Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Release date: September 22, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? 

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.
Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns series is one of my favorites of all time, so no matter what her next book was to be, I was excited. When I heard it was a Western, I was even more excited, and each reveal about Walk on Earth a Stranger that came only made me want it more. That's hard expectation to live up to, but Rae Carson doesn't disappoint.

It's often my favorite thing when a book is less action and more character development, and while it doesn't seem that it would be, Walk on Earth a Stranger is just that. Most of the book's action is simply her journey across the country, with little episodes of peril, though most are resolved relatively quickly. It is, instead, Lee's state of mind that we venture through mostly. She's got to come to terms with the deaths of her beloved parents, the betrayal of a family member, and the sheer difficulty of the trek across the United States.

Through all of this time, as we obviously get to know Lee very well, the rest of her travelling party becomes intimately familiar as well. They run the gamut of personality and skill set, and over time, hidden depths are shown in each and every one. As much as it's Lee's story, it's certainly theirs as well.

While I was hoping for a larger inclusion of romance, it's light and actually rather lovely. Since this is only the first book in the series, I'm sure it'll become more of the story later.

Walk on Earth a Stranger is most certainly the beginning to another wonderful series from Rae--while it didn't quite hit the heights of the Girl of Fire and Thorns books for me, I don't doubt it'll get even better as the series progresses. (Not much can compare to those books, to be quite honest, so even to get close is big!)

About the author:

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman {107}

Title: The Dark Days Club
Author: Alison Goodman
Release date: January 26, 2016
New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

This just pushes all of my buttons, so of course I need it. I need Regency EVERYTHING.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teaser Tuesday:The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas {127}

Title: The Immortal Heights (Elemental Trilogy #3)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Release date: May 19, 2015
In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.

My teaser, from 15% in the egalley:
He could not help laughing. Then he kissed her. "I will be very careful, because I want to see you again, with a desperation Cooper can barely conceive of."

Yay! I am beyond excited to finish this series! It's one of my favorites, and it better end happily, or I'll be pretty sad. I mean, I'll cry and everything. (I'll cry no matter what, buuuut these will be worse tears. Like Strange and Ever After tears. Those were next level, y'all.) :)

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

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {133}

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 wonderful--if you recall, I went to Disney World! And it was wonderful and magical and all that. :) It's one of those situations where you want to go home because that's where the comforts are, but you don't want to leave the fun! 

For review:

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine


Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (And it's signed! Totally worth it. Prettiest book ever, too.)


Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Books I read this week:
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

I'm currently reading:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

So that's been my week! I LOVE my books this week. Not too many, but they're all awesome. I might've screamed a bit when I got the email about The Impostor Queen--definitely one of my most anticipated books of next year! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Soundless by Richelle Mead {106}

Title: Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Release date: November 10, 2015
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

I've only read the first Vampire Academy book from Richelle Mead, but I liked it way more than I expected and this is wayyy more my style! :D

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston {126}

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Release date: October 6, 2015
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My teaser, from 30% in the egalley:
I could not see her expression, nor his, and took some small comfort in the fact that my veil hid my face from him. Then he closed one hand upon my shoulder, crushing the fine weave of my dress, and pulled me into a darkness that was beyond the reach of the stars.

Doesn't this sound wonderful? I need all the retellings I can get! :D

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Release date: September 15, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
I feel like it should come as no surprise that Dumplin' is delightful. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be.

Willowdean is such a wonderfully strong protagonist, yet she's real in that most of the time she knows there's nothing wrong with her size, but there are moment she forgets it. Straight up, she's too awesome. But she's not so awesome that she doesn't make mistakes, doesn't say the wrong thing, doesn't reach out to those she should read out to.

If you're not totally sold on Willlowdean, which is awfully silly of you, read Dumplin' for the friendships. Yes there's Willow and Ellen, her very best friend of years and years, but it's when the two are estranged that Willowdean branches out and makes some new friends--albeit reluctantly. These friendships are what shine, though. They pull Willow out of her comfort zone, and while the girls sometimes refer to Willow as an inspiration for entering the pageant, they do so much more for her than she does for them.

While I rated Julie Murphy's last book, Side Effects May Vary, highly, it wasn't quite a joy to read--cancer, and the main character is very unlikable--but Dumplin' is far and away a delight, all the way through. You'll giggle, you'll smile, and you'll be so happy when you finish.

About the author:

Julie Murphy is a potty-mouthed Southern belle who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but found her home in Fort Worth, Texas. She's never seen Star Wars, but has yet to meet a made for TV movie she didn't love. When she's not writing, Julie can be found cruising Costco for free samples, watching Sister Act 2, stalking drag queens on instagram, obsessing over the logistics of Mars One, and forever searching for the perfect slice of cheese pizza. She lives with her bearded husband, two vicious cats, and one pomeranian that can pass as a bear cub. DUMPLIN' is her second young adult novel.