Book Review

Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge – Sisters and Sweet Tea, Novel Re-Tells ‘Sense and Sensibility’

A B O U T THE B O O K
Author: Hillary Manton Lodge
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Source: Publisher provided
Publication Date: 2017
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E L S E W H E R E
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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Family
Rating: ★★★★½

“Smart, sassy and sensational, Jane of Austin is a classic in its own right; a book worthy of placing next to its Austen inspired tome.”

REVIEW | Change is threatening to sweep the Woodward sister’s into its vicious cycle. In the wake of their father’s scandal, the sisters reinvent their life by opening a tea shop. Now, their landlord has died and his family no longer believe they’re good tenants. Forced to leave behind their home and business, the three sisters pack up and make the move from California to Texas, where distant relatives await. Continue reading “Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge – Sisters and Sweet Tea, Novel Re-Tells ‘Sense and Sensibility’”

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The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

About the book:Book - The Orphan Queen (Large)

Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen (HarperTeen)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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Rating: 4 out of 5

The Orphan Queen Review

During my teen years, my reading habits would have been coined as being “safe” up until a handful of years ago. The genres I read were primarily those I’d enjoyed as a young teen and I fell into a pattern of normalcy, and while I did enjoy the feeling of “comfort,” if you will, looking for something different meant I’d need to look outside of that. In expanding my reading into the popular and growing young adult genre, Jodi Meadows’ name was among the list of authors I’d been most curious to read. Her books sounded crazy unique and exciting, which was my primary reason (not to mention her covers are epic) though I was also interested in expanding beyond my “safe” reads, which didn’t include fantasy stories. Book one of Jodi’s most recent works, the first in a duology (plus novellas), The Orphan Queen is as lovely on the inside as its dust jacket suggests. Read review in full on Silver Petticoat Review ➔

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The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea

About the Book:Book - Sound of Silver

Author: Rachelle Rea

Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing

Source: Author Provided

Publication Date: 2015

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Series: Steadfast Love, #2

Genre: Fiction; Historical

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

REVIEW: Rachelle’s debut novel blew me away. Its precise storytelling and quietly compelling plot sort of snuck up on me. It started out great, but as each chapter passed, it became progressively better (and better). Her sophomore novel keeps pace with the first by picking up immediately where book one left off. We catch up with Gwyneth and Dirk immediately following their disastrous encounter at Gwyneth’s ancestral home. Now without a home, Dirk safely sees Gwyneth to his family home where she can be cared for and watched over by his mother and family, but he leaves. You see there is still a price on his life – people who would see him punished for crimes he didn’t commit. This shatters not only Gwyneth and their fledging relationship, but forced Dirk to look at himself and revisit some of the dark things about his past. Continue reading “The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea”

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Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

About the Book:Book - Shades of Doon
Author(s): Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink (an Imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Doon, 3
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Contemporary Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Building an impressive fan base full of readers fully invested in these characters lives, this series has become one of the more popular YA lit re-telling set of novels currently relevant to today’s reader. Its second novel, Destined for Doon, left its fans scrambling for answers and adding Shades of Doon to their most anticipated lists. Now, the third book is nearly here and fans are about to have the answers they longed for. The adventure continues as Veronica recovers from her brush with death and the mysterious circumstances that put her in that perilous situation. With her bestie, Mackenna, by her side, Vee is ready to face anything… except being thrust back to the modern world. Doon is home for her and leaving behind her people, her kingdom… and the man she loves is an impossible possibility neither Vee or Kenna are prepared to ponder.   Continue reading “Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon”

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Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

About the Book:Book - Hello, I Love You
Author: Katie M.Stout
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s)
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Standalone Contemporary
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Finding the “perfect” kind of summertime read is often conjoins the contemporary genre. That seems like everyone’s preference over the summer months.. This book defines that definition with its breezy premise and hidden punches that work on the characters to create friction. The story is about a girl named Grace who is running away from her family, pain and essentially life. She runs to Korea where she attends an elite boarding school to wrap up her senior year in high school. In spite of a friendly – and English speaking roommate, Sophie, Grace is still afraid to open herself up again. Between Sophie and her troubled twin brother, Jason – who is a famous pop star, Grace discovers she cannot always run away from her problems. Continue reading “Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout”

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The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea

About the Book:Book - The Sound of Diamonds
Author: RachelleRea
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Source: Author provided
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Steadfast Love, 1
Genre: Fiction; Historical
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Discovering blogging friends are living their dreams through publishing is one of the most exciting things the book blogging community can be a part of. I’ve “known” at least three bloggers who are pursing that exact dream, and have been able to play a small part in helping two of them launch their novels in the world. One of those talented souls is Rachelle Rea. Her debut, The Sound of Diamonds is now officially out in the world and today, I’d like to talk about that novel. It follows the story of young Gwyn, a Catholic girl who’s hidden herself away at a convent in order to forget the tragedy she’s experienced in her young life – and to hide away from him. Dirk knows he’s the man Gwyn believes responsible for the death of her parents. Because of this, she isn’t willing to walk out the door with him when he shows up concerned for her safety, asking her to travel with him and his companions to England. Thus sets into motion a literal and emotional journey of healing, danger and forgiveness. Continue reading “The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea”

