Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

to all the boys
Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Lara Jean is young, innocent, and maybe even a little naïve. She is a loving sister, and a trusted daughter, but she has never been anyone’s girlfriend before. She learns the true meaning of love in an unexpected situation.

My Review: I only picked up this book due to the extreme hype that everyone is giving this book right now on Bookstagram. As an avid reader myself, I felt it was my responsibly to read this book and determine for myself if it is in fact worth all of its hype.

I expected a five star for the hype that this book is receiving; However, it came in at a solid four star read for me.

The story is YA genre, but I can truly say that it is intriguing and captured my attention right from the first page. I found myself feeling sorry or Lara Jean at times and frustrated by her decisions other times.

We are taken on a journey along side Lara Jean where we witness her grief at a nightmare come true, and we see how she copes and deals with this turmoil. We later learn how she comes out of this situation, stronger, and more confident than before.

I found Lara Jean to be extremely funny as well, and this adds much humor to the book.

I did not care for her older sister’s character as much, I think this is because she is away for a good portion of the story, and not covered often; however, I fell in love with Kitty right away. Kitty could have her own feature, and her own book!

The pacing of the story did get a bit slow mid way through at times, but this was nothing that caused me to not want to continue reading.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to reading the next 2 books. If you are looking for a fun, cute, fast read, then this is it.

The nextflix movie is rather enjoyable as well!

Cover Reveal: Chasing Ivy

chasing ivy*TITLE: Chasing Ivy
*SERIES: Oak Hill Series (All standalone’s)
*AUTHOR: S.J Sylvis

*BLURB: Six years ago, I had a best friend with sky-blue eyes,
purposefully messy brown hair, and a body that made every single girl drool
on sight. I would know—it drove me absolutely crazy…until I was the one
doing the drooling.

Our days were filled with stomach-hurting laughter accompanied by easy
conversation, and our nights were filled with secret, awkward teenage
flirting.

But that was when Dawson was just my best friend. Nothing more, nothing
less.

And then… it was more.

It’s a memory I pretend to see through blurry eyes, hazed by passing years
of no communication. The one night that my heart was suddenly soaring
through the starry night, only to catch fire as it rapidly descended
seconds later.

Six years was a long time to get my heart under control. A lot has changed,
and yet here I am, still drooling over Dawson—my ex best friend.

Visit the authors Goodreads links to add Chasing Ivy to your TBR today!

Publication Date is November 15th, 2018!
GOODREADS LINK:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42092207-chasing-ivy

Review of: The Clockmaker’s Daughter

clockTitle: The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Publication Date:  October 2018
Note: I was provided an ARC through netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: This is a story about past and present, told through multiple points of views, across many different timelines.

A tragedy occurs one day among artist friends, and this mystery set in 1862 sets the stage for the storytelling in this book, while the pieces of the mystery are attempted to be solved in today’s timeline.

My Review: This book is difficult to review.  I had high expectations for this book for a few reasons.  Firstly, the synopsis sounds brilliant and like the kind of story that is right up my comfort zone.  I have also heard nothing but praise from Kate Morton’s books, so I was eager to finally acquaint myself with her work.  This book however was probably not the best choice for my first Kate Morton novel and I am sad to say that I expected more than what I got out of this book.

I did not love it as I hoped I would.

The writing is beautiful, there is no denying that.  Kate Morton has a way with words that I found to be almost poetic.   The setting is imaginary and exquisite, and the plot has great potential.   I started off intrigued and interested, however, as the story progressed along, I lost interest in it.   I had issues with the structure.  I connected little to most of the characters, and this was my main issue that caused a ripple effect for me.  I had a hard time grasping who was speaking at the beginning of each chapter.

There are so many main characters, different time lines and told through different perspectives that I found myself having a difficult time staying focused and centered.  Even the mystery did not seem to have a big enough impact.  I also felt that the pace of the book was a bit slow, as there were passages that did not contribute to the overall progression of the plot, or the character arcs in my opinion.  Overall, I am sad that I did connect to this book as I had been waiting to read it for months.

