Monday, September 30, 2013

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

Release date: August 27, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 316
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.
From the moment I saw The Infinite Moment of Us' cover and read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it. I'd read a couple of Lauren Myracle's earlier books and recalled having liked them and heard lots of great things about Shine, so I was excited to revisit her books. As much as I'm in love with the cover (because, gosh, I really am. I can't stop staring at it!), the book itself just didn't do it for me.

I'm one to get emotionally attached to fictional characters very quickly and easily, and yet I just couldn't find much sympathy for these characters. I mean, I guess I liked Wren sticking it to her parents and their controlling ways, but I also was mad when she contemplates not going through with her decision for a boy. Past that, though, I couldn't find a lot of qualities about either Wren or Charlie that stood out, that made me want to know them better. I found I cared about Tessa, P.G., and Dev a whole lot more than either of them.

I also thought the relationship between Wren and Charlie felt... Forced? I'm not sure if that's the right word. I wouldn't exactly label it insta-love, but it verged on it, and I never got what made them so perfect for one another, I guess. Their relationship is also what takes up pretty much all of the book and it leaves little room for the ending, which, as a result, felt rushed. It seemed to me that Lauren Myracle was like, "Oh! I got so immersed in writing sex scenes and crazy girl moments that I only JUST remembered that ending. Here it is." It was supposed to be an emotional climax and I just didn't feel it.

With all of the contemporaries I've been reading, I'm wondering if I've hit a wall of tolerance. I need more than just a privileged kid and a non-privileged kid who get together and deal with their guilt and feelings of inadequacy, or books that seem to strive for a pseudo-intellectualism by making their characters "intellectual". As much as I hoped I'd love it, The Infinite Moment of Us was just not what I'd hoped. It really left me feeling very meh. I think I'll just stick to looking at it.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {35}


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? I have to say the highlight of the week was getting auto-approved by HarperCollins on Edelweiss. :) I was flailing so badly that it was a little embarrassing. I did actually contain myself in getting books from them, though that control may not hold out in the coming weeks... :)

For review:


Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry
Pawn by Aimee Carter
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
Panic by Lauren Oliver

A big, huge, monstrous thanks to Harlequin Teen, Netgalley, HarperCollins, and Edelweiss for these! I'm so excited I could faint. :)

Purchased: 


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (hardcover, with the old cover)
Fateful by Claudia Gray (hardcover)

These were 3 and 4 dollars, respectively, at Books-A-Million! I couldn't control myself, even though I have copies of both already... :)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - I reviewed Paper Towns by John Green and helped promote Amalie Howard's new books.
Tuesday - I teased from Dare You To by Katie McGarry.
Wednesday - I was Waiting on Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi.
Friday - I hosted a stop on the Six Months Later blog tour with a review, excerpt, and giveaway!

Books I read this week:
Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

I'm currently reading:

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

So that's been my week! Busy busy busy, and I didn't make up for the huge haul by reading... Oops! Next weekend! :)  Anyways, I'd love to see what y'all got, so leave me links! I'll be visiting about in just a little while. Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, September 27, 2013

{Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway} Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards


Release date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Egalley
Source: Received from publisher via Netgalley for blog tour
Pages: 336
Forgetting changed her. Remembering might destroy her.

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her?
And why can't she remember?
Six Months Later sounds pretty awesome, right? And you know what? It totally is! It wasn't necessarily what I expected, but in a good way. It is an enthralling and fast-paced novel that delivers just the right amount of intrigue and that just keeps pulling out new surprises, just when you think you've gotten everything figured out.

When Chloe wakes up from a routine nap in study hall to find that it's nighttime and winter, she knows something has gone terribly wrong. Somehow she's managed to miss six months of her life, without a clue as to what happened during that time. Whatever happened turned her life around completely, because she's now dating the boy she's had a crush on for years, has an unbelievably good score on the SAT, and her best friend is no longer speaking to her. As she unravels the mystery, she finds that she may be tied up in something much larger than herself, and that it might just be a threat to her life.

Chloe as a character stands out in Six Months Later. She flies off the pages in the beginning as witty, headstrong, and more than a little opinionated. When she wakes up and her life is completely different, even as she gets her bearings, she never loses that spark. She quickly sees that the person she became during those six months is not someone she would be naturally and she fixes it. Not only that, but she's desperately loyal to her friends and absolutely will not take their abuses lying down. This all makes for a heroine that you can't help but root for.

