Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

Release date: August 26, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Pages: 352
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.
I Want It That Way is a double-edged sword for me. On paper, I really liked a lot of individual parts, which should have led to me really liking this. But in reality, it's just one that didn't jump off the page for me. Objectively, I liked I Want It That Way. It just didn't make my heart patter or my world rock.

There's a lot of focus in I Want It That Way on characters pursing what makes them happy. Hoorah! I'm a definite believer in the idea that the same kinds of paths aren't going to work for everyone. Some people just aren't suited to college, for example, and what they dream of doing doesn't require it. Subscribing to other people's ideas of how you should live your life is for the birds. I think Ann Aguirre did a fantastic job showing this, and it works so well in a college setting, since everyone there is searching for something that will make them happy for the rest of their lives. And in turn, she does a great job encouraging her characters to make hard decisions and fight for what they want, rather than letting people tell them things are just going to happen a certain way. Her characters struggle realistically and it makes the most of the new adult designation in that way.

I really liked Nadia and Ty as well. Nadia is hard-working and driven to make her parents proud by doing well in school and earning her degree so she can teach special needs students. She's admirable in her dedication and her obvious love of teaching. Ty is just as likable. Though closed off at first, he's got a lot more going on under the surface, but he's absolutely and completely committed to his son. He hasn't given up on pursuing his own dream, albeit more slowly, but his rapport with Sam, his son, is so endearing.

So what's the problem? On paper, like I said, I was rooting for Nadia and Ty. Completely. In reality, I wasn't feeling chemistry. I wasn't swooning. I wasn't reacting at all, really. When the happy ending came (as you know it had to), I was glad, but not feeling especially enthusiastic.

I Want It That Way is a nice read. It's quick and there's a lot of great things going on in terms of a focus on finding yourself and pursing your passions, but the romance was rather meh to me. I'm absolutely going to continue the series, however, because I know Ann Aguirre can write swoon-worthy romance and I can't wait to hear Lauren and Max's stories.


About the author:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Sorceress (Spellcaster #3) by Claudia Gray {58}

Title: Sorceress (Spellcaster #3)
Author: Claudia Gray
Release date: March 3, 2015
To save the lives of countless people in Captive’s Sound, Nadia has sworn herself to the One Beneath, to black magic. Her plan, and the town’s only hope, is for Nadia to learn enough sorcery to strike back against the forces of darkness. But now that she’s separated from her friends, her family, and her Steadfast, Mateo, Nadia is more vulnerable than ever to darkness. And as the sorceress Elizabeth summons torrential rains and brings the One Beneath closer to the mortal world, Nadia is running out of time to stop her.

The final battle lines are drawn, surprising alliances are made, and true love is tested in the action-packed conclusion to the breathtaking Spellcaster series. 


Sorceress is richly woven with New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s signature dark magic, captivating mystery, and star-crossed romance.


I really like this series! I love the way the magic is done--it's so different and more interesting than most I've read about. :) Plus, I'm quite in love with the cover. The color is gorgeous!

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Storm Siren by Mary Weber {84}

Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Release date: August 19, 2014
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

My teaser, from 21% in the egalley:
I shake my head. I want to plug my ears. Stop talking to me, I want to tell him. Stop pretending you have any idea what I'm capable of. You have no right. But none of those words come.

Because it's the first time anyone's ever called my curse a gift.

I shoot him a look of disgust. "You're an idiot," I say, and stroll out the door.
Happy release day to Storm Siren! This was one I'd not paid much attention to until I read a couple of raving reviews, which made me sit up and realize how good it sounded. :D

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

Book Blitz: Come Back to Texas by K.K. Hendin {Excerpt + Giveaway}


I'm super excited to be helping to promote K.K. Hendin's new book today, Come Back to Texas. The moment I read the synopsis on a Waiting on Wednesday post, I knew I NEEDED this book. Plus, look at that gorgeous cover! In the hopes that it'll get y'all excited too, I'm sharing an excerpt from the book, as well as a giveaway, so you can see for yourself how great this book sounds! :D

Release date: August 18, 2014
Amazon | Goodreads
Everyone thought we’d be the ones who made it through high school. The ones who’d get married and stay married forever. The example of how young love can work.

We thought so, too.

Too bad life had other plans.

It’s been three years since Hayley and Nate broke each other’s hearts. Three years, and a lot has changed. Hayley’s a freshman in Bushwick University, and the only things keeping her sane are stress baking, and her a cappella group, Twelve Beats in a Bar.

