Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 End of Year Book Survey

Hi! It's been a little while but, as promised, I'm here to wrap up 2015! And that means I'll be back to posting regularly with the new year. It might not be six days a week, like I've sustained previously, but definitely several times a week. Woo 2016! I've missed you guys!

So, I've never done Jamie's End of Year Survey, but I thought it'd be a fun way to wrap up--and she does such a good job covering so many things! Without further ado, onward ho!

2015 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 101 (though technically more since I read a lot of picture books for storytime at work!)
Number of re-reads: 2 (I'm not a re-reader, obviously.)
Genre you read the most from: Fantasy

Best in Books

Best book you read in 2015?

Rook by Sharon Cameron! There's a chance I'm mildly obsessed with this book... Illuminae is a close second, though. I've actually screamed at people about these two at work. I'm too intense, probably.

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Red Queen. Sigh. And it's everywhere. I'll admit I'm still curious about the rest of the series, though.

Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read?

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare! This is definitely in a good way! Surprising because I was surprised by how much I discovered I l like historical romance. After loving this, I read a bunch more. :)

Book you "pushed" the most people to read (and they did)?

Illuminae definitely wins this one! I'm in the process of a couple people currently, but I've pushed a few to buy it at work. 

Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?

Does it count if I started and ended the series this year? I think so, so the best series I started was the Shadowfell series by Juliet Marillier. She always wins--including best sequel, which was the second in this series, Raven Flight. As for series ender, I have to choose Winter! I mean, how could I not?

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Hmm. There are tons of authors who have been around a while but who I hadn't read till this year... And I don't feel like I discovered much of anyone this year, so I'll go with one of those. And that's Sharon Cameron! Clearly, I loved Rook, so I had to go back and read her previous series, The Dark Unwinding, which was also wonderful. Now she's definitely an auto-buy author for me. :)

Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don't think I read anything that was that out of my comfort zone? I got way into historical romance, read a couple of non-fiction titles, and a couple of literary fiction, aside from my normal YA. As I said before, I have read a lot of picture books for work, which is obviously not something I did much of previously... I really loved Bug in a Vacuum, so I'm going to say that. :D

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I mean, is there even a question? As I told people countless times, I read the second half of Illuminae in record time, without getting up, without speaking to anyone, just eyes glued to the book.

Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

I don't re-read much, so that's a hard one! I'm making a tradition of reading the first Harry Potter on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (if it lasts that long...) so I guess that?

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Easy, since I think I picked it as my favorite cover of the year last year, but I didn't read it till last month! A Thousand Pieces of You, that beautiful, beautiful thing.

Most memorable character of 2015?

I'll have to say Cress from Winter! Dang, I love that girl. She was far and away my favorite character of the series from the moment she was introduced and Winter only solidified that even further.

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

I've got a few books warring for precedence in this oneee. Juliet Marillier is always, always perfect, so she'd be a solid choice, but I think what Susan Fletcher did with A Little In Love was just wonderful. How she tells Eponine's story brings her so strongly off the page.

Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015?

I don't think I read anything life-changing, but Brooklyn was definitely thought-provoking. I saw the movie, so I read the book too. Eilis is inscrutable, even on the page, so it's a task to figure her out.

Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories! It's one of my favorite series, so I can't actually believe I didn't read the stories that went with it, even though I'm not big on the shorts that have become the fad. So it takes a special series to have me read them. :)

Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015?

Let there be a time in the future, I prayed, when he laughs with his children, and plays on the shore with them, and spends all his nights in loving arms. Let us have that. To whom I was praying I did not know. The future was in our own hands. If we wanted a world where such things were possible, it was for us to make it.
            -- Juliet Marillier, Raven Flight

Shortest and longest book you read in 2015?

Shortest - The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 at 80 pages (shortest non-novella!)
Longest - Winter at 824 pages

Book that shocked you the most?

Ooh, the end of The Winner's Crime! Oh my gosh. I should've expected it, but I totally didn't.


I've a lot of OTP, but the one I've not seen happen yet (but totally will or I'll cry) is Verity and Henry from Rebel Mechanics! They're just too perfect.

Favorite non-romanctic relationship of the year?

Kady and AIDAN. Hehehe.

Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you've read previously?

To spread the love, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson! Rae is queen. :)

Best book you read in 2015 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?

I definitely read Romancing the Duke because of Cyn and Chantress because of Alyssa's love of the series!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I love, love, love Tony in Brooklyn. Maybe that's affected because of the movie, but that's the source! (SEE BROOKLYN, Y'ALL.)

Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

Uprooted wins in so many ways.

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic. Yes. So much fun to read all about the development of The Haunted Mansion and all of its iterations.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015?

Practically every one? Winter or A Spark Unseen probably made me shed the most tears, though.

Hidden gem of the year?

I don't think I've seen enough about The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick. So interesting, so cool.

Book that crushed your soul?
Nothing hurt me too, too badly, but Winter is certainly a contender. Maybe The Winner's Crime too.

Most unique book you read in 2015?

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. How could you not be intrigued by a game played by love and death? So cool.

Book that made you the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?

Lair of Dreams! Just because WHO KNOWS HOW MANY YEARS IT'LL BE BEFORE I GET THE NEXT ONE?!? Libba Bray is wonderful, but she takes tooo loooong.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Honestly, I haven't done the level of blog visiting I should have, so shamefully, I don't actually have an answer for this. A resolution for 2016!

Favorite review you wrote in 2015?

There are a bunch I could say are my favorite, but I recall being pretty proud of my review of Uprooted. :)

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

If you were around at the beginning of this year, remember my Baking By the Book posts! I looooved those, but it was a lot of time, so I only did two, but I want to get back to them this year. 

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

It's a toss up between the Libba Bray and Sarah J. Maas signings, but I'd have to say Libba Bray wins, just because she was wonderful and I've been a fan for SO long.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Is it cheating to say every time I got an ARC in the mail from a publisher? Even after almost five years, those packages are like little Christmases all year and they're absolutely my favorite.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Actually doing it! It's so easy to let things slide when you're busy, and I'm bad about holding myself accountable to the things I want to do. It's a matter of telling myself, "Oh, I'll make sure to do that tomorrow..." Over and over again. I'm resolving not to do that this year, because so many people are busier than I am and manage it, so I can do it too. 

Most popular post this year on your blog?

By page views, definitely my fourth blogoversary post, because of the giveaway, but aside from a strictly giveaway post, my blog tour stop for Hidden Huntress got the most views--which makes me happy, because it was a really fun guest post about some of the more under-the-radar inspirations for one of her characters. :)

Post you wished got a little more love?

Lots of reviews kind of flew under the radar, and my favorite among those that didn't get the love I wish it did was for Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry. Maybe that's because it's an adult book, which I so rarely review, but it was a great book and I want more people to hear about it!

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I don't know if it counts as a bookish discovery, but I'm LOVING my job. I'm the children's lead at my Barnes & Noble, which means I'm in charge of the kids and teen departments of the store, and it's far and away the most fulfilling job I've had. Yes, there are annoyances in messy kids and uppity parents, but to spend all day surrounded by books and have people listen to my suggestions is the best. I especially love when I get someone who loves YA and we get to talking, I'll suggest something for them, they buy it and read it, and come back wanting more. That's the best feeling. Not a discovery, but switching from working the cafe full time to working on the book floor full time has been the best change this year.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Just my Goodreads goal (even though I had to lower that a few months ago when it was obvious it wasn't going to happen...). And haha, I failed so hard at challenging myself to watch the AFI's 25 best musicals... I think this is why I don't do many challenges.

Looking Ahead

One book you didn't get to in 2015 but will be your number 1 priority in 2016?

Truthwitch! Once I'm done with Harry Potter, this is the next thing on the list! I can't believe, even though I had an ARC, I've waited, effectively, till release day to read it.

Book you are most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut)?

I neeeeed me some The Winner's Kiss.

2016 debut you are most anticipating?

Probably The Crown's Game! (Aside, does anyone else kind of hate the cover??)

Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2016?

Siren's Song, the third Storm Siren book! Ooooh, cannot wait to see how that ends, y'all. Such a good series!

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016?

Regularity! More visiting other blogs!

A 2016 release you've already read and recommend to everyone?

I've read The Love That Split the World, Passenger, Starflight, and Love, Lies, and Spies. One I disliked, two I enjoyed, and one I really enjoyed--much to my surprise, actually, since I disliked the only other book by her that I've read. That winner? Starflight!

And that's it! That's a marathon of a survey! But I like to have some kind of wrap-up, even if no one else reads it, so in years to come I can see what I liked and didn't like so much. :) I'd love to visit other people's surveys, so leave me links to yours if you've done it! Adios, y'all! See you next year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Well hi there!