I do wish I hadn't been able to see a lot of the plot twists coming--though there were a few I definitely wouldn't have called--and I kind of wanted a little more background on the antagonist so it didn't feel quite so separate from Chloe's story. Other than that, though, Six Months Later is a very solid YA mystery thriller that will keep you guessing from the first page to the last, and will likely compel you to read most (or all) of it in one sitting. (I read more than 80 percent at one time!)


  photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg 


About the author:

Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) She later misplaced her writing dreams in a maze of cubicles and general office drudgery. Natalie never forgot about Barbara or those dishes, and eventually she found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. When she's not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband and their three children, who inspire her every day to stick with her dreams.

Excerpt:

Maggie parks the truck on the side of the road and palms her keys, turning sideways in her seat.

“We’re n-not friends anymore.”

This isn’t exactly shocking, but hearing it doesn’t feel good. I push away that aching hollow in my chest and try to find words.

“I know that. I just don’t know why.”

“I think I believe you,” she says. “But it doesn’t change anything. I c-can’t get into all the things that you did, b-but you made choices, Chloe. Maybe you don’t remember them now, but you made them.”

“And that’s just that? We’re not friends. And that’s forever.”

“I thought so for a long time,” Maggie says, and for the first time I can see the pain behind her eyes. Reddish blotches appear on the pale skin beneath her eyes. It is a telltale sign that she is upset.

She shakes her head then, and her face goes hard once more. “I d-don’t want to get into all of that right now. I’m n-not ready.”

I nod, but I’m not ready to let it go. Everything in me is clinging at this tendril of possibility now. “But maybe someday?”

My voice sounds pitiful, even to me. She turns away from me, looking out the window.

Question of the day (to be answered as a comment for an extra entry in the giveaway!):


I read most of this book in one sitting. What's that last book that captivated you so much you couldn't quit reading?

And now for the giveaway! As part of the tour, Natalie is giving away one signed copy of Six Months Later, a Starbucks gift card, and some swag! The difference with this giveaway from most is that the person with the MOST ENTRIES will win. That means each and every entry brings you closer to winning and there are TONS of ways to earn points! Just check it out on the Rafflecopter. :) Giveaway is US/CAN only and ends October 4th. 

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Other stops today:
Jessabella Reads -- Review + Guest Post

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi {13}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly awaiting!!

Title: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
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.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.
I don't quite know how I'm patiently waiting for this book! (Especially since I check every day to see if HarperCollins has approved me on Edelweiss...) But this series is one of my favorites, and as much as I'm ready to see what happens, I'm going to be so sad when it's over.

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Dare You To by Katie McGarry {40}

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

Title: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release date: May 28, 2013
Pages: 456
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...
My teaser, from p. 183:
"It's all I dream about. Go on. Enjoy yourselves." He enters the foyer and Beth's lips twist into that evil smirk. What the hell did I walk myself into?//
I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed Pushing the Limits so I am so pumped to read this one! I know everyone else loves it. :)

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paper Towns by John Green

Release date: October 16, 2008
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
I wasn't going to write a review of Paper Towns, but I changed my mind. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered, "Why do people really like this book?" And I guess I'm hoping someone will tell me. The other two books of John's that I've read were pretty good, and I got that. But, with this one, I'm completely baffled. Completely. Was I supposed to like anything about Margo? Was I supposed to be sad when Quentin thinks she's dead? Was I supposed to be shocked when he solved the mystery?

But, I don't want to stay on the negative (and that's why this is going to be short). I just don't get what's so great about this book in general.

What did I like? I loved the road trip. I loved Radar and Ben. They're what saved the book for me. I loved the progression of Quentin's relationship with them and how his search for Margo somehow makes his friendships better. I could have read an entire book just about this friendship between the three boys and would have been much happier than I was reading the actual book. The road trip had me laughing all the way through; I read that section at least twice as fast as the rest of the book.

