Review: Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

25131061Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Cancer

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(MISLEADING) BLURB:

Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death. Continue reading

Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

27827203Frostblood by Elly Blake

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: January 17th, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Revenge, Powers

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BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love. Continue reading

Review: Nightmare Escape by Greg Grunberg & Lucas Turnbloom

278829301Nightmare Escape by Greg Grunberg

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Graphix
Point of View: Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy

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BLURB:

Ben has a problem. When he sleeps he dreams, and when he dreams, they’re all nightmares! But he can also jump into other people’s dreams. So when his friends start falling victim to an evil dream-monster that prevents them from waking, Ben knows he has to help them. Easier said than done when dreams can shift and the monster knows his way around the ever-changing landscape of the mind! With help from a talking rabbit-companion who has a mysterious past, Ben might just be able to defeat the monster and save his friends . . . if he can figure out how to use the power within him against his enemies. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

23587115Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Dutton
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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BLURB:

Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.

Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.

Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It’s an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from the President of the United States. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1) by Jessica Cluess

23203252A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy

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BLURB:

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves? Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

22065080Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Folktale Retelling

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BLURB:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .
Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow ”Kill Me Now” Paced
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark

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BLURB:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? Continue reading