Home After Dark – David Small

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Home After Dark by David Small

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 25th, 2018
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Bullying


BLURB:

After his mother abandons the family, thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt moves with his Korean War veteran father to a small town in southern California. Eager to fit in and figure out the mystifying rules of being a man, he succumbs to the sway of boys more feral than himself–leading to an act of betrayal that will have devastating consequences. Told through cinematic artwork that will transfix readers with its visceral potency and grace, Home After Dark is a mesmerizing evocation of a boy’s struggle to survive the everyday brutalities of adolescence, and forge his own path to manhood. Continue reading

The Dry – Jane Harper

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The Dry by Jane Harper

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Small Town, Crime


BLURB:

In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier. But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret. A secret Falk thought was long buried. A secret Luke’s death now threatens to bring to the surface in this small Australian town, as old wounds in bleed into new ones. Continue reading

Sea Prayer – Khaled Hosseini

38664775Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 18th, 2018
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Picture Book, Poetry, Refugee Crisis, Short Stories


BLURB:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world. Continue reading

Kiss Me in Paris – Catherine Rider

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Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Traveling, Paris


BLURB:

Serena Fuentes won’t waste one moment of her whirlwind trip to Paris. She has it all mapped out, right down to the photos she will take, and the last thing she wants is a change in plans. Yet suddenly she’s touring the city with Jean-Luc, a French friend of her sister’s boyfriend. He has to take pictures of his own if he ever hopes to pass his photography class, and his project totally slows Serena down. Why can’t he get with her program? One minute they’re bickering, the next minute they’re bonding … and soon they’re exploring corners of Paris together that Serena never imagined. When it comes to love, sometimes it takes a different lens to see what’s right in front of us. A romantic adventure for anyone who sees the possibilities in a spontaneous tour of the City of Lights with a charming French stranger, and anyone who’s ever wondered if true love is waiting on the other side of the ocean.  Continue reading

Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy Volume 1

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Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy Volume 1 by Stephen McCranie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comics Distributors
Published: July 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Friendship, High School, Mystery


BLURB:

A sci-fi drama of a high school aged girl who belongs in a different time, a boy possessed by emptiness as deep as space, an alien artifact, mysterious murder, and a love that crosses light years. Continue reading

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream

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Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: July 24th, 2018
Publisher: Hachette Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow/Normal
Genres & Themes: Memoir, Nonfiction, Sports, Religion, Family, Racism, Coming of Age, Determination, Success, Motivation


BLURB:

Growing up in New Jersey as the only African American Muslim at school, Ibtihaj Muhammad always had to find her own way. When she discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy, she had to defy expectations and make a place for herself in a sport she grew to love. From winning state championships to three-time All-America selections at Duke University, Ibtihaj was poised for success, but the fencing community wasn’t ready to welcome her with open arms just yet. As the only woman of color and the only religious minority on Team USA’s saber fencing squad, Ibtihaj had to chart her own path to success and Olympic glory. Continue reading

Rx – Rachel Lindsay

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Rx by Rachel Lindsay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Graphic Novel, Memoir, Mental Illness, Society, Drugs


BLURB:

In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she is promoted onto the Pfizer account and suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug. She is the audience of the work she’s been pouring over and it highlights just how unhappy and trapped she feels, stuck in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and while in the midst of a crushing job search, her mania takes hold. Her altered mindset yields a simple solution: to quit her job and pursue life as an artist, an identity she had abandoned in exchange for medical treatment. When her parents intervene, she finds herself hospitalized against her will, and stripped of the control she felt she had finally reclaimed. Over the course of her two weeks in the ward, she struggles in the midst of doctors, nurses, patients and endless rules to find a path out of the hospital and this cycle of treatment. One where she can live the life she wants, finding freedom and autonomy, without sacrificing her dreams in order to stay well. Continue reading