I'm not sure how much I'm getting across in this review past my confusion as to why close to 80 percent (according to Goodreads) gave this book four or five stars. What am I not seeing? To me, Paper Towns feels contrived, quirky just to be quirky, intellectual just to be intellectual. I just don't get it.


{Book Blast + Giveaway) Amalie Howard's Alpha Goddess and Waterfell




Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Sky Pony Press

In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence. Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.






"Dev grasped her hand and drew it over to him, running his thumb over the mark on her left palm. Sera felt her cheeks redden at his gentle touch. Something electric unfolded inside of her, and her vision tunneled into a memory. This time it was different, though, full of light instead of darkness.

A flutter of firelight from the magical little clay pots lit all around them . . . the discordant aching sounds of a sitar strumming in the background. It was a glorious display, a triumph of good over evil in celebration of their love. His kiss was light upon her cheek, his touch a gossamer caress. She spun in a slow circle, the light on her beloved’s face glowing from within him. She laughed because she was glowing, too."



Amalie Howard also has an upcoming release with HarlequinTeen on October 29th for her brand new series, the Aquarathi, WATERFELL. To celebrate the upcoming release she is hosting an EPIC giveaway! And we mean EPIC. Readers have THREE chances to win an iPad mini! Check out the post here on how you could win: www.AmalieHoward.com






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Seventeen Magazine Summer Club author Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

She is the author of The Aquarathi series from Harlequin TEEN (Waterfell and Oceanborn), The Almost Girl from Strange Chemistry, Alpha Goddess from Sky Pony Press, and Bloodspell from Langdon Street Press. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com or on Twitter (@AmalieHoward).

Website † Twitter † Facebook † GoodReads

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {34}


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? 


Library:
Paper Towns by John Green
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Purchased: 
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger (ebook)

Freebies:
Perception by Lee Strauss (ebook)
The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - I reviewed The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater.
Tuesday - I teased from Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller.
Wednesday - I was Waiting on Creators (Lost Souls #3) by Tiffany Truitt.
Thursday - I helped promote Sia by Josh Grayson with an excerpt and a giveaway.
Friday - I reviewed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Books I read this week:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Paper Towns by John Green
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

I'm currently reading:

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

So that's been my week! I made a point of reading this weekend and got two books read! It was weird; I would be reading for class and just get this ache to read MY books. So that's what I did! I've got to get back to school reading, but this was the perfect relaxation. :) Anyways, I'd love to see what y'all got, so leave me links! I'll be visiting about in just a little while. Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: September 10, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 433
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
There are a lot of things I could say about Fangirl. I'm never a big "technical" reviewer, but this review is non-technical to the extreme and much more personal than usual. I'll go ahead and mention that I loved Fangirl--partially because of the ridiculously sweet romance (because, admit it, romance is always a factor!) But I really want to talk about Cath in this review.

I can relate to Cath in a way that I don't relate to a lot of protagonists. No, my mom did not abandon me and no, I don't have a twin sister and no, my dad doesn't have any problems. Nor do I have an all-consuming passion for one fictional world. It's none of those outstanding facts about Cath that make her so close to me. It's instead her reticence, her fear of the unknown of all kinds, her college experience as a whole, really.
In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you're done, why is everyone watching you?
It's hard to explain in a concise way, but--like many of you, I bet--I am an introvert. That's not to say I'm not friendly and chatty and mostly normal in company, but I shy away from overly social situations and I am fearful of new experiences where I don't know others and I tend to prefer to spend time by myself. How often do we see a protagonist like that? I can't think of any others--because who wants to read about a girl who sits in her room reading all the time? But that's real life for a lot of us, and it doesn't make my life any less exciting and valuable to me.

Not only is Cath deeply introverted--to a point where it's a bit unhealthy, yes--but Fangirl doesn't say that her introversion is wrong. She's not treated as a loser because she wants to write fan fiction. She does come to realize that her fear is unjustified in many cases and that the only way to become familiar with others and with your surroundings is to explore them (things I remind myself of daily), but she's never shamed for it. Never. Cath learns through the course of the book that she's loved the way she is and I can't do anything but applaud Rainbow Rowell for that.
"It's okay if you're crazy," he said softly.
"You don't even know--"
"I don't have to know," he said. "I'm rooting for you."
As I was reading this book, I had lots of thoughts I wanted to talk about, but I also don't want to make this review novel-length itself. I read, rate, and review based on personal feelings and this is what made me love Fangirl. There are actually lots of other things to love, with English major problems, Reagan, Simon and Baz, LEVI, and young adult fiction classes (!!!) as a little sampling. I can't imagine regretting reading this book. Ever.
"Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy," Wren said. "It's the noblest, like, the most courageous, thing two people can shoot for."
(All excerpts taken from egalley and have not been checked against the final book.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

