Girl in the Blue Coat – Monica Hesse

40726583. sy475 Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, World War II, Friendship, Grief


REVIEW:

This book had more depth than I expected, without becoming too heavy or complex. Monica Hesse’s writing is very elegant and a pleasure to read. I have another book from here waiting on my desk – They Went Left – and now more than I ever I am curious and excited to see what new secrets it holds. Continue reading

Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, #2) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

43661348Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2019
Publisher: Freeform Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Family Drama, Sisterhood, Secrets, Thriller


REVIEW:

My head hurts. It’s like Jennifer Lynn Barnes is not okay with just one or two or three mind-fucking revelations. In her case, it’s the more, the better. And my brain is upside down. Don’t ask me to summarize this story for you because it’ll take me HOURS to explain these complex (and very messed up) relationships. Continue reading

Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

36321744Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Freeform Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Family Drama, Sisterhood, Secrets, Romance


REVIEW:

I was right to be excited to read this book. I love a good scandal. I love high society. I love watching powerful people struggle to keep up appearances even if us common folks can easily see right through them. It’s all so pitiful and addictive. Continue reading

Camp – Kayla Miller

42873833Camp by Kayla Miller

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Friendship Dynamics, Summer Camps, Social Isolation


REVIEW:

It was good to spend some time with Olive again. In the first graphic novel, she had trouble expressing her creative side and communicating with her friend groups. In this companion, she and her good friend Willow are away at camp. Everything is going well in the beginning. Olive and Willow are sticking together but Olive wants to branch out a little and try different things, talk to more people, whereas Willow wants to stick with the familiar. Continue reading

Click – Kayla Miller

37570594Click by Kayla Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Social Circles, Family Relationships


REVIEW:

This is a sweet graphic novel for middle schoolers. The illustrations are adorable, as is the colouring. It’s a story that deals with an issue that can be disheartening but remains very positive and solution-focused throughout.

There is a talent show at Olive’s school and while she’d love to be part of it, not one of her many friends has asked her to join their group. She doesn’t want to force herself into one so she’s feeling down and unsure of how to proceed. Continue reading

Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School

7769479Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School by Adam Ruben

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2010
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Humor, (Almost) Self Help, Academia, Grad School


REVIEW:

I was about to finish this book. Literally, I was at 88% and it would have taken me maximum 30 more minutes to finish it. But then the author made yet another slut-shaming comment and I thought, ‘‘That’s it. The way this arrogant guy talks about women is just disgusting and I’m done.’’ Reading this book was a stupid, stupid decision. And you know what, it’s really shitty and selfish to tell your wife-to-be that you’re almost done with grad school when you know it’s a lie and to focus on academia during your honeymoon. Continue reading

Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys – Kate Brian

855800Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Book Outlet
Published: 2005
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Sports, High School, Siblings, Hormones, Boys Being Stupid


REVIEW:

This is one of those books with a concept that is interesting and original and yet there’s no way I would want to trade places with the main character. Continue reading

Bring Me Their Hearts – Sara Wolf

35144326Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Witches


REVIEW:

This is a pretty easy story to read, but maybe too easy. I finished the first hundred pages in no time, and yet when I pondered what I had actually read, I realized that there wasn’t much substance in those hundred pages. It’s a lot of the main character talking about things and constantly being her sarcastic self. I don’t mind sarcasm at all, if it’s in a witty conversation, but when someone is talking to themselves – thinking – and they’re being sarcastic all the time, I’m just like, ”Who are you performing for and why? Those are supposed to be your intimate thoughts that we just so happen to have access to and yet you’re thinking like you know someone is there to read your mind.” Continue reading

Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy

18304322Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Romance, High School, Body Image, Friendship


REVIEW:

I was selected to compete for the title of Miss Canada, a personality contest, in March 2021, but I have no experience with pageants so I decided to read this book in case it could illuminate me a little. Miss Canada is not a beauty pageant, but the presentation is still important. You don’t have to be the prettiest to win but you do need to look polished. Continue reading

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me – Mariko Tamaki

40864841Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, LGBTQIA+, Toxic Relationships, Friendship


REVIEW:

This was messy and beautiful. A beautiful mess. Just like life, I guess. The illustrations are soft, neat and gorgeous in a hypnotic way. The characters are unique and complex and some completely ordinary and yet interesting nonetheless. Some are shitty and hurtful and yet so charismatic that they pull you in, making you feel special to be in their presence, but oh so very wrong for you. Continue reading