Hello! It's been a while, eh?

I dunno how it happened, exactly, but I lost some posting motivation there. I've been thinking that I'll wait either till after Christmas or the first of the year to resume. Be assured, I'm not gone, though! 

Everything's been ramping up at work for Christmas and it'll only get crazier as the holiday gets closer, so I've really only wanted to spend free time with family and friends and resting. I've been reading, albeit slowly, so I've got a backlog of reviews! 

I just wanted to pop in and say hi! See y'all soon! :D

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab {112}

Title: A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Release date: February 23, 2016
Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

It took me a while to get to A Darker Shade of Magic, but that will not be the case with its sequel! I already preordered it, actually, because B&N will have signed copies, drool. :D

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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {138}

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 don't feel like anything terribly exciting happened this week? I did get something awesome thoooooough...


HARRY POTTER COLORING BOOK. It's divine! I'm obsessed. I'm not really into the big coloring thing, but everything is made better when Harry Potter is brought into it. :D :D

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Distractions - October
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood
Friday - Review: First & Then by Emma Mills

Books I read this week:
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Starflight by Melissa Landers

I'm currently reading:
Da Vinci's Tiger by L.M. Elliot

So that's been my week! Kind of boring this week, eh? I did make some amazing trades this week, though, so hopefully those will get here and I'll have some goooood stuff to share next week! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: First & Then by Emma Mills

Release date: October 13, 2015
Author info: YouTube | Twitter
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 272
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself. 
This book, y'all. It's so cute and enjoyable that I really couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting and was more than pleased to do so. I definitely had high expectations--because who wouldn't with a tagline promising Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights?--and for me, it most certainly lived up.

Instead of being a P&P retelling, it's more inspired by it--with definite mentions of Austen's other novels. Which I loved, of course. I'm going to generally like anyone who loves Jane Austen. At the same time, Devon, at first, is a little bit insufferable. True to the Austen inspiration, she judges a lot of people before she ever really knows them. Her treatment of her cousin just stinks. Foster is too adorable not to like, quite honestly. Luckily, though, she's got some serious growth, and some of the moments between her and Foster are really very wonderful.

There are some aspects I think anyone would be left questioning, though. I mean, several characters play important parts of the story, but they kind of drift in and out, rather than being a real presence, and they're not given any kind of resolution--just Devon's suppositions about them, which don't even serve as real closure.

Soo, despite those problems I had, it's pretty obvious the cuteness, romance, and Jane Austen aspects, won me over. If you're looking for a quick, light read, First & Then is certainly a book for you.

About the author:

Emma Mills is a debut author better known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also co-creator and co-host of the "life skills" channel How to Adult. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood {110}

Title: A Tyranny of Petticoats
Editor: Jessica Spotswood
Release date: March 8, 2016
From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Andrea Cremer
Y. S. Lee
Katherine Longshore
Marie Lu
Kekla Magoon
Marissa Meyer
Saundra Mitchell
Beth Revis
Caroline Richmond
Lindsay Smith
Jessica Spotswood
Robin Talley
Leslye Walton
Elizabeth Wein

I am not generally a huge fan of anthologies, but who could resist this one? I'm obsessed with the title. I'm obsessed with the cover. I'm obsessed with the time period. I'm obsessed with a majority of the authors featured. So... Yeah, this must be mine. And soon.

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

Monday, November 2, 2015

Distractions - October

Woo, it's November! The end of Halloween practically means it's Christmastime! (I know. Don't hate me--I'm one of those people.) I've seen other bloggers discuss what they watch, listen to, etc. and I always love reading them, so I thought I'd share that myself. I haven't had that much to share since I did this the last time, which is why I haven't done one of these in a while, but I've got some wonderful, fresh obsessions. :D Onward ho!

What I'm Watching:

THIS. SHOW. I'm obsessed. Truly. It's a little bit campy, but a whole lot of fun. And oh my gosh, I don't know how I didn't watch the whole first season. For real. Rafael is so beautiful. I'm watching the next-to-last episode of the first season as I write this. :D

I've always loooooved The Mindy Project, but this season on Hulu is pretty darn amazing. It's funnier--and it's longer, which is, of course, the best. I might have actually died if it truly got canceled.