Nate’s a Marine, stationed in Afghanistan. The only thing that’s keeping him sane is the last picture he has of him and Hayley, and the hope that maybe when the hell of deployment is over, he can find her again and apologize.

One explosion will change everything.

When a bomb kills all of Nate’s unit, leaving him missing a leg and eyesight in one eye, he’s sent back home to Texas. Texas, where he loved Hayley more than he could possibly imagine ever loving anyone else.

With seemingly endless amounts of free time and needing something to distract himself, Nate starts making YouTube videos, imploring Hayley to come back to him, and come back to Texas.

Hayley’s life is wrapped around the Beats, making sure she doesn’t flunk out of biology class, and babysitting Ohio’s smallest monster, Brandon. She doesn’t want to admit it, but she misses Nate more than anything.

It’s too bad she doesn’t know just how much he misses her, too…


He turned around, and his eyes connected to mine. “Hey!” he called. “You!”

My eyes widened. “Me?” I pointed to myself.

“Yeah.” He was far enough away that he was calling. “What’s your name?”

Why was he talking to me? Was this some kind of joke? I glanced nervously at Josh, trying to see if this was for real. I couldn’t tell.

“Hayley,” I said quietly- loud enough for him to hear if he was listening close enough, but quiet enough that I could deny I was talking to him if I needed to.

“Hayley!” he called back, grinning. “What’s your stance on ice cream? Positive or negative?”

“Why?”

“For science.”

“What kind of science?”

 “Does it matter?”

“Well, if it’s for curing cancer or something, I’ll tell you the truth. If it’s for something else, I might not.”

“You would lie to science?”

“You can’t lie to science,” I said. “Science isn’t a person.”

“Yeah, it is,” Josh said. “Science is the skeleton in the lab.”

“I thought his name was Fred.”

“His full name is Fred Skeleton Montgomery FisherHell the Twelfth,” Harrison said. “But I wasn’t actually talking about him. C’mon, Hayley. How do you feel about ice cream?”

“If I tell you, will you let me do my homework?”

“Deal.”

“I feel positive about ice cream.”

“Yes!” crowed Harrison. “One more question.”

“No.” I tried to bury my grin as I bent my head down to concentrate on my English assignment.

“Pleeeeeease, Hayley.”

 “You said you’d let me do my homework after the ice cream question.”

“But science!”

“No.”

“You’re a tough one,” he said, standing up. Wait. What was going on? Where was he going?

The next thing I knew, he was standing above me, blocking the sunlight completely. “You’re blocking my sun,” I said, not looking up from my homework.

 “What is science going to do without your answer?” he said, leaning down toward me. “It’s going to cry itself to sleep tonight because you don’t care enough to answer the question.”

“You’re crazy, you know,” I said, trying not to giggle. “Maybe you should talk to science about your feelings.”

“If I’m that crazy, talking to science would only make things worse.”

Huh. That actually made sense.

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, science’s best friend. What’s the second question?”

“How do you feel about Rocky Road ice cream?”

“I like it.”

“A lot or a little?”

“What does it matter?”

“Well, those morons over there claim loving Rocky Road is unnatural.”

“You should find new friends,” I said.

About the author:

KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. She spends way too much time on Twitter (@kkhendin), and rambles on occasion over at www.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Tour: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

Release date: August 12, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 256
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
National Book Award-finalist Adele Griffin tells the fully illustrated story of a brilliant young artist, her mysterious death, and the fandom that won't let her go.

From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison's life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.
—Adele Griffin
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is the story of one girl's genius and how her rising star was extinguished by reckless decisions. It's heartbreaking and fascinating, and a story that would be compelling no matter how it were to be told. However, Addison Stone's story is told in interviews with friends, family, and those around her, with brief input from Addison herself through interviews with magazines and her art. You're given all sides of a story and a tragedy, with each person's view of Addison tinging their narration of the major events of her life, her fast rise to ubiquity, and her equally fast fall to infamy.

Very early on, it was clear Addison Stone was different. Her art was mature and passionate, deep and revelatory. Though coming from a poor, deeply dysfunctional family, Addison and her talent are nurtured by her best friend's family and high school art teachers, who eventually get her into the art world of New York. Already tinged by mental illness, Addison takes the city by storm, but her genius proves too much to handle. No one knows if her death was suicide, murder, or an accident, but she left her mark on the world.

