Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi {52}

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Title: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 28, 2014
Pages: 400
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
My teaser, from page 97 in the ARC:
Everything was under control. Just like they planned.

Until Soren reached behind his back and drew a gun.
I'm so sad that this is the last book in this series, since it's one of my favorites, but I'm loving it so far! A great way to end my year. :)

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! Have a lovely New Year's Eve and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre

Release date: September 12, 2012
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 317
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Deuce’s whole world has changed.

Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn't fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.
I honestly didn't remember much of how I felt about Enclave when I started Outpost. It was, gosh, two years ago. I remembered that it had been kind of dark and that I'd liked it enough to want to continue with the series and gave it four stars. I'd meant to pick Outpost up since it came out, but never had. Y'all, I'm so dumb. I almost want to slap myself for missing out on this awesome sequel for over a year. I liked Enclave, but Outpost is a fantastic sequel.

While anyone who had just read Enclave might have resented as much recap as there is in Outpost, it saved me. It got me up to speed quickly and soon I didn't feel like it had been so long since reading the first book. I also very quickly remembered how much I loved Fade and how much I admired Deuce. Fade seems like he'd be so hard, but he's the complete opposite, and only wants someone to love who won't abandon him, as so many have done before. My heart broke for him time and time again. And Deuce! That girl is just the best. I loved seeing how she copes with how different the world around her is, and how she is so keen to learn how the world works. Even as she does not want to change who she is, she wants to understand the people of Salvation and find a place in the settlement she comes to call home.

What's most exciting about this sequel, though, is the development of the Freaks. In Enclave, we saw stirrings of a change within the Freaks, a change that seemed to make them smarter and more thoughtful. That change is far from done and it's absolutely fascinating to see how the Freaks are becoming more and more deadly. I absolutely cannot wait to see how everything comes to a head in Horde.

Even as it fascinated me and got me excited for the finale, Outpost also broke my heart time and time again. I believe I was crying constantly as I read the last fifty to sixty pages. But, I also couldn't help but admire Deuce. I often admire fictional characters, but I think Deuce is the one I admire the most. She's strong because she has to be, not because she really is. So even through my tears and sadness, I'm filled with a fierce love for that girl. Even a world as desolate as theirs has hope so long as people like Deuce are around.

Outpost is a truly excellent sequel that not only rekindled my interest in this series after a long interim, but it made me fall in love with the characters all over again and now has me clamoring for the final novel.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {48}

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? How was your Christmas? I'd love to know what you did and what kind of goodies you got, if you'd like to share! :) Mine was great! Nothing terribly exciting to report from me. Also, nothing for review this week; everything is gifts! I love gifts. :)


Shadows by Robin McKinley
Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
This week I took part in Top 10 of 2013, so instead of breaking it down day-by-day I'm simply going to list the posts:
Best Books I Read in 2013
Best Book Covers of 2013
Best New-to-Me Authors of 2013
Best Book Boyfriends of 2013
Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2014

Books I read this week:
Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

I'm currently reading:

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi

So that's been my week! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2014

I am super excited to be taking part in Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel at FiktshunJamie at Two Chicks on Books, and Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, this year! I did Top 10 of 2011 a couple of years ago, but kind of failed to post the last couple of days, even though it was such fun. I will not fail this time, though! :)

Today we're posting the top 10 books we're looking forward to in 2014! In some ways, this list is difficult because I'm not as aware of everything coming out as I'd like to be, but I'm also about to die waiting for some of these. There are quite a few books releasing early next year that I already have copies of, so I won't be including those. But I'd pretty much die to have a copy of any of these. :)

10. Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne
There's just something about this series that I love. It certainly doesn't hurt that I think Emmy is so nice. :) But I'm more than excited to see how her captivating series ends.

9. The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
I think I've only read one, maybe two, of Melissa de la Cruz's books, but none have appealed to me the way this one does. Magic! Court intrigue! A switching of places! What more can a girl ask for?

8. Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
I've only read the prequel novella for this book, but I'm absolutely convinced I'm going to adore it. I'm so intrigued by the world and by the assassin's guild and their mysterious leader. This is just my kind of book.

7. Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
I love love love this series, so it's a given that I'm going to be dying for the third book--especially after everyone who has read it already says it's amazing! I am so ready to see Captain Thorne in love, not to mention more of Cinder, Scarlet, Kai, and Wolf. :)

6. Untitled (The Goldscryer Saga #1) by Rae Carson
"By Rae Carson". SOLD. I might cry if this gets pushed back for some reason. (No cover art yet, obviously.)

5. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
I've got nothing but gushing praise for this series so, again, obviously I am dying for the third book. That ending for Siege and Storm was just perfect and I'm desperate to know what comes next, especially with a title like Ruin and Rising! (No cover art yet.)

4. The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
I know I shouldn't love this series like I do, but by George, I can't help it! I sit and stare at the covers for ridiculous amounts of time and I find myself brooding about how this series should end. Tell me I'm silly, but I just don't care anymore. I do care about how this ends, though, and if she's not with Maxon I might throw something. (Please don't judge me.)

3. This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Yep, another mention of these books! This is a companion novel to These Broken Stars, set in the same world but focusing on another couple. If the authors can make me love two people as much as I loved Lilac and Tarver again, this series will officially be a favorite. (It already is, unofficially.) (No cover art yet.)

2. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
I'm a little obsessed with this book, I think. On one hand, that scares me that it won't live up to the standards I've set up in my head, but on the other, just think if it lives up to them! I've seen rave reviews coming in since May so I hope it's the latter. :) Seriously, if someone wanted to loan me a copy I'd worship at their feet, my obsession is that bad.

1. Untitled (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Is it really a surprise that the third book in this series would be my most anticipated book of 2014? It certainly isn't to me! Between how all-around amazing The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves were and how mind-blowing the ending of The Dream Thieves was, it's obvious I needed this book months ago. And yet, I have to wait who knows how long to get it! (No cover art yet.)

So, are any of these some of your most anticipated books of next year? If not, what are? :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best Book Boyfriends of 2013

I am super excited to be taking part in Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel at FiktshunJamie at Two Chicks on Books, and Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, this year! I did Top 10 of 2011 a couple of years ago, but kind of failed to post the last couple of days, even though it was such fun. I will not fail this time, though! :)

Today we're posting best book boyfriends! Now, I don't normally use the term "book boyfriend", but I suppose I can change it up, just for today. :) This was not a hard list in the least, y'all. I knew my numbers one through five immediately, and the others came quickly. Full disclosure: I stole the idea of using quotes from Jamie at Two Chicks on Books. :) They vary in length and are some of my favorite quotes from the books. I just loved the idea, so I modified my post! Anyways, here they are:

10. Mal, Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)

He tapped the sun over his heart. "I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation.” 

9. Day, Prodigy (Legend #2) and Champion (Legend #3)

“The first time I saw you, when you stepped into that Skiz ring against Kaede, I thought you were the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. I could've watched you forever. The first time I kiss you..." 

That memory overpowers me now, taking me by surprise. I remember every last detail of it, almost enough to push away the lingering images of the Elector pulling June to him. 

"Well, that might as well have been my first kiss ever.” 

8. Hale, Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3)

“Will you still want me if I'm poor, Kat?"

"What kind of question is that?"

"No. Seriously. You're the planner. Simon's the genius. The Bagshaws are the muscle. And Gabrielle is . . . Gabrielle. But what am I, Kat? I'm the guy who writes the checks."

"No. You're the most naturally gifted inside man I have ever seen. And I was raised by Bobby Bishop." She made him look into her eyes. "I don't care about your money.”

7. Perry, Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2)

It didn't matter if Aria was hundreds of miles away, or whether she'd hurt him, or said goodbye, or anything else. Nothing would change the way he felt. The moment Aria had taken his hand on the roof at Marron's, she'd changed everything. No matter what happened, she'd always be the one.

6. Justen Helo, Across a Star-Swept Sea

Justen had never seen anything so beautiful.

"Persis!" He reached out and grabbed her, pulling her to safety. She collapsed into his arms, and he thought he'd never felt anything so wonderful either. She was here. She was Persis. How was it possible?

5. Tarver, These Broken Stars

I can't stand it anymore, and before I even realize what I'm doing, I'm leaning down to kiss her. A jolt goes through me as our lips meet, and she drops the flashlight with a clatter. She hesitates for a moment, then pulls a way from me. I want to lean after her, but I hold myself still, heart hammering.

4. Levi, Fangirl

"Cath, it's okay. Nobody can hear you... Wait, is this really a shower scene? Like, a shower scene?"

