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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Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women by Rey Terciero

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: February 2019
Publisher: Little Brown, BFYR
Recommended Age: 10+
Genres & Themes: Tween, Retelling, Family, Siblings, Contemporary, Social Status


REVIEW:

This is one of those books that would make a lovely present for a friend, especially someone who is having a hard time because it can give them comfort and remind them of the importance of reaching out to friends and family. Continue reading

Circe – Madeline Miller

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Circe by Madeline Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Adventure, Magic, Family


BLURB:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Continue reading

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)

33958230Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Super Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Power


BLURB:

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute. Continue reading

Brightly Burning – Alexa Donne

35721194Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling, Mystery


BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere – anywhere – else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind. But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet. Continue reading

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

34499221To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark, Fairytale Retelling, The Little Mermaid, Forbidden Love, Mother Issues


BLURB:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? Continue reading

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

32828538Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: July 4th, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dark Retelling, Survival, Friendship, Betrayal, Violence


BLURB:

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy. Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. Continue reading