 

Book Review: Incandescence

Title: Incandescence Book #2

By: Dani Pasquini

Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Note: I received a copy of this book for review from the author.

incanMy Synopsis: Incandescence is book #2 in The Gold Feather series.  Picking up where book #1, The Gold Feather leaves off, Lily, Jonas and the rest of the gang are living in hiding from the agency and enjoying life.  Until one day, they receive an unexpected visitor at the door bearing more than just bad news that they must once again run for their lives as the agency is after them.  This unexpected visitor also brings about feelings in Lily that she is trying to suppress from her long-lost love, Peter.  With new and old love interests brewing and so many twists and turns, will the group be able to survive and save their friendship, all while trying to set themselves free, or are they destined to forever remain part of the experiment created by the agency all those years ago.

My Review: I enjoyed book #1 so much and that enjoyment has continued now into book 2.  The one word I would use to describe this book is unique.  The plot, characters, and story line are extremely unique, this series is not like anything else that I have read.  There are concepts in this book that challenge me often and get me thinking.  I am mostly intrigued by the relationships in this story and how they are depicted.   Not just the romantic relationships but even more the relationships between the duals. The bond between Lily and Jonas is even stronger in this book, both, emotionally, and spiritually and I cannot help but wonder how this would play out in a real-world scenario where each dual has their own separate love interests.  Yes, its complicated, and then throw a love triangle in to the mix as well……. you just have to read this for yourself to understand!

The author does a fantastic job of creating characters that feel real, and one’s readers will love and will never forget long after the book is finished. I truly enjoyed all the drama portrayed here, the trauma the characters suffered throughout the story, and everything in between.

Closing Thoughts: A fantastic read for anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi and light Fantasy with many surprises.  To really enjoy this one, you should read The Gold Feather first.  See link here to my review on The Gold Feather.

https://wordpress.com/post/turnthepageofbooks.com/38

I have given this book a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. Keep up the fantastic work Dani Pasquini!

Book Promo: Scourge

SCOURGE BLOG BANNER

Scourge

By Charley Pearson

Fiery Seas Publishing

August 14, 2018

Medical Thriller

scourge

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

BUY LINKS:

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/scourge

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GCP736M/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scourge-charley-pearson/1129276320?ean=2940161934647

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/scourge-12

~ Praise for SCOURGE ~ 

“Imaginative and full of action…continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical…succeeds with its scientific intrigue and decisively high stakes.”- Kirkus Reviews

charlie

About the Author:  Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction.

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Book Review: The Nightingale

20180903_123547Title: The Nightingale
By Kristin Hannah
Genre:  Historical Fiction

My Synopsis: The Nightingale is a lovely, but sad story of two estranged sisters living through an occupied France during WW2.   Although sisters, Isabelle and Vianne could not be any more different.  Isabelle is fearless, adventurous, a risk taker, while Vianne is a rule setter and follower, and loving mother.  Vianne fears for not only her life but also for the life of her husband taken by the Germans, and the life of her young daughter.

The sister’s each face their own troubles, and challenges and deal with difficult life situations as best as they can.  The Nightingale is more than just a war story, it’s a love story between parents and children,  It’s a story about courage, and it’s all set again the devastating backdrop of war.

My Review: I loved this book.  This is a beautiful tale of sisterhood, love, war, and everything in between.  This is my first Kristin Hannah book, but it most certainly will not be my last. I am only sorry that I have not discovered her writing sooner.

The writing is beautiful, and eloquent.  The story is well paced, and the characters are real, and as a reader, you can relate to them.  I love Vianne’s character best as she reminds me most of myself, but I also love Isabelle and the dynamics her character brings to the story.  I love both of the sister’s transformations throughout the book.

Their fathers character is interesting to say the least.  I have so many opinions and questions about his character, and I cannot wait to discuss my thoughts with others who have read this book already. I think that the father’s character was representative of the times.  It also shows how people grieve differently.  The father loses his wife and therefore feels that in doing so, he has lost a part of himself and gives up on his children.  The end of this book was perfect, although I did go through a lot of boxes of tissue.

Closing Thoughts: I have read many historical fiction novels, and this is now one of my favorites.  I am looking forward to becoming more acquainted with Hannah’s work.  If you want a book that will make you cry and feel joy at the same time, all while being enthralled into a deep emotional moving story, then this is it.  Most definitely, a 5 star rating was deserved here.

