Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) {42}

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: October 28, 2014
The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Excuse me while I sit in my closet and cry? I knew the moment this cover was revealed last week that this would be my pick! Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my most anticipated book of the year, so I about died when this cover appeared. I mean, it's gorgeous! And after that ending... Ugh. October. I just wish there was a synopsis!

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Treatment by Suzanne Young {68}

Title: The Treatment (The Program #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
Release date: April 29, 2014
Pages: 352
How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

My teaser, from 1% in the egalley: reaction to the spread of the epidemic, officials have enacted a new law to take effect later this year. All teens under the age of eighteen will undergo behavior modification with The Program.
Happy release day to The Treatment! :) I don't often post from the first page of a book, but this is such a striking beginning! So I couldn't help myself. Scary, eh?

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Reality Boy by A.S. King

Release date: October 22, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
What an interesting and heart-breaking book! Even while certain parts were hard to read because Gerald's reality was just so horrific, his progression and realizations are profound. I've not read any of A.S. King's other books, but after Reality Boy, I know that won't be true for long.

While there's a lot going on here in regards to reality TV itself that's really interesting, I found myself pulled towards Gerald more than anything. Growing up with a psychopathic sister who humps furniture (at age 12) and attempts to murder him and his other sister and parents who deal with it either by appeasing the sister or working more, Gerald is crying out for attention. This manifests itself in punching walls and, eventually, pooping on other people's things. A television nanny is called in, and Gerald's crappy home life is broadcast for millions to see, only with Gerald cast as the problem child. From then on, he's the "Crapper" and he can't escape the stigma, which leads to major anger issues and to being ostracized by those at his school, treated like a spectacle rather than a human being.

To deal with all of this, Gerald has anger management and boxing, but his fail-safe is "Gersday", his happy place where he can retreat and live in a world without Tasha, a world in which he can have ice cream whenever he wants it. It's juvenile, but he can't progress past that coping mechanism because he's never felt safe in the one place he should feel safe: home. He's relegated to special education classes because he was taught to read late and too afraid to ask for help with homework. Gerald's world is all about himself and his problems, dealing with his anger, refusing to show how much pain is inside. In the novel, he comes out of his self-centered world through Hannah, a girl he works with, who pulls Gerald into the real world, one in which everyone has problems and everyone has to cope. They're a perfect pair of problems who are desperately searching for someone to care about them, someone to see that they desperately want to be loved and worried about, even as their relationship isn't easy.

The two take their fate into their own hands, finally acting proactively against their crappy situations. It's a moment when you want to smile and clap, because both Gerald and Hannah are clearly good people who were handed awful situations, even as you know there are going to be bumps along the road. Gerald's narration is dynamic and engaging, and it very much reflects his state of mind and his evolution. You see his struggles and you feel his pain and desperation. It's difficult to read at times, because your heart with ache for Gerald, and you will even feel uncomfortable, but Reality Boy is an extraordinary book about a boy whose life has been shaped by reality TV learn how to adapt to reality.

About the author:

A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed REALITY BOY, LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories for adults, MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP.

Look for Amy's work in anthologies DEAR BULLY, BREAK THESE RULES and LOSING IT. (And brace yourself for 2014's novel, GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {65}

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! It's exam week this week, and I've got 5 exams between me and Thursday--and freedom. It's gonna suckkkkkkk. That means there won't be much reading going on, at least till Thursday, but after that I'm free for weeksssss. Summer classes are happening, though, so I can graduate in August. 

For review:

The Stepsister's Tale by Tracy Barrett
Wild by Alex Mallory

A big, big thanks to Harlequin Teen, HarperTeen, Edelweiss and Netgalley for these! :)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Thursday - Review: Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick
Friday - The Fairytale Survey

Books I read this week:
Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick
Atonement by Ian McEwan
If I Stay by Gail Forman

I'm currently reading:

Reality Boy by A.S. King

So that's been my week! Light on books, thank goodness. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Fairytale Survey

I know, I know, Mel did this ages ago, but I'm just that slow. :P I actually just wanted to do something different today, since it gets monotonous just posting the same things every week. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it all, but I like to change it up! I'm totally unpredictable like that. :) Note: All of the fairy tale illustrations are via Wikimedia Commons, except for the one from East of the Sun West of the Moon, which is from here.

The Fairytale Survey was created by Mel at The Daily Prophecy (and her answers are awesome, so you should go read hers!)

Part One: Classic Princesses

Pinocchio – The boy whose nose grows when he lies.
Is there are book you lie about, because you feel ashamed for liking it?
I don't think I've ever felt truly felt ashamed for liking a book, though I often feel slightly ashamed because I lie about having read certain books completely. *cough cough* War & Peace *cough cough* (I totally read a big chunk, but I needed to do other things, y'all.)

