Saturday, March 31, 2012

IMM (18)

Hello, this is my seventeenth week involved with In My Mailbox, a weekly blogging meme hosted by The Story Siren. The point is to share the books you have acquired over the last two weeks.

This week I got a lot of unexpected books. It was a great book week. 

Books I borrowed:

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen- Alyssa Hoffmaster from The Book Blog Experience let me borrow this one. I was hooked the second I saw the cover. And besides I really love art. I just thought this one would be so cute. I'm so glad, she let me borrow this one. You're my favorite. 

Books I received for Review:

Fated by Alyson Noel- Totally out of the blue, I check the mail and this is in there. St.Martin's Press send me an arc in the mail and I wasn't expecting it. Basically I was thrilled and did a happy dance.

Books I received for review from Netgalley:

Uneasy Fortunes by Mandi Ellsworth- This one just looked good. It's a historical romance. Civil War South. Guy with battered past...I'm in. 

The Chase by DiAnn Mills- I love love love love love love this author. I can't wait to read this one. Christian romantic suspense is my all-time fav. Love that I got this one. I love the cover too. 

Leah's Choice by Emma Miller- This one sounds interesting. It's Amish fiction. I'm in. I'm not fond of the cover, but I love the plot line. Forbidden courtship, I'm in.

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck- This one sounds interesting. I like the cover on this one. One Dress. Four Women. Sounds a little sisterhood-ish, but not at all. 

The Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall- This one just looks good. She's a runaway slave but one who can pass as a white, and when a white falls in love with her what will he do. This sounds great.

The Hunter's Prize by Marcia Gruver- It just sounds really good.

Living in Harmony by Mary Ellis- I've read a book by her before and enjoyed it. So I have high hopes for this one.

The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla- This one is one that I love the cover on, so I really hope this is the final cover. It's about the Kristallnacht and Japan and China. And basically it just looks good. 

That's it for me. What did you guys get this week? Feel free to leave your link in the comments. I read every single one. 

~Danica Page

Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: Bound by Annie Oldham

by Annie Oldham
Received for Review by author
Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.67

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that is available on Goodreads:

After her mother dies, Elowyn Challis would do anything to bury the pain, but being shipped off to boarding school isn't what she had in mind. Things could be worse. Wyn finds a place for herself in the academy and living in the capital is just sparkling. But under it all, her mother's death still haunts her. Then Wyn discovers a secret that changes everything she believes: the bedtime stories her mother told her as a child are real, the faerie realm exists, and she is the Binder—the one mortal on earth with the power to seal the gate to Fae. It's a power Wyn's not sure she wants or can even wield. But she must confront her nightmares and her grief, or two worlds will be torn apart.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank Annie Oldham for giving me this book to review.

The story starts with Wyn leaving for the girls academy school after her mother's death and that is where the adventure starts. Wyn was a character that I enjoyed learning about. She had a good heart and when she got the call she stepped up to the plate bravely.

Along with Wyn, I really liked the supporting characters. They were all intriguing and had distinct personalities. They didn't feel like they were cut out of a mold. I really like when characters seem real. 

The pacing of the novel was excellent. The story never felt rushed or like it was dragging on. Oldham masterfully crafted a story that was intriguing and entertaining and felt like it was constantly moving toward the climax. I also appreciated that. 

The world Oldham created was one full of intrigue and fantasy. I loved the idea behind the novel and loved the way she told this story.Oldham's writing was entertaining and very well constructed. I never felt lost in the story and her words left me captivated by the story. 

This is the second novel I've read by Oldham and she is proving herself as a versatile writer that I will be keeping tabs on. 

In Summary: A novel that I really enjoyed reading and a writer that I'll be keeping tabs on.

Warnings/Side-notes: None, this novel is clean.

The Wrap-up: This is a novel that I really enjoyed and recommend to anybody especially those who love fairy tales and fantasy. 


Danica Page

Q and A with author Stephanie Worlton

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to have author Stephanie Worlton on the blog today for a Q & A. 

Stephanie is the author of Hope's Journey, which I recently reviewed on the blog and really enjoyed. Stephanie is also a wife and a mother of four. Besides writing, she enjoys gardening, interior design, painting, and carpentry. 

