Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride



One Moment
by Kristina McBride  

Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Received for Review
Average Goodreads Rating: June 26, 2012
Release Date: 3.86
Pages: 272


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


This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of OppositesOne Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.



My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley for this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks for this opportunity!

My overall Thoughts/Impressions: This is Kristina McBride's second novel. I hadn't heard of her before, but was eager to read this one. I loved the cover of this book and I also loved the synopsis and so I decided that I had to read this one. 

I read Breaking Beautiful a few months ago which also featured some type of accident where the boyfriend ended up dead and the girlfriend's memory was left in shreds. I think subconsciously going into this one I was comparing the two of them.

However, after a few pages, I realized that these books, although similar on the surface, were completely different from each other. I stopped comparing them and quickly found myself swept away in the story. I've already shared that I have an unhealthy interest in novels about memory loss...this one fit the bill nicely. 

The pacing of this story seemed to fly by at a rapid pace (or maybe that was just my frantic reading) which I actually enjoyed. I never felt like the novel had a slow or dull moment. The whole time I was reading this one I was intrigued and riveted by the story.

The characters were all compelling and I found myself anxiously waiting to see how the novel unfolded. There were times I wanted to hit Maggie over the head and tell her to see what was really going on, but I still liked her. You don't really get to know much about her other than her relationship with her friends and of course her boyfriend Joey. 

However, I didn't mind getting a snapshot on her life.  The novel focused on the accident and the aftermath of the accident. It created a complex picture of a few moments--or one moment as the tile suggests--and I love novels that do that. 

This novel pulled on my emotions and made me feel invested in the story. It was a really quick read that was entertaining. This is one that I'd reread. I'll definitely be looking into McBride's debut novel The Tension of Opposites. 

In Summary: McBride's sophomore novel left me intrigued and anxious to see what happened next. Great writing and great characters that made for a compelling read. 

Warnings/ Side-notes: Sexual undertones and discussion of sex, but you don't actually directly read about any sex scenes. Fairly clean and innocent. I don't remember what the language was like, sorry. 

The Wrap-up: A great book that I'm glad I got the chance to read. McBride's writing was fresh and compelling. This is definitely an author that I'll be keeping tabs on. If you like books about memory loss, be sure to check out this one as well as Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. 

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blog Tour/Excerpt/Giveaway: The Warlock by Deborah J. Lightfoot

Hello readers,


Today I'm pleased to be part of The Warlock blog tour as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour team. The Warlock is the first book in the Waterspell series by Deborah J. Lightfoot.


Before I share the excerpt and offer you guys a chance to win this book, I'd like to share some information about the author and the book.


Here's some information about Deborah:



Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in West Texas, she grew up reading extraordinary tales of adventure and reenacting them behind tall ramparts of sun-drenched corn. She left the farm to earn a bachelor of science degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography, including The LH7 Ranch (University of North Texas Press) and Trail Fever (William Morrow, New York). High on her Bucket List was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is WATERSPELL, a complex, intricately detailed fantasy that begins with Book 1: The Warlock and Book 2: The Wysard, and concludes (for the present) with Book 3: The Wisewoman. But a legal pad filled with notes and tucked away in a desk drawer suggests a possible Book 4 before the saga may fairly be said to be finished.

Deborah is a professional member of The Authors Guild. She and her husband live in the country south of Fort Worth, Texas. Find her online at www.waterspell.net.

You can also reach Deborah at her facebook page. You can buy her book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Here is a short synopsis of The Warlock: 

Drawn into the schemes of an angry wizard, Carin glimpses the place she once called home. It lies upon a shore that seems unreachable. To learn where she belongs and how to get there, the teenage traveler must decipher the words of an alien book, follow the clues in a bewitched poem, conjure a dragon from a pool of magic -- and tread carefully around a seductive but volatile, emotionally scarred sorcerer who can't seem to decide whether to love her or kill her. 

I for one know that that synopsis makes me want to read this book.

And now for what you guys have been waiting for: the excerpt and the giveaway.

Excerpt from
WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock

by Deborah J. Lightfoot


From
Chapter 1. The Swordsman


It happened too fast to hurt at first. But, oh! the blood—lots of it, streaming from a gouge that crosscut her knee.

She hunched over the wound, her masses of unkempt hair tumbling around her face, strands of it trailing in the gore. Blindly Carin fumbled in her belt-pouch for something to stanch the bleeding. Her fingers met only flint and steel for fire-making, pebbles for arming her sling, and a length of twine that was useful for everything from tying back her shaggy auburn mane to rigging a brush shelter.