I used to watch Bones, almost religiously, in high school, but I lost track of the show years ago. I dunno why I got the urge, yet one day in July I decided to watch it from the beginning. Surprisingly enough, I totally did it. I watched all ten seasons between mid-July and sometime in October. I'm really not usually that committed. The first few seasons are still the best, but I can't get over the adorableness that is Booth and Bones actually together. :D :D

What I'm Listening To:


It's too hard to pick a favorite from Hamilton! I put off listening to this for a long time, because I didn't want to be a followerrrr, but I'm obsessed. Deeply and completely. It's the best. I picked this track because it's the close of the first act, and it has lots of bits and pieces of songs from the first act. Plus it's just awesome. You all need this musical in your life.

All Ben Rector all the time! This is his new album, and I love love love bunches of songs on it, so that was a hard choice. :) This one is so catchy, though, and hits me hard--like so many of his songs do. He's a good one, y'all.

I had to find this somewhere--Taylor Swift is kind of annoying in how hard it is to find any of her music online. BUT I love this song. I dunno if it's because singing along to it is so fun, or I just like it, but whatever. 

That's it! Aside from reading and working, these are the things that kind of fill my life. (Oh my gosh, it took me so long to write this post Jane is having the baby RIGHT NOW as I write this sentence!)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {137}

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! Different, but good. We did the Christmas reset, where everything in the store was rearranged, basically, so the week got off to a weird start--and I didn't post anything for the rest of the week. Oopsie! It was a funky week, so I was in a funk. This week'll be different. :D

Playing Tyler by T.L. Costa
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Both ARCs! I don't know what to call these, since they were posted on the books for trade hashtag, but I only paid for their shipping and packing costs. But I'm FREAKING OUT about having an ARC of Shadowfell! Juliet Marillier is my favorite. Now to get the rest of the series!

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:

Books I read this week:
First & Then by Emma Mills
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

I'm currently reading:
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

So that's been my week! How was everybody's Halloween? Uneventful here. Like I said, funky week, funky Rachel, so I didn't even dress up for work. I'm lame, I know. And there was bad weather, so we had, like, 5 kids trick or treating. :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {136}

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! Nothing terribly exciting to report, just trying to get all caught up. I'm getting more reading done, which makes me more than happy. But I did start watching Jane the Virgin, which I love and which might detract from my reading time.... We'll see, eh? :) Anyways...

For review:

Acts of God by Ellen Gilchrist
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure


Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Tuesday - {Release Day Celebration + Giveaway} Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Thursday - Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Books I read this week:
A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron
Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

I'm currently reading:
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

So that's been my week! Fun times at work this week! We're resetting everything for Christmas, so it's...hectic, to say the least. I'm excited, though! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Release date: October 20, 2015
Find Amie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Find Jay online: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 608
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Anything I can say about Illuminae (read: RAVE about Illuminae), if you've read a review, you've heard before.

It's imaginative. It's thrilling. And you won't be able to put it down. It took me around an hour to read the entire second half of the book, as I flew through the pages, tense and scared like I was on the ship with Kady. You finish, and you're breathless. You're crying. You're left feeling a little bit empty because it's over. Illuminae is an experience. I've already told everyone I work with to read it--and shown more than a few pages from the book.

Part of what's so spectacular is how close to Kady and Ezra you feel upon finishing. Because of the narrative structure--the whole book is a file compiled on the Kerenza incident--you're not really hearing from the two themselves. There are messages between them and others, giving you a distinct feel for their characters and voices, and Kady has a diary, giving you a glimpse into her head, but all of this could fall flat. Far from it, though. These are characters you will feel for, characters you will root for.

In some ways, I feel a little bit like a voice shouting into the void, because anything I can say about Illuminae has already been said--and it certainly won't compare to the book in any way. I've read some good books this year, but I daresay this is the one I feel most passionately about. It's an incomparable reading experience, and one you should kick yourself if you miss out on.

Pictures included in review are taken from the ARC, and therefore may not be exactly what's found in the finished hardcover.

About the authors:

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the Starbound series.

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the Lotus War series.

Collectively, they are 12'5" tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met, thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts. You can learn more about Amie and Jay at and

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton {109}

Title: Rebel of the Sands
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Release date: March 8, 2016
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

I loove the sound of this! It's like a western, but with genies! Oh mah gosh.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

{Release Day Celebration + Giveaway} Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Woo! Happy release day to Velvet Undercover! Teri Brown's latest is such a fun historical fiction spy thriller that you won't regret picking up. And just look at that gorgeous cover! You need that one on your shelf.

