Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber {68}

Title: Siren's Fury
Author: Mary Weber
Release date: June 2, 2015
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

Holy cliffhanger Batman! I'm absolutely DYING to see what's going to happen next after the jaw-dropping last few lines of Storm Siren. I need this one now. And look at that red!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo {94}

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release date: June 17, 2014
The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

My teaser, from p.74 in the hardcover:
"It's true," I said softly. "You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience." I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. "But I am an apt pupil."

His eyes flew open. I caught the briefest glimpse of rage in his gray gaze before I severed the connection.

I scattered, hurtling back to the White Cathedral, leaving him with nothing but the memory of light.

I KNOW. I haven't read this yet! I have a problem with reading final books in series, and this was just one of the victims. But, I'm seeing Leigh on Saturday at her signing in New Orleans and I've done a really good job of avoiding spoilers up to this point, so I want to have this read before then. :)

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow

Release date: October 28, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.
Diamonds in the Rough, the sequel to The Secret Diamond Sisters, delivered just about everything I wished for in the first but only found in sprinkles. It's the kind of fun read that you can't look away from, because it feels like every page turn brings a new surprise, a new piece of drama. Michelle Madow amps up both the secrets and the glitz in this second book, and she definitely made me immensely curious to see how the series ends.

While the beginning of Diamonds in the Rough is slow, it steadily picks up pace and just keeps piling on the drama. Moments you'd think would be the big reveal are unveiled near the midpoint, which left me wondering just how much more we could see happen--and which only made me read faster. At almost 450 pages, it's a long book, but it didn't feel so long to me. I'd sit down to read a little while and find I'd read 100 pages in what seemed like a blink.

I think Michelle has hit her stride with this book. At times in The Secret Diamond Sisters, I found myself disillusioned with the characters, partially because a lot of their actions are so unlikable and partially because their problems seemed petty. But, she's done such a great job giving everyone nuance in this book. The characters you hated at first have done turnarounds and have problems that you can really sympathize with. It's still a fantasy world of glamour and fabulous situations, but it's much more grounded this time around--even as the glitz gets bigger and bigger.

No matter your opinion on the first book, I say Diamonds in the Rough is better. It's got more plot, more fun, and more of the Las Vegas scandal you expected in picking these books up to begin with. This was just a lot of fun to read, a nice escape from my normal life into a world I'm sure I'll never see.

About the author:

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {91}

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 had three days off this week, which was absolute heaven. I didn't get that much reading done, but I got more than I would have otherwise--any bit helps! :) Nothing exciting happened that I can remember... No pictures this week; I just can't muster myself to do it. Laziness! Anyways...

For review:

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
I think this is the first MG book I've ever requested, but it just sounded so fantastic that I had to have it. And the cover is even prettier in person!

This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
I read both of these ages ago, but Juliet Marillier is an absolute favorite of mine, and they were way cheap for hardcovers in good condition, so. :)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Friday - Blog Tour: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell {Review + Giveaway}

Books I read this week:
Stray by Elissa Sussman
Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell

I'm currently reading:
Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow

So that's been my week! Only two new books for the TBR--that's not awful, right? :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell {Review + Giveaway}

Release date: October 8, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Flux Books
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | Flux | Indiebound
A world where souls walk free and dreams become portals to the past…

Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But even her rational mind can't explain her dark and familiar dreams of a time long ago, filled with people she shouldn't know, but does. When her family moves to New Orleans, Lucy's dreams suddenly become more intense. Reluctantly drawn into the old city's mystical undercurrent, she searches for answers about the nighttime visions that haunt her.

What Lucy finds is Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they've known each other forever. They've only just met, and she shouldn't be drawn to him, but she is. As she tries to unlock Alex's secrets, a killer strikes close to home and a century-old vendetta unspools, putting Lucy and everyone she loves in mortal danger.
I am forever and eternally picking up books because they're set in New Orleans. It's simply a singular place, one I've been lucky enough to grow up very near to and able to spend countless days there. You set your book in New Orleans, I'll read it. At the same time, my familiarity makes me picky. I'm no native (just see how I navigate those one-way streets and you'll be able to tell), but I've a fair head for it. So, the setting is what sells me, but it's also likely to be my biggest sticking point. Not the case with Sweet Unrest. Lisa Maxwell does a really good job of capturing the vibe of the city and imbuing the whole book with that kind of exotic, fascinating danger that makes people visit.

The plotline of Sweet Unrest is pretty similar in idea and scope to that of any number of books, but the setting and involvement of voodoo really make it interesting and allows the story the space to stand out. It's a familiar story and you think you know the conclusion (which was satisfyingly not the norm!), yet I was riveted, especially in the second half of the book, because I needed to see how everything worked out and how it all came into play.

My real niggling thing was the romance. I liked the characters together, but I also didn't feel like their relationship was given enough development (past or present, though past at least likely had missing moments, unlike present) to ever evolve into love, as it does. It's not instalove, but it's also just not solid enough for me fully to be invested and rooting for it, if that makes sense.

Atmosphere can do a lot to sell a book, and that's the story of Sweet Unrest for me. It got me to read it, and it got me invested in it. Lisa Maxwell not only captures the spirit of New Orleans, but she also quietly pulls you into the mystery until you can't put the book down until you're finished.

About the author:

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she's not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

And now I've got a fantastic tour-wide giveaway to share with you all! Books! New Orleans-y art! A voodoo doll! Gift cards! :D Enter away--you know you want to!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge {67}

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Release date: May 5, 2015
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

I looooved Cruel Beauty so of course I must have this! Rosamund Hodge took the Beauty and the Beast story and made it so different and intricate. And that cover! I love that it matches!

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell {93}

Title: Sweet Unrest
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release date: October 8, 2014
Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish.

My teaser, from 5% in the egalley:
I'm falling, sinking.

There's something heavy dragging at me, pulling me down into the darkness. The water is cold around me, filled with dirt and the muck of something putrid that makes the dirt seem almost clean. I struggle up, frantic to get to the surface, but every move brings pain. Sharp. Ripping pain. So sudden and absolute that I almost gasp. Almost, because the moment my mouth opens to scream, the cold, fetid water rushes in, and I clamp down on instinct.
The blog tour for this stops by on Friday, so I'm reading for my review. So far, I really like it! I'm such a sucker for anything based in New Orleans. :D

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