Thanks for agreeing to do this Q & A, Stephanie. And without further ado, let's get into the Q & A. 

Why did you decide to write this novel?

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that authors don’t find stories, rather the stories find them. In the case of Hope’s Journey, that sentiment couldn’t be more true. The idea knocked around in my head for years as I volunteered in various capacities with youth.  I’ve seen a lot of girls struggle to one degree or another with their self worth. I’ve also seen the naivety of young men concerning their influence over those girls. I’ve seen kids make brilliant choices and others make not-so brilliant ones. I’ve seen lives changed by moments of weakness and witnessed the devastation of those mistakes. Having personally experienced the emotions, the self-disgust, and the cruel stigmas of society, I felt prompted to share a story that would break down stereotypes, help prevent others from making the same mistakes, and ultimately give hope to all those who falter.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading this novel?

The most important thing I hope readers take from Hope’s Journey is that, despite our circumstances and choices, we all have great worth. Regardless of where we are on our personal journey, each of us is a child of a loving Father in Heaven and as such we have immeasurable value. So often bad choices are the result of self esteem issues not deficient morals. I hope kids understand their value, just as I hope adults – parents, teachers, friends – understand the power of their influence.  

What was your favorite thing about writing this novel?

I loved getting to know Alex. I know that sounds weird, but when I started writing, I had no idea where Alex was coming from or where he was headed. Finding voice for an eighteen year old of the opposite sex was very challenging. His character took a lot of research, interviewing, and digging! And, though there were times I wanted to strangle him, ultimately I fell in love with his courage and integrity.

What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

Hands down, the hardest thing was reconnecting with emotions that I’d long since buried. I had to dig up some very painful parts of my past and, in a sense, repurpose them. I wanted readers to feel Sydney’s heartache. I wanted them to understand Alex’s dilemmas. Neither of those goals would’ve been attainable without those pure, raw, honest emotions.

What would you say to somebody who thinks it’s wrong to write novels about issues like teen pregnancy?

Whether we want to admit it or not, teen pregnancy exists all around us. It’s a sad epidemic, and though it is a tender subject, it is relevant!  We can bury our heads in the sand or point scornful fingers in disgust, or we can do something to help make a difference. There are self-help books and guides for parents and teens alike, and though they may be packed with facts and figures, there is nothing more powerful than a story! If experience is the best teacher, then I think it’s safe to conclude that realistic characters sharing authentic emotional experiences can go further in empowering positive choices and promoting life changing insight than any lecture or list of statistics ever could. Hope’s Journey doesn’t advocate teen pregnancy. What it does advocate, however,  is self worth, forgiveness, compassion, and repentance.

What made you originally interested in pursuing a career in architecture?

I think it’s just in my blood. I was raised around construction sites, riding in heavy equipment, using power tools, and studying plans. I remember lying on the living room floor, chin in my hands, as I stared at blueprints with my grandpa. I absorbed every step of the building process and by the time I was ten I knew that architecture was in my future.
What do you love about writing?
There’s something rewarding about taking an abstract concept and making something tangible out of it.  I think it’s part of that same creative passion that drove me to architecture. My mind never shuts off, so any creative outlet I can find is a warm welcome to my routine.

How do you find ways to balance being a mom, a writer, and fulfilling your other obligations?

It’s all about prioritizing and it’s safe to say that I’m still learning! My family always comes first, which means sometimes writing takes a back seat. I’ll admit, when I get into a good writing groove, the laundry starts to build and dinner sometimes turns into sandwiches or cold cereal. For the most part, however, I try to write while my kids are at school or are sleeping. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband that not only supports my writing habits, but encourages them along. He picks up a lot of my slack and doesn’t complain about the keyboard clicking while he’s trying to sleep.  

Thanks again, Stephanie. 

