Story of a Girl – Sara Zarr

Story of a GirlStory of a Girl by Sara Zarr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Family Dynamics, Redemption, Romance


REVIEW:

What an achingly realistic story.

Deanna hasn’t had it quite so easy since her own father caught her having sex with an older guy (Tommy) in the backseat of a car. He hasn’t been able to look at her in the eye since then and it seems like he isn’t close to forgetting what he saw anytime soon. Same goes for her classmates and many other people in her neighbourhood, who have heard the many versions of the story as told by Tommy. Continue reading

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch – Amanda Yates García

43886044Initiated: Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates García

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Nonfiction, Witches, Witchcraft, Feminism, Spirituality, myths, Mother-Daughter Relationship


REVIEW:

I don’t know why I thought this would be a *fun* read. I guess because I find witches, witchcraft and powers usually fun, especially when I stumble across them in my fantasy reads or the fantasy movies/TV shows I watch.

So I started this memoir expecting to be highly entertained and, I admit, I didn’t take it all that seriously. Of course, a part of me believes in the unexplainable, so while I had my prejudices about witches and magic, I was still open to be educated by the author. Continue reading

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch – Julie Abe

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical WitchEva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Witches, Friendship, Family, Animals, Magical Worlds


REVIEW:

Eva Evergreen, daughter of a highly respected magical witch mother and a human father with no trace of powers, is beginning her mission to earn her Notice Witch status. Her parents couldn’t be prouder of their daughter and want to support her every step of the way, but unfortunately this is something Eva needs to do on her own. Not only that but she needs to start believing in her magic, even though she only has a tiny bit of it, and in herself. Continue reading

A Midsummer’s Nightmare – Kody Keplinger

12813860A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Forbidden Love, Family Relationships, Cyber-bullying


REVIEW:

This is the kind of book that, even if you’ve never read it before, the moment you start it everything about it feels so … familiar, as though it makes complete sense that this story exists and the characters feel like already established friends.

I actually had to ask myself whether I had read it before, that’s how connected I felt to Whitley, Nathan and Bailey. You know what, maybe in a way I have. After all, there are plenty of YA books about rebel children of divorced parents who act out to get attention and because they feel lost in the world and within their own relationships. There are also many YA stories about forbidden love that is oh so wrong but oh so right. Continue reading

The Voting Booth – Brandy Colbert

48717633The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Politics, Realistic Fiction, Family Death, Romance


REVIEW:

Well, I’m convinced. Marva convinced me. It’s not like I thought voting was pointless before reading this book, but Marva’s fervour and assertion about the importance of voting crawled into me slowly and settled there.

By schooling Duke on the issue, as well as her long-time boyfriend Alec, it was like she was giving us, the readers, a lesson also, but indirectly. It’s a good way for an author to spread her message without being too aggressive. But yes, in this case, I was definitely Duke, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone in my life who would be Marva. Continue reading

Hollow Kingdom – Kira Jane Buxton

42839296Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dark, Animals, Apocalyptic, Horror


REVIEW:

I haven’t been so confused by a book in a long time, and I’ve also not DNF’d a book in almost four months, but this is one special crow.

I tried. I tried reading it at home, work and in random spots outside, as though the location could perhaps help me make sense of this crow and story better. But it didn’t. Continue reading

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend – Kody Keplinger

23153016The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2015 for this edition
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Friendship, Family Drama


REVIEW:

It’s weird how things can change over the years (or sometimes very suddenly).

I read this book 5 years ago, pretty instantly after watching the movie, and… I basically hated it. I hated Bianca. I hated the pacing. I hated the clichés. Actually, there isn’t much I did like since I ended up giving it a one-star rating. Continue reading

Reborn (Altered #3) – Jennifer Rush

Reborn (Altered, #3)Reborn by Jennifer Rush

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Action, Mystery, Romance


REVIEW:

The truth is, this third book (that feels more like a companion novel) was not necessary. The story ended adequately with the second book, ERASED. Another reason I’m saying this is because REBORN was more of a deeper exploration of Nick’s character—with the introduction of a new one, his love interest—than a real conclusion to this series. Continue reading

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and YouStamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: March 10th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Non-Fiction, History, Racism


REVIEW:

Wait, it’s over already? But it just started… How can that be? This is probably the best not-history history book I have read in my short life. It spans hundreds of years, and yet it feels very linear, no disruptions. It’s a ‘‘story’’ with a beginning and middle, but no end… Continue reading

The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming StaircaseThe Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Ghosts, Friendship


REVIEW:

I feel different when I read stories that involve ghosts than when I read stories that involve other supernatural or paranormal beings.

I guess it’s because I actually do believe in ghosts and spirits, whereas I don’t, for example, believe in vampires, werewolves, witches (although I’d love to be able to say that I do) or fairies. Continue reading