Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

13526165Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 14th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, (Mild) Mystery, Family

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BLURB:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world. Continue reading

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Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher:Little, Brown Books for young Readers
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Romance

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BLURB:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. Continue reading

Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

18190208The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Action

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BLURB:

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
Continue reading

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Neglect, Contemporary, Mental Health, Abuse

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BLURB:

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out. Continue reading

Review: The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

29942557The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: January 17th, 2017
Publisher:Lee Bourdeaux Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Coming of Age, Life

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BLURB:

Julia and Evan falls in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a Canadian logging town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia—blonde, beautiful and rich—fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan takes a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, who has only known a life of privilege, feels unmoored and increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in an increasingly high-stakes deal at work—a deal that, despite the assurance of his Machiavellian boss, begins to feel more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of life. As Evan and Julia spin apart into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more—good and bad—that they’d ever dreamed, and that betrayal is easier than they ever imagined. Continue reading

Review: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

24396876The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Friendship, Death

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BLURB:

This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist!

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door. Continue reading

Review: And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

28449150And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

My rating: / of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

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BLURB:

A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead House author Dawn Kurtagich

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the “blood manor” is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too–the questions that Silla can’t ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that’s appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

Filled with just as many twists and turns as The Dead House, and with achingly beautiful, chilling language that delivers haunting scenes, AND THE TREES CREPT IN is the perfect follow-up novel for master horror writer Dawn Kurtagich. Continue reading