My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: October 20th, 2019 Publisher: FSG Recommended Age: 12+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Forbidden Love, Competition, Reality TV
This book was such a pleasurable experience. I feel like sincerely thanking the author for writing it because we all need positive distractions in our lives. I’m a university student who takes school seriously but I also need time to chill with a fun and surprising book. This story combines so many of the things I enjoy immersing myself in: mythology, retellings, forbidden love, competition and reality TV. I especially liked the ways in which Emily Roberson negotiated antiquity and modernity. On the one hand, Ariadne and everyone else in her world believe in the gods—Poseidon, Athena and such—and will do anything to please them. On the other hand, technology is very much present in everyday life and myths are understood as truths to be remembered but also, to some, truths to be questioned. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Penguin Random House Canada Published: September 11th, 2018 Publisher: Tundra Books Recommended Age: 8+ Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Friendship, Family, Social Issues, Competition
I admire the hell out of Susin Nielsen for tackling the topics she does. It isn’t easy to talk about controversial subjects like poverty and homelessness to a middle grade audience. And yet, Susin Nielsen tries… and, in my opinion, does a superb job of discussing them. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: March 13th, 2018 Publisher: First Second Recommended Age: 8+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Humor, Adventure, Dragons
In Monsters Beware!, the third and final book of the Claudette graphic novel series, Claudette is put to the ultimate test. With her honor on the line will she learn that there’s more to a fight than just winning? Continue reading →
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Publication Date: May 12th, 2015 Publisher: Knopf BFYR Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopian, Feminism, Freedom, Competition
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. Sudasa, though, doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing. Continue reading →
My rating: 1 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed Publication Date: May 17th, 2016 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Competition, Magic, Romance
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Bought Publication Date: October 20th 2015 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Alternative History, Post World War II, Competition, Race-to-the-end
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.
Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission? Continue reading →