Genre: New Adult

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{Review} Take Them by Storm by Marie Landry

January 12, 2015 Review 0 ★★★★

{Review} Take Them by Storm by Marie LandryTake Them by Storm by Marie Landry
Series: Angel Island #3
Published by Self-Published on 01/06/2015
Genres: New Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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This book is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm.

Sadie Fitzgerald has always been different, and not just because she makes her own clothes and would rather stay home watching Doctor Who than party with kids her age. When it’s time to leave Angel Island for college, Sadie is eager to put her old life behind her. Small-minded people and rumors have plagued her for years, but with the love of her adoptive family, the O’Dells, Sadie has learned to embrace who she is. Now she’s not afraid to admit the rumors about her are true: she’s gay.

For the first time in her life, Sadie feels free to be herself. She dives into college life and begins volunteering at the local LGBT center, where she discovers her small-town upbringing left holes in her education about life outside Angel Island.

The world is a bigger and more accepting place than Sadie ever imagined. She’s finally found where she belongs, but with the reappearance of someone from her past, an unexpected new friendship, and a chance at love, Sadie soon realizes she still has a lot to learn about life, friendship, and love.

Cover Talk

Purple is my favourite colour, so I may be a bit biased here, but I love the cover. It’s eye catching, and quirky, just like Sadie. It actually matches very closely the descriptions of the clothing she wears and makes in the book, so it’s not another girl in a pretty dress cover that has NOTHING to do with the book. Nothing against those covers, because hey, they can be absolutely BEAUTIFUL, but after a while they become overdone when they have no connection to the plot. Alas, I digress.

My Expectations

I love Marie Landry’s books, and have been looking forward to Sadie’s story since she first told me about it so I was pretty sure I would like this book. However, 2014 had me in a god awful slump, and I didn’t want to read anything with dead mothers in it at the moment. That said, I decided to persevere and read Take Them by Storm since I had been looking forward to it for a while now.

My Thoughts

Marie Landry has done it, yet again! Take Them by Storm had me captivated from the first chapter, and I found myself reading for long stretches throughout the day and night, pushing aside other things to make time for Sadie, Ella, and River, as I returned to those loveable group of friends one last time.

While Take Them by Storm picks up a few weeks after After the Storm ends, it can be read as a standalone novel. Sadie is the protagonist, or I should say star of the book, as she really does shine. Whereas in After the Storm, Sadie was bubbly but self-conscious, and dealing with a lot of heavy things, in this book, she has the chance to truly get outside of her comfort zone and expand her horizons, as she starts at Loyola College while living with her best friend, River. Away from her unloving and bigoted parents and cruel high school peers, Sadie has the opportunity to volunteer at a local LGBTQ Rainbow Centre as part of her placement, allowing her to further grow confidence in herself, her identity, and to develop a sense of community for the first time in her life. (And if you’ve read any of Marie’s other books, particularly The Game Changer, you also get to see some familiar faces in Bellevue which was SO fun as a fan and reader!)

I really appreciated the complexity that Marie Landry gave to Sadie’s story, and character. She wasn’t defined by her sexual orientation, but identifying as a lesbian was still important to her. Not every relationship worked out picture perfect with a happily ever after story, nor was Sadie’s story one of doom or gloom. There was a little of both, and Sadie spent a lot of being happy, making mistakes, and just generally trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted – in other words, she was a typical college student! I also LOVED that the LGBTQA+ spectrum was represented, or discussed, including bisexual, pansexual, intersex, asexual, trans*, queer, and two-spirited identities. There was also a bisexual character (she actually read more pansexual to me, but nonetheless), and thankfully there was no bi-erasure, as can often happen. Sadie also gets served the same treatment as Landry’s other female protagonists, with a few steamy bedroom scenes of her own. No fade to black just because it is a LGBTQ romance, yay!

Although a LOT of things worked for me, one thing that didn’t really was one of the romantic relationships Sadie has towards the end of the book. Without spoiling anything, I had just never gotten the same kind of chemistry with the character as I did with some of the other female characters. It also seemed to happen very quickly, and then there was about a month’s jump forward in time, which made things seem even more rushed and made it a bit difficult for me to be all swoony and excited over them. That said, this was one thing in a sea of many things that I did really like!

In the end, Take Them by Storm was a whirlwind ride through Sadie’s first few months of college, and the highs and lows that came with it. I’d recommend this to anyone who is looking for a great contemporary read, whether you have read Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm and are looking to continue the story, or are looking for a great read about a young woman coming into her own with a wonderful group of friends. Also, being the last book, I am sad to leave this series behind! I’ve had some good laughs and cries over all three books. But I can’t wait to see what Landry has up her sleeve as she moves on to new characters, places and stories.  I’m sure they will be just as swoon, cry and laughter worthy as her others!