Abruptly a hand grasped the shank of her leg, and another shoved at her shoulder. “Straighten up,” her captor snarled.

Carin threw back her head and flung the hair out of her eyes. “You!” she gasped. “But—” She hadn’t heard the swordsman’s approaching footsteps—a seeming impossibility through the crunchy carpet of autumn leaves. Yet here the man was, crouched beside her and brandishing a dagger. Carin’s hand flew to shield her throat, but it was her knee he put the blade to.

Stay away from me! she wanted to shout at him. She couldn’t get the words out—not in a way that made sense. As sometimes happened when she came unglued, Carin lapsed into a language of her own. The sounds that passed her lips weren’t gibberish, but no one ever understood a word she said when she got like this. Carin yelled at the man, in her own private language, and tried to wrench free of his grasp.

“Stop your noise,” he barked. He held her leg tighter and waved his dagger in her face. “If you can’t be quiet, I’ll cut out your tongue.”

Copyright © 2011–2012 by Deborah J. Lightfoot. All Rights Reserved.

Sample Chapter 1 in full at www.amazon.com/dp/B00686UIFW



An now for the giveaway, good luck everybody!


Love,

Danica Page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla


The Far Side of the Sky
by Daniel Kalla
Received for Review
Adult Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79
Pages: 464

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

November 9, 1938—Kristallnacht—the Nazis unleash a night of terror for Jews all across Germany. Meanwhile, the Japanese Imperial Army rampages through China and tightens its stranglehold on Shanghai, a city that becomes the last haven for thousands of desperate European Jews.


Dr. Franz Adler, a renowned surgeon, is swept up in the wave of anti-Semitic violence and flees to Shanghai with his daughter. At a refugee hospital, Franz meets an enigmatic nurse, Soon Yi “Sunny” Mah. The chemistry between them is intense and immediate, but Sunny’s life is shattered when a drunken Japanese sailor murders her father.
The danger escalates for Shanghai’s Jews as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Facing starvation and disease, Franz struggles to keep the refugee hospital open and protect his family from a terrible fate.

The Far Side of the Sky focuses on a short but extraordinary period of Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish history when cultures converged and heroic sacrifices were part of the everyday quest for survival.


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I consider myself something of a history buff and so I love it when I read a novel that causes me look at something in a new light. Sarah's Key did that for me and so did this novel.

This novel is not your average WWII novel. Instead, this novel is set in the heart of Shanghai, China. That concept was mind-boggling to me and set this novel apart from other WWII books I've read.

I decided to read this book because of the cover that is featured to the left. Sounds shallow, but it's true. Boy am I glad that I did read this one. This book was absolutely brilliant. I adored the characters and loved following them as they faced their trials and struggled to overcome the horrors in their lives.

Not only did this book depict the horrors that the Jews had to endure, it also depicted the horrors that the Chinese had to endure. This novel broke my heart and mended it all in one story. I felt so emotionally connected to this tale. I couldn't think of anything else while reading this one. Any book or writer that can do that, is definitely incredible. 

This novel is easily one of my favorites of the year. I definitely recommend reading this one.

The characters, the plot, and the writing are all amazing. Give this book a chance, you won't regret it. Yes, this book is long, but don't let that stop you. 

In Summary: One of my favorites this year. This novel brilliantly presented WWII in a new light. This novel blew me away from the get-go until the very last page. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Some violent scenes (not overly graphic, but still) a sexual assault scene, and a homosexual character on the fringe of the story. However, for the most part, I thought this novel was very clean. 

The Wrap-up: An incredible book that I will definitely be thinking about long after I turned the last page. Read this one. 

Love,

Danica Page

My writing...a link to an excerpt

Hello Readers,


If you would like to see something I've written, please follow this link to my writing blog for a short snippet of my writing. This is something I will be doing every Tuesday. 


Have a great day!


~Danica Page

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Tour/ Giveaway: Talented By Sophie Davis


Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the Sophie Davis Talented blog tour set up by Reading Addiction Blog Tours. 

I am going to be reviewing her novel, offering a copy of this book, and hosting a guest post from Sophie Davis. Check out this link to read my review of Talented and this link to read Sophie's guest post. 