Ragis – Book 4 Blog Tour

banner for ragis

ragis

RAGIS by Donna Migliaccio

Excerpt from chapter one

Were they gaining? He leaned into the wind, as if by sheer will he could make the ship go even faster, although he did not know what would happen if they did catch up to the Northmen. They shot past a cluster of small islands fringed with trees. By the Stone, they were gaining. They were close enough he could see the Northmen laboring at their oars as well as their sails, close enough to make out Sigurd at the helm of the warship.

“We steal their wind!” Astéria shouted from her oar. Indeed, the Northern sails were sagging slightly as the centaur vessel came between it and the brisk westerly wind. The centaurs at the oars cheered, and Torrin let out a roar of triumph that made Kristan jump.

And just as suddenly, they lost speed. Torrin’s jubilant cry spiraled into a groan as the sails fluttered and drooped. Kristan looked astern, where a second Norwinn warship had swung from behind the islands, diverting the wind into their own sails. The centaurs bellowed their fury as they lost way. Ahead, the Northmen’s flotilla fled toward the horizon.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Torrin shouted, as the Norwinn warship heaved to near them.

“What do you think you’re doing?” someone on board yelled back.

I know that voice, Kristan thought.

A moment later, his suspicions were confirmed as a rangy, red-haired man pushed his way past the staring seamen lining the rail. Sir Nigel Demitt, First Advisor of Norwinn, squinted at the centaur ship and suddenly grinned. “Well, you’re a long way from home, Torrin,” he called. “And in pursuit of our Northern friends as well. Surely they weren’t poaching on O Tópos too.”

Torrin flicked a glance at Kristan, then cupped his hands around his mouth. “No,” he shouted back. “Bring your ship closer, so we can talk.”

“But they’re getting away!” Chári wailed. The other centaurs raised their voices in outraged agreement.

“They won’t go far,” Kristan said, so sharply that everyone turned to look at him.

Nigel’s mouth dropped open. “Kristan, what are you – ”

“Look,” Kristan went on, ignoring him. He pointed toward the Northern ships. “Why do you think they waited for us last night? Why do you think they’re waiting for us now? They want us to follow them, right around the southeastern shoreline, then north into Stratheden waters.”

“What for?” Nigel asked. “What’s going on?”

“I might ask you the same, First Advisor.”

Nigel drew himself upright, his easy grin hardening into tight-lipped sullenness. “I’m following your Reach’s orders, my lord.”

“Is that so? Are you aware that my Reach abandoned her post in Norwinn to find you?”

He was not prepared for the sudden, joyous light that brightened Nigel’s face. “She did? Where is she now?”

Silently, Kristan pointed toward the Northern ships. To his annoyance, Nigel gaped again. “She’s with Olaf? But how – ”

“I’m in no mood for explanations now, First Advisor. This Kentávron ship isn’t suited for a sea voyage. I want yours.”

To See Book info and buy links click link Below:

https://wordpress.com/post/turnthepageofbooks.com/104

 

 

Review of: Sanctuary

san

Author: T.M Brown

Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Note: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis: Theo is a retired publisher, and together with his wife Liddy, the couple decides to leave their fast pace life in Atlanta and move to the quiet small town of Shiloh.  This is a new beginning for the retired couple.

The couple are newbies in this small town, they do not know anyone when they first arrive, however their presence soon changes the course of many of the locals in Shiloh.  Some of the townsfolk think it is due to providence.  Is it God’s work at hand that brings Theo and Liddy to this new town or simply coincidence?

When Theo ends up taking up a part time writing job at the local paper he begins to unravel a story that has been laid to reset for year now.   Theo soon discovers that an innocent man’s life might be involved, and so he works even harder at winning over the town and discovering the truth that underlies what he originally set out to write about.

Some of the locals are happy to have the truth revealed while others, work against Theo and his attempt at what could be more than just a magnificent story.

Review: I liked the book.  The plot for the story was well thought out.  This book is heavily based on characters, and the author did a great job with character development and interaction with one another.  At the beginning I was worried as there were a lot of characters introduced quickly, but as I read on, and got to know them, it was easy to keep them all straight, this was due to the development progression that was done well.  The book deals with themes of: community, and friendship.

