10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston

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10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: October 1st, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Family, Friendship, Christmas


REVIEW:

This was FUN.

Everything about it promises fun—the cover, title, synopsis—but it’s one thing to expect something and another thing to be delivered that thing. Also, I read the author’s This Is Our Story, a YA mystery, so I couldn’t wait to see her deliver a feel-good Christmassy romance. Continue reading

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Meet Cute – Helena Hunting

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Forever
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Family Relationships, Siblings, Drama


REVIEW:

Some covers lie. That’s just the way it is. You can scream, you can cry, but it won’t change a thing. That is the way if the book world.

A bit dramatic, okay, but the truth is this is not the super cute/adorable/funny story the cover promises. There is indeed a ‘‘meet cute’’ happening in the very beginning… but that’s it. The rest is not exactly rom-com-worthy. Continue reading

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler – Kelly Harms

The Overdue Life of Amy BylerThe Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Family, Marriage, Vacation, Humour


REVIEW:

Amy’s husband John abandoned her three years ago and though it was hard on her, she found a way to make life as a single mother work. But now John is back and wants to spend time with the kids. Reluctantly, Amy agrees and decides to go to New York where she ends up having a blast. #momspringa is on. Continue reading

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph – Brandy Colbert

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The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Family Dynamics, Romance, Substance Abuse


REVIEW:

This is a book that truly surprised me. First, Brandy Colbert completely improved upon her previous release—Finding Yvonne—a book I did not care to finish. I enjoyed Little & Lion from her, but this was twice as good and well developed. I dare say it’s a page turner from the start. Another reason why this book and author surprised me was Booker, Birdie’s love interest. The way he is presented in the beginning makes the reader think he is trouble. I mean, any guy who encourages a girl to sneak out of the house is a no-no for me. But then I got to know him better and saw how sweet he was to Birdie and began to like him quite a lot. Continue reading

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

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Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 29th, 2019
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Health, Family, LGBTQIA+. Friendship, High School, Theater


REVIEW:

I knew this was going to be an important and memorable story from the very first chapter. This was my first time reading about an HIV positive character and their struggles so I was paying very close attention to everything that was being said about the virus and how it affected Simone’s daily life. I did feel overwhelmed in the beginning because the author does not wait long to explain Simone’s situation to us and so it feels as though we are info-dumped. At the same time, I am really glad I know more about HIV and the U=U rule (undetectable = untransmittable) today. This book made me realize my own ignorance and corrected it. Continue reading

Shouting at the Rain – Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Friendship Dynamics, Summer


REVIEW:

I don’t typically dislike being in the minority because I can stand my ground, especially when it comes to book preferences, but I can’t help but be disappointed right now. This is an author that I have read twice before and both times she managed to impress me, plus this book was enjoyed by 98% of the people who have read it. Yet Shouting at the Rain is not as entertaining as Fish in a Tree or as moving as One for the Murphys. Actually, it’s somewhat annoying. Continue reading

The Test – Sylvain Neuvel

41940388The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dystopia, Suspense, Family, Morality


REVIEW:

This is so messed up. I mean that in the best way possible. Do you want to read a soft dystopian that has been done before over and over again or something daring, captivating and all sorts of terrifying? I love an author who dares because tame stories are not for me. I want to be surprised and shocked and thrown into suspense instead of gently nudged in one direction or the other. Continue reading