Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Soundless by Richelle Mead {106}

Title: Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Release date: November 10, 2015
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

I've only read the first Vampire Academy book from Richelle Mead, but I liked it way more than I expected and this is wayyy more my style! :D

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston {126}

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Release date: October 6, 2015
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My teaser, from 30% in the egalley:
I could not see her expression, nor his, and took some small comfort in the fact that my veil hid my face from him. Then he closed one hand upon my shoulder, crushing the fine weave of my dress, and pulled me into a darkness that was beyond the reach of the stars.

Doesn't this sound wonderful? I need all the retellings I can get! :D

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Release date: September 15, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
I feel like it should come as no surprise that Dumplin' is delightful. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be.

Willowdean is such a wonderfully strong protagonist, yet she's real in that most of the time she knows there's nothing wrong with her size, but there are moment she forgets it. Straight up, she's too awesome. But she's not so awesome that she doesn't make mistakes, doesn't say the wrong thing, doesn't reach out to those she should read out to.

If you're not totally sold on Willlowdean, which is awfully silly of you, read Dumplin' for the friendships. Yes there's Willow and Ellen, her very best friend of years and years, but it's when the two are estranged that Willowdean branches out and makes some new friends--albeit reluctantly. These friendships are what shine, though. They pull Willow out of her comfort zone, and while the girls sometimes refer to Willow as an inspiration for entering the pageant, they do so much more for her than she does for them.

While I rated Julie Murphy's last book, Side Effects May Vary, highly, it wasn't quite a joy to read--cancer, and the main character is very unlikable--but Dumplin' is far and away a delight, all the way through. You'll giggle, you'll smile, and you'll be so happy when you finish.

About the author:

Julie Murphy is a potty-mouthed Southern belle who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but found her home in Fort Worth, Texas. She's never seen Star Wars, but has yet to meet a made for TV movie she didn't love. When she's not writing, Julie can be found cruising Costco for free samples, watching Sister Act 2, stalking drag queens on instagram, obsessing over the logistics of Mars One, and forever searching for the perfect slice of cheese pizza. She lives with her bearded husband, two vicious cats, and one pomeranian that can pass as a bear cub. DUMPLIN' is her second young adult novel.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

Release date: August 25, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 624
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities...

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

This one is a honker, y'all. It's huge. But that's what you expected, right, if you read The Diviners? And I loved The Diviners, so the eons-long wait for Lair of Dreams wasn't my favorite. But, when the book's as good as Lair of Dreams ended up being, it's worth it.

It was clear in The Diviners that there's a much larger story going on that the bad guy of each book, but there aren't too many details into what that is, how the Diviners themselves play into it. or how they're connected. That all changes in this second book, though it's still not detailed. The pieces have started to come together, but there's a lot to put together. Seeing how big stories form out of smaller ones over the course of a series is one of my favorite things to watch, and I can only guess at how intricate and exciting this is going to become. And what I liked about Lair of Dreams' antagonist is that it's less evil that you'd guess. Naughty John was simply a nasty piece of work, but this time around we're dealing more with heartbreak and betrayal and how that can sour into something terrifying and vengeful, rather than inherently evil.

And since we already know most of our key players, there's no learning curve this time around. Immediately we dive into the action, and it's quite the hook. It's hard sometimes to follow a lot of characters over the course of a book, but Libba Bray does a great job in these books, differentiating her voices and keeping everyone straight. It's a huge cast of characters with viewpoints, so to write it in such a way that the reader never gets confused is a marvel. And yet, each and every character is given more depth.

As huge at Lair of Dreams is, I was upset it was over. I could have read a few hundred more pages pretty happily, if that tell y'all anything. If you were a fan of The Diviners, you'll absolutely enjoy Lair of Dreams and likely be just like me, hoping Libba can get that third book out at least a little bit faster than this one came.

About the author:

Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog Tour: The Detour by S.A. Bodeen {Review}

Release date: October 6, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
On her way to a writer’s conference, a bestselling teenage author takes a detour that has been deliberately set up by her biggest fans—a mother and daughter who kidnap her.

Livvy Flynn is a big deal—she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself.

When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. She’s on a tight deadline for her next book, and she has no intention of socializing with the other industry people at the conference. 

And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she’s hurt, and she’s tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go.
The Detour is a Misery-like thriller that never lets you stop questioning just what's going on. With a YA-centric premise, thriller fans are going to enjoy figuring out why Livvy has been kidnapped and how she'll get out.

I, personally, loved that Livvy is a young adult author, with the interesting addition that she's just barely out of high school, having reached meteoric success. But Livvy is far from likable. In the beginning, she's at times smug and acts as if she's entitled to the success she's enjoyed. It's off-putting, but she's got a big experience ahead of her. There's more to Livvy than meets the eye, and her background is more interesting than you'd expect. And her time in the basement uncovers a lot while also changing even more.

While I thought several of the twists were easy to anticipate, I still enjoyed reading how Livvy's experience worked out--how she'd deal with the time in the basement, whether she'd escape or be saved, the details as to why she was kidnapped, and the aftermath of the experience. Even without too much surprise, it's interesting to see.

The Detour is more psychological than action-packed, but it's fascinating and quite the quick read. The second half flies by as you find more questions and keep hoping your suppositions are correct.

