Girls on the Verge – Sharon Biggs Waller

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Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 9th, 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co (BYR)
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Abortion, Feminism, Women’s Rights, Friendship, Road Trip, Friendship


REVIEW:

It’s not easy to take a controversial topic, like abortion in this case, and create a not only meaningful but also engaging, refreshing and satisfying story that highlights this subject and makes you think critically about it. Yet the author succeeded. Whenever I pick up a book with a heavy theme, I brace myself and oftentimes expect to cry so I choose a ‘‘right moment’’ to read it. But the beautiful truth here is that every moment is the right one for GIRLS ON THE VERGE. Continue reading

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The Grace Year – Kim Liggett

32929592The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 17th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Action, Dystopia, Feminism, Romance


REVIEW:

Do not be fooled by the excessively pink cover, this is not a sweet story and the characters do not care to be likeable and cherished by the reader. It’s a wild, wild world and so are the girls in it. I have not read a YA dystopian in over a year, but this one reminded me why I used to actively seek out these types of stories. Because they are messy and ugly and dramatic and despite all that, or maybe because of it, I am fascinated. Continue reading

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

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here – Erin Gough

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Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: May 21st, 2019
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Feminism, High School, LGBTQIA+, Romance


REVIEW:

If you’re looking for a smart YA contemporary featuring calculated plans to denounce sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and overall discriminatory behaviours at an elite private school as well as a slow-burn romance between the two female leads, this is the book for you. It will grip you from the very first sentence and the strong presence of the two female narrators will stimulate your interest. Continue reading

I’m Afraid of Men – Vivek Shraya

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Feminism, LGBTQIA+, Gender Issues


REVIEW:

Sometimes I read 300 or more-page books and I wonder if I read anything at all. Not everything I stumble across has to make me look at the world differently or teach me over and over, but I want something memorable because it’s more much valuable than a book that provides you with the kind of instant pleasure and happiness that you’ll forget about two days later. Continue reading

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready

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And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Parenting, Childbirth, Relationships


BLURB:

And Now We Have Everything is O’Connell’s brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O’Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the second adolescence of a changing postpartum body, the problem of sex post-baby, the weird push to make “mom friends,” and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity. Continue reading

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast/Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Memoir, Essays, Nonfiction, Feminism, Culture, India, Humor


BLURB:

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality–all as she tries to find her feet in the world. Continue reading