Friday, May 30, 2014

Mini Reviews: If I Stay Series & To All the Boys I've Loved Before

It's time for some more mini reviews! I haven't done any in a while, and I had a few books I'd read but never reviewed. So, here we are! As before, the links on the book's titles lead to Goodreads, where you can find the synopsis and any other information you could want about these books.

Title: If I Stay and Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Release date: April 6, 2010 and April 5, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy If I Stay: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Buy Where She Went: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

I'll fully admit I read If I Stay because I saw the movie trailer and was completely sold. It was one of those books I knew of but had never had the deep desire to pick up, for whatever reason. The trailer, though, convinced me otherwise. I read Where She Went because Mia and Adam's story was just something I couldn't leave alone.

Both stories are emotionally powerful, but in different ways. In If I Stay, I was so affected by the idea that Mia's life was made completely different because of one small moment in that life. One moment she had a full life, with loving parents, a sweet little brother, and a boyfriend who adored her. The next, all of that fell apart. And when you know everything is going to chance for the worst, why would you come back? Why subject yourself to that pain, when you could let it all go? It's the worst kind of decision to make, and seeing Mia make it was heartbreaking.

In Where She Went, we're dealing with Adam's lasting heartbreak and devastation at Mia's severing their ties, even as he's achieving remarkable success with his music. When they see each other after years apart, Adam goes through a whole spectrum of emotions, and his journey in one night is remarkable but fully tears at your soul at times. And of the two, I found Where She Went to be more emotionally gripping, because Adam's pain is so raw, often bitter and angry, and so carefully hidden behind a typical troubled rock star appearance.

Both books are absolutely worth your time, and I truly believe If I Stay is going to be an excellent movie (which I fully expect to cry during, a lot), but Where She Went is the better of the two books, a less traditionally sad story to work with yet somehow becoming more emotionally impactful nonetheless.

If I Stay: 

Where She Went: 

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Release date: April 15, 2014
Source: Won
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

I seriously loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before! It's a lovely, catchy concept: Lara Jean writes letters to each boy she's loved when she's ready to be over them, but when those letters are sent to the boys, what Lara Jean thinks she knows about love is about to be completely rewritten.

What's not to enjoy here, too? It's got a great cast of characters, my favorites being Peter and Lara's little sister, Kitty. There are swoon-worthy moments, moments of utter (and yet enjoyable for you, the reader) confusion, and just downright sweet moments. And it's got great family dynamics, something that's missing from so much YA but that only enriches Lara Jean's life and voice.

I read this one in one sitting and was so upset when I turned the final page, not because I disliked the book (NOT AT ALL) but because I was forced to wait for another year for the conclusion to a story I'd fallen in love with, to see characters I'd fallen in love with get their happy ending, and I was going to be deprived of the story for so long; I hadn't known to stretch it out.

If you like fun, sweet, and completely charming books that will leave you completely satisfied yet dying for more, Lara Jean's story is the one for you.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I've Been Blogging For 3 Years! WHAT?

Yep! It's true! THREE YEARS. I can't believe it either! There have been some down times, but, gosh, I love doing this just as much as I did at the beginning, if not more. :)

I don't have much to say for today, but I want to thank everyone for visiting, reading, and commenting. The comments especially have been so good recently, and it gives me warm fuzzies every time I get a notification and read one. Blogging wouldn't be nearly as fun as it is without the interaction and friends I've made, so thanks for being wonderful! :D

So, it wouldn't be a blogoversary without a giveaway! And this year I've got a HUGE giveaway for y'all. There are 10 books up for grabs, 4 of which are signed, plus a pile of swag! That means there will be 6 winners in all, 5 US winners will get their choice of 2 books from the stack (The 2 Cahill Witch books, a paperback of Born Wicked and an ARC of Star Cursed, both signed, must go to one winner.) and one international winner will get the pile of swag.

The signed books!

Note, all of these books are ARCs except for Unremembered.

