Two Can Keep a Secret – Karen M. McManus

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Published: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, High School, Romance, Family


REVIEW:

Overall, I found this to be much less eye-roll-worthy than ONE OF US IS LYING. The author still is too much in love with stereotypes… I mean, homecoming queens dying? Please. But I felt more engaged somehow with only two narrators, a boy and a girl (Ellery and Malcolm), love interests to each other and both involving themselves in the mystery case(s). Both are likeable and smart(ish) leads. Actually, anything I say about one of them basically immediately applies to the other because, frankly, they have such similar voices it’s hard at times to distinguish them. Continue reading

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The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: January 15th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Action (I guess)


REVIEW:

The world is confusing: the more I read, the less I understand. The characters are bland: the more I struggle to picture them, the less invested I am. The premise promises but never before have I wished to chop a premise’s head off as much as right now. The writing is beautiful, so it has that going for itself, but I’m not as shallow as I used to be and so will not finish this book by consuming the purple prose alone. I need to CONNECT. If you can’t make me connect, you’ve failed in my eyes. Sorry not sorry. Continue reading

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: January 29th, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Fairy Tale, War Setting


REVIEW:

This is hands down one of the best fairy tale retellings I have ever read. I did not have high expectations at all, having found Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost to be a MEH read (please don’t curse me!), but this story hooked me right from the start. Continue reading

Fairest of All (Whatever After, #1) – Sarah Mlynowski

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Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Magic, Adventure, Family, Humor


REVIEW:

This was a charming feminist retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for middle graders (or anyone who enjoys a story well told). Abby and her brother Jonah have found a magical mirror in their basement that can transport them from their mundane world to a fairytale one. Continue reading

Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Coming of Age, Illness, Family


REVIEW:

This was my first romance novel in… months. I couldn’t bring myself to read a story that focused heavily on a boy and a girl falling in love for a long time.

That’s what happens when there is boy drama (and its aftershocks) in my life. I needed to step away from romance and focus on other things or my mind would keep wandering to that one boy with whom I really (mistakenly) believed something might happen. Continue reading