Thursday, May 12, 2016

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The Something More Boxed Set
Author: Danielle Pearl
Publication Date: April 18, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance

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Normal (Book 1)

It's the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That's what I'm counting on. A year ago, Aurora "Rory" Pine was just a normal teenage girl - just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after. But this isn't a year ago. Rory is broken, and suffering from a new debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that's easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There's a witness - and a gorgeous one at that. Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly can’t ignore. But Sam has issues too, and Rory's past won't just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they're lucky - love. This is not a flowery romance - not for the faint of heart.   


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ReCap (Book 1.5)

Rory and Sam fell in love in NORMAL, and we all fell in love right along with them. Now see it all unfold through Sam's eyes, and learn just how the new girl with anxiety issues stole the heart of the gorgeous heartthrob, and turned his world upside down. You already heard the story. The one of how Rory and I fell in love, supposedly, even if she couldn't handle it in the end. You know how it all went. Or you think you do. You only know her side. But I have my own point of view, and even Rory couldn't know my thoughts in those few months it took for her to go from being a stranger to my whole entire world. Every moment is permanently ingrained in my memory. In my goddamned soul. From the moment I stumbled upon the girl panicking outside of calculus - the one with the tight little body, the angelic face, and the fierce attitude - to the night she abandoned me in Miami. It was the sum of those moments that changed me irrevocably. Our story isn't over. I won't let it be. But this, this is what happened so far, the way I saw it. I'm Cap. Or Sam, to Rory. And this is my story.


Okay_correction-DPOkay (Book 2)

After the horrors she’s survived over the past year, Rory never expected to find the one thing she certainly wasn’t looking for – love. But after the painful realization that her past has left her a dangerous liability to the person she cares for the most, she finally understands that for her and Sam, love means letting go. Can two people hopelessly in love ever revert back to just friends? Neither Rory nor Sam knows for sure. But the one thing they do know – it’s the only choice they have. As Rory recovers from a devastating assault, Sam will do anything to make sure it never happens again. But how far will he go to keep her safe? Their choices will change everything, and they will either bring them back together, or destroy them irrevocably. 
Normal Book 1

4.5 Stars
Normal takes on the difficult subject matter of teen domestic/sexual abuse. Please be aware that there are some disturbing scenes in this book that are a bit difficult to read. The character in this book, Rory, is the victim in this book. This is her story of rising above and healing from her horrific ordeal.
Rory was not only physically and mentally abused by her ex-boyfriend, but raped repeatedly as well. When the truth comes out, the whole town (including her father) turns against her. See, her ex is a football star and the golden boy in their town. When the harrassment becomes too much, her mother takes her to live in New York, where she is from. Understandably, Rory tries to stay invisible at her new school. Unfortunately, before her first class, she meets the most popular boy in school, Sam Caplan, when he helps her through a panic attack. After a few issues, Sam and Rory form an unbreakable friendship. He becomes her rock. However, in her new life, she also makes friends with a couple of girls. One of the girls, Carl, she knew from when she would visit her grandparents, so they already had a bond. It just strengthened.
This story is told so wonderfully. It is told in the present, when Rory is trying to rebuild not just her life, but herself. We also get flashbacks of the past. Of her former best friend, Cam, their relationship, then the relationship that wrecked her world and the ensuing chaos. My heart broke for Rory, but I also celebrated her victories when she would get over a trigger or stand up for herself. I did predict some things that happened in the book, but the author's writing immerses you so in the moment of the book that it almost feels like you're blindsided. She infuses this story with a vast array of emotions. You feel the character's sharp heartbreak and defeat and her moments of joy and heartbreak. I didn't merely read this book – I experienced it.

Recap Book 1.5

3.5 Stars
Well, the title says it all. This novella is a Recap of Normal. However, it is told in Sam's POV. I'm always pretty leery when it comes to the retelling of stories from the other POV. I can count on one hand the ones that I enjoyed and thought contributed to the series as a whole. 
The author does a pretty decent job at retelling the events in book 1. It wasn't a play by play, but just important scenes where we got Sam's thoughts. I thought Sam was wonderful in Normal. I still like him, but he seems so full of guilt or something. I don't know.  He just feels like everything is his fault. I guess that makes him a product of his childhood, though, so I can't really fault his character. I absolutely loved witnessing him fall for Rory through his thoughts. 
I'm usually bored when I read these alternate POV books, but I wasn't with this book. While I knew what was going to happen, I didn't feel like it was all redundant. The author presented it in a way that the scenes felt new and I  felt like I experienced them for the first time. The emotions are just as potent in this book as it was the first. I'm curious to see how the story will play out in Okay.

