Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: After a Fashion by Jen Turano

After a Fashion
(A Class of their Own, #1)
by Jen Turano 
Adult Inspirational 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33
Published by: Bethany House Publishers 
Published on: March 3, 2015
Pages: 352

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.
 


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I went into this with little expectations. I had never read anything by this author before. I was blown away. I loved the plot and the characters. 

Harriet was a character who left me laughing out loud. I absolutely adored reading about her. Oliver was also a great character. He wasn't perfect, but he was very likable. I loved watching the chemistry between them. 

The plot was fantastic. It left me laughing out loud. While the plot was predictable, I really did enjoy it nonetheless. 

An enjoyable read that I loved. I will definitely be keeping my eyes on this author. 

So why 4 stars? It was fantastic. It definitely stood out from other books I've read in the genre. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Perfectly acceptable for readers of all age. 

The Wrap-up: I adored this book. It was hilarious and a great read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine


The Secrets of Attraction
by Robin Constantine  
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Published by: Baler + Bray
Published on: April 28, 2015
Pages: 384

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I will admit that I read this one purely because I loved the cover. I think it's fantastic.

Cover-lusting aside. I  thought that Constantine's sophomore release was a great, enjoyable read. I think that fans of Katie West will like this one. Her novel didn't explore dark or deep issues like rape or abuse, but neither was it pure fluff. 

The novel follows the character Madison and Jesse. Two very normal teens who for the most part have normal families. They faced normal issues that most teenagers face—heartbreak, disappointment, uncertainty, and a certain amount of teenage angst.

I thought that Constantine's writing was engaging. It never touched anything too deep, but I did like her characters. 

I wished more would have happened in the book. I can't really explain what I mean by that. I just felt like there could have been more drama or more action. However, I did enjoy it. 

Constantine's sophomore novel was a success. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. 

So why 3 stars? While I did enjoy it, there was nothing in particular that made it stand out. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Vague references to drinking and sex. I'd recommend for 14+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable realistic contemporary young adult novel. One that's not all fluff but isn't super gritty either. All in all, a fun read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Testing please ignore

Hey yet another test. I'm really sorry guys. Please forgive me.

Review: Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep

Brentwood's Ward
by Michelle Griep
Adult Inspirational Romance 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.12
Published by: Shiloh Run Press 
Published on: January 1, 2015
Pages: 314

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  While this novel started off really slowly in my opinion, it quickly picked up and became quite suspenseful. I loved how Griep chose a setting in which her characters could realistically change and grow.

Mr. Brentwood and Miss Payne were not without their flaws, but that's partly why they were such great characters. The chemistry between them was there from the beginning, but the author did a great job of slowly building that in a realistic manner. 

The suspense was masterfully crafted and left me intrigued. All of these qualities made this a great book. 

However, I felt like the story lagged at times. I found myself wanting to flip the pages faster and faster just to get to a good part at times. These scenes that lagged knock it down to a 3 to me. 

So why 3 stars? Because of the slow-pacing at times.

Warnings/Side-notes: Several mildly violent scenes or attempted assault scenes. Recommended 15+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, realistic historical romantic suspense that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'll be keeping my eye on Griep. 

Love,

Danica Page

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Learning to Live by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Learning to Live 
by Jerrica Knight-Catania 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 
Published on: December 1, 2014 

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


Losing someone is never easy. The hardest part is learning how to live without them -- mentally rearranging your future now that your dreams have been shattered.

Devastated by the loss of her fiance in the World Trade Towers on 9-11, Jessica Brooks is certain she'll never love again. Hell, she may never even leave her apartment again. But circumstances force her back to her hometown of Atlanta and into the arms of someone who understands her pain.

Torn between mourning her fiance forever and finding peace in the midst of her grief, Jess must find the key to her happiness, the cure for her pain, and learn how to move on without the person she held most dear.

Learning to Live is a New Adult novel about love and loss, and finding comfort in the company of those you'd least expect.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This book was intriguing and I really did enjoy the overall plotline. The author did a great job at catching the grief of having lost everything she loved on 9/11. 

The writing was also fairly good. I enjoyed the story. I had a hard time connecting with the main character Jess for several parts of the novel, but I enjoyed reading about her. 

I loved how the book portrays messages of hope and survival. I think fans of realistic new adult will enjoy this one, and it only cost 99 cents. So why not?  

So why 3 stars? It didn't really stand out of the crowd for me. It was missing that extra something to set this over the edge. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This is actually really tame as far as new adult goes. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to 15+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, insightful book. Well crafted. I will be keeping tabs on this author. 

Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: The Consequences of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken

The Consequences of Loving Colton
(Consequences, #1)
by Rachel Van Dyken  
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Published by: April 21, 2015

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

My name is Milo Caro and I have a confession to make.



