The Infinite Noise – Lauren Shippen

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The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Romance, Fantasy, High School, Bullying, Mental Health


REVIEW:

This is a story that is centered on human emotion, and we all know that teenagers have a lot of them as they are struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong and who is a friend and an enemy. This book brought me back to being a high school student and unsure of anything but still trying hard to find myself and stand out from the crowd. Caleb and Adam are two such young souls who need guidance and whose presence helps the other tremendously. Watching them grow closer made me very happy. Continue reading

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House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig

39679076House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 6th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance, Family


REVIEW:

This is an exciting YA fantasy driven by a compelling atmosphere and a dark mystery case. I was pulled in pretty quickly and was curious to see how this author would retell one of my all time favourite fairy tales. When I was a kid, all I wanted to watch was Barbie’s adaptation of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I have fond memories of sitting in my room and gazing in adoration at the different dresses and shoes. Fashion is not an important component of this story and you won’t find any Barbies in it either. It’s a dark story with death creeping around every corner. The heroine—Annaleigh—is doing her best to shed light on the darkness but there are powerful forces at play so it will take courage, strength and determination to unveil the mystery. Continue reading

Gravemaidens – Kelly Coon

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Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: October 29th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Family, Death


REVIEW:

This is the kind of commercial fantasy that you read, enjoy and then completely forget about. But I guess in this particular case I’m not allowed to forget about it because there will be a second and final book that will wrap up the story and decide Kammani’s fate once and for all. Continue reading

The Bone Houses – Emily Lloyd-Jones

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The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Family, Adventure


REVIEW:

I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing. Continue reading

Wicked Fox – Kat Cho

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Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: June 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology


REVIEW:

Somehow I knew this would not work well for me and I am all about mythology in my fantasy reads. But after reading the cheesy summary mentioning a forbidden romance that could potentially become Miyoung’s downfall, I was like, ‘‘I really hope YA Fiction moves on from this type of character arc, man.’’ I gave it a chance anyway because sometimes blurbs are awful but the characters wonderful so it’s always possible to be surprised when it comes to books. Continue reading

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Magic, Feminism, Power Relations


REVIEW:

This is a whole different beast from most fairytale retellings I read. Different even from the author’s previously released magnificent tale—Uprooted. Uprooted, from what I recall, was thoroughly enchanting and exquisitely written. Spinning Silver is not quite like that. It is not a love story first and foremost—it is a story of survival. It is very feminist with three central female protagonists who experience, learn and grow. The writing is in no way purple-y. The author’s main concern is not to wow us with long beautiful descriptions of what are ultimately meaningless things and she doesn’t embellish what is meant to be raw and impactful. Continue reading

Lanny – Max Porter

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Lanny by Max Porter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Strange Light
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Magical Realism, Dark, Creepy, Short, Family


REVIEW:

This is an odd little book that I did not want to stop reading one second. It’s perplexing, confusing and creepy at times, but it has a fairytale-esque atmosphere that gives it a mystical quality, as though you’re lost in a forest, trying to find your way out of it, and the only way you can do that is by getting to the end of this story. Continue reading