{Book Blitz: Excerpt + Giveaway) Sia by Josh Grayson


Title: Sia
Author: Josh Grayson
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram
Release date: November 20, 2013
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Excerpt

I reach my locker and just start unlocking it when Kyle stops beside me. He’s dressed comfortably in faded jeans and a black t-shirt with a yellow Batman logo on it.
I smile broadly. “Hey.” It's hard to describe just how good I feel, seeing him there. Yet I don’t miss the stunned expressions on Amber and Stacy’s faces, or how they spin towards each other to whisper something. In Amber’s world, Kyle is a loser, so I’m sure their words aren’t pleasant.
I turn my back to them.
“Hey,” he replies. He keeps his eyes purposefully away from the other girls. So he knows, I think. What must that feel like, knowing people are looking down on you? Saying cruel things? He doesn’t deserve this.
But he doesn't appear to care. He leans casually against the locker beside me. “Just thought I’d tell you I saw Carol this morning at the soup kitchen.”
I drop my lock and give him my full attention. “You did? Was she okay?”
He nods, grinning at my reaction. I can’t help thinking how much I like his smile. It's warm and genuine, and makes his grass-green eyes sparkle like emeralds. “Yeah. I told her hi for you. She said she can meet you at Elysian Park after school if you want to talk.”
“Awesome, Kyle! Thank you so much!” I throw my arms around his neck without thinking.
After only a slight hesitation, he hugs me back. I breathe in his delicious cinnamon scent, then let go reluctantly and back away. “Oh, I almost forgot. I have your sweater in my—”
Before I can finish, Duke charges in like a bull and slams Kyle into the lockers. “What do you think you’re doing, geek?” he roars. “You keep your floury hands off my girl, doughboy. She’s mine.”
Kyle pushes back, pressing his hands against Duke’s broad chest. “Get off me, Duke.”
But Duke isn't finished. He jams his forearm against Kyle’s neck, suffocating him.
Kyle’s fingers clutch at Duke’s arm as he struggles to break free.
I shove at him. “Duke! Let go!” my shouts echo in the hallway, but even with all my strength, I can’t move him.
“Back off, Sia. I’ll take care of this twerp,” Duke snarls. “He needs to learn a lesson. Nobody touches my girl!”
“That’s right!” Stacy chimes in from behind them. “Sia belongs to Duke!”
I belong to Duke? The nerve of these people!
The two girls press against each as they watch the action. Amber is smiling like a satisfied cat, obviously relishing the moment.
I'm so busy trying to rip Duke’s arm off Kyle's throat that I don't hear Mr. Barrow coming up from behind us. “Duke, would you mind letting go of Kyle? We don’t condone murder in our hallways.”
Finally, Duke drops his arm. But his furious stare remains glued to Kyle’s face.
Kyle stares back, his eyes dark with hate and humiliation. He doesn't bother swiping back the thick brown bangs that have fallen over his forehead during the struggle. “You have nothing to worry about, Duke,” he chokes out. “I’d never go out with a girl like Sia anyway. She’s your type. Not mine.” With that, he walks away, rubbing his throat.
I watch his back as he is swallowed up by the crowds in the hall. The sea of backpacks and t-shirts blur as my eyes fill with tears. It shouldn’t hurt so much, I think. I barely know him. And yet it does hurt. A lot. Like a fist squeezing my heart.

About the author:

Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.


Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).


Sia is his debut YA novel.
As part of the blitz, I get to give away one ecopy of Sia! It is open internationally. The giveaway will close at midnight EST October 3rd. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond. The prize will be sent after October 7th.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Creators (Lost Souls #3) by Tiffany Truitt {10}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly awaiting!!