Blog Tour/Book Review: Hope's Journey by Stephanie Worlton

Hope's Journey
by Stephanie Worlton
Received for Review from author
Young Adult LDS fiction
Release Date:July 10, 2011
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Pages: 288

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

Sydney is a straight-A student heading to college on a 
scholarship,and Alex is a quiet jock preparing to serve an LDS 
mission. But their dreams are shattered on the eve of their
 high school graduation when they find out that Sydney is pregnant.
 Separated, they must both trust in God as they search for the worth 
they once found in each other. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank Stephanie for giving me a copy of this novel to review and inviting me to participate in this blog tour. She also agreed to have a Q & A on my blog, which I greatly appreciate. 

Now then, this book deals with teen pregnancy--an issue that is very sensitive. I went into this novel not really knowing what to think. Basically, I went into this novel blind.

The novel switches off narratives between Sydney and Alex which I really enjoyed. I loved being able to dig into both characters' heads. This allowed me to really get to know the characters. They stopped being just characters, and became actual people.

The novel was very well-written and flowed nicely into the novel. It wasn't flowery and didn't detract from the message Stephanie was trying to share, but rather enhanced that message. The writing was beautiful in other words. 

This novel dealt more with the aftermath of her pregnancy than the actual act of precursors leading up to her pregnancy. This was a decision I really enjoyed. Stephanie focused on the healing process and trying to find yourself even when your whole life is seemingly falling apart.

Two of my favorite characters in this novel were Sydney and Damon. Damon was such a good friend to Sydney. He's the type of guy that you wish you knew. He supported Sydney throughout her pregnancy when so many people would have turned against her. I absolutely loved him.

And Sydney's silent strength was something that I admired greatly. She made a mistake, but she owned up to it and was strong. I liked that.  

This book wasn't the most emotional book I've read on this subject, but I really enjoyed reading it. And even though this is an LDS fiction book, I would recommend this to anybody whether they identify as a religious person or not. 

In Summary: A beautiful novel that touches on the heart-breaking subject of teenage pregnancy in a way that emphasized healing and discovering who you are even after your identity seems to have been shattered.

Warnings/ Side-notes: Although this novel deals with teenage pregnancy, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any teenager. It's not explicit or graphic and is a very clean novel. There would be no reason why I wouldn't recommend it. 

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was compellingly and beautifully written. The characters were realistic and lovable despite their mistakes. Stephanie Worlton did a great job at crafting this story. 


Danica Page

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blogger in the Spotlight...Write My World

This week I'm pleased to introduce Lena of Write my World, who will be starring in this week's Blogger in the Spotlight.

Big welcome, Lena.

Lena's author spotlight:

With that in mind, today I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite authors: Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson writes two of my favorite genres: contemporary young adult and historical fiction. I just finished one of her historical fictions novels, Chains. I’m getting ready to read the second book in the trilogy, Forged. Later this year, the last book, Ashes, is scheduled for release. I’m excited to read it! Chains was very good. I’ve also read Fever 1793, which is very popular in schools. It’s about the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia.

While I like Anderson’s historical fiction, I think she really shines at modern fiction for young adults. I’ve noticed that a lot of readers either like her historical fiction or her contemporary. I like both, but I prefer the contemporary fiction she’s written. I love reading young adult novels about people with real problems. Speak was one an amazing book and one of my favorite young adult novels. Wintergirls is also amazing and one of my favorites. Speak was nominated for some major national awards and I’d heard a lot about it before I read it. But what really made me pick it up was when I saw the movie with Kristen Stewart. I’d been interested in the book before, but once I saw the movie, I had to read it, and of course the book was much better. 

That’s when I got hooked on Andersons books and started reading more about what kinds of books she writes. I’d never heard of Wintergirls when I picked it up, but I’m so glad I did. I actually thought it was a paranormal book because of the cover! But I’m glad I read it—it’s an amazing book about a girl with an eating disorder. It left me gasping in horror a few times, but I had to know what happened next. Definitely a gripping read.
Catalyst is next on my list of her contemporary YA books.

I’m so glad I discovered this amazing writer of young adult fiction. Her books are a little edgy and for a mature teen audience, but she never goes too far. Her books might make readers a little uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough to stop reading.

Q & A with Lena:

How long have you been blogging?

Since 2006, so about six years. I started out on Myspace! I stopped for a while after the glory days os Myspace ended, but I started again about a year ago.