Swag! Several bookmarks are signed, too!
That's a lot, right? I've set up two Rafflecopters, the first for the books and is US ONLY--unless you are willing to pay for the additional shipping (I will cover what it would cost to send domestically)--the second for the swag and is INTERNATIONAL. The giveaways are open to entrants 13 years of age or older and winner will be contacted via the email in Rafflecopter--so make sure it's correct!--and will have 48 hours to respond. Enter away, and thanks so much for reading y'all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman {46}

Title: Boneseeker
Author: Brynn Chapman
Release date: June 17, 2014
Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn't fit the role of a proper 1900's lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella's dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.

Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment--to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.

But this is no time for child's play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal ... or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?

Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
FLAIL! Children of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson???? FLAILLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings {72}

Title: The Murder Complex
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Release date: June 10, 2014
Pages: 400
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

My teaser, from p. 151 in the hardcover:
I stretch for my dagger. I do not think about the Zephyr of moments ago. I thrust it straight down, into his shoulder. There is a gush of blood, and when I twist the blade, his right arm goes slack.

I crash back into the waves, kick off a piling, and swim for the shore.

He is not Zephyr anymore. He is a monster.
I'm not even this far, but so far I'm enjoying this one! Dark and a bit violent, which I like. :)

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

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

Release date: April 29, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 340
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
The blockbuster film Inception meets Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy in this dark paranormal thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike. This novel is also perfect for fans of Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel, and Kimberly Derting.

Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.
If you know me at all by now, you know I'm absurdly fascinated with serial killers. (Actually, that might be less-than-common knowledge, because I haven't had the chance to talk about it much recently. Well, now you know!) With that in mind, obviously, Sleep No More was an easy sell for me. Mixing a murder mystery with a girl's ability to tell the future? Um, yes. And while I saw who the killer was coming from a mile away, it didn't spoil the big reveal, because there's so much more to the story than just the murders--lots you couldn't begin to predict.

Watching Charlotte evolve and get to know what she can do is fascinating. She's had to suppress this extraordinary thing she can do her entire life, both fearing and knowing the full potential of the consequences of meddling with the future. She's faced with an interminable future of isolation and loneliness, following in the footsteps of other Oracles by cutting herself off so as not to arise suspicion of what she can do and avoid the temptation to change the future to help those she cares about. But when she's faced with a possible future, one with everything she could dream of, one where she doesn't have to fight what she is, who can blame her for wishing and hoping for it? Though, I can blame her for being more than a little oblivious at times.

But, there are a couple of things Sleep No More gets so perfectly right: the Oracle lore and its unflinching look at the murders themselves. Even though the information about Oracles is presented sparingly, there's enough to get you desperately curious and deeply fascinated. I found myself just as eager as Charlotte to learn exactly what she could do and was just as shocked when many of her beliefs about her visions were shattered. I wanted to explore the depths of the plane and shuffle through the future like she does. A lot of the information we get at the end is kind of an info dump, but I was so starving for information I lapped it up. There's a lot more to learn, though.

The murder scenes in Sleep No More are, honestly, hard to read at times--in a good way. We don't ever really see the actions themselves, but simply the aftermath is enough to bring about queasiness. But not only do the scenes add a layer of gritty truth (murder is horrific, no matter how you look at it) and real consequences to the story, but they reflect the psyche of the killer as well. It tells so much about the murderer, information you'd not get otherwise that makes a lot of sense once you know who it is and their motives. If you're bothered by gore, I don't know that I'd recommend reading this, but I never felt like it was gratuitous, like the scenes were there for shock value.

The romance here is a little meh, in my book, and it's the one thing that truly bothered me. In retrospect, it makes sense, what with that twist at the end. But, as you're reading, it feels fast--though Charlotte mentions she doesn't find it fast for her since she's liked the guy for ages. There's not a lot of chemistry, and they seem to escalate from comfortable friendship to (almost) awkward romance suddenly. That twist does make the romance a much more interesting part of the plot, but had I been more invested, the twist would have been even better.

Be prepared to be pretty confident (and probably proven completely right) in your suspicions of who the murderer is in Sleep No More, but also be prepared for a dark, creepy, and addicting read. It's a murder mystery, yes, but it's got a fascinating lore that will only grow in the next book.