There were two key aspects about this book that I really liked and related to well.  The small town feel of Shiloh reminded me very much of my own small town.  This is in part due to the small church, the sense of community, the overall small town feeling and acceptance of the neighbours.  When Theo and his wife first move out to Shiloh, I found their experience to be somewhat similar to my own.  At times I felt like that the author was writing about my small home town and this familiarity was nice while reading this book.

There was also the connection I made to Theo himself, and this is in part because Theo is a writer, and he sets out to write a certain story about the town.  He then begins to interview Marie and everyone else in the town in hopes to gain enough material for a story to materialize.  The character mentions taking his pen and notepad along with him.  I connected to this immediately as I too am writing a story of my Grandmother’s life and I know all too well what it is like to interview individuals for a story you hope that will some take fruition.  I could really see myself in Theo’s shoes while he interviewed all his new neighbours, eagerly getting the stories he needed to help him with his own story.

My favourite character other than Theo of course, as we did form a connection immediately was Megan. I liked her story, and how it evolved.  I feel that Megan is representative of someone who is not perfect but can still be a wonderful human being.  Megan has made mistakes in the past, but then has lived years with the guilt and trying to do right by her past.  She handles everything that she has endured with grace.

I did however find the story itself to be a bit long considering the plot line. I feel like it could have wrapped up sooner than it had.  There were many chapters that I felt were added that were not necessary as they provided no additional input into the story or plot. Nor did these chapters/passages help to solve any of the problems.  This added some repetitiveness throughout specifically in some of the dialogue.

There were moments of the story that I felt the book was preaching a bit too much.  I do understand that the faith, religion and church setting is a vital part of the community in Shiloh, and that it was necessary to paint a certain picture of what the town is like, however I just feel that at times it was overdone.

Closing Thoughts: In summary, I enjoyed the book overall, I give it a 3-star rating out of 5 starts.  I am looking forward to reading the next installment, Testament.

Release of: The South Winds

SW

The South Winds

by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting

August 7, 2018

Cassie Ray, manager of her family’s successful oyster house, has never asked for much out of life. The sun, surf, and sand are her companions. The regulars and tourists that flock to The Slippery Oyster are her livelihood. But when the Atlantic kicks up a hurricane, sending waves of black water threatening the coast, Cassie quickly learns that the south winds have blown in a lot more than debris and saltwater.

​Dean Alexander left Turquoise Isle eight years ago and never looked back. With his sister’s wedding approaching, and a hurricane churning in the Gulf, Dean returns home, where he’s welcomed with a riptide of memories determined to pull him under.

Will Cassie and Dean make it through the crashing waves of the past? Will they get a second chance before it’s too late or will the storm ahead be too much for them to handle?

 BUY LINKS:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/the-south-winds

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/South-Winds-Turquoise-Isle-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6X6V18/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-south-winds-allison-mullinax/1129081625?ean=2940162142232

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/the-south-winds

Author

About the Author:

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters.

Social Media: 

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THE SOUTH WINDS by ALLISON MULLINAX

EXCERPT #1 – CHAPTER ONE

The baritone blast of a semi-truck horn jerks me out of a daydream. Cutting my eyes to the driver of the eighteen-wheeler hell bent on keeping me in the right lane, I’m greeted with his middle finger and scowling face. He’ll just have to be pissed off. We’re stranded together in a sea of red brake lights stretching an entire mile. I’m not getting bumper to bumper in my Audi.

I blink back a memory better left alone, the recollection of freckles along Cassie’s collarbone fading. Don’t do it, man. Don’t let your mind run away with you. It’s just one weekend.

Of all the places I want to be battling five o’clock traffic to get to, Turquoise Isle isn’t one of them. I’ve managed to avoid my hometown for eight years, but leave it to my sister to find a way to drag me back to the coast.

“…and Hurricane Diana is approaching the Caribbean, expecting to make landfall in the gulf as a Category Two…”

I’m unsure if the piercing, nasal tone of the meteorologist on the radio is worth the weather update, but I guess it’d be a good idea to see what kind of shit-storm I’m driving into. As I inch forward a few feet in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the beat-up, soccer-mom van in front of me, I turn up the volume.

“…with total rainfall predictions of ten to fifteen inches and sustained winds of up to one hundred miles per hour…”

Curling my upper lip, I peek out my car window at the sun rays bearing down on the Alabama highway.