Why do you love blogging?

I like getting my thoughts down. I journal a lot, too, and my blog started out as a journal and a way to write about my travel experiences. Now my blog is mostly focused on reading and writing. I’m doing a series of poems right now, some of them from college and some of them more recent.

Why did you name your blog Write my World?

I wanted to have a catchy name that related to writing. I love music, so it was kind of a ‘rock my world’ moment. Plus, that’s what I try to do. Write my world.

Why do you love Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby?

I read a lot of classics and historical fiction, and I just loved the atmosphere of The Great Gatsby. I felt like I was living in that time, being decadent, involved in the mystery and glamour surrounding Jay. I really love books that draw me in so I feel like I’m living the story. Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby both drew me in that way.

What do you love about Arkansas?

I’ve always lived here, although I’ve thought about moving away plenty of times. I’ve traveled a lot, too, and whenever I go somewhere, no matter how amazing it is, when I get back I think there’s nowhere I’d rather live. I still like to visit other places, and maybe one day I’ll move, but for now, this is home.

Why do you love writing? What kind of writing do you love?

I’ve always loved writing, even when I was a kid. I’ve only been writing novels for a few years, but I’ve always written poetry (some of it completely cringeworthy!) and kept journals.

What can you tell me about your books The Superiors and The Vigilantes?

They are the first two books in an urban fantasy series I’m publishing. They are about a ‘superior’ race that takes over the world from humans. The idea was to imagine what it would be like if there was something higher on the food chain than people—how they would treat humans, and what role humans would play. It could have been aliens or a new breed, but I chose to write about vampires, since they feed from humans anyway.

What made you want to write about Vampires?

I read a few vampire series, and I started wondering why vampires are always subject to human rule, since they are so much stronger and faster and smarter…basically superior to humans. So that’s the premise of the series. The Superiors are vampires who rule humans.

What are you currently reading and what are you going to read next?

Right now I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I’m always trying to catch up on all the classics I haven’t read, but I also love young adult novels. I’d heard a lot about Asher’s book, and one of my book clubs chose it, so I’m working on that. I’m also listening to Summerland by Michael Chabon on audiobook. I always have a lot of books going on at once!

Anything else you think readers should know about you?

I always consider myself a reader first, a writer second. After all, without readers, where would writers be?

You are most welcome, Lena. Thanks for stopping by.

Well that's all for this week's Blogger in the SpotlightBe sure to check out Lena's blog, Write My World.

Also, if you're interested in being spotlighted, please see the Blogger in the Spotlight page. Also, I have a ton of spots opening up for spotlights, so please email me if you're interested.
Danica Page

Book Review: Saving Hope by Margaret Daley

Saving Hope
(Men of The Texas Rangers, #1)
by Margaret Daley
Received for Review by publisher via Netgalley
Adult Contemporary Christian Romantic fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.36
Pages: 336

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

When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt's daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped. Now it's personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves.
"Through crisp writing, Daley paints life-like characters engaged in a believable struggle that kept me turning pages to the satisfying ending." Richard L. Mabry, MD, Author of Lethal Remedy and the Prescription For Trouble series.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, as always, I'd like to thank netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review this novel.
And now for my thoughts: This may be the best Christian fiction novel I've read this year. I absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the writing, and just everything about this novel.
Daley's ability to create a world that readers will fall in love with. This is a book that I'm definitely going to be buying and one that I could see myself reading this one over and over again. I will also be anxiously waiting for the sequel to come out. 
I'm going to start by talking about Wyatt and Kate. I loved both of these characters. They weren't perfect, but they were trying their hardest to live a righteous life and to be the best people they could. I loved their relationship and definitely hope we get to see them again in the sequel. 
Daley's writing was enjoyable. The whole time I was intrigued by her tale. Her writing really was crisp and yet descriptive, inviting, and basically just beautifully crafted. 
I also really liked the character Rose. Rose's courage and ability to overcome her past was touching and inspiring. I definitely loved learning about her story and hope to learn more about her in the sequel as well.
Basically, this novel was brilliantly written and one that I absolutely adored reading. It was cute, inspiring, fun, heart-breaking, informative, and entertaining at the same time. It touched upon some serious issues in society (prostitution), but did it in a way that is clean and could be read by anybody who could get past the initial shock that this novel centers around a sensitive issue.
In Summary: A meaningful read that was touching, inspiring, entertaining, and beautifully written. One of my favorite, if not my favorite, Christian fiction novels that I've read this year.
Warnings/ Side-notes: This novel centers around Kate who has opened a shelter for teenage girls who used to be prostitutes. However, this novel is really clean. It doesn't go into any detail. It only even mentions sex once. The novel is about girls who are overcoming a rough past, and not the actual life/acts of a prostitute. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anybody who could handle that initial premise.
The Wrap-up: I loved this novel. I can't wait until I can actually buy this one. This author has distinguished herself in my mind right up there with Dee Henderson and Irene Hannon. Definitely an author that I love and will be keeping tabs on. Definitely recommend this one.
Danica Page

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Honor Redeemed by Loree Lough

Honor Redeemed
(First Responders, #2)
by Loree Lough
Received for Review from publisher via netgalley
Adult Christian fiction
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.74
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Pages: 271

Before I get into my review, here's the summary available on Goodreads:

Highly skilled Search and Rescue (SAR) team leader, Honor Mackenzie, works almost as hard at guarding the dark secrets of her past as she does when training SAR dogs. As for widowed Sun reporter Matt Phillips, not even his former SAR work is as important as protecting his ten-year-old twin boys. When a jumbo jet crashes outside Baltimore one cold night, their respective jobs put them face-to-face at the grisly scene--and force Matt and Honor to reconsider the difficult decisions that resulted in their long-standing "single forever" status.As Matt tries to come to terms with his feelings for Honor, he gets word that she hasn t reported in since starting the search for a missing child. Reverting to his SAR training, Matt leads the search team as a vicious winter storm bears down on the area. Will he find her in time? And if he does, will they find their way back to each other or go back to living life alone?

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5. (would be 4, except for that epilogue).

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off I'd like to thank the publisher and netgalley for giving me a chance to read this book.

I didn't read the first in the series before reading this one. While that would probably be the best way to read this novel, you can jump into this one and enjoy it without feeling lost.

I don't know where to begin with this one. I loved the novel, I loved the writing style, and I loved the plot. Lough did a great job of drawing me into the story she created. I was intrigued by the relationship between Matt and Honor and loved watching them grow in this novel.

Honor had been dealt a bad hand, but the way she dealt with it was admirable and I found myself really drawn toward her character. And Matt was so silently strong. He too had faced a lot in his life and yet he persevered. 

The synopsis led me to believe that the novel was going to be very different than it was, but I still enjoyed the novel. It's not as action packed as the synopsis made it sound. Rather, it pays more attention to the characters and their relationships. Which I honestly didn't mind.

Lough did a great job of writing this novel and I loved it up until the very end. I'm trying not to spoil anything, so I'll be vague. I got to the end and thought to myself "you're kidding me. No!" I was absolutely floored and to be honest angry. I wanted a certain ending and it ended very differently than I wanted it to. 

If Honor and Matt's story is continued in the next novel, then the ending is bearable. But if in the third novel, we are introduced to completely new characters, then I'm going to be ticked. 

Basically, this novel was great and very well-written. I'll be curious to see what happens next and it better be about Honor and Matt. :)

In Summary: A novel that is masterfully written full of characters I love, but one that missed the action and the ending I would have liked to make this a superb novel. However, I really did enjoy reading this one. And I will definitely be checking checking back in on this series. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Very clean. Minor references to alcohol and minor flashbacks to a rough family life. But it didn't go into much detail.

The Wrap-up: A novel that I really enjoyed, but that ending...left me frustrated, but also eager to read more. I loved the author and everything about this novel. I just really hope the third one is still about Honor and Matt and not new characters. 


Danica Page

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted
(Goddess Test, #2)
by Aimee Carter
Received for review from publisher via netgalley
Young Adult Paranormal
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.06
Release Date: March 27, 2012 (today)
Pages: 304

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

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry's first wife, Persephone. 

My Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book.

