Tag Archives: self-published

SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – September Edition Reviewed

For September’s SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! River and I caved and decided we would finally sit down and read Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas (aka Abby McDonald). If you aren’t familiar with that name and you love YA, than GET familiar with it. She’s famous for writing Dangerous Girls, which is easily one of the most fucked up (pardon my French) books I’ve ever read (and I read thanks to River because it was my Christmas gift from her last year). There was something about Dangerous Girls that really just kept you on the edge of your seat and kept you guessing. Well, turns out the book didn’t sell very, forcing the author to self-publish the devilish sequel in North America (though UK fan, Simon and Shuster UK picked it up so you are cool!). If you want to read more on that check out Abby’s post here.

That being said, regardless of our thoughts on the sequel (which we both enjoyed but not as much as the first), we really, sincerely hope you support Abigail Haas’ books. They are something different in YA that you just don’t see and they really, really need to be read by more people.

River & Sam’s Pick:

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Dangerous by by Abigail Haas

River’s Thoughts: Whew, I flew through that! While it was no Dangerous Girls (a book I read a year ago and STILL think about… need to re-read it ASAP), I did like this a lot. It started off a bit slow and didn’t really start having the same atmospheric feeling that Dangerous Girls had until Oliver showed up. Once he was in the picture though, things really began to happen. The ending was twisted, and I don’t mean to keep comparing it to Dangerous Girls, but it wasn’t as gut-punching-shocking-jfc as Dangerous Girls’ was. So I guess I had really high hopes for this being just as WTF as Dangerous Girls, but in reality i should have separated myself from it a bit more and read it with some distance from Dangerous Girls. Oh well. Still really good and if you liked Dangerous Girls then you MUST get this and read it and support Abigail Haas.

Sam’s Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this sequel, though not as much as the first book. They definitely are very different beasts and it’s hard not to want to compare them considering they both have very different stories and twists in them. That being said, this book starts out painfully slow and doesn’t provide a lot of give right away. I definitely struggled with the characters this time around until Oliver showed up — can’t say I liked him or Ethan (I get they were polar opposites but they felt so much more one dimensional compared to Chloe), but it does get dark and uncomfortable, especially in the latter half of the novel. I wasn’t sure about Chloe at first, but towards the end of the novel, she grew on me and I understood her “enough” mentality that part of me even sympathized with her (not entirely though). It’s a good sequel, but the twist in this one just seemed to fall a touch too flat for me when you compare it to the original. Still, check it out because there is some really good stuff here, but Dangerous Girls wins hands down between the two for me.

Read Dangerous Boys? Have some thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments!

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Book Review – A Love for the Pages by Joy Penny

22441497Title:  A Love for the Pages

Author: Joy Penny

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Kiss. Marry. Kill. Nineteen-year-old June Eyermann has always known exactly which of her favorite Byronic heroes goes where. She’d kiss moody and possessive Rochester from Jane Eyre and marry prideful but repentant Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, leaving obsessive and spiteful Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights to be chucked off a cliff—but no. She couldn’t leave any of her heroes behind. She lives for her favorite fictional worlds.

But June is about to get a serious wake up call when she returns home for the summer after her college freshman year. Stuck somewhere between feeling like a kid again under her parents’ roof and being forced to start acting like an adult with worries about her future career, June looks at the library volunteer position offered to her as a way to keep her sanity for the next few months before she can go back to school.

What June doesn’t expect to find at the library is her favorite romantic heroes brought to life—all in the same man. Obstinate, prideful and even a bit rude, Everett Rockford shouldn’t exactly be “dating material,” even if June’s heart rate accelerates whenever she’s near him. But after discovering his enigmatic past and witnessing a few fiery moments of tenderness, June can’t help but see Rochester, Darcy and even Heathcliff in Everett. If she’s going to make it through the summer without becoming a tragic heroine in her own story, she has to separate the man from the ideals of fiction in her head. Because if there’s one thing she knows about Byronic love stories, it’s that they don’t always end happily ever after.

Huge thank you to Joy Penny for a copy of her book!

Sam’s Review:

I’ll admit, A Love for the Pages was a touch out of my comfort zone in the sense that I haven’t read a lot of New Adult and I’m not big on Byronic classics (although Jane Austen and I? We are buddies!). I’m happy I read this book though because I think it has a lot of honesty and heart, something I appreciate when I a read a contemporary story.

June doesn’t entire know what she wants to do with her life and she’s lost. She’s gets treated fairly poorly by people around her and yet, I appreciate that she’s someone whose willing to offer a second chance to make a mends and start over. She felt very real to me, and I loved her characterization because I could understand where she was coming from. Sometimes books are this wonderful escape from reality, but sometimes reality is something we need to face, whether we like it or not.

I think the thing that threw me with this book was how fast June and Everett fell for each other. There wasn’t much of a build in their romance, and yet Penny crafted this really solid friendship for them. So it goes from being friends to lovers lightning quick and it just didn’t entirely work for me. I did like that they got to know each other, but holy moley relationship, Batman!

However, I enjoyed the Austen aspects of this book. I loved that June comments on how her life has these Austen-esque qualities and any time she talked about her favourite books, I was just instantly connected. I think, however, I wished there was more personality from some of the secondary characters, because someone of them felt very one-dimensional, particularly Isla, Cooper, and even June’s friends. I wanted a bit more personality from the other characters because they were semi-important to the progress of the story and June’s development even.

However, regardless of my problems with the book, I did enjoy it a lot and I’d be interested to see what the author does next. I think it has a lot of promise and June really was a fantastic character to follow, and I appreciate that Penny captured her the way she did. June felt so real and her problems were easy to sympathize with. If anything, June is the real reason you read this book, because she’s wonderfully thought out and someone I think many of us can relate to. I’d be interested to see how a sequel could be spun from this, but I am equally content with how the story ending. Other then for poor Sinjin. My heart broke for him!

If you want to check out this book, you can purchase it on KoboAmazonNook and The Book Depository! Remember to support great independent authors!