About the author:

Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {69}

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 really good! It's been my last week of freedom, so we tried to get as much fun in as possible, doing lots of shopping and lunching out. My mom and I went to New Orleans on Friday--mostly to eat. :) I'm going to the movies this afternoon to see X-Men before I'm locked back in study mode--and I don't have parents to buy my movie tickets. 

For review:

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Meridian (Arclight #2) by Josin L. McQuein

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

A big, big thanks to Greenwillow, Disney Hyperion, Feiwel and Friends, and Netgalley for these! :)

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: The Girl With the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4) by Kady Cross
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Thursday - Let's Talk About... Do You DNF?
Friday - Review: Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Books I read this week:
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Then and Always by Dani Atkins
Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

I'm currently reading:
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

So that's been my week! A much less impressive haul than last week, eh? But that's so okay. Honestly, my shelves at home might have reached full capacity, so the piles on the floor are going to be growing all summer, I'm sure. I love it! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Release date: May 20, 2014
Author info: Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 320
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.

Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart. 

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.
Then and Always is one of those books that just captivated me from the moment I read the synopsis a couple of weeks ago until I turned the last page. The premise of the book is so interesting and I knew I wanted this desperately the moment I read it, but little did I know that I would read it with my heart clenching and finish with tears streaming down my face, heartbroken and wholly satisfied at the same time.

Even though I was desperate to read this, I was surprised by how quickly I became engrossed in the story. A group of friends going to dinner seems so mundane and everyday, but the writing is tinged with foreboding, with a kind of omniscient narration from Rachel that tells you (even if you hadn't read the synopsis) that something is going to happen, and it's likely not going to be good. When the worst does happen, even though I expected it, I was surprised at how emotional I was. I had already come to care for the characters--and I was only a chapter in. That sense of foreboding, now touched by a deep sadness, continues until Rachel ends up in the hospital yet again--this time coming out of an accident with a memory that doesn't fit in with her world.

After that, there's such a confusion of emotions. There's happiness, because everything in Rachel's life is so much better. Yet, Rachel is desperately trying to get back to that old life. It's heartbreaking, because even she is aware of how much better things are, but she's terrified that something she believes to be so true is false. It's such a fascinating idea to explore, and one I haven't seen done in stories involving amnesia. Rachel has memories of a completely different five years--not no memories, but different ones.

So many things are better--yet one thing is similarly bad: Her best friend, Jimmy, though alive, is not a part of her life. It's only because of what happened in the memories Rachel has that she is able to truly appreciate Jimmy, though. She's spent five years mourning his loss, and suddenly he's alive and well, in her hospital room. How do you react to that? How do you believe that your reality is wrong, even if you desperately want to?

I loved Then and Always. It's a highly emotional story that lulls you into a sense of comfort, only to rip away that comfort and force you to face reality. Even when you're sobbing you'll realize just how wonderful that heartbreak is. I've read so many books recently in which I never could care about the characters, but Then and Always hooked me from the first chapter and still hasn't let go.

About the author:

Dani was born and brought up in Cockfosters, London, whose chief claim to fame is that it’s at the end of the Piccadilly Tube Line.

This served her well for commuting into the city, where from the age of 18 she worked in a succession of secretarial positions in companies as diverse as a BMW car dealership to the BBC. Dani spent her two hour commute avidly reading and dreamed that one day she would become an author herself.

When her two children grew up and left home, Dani set about turning this dream into reality and devoted her time to writing. She now lives in a rural Hertfordshire cottage with her husband, a crazy border collie dog and two geriatric cats.

FRACTURED (THEN AND ALWAYS) is her first novel.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Let's Talk About... Do You DNF?

DNFing is something I think just about everyone has a kind of opinion on. It may not be especially strong, but we all do something when we're just not feeling a book.

Before I started blogging, I had no idea there was even a kind of term for not finishing a book, but it was actually something I did a lot more back then--though in a very different spirit. Before blogging, I would get kind of uninterested in books if they took me too long to read and sometimes I would just never finish them, but I also had no incentive to finish a book other than having finished.