Title: Creators (The Lost Souls #3)
Author: Tiffany Truitt
Release date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Heartbroken but more determined than ever after a tense showdown in the woods, sixteen-year-old Tess once again returns to the safety of her community of Isolationists. Bolstered by new alliances and desperate to protect those she loves, this time she knows she can return stronger and more powerful than ever to take back what is hers.

As she trains in combat and grows more confident, Tess receives beautiful letters penned by her forbidden love, the chosen one James, from his prison in Templeton. He is now serving as a bodyguard to the creators—the team of scientists who created artificial life in the first place. And what he has discovered about the true origin of the illness that halted natural life could change everything.

Enemy will become ally and death will bring new hope in this stunning conclusion to Tiffany Truitt’s epic Lost Souls trilogy.
I'm so obsessed with this series and am about to combust waiting for the final book! The dystopian world is so interesting and the romance in these books is just perfect. :)

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller {39}

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

Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Release date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 352
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
My teaser, from 9% in the egalley:
"Really?" My birthday is in May, only six months away. Half a year. Temporary. And I've got temporary down to an art.

His eyes tell me this is an offer he doesn't want to make, but he nods anyway. "I promise."
I'm so excited to read this one!

I'll be visiting around and visiting back, so leave me links to your teasers! Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: September 17, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publisher for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
If you could steal things from your dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself. One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys--a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface--changing everything in its wake.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Maggie Stiefvater's can't-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two." Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.
I'll admit I've been putting off this review. Before you start to get upset, it's for good reasons, not bad. Sometimes you read books that you love and can gush about for days on end. They hold a special place in your heart and you'll never forget reading them for the first time. The Dream Thieves is like that--sort of. While I do want everyone in the world to read these books because they're that good, I also want to hold these books close to my chest where no one else can touch them and never let them go. I want to sink into the pages and relive each moment over and over again. Reading this book was intensely personal and it was an experience I wasn't quite ready to share. It takes something special to unlock those kinds of feelings and I think it's absolutely Maggie's best book so far.

Even as Ronan's story is his own, it's inherently linked to the search for Glendower. Following the waking of the ley lines, the power is surging, causing problems for Cabeswater and for Blue and her Raven Boys. Even as they draw closer to Glendower, complications and those seeking power stand in their way.

Y'all don't know this about me, but I'm not generally one to mark passages in books. Many times there just aren't things that I feel the need to remember--or there's one. I counted, and I marked eighteen. As much as I love Maggie Stiefvater's other books and series, this series fits her writing to perfection. There's something otherworldly in her prose and everything about Cabeswater and the people in it feel not of this world. And even above the prose, the nuance with which she develops these characters is masterful. Every revelation about a character has been slowly worked into the story that it doesn't even feel like a revelation; rather, it feels like something you always knew, but you just weren't aware of it.

This book is at once magical and grounded, thrilling and meditative, romantic and dark. It shows the power of dreams--both good and bad--and the pain of longing for an impossibility. Just as I said The Raven Boys was my favorite book of the year thus far, it's sequel has unseated it from that distinction. I can't imagine reading a more powerful or spellbinding book.

(Cover Reveal} Recklessly Royal by Nichole Chase

I'm so excited to be helping reveal the cover for Recklessly Royal by Nichole Chase, a companion to Suddenly Royal! I thought Suddenly Royal was super cute, so I can't wait to read a book about Alex's sister Cathy! It will be released March 25, 2014 by Avon Books. (Why so long?)


About the book:

Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly-men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . .

When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacking the Shelves {33}


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! I'm really busy with school and everything, but the time is just flying by. :)

For review:


Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel (egalley)
Game by Anders de la Motte

Thanks to Harcourt Children's Books, Atria Books, and Netgalley for these! I can't wait to read them! :)

Purchased: 



Shadowforged (Light and Shadow #2) by Moira Katson (ebook)
Rogue (Croak #3) by Gina Damico

Freebies:


Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson (ebook)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - I reviewed Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter.
Tuesday - I teased from Six Months Later by Natalie Richards.
Wednesday - I was Waiting on Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge.
Thursday - I interviewed Moira Katson, and I reviewed her book, Shadowborn.
Friday - I reviewed 15 Minutes by Jill Cooper for the blog tour.

