Hot Dog Girl – Jennifer Dugan

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Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada & NetGalley
Published: April 30th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+, Summer, Friendship, Family


REVIEW:

This looks like a really fun and fluffy YA summer romance, but believe me when I tell you that it’s more of a soap opera… at an amusement park.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was entertaining and I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy dramatic characters and scenarios as well as reading about different relationships blossoming and dying. Continue reading

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Color Me In – Natasha Diaz

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Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Romance, Racism, Poverty, Coming of Age, Poetry


REVIEW:

I knew I would love this book the moment I read its description and saw that it was inspired by the author’s own past lived experiences. True events always make something more meaningful for me because if they’re developed well into a story, it makes the whole book so much more realistic and memorable. This is why I adore reading memoirs as much as fictional stories. Plus, the author’s note at the end is incredible. Continue reading

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee – Jeff Zentner

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Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: February 26th, 2019
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Friendship, Family, WEIRDNESS


REVIEW:

What the hell happened to Jeff Zentner? THE SERPENT KING was beautiful and well-written. GOODBYE DAYS was emotional and original and all sorts of great. But RAYNE & DELILAH’S MIDNITE MATINEE is nothing like those two books. It’s dull and kind of weird. I do believe Jeff Zentner has his own style, different from other Young Adult authors, but this is a new weird even for him. Continue reading

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliott

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Essays, Indigenous Issues, Canada, Racism, Coming of Age, Poverty, Sexual Assault


REVIEW:

I try to read both fiction and non-fiction books with a variety of themes – love, friendship, family, coming of age, racism, discrimination, abuse – but I think this is the first time I read essays from an indigenous author. I know she’d rather I didn’t label her but I needed to mention this because I try to read everything and anything and yet it’s very rare I encounter written works from native peoples. This has to change for me. I need to actively seek them out, because reading about poverty, abuse, sexual assault, racism and discrimination from different perspectives provides you with new understandings of these issues. If I only read about social issues discussed by white authors or African Americans as I tend to do, I am limiting myself to specific perspectives. Continue reading

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir – Ruth Reichl

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Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Appetite
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Food, Personal & Work Journey


REVIEW:

I have wanted to read Ruth Reichl for YEARS and I was going to start with another of her memoirs – Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise – because it sounded JUICY and very secret indeed. But then this one came out and I was offered a chance to review it so I jumped on the opportunity. Continue reading

Technically, You Started It – Lana Wood Johnson

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Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: June 26th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Friendship, Romance, High School, Humour


REVIEW:

When I received this book, I opened it and I got so excited because it’s 100% made of text messages, no descriptive paragraphs or even letters addressed to people. No, just online conversations. Since I had never seen a book like this before, I immediately thought it would be unique and a page-turner. Continue reading

Maybe This Time – Kasie West

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Maybe This Time by Kasie West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Summer, Friendship, Family Dynamics


REVIEW:

This was my 9th book from Kasie West, which is a fun coincidence because this story includes 9 events Sophie attends that affect her friendships, family and love life.

Like the majority of Kasie West’s books, this was a page-turner. This author is great with banter. Even if you don’t particularly like the characters, the conversations between them are entertaining and very realistic. Continue reading