The Brilliant Death – Amy Rose Capetta

The Brilliant Death (The Brilliant Death, #1)The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Viking
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Fantasy, Magic, Family Relations


REVIEW:

Normally, when I read a book, the more I read, the more I understand. In this case, the more I read, the less I saw the point of this story. The beginning sounded exciting: a mafia daughter with hidden abilities has an important mission to accomplish and is helped by another power-wielding boy/girl who she falls for. Continue reading

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa

39508663The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Viking
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Japan, Animals (Cats), Road Trip, Friendship, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

This is the heart-opening story of Nana, a stray cat who finds a master, Satoru, to whom he grows close until Satoru cannot keep him anymore and the two of them travel in search of a new home, visiting friend after friend, reminiscing, making realizations and growing closer still. The more people Satoru and Nana visit, the more we understand about these two characters (especially their pasts and personalities) and many more. Continue reading

The Grief Keeper – Alexandra Villasante

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The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Sisterhood, Immigration, Romance, Slow Burn, Psychology


REVIEW:

This is a beautifully-written and touching story about two sisters seeking asylum in America to escape death threats. Marisol would protect her younger sister Gabi at all costs so she agrees to become part of an experiment that has as aim to relieve someone from negative feelings by donating them to a recipient (Marisol). Continue reading

Hope and Other Punchlines – Julie Buxbaum

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Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, 9/11, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

This is my third book from Julie Buxbaum and frankly I don’t know if I should continue with her stories. The first book I read from her, Tell Me Three Things, I couldn’t finish. The second book, What to Say Next, I enjoyed but I remember disliking the love interest or not feeling particularly moved by the romance. Well, same thing happened here. Abbi and Noah are definitely a good match because they don’t annoy one another and simply care about each other tremendously. I know, my expectations regarding soul mates are not very high nowadays. Continue reading

Give the Dark My Love – Beth Revis

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Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic School, Health Issues (Plague), Family, Politics, Romance


REVIEW:

I can see how this is a hit or miss for most people. It’s not your typical YA fantasy—not what I’m used to reading and not mainstream. But that’s a good thing. I actively seek originality in my reads and this unconventional fantasy, with its limited world-building and romance, worked for me well. The storyline is straight-forward in the sense that we know what Nedra, the new student at the prestigious school of alchemy, is trying to accomplish and for what purpose. Continue reading

The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

39725622The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Quirk Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+. Retelling, Fandom, Celebrity


REVIEW:

This is a contemporary, fandom-centered retelling of The Prince and the Pauper and it is almost as adorable as a puppy sniffing old books. It’s also exactly what I needed—the equivalent of comfort food—since I’m supposed to be in Romania right now but there was a problem with my ticket so I have to wait longer to see my grandparents. I felt really discouraged when I heard the news, but luckily I had a few books I was excited to read that helped improve my mood. Continue reading