The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones – Daven McQueen

53805921. sy475 The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: June 16th, 2020
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Racism, Friendship


REVIEW:

This is a beautiful book about a life-changing summer shared between two characters full of heart. After his father leaves him with his aunt and uncle in an unknown place, Ethan thinks he’s going to spend the worst summer ever. No one in Alabama seems to want him there, excluding but sometimes even including his extended family, except this one strange girl named Juniper Jones, who is like no one Ethan has ever met. Continue reading

The Extraordinaries – T.J. Klune

The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance, Superheroes, Family, Death


REVIEW:

I started this book in May and only went back to it a few days ago to finally finish it. Usually, when I put a book aside for months, it takes me some time to remember the characters’ names and how they all connect to the story. But in this case, it felt like I had just left them. That’s how memorable they are. What I like about the cast most is that it isn’t large, and yet it’s enough. Everyone has their place and really claims that place. Continue reading

All Boys Aren’t Blue – George M. Johnson

39834234. sy475 All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 28th, 2020
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Memoir, LGBTQIA+, Family, Identity, Sexuality, Assault, Grief


REVIEW:

I feel honoured to have had the chance to read about George M. Johnson’s positive and negative experiences growing up. I also feel humbled by the fact that the author trusted us with his secrets and wanted to make this book a safe space for other people out there who may struggle with the same issues he did or want to become more educated on them. Continue reading

The Winter Duke – Claire Eliza Bartlett

51201758. sx318 sy475 The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Politics, LGBTQIA+


REVIEW:

Better step back, because there’s nothing to see here.

Unless you like bland heroines that few people respect in positions of power, whose character developments are almost nonexistent or forced. Unless you like to see romantic pairs have little conversation and almost no romantic moments. Unless you like to hear conversations repeated over and over again. Continue reading

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