Okay Book 3
5 Stars

This book just catapulted this series to my favorites list for the year. It is beautifully written with a healthy dose of emotions. Okay is anything but. It is a beautifully written book of the healing power of love.
This book is told in the dual POVs of Sam and Rory. The longing and heartache for each other is etched into each page. They love each other so much and want the best for the other. Thus their current situation.
Rory… my heart broke for this character. What she endured and is still going through is terrible. Then, to feel like she has to deny herself her one sliver of peace and happiness in order to protect Sam. She deserved something happy. Then we have Sam. The playboy with the heart of gold. He falls so deeply in love with a girl who changes his outlook on life and relationships, but she is just out of his grasp. However,  he loves her enough to take her any way that he can – as just a friend.
I want so badly to tell everyone detail of this story, but I just can’t bring myself to ruin this reading experience for others. This story has embedded itself into my heart, like good ones do. This series is a favorite for sure!




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Read an Interview with Author Danielle Pearl
  1. In 5 words, how would you describe your ‘Writing Style'
Real, honest, angsty, suspenseful, emotional.  
  1. When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
The new releases! But I inevitably wind up lost between the romance shelves, sometimes for hours.  
  1. What is your favorite book from childhood?
Easily and unequivocally The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery. My mother gave me her copy when I was ten or eleven and I fell in love with both the story and the (translated) prose. My mom read it in its original French, and I've always been jealous of that, but alas, my French is limited to menus and a few curses.  
  1. What do you do when you are not writing?
I have three kids, including an eight month old baby, so... that. And, of course, read.  
  1. What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I've been writing since I was a kid. My mom used to buy me those blank journals to keep a diary, and I would fill them up with pure fiction. As far as my first published work, Normal, it was inspired by an article written by a remarkably strong woman, and the comments below it that made my head spin. Here's a link to my blog post all about it: daniellepearl.com/home/the-inspiration-for-normal  
  1. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise younger me to ignore her doubts and publish sooner. And not to try and design my own cover :/  
  1. List the 5 books your HEROINE loves best and why...
Forever by Peter Hamill because New York is her safe haven, and she loves reading about its colorful history (Rory does read this book in Normal). Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher because she's inspired by the heroine's strength and survival. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery because she can relate to its message on narrow-mindedness. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher because she connects deeply to the protagonist and wishes there were more people like him in the world. Wuthering Heights, because in Rory's eyes, love, contempt, and tragedy all go hand in hand.  
  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? What makes them special to you?
Rory is a survivor. She has suffered the worst kind of betrayal by those meant to love her the most, and while she definitely struggles, she is fierce and determined to move forward with her life. But it's how she slowly and reluctantly opens up to a handsome stranger that makes her special. How a girl with every reason in the world to write off men decides to let this one in, first as a friend, and then, eventually... something more.  
  1. What drew you to the romance genre? What are your Top Favorite Romance novels?
I'm your classic hopeless romantic. I was boy-crazy since I was a kid, but I learned fast that boys in real life aren't always all that great (my amazing husband not included!). But in books... in books they are everything.   Top faves- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Hopeless by Colleen Hoover Easy by Tammara Webber Bully by Penelope Douglas Corrupt by Penelope Douglas Real by Katy Evans The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen  
  1. What is your favorite line from any of your books?
That's like asking me to choose a favorite child! But today I'll go with "Our lips crash together in a desperate union, each trying to steal a piece of the other, trying to leave some of ourselves behind."  
Danielle Pearl

Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks best selling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her husband three delicious chidren. She is a life long book enthusiast who has been writing ever since she could hold a pencil.
Danielle went to Boston University and worked in marketing before self-publishing her debut, Normal, in August of 2014. She writes mature young adult and new adult contemporary romance. She is represented by Erica Silverman of Trident Media Group.  

 

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