I’ve been in love with Colton Mathews since I was five. He should have known that sharing a cookie with a sugar obsessed little monster would do the trick–it sealed his fate. So really, the fact that he’s sporting a black eye, a limp, almost got ran over by a car, and was nearly responsible for another person’s death? Right. HIs fault. Not mine. 

I made a pact with myself–this weekend would be different. I’d come home for my brothers wedding, smile, and Colton would naturally melt into my arms, we’d get married have five kids, live in a house by the river, and get a dog named scratch (clearly I’ve thought this through).

What really happened? I punched my brother in the face, Colton kissed me and apologized, I lied about having a boyfriend, oh and everyone wants to meet the mystery man. 

They say laughter always comes before insanity–ha, ha. All I wanted was my brother’s best friend…instead I’m sitting in prison. 

Let this be a lesson to you all…life rarely happens the way you want it to. 


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  This book wasn't anything like I expected it to be. The strength of this book was that it was hilarious. The characters in the novel were so quirky that you couldn't help but laugh.

It was cheesy and predictable, but oh so funny. I loved the characters and couldn't wait to see what happened by the end of the book. 

If you are looking for a hilarious book, this one is definitely a great pick. 

So why 3 stars? It was hilarious, but the story dragged at times for me. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Fairly tame as far as New Adult goes. I'd recommend for 16+ still though. Lots of drinking references, references to drugs, and sex are included.

The Wrap-up: A hilarious fun read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: The Truth about Jack by Jody Gehrman

The Truth about Jack
by Jody Gehrman  
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating:3.65
Published on: April 15, 2015
Published by: Entangled Crush 

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back. 

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This book was very different than I thought it would be, but not necessarily in a bad way. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and develop.

The book's biggest strength was originality. The characters, the setting, the plot, it all felt different from other things I've read before.

The writing was fairly good and the plot moved. I did, however, feel like the book was missing that extra something to really make it stand out.

However, I do believe that fans of the genre will enjoy this one. 

So why 3 stars? It just didn't stand out for me and the ending felt rushed. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Some references to violence and drinking. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable book that I liked reading. Predictable but cute. 

Love,

Danica Page

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: The Leveller by Julia Durango


The Leveller
(The Leveller, #1)
by Julia Durango
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Published by: HarperCollins
Published on: June 23, 2015
Pages: 256

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.


Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them. 

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

The Characters: Nix was a character I adored. She was a kick-butt character and so feisty and determined. I loved her take-charge attitude. She was a character that I connected with from the get-go and was a YA character that was actually YA. She seemed like she was her age. I loved reading her.

Wyn was a character that I also adored. We didn't get to learn all that much about him (well not enough for my likings) but everything we learned I adored. He was such a sweet character. And he's not the "bad-boy" character that we see all the time. He was really well-written.

I loved the dynamics between the characters, especially between Nix and Wyn. They were cute. The romance in the novel took a back-burner, which I enjoyed immensely.

The secondary characters were also well-written. I loved reading about them. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I adored this book. It was unique and original. It didn't feel like a story that I'd read a million times. I'm not a gamer, but I loved the gaming world that Durango built. A world where you can virtually live. 

The world was intriguing and the novel was fast-paced. There wasn't a slow moment and yet nothing felt rushed either. It was fantastic. 

The whole concept of this novel just drew me in from the get-go. This novel is a YA that is actually geared for YA readers and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to readers of any age.

A read that ia fairly short and thoroughly entertaining. 

So why 4.5 stars? It was just so original. It wasn't necessarily the best book I've ever read, but the originality of it all made it one that I adored. 

Warnings/Side-notes: That's the beauty of this novel. It is super clean. There are a few mentions of appearance (immodesty) and a few very tame sexual innuendos, but there is nothing overtly sexual, violent, and there is no swearing. 

The Wrap-up: I can't wait to read what happens next. That ending left so many things open. I'll be curious to see if Durango can do it again in the sequel. 

Love,

Danica Page

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Taken by Dee Henderson

Taken 
by Dee Henderson 
Adult Inspirational Suspense
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.42
Published by: Bethany House Publishers
Published on: April 28, 2015
Pages: 432

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:


Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She has enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator and former cop Matthew Dane to help her navigate her reentry into society, she quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. For one thing, her brother is the leading candidate in the race for Illinois governor, and news of her escape will create a media frenzy. For another, the ransom her family reportedly paid years earlier appears to have been a scam; no one knows what happened to the money. And then there’s the fact that Shannon’s escape involved faking her own death. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

Thoughts on the Author:  I love Dee Henderson. I have read every book she's ever written. That's no joke. Her Uncommon Heroes and the O'Malley series set a really high bar for me. 

Henderson is one of my favorite authors and so I went in with high expectations. I think the problem is that I want more of the Uncommon Heroes and O'Malley series. 

This new style is very different. It's told in one person's perspective, which is very different from her previous novels. I also feel like there's a lot less romance and more introspection and building of characters. The suspense is slower building and we don't get to see into the mind of the bad buy like we have in past series.

