Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee – Jeff Zentner

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Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: February 26th, 2019
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Friendship, Family, WEIRDNESS


REVIEW:

What the hell happened to Jeff Zentner? THE SERPENT KING was beautiful and well-written. GOODBYE DAYS was emotional and original and all sorts of great. But RAYNE & DELILAH’S MIDNITE MATINEE is nothing like those two books. It’s dull and kind of weird. I do believe Jeff Zentner has his own style, different from other Young Adult authors, but this is a new weird even for him. Continue reading

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A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliott

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Essays, Indigenous Issues, Canada, Racism, Coming of Age, Poverty, Sexual Assault


REVIEW:

I try to read both fiction and non-fiction books with a variety of themes – love, friendship, family, coming of age, racism, discrimination, abuse – but I think this is the first time I read essays from an indigenous author. I know she’d rather I didn’t label her but I needed to mention this because I try to read everything and anything and yet it’s very rare I encounter written works from native peoples. This has to change for me. I need to actively seek them out, because reading about poverty, abuse, sexual assault, racism and discrimination from different perspectives provides you with new understandings of these issues. If I only read about social issues discussed by white authors or African Americans as I tend to do, I am limiting myself to specific perspectives. Continue reading

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir – Ruth Reichl

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Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Appetite
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Food, Personal & Work Journey


REVIEW:

I have wanted to read Ruth Reichl for YEARS and I was going to start with another of her memoirs – Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise – because it sounded JUICY and very secret indeed. But then this one came out and I was offered a chance to review it so I jumped on the opportunity. Continue reading

Technically, You Started It – Lana Wood Johnson

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Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: June 26th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Friendship, Romance, High School, Humour


REVIEW:

When I received this book, I opened it and I got so excited because it’s 100% made of text messages, no descriptive paragraphs or even letters addressed to people. No, just online conversations. Since I had never seen a book like this before, I immediately thought it would be unique and a page-turner. Continue reading

Maybe This Time – Kasie West

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Maybe This Time by Kasie West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Summer, Friendship, Family Dynamics


REVIEW:

This was my 9th book from Kasie West, which is a fun coincidence because this story includes 9 events Sophie attends that affect her friendships, family and love life.

Like the majority of Kasie West’s books, this was a page-turner. This author is great with banter. Even if you don’t particularly like the characters, the conversations between them are entertaining and very realistic. Continue reading

Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Feminism, Dark Fairy Tale, Magic


REVIEW:

This is not a pretty fairytale. The story isn’t pretty. The world isn’t pretty. The characters aren’t pretty. Even the magic isn’t pretty.

It’s not a story that will make you dream a thousand beautiful dreams of happily-ever-afters. I’m not saying the contrary applies—that it will give you a thousand nightmares in which you die a thousand different deaths—but it is indeed DARK. Continue reading

Truly Madly Royally – Debbie Rigaud

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Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: July 30th, 2019
Publisher: Point
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Royalty, Diversity, Family


REVIEW:

If royal romances make you squee and swoon, this one’s for you. It is a lovely, wish-fulfilling type of story that will fill your heart with hope and wonder and make you wish for your very own Owen. (See what I did there? :D) Continue reading