Wilder Girls – Rory Power

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Published: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Horror, LGBTQIA+, Disease, Friendship


REVIEW:

Survival stories tend to grip me. There’s something really fascinating, I think, about the idea of ‘‘the survival of the fittest’’ or strongest, smartest, prettiest. It’s a competition. It’s a deadly game. Sometimes, there’s no use even trying because you can’t compare. You don’t have it in you to survive. You’re a follower, not a leader. Continue reading

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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James – Ashley Herring Blake

37539698The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA+, Family Dynamics, Friendship, Love


REVIEW:

I have read and enjoyed everything else Ashley Herring Blake has written so of course I was beyond excited to dive into this copy. I am also so very happy this author is exploring LGBTQIA+ themes because her stories are realistic and important. Continue reading

Dear Evan Hansen, The Novel

39088507Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 9th, 2018
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, High School, Mental Health, Suicide, LGBTQIA+, Romance


REVIEW:

This was my first time reading a novel based on a play. And you know what? Even though I had no idea what to expect and had mildly bad experiences with novelizations in the past, this was quite the positive experience.

It becomes obvious after the first couple of chapters that this story was modified to fit the novel format because of the way certain scenes unfold or the text itself, but that only adds to the specialness of the book. Continue reading

Brother – David Chariandy

Brother by David Chariandy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Recommended Age: 15+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Literary Fiction, Canada, Racial Relations, Siblings, Grief


REVIEW:

This is what I call a bittersweet story through and through. It’s beautiful, the relationship between the two brothers tremendously touching, and yet it’s also harrowing and frustrating. Why does it have to be this way? Why can’t we change the situation? What about love? What… about… love? 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

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

Darius the Great Is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Mental Illness, Persian Culture, LGBTQIA+, Friendship, Depression


BLURB:

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own. Continue reading