Before we get into my review, here's a little more about the author the author:


Sophie moved to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Penn State University to pursue a career in the Sciences.  After deciding to actually write down one of the stories she makes up in her head, Sophie began the long journey towards her first full-length novel, Talented.  Caged is her second novel, and the second in the Talented Saga.  When Sophie isn't hunched over her computer, she can be found shopping in Georgetown, running in Rock Creek Park, or at the local dive bars in her Columbia Heights Neighborhood. Sophie can be reached at her website or her twitter account. You can buy her book at Barnes and Noble, through Amazon, through Sony, and Smashwords




And now don't miss your chance to win a copy of this book. Good luck everybody!

Love,
Danica Page


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour/ Guest post by author Sophie Davis


Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the Sophie Davis Talented blog tour set up by Reading Addiction Blog Tours. 

I am going to be reviewing her novel, offering a copy of this book, and hosting a guest post written by Sophie Davis. Check out this link to win a copy of the book and this link to read my review of Sophie's novel Talented.  

Before we get into the guest post, here's a little more information on the author:


Sophie moved to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Penn State University to pursue a career in the Sciences.  After deciding to actually write down one of the stories she makes up in her head, Sophie began the long journey towards her first full-length novel, Talented.  Caged is her second novel, and the second in the Talented Saga.  When Sophie isn't hunched over her computer, she can be found shopping in Georgetown, running in Rock Creek Park, or at the local dive bars in her Columbia Heights Neighborhood. Sophie can be reached at her website or her twitter account. You can buy her book at Barnes and Noble, through Amazon, through Sony, and Smashwords. 



And now here's Sophie's guest post: 

My Writing Process

I have been writing short stories and poems for as long as I can remember, so when I decided to write my first full-length novel, I thought it would be easy.  One night I sat at my computer with only a vague story idea in mind and started typing.  I wrote forty pages, but then had no idea where to go from there.  I didn’t map out the characters or make an outline, so I didn’t even know what my endgame was.  I picked up the story several times after that, but never wrote another word, because I had no idea where the story was going.  After doing this for a couple of months, I decided that I needed a better method.

I am a long-distance runner, and typically pass the time making up stories in my head.  I’d been developing the story that eventually became Talented for years while I ran, so instead of trying to make up something new, I decided to put that story to paper.  Why I didn’t do this the first time around, I’ll never know.  This time, I outlined the entire concept for one of my friends, and she found more holes in the story than I care to recount.  I took some time and thought about all her questions, making notes on sticky notes while at work or on the metro.   I sat down one night and started writing up bios for my main characters, which went a long way towards filling in my story gaps.  I made a loose outline, and began my second attempt at a novel. 

The writing went much smoother the second time, since I had a very concrete idea in mind and knew my characters.  But I soon realized that while I knew exactly what I wanted my main characters to look like and their personalities, my minor characters were very underdeveloped.  I decided to make a “look-book”.  I headed to CVS and bought stacks of magazines, and started my greatest arts and crafts project to-date.  I found pictures of people that I imagined looked like my characters, piecing together hair from one with eye color of another.  An entire weekend later, I had a three ring binder full of notes and magazines clippings that I frequently refer to.  From there, I was able to keep all my characters straight and better envision the lesser ones as I continued to write.

The next hurdle I encountered was where to start my story.  I knew that the entire concept would span more than one book, but I found myself writing a lot of backstory in the first novel.  About three-quarters of the way through, I realized that all the backstory might actually lend itself to another novel.  So I put the story that I was writing on hold, and began my third attempt at writing a novel. Approximately seven months later, I had a 100k word manuscript that became Talented, my first full-length finished novel. Several months after that, I finished the book that I’d set aside, and it became the sequel to Talented. 
Since I started my process while running, I typically go for a run when I get blocked on a scene.  I usually mull it over for a couple of days, revising it in my head several times before it ever makes it to the paper.  If a scene isn’t working for some reason, I often try to rework it in my mind before tackling the story edits on the computer.

After copious amounts of self-edits, I hand my manuscripts over to two of my trusted, yet brutally honest, friends.  One of the beta readers is extremely inquisitive and is great for picking up on any and all gaps or inconsistencies in the story.  The other is a therapist, and is therefore wonderful at reminding me that my characters need emotions.  I take a couple of weeks to incorporate their ideas/questions/suggestions into the story.  Next, I do one another read-through and round of edits on my own.  Then, I give the newly revised manuscript to my technical editor.  After all of the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, I do my last read-through to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.  The final step before submitting the book for sale is giving it to third person who has not read it before, and he makes any last-minute edits. 

The process is by no means perfect, and is still a work-in-progress, but seems to work well for me.  I imagine that every new author goes through a lot of trial and error before nailing down a process that works for them.  And I am sure that I will tweak my process for my next series.  While there has been quite a learning curve, it has been a lot of fun (and only a little frustrating) to try out different things to see what works best for me.


Thanks for sharing more about your writing process, Sophie. I hope you readers enjoyed this as much as I did.

Love,

Danica Page

Blog Tour/ Book Review: Talented By Sophie Davis

Hello Readers,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the Sophie Davis Talented blog tour set up by Reading Addiction Blog Tours. 

I am going to be reviewing her novel, offering a copy of this book, and hosting a guest post from Sophie Davis. Check out this link to win a copy of the book and this link to read Sophie's guest post. 

Before we get into my review, here's a little more about the author the author:


Sophie moved to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Penn State University to pursue a career in the Sciences.  After deciding to actually write down one of the stories she makes up in her head, Sophie began the long journey towards her first full-length novel, Talented.  Caged is her second novel, and the second in the Talented Saga.  When Sophie isn't hunched over her computer, she can be found shopping in Georgetown, running in Rock Creek Park, or at the local dive bars in her Columbia Heights Neighborhood. Sophie can be reached at her website or her twitter account. You can buy her book at Barnes and Noble, through Amazon, through Sony, and Smashwords




And now for my review:

Talented
(Talented Saga, #1)
by Sophie Davis
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Received for Review
(see disclaimer below)
Young Adult Dystopian
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.90
e-book

Before we get into my review, here's the summary:


Talia Lyons is Talented.  Born after a nuclear spill, she is part of a new generation possessing special abilities; Talia can read the minds of others and manipulate their thoughts.  Whether Morphers, Light Manipulators or Telekinetics, the Talented are taught to control their abilities under the protective eye of the government- to use their Talents for good. But all Talia wants is revenge.

Talia joins the Hunters, an elite group of government operatives, hoping to one day kill Ian Crane - the man who ordered the execution of her parents.
 Ever since she witnessed their brutal deaths, Talia has spent her life honing her abilities, determined to settle the score.  But she still has a lot to learn before she can ease the pain inside. Talia turns to a boy who can mimic her Talents, a boy who truly understands her inner turmoil.  But even he can’t help Talia, when she’s forced to choose between saving herself and avenging the lives of her parents.

Talented is an action-packed adventure, about a group of teenagers who aren't afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in.



My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received this book as part of the Reading Addiction blog tours and a copy of this book was provided for me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, see disclosure at bottom of this post.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I decided to read this book and participate in this tour because the synopsis looked intriguing. I'm glad I did decide to read this novel.

While this book did have some small errors, I liked the story so much that is almost didn't bother me. I really loved the characters and Sophie's writing style. She wrote in a way that intrigued me and left me wanting more.

The market is flooded with dystopian novels, but there is a reason why. They are so compelling and interesting. I love reading dystopian novels. I somehow didn't connect that this was a dystopian novel or else I would have been much more excited to read this one.

Back to the characters, I really liked Talia. At times, I wanted to hit her over the head, but I feel this way about several of my favorite characters. And then there was Eric, I liked him from the very beginning. Too bad Talia already has a boyfriend and Eric is a womanizer. Still, I really liked him.

This was Sophie's debut novel and an intriguing start to a new series that I will definitely be keeping tabs on. The second one in the series, Caged, is already out and I'm severely tempted to buy it because I want to read it. 

If you like dystopian novels, then I definitely recommend reading this one. It's definitely worth it. 

In Summary: A well-written dystopian novel that is an intriguing start to a series that I will definitely be keeping tabs on. 

Warnings/Side-notes: A few instances of strong language (f word) and sexual undertones/references throughout the novel. There is a homosexual character as well. However, this novel was one that I enjoyed and didn't feel uncomfortable while reading it. 

The Wrap-up: Like I mentioned earlier, Sophie Davis' first novel did have a few errors in it; however, I still really enjoyed reading it. This is a series that I'll be keeping a close watch on. It has definitely caught my attention and left me wanting more.

Be sure to check out the giveaway and guest post.

~Love,

Danica Page


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*





Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exciting news plus a free book!

2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Finalist Regina Sirois Needs your Vote in the ABNA contest. Vote for On Little Wings by May 30thHello readers,

Earlier this year, I reviewed Regina Sirois' novel On Little Wings. I absolutely adored this novel and offered a giveaway of this novel on the blog. 