Griffin paints an astonishingly real portrait of a girl who we hear very little from. At first it seems as if she's idolized, seen through a lens of a fan, but this idea was quickly shattered, as her imperfections and flaws were brought to light. She was talented but becomes too confident, with an established idea of who she should be, even if that meant trampling others on the way. It's a nuanced depiction that makes Addison truly feel like a real person, gone too soon. The whole book is alive with her essence.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a completely unique reading experience that you don't want to miss. As it intricately explores how Addison left those in her life behind, it paints a riveting picture of a talented, fascinating girl who left her indelible mark on the world.

About the author:

Adele Griffin is a two-time National Book Award Finalist and highly acclaimed author of numerous books for Young Adult and middle grade readers. Her works include Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Witch Twins and Vampire Island series. Her most recent thriller Loud Awake and Lost will be out this fall from Knopf.
Adele lives with her husband, Erich, their two young children, and their dog, Edith, in Brooklyn, New York.



This is not a normal blog tour. We were asked to create our own tribute to Addison, anything we wanted. And while I'm far from an artist, I had this idea and visual while reading. Were I an artist it probably would have translated to reality a lot better (writing words with a paintbrush is hard!), but I tried. I kept thinking about how Addison was forever to be defined by her art and by what those around her remembered and passed on, so I took phrases, words, and painting titles from the book and surrounded a silhouette of Addison with them. While they may come close to explaining her, they'll never truly be able to capture her.





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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {81}


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 was good! While there has been little on the real job pursuit, I did interview with both places I applied to for in-the-meantime jobs (Barnes & Noble and The Disney Store!!) and both seemed to go well, so it looks like I won't be completely jobless for long. (I'll have money to buy books! WOO!) That's pretty much been all I've had going on. :)

For review:



Positive by Paige Rawl, with Ali Benjamin
Surprise mail! I'm not huge on memoirs, but I'll definitely give this a try since it sounds really compelling. Alas, I can't find my camera or I'd have taken a picture. Sigh.


Storm Siren by Mary Weber
The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Thursday - Let's Talk About... The Dreaded Book Hangover
Friday - Review: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Books I read this week:
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

I'm currently reading:
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

So that's been my week! I'm book hangovering bad, but I think I'm almost over it. Once I get past Addison, I think I'll be good. Gosh, I hope so! Slugging through books is not normal and I do not like it. Speaking of Addison, y'all should definitely come back tomorrow, because the blog tour is stopping by and it's an unconventional post! Should be fun. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Release date: August 5, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 348
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
I was seriously excited to get my hands on a copy of Gates of Thread and Stone. With a synopsis that is delightfully intriguing and that promises the manipulation of time, I couldn't wait to start reading. The reading itself was...to put it bluntly, disappointing. The ideas behind the story, much of Kai's personality, and the worldbuilding were good, but certain parts weren't up to snuff.

The beginning of Gates of Thread and Stone introduces to a dark city surrounded by walls that protect its inhabitants from gargoyles, reptilian experiments gone wrong, and (supposedly) from the mysterious Black Rider. Kai and her adopted older brother Reev live a hard life, but not an unhappy one. But when Reev goes missing, Kai will not settle for the hopeless story that he's been taken by the Black Rider and that she'll never see him again. With her friend Avan by her side, Kai will stop at nothing to find Reev. In meeting Kai, she's headstrong, and her loyalty to her brother is especially endearing. I liked her a lot, and felt like she would be a great heroine to follow through the story. I liked the sound of the world, and I couldn't wait to hear more about what destroyed the rest of the world outside of Ninurta. Generally, this all was fine throughout (best at the beginning, but not terrible in the rest), though I did find myself thinking Kai felt younger than she was written as being. Her naivety was just a bit too blind for someone with her supposed amount of street sense and experience.

There are a few disappointing parts of Gates of Thread and Stone, but the most was that we're promised this cool ability to manipulate time in Kai, yet we barely see it. She spends all of her time suppressing and trying to hide it, which makes sense in he scheme of the book, I guess, but that's what largely held so much interest for me, and to see this go largely unused was disappointing. My other big thing is mighty spoilery, but suffice to say I wish she'd taken the harder path for the character, instead of copping out, because it'd have made for a more compelling ending and, likely, sequel.

Gates of Thread and Stone isn't a bad book. It's compelling, and the ideas behind the story are really interesting and manage to create a world that wraps the apocalypse and veins of high fantasy together. And while it wasn't a perfect read, I mostly enjoyed it and will be reading the sequel.


About the author:

Lori is the author of young adult fantasy Gates of Thread and Stone, coming August 5, 2014 from Skyscape. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.