A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying – Kelley Armstrong

42281823A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 2019
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Animals


REVIEW:

I love that Kelley Armstrong, a Canadian author known for her Young Adult and Adult series, is writing middle grade stories. I like to see authors challenge themselves by stepping out of their comfort zones.

Alas, Kelley Armstrong needs to study the Middle Grade genre better. Not because she failed at it miserably – not true at all – but because I know she can be as successful writing middle grade as she is writing YA and Adult stories. Her writing style is very professional. Continue reading

Frankly in Love – David Yoon

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Frankly in Love by David Yoon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Family, Senior Year, Korean Culture


REVIEW:

This novel was written by the husband of Nicola Yoon, the amazing writer of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR so, of course, I absolutely needed to read this book ASAP.

I really liked the representation. I knew little about Korean social norms and cultural habits before going into this book so my brain was definitely awake and ready to learn. Without info-dumping us, the author clearly explained why Frank Li felt caught between two worlds and why he disagreed with some of his parents’ beliefs and traditions. Continue reading

Well Met – Jen DeLuca

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Well Met by Jen DeLuca

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Romance, Family, Love-Hate, Summer, Humor


REVIEW:

This romance was both familiar and unfamiliar for me.

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never been to a faire before and thought that was a thing for Hollywood movies. I’m not even sure we have those in Montreal but maybe I just haven’t known where to look thus far. Continue reading

Healthy as F*ck: The Habits You Need to Get Lean, Stay Healthy, and Kick Ass at Life

43416625Healthy as F*ck: The Habits You Need to Get Lean, Stay Healthy, and Kick Ass at Life by Oonagh Duncan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Nonfiction, Self Help, Health, Motivational


REVIEW:

This is the book I didn’t know I needed in my life.

Duncan is on FIRE. She is vibrant, motivated, determined, and I could really feel how content she was with her own life through her written words. She is passionate about health. Well, duh, she’s a personal trainer. But beyond that, she’s a trainer who in her lifetime has been overweight, average weight and skinny so she’s speaking with empathy in addition to knowledge. Continue reading

The Last True Poets of the Sea – Julia Drake

43885689The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: October 1st, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+. Romance, Mental Illness, Family, Friendship, Siblings, Summer


REVIEW:

Character-driven stories are tricky. It may take time to recognize them for what they are. In the beginning, we all expect some kind of plotline to unfurl. But slowly we realize that the story is the protagonists and that we better love them, otherwise we might just put the book down right away. Continue reading

10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston

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10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: October 1st, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Family, Friendship, Christmas


REVIEW:

This was FUN.

Everything about it promises fun—the cover, title, synopsis—but it’s one thing to expect something and another thing to be delivered that thing. Also, I read the author’s This Is Our Story, a YA mystery, so I couldn’t wait to see her deliver a feel-good Christmassy romance. Continue reading

Meet Cute – Helena Hunting

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Forever
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Family Relationships, Siblings, Drama


REVIEW:

Some covers lie. That’s just the way it is. You can scream, you can cry, but it won’t change a thing. That is the way if the book world.

A bit dramatic, okay, but the truth is this is not the super cute/adorable/funny story the cover promises. There is indeed a ‘‘meet cute’’ happening in the very beginning… but that’s it. The rest is not exactly rom-com-worthy. Continue reading