Yesterday, Regina emailed me telling me that her novel had been nominated as one of the finalists for the Amazon Breakthrough novel award. That is incredible and I'm so proud of her. There couldn't be a more deserving winner. 

This contest nominates three books in all of North America for popular vote to see who will be published by Penguin. You can download the novel for free and for any of these novels until May 30.

I'm going to put my two cents in for Regina's novel. This link takes you to the place where you can vote for Regina's novel or the other two finalists. This link takes you to where you can download Regina's novel for free. 


You can learn additional information about the Breakthrough contest and Regina by following this link.


Congratulations Regina! Readers if you do read this novel let me know what you think.


~Danica Page





Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Uneasy Fortunes by Mandi Ellsworth


Uneasy Fortunes
by Mandi Ellsworth
Received for Review via publisher via Netgalley
Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.00
Pages: 240


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

Battered by his past, Pete knows he has no business falling for anyone. But when time can’t heal a wound, love steps in to make it right. Based on a true story of the post–Civil War South, this gentle rustic romance will pull you in from the first page and leave you with a renewed hope in the power of real love.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Like many of the books I've read recently, I went into this one with no expectations. I liked the cover and the fact that this was a historical romance around the Civil War time caught my interest.

I started reading the novel and immediately fell in love with both Pete and June. Pete came from a father who gambled away what would have been Pete's inheritance. He then had to work free for years to pay off the debt. The only problem was he fell in love with the boss' daughter. Good thing she married somebody else. 

Pete left looking for a fresh start and he ran into June's family. Pete was a character that I adored. He was able to overcome his past and was just such a nice guy. He was exactly what Gabe and June needed.

June was placed in a compromising situation by her school teacher years ago and is bitter against men. She doesn't trust them. And she certainly doesn't trust Pete. Her son Gabe begins to love Pete and June has to admit that maybe Pete isn't exactly who she thought he was. But that doesn't mean she trusts him.

I loved watching June and Pete interact. These characters grew so much in this novel. For me, the characters made the novel. Don't get me wrong, the plot, the writing, and the other thematic decisions the author made were incredible. I absolutely loved the world Mandi stuck her characters into. 

However, for me, the characters were my favorite part of the story. I really enjoyed this novel. It was incredible. This was Mandi's debut novel and she certainly has made an impression. I will definitely be keeping tabs on this author. 

In Summary: An adorable novel with characters that I absolutely loved. Mandi's debut novel definitely struck a chord with me. This is one author that I will definitely be waiting for her next work. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book alludes to a rape scene quite frequently. It is not graphic or very detailed at all. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any teen. 

The Wrap-up: Some of my favorite novels are ones about characters who have a terrible past to overcome and yet they do just that--overcome. That was partly why I loved this novel so much. These characters had endured so much and yet they endured and kept going. I loved that. This novel is definitely one that I want to reread. 

Love,

Danica Page

Book Review: Leah's Choice by Emma Miller

Leah's Choice
by Emma Miller
Received for Review from publisher via Netgalley
Amish Fiction
Release Date: April 17,2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.17
Pages: 224

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

With dreams of marrying an Old Order Amish man, Leah Yoder plans on raising children in the peaceful Delaware community. But when Mennonite missionary Daniel Brown arrives to share his story with their church, Leah is fascinated by him. She spends time with Daniel in a forbidden courtship to learn how she truly feels about him. Before long, Leah has a choice to make. Should she stay with her community…...or leave with the man she believes God has placed in her life's path?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, this is the first book I've read by Emma Miller and I can assure you it won't be the last. This book was definitely one of my favorite Amish fiction novels of the year. 

This was in large part due to how much I adored the character Leah and Daniel. I also just loved the mix of Mennonite and Amish themes into this novel. I've read a lot of books about these two groups and I loved that they were mixed together in this novel.

Leah was an intriguing character that I loved reading about. She was such a good person. She was nice, charitable, dutiful, respectful, and daring. She seemed to always be helping somebody else out and yet she was a realistic character that I could relate to. She had her doubts, but she kept pushing forward.

Daniel was another character I really enjoyed reading about. He was so patient with Leah as she tried to figure out the ramifications of their relationship. He also had a peace and serenity. He was confident in his calling in life and his relationship with God. He was just a really good guy that I was rooting for from the very beginning.

The Amish/Mennonite themes were nicely balanced with other themes. Miller did a good job of tying in issues of faith into a cute and inspiring love story that I absolutely adored. Once again the writing appeared to be fairly simple on the surface, but it was actually quite brilliant. Her writing drew me into the story from the very beginning. 