This novel was a roller coaster for me. I loved it and then I was less than enraptured by it and then I loved it again and then I was than thrilled again. Basically, this was a bridge novel. And yet, as far as bridge novels go, this one was better than most. 

I really enjoyed this novel and loved seeing how Carter built on her story. I loved Kate in the first novel, and while this novel didn't necessarily point out her strongest sides--I still loved her character. She is willing to fight for what she wants and what she loves.

While some contend that Persephone is treated in a misogynistic stereotype, I feel like Carter did an excellent job fleshing out her character. I liked getting to hear her side of the story and while I don't think I'd like her as a friend, I feel like she wasn't the monster people make her out to be.

And while I was frustrated with Henry for most of the novel, you can't help but like him.

This book was well-written, entertaining, and I really enjoyed it. It was a solid three until the end...which bumped it up to a 3.5.

Oh my gosh! That ending! I was left stunned, mouth open and a floored expression screaming "what? When does the next novel come out?"

An enjoyable book and I definitely will be looking forward to thee third one after that cliffhanger ending. 

In Summary: An enjoyable novel, but one that was not quite as good as the first one.

Warnings/Side-notes: Sex scene--but very vague and not at all detailed. 

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, and am definitely enjoying this series. This wasn't her best novel, but it was still really good. 


Danica Page

Blogger in the Spotlight...Always a Booklover

This week I'm pleased to introduce Victoria of Always a Booklover, who will be starring in this week's Blogger in the Spotlight.

Big welcome, Victoria.

Victoria's author spotlight:

Judith Mcnaught is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time. She has written many fantastic books that has touched me to the very core. Her books spark emotions in me that I hardly ever feel when reading other books. One moment I can be screaming at the characters, the next moment I could be sighing at their sweet declarations of love. She never fails to surprise me. When I first picked up her book, Whitney, My Love, I wasn’t expecting much. But I was never so glad to have been proven wrong. That book started an obsession in me. The obsession to read all of her books. Which I did.

Since then, I have tried finding other romance authors that can bring me through that same maelstrom of emotions, going from one emotional high to another. But so far, I don’t really think I’ve found any. Some have come close, but to me, none have ever reached her standard.

I love almost all of her books. But out of these, there are some that I especially love. Whitney, My Love, Once and Always, Something Wonderful, Almost Heaven, Perfect, Paradise. All of these are books that has touched me so deeply that I think I will never forget them.

Even when I re-read her books, I go through the exact same emotions as when I’ve first read it. Sometimes, I see even more that escaped my attention the first time and that, to me, is amazing. Its not everyday that I can re-read a book and still have that magic of the first read.

Judith Mcnaught has never failed to touch my heart with her amazing writing, her excellent characters that you just fall in love with, her witty dialogues, her interesting plots. All of these together gives you an unforgettable read. And one of the most amazing reading experiences ever.

Q & A with Victoria:

PhotobucketHow long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging since about end October 2011. So that makes close to 5 months? Wow, that’s so much longer than I thought!

Why do you love blogging?

I have no idea actually, I just do! Its pretty amazing doing up the whole design and layout of the blog, working with authors, blog tour organizers, reviewing, etc. And it never fails to amaze me that some people out there actually read my blog.

Why did you name your blog Always a Book Lover?

I was struggling to choose a name and then suddenly this occurred to me! Hehe, rather cheesy I know, but I feel it conveys my love for books:) I’ve loved to read all my life and so I chose this name! Alright, to be honest, I have no idea, I was thinking for a long long time about a title and then this occurred to me. It was the best of my choices and it sounded pretty good in my head so I just stuck to it! :P

Why do you love romance novels?

This will be a super cheesy answer. But honestly? There’s just something about the love shown between both characters that gives me hope that there’s that type of love out there waiting for me. And it just shows that love truly can overcome all even through insurmountable odds. Sure, I know its just fiction, but there’s so many qualities that can be applied to real life, isn’t there? That perseverance, that courage to keep going on through it all, what’s not to love about them? And of course, the sweet – and cheesy – declarations of love. I live for those :P

Do you prefer realistic s or paranormal romances? Why?

