One Year at Ellsmere – Faith Erin Hicks

46223329One Year at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle School, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Bullying, Boarding School


REVIEW:

I don’t understand. I don’t understand why some authors decide to include one fantasy element in an otherwise completely contemporary story. I understand magical realism. I think it can be very beautiful, surprising and, well, magical. But this was no magical realism story. Continue reading

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You – Ally Carter

852470I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: 2006
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Friendship, Adventure, Boarding School, Romance


REVIEW:

I can’t believe it had been four years since I last read this book. It’s a shock because four years ago my life was different than it is today and so was I. I couldn’t wait to reread this book, not just because I had missed it but also to see how I would react to it now that I’m four years older and with more experiences behind me. Continue reading

Killing November – Adriana Mather

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Killing November by Adriana Mather

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: March 2019
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Boarding School, Secret Society, Romance


REVIEW:

I have no patience for this book. It’s all telling, no showing. I was warned but I like to SEE things for myself and I saw… very little. This secret society is way too secret for the reader’s wellbeing. By that I mean, I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy to keep reading while learning almost nothing. Sure, the History of the secret society is somewhat provided, however I found everything to be so… unbelievable. Continue reading

Her Royal Highness – Rachel Hawkins

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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Putnam BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+, Boarding School, Royalty, Love/Hate Relationships


REVIEW:

Another royal romance!

This is the companion novel to Royals (or Prince Charming) but it can safely be read as a standalone. Daisy, her sister and boyfriend make only a short appearance and you will not feel lost at any point. But you can certainly get lost in the interesting and unusual romance between Peasant Millie and Princess Flora, I’ll allow it. Continue reading

The Deceivers – Kristen Simmons

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The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Drama, Romance, Manipulation, Secrets


REVIEW:

This is the kind of mysterious book that you dive into not knowing what’s waiting for you and the kind you close in a completely different state of mind than your initial one. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen, I recommend putting everything you think you know aside because the author has plenty of twists and turns planned for you and it’s honestly pointless to try to guess any of it because you will most likely be wrong. Besides, it’s always more fun to be surprised or shocked than proven right. Continue reading

Wilder Girls – Rory Power

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Published: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Horror, LGBTQIA+, Disease, Friendship


REVIEW:

Survival stories tend to grip me. There’s something really fascinating, I think, about the idea of ‘‘the survival of the fittest’’ or strongest, smartest, prettiest. It’s a competition. It’s a deadly game. Sometimes, there’s no use even trying because you can’t compare. You don’t have it in you to survive. You’re a follower, not a leader. Continue reading

People Like Us – Dana Mele

35356380People Like Us by Dana Mele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: February 27th, 2018
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, LGBT, Boarding School, Relationships


BLURB:

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened. Continue reading

Looking for Alaska – John Green

99561Looking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: March 3rd, 2005
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Boarding School, Carpe Diem, First Love, Mystery


BLURB:

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Continue reading

Review:The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Commander S.T. Bolivar, III

28963895 The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Commander S.T. Bolivar, II

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Boarding School

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

Mattie Larimore used to be the good son-compared to his brother, Carter, at least. But that was before Mattie stole a train, got caught, and was sent to Munchem Academy, the world’s greatest reform school. Or is it? Because the kids at Munchem don’t seem very, well . . . reformed. Mostly, they seem terrifying, and the whole place is just a little off.
Mattie has to get out. Fast.

But it may not be fast enough. Headmaster Rooney is tired of dealing with problem students. His solution, however, may prove to be too radical. When Carter is suddenly next in line for Rooney’s master plan, Mattie and the renegade siblings, Eliot and Caroline, must band together to save him and the rest of Munchem’s students before all is lost.
Suddenly, Mattie-the good son-must find his inner hero and fight back. And that’s how the world’s greatest thief got his start.

Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

28178360The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Romance, Boarding School

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

After high school heartthrob Chace Porter is found dead in the woods near the school, the police are in search of the girl whose picture with Chace is the only clue found amongst his personal belongings. A girl who no one knew was even close to Chace–and whose dormmate, Lana Rivera, was Chace’s girlfriend.

Nicole is that girl and now she’s the primary suspect in his murder.

But what really happened that night? Were Nicole and Chace dating behind Lana’s back; were he and Lana over? Could either of them have killed him?

Told in alternating points of view, that of our suspect, Nicole Morgan, and her former best friend and roommate, Lana Rivera, readers will piece together the story of a starcrossed love, a fractured friendship–and what really happened the night Chace was killed. Continue reading