I never DNFed something with the idea that I hated it, only that I'd lost interest at the moment. Even now any of those books are books I'd like to come back to and try again. No ill will, just bad timing, not what I was in the mood for.

Now, however, I get through so many more books than I used to, and oftentimes I'm not reading a book long enough to ever truly get bored of it. Before it was annoying that it was taking me so long to read something, but now, if I ever consider putting down a book it's because I'm so bored and/or uncaring that I can't be bothered to continue with the story. This can happen at any point in the book, five pages in or fifty.

And yet, in my time blogging, I've only truly DNFed one book. I seriously considered quitting Searching for Sky last week, though, and that's what got me thinking. For whatever reason, stopping reading a book makes me feel like a quitter. I still somehow want to know what's going to happen in the end, but don't want to miss what happens in the interim either. I feel like, with ever page turn, there's the possibility the story is going to get interesting--and I don't want to miss that! So I make myself continue, even though I'm secretly banging my head against things in frustration and boredom.

I told myself I'd DNF more this year, but it's not happened, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just not someone who DNFs, if it's just not me. As desperately as I'd like to move on to the next book, I need some kind of resolution and that means I finish the book, even if I'm suffering. 

And I think that's okay, even if I throw the book out the window at the end.

So what about you? Do you DNF? Or you do continue on in pain and suffering? If you DNF, what makes you stop reading a book? If you don't, why not? 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray {45}

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Release date: November 4, 2014
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
I've enjoyed everything I've read from Claudia Gray, so there's that, but honestly, I was sold from the synopsis already. AND THEN THAT COVER HAPPENED. I mean, look at it! That's one to frame and put on the wall!

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Girl With the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4) by Kady Cross {71}

Title: The Girl With the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4)
Author: Kady Cross
Release date: May 27, 2014
Pages: 400
In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

My teaser, from... I'm really not sure. I didn't check before losing it... Oops:
"I'll be damned," came a familiar voice from behind her.

A shiver slithered down Finley's spine.
It couldn't be. Slowly, she turned around, her heart squeezing itself into her throat.

It was.
:( This is the last book! As one of the first series I got for review, this is obviously sad to me. But, it's one I just love, so I'm hoping it goes out with a bang!

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Release date: March 5, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe. Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them. Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series. The Unremembered Trilogy is set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
Unremembered is one of those books that I didn't have a lot of expectations for coming in. I didn't have a deep grasp on the concept, and I hadn't read many reviews. I knew I liked the sound of it, though. What's funny, however, is the fact that what I liked best about the novel is what came completely from left field and the ideas explored, but what I didn't like was what sold me in the beginning. My reading experience was good, because the writing was largely well suited to the book and the pacing kept me hooked the whole time, but I definitely could have liked it more.

What got me most excited while reading Unremembered was that bomb drop of a twist. I went from being intrigued by Seraphina's background to being highly involved, wanting to know each and every thing about it. It also added more depth to the "giant corporation is evil" idea that was being set up and differentiated the book from others that deal with similar premises. Like I said, I wanted to read this one because of the memory loss etc, but, by the end, I was much more interested in what had developed.

The other things I enjoyed were the explorations of the ideas that who we are is not completely dictated by our experiences--that, one some level, we are who we are no matter what--and that some memories and feelings are such a part of us that they can't be fully erased. Seraphina shows both of these ideas in the novel; she has a will that rears its head at certain moments, against even her better judgement, and that points her in the direction. She also has this bodily reaction to Zen, which is not necessarily romantic, but a warmth and calmness. It's a nice embodiment of that idea that even if we don't consciously have the memory, our bodies have a memory of their own.

