Circe – Madeline Miller

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Circe by Madeline Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Adventure, Magic, Family


BLURB:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Continue reading

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready

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And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Parenting, Childbirth, Relationships


BLURB:

And Now We Have Everything is O’Connell’s brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O’Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the second adolescence of a changing postpartum body, the problem of sex post-baby, the weird push to make “mom friends,” and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity. Continue reading

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast/Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Essays, Nonfiction, Feminism, Culture, India, Humor


BLURB:

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality–all as she tries to find her feet in the world. Continue reading

The Leading Edge of Now – Marci Lyn Curtis

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The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast/Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Sexual Assault, Mystery, Grief, Family, Friendship, Romance


BLURB:

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor. Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever. Continue reading

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade – Cheyanne Young

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The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Grief, Friendship, Romance, Family, Adventure


BLURB:

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole worldthe best friend in the whole worldhas died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted. And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife? In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows. Continue reading

Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time

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Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time by Steve Jenkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Memoir, Animals, Humor, Family, Veganism


BLURB:

In just two short years, Steve and Derek have cemented a place for themselves among the worlds most well-known and successful animal activists, accumulating hundreds of thousands of followers from all over the world. In 2014 Steve and Derek founded the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario, where they continue to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned and abused farmed animals. Continue reading