Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han {83}

Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Release date: May 26, 2015
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

I'm dyinggggggg. I didn't realize there would be a sequel when I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before, so the ending was, suffice to say, upsetting. I NEED my happy ending!

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Rebellion (Extraction #2) by Stephanie Diaz {109}

Title: Rebellion (Extraction #2)
Author: Stephanie Diaz
Release date: February 10, 2015
The uprising has begun.

It's been seven days since Clementine and Logan, along with their allies, retreated into hiding on the Surface. The rebels may have won one battle against Commander Charlie, but the fight is far from finished. He has vowed to find a way to win—no matter the cost. Do the rebels have what it takes to defeat him...and put an end to this war?

As Clementine and Logan enter a desperate race against time to defeat Commander Charlie—and attempt to weaken his power within his own ranks—they find themselves in a terrifying endgame that pits them against a brutal enemy, and each other. With every step, Clementine draws closer to losing Logan...and losing control of herself.

Continuing with the mesmerizing saga that started with Extraction, Stephanie Diaz blends science fiction, epic romance, and heart-stopping adventure to create a world that no reader will soon forget.

My teaser, from pg. 62 in the hardcover:
I will count to three, and then I will take control. I will stop being afraid.


I walk out the door.

I rather liked the first book, but I'm definitely hoping this one is a bit better than its predecessor. We shall see! :)

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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Release date: March 31, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
Well, it's another delightful book from Emery Lord! Of course, after the joy that was Open Road Summer, high expectations were involved in picking up The Start of Me and You, but Emery Lord does not disappoint. It's another sweet and enjoyable book, with just a bit of swoon and more than enough happiness to fill your heart.

I just loved that Paige and Max's relationship develops first as friendship. They find a kindred spirit in the other, and it's just through talking that they become close. Max is just the person Paige needs in her life--someone to hear her and someone to draw her out. At times in the beginning of the book, I found Paige to be too full of herself in her judgment of Max, but getting to know Max changes all of that for her. He's absurdly lovable in how he's unabashedly himself; he loves the things he loves and he feels no shame for that.

And oh the friendships! How she does it, I don't know, but Emery Lord hits Paige's relationship with her three best friends perfectly--but especially with Tessa, her closest friend. Every girl needs--and, gosh, I hope has--a Tessa, a friend who is there through thick and thin, who knows exactly what is needed, who may outshine the other but never leaves her in the dark. Her friends (Kayleigh, Morgan, and Tessa) are drawn carefully and are easily distinguishable. Through all the pain Paige has gone through, before the start of the book and during it, her friends are there, supporting her (and we can't forget, she supports them too!). It's the moments between them that give the biggest warm fuzzies in the book.

Emery Lord's books are all I could want from contemporary books. They're filled with genuine moments of friendship and love between people who care about one another and only want the best. The Start of Me and You has just a hint of nerdiness (Firefly! Indiana Jones! Literature! Vocabulary! Grammar!) thrown in, but I can assure you it'll leave you smiling and wishing for more.

About the author:

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you're not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name "Emily," and that will get you really close.

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.

OPEN ROAD SUMMER, her first YA novel, is out now with Bloomsbury. Her second, The Start of Me & You, will be released March 31, 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {107}

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 darn good! Highlight of the week? I won the Oscar pool at work! (Tied, really, but it still counts as winning.) I got 15 out of 24 predictions right, and got a $20 B&N gift card for it. HAPPY DANCE. I already ordered hardcover copies of The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea, because I need them, on which to spend my money. I love my B&N. :)

For review:

Public Enemies (Immortal Game #2) by Ann Aguirre

Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Thursday - Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Friday - Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

Books I read this week:
The Sin-Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

I'm currently reading:
Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

So that's been my week! The Sin Eater's Daughter slowed me down a lot. I was not into it. So less reading this week. :( I'm off to a wedding this weekend, so this post was scheduled on Thursday and I won't be back in communication till sometime late Sunday, just fyi. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

Release date: March 3, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Pages: 416
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.
Marie Rutkoski has hit it out of the park again with The Winner's Crime. At once beautiful, heartbreaking, overwhelming, torturous, and a joy, the sequel to The Winner's Curse captures the same feelings as the first, while also expanding the world, political intrigue and machinations, and forbidden love between Kestrel and Arin. For me, never has a book so encompassed the phrase "hurts so good."

Against a background of excess--luxurious dresses, glittering jewelry, spun sugar utensils (yes, really)--Kestrel and Arin are mired in an even more difficult situation than before. In the capitol of Valoria, under the all-seeing eye of the emperor, Kestrel is stuck between loyalty to her country and her sympathy for those her people have enslaved. She has to make impossible decisions in the hopes of not risking the ones she loves while also preserving as many lives as possible. She plays a dangerous game, for the emperor is not a gentle man, and he is every bit adept as she is.

For Arin, the struggle is between his love of his people and his love of Kestrel. He can't understand the decisions she has made, but he doesn't know the truth--that her choices are for him, not for herself. He also is coming to terms with the fact that, though his country is free in name, they are far from it. There's more going on than he knows, and he has to find a way to fight for his people--or their very lives are at stake.

There is moment after moment of pure beauty in the writing, little snippets that fly off the page like poetry, and it's such a pleasure to read, especially as the writing gives so much just in its tone. Tension builds and releases, all up to the stunning ending--in more ways than one. This is a sequel that not only builds and betters its predecessor, but it leaves you desperate for more.

About the author:

Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of WondersThe Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner's Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014. 

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Release date: February 24, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
Sigh. I so wanted to love The Sin Eater's Daugher. I've been excited about it for months, reading rave reviews and drooling at the cover. But, in this case, my wish did not come true.

There are really quite a few things that grated on my nerves the whole way through, the biggest being that nothing happens for a huge portion of the book. And I mean nothing. Twylla sits in her room (she's stuck there because she only has one guard, as one has fallen ill and no one wants to guard the girl who could kill them with one touch) and passes the time praying, sewing, and talking to Leif. Pages and pages of what I figure is supposed to be their relationship developing, but... Not really. It's so boring. If there were substantial character development, I'd have been entertained--that's like crack to me, y'all--but there's not. Twylla wishes she could leave and tells herself she shouldn't like her guard so much. That's it.

I also found the queen, the villain, to be terribly cliched and boring. I love the idea that the royal family is inbred because of their desire for blood purity--so the queen is crazy, obviously. Fine. Good. I just think, though, that it's done in an obvious way and without any nuance to it. Twylla is stupid ever to believe a word that comes out of her mouth, but she has--and does--even as the queen is obviously out to get her own way at any cost.

What saved the book, at least sort of, is the fascinating worldbuilding. From the first pages, I wanted to know everything about the world. From the Daunen embodied to sin eating to the story of the Sleeping Prince, I loved every bit. Give me a book filled with the fairy tales of the world and a handbook on what each food stands for in sin eating and I'd have been way more entertained than for most of this story.

Luckily, the plot does pick up (finally, around 60 percent) and makes the ending of The Sin Eater's Daughter go by very quickly and, largely, interestingly, though the twists are rather obvious. It helped, but it couldn't save the book for me. In the end, I was pretty disappointed by The Sin Eater's Daughter, and it kind of broke my heart.

About the author:

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian The Sin Eater's Daughter is her first novel. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson {82}

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Author: Rae Carson
Release date: September 22, 2015
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.

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? 

Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.

Nope, couldn't wait a single week to feature this one! I've been dying for another book from Rae Carson, and this sounds so good! Can it be September already? Please?

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