But, the romance--which I had so loved the sound of--also proved to be problematic to me. It's not that it's instalove, but it was hard for me to be engaged with the romance--and for a couple of reasons. Yes, Zen goes through quite a lot to find and help Seraphina, which is admirable and romantic, and they were in love before Sera lost all of her memories, but there's no real time romantic development. Really, the two spend very little time together in the timeline of the book. Without the time to see a connection, a development or solidity in their relationship, I just couldn't get behind it. Also, Zen's basically the one guy her age she's known. Ever. In her life. Who's to say their romance is really the stuff of legend, the Romeo and Juliet it's sold to be? Also also, the guy doesn't tell her a lot. I mean, saying "I know you, and you won't believe it till you see it, so I'll just wait and show you" while you keep someone in the dark and take them to a secluded place might be good on your paper, but I know I'd personally not be good with that. At all.

With all of that considered, I still enjoyed reading the book. Once I got into it, I read the rest in an afternoon, stopping for a few minutes to do something else (and watch Game of Thrones, obviously), but I always came back. The writing offers an immediacy and feels right for someone who has no recollection of herself whatsoever coming to know who she was, and it progresses accordingly. And, the ending offers some degree of closure while leaving you quite ready for a sequel--which I know I'll be reading. Unremembered certainly isn't perfect, but it's an enjoyable read all the same.

About the author:

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape.
In four short years, Jessica sold nine novels (two adult novels to St. Martin’s Press and seven young adult novels to Farrar, Straus, Giroux.) 52 Reasons to Hate My Father released in July 2012, Unremembered, the first book in a new teen sci-fi/suspense trilogy, released in March 2012, and its anticipated sequel, Unforgotten, released in February of 2014. Unremembered was recently optioned for film by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. (Read the full story here!)
Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. She now works full time as a writer and producer. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves {68}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to share the books we've bought, been gifted, or received for review!

How was everybody's week? Mine's been good! I went to the RT Book Fair yesterday, which was awesome and I have to say, I think I did pretty well, eh?

Otherwise I've just been doing homework and enjoying being at home. :) Anyway, lots of books this week!!

For review:

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Rebel (Reboot #2) by Amy Tintera
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Cinderella's Dress by Shonna Slayton
Unwept by Tracy Hickman & Laura Hickman
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

A big, big thanks to HarperTeen, Entangled Teen, Tor Books, Simon Pulse, Edelweiss, and Netgalley for these! :)


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson
Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack


To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Thank you, thank you to Sabrina at I Heart Y.A. Fiction!! :) I can't wait to read it!

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Monday - Blog Tour: Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries {Review + Playlist + Giveaway}
Tuesday - Teaser Tuesday: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
Wednesday - Waiting on Wednesday: Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Thursday - Let's Talk About... Classics
Friday - Review: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Books I read this week:
Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries
Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

I'm currently reading:

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

So that's been my week! I spent altogether too much money on books, but it's one of those moments where you just have to splurge! Besides, all of those pretties are going to look so good on my shelves! Welp, one last week of my semi-break, then I'm back up to school for the summer! I've never done summer school, but I'm excited to try it out, so we'll see! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Release date: May 13, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 288
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

This sounds really interesting, right? And the beginning was pretty interesting. But from the time Sky and River leave Island and venture into our world, something so completely different from their own, I was bored. There's something wrong with that. The meat of the book is what bored me. What should have been so fascinating--exploring a world that's so familiar to me through Sky's head--almost made me put down the book. It's a good idea and mindset that I was intrigued by, but there's no tension, nothing to pull me in and keep me riveted.

Even Sky, who could have been heartbreakingly sympathetic because she left Island because of her trust in River, who quickly left her behind, and who is struggling to understand the what and why of everything, really isn't especially sympathetic. And that's largely because I couldn't find a reason to care about her. She's pushed and pulled in all kinds of directions, but never seems to speak for herself, content to wallow in how much she misses River. But, if she's the practical one, the intelligent one, the one who takes action, why can't Sky take a little action now? Why isn't she proactive? Or even just fighting a little bit harder for what she wants?

So, when you don't feel anything for the characters and you're bored, how do you continue reading a book? You skim. And that's what I did for the entire second half. Not only did I enjoy myself marginally more than I had been, but I don't think I missed a thing in doing so. The big revelations, the reasons why River, Sky, Helmut, and Petal were on the island, were really not so huge. They brought in an interesting dynamic, especially given how Sky viewed Helmut, but more could have been done with it too.

