Review: Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

25226144Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Time-Travel, First Love, Drama Club, LGBT

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BLURB:

Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.

One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater. Continue reading

Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1) by Sophie Kinsella

9416Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: March 3rd 1999
Publisher: Dell Publishing
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor

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BLURB:

MEET BECKY BLOOMWOOD, AN IRRESISTIBLE HEROINE WITH A BIG HEART, BIG DREAMS — AND JUST ONE LITTLE WEAKNESS …

Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it — not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank — letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read — and they’re getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something … Continue reading

Review: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

23341252This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Crime, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance

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BLURB:

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own. Continue reading

Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

28186110The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Publisher:Crown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Survival, Thriller, Siblings

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BLURB:

THE LOST
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Since then, Faith’s childhood has revolved around her sister’s disappearance—from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention, to dealing with so-called friends who only ever want to talk about her missing sister.

THE FOUND
Now, thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the front yard of the Logans’ old house, disoriented and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Can her sister finally be back? Faith always dreamed of her sister coming home; she just never believed it would happen. But soon a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated from her family and paranoid about her sister’s motives. Before long, Faith begins to wonder if it’s the abduction that’s changed her sister, or if it’s something else. . . . Continue reading

Review: Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

22060619Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher:Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, College, Antihero, Romance

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BLURB:

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.
Continue reading

Review: The Amateurs (The Amateurs, #1) by Sara Shepard

24974965The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher:Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Nromal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance

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BLURB:

As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she’s hooked. Helena’s high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation.

But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they’ve been keeping quiet. Continue reading

Review: Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

28814844Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 13th 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: /
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fairy Tale Retellins, Snow White, Graphic Novels

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BLURB:

Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan delivers a darkly stylized noir Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan.

The scene: New York City, 1928. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.” In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil. Continue reading

Review: Mind = Blown: Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World by Matthew Santoro

28364142Mind = Blown: Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World by Matthew Santoro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Point of View: /
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Non Fiction, Humor, Culture

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BLURB:

Matthew Santoro’s originality and humour has attracted millions of fans, making him a beloved YouTube star. His weekly videos on amazing and little-known facts are eagerly anticipated by his many subscribers and followers around the world. In his first-ever book, Matthew’s love of weird and wacky knowledge explodes with new facts and stories from around the planet, and beyond. Surprising, and always entertaining, Mind = Blown offers even more of Matthew’s unique take on this hilarious, crazy world:

The most ridiculous laws from past and present
Crazy doppelgangers of people, places, and unexpected things
Historical wizards who actually lived
Real-life animal avengers
And a special section: Japan Blows My Mind!

From shin-kicking competitions and beer pong-playing robots, to enormous fire-balls shooting through space, you won’t believe what you’ll discover in Mind = Blown. But beware: there is too much astounding trivia for any one mind to contain! Continue reading

Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

11250317The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: September 20th 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: So Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, War, Romance, LGBT, Prophecy

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BLURB:

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear. Continue reading

Review: Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

25695574Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Private Schools, Mean Girls, Coming-of-Age

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BLURB:

Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its hidden centre of power is The Cabinet, a triangle of girls who wield power over their classmates – and some of their teachers.

Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches The Cabinet in action, and is courted by them – as she learns about power and repression – Lucy finds herself in a battle for her identity and integrity.

Few genres are more enthralling than the school story. In Laurinda, the acclaimed Alice Pung tells an involving, original story that captures the drama and pain of school life today, as well as revealing much about the choices of young women. Continue reading