Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WOW: Creepy and Mysterious


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The point is to share a book that hasn't been released yet, but one that you are dying to read.

The week's pick is The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy. It comes out on August 18, 2015 and is being published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 

The synopsis:

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she's over it. She's the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it's her small town's ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She's got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.


Why I'm waiting? It's not my normal read, but it looks too good to pass up. Creepy and mysterious. I can't wait. 

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.


And that's my pick. But enough about me, what book did you guys pick? Please leave your link in the comments section. I love hearing from you guys.

Love,
Danica Page

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hidden Treasures: Adult Kindle Bestsellers on sale in July for $1.99

Hello Fellow Readers,

Don't miss this chance on these great deals on Amazon Bestsellers. There's only three days left. Here are some that I thought would be interesting. I haven't read any of these, but they look good. 

The One that Got Away by Simon Wood
1.The One That Got Away by Simon Wood. This is currently on Amazon for July only for $1.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. I bought this one previously, but haven't got to it yet. Amazon link.

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.
A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.
With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

he One I was by Eliza Graham
2. The One I Was by Eliza Graham. This one for July only is $1.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited. This one sounds great. I'm going to have to buy it while it's still cheap. Amazon link

Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.
Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.
As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations.
3. No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs Book 1) by J.S. Scott. This one is also $1.99 (free with Kindle Unlimited), and it sounds great. It's romantic suspense. What's not to like? Amazon link

Dante Sinclair never cared about his family’s money. All the ultra-sexy billionaire ever wanted was to be a cop; and now that he’s a homicide detective in Los Angeles, he’s a damn good one. But when he is injured and loses his partner in the line of duty, he returns to his vacation home in Amesport, Maine, to recover. With a mouth as dangerous as the streets he protects, Dante knows no one can ever heal or tame him.
Sarah Baxter, a brilliant young doctor still struggling with her stifled upbringing, has recently moved from Chicago to sleepy Amesport to escape her past, hoping to find peace. When Sarah is assigned to Dante’s case, there’s an instant heat between them. They couldn’t possibly be more different, yet their intense passion is impossible to ignore. As burning desires awaken within Sarah, her haunted past returns, threatening her once again. Can Dante overcome his grief and unravel the secrets Sarah is hiding in time to protect and rescue her?

4. Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey. This one sounds absolutely fantastic. This one is also $1.99/free on Kindle Unlimited. It sounds beautiful. Buying this one as well. Amazon Link 

Nothing could keep Christopher and Rebecca apart: not her abusive parents, or even the fiancé she brought home after running away to England. But when World War II finally strikes the island of Jersey, the Nazi invaders ship Rebecca to Europe as part of Hitler's Final Solution against the Jewish population.
After Christopher and his family are deported back to their native Germany, he volunteers for the Nazi SS, desperate to save the woman he loves. He is posted to Auschwitz and finds himself put in control of the money stolen from the victims of the gas chambers. As Christopher searches for Rebecca, he struggles to not only maintain his cover, but also the grip on his soul. Managing the river of tainted money flowing through the horrific world of Auschwitz may give him unexpected opportunities. But will it give him the strength to accept a brave new fate that could change his life--and others' lives--forever?


So I may go buy all of these, but can you pass up books for $1.99? I think not.

Do any look good to you? 

Love, Danica Page 

Review: Remember by Shannon Dermott

Remember
by Shannon Dermott
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.03
Published on: January 7, 2015
Pages: 265
Buy on Amazon

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


When sixteen year old Charlize finds herself unmistakably lost in the forest with no memory how she got there, it was easy for her to assume the angel face boy who saves her was there to. But little did she know that couldn’t be further from the truth. 


With a brush of death, she finds new reasons to live after the unexplained death of her father. Her only regret in last three years was letting the one boy she could have loved get away. 

Plunged into a world not of her making, there are those that will hunt her, a foe that calls her Little Queen, and her torn heart. Most of all, she will have to remember and face her memories if she is to survive. 