About the author:

S.A. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in Secondary Ed., then joined the Peace Corps with her husband and went to Tanzania, East Africa. Her first picture book, Elizabeti's Doll (written as Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen) was published in 1998, followed by six other picture books.Her first YA novel written as S.A. Bodeen, the award-winning The Compound, came out from Feiwel and Friends in 2008. The novel count is up to five, with two more releasing in 2015. She has lived in eight states, two African countries, and an insular possession. Currently, she lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters.

Waiting on Wednesday: Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix {105}

Title: Newt's Emerald
Author: Garth Nix
Release date: October 13, 2015
Lady Truthful will inherit her family’s most valued heirloom on her eighteenth birthday. Until the Newington Emerald is stolen.

Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt” by her boy cousins, discovers that to her horror, the people closest to her have been framed for the theft. But Newt won’t let their reputations be damaged by rumors from a false accusation. Her plan is simple: go to London to recover the missing jewel. Despite her best intentions, a young lady travelling alone is frankly unacceptable behavior. So Newt and her aunt devise another plan…one that entails men’s clothing and a mustache.

While in disguise, Truthful encounters the handsome but shrewd major Harnett, who to her amazement volunteers to help find the missing emerald under the assumption that she is a man, Henri de Vienne. But once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure, Truthful realizes something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

Truthful has far more than romantic complications to worry about. The stolen emerald is no ordinary heirloom-it is the source of the family’s luck and has the power to yield vast magic. It would be completely disastrous if it fell into the wrong hands. The fate of England depends on Truthful securing the emerald.

I really can't handle how wonderful this sounds! I looove Garth Nix, though I've not read most of his newer books--this will change that, however, because I'll read it as soon as I possibly can! :D

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis {125}

Title: A Madness So Discreet
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Release date: October 6, 2015
Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

My teaser, from 1% in the egalley:
They all had their terrors.

The new girl believed that spiders lived in her veins.

Her screams sliced through the darkness, passing through the thin walls of Grace's cell and filling her brain with another's misery to add the pressures of her own. Grace pulled her pillow tight over her ears, ignoring the feather shafts that poked through the cheap muslin and pricked her skin. On the other side of the wall she could hear Mrs. Clay shifting in her bed, sleep stolen from both patients by the new girl, who hadn't learned yet that screaming didn't bring help.

I haven't read Mindy's other books, but I loooove the sound of this--and read those first lines! They're so creepy, I love it. :D

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Blog Tour: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee {Review + Playlist + Giveaway}

Release date: September 22, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…
I admit, despite being relatively well read in classics, I haven't read Frankenstein. And most of what I know of the story is from pop culture references, not any true knowledge, so I can't speak to how truthful This Monstrous Thing is in that sense. But, to my mind, Mackenzi Lee shines in reworking a story we're all relatively familiar with and breathing new life and sympathy into its characters--while also inspiring readers to seek out the original for themselves. I know I was left satisfied by the story, but desperate to experience Frankenstein for myself.

This Monstrous Thing spends a lot of time mulling over the definition of monster, and rightly so. Alasdair considers what he's done to Oliver to be monstrous--and hates to admit it, but considers Oliver himself monstrous at times. Society believes those with clockwork parts to be monsters. The clockwork people in turn think society is monstrous for its close-mindedness. Oliver thinks himself a monster. And who is to define that? Those who seem to be good are shown to be cowardly, and those who seem monstrous are the most gentle. Never is the world black and white, and to believe something so simple as a piece of a machine changes a person's very nature is preposterous. 

While Mary Shelley, Frankenstein's author, plays a large part in This Monstrous Thing, it's really Alasdair and Oliver's story. It's Alasdair's love for Oliver that leads to his decision, not a desire to prove anything or change the world--just his fear at losing the person he loves most in the world. And that mix of love and desperation fill the story. He made a decision he has to live with, but he deals with the consequences every day. It's guilt, certainly, but who could blame him? If you lost someone you loved and had the ability to bring them back, wouldn't you? 

This Monstrous Thing is at once a thrilling read and a strong rumination. It never slackens in pace or stops you thinking. And it left me wholly satisfied, but dying to read its inspiration.

Anyone who has seen my playlists before knows they tend toward music that fits the mood of a book, more than anything else. I listen to music while I read most of the time and it's always themed to the book itself. So this is a reading playlist, list while you read This Monstrous Thing and you won't be disappointed! :D

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the This Monstrous Thing blog tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently lives in Boston, where she works as a bookseller and almost never reanimates corpses. Almost.

Blog Tour Prize Pack (US ONLY):
One winner will receive...
A hardcover copy of THIS MONSTROUS THING 
A pair of Frankenstein socks
A copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein
THIS MONSTROUS THING postcards, bookmarks, and buttons

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stacking the Shelves {132}

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

How was everybody's week? How have y'all been in general? I certainly haven't been around, eh? But I'm back! Though I'm off on Friday for nearly a week for a trip to Disney. There will be posts (maybe not a STS, though?) scheduled, though. I knew this STS would be pretty intense, but I don't think I knew just how intense! It's a lot of books... Take a breath and be ready! Luckily, this is several week's worth...

For review:

And West is West by Ron Childress
Eleanor by Jason Gurley
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
I See Reality edited by Grace Kendall
Stone Field by Christy Lenzi


Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron


Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman
Starflight by Melissa Landers


Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

A recap of the week here on Paper Cuts:
Nothing, but that'll change this week! :D

Books I read this week:
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

I'm currently reading:
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

So that's been my week! I kind of think I disappeared because work got a little bit hectic for a while and I was coming home exhausted, so there was no motivation. I'm alll caught up now, though! :) Have a lovely Sunday and a fabulous week!