In Summary: Easily one of my favorite Amish fiction novels of the year. Emma Miller's writing drew me in from the very beginning. She weaved characters that I loved into an inspiring and entertaining read that I would definitely read again. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Nothing comes to mind. This one is clean.

The Wrap-up: In case you didn't pick up on this already, I really enjoyed this novel. It is definitely one I'll consider buying. I'd reread this novel and I'm definitely interested in reading more from Emma Miller. 

I was hesitant to read Amish fiction at first, because I thought that I wouldn't be able to relate to this genre at all. I quickly found that I love this genre. Writers like Emma Miller do a great job at bridging the gap. Don't let the differences between Amish/Mennonite culture keep you from reading this genre. You might surprise yourself and actually like the genre. 

Love,

Danica Page

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: The Chase by DiAnn Mills

The Chase
by DiAnn Mills
Received for Review from publisher via netgalley
Adult Christian Romantic Suspense
Release Date: Mach 27, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02
Pages: 368

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

To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel.Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag?Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I love DiAnn Mills. I've read a lot of her works and have enjoyed them all. So I was really excited to read this one. 

It is always difficult to write about writing. However, DiAnn pulled this off really well. I can say that this wasn't my favorite novel by Mills. But I still really enjoyed it. DiAnn's writing was compelling and intriguing. I enjoyed delving into the world that she created.

Overall, the novel was a really enjoyable read that I adored reading. I love the genre of romantic suspense and DiAnn never disappoints. She always creates characters that I love and plot lines that I absolutely adore. This novel was no exception. Kariss and Tigo were slightly unorthodox characters but I enjoyed learning about them and loved watching their interactions with one another. 

DiAnn's writing always left me engaged with the text and anxious to see what would happen next. I'll definitely be reading the next one in the series because I want to see what happens next with Kariss and Tigo.

Like I mentioned, I enjoyed this novel, but it is hard to write about writing. DiAnn did a great job at writing about writing and I actually felt intrigued by the story. It wasn't my favorite DiAnn's novel, but I really enjoyed this one. Like all DiAnn's novels, the Christian element was never forced and I enjoyed watching how DiAnn tied everything together. 

In Summary: An intriguing novel that I adored. Definitely one I recommend for fans of Christian romantic suspense. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Nothing comes to mind. Slight violence, but it is really not graphic.

The Wrap-up: I love DiAnn Mills' novels and this one was no exception. An intriguing plot line and interesting characters. Beautifully written and a series that I'm going to keep tabs on. 

Love,

Danica Page

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf


Breaking Beautiful
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Received for Review from publisher via netgalley
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Release Date: April 24,2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.97
Pages: 354

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

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
 
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 


Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book in exchange fore my honest opinion. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: One of my fellow reviewers, Sara, said "I think I have an unhealthy interest in characters that suffer from memory loss."  I'm first mate on the same ship. The idea of memory loss mixed in with an abusive relationship and I was hooked. That sounds morbid, but I love books where characters triumph over terrible things like abuse.

Allie managed to keep her abusive relationship a secret and those are the ones that break my heart. She didn't dare tell anybody the truth and that is terrible. And yet, Allie was a character that I really liked. She was one that I just wanted to hug and say don't you see how wonderful you are. 

Enter Blake. I loved Blake from the moment he entered the novel. He was the best friend anybody could ask for and he stood beside Allie patiently. I loved watching Blake and Allie's relationship progress.

Another interesting aspect to this novel was watching Allie's memory return. Wolf kept me in suspense the whole time. Every time I thought that I had figured out how Trip died, she threw another curve at me. 

Fans of dramatic realistic young adult novels will love this novel. I know I did. This novel was one that I couldn't read fast enough. Any time I had to stop reading, my mind remained centered on the novel and what would happen next. 

In my book, Wolf's debut novel was a home-run and I definitely will keep tabs on her. Her writing was compelling, the characters intriguing, and the plot was incredible. A great novel. One of my favorites of the year. 

In Summary: An intense, suspenseful realistic young adult novel that I ate up. I simply adored this novel.  Definitely recommend this one. 

The Wrap-up: A beautifully written novel that was poignantly written. A novel that I'm glad I got the chance to read. I would consider buying this one. Wolf definitely made an impression and like I mentioned I'll be looking forward to see what she writes next. 

Love,

Danica Page
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