Carmilla – Kim Turrisi

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Carmilla by Kim Turrisi

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pacing: Normal/Slow
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, University Life


BLURB:

Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas University. But when her roommate, Betty, vanishes and a sarcastic, nocturnal philosophy student named Carmilla moves into Betty’s side of the room, Laura decides to play detective. Turns out Betty isn’t the first girl to go missing ? she’s just the first girl not to come back. All over campus, girls have been vanishing, and they are completely changed when (or if) they return. Even more disturbing are the strange dreams they recount: smothering darkness, and a strange pale figure haunting their rooms. Dreams that Laura is starting to have herself. As Laura closes in on the answers, tensions rise with Carmilla. Is this just a roommate relationship that isn’t working out, or does Carmilla know more than she’s letting on about the disappearances? What will Laura do if it turns out her roommate isn’t just selfish and insensitive, but completely inhuman? And what will she do with the feelings she’s starting to have for Carmilla? Continue reading

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Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

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Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: November 6th, 2018
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Violence, LGBTQIA+, Sex, Power


BLURB:

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest. Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
Continue reading

The Summer of Jordi Perez – Amy Spalding

31246717The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
First Published: April 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Fashion, Friendship, Summer, Family Relationships, Food, Work


BLURB:

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes. Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story? Continue reading

Princess Princess Ever After

30025791Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comics Distributors
First Published: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: Oni Press
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fairy Tale Retellings, Lesbian, Fantasy, Humour


BLURB:

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all. Continue reading

Past Tense – Star Spider

35068944Past Tense by Star Spider

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Family, Mental Illness, Friendship


BLURB:

Julie Nolan is a pretty average girl with pretty average problems. She’s been in love with her best friend, Lorelei, ever since they met in grade three. Only Lorelei doesn’t know about it — she’s too busy trying to set Julie up with Henry, her ex, who Julie finds, in a word, vapid.

But life gets more complicated when Julie comes home to find her mother insisting that her heart is gone. Pretty soon it becomes clear: Julie’s mom believes that she has died.

How is Julie supposed to navigate her first year of high school now, while she’s making midnight trips to the graveyard to cover her mother with dirt, lay flowers and make up eulogies? And why is Henry the only person Julie feels comfortable turning to? If she wants to get through this, Julie’s going to have to find the strength she never knew she had, and to learn how to listen to both her mom’s heart and her own. Continue reading

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir

honor girlHonor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 8th, 2015
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Graphic Memoir, Young Adult, LGBT, Summer Camps, Friendship


BLURB:

All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort. Continue reading

Echo After Echo – Amy Rose Capetta

27258116Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Plays, Mystery


BLURB:

Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater—and then another—especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love. In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole—and cast lantern light on two girls, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy. Continue reading