Beverly, Right Here – Kate DiCamillo

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Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Death, Friendship, Love


REVIEW:

It is so clear, to me, why Kate DiCamillo is such a beloved children’s writer. She writes with such thoughtfulness and elegance. She gives voice to young girls who don’t always realize that they have one and that it most certainly deserves to be heard. She makes you want to listen to children more often and actually consider their words carefully. Continue reading

Jackpot – Nic Stone

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Jackpot by Nic Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 15th, 2019
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, High School, Family, Social Issues, Money


REVIEW:

I love the concept of this one. Two teenagers, one rich and one poor, are brought together as they try to retrace the steps of an old lady who may have just won herself over a hundred million dollars! It’s also possible she may not even have realized it… Continue reading

Songs from the Deep – Kelly Powell

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Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: November 5th, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery


REVIEW:

Sweet Jesus, I am so bored.

I wasn’t in the beginning. Actually, I kind of thought I would love it. The writing is elegant and the story atmospheric. It basically starts with a BANG, since we’re immediately thrown into the murder case. I even liked Moira’s voice. Continue reading

Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco

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Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, War Setting, Magic, Family, Royalty


REVIEW:

This is a ‘‘did not finish’’ from me.

The world building is so confusing. I can keep on reading and reading but I don’t understand more. Actually, I understand less. Because if from the beginning you’re not eased into the magic system and the different aspects that constitute the fantasy world, chances are you’re going to be so confused that you’re going to compensate by focusing on the characters more than the world around them. Continue reading

There Will Come a Darkness – Katy Rose Pool

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There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt & Cie. (BYR)
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, War Setting, Family


REVIEW:

I was so excited when I received this book because my advance copy was HUGE and HEAVY and it just felt like an important book to hold in my hands. It didn’t even have a cover design, so in addition to feeling important, it looked very mysterious. Continue reading

Are You Listening? – Tillie Walden

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Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 2019
Publisher: First Second Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, LGBTQIA+, Sexual Assault, Magic Realism, Death


REVIEW:

This is an odd graphic novel.

It’s one of those stories you read because they’re fast-paced, mysterious and atmospheric, but you have no actual idea what the hell you’re reading about and what the point of everything is. It takes a while to even understand the link between the two main characters, let alone the plot itself. Continue reading

The Dragon Warrior – Katie Zhao

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The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: October 15th, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Friendship, Family


REVIEW:

Truth be told, I finished this book a few weeks ago, but somehow I find much easier to review books I’ve either adored or hated. Because, usually, those books get me all fired up. This story… did not. It’s a good beginning to an original and diverse middle grade series, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also one of those books that you need to remind yourself to finish because your heart just does not automatically turn their way. Continue reading