Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Scholastic
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Feminism, Dark Fairy Tale, Magic


REVIEW:

This is not a pretty fairytale. The story isn’t pretty. The world isn’t pretty. The characters aren’t pretty. Even the magic isn’t pretty.

It’s not a story that will make you dream a thousand beautiful dreams of happily-ever-afters. I’m not saying the contrary applies—that it will give you a thousand nightmares in which you die a thousand different deaths—but it is indeed DARK. Continue reading

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Super Jake & the King of Chaos – Naomi Milliner

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Super Jake & the King of Chaos by Naomi Milliner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Dreams, Magic


REVIEW:

If every Middle Grade book was as heart-warming, realistic and interesting as this one, I can tell you I would be reading them more often than once/twice a month. It’s pathetic really because I love the genre, I’m so happy it exists, but many simply don’t appeal to an older audience. 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

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: January 29th, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Fairy Tale, War Setting


REVIEW:

This is hands down one of the best fairy tale retellings I have ever read. I did not have high expectations at all, having found Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost to be a MEH read (please don’t curse me!), but this story hooked me right from the start. Continue reading

Fairest of All (Whatever After, #1) – Sarah Mlynowski

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Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Magic, Adventure, Family, Humor


REVIEW:

This was a charming feminist retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for middle graders (or anyone who enjoys a story well told). Abby and her brother Jonah have found a magical mirror in their basement that can transport them from their mundane world to a fairytale one. Continue reading

Empire of Sand – Tasha Suri

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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: November 13th, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Magic, War, Romance


BLURB:

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance… Continue reading

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, War Setting, Ghosts


BLURB:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? Continue reading