About the book:

Release date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray comes this page-turning historical spy thriller from Teri Brown, author of the Born of Illusion series.

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both?

A thrilling story of one girl's journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Find it on Goodreads

Praise for Velvet Undercover:

“A slow-burning tale of espionage and deceit that explores the complexities and moral uncertainties of war.” 
             — Kirkus Reviews

“A taut and swiftly paced historical spy mystery, filled with suspense and surprising plot twists...A great fit for fans of Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity.” 
            — School Library Journal

"Clever, impetuous Samantha Donaldson is a delight to follow through the murky world of the German court in this twisty tale of espionage and forbidden romance.” 
            — Katherine Longshore, author of Gilt, Tarnish

"Brown's latest is a pulse-racing, whip-smart thriller that kept me guessing until the end."
            — Cat Winters, Morris Award Finalist for In the Shadow of Blackbirds

About the author:

Well behaved women rarely make history. Teri Brown liv ed that quote way before she ever even heard it. The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that she jumped out of an airplane once and beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. She's a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food fixer, rule breaker, wine sipper and word scribbler. She loves her husband, children, puppies and chocolate.

  One Grand Prize Winner will get:

- One signed hardback copy of Born of Illusion
- One signed hardback copy of Born of Deception
- One drawstring spygirls bag from the International Spy Museum
- One tablet of spy paper that dissolves when wet
- One password required lock and key journal
- Two black light spy pens
- One pair of brass spyglasses with brass rope chain (Perfect for spying!)
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {135}

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! STILL busy, y'all. I've been working (and still am) at an American Girl Fashion Show allll weekend, which is so adorable--but I've been home...not at all. Hopefully getting back to my routine tomorrow will let me catch back up! Fun mail this week, though!

For review:

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum


Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine

PLUS these pretties! I'm obsessed--seriously--with this poster.

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Books I read this week:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

I'm currently reading:
A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

So that's been my week! I'm so behind on comments again! Imma work on it, I promise. It's hard to get my butt in a chair to do that! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh {108}

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Release date: September 2016
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Don't mind that this comes out in September 2016, just look at the pretty! Plus, you know, the ocean, 1913, and some awesome names--that spelling of Fynn is killing me in the best way.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown {128}

Title: Velvet Undercover
Author: Teri Brown
Release date: October 20, 2015
Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences. (

My teaser, from 21% in the egalley:
I lean back in the chair and close my eyes for a moment. When I open them, I ask, "So there are no paper records? What about her next of kin? Won't they be notified if something happens to her?"

For a moment I think she's not going to answer, but when she does, her voice is as empty as her face. "All records related to Velvet's identity seem to have been...misplaced."
Ooh, I am so excited to be starting this! I so enjoyed Teri Brown's last YA series, and have been dyyying to read this one for ages. I've been alll in the mood for historical fiction, too. :D

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Release date: April 27, 2012
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 318
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.
When I read and loved Sharon Cameron's Rook, I knew it was time I picked up this series. And what a treat! The Dark Unwinding is a Gothic-tinged steampunky mystery that I just loved.

Katharine is a really interesting character because she's so very logical and mathematically minded. When the Gothic elements of the story come into play, she doesn't think it's ghosts or anything supernatural. She deals with adversity and her problems in a very steadfast and held-together manner--at least in front of other people. I did get annoyed with her for not seeing what I thought should have been obvious, but I was certainly more caught up in seeing how the story would play out to be too concerned.

What appealed to me the most was Katharine's Uncle Tully and the people he's surrounded by. He is so charming in his way and the love everyone around him has for him is sweet. They're very threatened by Katharine, knowing she's there to have him declared insane, when everyone who depends on him will lose their livelihood. But they seem less concerned with themselves and more with him, which is, of course, endearing.

And not to forget the romance, unsurprisingly, I loved it. Lane is one of the people closest to Uncle Tully and who cares for him most fiercely--so Katharine's appearance is deeply threatening to him, so he greets her coldly. He and Katharine have some misunderstandings, but their attraction to one another is very quickly obvious. As they get to know one another, their relationship grows. And it's so sweet--I loved it.

This one book I'm sad I didn't pick up sooner. Luckily for me, with that bittersweet ending, I have its sequel, A Spark Unseen, sitting on my shelf waiting. Oh, and if you finish The Dark Unwinding not wishing to see Uncle Tully's creations, I don't know what's wrong with you.

About the author:

Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.