4 Stars

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{Cover Reveal} Take Them By Storm by Marie Landry

November 11, 2014 Cover Reveal 0

I’m very excited to take part yet again in a cover reveal for one of my favourite Canadian and self-published authors, Marie Landry! Take Them by Storm is the third and final book in the Angel Island series (but it can be read as a standalone), and so now I’ll have helped reveal all of this series covers. Read on to view the wonderful cover, and see my 5 reasons why you should read this book or the entire series.

READY?

… 3 …

… 2 …

… 1! ..

cover for Take Them by Storm (Angel Island #3) by Marie Landry - features a girl in black lace stockings, purple converse shoes and dress sitting on old suitcases against a purple backdrop.

Take Them By Storm by Marie Landry
Series: Angel Island #3
Published by Self-Published on January 6, 2015
Genres: New Adult
Format: eBook
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This book is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm. The books do not need to be read together or in order, but please note that this synopsis contains mild spoilers for After the Storm.

Sadie Fitzgerald has always been different, and not just because she makes her own clothes and would rather stay home watching Doctor Who than party with kids her age. When it’s time to leave Angel Island for college, Sadie is eager to put her old life behind her. Small-minded people and rumors have plagued her for years, but with the love of her adoptive family, the O’Dells, Sadie has learned to embrace who she is. Now she’s not afraid to admit the rumors about her are true: she’s gay.

For the first time in her life, Sadie feels free to be herself. She dives into college life and begins volunteering at the local LGBT center, where she discovers her small-town upbringing left holes in her education about life outside Angel Island.

The world is a bigger and more accepting place than Sadie ever imagined. She’s finally found where she belongs, but with the reappearance of someone from her past, an unexpected new friendship, and a chance at love, Sadie soon realizes she still has a lot to learn about life, friendship, and love.

5 Reasons You Should Read Take Them by Storm & the Angel Island series

  1. Sadie is my all-time favourite character from the series and this is HER book. This girl is FIERCE and dances to the beat of her own drum, but she isn’t some manic pixie dream girl. She’s got a cool sense of style, stands up for her friends, and also identifies as a lesbian. I’m looking forward to seeing a relationship unfold for Sadie as Landry does romance so well (see point #5).
  2. Like books that will make you cry? I’ve cried reading every book in this series! Both happy and sad tears have been shed.
  3. Numerous swoon worthy book boyfriends. That are all respectful and caring. No asshats here! Or love triangles (not that I’m entirely against love triangles, but let’s admit, it can be a tad overdone).
  4. Each book features great depictions of family dynamics, and friendships – both the good and the bad. All different kinds of love are covered, and romantic love isn’t praised as the only kind of love or the most important.
  5. I used to say I’m not a fan of romance books and that I don’t read them, but Marie Landry’s books, and in particular, this series, have made me reevaluate my feelings against the genre. I’m a convert! So even if you don’t think you like contemporary romance, I still urge you to give these books a try!
Not convinced?

Check out my reviews of the previous two books (which can also be read as standalones) below by clicking on the covers.

 waiting for the storm   after the storm

 

About Marie Landry

Marie-Landry-Author-Pic

Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she's had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She's a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters.

Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Blue Sky Days Relaunch Blitz

June 27, 2014 Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Giveaways 4

Blue Sky Days Relaunch Blitz

Welcome to the Blue Sky Days Relaunch Blitz! I rave about Marie Landry enough that by now everyone should know that I highly recommend her books, right? Well, in case you need a reminder, here’s my chance! Marie Landry is one of my favourite Canadian authors – she writes heartwrenching, laugh out loud contemporary romance stories in the vein of Sarah Dessen. Today I’m helping relaunch her first book, Blue Sky Day. Full disclosure – I helped beta read some of this book. While I haven’t finished it (yet!), I just know that she is going to rip my heart out of my chest. Why? Read on to find out more about the novel, the special importance this relaunch has to the author, and find out how you can win one of three $20 PayPal giftcards!

Blue Sky Days Relaunch BlitzBlue Sky Days by Marie Landry
on June 27, 2014
Genres: New Adult
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A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.

Author-Note-Blue-Sky-Days-Blitz

June 27th is the 20th anniversary of my dad’s death from leukemia. For a long time I’ve wanted to honour him in some way, and I thought having the relaunch of Blue Sky Days, a book that was partly inspired by him, would be the perfect tribute. My dad was a wonderful man—smart, funny, kind, and loyal. He was an amazing father, husband, brother, and friend. Even before he died, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and he would listen to my crazy made-up stories with the patience of a saint.

From the 27th-30th of June, half the proceeds from all sales of Blue Sky Days will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. If you already own a copy, maybe you’d consider buying the book for a friend or family member? Or buying another copy from a different retailer (like Smashwords, which offers the book in every format)?

I greatly appreciate the support of the online reading/writing community for helping me honour my dad.

