How It Feels to Float – Helena Fox

41454344How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mental Health, LGBTQIA+, Family Death, Friendship


REVIEW:

I will not always remember what happened in this book but I will always remember how this book made me feel. It is so lyrical I can remember clearly how it increased my heartbeat during stressful scenes and reduced it during really comfortable moments between Biz and the new people she meets. Everything Biz felt, I felt, which was heavy at times because she is not in a right space of mind right now. Her father’s death affects her tremendously even if it was a while ago. I can relate to that because my own father passed away when I was a baby and even if my heart doesn’t squeeze when I think of him I still wonder oh so many times what it would have been like to get to know him. Yet this book never got too overwhelming. Biz is drowning in her own mind—or floating out of it rather—but has people in her life who help her stay grounded. But you can’t always depend on others to feel sane and so Biz is losing herself more and more. Continue reading

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Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart

39353216Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 1st 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mental Health, Romance, Death, Friendship, High School


REVIEW:

This is such a realistic story that I had no problem picturing everything happening and understanding what the characters were feeling. As someone who enjoyed the book Wonder but wished it had been about a more mature protagonist, this was pretty perfect for me and a wonderful reading experience. The poems included had a huge impact on me because I strongly connected with the heroine whose heart was shattered into a million pieces when her parents and best friend died in a fire that she was the only one to survive. Everyone has scares but some scars, like Ava’s, are impossible to miss. This, of course, affects the way she sees herself and other people see her. Continue reading

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade – Cheyanne Young

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The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Grief, Friendship, Romance, Family, Adventure


BLURB:

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole worldthe best friend in the whole worldhas died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted. And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife? In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows. Continue reading

Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

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Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: June 12th, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Death


BLURB:

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed. For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison. While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong. Continue reading

Sheets – Brenna Thummler

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Sheets by Brenna Thummler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comic Distributors
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Lion Forge
Recommended Age: 7+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Ghosts, Family, Friendship


BLURB:

Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world. When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain. Continue reading

When Breath Becomes Air

25899336When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: January 19th, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Medicine, Philosophy, Life


BLURB:

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. Continue reading

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

23447923The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Contemporary, Death, LGBT

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BLURB:

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he? Continue reading