All of this means that this new Dee Henderson is very different than before. I've had mixed feelings about these changes. It's been a struggle for me to adapt to this new style. However, I think I like it. 

This Book in Specific: Okay, the first few pages did not hook me. It did not grab my attention like it wanted to. However, that quickly changed. The book was fast-paced and very enjoyable. I loved the character growth that took place in this novel.

I also loved the writing once I got past the first few pages. Henderson is a great writer and I enjoyed the story. There were certain elements that bugged me about this story. I had a hard time coming to terms with certain aspects. However, at the end I decided it didn't bug me all that much. 

So why 4 stars? It's Dee Henderson. She's a great writer, and I enjoyed this one a lot. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Mild violence. 

The Wrap-up: A different, new Dee Henderson, but still a brilliant Henderson. 

Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
(Medieval Fairy Tale Romance, #1)
by Melanie Dickerson
Historical Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.71
Published by: Thomas Nelson 
Published on: May 12, 2015
Pages: 320

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

"Swan Lake" meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region's most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the forester.

Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave's game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea she is the one who has been poaching the margrave's game.

Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?

The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I adore Melanie Dickerson. Her books are fun, engaging, and fantastic. I love how Dickerson tells these classic fairy tales with new twists.

This one was no exception. I loved the characters of Jorgen and Odette. They were both so intriguing. They both had flaws and yet I loved their characters right away.

Odette--the Robin Hood--is such a nice person with such a gentle heart. And yet, she's so brave. She takes action and is a kick-butt character. I loved this retelling of Robin Hood.

Jorgen was also fantastic. The idea of Jorgen unknowingly trying to capture the girl he loved made for a great plot.

For fans of Robin Hood, romance, historical fiction, or just young adult in general, this is a must read.

I stayed up way too late to finish this one. Definitely comes recommended. 

So why 4 stars? It stood out to me from other novels in the genre. It is one that I would be tempted to buy. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Minor violence. 

The Wrap-up: This is a great novel that is engaging, humorous, and intriguing. Can't wait to see what's up next in the docket for Dickerson. 

Love,

Danica Page

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
reading (347) books (342) Book Review (341) asked to review (237) series (156) review (146) blogging (142) romance (130) young adult (129) meme (126) realistic (126) contemporary (124) netgalley (111) writing (102) arc (84) fiction (82) blog tour (76) adult (72) christian (64) new adult (61) 2015 (49) Waiting on Wednesday (43) my favorites (42) reading addiction blog tours (41) 2013 (39) characters (38) Top Ten Tuesday (36) writing process (36) 2012 (35) historical fiction (35) guest post (30) Teaser Tuesday (29) fantasy (29) suspense (29) IMM (27) paranormal (27) 3 stars (26) WWW Wednesdays (25) 2014 (24) The Chosen One (21) standalone novel (21) new adult challenge 2013 (20) giveaways (19) letters (18) Author Interview (16) blogger in the spotlight (16) contests (16) mystery (16) 4 stars (15) debut novel 2012 (15) writing advice (15) NWOC (14) giveaway (14) chick-lit (13) excerpt (13) promo (13) Black Rose (12) debut (12) dystopia (12) sci-fi (12) author spotlight (11) editing (11) sophomore novel (11) Musing Mondays (10) authors (10) edelweiss (10) tbr pile challenge 2013 (10) covers (8) short story (8) 2011 (7) Stacking the Shelves (7) debut novel 2013 (7) retelling (7) Thursday Tutorials (6) dac (6) in my opinion (6) lists (6) top 10 (6) winners (6) Publication (5) Xpresso Book Tours (5) inspirational (5) novella (5) sports (5) 3.5 stars (4) Whimsical Wednesdays (4) amish (4) challenges (4) journalism (4) list (4) nonfiction (4) 2013 sophomore challenge (3) Q and A (3) Three Shards of Glass (3) blog hop (3) debut novel 2011 (3) discussion (3) male pov (3) middle grade (3) partners in crime blog tour (3) Monday Manifestos (2) NaNoWriMo (2) Saturday Sabbaticals (2) To-Read Tuesday (2) action (2) awards (2) college (2) contes (2) country challenge (2) howard books (2) rant (2) video (2) women's fiction (2) writing is everywhere (2) 2 (1) 2 stars (1) 2010 (1) 4.5 stars (1) 5 stars (1) BookLook bloggers (1) Danica's Writing Corner (1) Filling up the Pages (1) Poetry Circle (1) Robert Frost (1) abuse (1) analysis (1) blogoversary (1) book depository (1) book tour (1) book trade (1) classic literature (1) debut novel 2014 (1) deseret news review (1) design (1) endings (1) freebie (1) irene hannon (1) january (1) lds (1) literary agents (1) month overview (1) plays (1) polls (1) ratedreads (1) realist (1) seasonal (1) serial novel (1) songs (1) trailers (1)