Shouting at the Rain – Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Friendship Dynamics, Summer


REVIEW:

I don’t typically dislike being in the minority because I can stand my ground, especially when it comes to book preferences, but I can’t help but be disappointed right now. This is an author that I have read twice before and both times she managed to impress me, plus this book was enjoyed by 98% of the people who have read it. Yet Shouting at the Rain is not as entertaining as Fish in a Tree or as moving as One for the Murphys. Actually, it’s somewhat annoying. Continue reading

Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

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Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Romance, Friendship


REVIEW:

Part of me wants to give this book two stars because, looking back, I’m not sure I completely understood everything that happened and why. Another reason is that the characters’ ‘‘voices’’ all sounded the same so even if the narrator was announced at the beginning of a chapter I still needed to think hard at times to remember whose point of view I was reading. Continue reading

The Test – Sylvain Neuvel

41940388The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dystopia, Suspense, Family, Morality


REVIEW:

This is so messed up. I mean that in the best way possible. Do you want to read a soft dystopian that has been done before over and over again or something daring, captivating and all sorts of terrifying? I love an author who dares because tame stories are not for me. I want to be surprised and shocked and thrown into suspense instead of gently nudged in one direction or the other. Continue reading

Whisper Network – Chandler Baker

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Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 2nd 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Abuse, Feminism, Realistic Fiction, Sisterhood


REVIEW:

Of all the stories from female authors that have been published this month, this is the one Reese chooses for her book club? I mean it’s her book club, she can do whatever she wants, but I normally understand why a book is highlighted and right now I’m confused. While this is a timely story with somewhat meaningful commentary on womanhood, wifehood, motherhood and the power relations at play on the work field between men and women, the plot itself is nothing captivating because nothing new is actually being said. And I could not stand the narration style. Continue reading

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humour, Drama, Family


REVIEW:

My friend Jennifer said it best when she said that this feels like two books in one because I read the first one hundred and so pages thinking this would be a wonderful romantic comedy from start to finish, but alas drama llama made an appearance and did not want to leave the premises. It’s as though things started to become a bit too ‘‘real’’ because instead of relaxing on her fake honeymoon Olive started stressing out about everything and anything. Continue reading

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Magic, Feminism, Power Relations


REVIEW:

This is a whole different beast from most fairytale retellings I read. Different even from the author’s previously released magnificent tale—Uprooted. Uprooted, from what I recall, was thoroughly enchanting and exquisitely written. Spinning Silver is not quite like that. It is not a love story first and foremost—it is a story of survival. It is very feminist with three central female protagonists who experience, learn and grow. The writing is in no way purple-y. The author’s main concern is not to wow us with long beautiful descriptions of what are ultimately meaningless things and she doesn’t embellish what is meant to be raw and impactful. Continue reading

There There – Tommy Orange

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There There by Tommy Orange

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Knopf
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, Family, Generations, Native Peoples, Modern Life, Substance Abuse, Violence


REVIEW:

No one is lying. This truly is a necessary read. I thought it would read like a boring History textbook because the book literally starts by telling us some history so I immediately put it down. But I decided to give it a second chance, because how dare I abandon a story after a couple of pages only? I made the decision to push through that info-dumping part, but actually I didn’t have to force through anything because I really got into the author’s writing and wit quickly after and the reading began to feel actually natural. Continue reading