Hot Dog Girl – Jennifer Dugan

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Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada & NetGalley
Published: April 30th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+, Summer, Friendship, Family


REVIEW:

This looks like a really fun and fluffy YA summer romance, but believe me when I tell you that it’s more of a soap opera… at an amusement park.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was entertaining and I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy dramatic characters and scenarios as well as reading about different relationships blossoming and dying. Continue reading

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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James – Ashley Herring Blake

37539698The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA+, Family Dynamics, Friendship, Love


REVIEW:

I have read and enjoyed everything else Ashley Herring Blake has written so of course I was beyond excited to dive into this copy. I am also so very happy this author is exploring LGBTQIA+ themes because her stories are realistic and important. Continue reading

Listen to Your Heart – Kasie West

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Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Point
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Summer Reads, Contemporary Romance, Friendship


BLURB:

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible. But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder. Continue reading

Love & Luck – Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 8th, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Siblings, Contemporary, Summer, Traveling


BLURB:

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind. So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism. And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother. That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way. Continue reading

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

31180248Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Humor, LGBT, High School, Senior Year, Romance, Friendship


BLURB:

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. Continue reading

Royals – Rachel Hawkins

35997816Royals by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Royalty, Family Drama, Humor, Summertime, Romance


BLURB:

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. Continue reading

The Summer of Jordi Perez – Amy Spalding

31246717The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
First Published: April 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Fashion, Friendship, Summer, Family Relationships, Food, Work


BLURB:

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes. Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story? Continue reading