Patron Saints of Nothing – Randy Ribay

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Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Kokila
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Family, Coming of Age, Culture


REVIEW:

This felt like a familiar tale in the beginning. Someone close to the main character dies and the main character is angry and seeks justice. Except in this case the tragedy happens in the Philippines, far away from the protagonist, and Jay is reluctant to accept the events that lead to the death of his cousin so he travels to the Philippines in order to find out the truth his family is potentially hiding from him. Continue reading

Tell Me How You Really Feel – Aminah Mae Safi

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Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Romance, Filmmaking, Coming of Age, Family Dynamics, Enemies to Lovers


REVIEW:

This is a decent enemies-to-lovers story. I say ‘‘decent’’ because so many so-called love/hate relationships are so… tame. There’s no real hate, just annoyance. There’s also no real reason to hate the other person, just mild disagreements. But what I liked about this book is that it shows how two people—in this case two teen girls—can misjudge one another completely, assuming they have nothing in common and no way to connect, only to find themselves being drawn to one another almost unconsciously. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Birthday – Meredith Russo

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Birthday by Meredith Russo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 21st, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fiction, Transgenderism, Coming of Age, Friendship, Romance, High School, Family


REVIEW:

Three years ago, I read Meredith Russo’s debut – If I Was Your Girl – and I enjoyed it, but I could not have predicted it becoming a bestseller and award-winning novel, because although I found it sweet and meaningful, it was not a page-turner for me. Birthday is very different from her debut, so different that I feel a switch was made in the author’s mind or she wanted to tell a heart-breaking story instead of a mainly heart-blossoming one. Continue reading

Normal People – Sally Rooney

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Normal People by Sally Rooney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 16th, 2019
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, Romance, College, Coming of Age, Bullying, Popularity


REVIEW:

This book did not affect me in the same way it seems to have affected other people. It did not make me angry, or sad, and did not move me, really. That is because I never cared for Marianne or Connell. Sometimes I even hated them. Usually, I do. Usually, I care about the protagonists I read about, especially when they show their vulnerabilities to me. And I did enjoy reading about this on-and-off (almost) couple. Because they are so, so humanly flawed. But they are not exactly likeable. Continue reading

I Wanna Be Where You Are – Kristina Forest

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I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: June 4th, 2019
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Road Trip, Romance, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

Isn’t the cover just lovely? It makes me think that it wouldn’t be so bad living in a 2D world if everything looked so soft and colourful. Still, let’s keep it 3D for now.

This is a decent story. It is fairly short and well-paced so it will most definitely not feel like a chore to read. I don’t always ask my reads to amaze me, I understand that every story is different and we’re all drawn to distinct things. But I do ask my reads to think of me sometimes, as in EXPLAIN what’s happening in a way that I can understand. Continue reading

Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Coming of Age, Illness, Family


REVIEW:

This was my first romance novel in… months. I couldn’t bring myself to read a story that focused heavily on a boy and a girl falling in love for a long time.

That’s what happens when there is boy drama (and its aftershocks) in my life. I needed to step away from romance and focus on other things or my mind would keep wandering to that one boy with whom I really (mistakenly) believed something might happen. Continue reading

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna & Barbara Bush

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 24th, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Family, Siblings, Sisterhood, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

This is what I like to read about: Family members loving each other and caring about each other and being there for each other. It simply warms my heart. You often see ‘‘perfect’’ families in movies, and it’s true no such thing exists, but you can have glorious bonds with those you are related to, that I am sure of. Continue reading