In the Key of Nira Ghani – Natasha Deen

38528858In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2019
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Friendship, Drama, Culture, Romance


REVIEW:

You’ve probably read this story before. A daughter of immigrant parents wants to become something other than a doctor or anything else super stable financially, which is what her parents wish for her, and she denies herself happiness to make THEM happy. Continue reading

Dare Me – Megan Abbott

12982393Dare Me by Megan Abbott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2012
Publisher: Reagan Arthur
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Friendship Drama, Sports, Crime, Manipulation


REVIEW:

I’m obsessed. It’s rare that I read one book and already I know I want to read everything the author has ever written and follow her on every account, but that’s how I feel right now about Megan Abbott after reading the crazy rollercoaster of psychological manipulation that is DARE ME. Continue reading

More Than Just a Pretty Face – Syed M. Masood

42655335More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Romance, High School, Culture


REVIEW:

This was much more than I expected. In the beginning, I thought it would be a cheesy rom-com with an obnoxious male protagonist who can only think about girls and nothing else. I was going to give up after only twelve pages, because I just didn’t find Danyal all that amusing and did not care for his boyish inner thoughts. Continue reading

Make Your Bed – William H. McRaven

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Motivational, Self-Development


REVIEW:

I used to make my bed in the morning, when I was 10-12, and not just because my mom wanted me to. I had this pink room, with Barbie bed sheets, and a dozen stuffed animals around/on my bed. When my bed was made, and everything else was organized, the atmosphere of my room was just so vibrant and my overall room so beautiful I absolutely loved spending time in it and inviting friends to join me. Continue reading

Love à la Mode – Stephanie Kate Strohm

35065036. sy475 Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Cooking, Boarding School, Friendship, Love-Triangle


REVIEW:

Love is brewing in the Parisian air. Love for food, life, friends, new experiences, and of course for those special people who make us feel alive in the best ways possible.

Rosie and Henry are not just a meet-cute story. They are two of the new students who won a place in an elite cooking program at Chef Denis Laurent’s school in Paris. They are ecstatic to be there and study with other classmates who are crazy about cooking.

But their place is not guaranteed. They have to perform or they could be sent home after the first semester. Rosie is especially worried because her skills lie in baking. But Henry’s mind isn’t at peace either, since his parents do not approve of his life goals and he must actively prove to them that he belongs in the cooking world.

I found myself enjoying this novel a little bit more than the author’s Prince in Disguise release. The writing and tone were much more mature and the overall language used much easier to read. I also found both protagonists fairly relatable. The love-triangle was a source of curiosity in the beginning but shifted to a source of exasperation after the halfway point. Overall, it’s a flawed and perhaps not entirely original story, but it does entertain.

Prince in Disguise – Stephanie Kate Strohm

25844635Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Reality TV, Family Drama, Romance, Humor


REVIEW:

This was kind of silly… and also kind of cute. I don’t remember the last reality TV show book plot that I’ve enjoyed, and already I’m not a huge fan of reality TV to begin with (except for KUWTK obviously) so I’m kind of shocked by the fact that I managed to finish this book… and enjoy it. Continue reading

Shut Out – Kody Keplinger

10757771Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Drama, Romance, Sexuality, Love Triangle, High School


REVIEW:

I would love to see this book become a movie someday. It’s the kind of teenage romantic drama/comedy that is perfect for a period like this one we’re in.

It’s the battle of the sexes at Hamilton High. The football and soccer male players have a rivalry that is starting to really affect Lissa and her relationship with Randy. She comes up with a plan to end it and joins forces with the players’ girlfriends in order to execute it. The idea: withhold sexual activity until the rivalry is over. Continue reading

Story of a Girl – Sara Zarr

Story of a GirlStory of a Girl by Sara Zarr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Family Dynamics, Redemption, Romance


REVIEW:

What an achingly realistic story.

Deanna hasn’t had it quite so easy since her own father caught her having sex with an older guy (Tommy) in the backseat of a car. He hasn’t been able to look at her in the eye since then and it seems like he isn’t close to forgetting what he saw anytime soon. Same goes for her classmates and many other people in her neighbourhood, who have heard the many versions of the story as told by Tommy. Continue reading

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch – Amanda Yates García

43886044Initiated: Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates García

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Nonfiction, Witches, Witchcraft, Feminism, Spirituality, myths, Mother-Daughter Relationship


REVIEW:

I don’t know why I thought this would be a *fun* read. I guess because I find witches, witchcraft and powers usually fun, especially when I stumble across them in my fantasy reads or the fantasy movies/TV shows I watch.

So I started this memoir expecting to be highly entertained and, I admit, I didn’t take it all that seriously. Of course, a part of me believes in the unexplainable, so while I had my prejudices about witches and magic, I was still open to be educated by the author. Continue reading

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch – Julie Abe

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical WitchEva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Witches, Friendship, Family, Animals, Magical Worlds


REVIEW:

Eva Evergreen, daughter of a highly respected magical witch mother and a human father with no trace of powers, is beginning her mission to earn her Notice Witch status. Her parents couldn’t be prouder of their daughter and want to support her every step of the way, but unfortunately this is something Eva needs to do on her own. Not only that but she needs to start believing in her magic, even though she only has a tiny bit of it, and in herself. Continue reading