Books I read this week:
Shadowborn by Moira Katson
15 Minutes by Jill Cooper

I'm currently reading:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

So that's been my week! It was an absolutely fabulous week here on the blog. There is nothing better than knowing what you're doing is appreciated, and I felt that this week. It really reinforces my love of blogging. :) Anyways, I'd love to see what y'all got, so leave me links! I'll be visiting about in just a little while. Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, September 13, 2013

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} 15 Minutes by Jill Cooper


Release date: June 15, 2013
Pages: 234
Format: Egalley
Source: Provided for blog tour
Buy the book: Amazon
I have 15 minutes to save my mother’s life…

15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives you in the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough time to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago.

But that’s not how it happened. The story she’s been told all her life is a lie and when Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever.

The love of her life acts like a stranger. Her simple life is replaced with a giant house, glamorous clothes and a new boyfriend. Except someone knows her secret. And he will try to stop her at every turn as she races against the clock to unravel a dangerous conspiracy.

15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller that can be described as Back to the Future meets Inception where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family.
I fully expected to like 15 Minutes, but I absolutely did not expect to become so riveted in the story that I was mad it was over and am now flipping out because I have no idea when a sequel will come out. I spent the whole time I read speculating and jotting down crazed notes, only to find everything I thought I had figured out was absolutely WRONG. I don't think I've been taken on such a ride in a long time, and it was absolutely marvelous!

The description of Back to the Future meets Inception is the most apt I've heard in a long, long time. Lara wants to change things in her life, but those actions cause problems she could never dream of. She is also becoming deeper and deeper entwined in a mystery larger than herself, one that is so entrenched in turnarounds that it's hard to keep up. I fully expected this to be a pretty simple time travel story in which all of Lara's problems would be solved neatly and without too much trouble, one in which she simply realizes that life works out a certain way and that she should be happy to have her father. HAHAHAHAHAHA. NO. Yes, it's a time travel story, but it's not like any other I've read before.

The biggest highlight of the book for me was Lara herself. Barring a few teenager moments, I was constantly high-fiving her in my mind. Even when she changes her mother's fate and is plopped into a new life in which she finds she was totally different, that different Lara is still the same person deep down. No matter how her life goes, she is still determined and as right-seeking as before. You can change the clothes and the hair, but you can't change her personality. And I loved her.

And can I mention the Dunkin' Donuts joke thrown in there? It was one line, but it stuck with me. My dad is from the Boston area and we visit family up there all the time. Now, we didn't get a Dunkin's in my home town until the last two years or so, but I know how important that Dunkin's is to the Bostonians, and I loved the joke about there being one on every corner. I busted out laughing. :) It was such a good little joke that kept the book grounded in it's location, which could easily be forgotten in a book with so much else going on.

Anyways, 15 Minutes is an absolute thrill ride that won't let up--even when it's over. It's a high-stakes, fast-paced, intelligent book that I am so pleased to have read. Now when can I have the sequel?

About the author:

Jill loves to blend horror, comedy, the supernatural, and love, through her novels. A fan of genre blending, her work strives to cross boundaries, but most of all strives to entertain. She loves soft cuddly cats, warm blankets, and paranormal romances. Jill resides in Massachusetts, is constantly renovating her home that she shares with her husband, young daughter, and two skittish cats.


In order to find the answers to the hints in the giveaway, visit the tour page and find the links to each blog with the answers! To find the answer for today's hint (#4), you can visit Little Birdie Books! :)

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Indie Summer Blog Tour: Interview with Moira Katson + GIVEAWAYS


I am super excited to be hosting a stop today on the Indie Summer Blog Tour! I am even more excited to have Moira Katson, author of the awesome Shadowborn, the first book in the Light & Shadows series (my review!), here for an interview. I'll admit I had not heard of Moira's book prior to becoming a part of the tour, but I finished it the other day and it's just awesome! It's a great fantasy that incorporates court intrigue, assassins, epic battles, and friendship. (It's free for your Kindle, too, so there's no reason you shouldn't be reading it!) I've already bought the sequel, Shadowforged, and can't wait to dig in! :) So, after the synopsis, enjoy the interview! (And stick around for not one, but two giveaways!)


