The Revolution of Birdie Randolph – Brandy Colbert

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The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Family Dynamics, Romance, Substance Abuse


REVIEW:

This is a book that truly surprised me. First, Brandy Colbert completely improved upon her previous release—Finding Yvonne—a book I did not care to finish. I enjoyed Little & Lion from her, but this was twice as good and well developed. I dare say it’s a page turner from the start. Another reason why this book and author surprised me was Booker, Birdie’s love interest. The way he is presented in the beginning makes the reader think he is trouble. I mean, any guy who encourages a girl to sneak out of the house is a no-no for me. But then I got to know him better and saw how sweet he was to Birdie and began to like him quite a lot. Continue reading

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The Light at the Bottom of the World – London Shah

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The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 29th, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Romance, Family


REVIEW:

This is a really cool science fiction world. Leyla and every other human being live under water, the world having been engulfed by the sea a long time ago. Her futuristic world includes cars that work under water and lots of interesting gadgets that made me want to take an actual leap into the future. Not that I wish to one day live among sea creatures, but you know. It could be an experience. Continue reading

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

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Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 29th, 2019
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Health, Family, LGBTQIA+. Friendship, High School, Theater


REVIEW:

I knew this was going to be an important and memorable story from the very first chapter. This was my first time reading about an HIV positive character and their struggles so I was paying very close attention to everything that was being said about the virus and how it affected Simone’s daily life. I did feel overwhelmed in the beginning because the author does not wait long to explain Simone’s situation to us and so it feels as though we are info-dumped. At the same time, I am really glad I know more about HIV and the U=U rule (undetectable = untransmittable) today. This book made me realize my own ignorance and corrected it. Continue reading

The Bone Houses – Emily Lloyd-Jones

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The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Family, Adventure


REVIEW:

I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing. Continue reading

A Match Made in Mehendi – Nandini Bajpai

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A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 10th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, High School, Family History, Indian Culture, Technology


REVIEW:

I was in the worst book slump ever the past three weeks. I literally started fifteen books, read 10 or 20 pages from each book and proceeded to lose interest completely. I despaired and thought I might never finish another book in my entire life so I decided to take a break from the book world. Thank God because when I finally picked up my sixteenth book—this book—I flew through it. Continue reading

The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

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The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 13th 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Race, Gender, Poverty


REVIEW:

After reading a book with protagonists that did not inspire any reaction in me but one of absolute indifference, it felt almost magical to read a story with a character that absolutely popped off the page and claimed her rightful place as the heroine of this book. I live for these types of characters with personality, strength, ambition and a desire for change. Jo hasn’t had it easy at all but she’s working hard to support herself, survive and make something of herself. Historical Fiction is a hit or miss for me, because it can be more boring than watching a hamster go about its day. (Since I once had one I can tell you it’s very, very boring.) Luckily instead of incorporating every historical element possible in her story, Stacey Lee discussed key subjects that were of great importance to Jo, such as poverty, race and gender. All of which I was able to understand and all of which made me feel invested in this story. Continue reading

Wicked Fox – Kat Cho

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Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: June 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology


REVIEW:

Somehow I knew this would not work well for me and I am all about mythology in my fantasy reads. But after reading the cheesy summary mentioning a forbidden romance that could potentially become Miyoung’s downfall, I was like, ‘‘I really hope YA Fiction moves on from this type of character arc, man.’’ I gave it a chance anyway because sometimes blurbs are awful but the characters wonderful so it’s always possible to be surprised when it comes to books. Continue reading