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Siren’s Fury, by Mary Weber

About the Book:Book - Siren's Fury
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Author (Publisher) Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Storm Siren, book 2
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: One of the most highly anticipated young adult novels of 2015 (or that’s been my experience), the “Siren” is back on store shelves and the wait finally over. Mary Weber’s follow up novel is here. With the heart-stopping ending to Storm Siren and more questions than we could handle left hanging, there was a lot to discover in book two. Now the adventure was about to continue inside the pages of this visually pretty novel. The opening picks up just where book one left off with Nym realizing that her mentor and the only person she’d truly come to love, Eogan was being used to house Draewulf for his own evil purposes. This is where the story begins and evolves from. Aided by Princess Rasha, Nym has to figure out how to defeat Draewulf, but holding her back is the man she sees each time she confronts Draewuld: Eogan. This leads to Nym and Rasha becoming stowaways; it’s this that gets our sequel in motion. Continue reading “Siren’s Fury, by Mary Weber”

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The Fault in our Stars by John Green

About the Book:Book - The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 2014
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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Review: It’s tough to read uber-popular novels as the girl who isn’t easily bothered if she doesn’t read the New York Times bestsellers – if they are books that don’t interest me, that is. To this day there are series that sold millions and are continuing to enjoy social media campaigns that I will never read – and yes, I know we aren’t supposed to say “never,” but I’m boldly going for it. Still, when I saw the trailer for this movie, I happened to develop a curiosity for it, imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a book. After some debate (the most important of which was an Instagram post), I took the bait and bought a copy. The story (as everyone knows) follows the exploits of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Watters, two teens who have both lived with cancer. Only difference in their situations is Hazel is terminal and always has been – her experimental treatment is just to prolong her life, whereas Augustus lost his leg to the disease but not his zest for life and the fortunate circumstance to be in remission. This is their story. Continue reading “The Fault in our Stars by John Green”

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Storm Siren by Mary Weber

 About the Book: Book - Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Author
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Storm Siren, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult,
Fantasy 
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
It’s been a long time since I read a proper fantasy novel and if there is one thing I learned from journeying into the delightful Mary Weber’s debut, it’s that I’ve been missing out. There have been many friends urging me to read Marissa Meyer’s well known fantasy chronicles and I’ve seen various other books in this genre pushed (lovingly, of course) on readers, yet for some reason I had an idea affixed in my mind about the genre, one I must have unconsciously applied to every book in the genre. Fortunately I went into Storm Siren with an open mind. Nym is a young slave girl with a deadly touch – she’s a storm siren who can summon the worst of storms when she’s provoked. Today, on her fifteenth sell, she is enraged over an owner’s cruel treatment of a young girl and following a series of unfortunate circumstances, she is bought by the properly insane Adora, who claims alliance with Faelen’s king and offers Nym a choice: die or train to be a weapon against the incoming Bron forces out to provoke war with Faelen. Frightened of her own abilities, Nym joins forces with her training partner, Colin and their trainer – whose touch is able to still Nym’s powers, hoping that war is the last option.

Continue reading “Storm Siren by Mary Weber”

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Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Book - Destined for Doon

About the Book:
Author(s): Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink YA Books, a division of Zondervan
Source: Publisher (ARC Copy)
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Doon, book 2
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: There is something about a contemporary that travels back in time. Maybe its allure first began with the popular Gene Kelly musical Brigadoon (which this YA series is loosely based on) or maybe it’s just the idea that we have the ability to revisit these eras long gone through stories and it’s because of these visual descriptors that many of us have come to one conclusion: we were born to the wrong era. This co-authored series is the sequel to last summer’s inventive novel Doon and it continues the adventures of McKenna Reid and her best friend, Veronica. Living in Chicago pursuing her dream of a career on stage, it’s been nearly a year since McKenna left behind her true love, a native Doonian (what, so that’s not a word… work with me) – not to mention real-life royalty, Duncan, though for Doon, it’s merely been three months and now Doon requires McKenna’s return – or more importantly Veronica needs her best friend. Doon is coming under attack by forces that are ruled by evil witches and would have Doon’s beauty turned into a zombie wasteland. With her new Calling as the Queen of Doon, Veronica is only able to fight the battle so far by herself – her best chance at winning is with McKenna by her side, only McKenna left Doon with broken hearts in her rearview and it’s impossible not to let personal infractions complicating things… Continue reading “Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon”