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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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

Seafire – Natalie C. Parker

37822534Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates, Action, Adventure, Revenge, Loyalty, Family, Sisterhood, Feminism, Romance


BLURB:

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for? Continue reading

Women Talking – Miriam Toews

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Women Talking by Miriam Toews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: August 21th, 2018
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Patriarchy, Feminism, Based on True Events


BLURB:

The novel takes place over forty-eight hours, as eight women gather in secret in a neighbour’s barn while the men are in a nearby town posting bail for the attackers. They have come together to debate, on behalf of all the women and children in the community, whether to stay or leave before the men return. Taking minutes is the one man trusted and invited by the women to witness the conversation–a former outcast whose own surprising story is revealed as the women speak. Continue reading