Eat Cake. Be Brave. – Melissa Radke

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Eat Cake. Be Brave. by Melissa Radke

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow/Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Religion, Humor, Relationships, Family


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Hilarious and heartbreaking, this is one woman’s inspiring journey of learning to stand up for herself in a world of naysayers, by the creator of the “Red Ribbon Week” video, which has over 150 million views. Continue reading

Listen to Your Heart – Kasie West

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Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Point
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Summer Reads, Contemporary Romance, Friendship


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Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible. But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder. Continue reading

Front Desk – Kelly Yang

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Front Desk by Kelly Yang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Based on True Events, Family, Friendship, Immigration


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Front Desk tells the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed! Continue reading

RANT: The Exes’ Revenge – Jo Jakeman

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The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: September 11th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Psychological, Thriller? Suspense? Female Empowerment? MEH.


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Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap. In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life. But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all. Continue reading

Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

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Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: June 12th, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Death


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To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed. For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison. While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong. Continue reading

Empire of Sand – Tasha Suri

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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: November 13th, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Magic, War, Romance


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The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance… Continue reading

Bayou Born – Hailey Edwards

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Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Piatkus
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance


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Deep in the humid swamps of the Mississippi bayou, a mysterious, half-wild child is dragged just in time from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in strange markings, the meaning of which no one is able to decipher. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudrou follows him into the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious. However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny… Continue reading

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Virginia Boecker

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An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Revenge


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When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself. Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play. It’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all. Continue reading

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Historical Fiction, Family History, Romance, Culture


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Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival. Continue reading

Star Scouts (Star Scouts #1) – Mike Lawrence

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My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: 2017
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Humor, Friendship


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Avani is the new kid in town, and she’s not happy about it. Everyone in school thinks she’s weird, especially the girls in her Flower Scouts troop. Is it so weird to think scouting should be about fun and adventure, not about makeovers and boys, boys, boys? But everything changes when Avani is “accidentally” abducted by a spunky alien named Mabel. Mabel is a scout too—a Star Scout. Collecting alien specimens (like Avani) goes with the territory, along with teleportation and jetpack racing. Avani might be weird, but in the Star Scouts she fits right in. If she can just survive Camp Andromeda, and keep her dad from discovering that she’s left planet Earth, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime. Continue reading