I’m gonna have to go with realistic romance! Ok this is going to sound incredibly cheesy again but bear with me! I guess realistic romance is just sweeter cause it seems possible. That one day, that may actually happen to me! PNR is cool, but… it’ll never happen and thus I can’t dream and that’s quite sad!

What exactly is netball and why do you love it?

Heh, it’s an amazing sport! :D It’s kind of difficult to explain in a short time, but I’ll try! It’s a game with 7 players on each side. The objective is of course to score goals and win! Quite a number of rules, but let me just state the netball is nothing like basketball! You can’t bounce and you can’t move anywhere you like! Every player has a designated zone. Why do I love it? I’m clueless. This is my 8th year playing it and I still love it. Right now I’m a shooter and shooting is wow. Alright, this is gonna sound so retarded, but shooting gives me peace somehow. It’s just the net and me. Sometimes, as I’m shooting, nothing else seems to exist and when I make that perfect shot, everything seems right with the world.

What book are you pining for?

There’s no one book in particular actually! I wish I could just forget about the entire world and read:)

What do you do when you’re not reading/blogging?

Sadly, studying:( Alright, not always! Sometimes, I am)

What are you currently reading and what are you going to read next?

Surprise surprise! I’m not currently reading anything. School has been so hectic! I’m gonna read Mark of the Seer by Jenna Kay! My review is long overdue!

Anything else you think readers should know about you?

Hmm. I’ve never really thought of myself as an interesting person so I guess not! I’m a Christian since birth and I feel so thankful to have God by my side. Without Him, I honestly don’t think I would still be alive today. Or at least, not so happy! :D And yes, I’m naturally a very happy person:) Feel free to drop me a mail anytime! I’ll definitely respond:D Thanks for having me on the blog Danica! It’s been a pleasure answering questions for a change! And I do apologise for the so long answers, I tend to be very long-winded! Once again, thanks! ;D 

You are most welcome, Victoria. Thanks for stopping by.

Well that's all for this week's Blogger in the SpotlightBe sure to check out Victoria's blog, Always a Booklover.

Also, if you're interested in being spotlighted, please see the Blogger in the Spotlight page. Also, I have a ton of spots opening up for spotlights, so please email me if you're interested.
Danica Page

Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

(Starters, #1)
by Lissa Price
Received for Review from publisher via netgalley
Young Adult Dystopian
Release Dates: March 13,2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.05
Pages: 368

Before I get into my review, here is the summary available on Goodreads:


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. 

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . . 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. (My third 5-star rating of the year)

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: WOW! I loved loved this book. From the moment I started reading it I was hooked. This was Lissa Price's debut novel and I'm definitely interested in seeing what else this author writes. I absolutely can't wait until the sequel. That ending literally killed me.

I loved the main character Callie and the way that Price depicted her. I really felt like I was inside this character's head. I loved hearing her thought process and seeing why she did the things she did. I loved her personality. Her determination and her willing to sacrifice left me awed.

I loved the premise of this novel and the way she executed the novel. This was one novel that I always found myself asking what was going to happen next. Every time I thought I had the plot figured out, she would insert some twist that was surprising but inevitable. 

And then like I said that ending left me absolutely speechless and speculating for hours after I finished reading the novel. I turned the last page and wanted to reread the whole novel, but I convinced myself not to do that. I am, however, dying for the sequel to come out.

Lissa Price has definitely made a name for herself and has become an author I'm going to be keeping tabs on. 

I've heard over and over that the market is flooded with dystopian novels...that may be true, but I still love them. Especially ones like this one, that come on the scene are so amazing that I'm left thinking ooh that society is so creepy and yet I'm absolutely enthralled and intrigued with what might happen next. 

In Summary: AN AMAZING BOOK! One, that I definitely recommend. I can't wait for the sequel.

Warnings/Side-notes: Overall this novel is very clean, there are some minor sexual references. There is no sex in this novel, but it is vaguely mentioned. Minor violence--people are tasered. 

The Wrap-up: Basically, I love love loved this novel. One of the best one I've read in awhile. I absolutely adored this tale. The cover looked creepy yet appealing and that right there describes the book perfectly. 


Danica Page 

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