 

Giveaway-Blue-Sky-Days-Blitz

Thanks to eight incredible sponsors, there’s a huge blitz-wide giveaway! There will be three (3) $20 PayPal cash prizes. Three chances to win – not too shabby, huh? This giveaway is open internationally to people aged 18+ who can accept PayPal cash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Game Changer by Marie Landry

February 4, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★½

Review: The Game Changer by Marie LandryThe Game Changer by Marie Landry
Published by Self-Published on November 13, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 295
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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Melody Cartwright has never had a problem with change, but for the first time in her life the changes are beyond her control—she suddenly has a niece she never knew, but has to prove herself to; her best friend is making huge life changes of her own; and she has to deal with her ex and his crazy new girlfriend who has stalker tendencies.

When Melody meets confident, sexy Julian, she’s not interested in a relationship. He tells her it’s possible for a man and a woman to just be friends, and despite his ultra-charming ways there’s something about him that makes Melody believe he could be right.

During a time of change and turmoil, it doesn’t take long for Julian to become everything Melody never knew she needed in her life. But is it possible for them to remain ‘just friends’ or will Melody be a game changer for Julian the playboy?

Disclosure:I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

// Cover Critique //

The cover is simple, which I like, and conveys the story well I think. The little motif under the title is a nice touch.

// Expectations //

I haven’t read any other of Marie Landry works, although they are on my TBR list, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I don’t read a lot of romances novels, especially in the adult genre, and thus I expected it to follow what I see as the standard romance genre formula. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn’t!

// Review //
First off, I feel I need to give a little disclaimer: I interact often with the author, Marie Landry, on Twitter and her blog. However, while personally knowing an author can sometimes cloud a reviewers judgement, I found that right off the gate I was looking more critically at what I was reading, perhaps in a subconscious attempt to counter-act any favouritism. Despite that, I quickly found myself falling in love with this book. Anyways, I’d just like to say that this review is my honest opinion – as always.

The Game Changer has what appears to be a classic romantic premise — quiet, reserved woman meets a sexy, charming and confident young man; will they or won’t they? They always do. & it always seems to be the woman that then goes through a transformation, aided by this new man in her life. However, The Game Changer takes a very different approach to this set up, one that I found refreshing and more enjoyable!

Melody Cartwright lives in a small Ontario town, is in her late twenties, has a best friend and family that she loves dearly, and is just ending a three year relationship with the man she thought would be her husband. Change is in the air for Melody, although she is a bit hesitant to accept it. Her best friend, Olivia, is determined to help set Melody on a new path. On this new path, Melody meets Julian, the complete opposite of her – sexy, charming and overly confident in himself. Realizing the pre-conceived notions Melody has of him, Julian insists that they become friends, but Melody is unsure if it possible for a man and a woman to remain platonic. The only thing she knows for sure is that she is about to find out.

OK, can I just say that I was so happy to see a romance book where the female character 1) doesn’t feel a need to change herself for a man (granted, she had sort of already done this in a previously relationship) and 2) doesn’t feel a need to change the love interest! In this scenario, the man is the one attempting to change, and he had been interested in doing that before meeting our main character. That is what I think I loved most about this book. All of the characters were well developed, and could stand on their own. If I had any complaint it was that sometimes they were a bit too nice, or pleasant, but they all had unique personalities and were complex characters, so it wasn’t a major problem for me.

There are so many sides to this story that make it more than “just” a romantic story about a woman and a man — it is in every sense of the word a love story in that it is about love between family, friends, and romantic partners. I really enjoyed the relationship Melody had with her mother and niece, as well as her friendship with Olivia. None of these were perfect, and all had their challenges, which made them very realistic. Olivia provided a great counter to Melody’s personality, and the banter between them was amazing! Their friendship was one of the highlights of the book for me. When Olivia and Melody had a falling out, it hurt, like you’d lost your own best friend.

Oh, and Julian? He was OK I guess… Just kidding! Julian was smart, funny, and sexy, but not so overly perfect as to make him boring. With each encounter he had with Melody he let a little more and more of himself (… ahem, get your mind out of the gutter, I mean, his personality!) show. I really enjoyed the slow build of romance between Julian and Melody, and how they were truly able to start out as friends. They were so adorable together! & from there it just got more and more intense. Readers are also taunted with some frustrating moments. But these helped add to the realism of the story, although I would have liked to see just a teeny bit more romance between Melody and Julian.

The one thing I didn’t think worked was the side plot of “her ex and his crazy new girlfriend who has stalker tendencies”. It worked well as a plot device, but that was the thing — it often felt like a plot device, especially at the end. The stalker girlfriend plot line came and went as convenient, and something happened that I was not expecting at all, and it felt a bit out of place. It all made sense in the end, but it just felt… weird. I can’t explain it anymore than that really.

Overall, I loved The Game Changer, which I read all in one day! Looking back, this book reminded me of a Canadian version of Sex & the City mixed with Gilmore Girls. If you are looking for a romantic story that is realistic and relatable for women in their 20s, but still swoon-worthy, then I’d definitely recommend you read The Game Changer!

 

// Share Your Thoughts…//

Have you read The Game Changer? What did you think?  If you haven’t, do you have any other recommendations for non-traditional romantic stories?

4.5 Stars

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