Beauty and the Beast – The girl who fell in love with personality.
Which book do you love that has a hideous cover?
Ooh, this is difficult! And I couldn't find one! But, here's a cover I was disappointed in: Into the Still Blue. I like the colors, but it looks like they just Photoshopped the people from the first two books onto the same picture. I loved the book, but the series ender deserved a better cover. 

Snow White – Hunted down for her beauty.
Do you ever buy a book based on the cover alone and if so, what is the last one?
I do, but not often! Most recently? Probably These Broken Stars. I often wait a while to buy finished copies of books I get review copies of, simply because there's no rush, but the moment I finished TBS, I preordered a copy--largely because I just wanted that gorgeous cover on my shelves. (It didn't hurt that it was fabulous.)

Sleeping Beauty – Cursed to sleep, awakened by true love's kiss.
 What is your favorite book couple?
EEE! There's a lot of competition, but I love almost no one as much as Elisa and Hector from the Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Their relationship is just perfect, and it's ridiculous that this series is so good their relationship is close to the bottom of the list of amazing aspects. I swoon each and every time.

Little Mermaid – Gave up on her old life for love.
Do you ever branch out to new genres or do you like to stick with the ones you know and love? If you try new things out, what is the latest book?
It's maybe not technically out of my comfort zone (I read a lot of literary fiction for class, but it's not YA--obviously), but I just read Atonement for class, and might now be obsessed with it. It's such a gorgeous story and so well-executed. I highly recommend it.

Cinderella – Who lost her shoe after midnight.
What is the last book that made you stay up all night?
I stayed up till 6 a.m. reading Stolen Songbird! I just couldn't put it down! It's a fascinating mythology and a beautiful romance that are just lovely. I often have more willpower than to stay up so late, but not this time!

Rapunzel – Locked up in a tower.
What is the worst book you’ve read last month?
I guess Sekret by Lindsay Smith? It's the lowest rating I've given in the last month, though I didn't totally hate it or anything. 2.5 stars. It was just meh and I didn't connect. Oh well.

Part Two: Mix-Match

Aladdin – The poor boy who found a genie.
What is the latest book treasure/gem you found?
I so enjoyed The Last Best Kiss, since it combined two loves: sweet romance and Jane Austen! I so enjoy retellings, but a lot aren't done that well, so it's a joy to find one that deals competently with the source and creates its own unique story.

Alice in Wonderland – The girl who fell through a rabbit’s hole. 
Which book made you really feel like you landed in another world?
Ooh, another world! It's not the most recent per se, but it's such a great setting: Across a Star-Swept Sea. I love the social dynamics and, well, everything about it!

East of the sun and west of the moon – where a girl embarks on a journey to save her love.
Who is one of your favorite kick-ass heroines?
This is so difficult. In fact, I wrote a whole post about my favorite heroines! I couldn't pick just one. That's just cruel honestly. Some examples from the post? Isaboe and Quintana from the Lumatere Chronicles, Deuce from the Razorland books, and Katsa, Fire, and Bitterblue from the Graceling Realm!

The Frog Prince – where an enchanted prince becomes human again.
What is a book you thought you would hate, but end up loving?
Let's say Vampire Academy! I didn't love it, but I had been convinced I would hate it and it was surprisingly enjoyable! Still haven't seen the movie, which is probably a good thing. :)

Hansel and Gretel – left alone in the woods and captured by a witch.
Which duo is your favorite and why?
Duo... Duo... Hmm. OOH! They're not so much a duo in the first book, but in the second they are: Micah and Drystan in Shadowplay! I seriously love them together. :)

Little Red Riding Hood – almost eaten by a wolf dressed as her grandmother.
What book disappointed you after falling in love with the cover and blurb?
I actually have a shelf for this on Goodreads! It's not huge, but I'm organized. :) The most upsetting was Lost Voices. Gosh, that's a gorgeous cover, but I have seriously never been so angry reading a book as I was reading it. To add to my anger, I'm still curious about what happens in the second and third books.

Rumpelstiltskin – nobody knows his name.
Which book do you love that doesn’t get enough attention?
There are so many books I could pick for this, but I'm going to go with Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. (It's not a post about things I love without a RM mention!) Beauty is her better-known Beauty and the Beast retelling, but Rose Daughter is more complex and mature. 

So there we go! I had fun! I'd love to know your picks for any of these questions, in the comments here or if you did you own post (probably a while a go... Like I said, I'm behind!). 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick

Release date: August 30, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 276
Format: Egalley
Source: Author provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.
Normally, when I read new adult, I prefer the novel to focus more on the events of the story ahead of the romance. Stay With Me is not of that trend, and yet I found myself really enjoying the story. The romance is the center, yet it's such a sweet, giving, uncomplicated romance that I couldn't fault it for being the center of the story.

I really enjoyed exploring Hailey's life because it's a different place in fame than most novels show. She's attempting to leave the spotlight, tired of the world of the rich and famous, and wants to be a normal college student--rather than seeking the spotlight. Her reasons are completely understandable. In a time when she's trying to adjust to going to school for the first time in their life and avoiding any kind of drama possible, in pops Caleb Fox, eager to get to know her and be in her life. She tries to push him away, but he doesn't take no for an answer.

Like I said, the romance here is really sweet, and Caleb shows Hailey again and again that he wants truly wants to get to know her and doesn't care about her celebrity. Hailey has to learn how to let herself love and trust someone again. There's one bit of romantic drama, but it blows over quickly and easily. Normally, Hailey's worry leading up to something that is resolved so quickly would bother me, but it didn't here, since it felt in character for her to blow it out of proportion--and it really is a big deal; it just doesn't hurt their relationship.

It's nice to see Hailey come to understand that not all art is associated with fame and celebrity, as her life has shown her, and to discover things she's good at aside from acting and music. Her realizations come in part because of Caleb, but also because she's able to be away from outside influence. Everyone in her life encourages to search for her passion, rather than pushing her towards something.

Stay With Me is a sweet, romantic new adult novel that I really enjoyed. It's a quick read that will likely leave you happy. If you like new adult and romance, and don't mind the story focusing on that romance, maybe you should give this a try!

About the author:

Elyssa Patrick is a former high school English teacher who left the classroom to write contemporary romances and New Adult. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien {41}

Title: The Vault of Dreamers
Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Release date: September 16, 2014
From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

SO EXCITED for this one! Stuff about dreams is so intriguing. :D

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly {67}

Title: Deep Blue
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Release date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 320
The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

My teaser, from 23% in the egalley:
"Wait, Sera," Mahdi said, looking desperate. "I'm sorry. You're hurt, I know you are--"

"Oh no, I'm perfectly fine, your grace," Seraphina said, blinking back tears.

Mahdi shook his head. "Your grace? Whoa, Sera, it's

"I would be hurt, if I cared."
I'm super excited to read this one, since I've yet to find a mermaid series I really love. Maybe this'll be it! :D

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes

Release date: February 10, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Pages: 293
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
New York City, 1883

A Prince Charming meets his match...

Self-made shipping magnate Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naivete and sparkling beauty. She's a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancée, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away.

A Cinderella with a secret...

Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father's life depends on it.

A Happily Ever After that could never be...

When Christopher's investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingenue may be a femme fatale in disguise. Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he's come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.
Once Upon a Masquerade is certainly not my normal fare, but I requested it on a whim from Netgalley because the story sounded fun and the cover was pretty. (I am indeed, superficial.) And, while it's far from a perfect read, if you like historical romance, it's a light, fun, and quick read that left me smiling at the end.

The premise is interesting enough, and the plot moves at a good pace, keeping you entertained throughout, both with intrigue in the story and romantic tension. I did have the ultimate ending figured out really early, but that didn't especially detract from my enjoyment of the story.

I found myself quite liking Rebecca, even though she was a little dumb in some of her decisions. She loves her father deeply, and feels a lot of loyalty towards him, which makes her take care of him and continue bailing him out of his messes, even though he truly needs some tough love. She isn't delusional about the situation she brings herself into and carries herself with a lot of dignity. I certainly didn't agree with a few of her choices, but I understood them and her motivations.

The attention to historical detail here likely isn't especially well-maintained, since the social constraints of chaperones and using others' Christian names seemed quite lax. But the only thing that really bothered me was the dialogue. There are times, especially in the beginning of the novel, when the dialogue felt very stilted and unnatural, even like filler in moments. It gets better as the novel goes on, but there are still moments where the conversation felt forced and unnecessary--and definitely not intentionally.

But, all in all, Once Upon a Masquerade is a kind of Cinderella retelling that adds a dose of mystery and back-alley drama. It's quick and fun, an enjoyable read.

About the author:

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {64}

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! And guess what! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! I'm so pumped. :) I love my birthday, and it's really cool when Easter falls on the same day. So, also, HAPPY EASTER! :D 

For review:

Victories (Shadow Grail #4) by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Then and Always by Dani Atkins
Creators (Lost Souls Trilogy #3) by Tiffany Truitt
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

A big, big thanks to Tor Teen, William Morrow, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ballantine Books,Entangled Teen, and Feiwel & Friends for these! :)


Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Sekret by Lindsay Smith
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Thursday - Blog Tour: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman ) {Review + Giveaway}
Friday - Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Books I read this week:
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Once Upon a Masquerade by Tamara Hughes

I'm currently reading:

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

So that's been my week! Victories and Natchez Burning just showed up on my doorstep this week, without warning. Natchez Burning is actually by a Mississippi author, though, who is signing close to where I live in May, so I'll likely be reading this and going to that. Victories is from a series I've never heard of, but it sounds pretty interesting! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!