Park Avenue Summer – Renee Rosen

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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

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The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

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The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 13th 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Race, Gender, Poverty


REVIEW:

After reading a book with protagonists that did not inspire any reaction in me but one of absolute indifference, it felt almost magical to read a story with a character that absolutely popped off the page and claimed her rightful place as the heroine of this book. I live for these types of characters with personality, strength, ambition and a desire for change. Jo hasn’t had it easy at all but she’s working hard to support herself, survive and make something of herself. Historical Fiction is a hit or miss for me, because it can be more boring than watching a hamster go about its day. (Since I once had one I can tell you it’s very, very boring.) Luckily instead of incorporating every historical element possible in her story, Stacey Lee discussed key subjects that were of great importance to Jo, such as poverty, race and gender. All of which I was able to understand and all of which made me feel invested in this story. Continue reading

A Ladder to the Sky – John Boyne

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A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, LGBTQIA+, Historical Fiction, Books about Books, Writing, Family, Success


REVIEW:

I have never before genuinely despised an antihero. Antiheroes are hella fun. By that I mean that I love to root for them because they’re often unpredictable, unconventional and unusual and they don’t care to play the role of the good guy. They live by their own rules and that can be really entertaining to witness. Continue reading

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Childhood Friendship


REVIEW:

I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book, after months of deliberation (and a bit of procrastination), because Kiersten White develops her ideas in interesting ways. Granted, this is a retelling, so credit must be given to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley as well, as the author of the original Frankenstein tale, which White would approve of based on her note at the end. But inspiration aside, this retelling stands out in a pool of other books of its kind. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Enchantée – Gita Trelease

36613718Enchantée by Gita Trelease

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron/Macmillan
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Magic, Family, Romance


REVIEW:

Let me just take a quick second here to say that I finished four novels this weekend. It feels like I’m binge-reading (so you know it won’t last), because I only recently got back into reading fiction so it’s like my subconscious (and body overall) is trying to make up for the ‘‘lost time.’’ That said, if this book had been awful, I would not have forced myself to read it. My experience reading it may be a little different than an Anglophone’s experience because I went to a Francophone school and we looked at the French Revolution again and again and again. I also studied Marie Antoinette in my Art History classes, which helped humanize her in my eyes, because her family portraits showed her love for her children. Continue reading

The Diviners – Libba Bray

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The Diviners by Libba Bray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 2017 for this edition
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Pacing: Slow
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror, Family


BLURB:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. Continue reading

Circe – Madeline Miller

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Circe by Madeline Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Adventure, Magic, Family


BLURB:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Continue reading