"No," Cath said. "Geez."

Levi moved his arms around her waist until he was holding her properly. Then he pushed his mouth into her hair. "Read to me, sweetheart."

3. Chaol, Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

And then she said, so quietly it was hardly more than a murmur, "I can't tell if I should be ashamed of wanting to hold you on this day, or grateful that, despite what happened before now, it somehow brought me to you."

He was so startled by her words that he let go, let go and stepped back. He had his obstacles to overcome, but so did she--perhaps more obstacles than he'd realized.

2. Gansey, The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)

Gansey lifted her hand gently from his skin, holding it as formally as a dance. He put it against his mouth.

Blue froze. Absolutely still. Her heart didn't beat. She didn't blink. She couldn't say don't kiss me. She could even form don't.

He just leaned his cheek and the edge of his mouth against her knuckles and then set her hand back in his lap.

"I know," he said. "I wouldn't."

1. Hector, The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3)

His voice drops low. "If this doesn't work, I'll come find you. We'll go away together, like--"

I wrap my arms around his neck and press my body against his, kissing him as thoroughly as I ever have. He crushes me to him, kissing back with a desperate finality.

Hector's men cheer softly all around us, and we separate, both of us wearing shamefaced grins. "That was for just in case," I say.

"Promise me you'll live," he insist. "Because when this is all over, we must discuss how you sometimes kiss me to shut me up and how I'll no longer stand for it."

So what do you think of my picks? And who are your favorite book boyfriends of this year? :) I'm now off to reread the best parts of those books, because I can't help myself!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best ______ of 2013 (My Choice! Woo!)

First of all, to all who celebrate it, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you're all having a lovely day of family, food, and fun. :) And if you don't celebrate Christmas, happy Wednesday! I hope your day is lovely as well!

I am super excited to be taking part in Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel at FiktshunJamie at Two Chicks on Books, and Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, this year! I did Top 10 of 2011 a couple of years ago, but kind of failed to post the last couple of days, even though it was such fun. I will not fail this time, though! :)

So, I definitely didn't read the prompt for today's topic very closely. I just decided it was supposed to be our choice of whatever and so I did my own thing. Oops! Hopefully you can forgive me because it's Christmas! Before I realized my folly, I chose to list my top 10 new-to-me authors of 2013! Had I not done this ENTIRE post before realizing, I would've fixed it, but I'm too lazy for that, so I'm going to go on like I did absolutely nothing wrong! These will all be authors that I discovered this year (first read a book--since I was quite aware of some of these before I ever picked up a book of theirs--or heard of altogether) and who have made a great impression. I'll also list the book that introduced them to me.  :) Authors deserve love too!

Tiffany Truitt (Chosen Ones)

Megan Shepherd (The Madman's Daughter)

Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)

Laura Lam (Pantomime)

Mindee Arnett (The Nightmare Affair)

Colleen Hoover (Slammed)

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)

Jane Nickerson (Strands of Bronze and Gold)

Cat Winters (In the Shadow of Blackbirds)

Livia Blackburne (Poison Dance)

So that's them! I loved books by each this year, and I can't wait to read more from them! :) Who were some of your favorite new (or new to you) authors this year?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best Book Covers of 2013

I am super excited to be taking part in Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel at FiktshunJamie at Two Chicks on Books, and Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, this year! I did Top 10 of 2011 a couple of years ago, but kind of failed to post the last couple of days, even though it was such fun. I will not fail this time, though! :)

Today we're posting our favorite book covers of 2013! I've decided not to rank these, because it'd just be too hard! I am not up to the challenge today. :) Clearly, some of my favorites are pretty and romantic, but I also seem to like covers that highlight differences between books in series. :) So, in no particular order, here are my favorite covers of 2013!

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
I just came upon this one tonight as I was looking at covers and immediately fell in love with the cover. Something about silhouettes is just so pretty to me! It's a Rapunzel retelling, and I'm a sucker for romantic covers on retellings.

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
I had never heard of this book when I saw it in Barnes & Noble one day and became obsessed with the cover. I haven't read it yet, but I will be soon. It's even prettier in person! 

Roses by G.R. Mannering
Like I said, I love retellings with romantic covers, which is exactly what Roses is! This is another that's prettier in person, and the design inside just adds to it. Love.

