I’m Fine and Neither Are You – Camille Pagán

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I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Grief, Marriage, Relationships, Secrets, Drama, Motherhood


REVIEW:

I read this book waiting in the cold for the bus to arrive, on the bus, in the metro, before my class started, while the teacher was giving a lecture, during short breaks between classes, walking from the metro to the bus, on my five-minute walk home, taking the stairs to my apartment, opening the door to my room, jumping on my bed. Basically, I read it everywhere I could, and now that I realize it, there are so many opportunities in daily life to read a book. And it happens oh so naturally. Continue reading

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The Garden of Small Beginnings – Abbi Waxman

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The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Grief, Contemporary, Romance, Siblings


REVIEW:

I jumped on the chance of reading this book after finishing The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and absolutely loving everything about it. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a whole other interesting beast, but a flawed one despite its entertaining elements. It deals with grief, but because the main character has a dry humour and prefers to bury her real emotions for the sake of her children and her own psyche, I had difficulty understanding what Lilian was feeling at times. Continue reading

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade – Cheyanne Young

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The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Grief, Friendship, Romance, Family, Adventure


BLURB:

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole worldthe best friend in the whole worldhas died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted. And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife? In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows. Continue reading

Tin Man – Sarah Winman

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 15th, 2018
Publisher: Viking
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, LGBT, First Love, Grief, Friendship


BLURB:

This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that. Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more. But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between? Continue reading

The Beauty That Remains

29736467The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Grief, Contemporary, LGBT, Diversity


BLURB:

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered. Continue reading

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

30040068A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Grief, Contemporary, Sports, Humor, Love


BLURB:

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him. Continue reading

Counting by 7s – Holly Goldberg Sloan

15937108Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 29th, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st & 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Grief

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BLURB:

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life…until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. Continue reading