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

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

Why did I decide to turn the pages? It was on Netgalley and I liked the cover. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: It was an intriguing book. I admit that I had mixed feelings about it.

I wasn't sure what to think going into it, but it was better in some ways than I thought and worse in other ways.

The characters annoyed me slightly, and the writing was a little bit forced at times.

However, the overall plot was intriguing and definitely caught my interest.

I think fans of fantasy might really enjoy this one. 

Major Strengths: Interesting plot.

Major Weaknesses: Characterization wasn't perfect. 

So why 3 stars? Enjoyable, but not without it's flaws. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Fairly clean. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, fun novel. 

Love,

Danica Page

Hidden Treasures: YA/New Adult Kindle Bestsellers on sale in July for $1.99

Hello Fellow Readers,

Don't miss this chance on these great deals on Amazon Bestsellers. There's only three days left. Here are some that I thought would be interesting.

Ones I've read and recommend:


Rusk University
1. All Played Out by Cora Carmack. Lucky ducks! This is only $1.99 for July!!!!! This book is fantastic. It's the third in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. Better yet buy this while it's on sale, then go back and buy the rest of the series. Buy this now!

Seriously an awesome read.

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. 

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.


2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Roth. Guys! Come on!!! This is $1.99. You have to buy this!!!!! If you haven't read this already, you need to change that. 


Fighting to survive in a ravaged world, a Dweller and a Savage form an unlikely alliance in New York Times bestselling author Veronica Rossi's "unforgettable dystopian masterpiece" (Examiner.com).
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption.
In alternating chapters told in Aria's and Perry's voices, Under the Never Sky subtly and powerfully captures the evolving relationship between these characters and sweeps readers away to a harsh but often beautiful world. Continuing with Through the Ever Night and concluding with Into the Still Blue, the Under the Never Sky trilogy has already been embraced by readers in twenty-six countries and been optioned for film by Warner Bros.
3. The Consequences of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken. This one is hilarious. Also only 1.99/free on Kindle Unlimited for the month of July. This one is funny. 17+. It wasn't my favorite, but it's 1.99 so I'd get it for that if you like funny books. Amazon link.


It’s all fun and games…until someone’s heart is broken.
They’re not kids anymore, but Milo Caro is certain that Colton Mathews will only see her as his best friend’s little sister for the rest of their lives. After all, he made that clear the night before she left for college. But four years later, her brother is getting married and Colt’s the best man—and guess who is the best man’s last-minute date?
Milo vows to use the wedding to either claim the smoldering firefighter’s heart or douse this torch for good. When Max—her best friend from college, who may be carrying a torch of his own—crashes the party, they devise a plan to make Colt see what he’s missing. But after Colt catches on, he decides to cook up his own revenge.
Now it’s personal. Colt and Milo are at war, and between Max’s questionable acting methods, an unfortunate trip to jail, and a maniacal fiancée, what could possibly go right?

Ones that People have Recommended to me:



The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 

Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series Book 2) by Amy A. Bartol

I hope you also found some great new books this month.

Love,

Danica Page 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Perfectly Broken by Prescott Lane

Perfectly Broken 
by Prescott Lane 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.89
Published on: March 1, 2014
Pages: 278

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

Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. 

But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. 

With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own -- a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. 

But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

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

Why did I decide to turn the pages? It was on Netgalley and I thought why not. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This one actually surprised me. I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would. Perfectly Broken promised to be about two broken individuals; I pretty much guessed the entire plot line from the very beginning. Emotionally scarred girl avoids engaging in relationships with men. Bad boy player who meets girl and is reformed because he wasn't really a bad boy but in fact suffered from a tortured past--it's a plot we all know.

So if you are not into that over-used plot arc, then this is not the book for you. However, I did enjoy this novel still. I loved that main character worked at a pi shop. I loved the spunk the main character had. She was not a wall flower and she didn't let Reed get away with anything. She was great.

Reed was actually more likable than I thought he would be as well.

As I said, the plot was predictable so I won't spend too much time talking about what happens in this novel, but it was pleasantly surprising.

