Carmilla – Kim Turrisi

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Carmilla by Kim Turrisi

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pacing: Normal/Slow
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, University Life


BLURB:

Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas University. But when her roommate, Betty, vanishes and a sarcastic, nocturnal philosophy student named Carmilla moves into Betty’s side of the room, Laura decides to play detective. Turns out Betty isn’t the first girl to go missing ? she’s just the first girl not to come back. All over campus, girls have been vanishing, and they are completely changed when (or if) they return. Even more disturbing are the strange dreams they recount: smothering darkness, and a strange pale figure haunting their rooms. Dreams that Laura is starting to have herself. As Laura closes in on the answers, tensions rise with Carmilla. Is this just a roommate relationship that isn’t working out, or does Carmilla know more than she’s letting on about the disappearances? What will Laura do if it turns out her roommate isn’t just selfish and insensitive, but completely inhuman? And what will she do with the feelings she’s starting to have for Carmilla? Continue reading

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The Center of the Universe – Ria Voros

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The Center of the Universe by Ria Voros

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Mystery, Romance, Friendship, Astronomy


BLURB:

Grace Carter’s mother — the celebrity news anchor GG Carter — is everything Grace is not. GG is a star, with a flawless wardrobe and a following of thousands, while Grace — an aspiring astrophysicist — is into stars of another kind. She and her mother have always been in different orbits. Then one day GG is just … gone. Cameras descend on their house, news shows speculate about what might have happened and Grace’s family struggles to find a new rhythm as they wait for answers. While the authorities unravel the mystery behind GG’s disappearance, Grace grows closer to her high school’s golden boy, Mylo, who has faced a black hole of his own. She also uncovers some secrets from her mother’s long-lost past. The more Grace learns, the more she wonders. Did she ever really know her mother? Was GG abducted … or did she leave? And if she left, why? Continue reading

Grace and Fury – Tracy Banghart

Grace and Fury
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: July 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Pacing: Normal/Slow
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Feminism, Sisterhood, Action, Rebellion


BLURB:

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison. Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything. Continue reading

The Perfect Couple – Elin Hilderbrand

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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: June 19th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Contemporary, Weddings, Drama, Family


BLURB:

It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people–an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield–and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read. Continue reading

I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering

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I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering by Janelle Hanchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: May 2018
Publisher: Hachette Books
Pacing: Normal
Recommended Age: 15/16+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parenting, Mental Illness, Addiction


BLURB:

At 21, Janelle Hanchett embraced motherhood with the reckless self-confidence of those who have no idea what they’re getting into. Having known her child’s father for only three months, she found herself rather suddenly getting to know a newborn, husband, and wholly transformed identity. She was in love, but she was bored, directionless, and seeking too much relief in too much wine. Over time, as she searched for home in suburbia and settled life, a precarious drinking habit turned into treacherous dependence, until life became car seats and splitting hangovers, cubicles and multi-day drug binges–and finally, an inconceivable separation from her children. For ten years, Hanchett grappled with the relentless progression of addiction, bouncing from rehabs to therapists to the occasional hippie cleansing ritual on her quest for sobriety, before finding it in a way she never expected. Continue reading

The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher

The Christmasaurus
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 23rd, 2018 for this edition
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Christmas, Fantasy, Family, Friendship, Bullying


BLURB:

Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . . . A dinosaur! Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas: a dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection. Continue reading

Darius the Great Is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Mental Illness, Persian Culture, LGBTQIA+, Friendship, Depression


BLURB:

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own. Continue reading