My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: July 14th, 2020 Publisher: First Second Recommended Age: 8+ Genres & Themes: Middle School, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Bullying, Boarding School
I don’t understand. I don’t understand why some authors decide to include one fantasy element in an otherwise completely contemporary story. I understand magical realism. I think it can be very beautiful, surprising and, well, magical. But this was no magical realism story. Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: August 11th, 2020 Publisher: First Second Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Retelling, Siblings
This was a much darker tale than I anticipated, both in atmosphere and content. It is not a story I recommend if you are looking for something to uplift your spirits but it is one I dare push you towards if you want to read something different, something that will shock you and maybe even repulse you while simultaneously intriguing you. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: March 3rd, 2020 Publisher: Bloomsbury YA Recommended Age: 12+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Hidden Worlds, Magic, Mystery, Romance
I found Sara Holland’s debut—Everless—a very good kind of surprising. It was nothing I expected and yet everything I wanted both at the same time. While I didn’t fall in love with the heroine, I thought she had it in her to BE a heroine and that is something that kept me wanting to read more about her. Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: April 4th, 2017 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Death
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. Continue reading →
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: March 28th, 2017 Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin Point of View: Alternative Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Mythology
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017 Publisher: HMH BFYR Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary Romance, Mother-Daughter
All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: February 28th, 2017 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates, Romance, Action
When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan? Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: September 13th, 2016 Publisher: Bloomsbury Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative Recommended Age: 7+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Ghosts, Paranormal, Friendship
Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.
Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.
Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: September 6th, 2016 Publisher: Entangled Teen Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 11+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Books About Books, Boy Drama
True love can’t be strategized.
After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.
But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.
Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Publication Date: September 6th 2016 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Witches, Magic, LGBT, Culture, Family
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure. Continue reading →