Park Avenue Summer – Renee Rosen

38882569
Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 30th, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Historical Fiction, Feminism, Ambition, Work Field, Dreams, Family Death


REVIEW:

If every Historical Fiction book was like this one, I would read them every day and beg for more. I was certain I would enjoy Park Avenue Summer because it features ambitious women who try to make their own dreams come true instead of waiting for a man to give them what they think they need and want. There is conflict and competition between women but there is also a lot of women supporting women, especially between Alice and her boss Helen, to whom she is very loyal. Continue reading

Whisper Network – Chandler Baker

41555931. sy475
Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 2nd 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Abuse, Feminism, Realistic Fiction, Sisterhood


REVIEW:

Of all the stories from female authors that have been published this month, this is the one Reese chooses for her book club? I mean it’s her book club, she can do whatever she wants, but I normally understand why a book is highlighted and right now I’m confused. While this is a timely story with somewhat meaningful commentary on womanhood, wifehood, motherhood and the power relations at play on the work field between men and women, the plot itself is nothing captivating because nothing new is actually being said. And I could not stand the narration style. Continue reading

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

36896898. sy475
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

Girls on the Verge – Sharon Biggs Waller

31822503
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

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

36297954
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

41716926
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