About the book:

“You, Catwin, no longer exist. You no longer have a fate of your own, a will of your own, or indeed a soul of your own. You will go where Miriel goes, you will watch instead of being watched, you will hear instead of being heard.”

Catwin has always been good at being unseen…that is, until one fateful mistake brings her to the attention of the Duke of Voltur: the commander of the bloodiest battle in living memory, a man of legendary ruthlessness who is determined to be the power behind the throne. To this end, he has chosen Catwin to be a Shadow—spy, shield, and blade—to his niece Miriel as she works to catch the eye of the King.


But the Duke’s carefully laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue swirling within the royal court. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces.


Greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them...

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore


I am so excited to have you here for an interview today, Moira! First and foremost, I'm dying to know: where did your inspiration for Shadowborn come from?

And I’m excited to be here – thank you for hosting! Shadowborn was inspired by stories I have known and loved, of women who were meant to be no more than pawns in someone else’s game, who ended up escaping. But I wanted to shake it up a bit! In the very first concept of the story, the narrator was another woman at court, a distant cousin of Miriel’s. I wanted her to be someone who would be entirely overlooked, however, and that was how Catwin came into being – a peasant, practically an orphan. I scribbled down the first line in a notebook, and her voice just came into being with a vengeance. Miriel, as well, came to life in ways I had never foreseen at the start, which was wonderful!


I read in your FAQ of your love of Robin McKinley (who I have sung the praises of more times than I can count on my blog; it's sad, really) and her novel, Beauty. If you were to write a retelling of a fairy tale, like Robin McKinley did with Beauty and the Beast, what do you think you'd choose and why?


Well, it’s funny you should ask… This question reminded me that I had an unfinished short story version of Snow White sitting on my hard drive! If I was starting from scratch, however, I think I’d have to go with Sleeping Beauty. She is really an entirely voiceless character in the original tale, and I would love to spin a tale of a girl who was absurdly sheltered, yearning for more and falling into the trap while attempting to escape! You have to think that she felt so stifled, being shut away.


What are some of your favorite books? And what are some books that have influenced you as a writer? (Maybe they're both!)


Oh, my. The list comes out! I have many favorites lying dog-eared around the house, and almost all have provided fodder in one way or another.

  • For YA books: Beauty, Dealing with Dragons, Alanna, the Chrestomanci series, So You Want to Be A Wizard
  • For epic fantasy and sci-fi: Kushiel’s Dart, Cyteen, River of Stars, Dune, the Pern series
  • For character writing and language: The Concubine by Norah Lofts, Snow Crash, any Jeeves & Wooster novel, Deep Secret, anything by Madeleine L’Engle
From what I've seen, a lot of authors have their own specific way of writing, be it a special spot or a drink they must have. Do you have anything you just can't write without? And what's your writing process typically like?

I write on the bus in the mornings and afternoons, during my lunch breaks, all of that – so by the evening, I have a whole bunch of notes to transcribe down, and I’m usually on the couch surrounded by scraps of paper, typing away! I confess to a love of tea, and scotch is a perennial favorite…but the best thing that can happen is for me to get so absorbed in my writing that I get completely absorbed, and come to a few hours later with a some new pages and an untouched drink!

What book(s) are you most looking forward to reading this year?

Well, it’s hardly a new series, but I’ve been dying to read Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles; they’ve been recommended by almost all of my family (I come by my nerdy tendencies honestly). Also, I loved Hunter & Fox by Philippa Ballantine, and the sequel (Kindred and Wings) just came out!

And just for fun (I just love these answers!), can you tell us one random, silly fact about yourself?

I've gotten incredibly addicted to lychees recently. (In my defense, they are delicious!) Gummies, candles, perfume, tea – anything lychee, I must have!

A big, big thanks to Moira Katson for letting me ask my random questions and being so patient! :) 


About the author:

Moira Katson writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels. Born and raised in the farmland of the eastern United States, she is now a transplant living in the oft-frigid wastes of the midwest, where she is learning to love hot dish, fried food on a stick, ice fishing, and the hilarious faces her friends make when she tells them about winter temperatures.



And NOW, I have two giveaways to share with you! The first is for ecopies of the entire Light & Shadow trilogy, and the second is the tour-wide giveaway for a Kindle Fire!

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