Shouting at the Rain – Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Friendship Dynamics, Summer


REVIEW:

I don’t typically dislike being in the minority because I can stand my ground, especially when it comes to book preferences, but I can’t help but be disappointed right now. This is an author that I have read twice before and both times she managed to impress me, plus this book was enjoyed by 98% of the people who have read it. Yet Shouting at the Rain is not as entertaining as Fish in a Tree or as moving as One for the Murphys. Actually, it’s somewhat annoying. Continue reading

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Patron Saints of Nothing – Randy Ribay

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Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Kokila
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Family, Coming of Age, Culture


REVIEW:

This felt like a familiar tale in the beginning. Someone close to the main character dies and the main character is angry and seeks justice. Except in this case the tragedy happens in the Philippines, far away from the protagonist, and Jay is reluctant to accept the events that lead to the death of his cousin so he travels to the Philippines in order to find out the truth his family is potentially hiding from him. Continue reading

The Girls at 17 Swann Street – Yara Zgheib

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The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Anorexia Nervosa, Sisterhood, Support System, Recovery


REVIEW:

This is one of those rare books that you’re indifferent to when you start reading it but that becomes precious to you the more you read it. The narration style never changes, and neither does the writing, but the story progresses in a realistic manner and Anna undergoes an obvious and admirable character development. Continue reading

Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom

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Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Blindness, Friendship, Romance


REVIEW:

Over ten Goodreads friends recommended this book to me after seeing me read so many contemporaries, so I really had no choice but to give it a try. And I’m more than happy I did because this was a surprising delight. Continue reading

Front Desk – Kelly Yang

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Front Desk by Kelly Yang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Based on True Events, Family, Friendship, Immigration


BLURB:

Front Desk tells the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed! Continue reading

Illegal – Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: August 7th, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Survival, Immigration, Realistic Fiction, Refugee, Siblings


BLURB:

This is a powerful and timely story about one boy’s epic journey across Africa to Europe, a graphic novel for all children with glorious colour artwork throughout. From Eoin Colfer, previously Irish Children’s Laureate, and the team behind his bestselling Artemis Fowl graphic novels. Continue reading

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly – Stephanie Oakes

17185496The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: Dial/Penguin
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Religion, Mystery, Psychological, Justice System


BLURB:

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too. Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past. Continue reading