All in all, there's a lot of wasted potential in Searching for Sky. It brings in a lot of really good ideas, but never capitalizes on them. For me, that led to a very lackluster read.

About the author:

Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from The University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels for teens and adults including, most recently, the critically acclaimed MARGOT, which was a Library Reads pick for September 2013 and also featured in O the Oprah Magazine, People, Ladies Home Journal, and Her next book for teens, SEARCHING FOR SKY, will be published by Bloomsbury US on 5/13/14 and Bloomsbury UK on 7/3/14. A Scholastic edition will also be sold in Scholastic book clubs and fairs in the 2014-15 school year. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Jillian currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let's Talk About... Classics

I imagine many of you are like me: You have a complicated relationship with "classics". You know, those books you were forced to read in high school and/or college. The books people will wax poetic about but it always kind of seems like no one has read them. (I know a lot of us don't, even when we're supposed to. I'm just as guilty!) The books you feel guilty that you haven't read--and, with some of them, you have read and hated. Or enjoyed!

It's kind of funny to me, but more often that I'd expect I talk to people about classic literature and they tell me they don't like old books, they don't like classics. Across the board. Not a one. And I can't help but wonder, what makes people say that? Why is there this idea that all older books, all classics, are the same? Literature as always been as diverse as it is today! For every Jane Austen there's Robinson Crusoe or Sherlock Holmes. For every Paradise Lost there's a Crime and Punishment. Maybe the writing is more formal and uses words that are out of use today, but there's still the diverse style and voice that we have now.

I know Barney Stinson would say...

But I have to disagree. (First GIF on this blog ever! WOO!)

This, in a way, brings me to my other point. How do you feel about your education in literature? I mean, if you're here, reading a book blog, obviously you love to read. Hopefully that means you at least somewhat enjoyed English classes in school. But do you feel that your ability to study and appreciate literature was taught in school? I don't think mine was.

It wasn't until I got to college and started taking literature classes that I began to truly appreciate books for the art that they are--no matter what kind of book. I'm afraid so many people have been turned off to reading because they were taught from books they couldn't relate to, instead of beginning to learn from a level that engages people. You can't tell me a high schooler would prefer to read Beowulf when they could read The Fault in Our Stars. Even though TFiOS isn't a "classic" or whatever, students would so benefit from learning to identify important themes in a work they're in engaged in, which would help set in the idea, before moving onto things that are more intimidating, and likely less interesting to them. (I'm not making this a blanket statement at all, since I've seen a lot of teachers writing curriculum around these kinds of ideas! Yay them!!) Just how many people say they hate reading because they never found that book, the one that started it all?

I didn't mean to get into such big ideas, but it's been on my mind a lot recently. Reading is such a vital part of my life. I was recently asked offhand about my hobbies, and the only one I could come up with was reading. Maybe my life isn't full enough, but it made me realize just how important reading is to me (as if I didn't know already!) I wonder at times what I would be doing with myself right now if I hadn't found the right books to make me love reading. I'd hate for someone, anyone, to miss out on the experiences I've had because of books.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Winterspell by Claire Legrand {44}

Title: Winterspell
Author: Claire Legrand
Release date: September 30, 2014
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.
I mean, there's the cover... Then there's just the idea that it's inspired by the Nutcracker... THEN, you read the synopsis. It just sounds too good to pass up! :D

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman {70}

Title: Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Release date: April 5, 2011
Pages: 264
It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

My teaser, from p. 112 in the paperback:
I've come to realize there's a world of difference between knowing something happened, even knowing why it happened, and believing it. Because when she cut off contact, yeah, I knew what had happened. But it took me a long, long time to believe it.

Some days, I
still don't quite believe it.
I really enjoyed If I Stay, but I've heard that this one is better and will make me cry (which isn't hard), so we'll see! So far it's just making me sad. Poor Adam.

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