What I didn't like:

  • Several parts of the story seemed unrealistic
  • Several decisions by the character seemed stupid and petty (aka a lot of the drama between Reed and Peyton could have been avoided). I didn't get the basis for the drama.
There were other things but those were the main two.


Major Strengths: Spunky characters. 

Major Weaknesses: The misunderstanding between characters seemed forced. 

So why 3 stars? It was an enjoyable book, but not that one that particularly stood out in any meaningful way.  

Warnings/Side-notes: 17+. Strong language, sexual references, and references to drugs.

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, quick read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse's Girl 
(Hundred Oaks)
by Miranda Kenneally
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Published on: July 7, 2015
Pages: 304

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

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

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

Why did I decide to read this? I've loved all of the previous ones in the series and have enjoyed it immensely.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I'm going to stick with the first one was my favorite one in the series. The rest have never quite lived up to that first one. However, I did really enjoy this one too. 

I love when books are about music. I don't know why, but I always have and probably always will.

I loved the plot of this book and the characters. Maya and Jason were two great cute characters to read about. I loved how Maya and Jason got together on a school shadowing day and decided to bail and have a Ferris Bueler's day off kind of day. 

It was a fantastic setting. I loved all the crazy adventures the two went on. The characters were my favorite part of this book. They were well developed and fun to read about.

This novel was a fun, cute read albeit a little unrealistic at times. I thought the pacing was spot on. 

Major Strengths: Characters were fantastic. 

Major Weaknesses: It lacked depth to make it a 4 star novel, but it was fun, frivolous read. 

So why 3.5 stars? It stood out from the crowd, but not quite enough to earn 4 stars. A fun, cute read, however. 

Can I read the series out of order? Yes, each one can be read as a stand-alone. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Vague (exceptionally vague) references to sex and drinking. Some cases of strong language, but definitely on the cleaner end. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable fun read. I've come to enjoy Kenneally's books. Still waiting for one as enjoyable as the first. However, Breathe Annie Breathe came close. 

Love,

Danica Page

WOW: Not After Everything


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The point is to share a book that hasn't been released yet, but one that you are dying to read.

The week's pick is Not After Everything by Michelle Levy. It comes out on August 4, 2015 and is being published by Dial. 

The synopsis:

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. 

Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). 

Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. 

How could he not fall for her?

But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

Why I'm waiting? First off, I love the cover. Also I just think it sounds really good. Can't wait to get my hands on it. 

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.


And that's my pick. But enough about me, what book did you guys pick? Please leave your link in the comments section. I love hearing from you guys.

Love,
Danica Page

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

A Crazy Little Thing Called Love 
(Destination Wedding, #1)
by Beth K. Vogt 
Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.34
Published by: Howard Books
Published on: June 30, 2015 
Pages: 368

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

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

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

Why did I decide to turn the pages? I decided to read this one because I have previously enjoyed books by this author.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Second chance romances are always a must read for me. I'm not sure why, but they just always appeal to me. It's the "Persuasion" by Jane Austen complex in me, I guess. 

So I was excited for this one. I've previously loved books by this author. All that combined to equal high expectations. 

I think I went into the novel with too high of expectations. The book started out slow for me. It was just hard for me to get into the novel. I actually felt like there was a lot of backstory that belonged in another book, but no, this is the first book in the series.

I did enjoy the writing, but the plot didn't move quickly enough to keep my action.

What this book did have going for it was great characters, humorous situations, and just a cute overall message. 

So why 3 stars? It was kind of a slow read for me. 

Warnings/Side-notes: None.

The Wrap-up: I was a little bit disappointed, but I can't wait to see what Vogt comes up with next. 

Love,

Danica Page

Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: "Just Pick One:" Stories of a Biracial Girl by Tinesha Zandamela

Stories of a Biracial Girl 
by Tinesha Zandamela 
Published on: May 31, 2015
Pages: 33

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

"Just Pick One" chronicles the experiences and stories of Tinesha, a Black and White biracial girl who refuses to identify with just one race. Through her stories, she illustrates the challenges of identifying as multiracial in the United States, as well as the lessons she has learned while embracing her biracial identity.


