Review: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

18369372The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Music, Contemporary, Family, Romance, Friendship, Disability, Magical Realism

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BLURB:

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met.Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother. Continue reading

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Review: Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

23250087Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 11th 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Animals

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BLURB:

1. Kiss Estelle.
2. Get a job.
3. Cheer my mother up.
4. Try not to be a complete nerd/loser.
5. Talk to my father when he calls.
6. Figure out how to be good.

Nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving, new-school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to six impossible things…

In this charming story of one guy’s efforts to get it together when his life is falling apart, award-winning author Fiona Wood introduces an irresistible voice and a delightfully awkward character who is impossible to forget. Continue reading

Review: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

19405297We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Tundra Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Tween, Contemporary, Siblings, Family, LGBT

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BLURB:

Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.

Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.

They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules. Continue reading

Review: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

29223495The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: Alternative
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Friendship, Refugees

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BLURB:

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of a distant homeland, Subhi has only ever known life behind the fences. But his world is far bigger than that—every night, the magical Night Sea from his mother’s stories brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. And as he grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of his containment.

The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie—a scruffy, impatient girl who appears on the other side of the wire fence and brings with her a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it herself, she relies on Subhi to unravel her family’s love songs and tragedies.

Subhi and Jimmie might both find comfort—and maybe even freedom—as their tales unfold. But not until each has been braver than ever before. Continue reading

Review: When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

28449045When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Adventure

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BLURB:

Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.
Continue reading

Review: Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

26864835Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Alternative History, Shapeshifters, Romance, Family

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BLURB:

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love? Continue reading

Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

24694022A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Friendship, Disability, Albinism

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BLURB:

Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.

For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. Continue reading