjoying my new position. It feels good to use my love of reading and my degree a bit more. :D

For review:

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg


Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
The Nightmare Charade (Arkwell Academy #3) by Mindee Arnett
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Of Dreams and Rust (Of Metal and Wishes #2) by Sarah Fine
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Highlight of the week! Because she was in town, Julie Murphy came into our Barnes & Noble and signed our stock of Side Effects May Very. I might've told her how I'd been creeping on her Instagram and knew she was around, and got a copy signed for myself. Definitely one of my favorite inscriptions ever! :D

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones #2) by Lou Anders
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Friday - Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Books I read this week (last two weeks, really):
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

I'm currently reading:
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

So that's been my week! I bought a few books, eh? I finished up my big gift card I won a while ago, but they're all collection growers and not stuff I have to read. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Bonjour! Welcome to my stop on the Young Adult Giveaway Hop! :D

Today, I'm feeling excited about all the really wonderful sounding YA books coming out in the next few months, so I'm offering up the chance to win a pre-order of one of the books I'm most excited for! What are your options? Well... (Click on covers for the Goodreads pages!)

And yes, if there's a pre-order giveaway (now, or in the future for the titles farther away) and you qualify, I will submit the info--as in the case of Queen of Shadows. :D Did I mention this is international? Because it is.

a Rafflecopter giveaway