This review I'm going to approach much differently than how I normally approach my reviews. It will be a little bit more personal in nature due to the topic. 

Disclaimer: I will start out by saying that on some level I do know the author personally. I wouldn't go as far as to say we are close friends, but we are definitely acquaintances. 

I keep in touch with her on Facebook and probably keep in better touch than the author realizes (more or less, I read all of her statuses). 

I won't try to say that didn't affect to a certain degree how I looked at this book. It probably did, but honestly I don't think it really did affect my opinion all that much. 

The topic itself spoke to me as did the experiences the author shared. None of which I was privy to and none of which I was aware of.

And, if I'm being honest, I didn't even know that she was biracial, and unfortunately, I probably would have identified her as African-American, just like so many others did in the book.

(Although I hope in not nearly as snooty or racist of a way as some of the people portrayed in her book.)

That's why this book spoke to me. It opened my eyes to a real person's struggle that I had never been aware of. And not the struggles of a stranger, but of somebody I knew for a year.  

I don't often talk about me personally, my race, or my thoughts on race here on this blog. But when you read a book about race, it seems strange not to think about race and connect it to your experiences. 

Today I was planning an activity an was using a poem that told girls they were princesses. In other words, the poem was trying to instill a sense of self worth into girls and women who unfortunately often lack it in today's society. 

Somebody had created two versions of the poem with accompanying images: one had a black girl and one had a white girl. 

I stared and debated long and hard about what I should do. I felt like it was drawing a division between the different races that seemed too stark and pronounced. Like you can be white or black, but you can't be both. So if you're black, then you have to get a special one. 

You have to have a different one from everybody else. I didn't feel comfortable drawing this much attention to differences in race. I felt like I'd be saying, "You're black, so you're different from anybody else, and I'm going to make that perfectly clear."

But then I thought if I were "black," how would I feel getting a white girl being called a princess? Somebody who didn't look at me? I thought I'd feel like "oh joy, just another reminder that I look different."

I was startled. 

This issue of race was staring me straight in the face, and I didn't feel qualified to come up with a solution. 

Shortly afterwards, I read "Just Pick One," and my eyes were opened even more. What if you were neither "white" or "black" or what if you were both? How would you deal with race then? Which princess would you choose then? And would people force you to choose the "black one" because you looked closer to black than white? 

I don't pretend to confess that Caucasian me can make any claims or statements regarding race or can begin to understand this struggle, but this book was a beautiful and enlightening read. And that's something I do feel qualified to talk about. 

Tinesha Zandamela's book is poignant, heartbreaking at times, and eye-opening. She allows readers a personal look into what it means to be biracial. She doesn't ask for pity or as she talks about "play the race card," but presents, as the title says, a look into one girl's stories. 

She does so in a way that is impossible to leave unchanged. She reveals an intimate look at one girl's self-discovery and journey to loving herself. 

For so young an author, her writing is polished and fresh. This is a book about race like no other book on race you've read before. This book is nothing short of inspiring and pure brilliance. 

This book is also only 99 cents on Amazon and incredibly short. It's one I would recommend everybody read. Do yourself a favor and go buy it on Amazon

I was skeptical, but I have no regrets about reading this one. 

They say good writing allows you to make connections to your own life, change the way you view things, and leaves you thinking about it long after you turn the last page.

This book did all of that and more. 

Just as the author promised, there are no neat, tidy conclusions. No answers of how society can fix the racism that plagues us. No foolish, impractical solutions.

It's merely one girl's experiences; but it's one girl's experiences that prove to be impactful and insightful. 

I always have a hard time rating non-fiction, but I'll give this 5 stars because of all the emotions I felt while reading.

Warnings: No violence, sexual innuendos, or swearing. Perfect for all readers. 