“…capable of major roof and structural damage, along with uprooted trees and power outages that can last anywhere from a few days to weeks…”

Blah blah blah. All I know is they’ve never met Cassie Ray, or seen the devastation she left in her path. My hand instinctively rubs at the center of my chest, and I reach for the foil pack of Tums sitting in my cup holder.

It’s just one weekend.

The buzz of my cell phone vibrates the unused pennies resting on the center console. I pop a fruit-punch flavored antacid in my mouth, and smile at the picture of me and my sister Julia lighting up my screen. She’s in her college graduation gown, draped in crimson from head to toe. Her black curls are smooshed neatly under her cap, while mine flipped at the nape of my neck, drenched in sweat. Her wide grin stretches across her face, and my arm is slung lazily over her shoulder. God, it had been hot that day. I remember sitting with Mom, my white linen shirt sticking to my back, catching the momentary breeze from the makeshift fan she’d made with the graduation pamphlet. I remember the way her eyes had welled up as Jules had made her way across the stage. Mostly, I remember wanting to get back home and out of Dodge before Mom started begging me to visit more often.

Leaning forward, I hit the accept button on my dash. “Hey, Jules,” I say, looking over my right shoulder, still waiting for my turn to get in the fast lane. The driver of the semi-truck smirks and shakes his head, determined to put me, with my nice car, in my place.

Click below to read my review:

https://turnthepageofbooks.com/2018/07/09/review-of-the-south-winds/

 

 

Review Of: Coin Toss

coin tossBook: Coin Toss

Author: Brian Amado

Genre: Contemporary

Note:  I received a review copy of this book from the author.

My Synopsis: Jeremy is more than just an athlete, he is slowing proving to be the best of the best.  Wanted by a very reputable coach to play quarter back for a prestigious rivalry high school, Jeremy must search deep within to find what is most important to him.   After being offered a position, Jeremy must decide if status and fame means more to him than friendship.

Meantime Ricky, Jeremy’s best friend, must deal with a drunken father who is never there for him, and this is after losing his mother to the horrific accident that lead his father down this dreary path. For Ricky the decision to join St. Michael high school’s football team is much easier than Jeremy’s decision is.

It is the two different home situations that impacts each of the boy’s decisions so differently.

My Review: I really liked this book!  This is a series, and this is book one in the series.  Firstly, I must start off saying that while the story is heavily centered around football, it is much more than just a sports novel.   You do not need to love football, or even know anything about the sport to enjoy this book.  I myself know nothing of the sport, and I did truly enjoy it.  You too will enjoy this book, even if you are not a sports fan.

This book is deeply centred around friendship, family and relationships. The book deals with decisions around the importance of true friends in one’s life.  It also deals with themes of Death, and Values.

The book was extremely well written, the plot was interesting, and kept me intrigued the entire time.  I read the book in two sittings.

I loved the characters in this book.  Each one had something unique to contribute to the story.

I loved Jeremey’s character for the simple fact that although he is one of the best in his field, and he knows it, he at no point in time ever lets that get to his head. He is humble, caring and holds his groups of friends close to his heart.  His kindness is proven in the story that Lauren shares with her little brother.  If I did not already love Jeremy at this point, that passage solidified my feelings for him.

I love the group of friends in general.  Having a teenage son myself, only one year older than Jeremy, I could really relate to so much of the teenage boy language, and interactions.  The boys reminded me of my own son and his group of friends.  I like the familiarity here.

I loved how Jeremy’s parents were portrayed as real people with faults.  At first, they are all about pushing Jeremy to attend St. Michael but when they are given opportunities that they otherwise would never have, all of a sudden their decision and influence over Jeremy’s decision alters. This shows they are not perfect, even though they appear to be the perfect loving family, they too have faults and are easily influenced.

I loved Jeremy’s mother’s character specifically because I connected to her, and I felt like I could relate to her.

My heart went out to Ricky throughout the entire book.  He has already endured so much heartache in his short 15 years of life, and yet remains on the right path due to the help of Jeremy and his parents being there for him day in and day out, filling the parental role.

Closing Thoughts: Overall, this was a fantastic read that captured my attention throughout.   I give this book a 4-star rating out of 5 stars.  A well written book with wonderful characters that make you to get to know each of them even more.  I am looking forward to seeing what the next book in the series brings.