Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hot Releases: May 2013

Hello Readers,

I'm still in Italy and am loving it. I'm serving a humanitarian mission there and it's incredible. But that means I'm missing out on all the great books that are coming out.

So what were your favorite books of the month? What books do I absolutely need to read?

New Releases I read and loved:

Thanks to Edelwiess, Netgalley, and publishers, I was able to read a lot of books that came out this month before I left. My favorites were:

Dare You To by Katie McGarry- unbelievably awesome. I had my doubts that I could love this one as much as Pushing the Limits, but this one blew me away. Can't wait for the next one.  

Golden by Jessi Kirby- Another fabulous book. I was surprised by how much I loved this one.

Transparent by Natalie Whipple- This author actually lives in my neighborhood back home. Once again, I was surprised by how much I loved it. 

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler- FABULOUS! Seriously, Sarah Ockler is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time. Go read this one if you haven't already.

Jennifer by Dee Henderson- I freaked when I saw that they were releasing Jennifer's story. The O'Malley series is one of my favorites of all times. So glad I got to read this one before I left for Italy.

Fifteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton- I was surprised by how much I loved this one. Seriously it blew me away. Can't wait to read more from this author.

Other books I loved and read: Reboot by Amy Tinatera, How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Parallel by Lauren Miller, Towering by Alex Finn, Nightschool by C.J. Daugherty, and Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith.   


New Releases I was Dying to Read:

All I Need by Susanne Colasanti- I've only read a few books by her, but I loved the ones I did read. Anybody read this one yet?

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout-She's just such a great author. Did anybody read this one? I'm dying to read it when I get back.

The Lucy Variations by Sarah Zarr- I love this author. I'm dying to know if this one was good or not. 

When a Secret Kills by Lynn Eason- I've only read the first book in the series but it was gripping. I really can't wait to read the rest of the series. 

Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins- So anxious to see what happens in this novel. I love Amish fiction and Young Adult so any time the two combine, I have to read it. Curious to see what happens.

Did any of you read any of these? Would you recommend reading them?


Happy Reading!

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Everbound by Brodi Ashton


Hello Fellow Page-Turners,

Since I was writing a ton of reviews right before I was going to Italy, I shortened the length of several of my reviews to merely stating my overall thoughts and impressions of the novel. I hope that this doesn't disappoint anybody. 

Before I get into my review here's some general information about the book. 


Everbound
(Everneath, #2)
by Brodi Ashton
Released On: January 22, 2013
Published by: Balzer and Bray
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.21
Pages: 358


Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I have such mixed feelings about this book and this series as a whole. I really wanted to like this novel and yet going into this novel I really thought I might hate it. I hadn't really read anybody's reviews about it, but I just had  really mixed feelings. That could partly because I love retellings about Persephone and this is one of the more drastically different than the original story. 

I really wanted to like Cole and yet he kept being an idiot and doing things that made me want to hate him. And then there was Nikki. I really disliked her as a character and yet she intrigued me.  

The story was well-written, the characters were well-developed, and the story was paced well. It kept me guessing and then there was that ending. The ending left me so frustrated. I'm excited to read the next one in the series and can't wait to see how Brodi finishes the series off. I will admit to feeling really anxious about how she will end the series, but I'm still excited. 

That's why rating this novel is so hard. It just rubs me the wrong way. There's no reason I shouldn't like it. The novel is incredible it just bugs me. However, I'll look past that and give it 4 stars. 

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Hello Fellow Page-Turners,

Since I was writing a ton of reviews right before I was going to Italy, I shortened the length of several of my reviews to merely stating my overall thoughts and impressions of the novel. I hope that this doesn't disappoint anybody. 

Before I get into my review here's some general information about the book. 


The Book of Broken Hearts
by Sarah Ockler
Released On: May 21, 2013
Published by: Simon Pulse
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Pages: 352

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author ofBittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.


Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?


Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking. 

Disclaimers: I received a temporary electronic ARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.


My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Ever since I read Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler, she has been one of my favorite authors. I loved that novel so much and was looking forward to reading another novel by her. So when I saw that I had the chance to read this novel and share my opinions about it, I jumped at the chance.

This novel was incredible and was even better than I could have imagined. Ockler created another masterpiece with this one. I absolutely loved the characters Jude and Emilio. Their chemistry was undeniable. Both of these characters had their struggles and had a lot to overcome, but they were good people. I've been reading a lot of novels centered around the bad boy and the good girl combo. Emilio wasn't naughty, but he wasn't boring or ultra-nice either. He was just the perfect combo of nice and naughty.

