Review: Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

28814844Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 13th 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: /
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fairy Tale Retellins, Snow White, Graphic Novels

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BLURB:

Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan delivers a darkly stylized noir Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan.

The scene: New York City, 1928. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.” In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil. Continue reading

Review: Mind = Blown: Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World by Matthew Santoro

28364142Mind = Blown: Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World by Matthew Santoro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Point of View: /
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Non Fiction, Humor, Culture

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BLURB:

Matthew Santoro’s originality and humour has attracted millions of fans, making him a beloved YouTube star. His weekly videos on amazing and little-known facts are eagerly anticipated by his many subscribers and followers around the world. In his first-ever book, Matthew’s love of weird and wacky knowledge explodes with new facts and stories from around the planet, and beyond. Surprising, and always entertaining, Mind = Blown offers even more of Matthew’s unique take on this hilarious, crazy world:

The most ridiculous laws from past and present
Crazy doppelgangers of people, places, and unexpected things
Historical wizards who actually lived
Real-life animal avengers
And a special section: Japan Blows My Mind!

From shin-kicking competitions and beer pong-playing robots, to enormous fire-balls shooting through space, you won’t believe what you’ll discover in Mind = Blown. But beware: there is too much astounding trivia for any one mind to contain! Continue reading

Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

29981261The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Painfully Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Rape, Sisterhood

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BLURB:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding… Continue reading

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

28815474The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Mystery

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BLURB:

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist. Continue reading

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

27833670Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 26th, 2016
Publisher: Crown
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Thriller, Science Fiction, Action, Life, Family, Love Story

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BLURB:

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. Continue reading

Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

21787The Princess Bride by William Goldman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1973
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Love, Adventure, Classic, Kings and Queens, Danger, Pirates

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BLURB:

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

26109094Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: May 10th 2016
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor, Romance

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BLURB:

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief. Continue reading