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

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Virginia Boecker

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An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Revenge


BLURB:

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself. Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play. It’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all. Continue reading

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Historical Fiction, Family History, Romance, Culture


BLURB:

Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival. Continue reading

The Mermaid – Christina Henry

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The Mermaid by Christina Henry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 19th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Mermaids, Historical Fiction


BLURB:

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return. P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket. Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid. Continue reading

The Night Diary – Veera Hiranandani

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The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Journey, Family, Siblings


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It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Continue reading

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)

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The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Speak
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Demons, Mystery, Romance


BLURB:

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap? Continue reading

Bright We Burn (The Conqueror’s Saga, #3)

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Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: July 10th, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, War Setting, Siblings


BLURB:

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it? Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince. Continue reading

Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

20579291Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: September 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Integration, Desegregation, High School, Racism


BLURB:

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal. Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. Continue reading

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

the boyThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: 2006
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: MG/YA, Historical Fiction, Holocaust, Friendship, Family


BLURB:

If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one. Continue reading