Jude's dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease and left Jude struggling to care for him. She thought that restoring his old bike would make things better. But if but her in a situation where she couldn't win. She vowed never to get near any of the Vargas' boys. The older two broke both of her sisters's hearts and they made her swear never to get involved with one. But helping her dad is worth it. I loved watching Jude grow up and become the person I knew she could be.

Jude had several older sisters who were always more than happy to help guide her and to tell her what to do, but Jude had never really taken the time to do what she wanted to. She figured that out in this novel.

The writing was poignant and masterfully written. Ockler is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Definitely recommend this one. 



Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, May 12, 2013

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!


Hello Fellow Page-Turners,


I just want to wish all you mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day. Very few people have had the impact on my life that my mother has had. She is my best friend, my hero, my role-model, my everything.

Without her I would be so lost and so directionless. She taught me everything I know and I love her so much. I know that oftentimes in our society mothers don't get the credit they deserve, so to all you mothers out there know that you are loved and appreciated.

Also to all you women who haven't married, thanks for your influence too. I have been privileged to interact with older sisters in their eighties who never married and they were like grandmothers to me. They taught me how to sing, they taught me how to sit quietly in an audience (or at least tried too... :) ), they taught me about poise and grace.

They taught me so much. So to all you women out there you are loved and appreciated. Thanks for all you do. You are loved and appreciated. My Italian is still rough but I think it's Giorno Felice Madre in Italian. To those who speak Italian, sorry if I butchered that.


Love, 
Danica Page

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry


Dare You To
(Pushing the Limits, #2)
by Katie McGarry
Received ARC for Review
New Adult/Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Released On: June 7, 2013
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.24
Pages: 462

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


Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this novel for review from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not obligated to write a good review nor am I receiving any compensation for writing this review. 

An Overview of the Novel: Beth Risk's home wasn't perfect. Her mother might not have been able to take care of her, but Beth did love her and if Beth wasn't there to look out for her mom who would. But when Beth gets booked for a crime she didn't commit, her uncle swoops in and forced Beth to choose between living with him or sending her mom to jail or worse. It's an easy choice. But that just made Beth's life a living nightmare.

She's cut off from her old life, her old friends, and is expected to behave in a way her uncle finds acceptable. And she has to follow his rules or else her mom is done for. But is it really worth it?

To top it all off, Ryan Stone the golden-boy of the town has this need to pester her. He claims he really likes her; she thinks he's just out to win some bet. But Ryan's homelife isn't quite as golden as everybody thinks.

One thing is certain throwing the good boy and the girl from the wrong side of the tracks is bound to make life in this small town interesting. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Unbelievable. I loved this book so much. I was skeptical. I mean I really really really liked the first one and so I was mentally preparing myself to be disappointed. Instead I was blown away and actually liked this one even more. 

Katie McGarry delivered another novel that sucked me in from page one until the end. And to be honest, part of me wants to go back and reread the book immediately. It was that good. Her characters are so realistic and their stories are gripping. Her novels are always an emotional ride. They make you really stop and think. I love that.

I have shared time and time again that I love books that make you stop and think about gritty issues. This book does just that. It deals with so many different levels of abuse (emotional, physical, drugs, etc.) and multiple levels of issues with families.

I loved that we saw glimpses into the lives of Echo and Noah, but I really loved hearing Beth's story. 

If you love the new adult genre, books that are about gritty issues, or loved Pushing the Limits, then go read this one now!

You can read this one without having read Pushing the Limits and the story will still make sense, but I'd recommend reading them in order because they are both brilliant. 

So why 5 stars? Because Katie McGarry is brilliant. Both novels I've read by her are profound, moving, inspiring, deep, entertaining, and real. They are such emotional reads and I simply can't stop reading them. I read this book in one sitting and I started it at 1 in the morning (not smart on my part), but I just couldn't stop reading. This is a book I plan on buying and rereading over and over again.

I can't express how much I loved this book. But trust me, go buy this one. You won't regret it.

In Summary: Katie's sophomore novel is as incredible if not more incredible than her debut. This novel is easily one of my favorites of the year and one that I'd recommend to anybody and everybody.

The Wrap-up: All you really need to know is that this novel is brilliant and that you should buy it. Amazon Link is here. In all seriousness, I did love this book. It was incredibly written and simply beautiful. 

Love,

Danica Page
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