Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Feminism, Dark Fairy Tale, Magic


REVIEW:

This is not a pretty fairytale. The story isn’t pretty. The world isn’t pretty. The characters aren’t pretty. Even the magic isn’t pretty.

It’s not a story that will make you dream a thousand beautiful dreams of happily-ever-afters. I’m not saying the contrary applies—that it will give you a thousand nightmares in which you die a thousand different deaths—but it is indeed DARK. Continue reading

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Before the Broken Star – Emily R. King

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Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: June 1st, 2019
Publisher: Skyscape
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Adventure, Revenge, Romance


REVIEW:

I basically despised this author’s The Hundredth Queen and couldn’t finish it (if that’s of any surprise) so it slightly unsettled me when I took hold of this book, opened it, started reading it… and finished it pleased enough by the events and characters. Continue reading

Twinchantment – Elise Allen

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Twinchantment by Elise Allen

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 9th, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Siblings, Magic, Family, Adventure


REVIEW:

I don’t remember the last time I gave a book a 2.5 rating but it feels appropriate in this case because this is a story that has a decent idea but a not-so-interesting execution.

It’s about two twins – Flissa and Sara – who live in a kingdom devoid of magical beings because once upon a time magic caused great harm to the kingdom. The Fantasy genre is usually dramatic like that. Continue reading

The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman

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The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, LGBTQIA+, Family, Friendship, Mystery


REVIEW:

I had my reservations going into this book because whenever an upcoming release is compared to something popular—in this case Stranger Things and The Raven Cycle—I feel pushed to have some kind of expectations that, if not met, will be the cause of my downfall. Continue reading

We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance


REVIEW:

After finishing a fast-paced, action-packed YA Fantasy book (Wicked Saints), it was hard getting into a slow-paced, thought-driven story. I was going to say ‘‘character-driven’’ because there’s a lot of saying hello and goodbye to different people, but the protagonists are not particularly three-dimensional and it’s a very descriptive novel. Continue reading

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Action, Romance, Friendship


REVIEW:

I have to say, I was ready to hate this book. The cover attracted me, and so did the fact that it’s YA Fantasy, and as much as I love to hate the genre if it becomes too cliché, part of me will always come back for more. I was ready to hate this book because I trust my friends’ opinions and people seem to react very differently to this story. Continue reading

The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: January 15th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Action (I guess)


REVIEW:

The world is confusing: the more I read, the less I understand. The characters are bland: the more I struggle to picture them, the less invested I am. The premise promises but never before have I wished to chop a premise’s head off as much as right now. The writing is beautiful, so it has that going for itself, but I’m not as shallow as I used to be and so will not finish this book by consuming the purple prose alone. I need to CONNECT. If you can’t make me connect, you’ve failed in my eyes. Sorry not sorry. Continue reading