Love,

Danica Page 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Review: London Tides by Carla Laureano

London Tides
(MacDonald Trilogy,#2)
by Carla Laureano
Adult 
Asked to Review 
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02
Published by: June 1, 2015
Published on: David C. Cook 
Pages: 340

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

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and mentor in the field, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace ... only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together ... or tear them apart for good this time?


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

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


Why did I decide to turn the pages? The synopsis drew me in. I'm a sucker for second chance romances. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I didn't realize that this was the sequel in a series that I'd just read the first one to until about 10 pages in. It was a pleasant surprise.


I'm always surprised by Laureano's writing. It has a Christian base, but is very different than most Christian books. The characters enjoy drinking, have tattoos, and do all sorts of things that most of the time there just isn't in Christian fiction. And yet, she does it in a tasteful way while remaining to be Christian in focus without scaring off other more "secular" readers.

I thought the plot was intriguing and I love second chance romance stories like I mentioned earlier. The idea of a couple getting back together after ten years automatically demanded that I read this one. 

It was a great sequel to the first one, but one that can be read as a standalone.

I loved that Grace was a war conflict photographer. What an interesting world to learn about. Watching her struggle to confront the past, live in the present, while facing her future was intriguing.

It was an enjoyable read. 

The Characters: Grace and Ian were two characters that I enjoyed reading about. I also adored the secondary characters. Grace was probably one of my favorites of the novel. As I mentioned, her story was intriguing.


However, Ian was also cute and fun to read about. 

Major Strengths: Background stories for the characters. 


Major Weaknesses: Lacked the polished touches to really sell it and the story dragged at times. 

So why 3 stars? The fact that the story dragged a little knocks this down to a 3, but I did enjoy it. 

Can I read the series out of order? Yes, it reads like a stand-alone. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Violence. Mention of drinking. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable novel centered on two characters with intriguing backgrounds. 

Love,

Danica Page

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Fixer 
(The Fixer,#1)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.28
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children
Published on: July 7, 2015
Pages: 384

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

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.
 


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

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

Why did I decide to turn the pages? The cover and recognition of the author. Then I saw it was compared to Heist Society and that cinched it. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I haven't read anything by this author, even though I've been meaning to for ages. So when I saw something of hers on Goodreads, I was sold.

I loved the concept of the book. The idea of covering scandals in D.C. and the idea of getting two sisters involved....yeah, like I said I was sold.

The plot moved quickly, the characters were intriguing, and the suspense was expertly crafted.

I did guess several of the turns in this novel, but there were still several that surprised me. The ending was kind of shocking in many ways, and it definitely led me wanting to read more.

Fans of Nancy Drew, Sammy Keyes, the Hiest Society, and other novels of that genre, will love this one.

Some of my favorite aspects of the novel:

  • It wasn't focused on a cliched romance. That's so rare. There were hints of potential for future romance, but it definitely wasn't the focus of the novel.
  • The cover-ups of D.C., the family drama, and the scandals. It was great.
  • The fact that there actually were moments of mystery and suspense.
  • The ending.
  • The characterization of Tess, Asher, and Henry. 
Things I wish would happen but probably won't happen:
  • That the release date of the sequel wasn't in 2016
  • I would also actually love reading this same novel but from Ivy's perspective. I think that would be absolutely fascinating.
Things that I didn't like/flaws:
  • Alright, certain parts seemed a little bit unrealistic or farfetched.
There were several aspects where I went, "Really?" However, I still really enjoyed the book.


The Characters: I've already mentioned that I adored the characterization of Tess, Asher, and Henry. They were fantastic people to read about. I loved their interactions. Definitely recommend reading this for the characters alone. 

Major Strengths: I think you've probably realized that it was the characters that made the book for me. 

Major Weaknesses: Several unrealistic elements. 

So why 3.5 stars? It stood out of the crowd, but not quite enough to be a 4. 

Can I read the series out of order? 

Warnings/Side-notes: Some violence, but I'd recommend this to readers of any age. 

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this novel and can't wait for the next one. 

Love,

Danica Page

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