One by Leigh Ann Kopans
This is another I haven't read, but isn't that cover just striking? I didn't even need to know what it was about to know that I wanted to read it. The cover for its sequel, Two, is just as awesome.

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
So, I kind of hated this book but that couldn't change how much I adore the cover. The colors and the font just look so darn good together. The cover promises a lovely and romantic story, which the book didn't deliver for me. I can still look at the pretty though.

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchinson
The cover for this retelling of Hamlet is just gorgeous and so atmospheric. Even as it's pretty and soft, I can't help but feel that there's something almost creepy to it, which is so effective.

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
Ohhhh the colors. Space clearly makes for a great cover (see my next pick!)

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Eh? Space! I'm kind of thinking this one's going to be on a lot of my lists this week... But SPACE and that DRESS and they're reaching for one another! AH!

Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu
I just love the juxtaposition of the flower with the utilitarian fonts, as well as against the designs of the first two books. I've been too afraid to read this series conclusion, but I have hope that the flower foretells a hopeful ending. Don't tell me if I'm wrong!

The Lives We Lost (Fallen World #2) by Megan Crewe
I love how the design of this sequel mirrors that of the first book yet it also stands alone well. They're similar but different, even though the largest difference is simply the colors. The first book's use of yellow and black promises an emergency and government lines, but the blues here seem to promise more freedom. 

So what do you think of my picks? :) What are some of your favorite covers of the year?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best Books I Read in 2013

I am super excited to be taking part in Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel at FiktshunJamie at Two Chicks on Books, and Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, this year! I did Top 10 of 2011 a couple of years ago, but kind of failed to post the last couple of days, even though it was such fun. I will not fail this time, though! :)

Today we're posting the best books we read in 2013. Now, this was an easy list to compile in general, but then I decided to do them in order, which was not so easy. How do you compare two books that you loved but are so different? Well, it's hard, but I've ranked based solely on feeling. All received 5 stars from me, though!

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The one non-YA book here! I love Jane Austen but had never read this novel of hers, and boy is it awesome! Lots of cutting wit and romance, even while Austen is poking fun at the Gothic novel tradition and structuring altogether original characters and forms of writing. Just awesome.

9. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
I hadn't loved Throne of Glass, but its sequel blew me away. It was altogether better plotted and written, and had me by the heartstrings from page one.

8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Of Rainbow Rowell's two books this year, most would list Eleanor and Park, but Fangirl really got to me. It was a very personal read, not to mention how just all around good it was.

7. Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu
WHA? This one hit me hard in the feels and I was an emotional wreck--in the best way possible. Marie Lu drew me into Legend with the idea of an adapted Valjean and Javert but she kept me reading with her fascinating world and fabulous characters.

6. Quintana of Charyn (The Lumatere Chronicles #3) by Melina Marchetta
The first book I read this year, and I certainly started it off well. This was a perfect and emotional ending to an absolutely fantastic fantasy series. It could not have been done better.

5. Chosen Ones and Naturals by Tiffany Truitt
I'm counting these together because I can, so I guess this is technically my top 11 books. Whatever. The first two books in an outstanding dystopian series that more people should be reading. I am absolutely salivating for the third book.

4. The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson
This is one of my favorite YA series ever. I am a high fantasy junkie, so Rae Carson's world is like candy to me. The Bitter Kingdom is probably one of my favorite series-ending books of all time. It stays so true to Elisa and the power she's developed over the books, and it has too many swoon-worthy Hector moments to count.

3. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
I loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, but Across a Star-Swept Sea just blew me away. Between expanding the world by leaps and bounds and introducing a girl who is probably the best heroine I read all year, how could this not be one of my favorite books of the year?

2. These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
I don't even know what it is about this book, but I am so in love with everything about it. From the mesmerizing cover that makes you pick it up, to the twisting plot that keeps you reading, and the endearing characters that make you fall in love, everything is wonderful about it.

1. The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
When I read The Raven Boys during the summer, it was my favorite book I'd read thus far, but The Dream Thieves eclipsed it several times over. A fascinating sequel that delivers on its promise of "100% more kissing" (according to Maggie) than the first, it is heart pounding, riveting, excruciatingly heartbreaking, and magical all at once.

Do you agree with any of my picks? What were your favorite books of 2013? I'd love to know! :)