The Test – Sylvain Neuvel

41940388The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dystopia, Suspense, Family, Morality


REVIEW:

This is so messed up. I mean that in the best way possible. Do you want to read a soft dystopian that has been done before over and over again or something daring, captivating and all sorts of terrifying? I love an author who dares because tame stories are not for me. I want to be surprised and shocked and thrown into suspense instead of gently nudged in one direction or the other. Continue reading

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Whisper Network – Chandler Baker

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Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 2nd 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Abuse, Feminism, Realistic Fiction, Sisterhood


REVIEW:

Of all the stories from female authors that have been published this month, this is the one Reese chooses for her book club? I mean it’s her book club, she can do whatever she wants, but I normally understand why a book is highlighted and right now I’m confused. While this is a timely story with somewhat meaningful commentary on womanhood, wifehood, motherhood and the power relations at play on the work field between men and women, the plot itself is nothing captivating because nothing new is actually being said. And I could not stand the narration style. Continue reading

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humour, Drama, Family


REVIEW:

My friend Jennifer said it best when she said that this feels like two books in one because I read the first one hundred and so pages thinking this would be a wonderful romantic comedy from start to finish, but alas drama llama made an appearance and did not want to leave the premises. It’s as though things started to become a bit too ‘‘real’’ because instead of relaxing on her fake honeymoon Olive started stressing out about everything and anything. Continue reading

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Magic, Feminism, Power Relations


REVIEW:

This is a whole different beast from most fairytale retellings I read. Different even from the author’s previously released magnificent tale—Uprooted. Uprooted, from what I recall, was thoroughly enchanting and exquisitely written. Spinning Silver is not quite like that. It is not a love story first and foremost—it is a story of survival. It is very feminist with three central female protagonists who experience, learn and grow. The writing is in no way purple-y. The author’s main concern is not to wow us with long beautiful descriptions of what are ultimately meaningless things and she doesn’t embellish what is meant to be raw and impactful. Continue reading

There There – Tommy Orange

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There There by Tommy Orange

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Knopf
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, Family, Generations, Native Peoples, Modern Life, Substance Abuse, Violence


REVIEW:

No one is lying. This truly is a necessary read. I thought it would read like a boring History textbook because the book literally starts by telling us some history so I immediately put it down. But I decided to give it a second chance, because how dare I abandon a story after a couple of pages only? I made the decision to push through that info-dumping part, but actually I didn’t have to force through anything because I really got into the author’s writing and wit quickly after and the reading began to feel actually natural. Continue reading

A Ladder to the Sky – John Boyne

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A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, LGBTQIA+, Historical Fiction, Books about Books, Writing, Family, Success


REVIEW:

I have never before genuinely despised an antihero. Antiheroes are hella fun. By that I mean that I love to root for them because they’re often unpredictable, unconventional and unusual and they don’t care to play the role of the good guy. They live by their own rules and that can be really entertaining to witness. Continue reading

Patron Saints of Nothing – Randy Ribay

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Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Kokila
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Family, Coming of Age, Culture


REVIEW:

This felt like a familiar tale in the beginning. Someone close to the main character dies and the main character is angry and seeks justice. Except in this case the tragedy happens in the Philippines, far away from the protagonist, and Jay is reluctant to accept the events that lead to the death of his cousin so he travels to the Philippines in order to find out the truth his family is potentially hiding from him. Continue reading