Hope and Other Punchlines – Julie Buxbaum

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Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, 9/11, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

This is my third book from Julie Buxbaum and frankly I don’t know if I should continue with her stories. The first book I read from her, Tell Me Three Things, I couldn’t finish. The second book, What to Say Next, I enjoyed but I remember disliking the love interest or not feeling particularly moved by the romance. Well, same thing happened here. Abbi and Noah are definitely a good match because they don’t annoy one another and simply care about each other tremendously. I know, my expectations regarding soul mates are not very high nowadays. Continue reading

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Give the Dark My Love – Beth Revis

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Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic School, Health Issues (Plague), Family, Politics, Romance


REVIEW:

I can see how this is a hit or miss for most people. It’s not your typical YA fantasy—not what I’m used to reading and not mainstream. But that’s a good thing. I actively seek originality in my reads and this unconventional fantasy, with its limited world-building and romance, worked for me well. The storyline is straight-forward in the sense that we know what Nedra, the new student at the prestigious school of alchemy, is trying to accomplish and for what purpose. Continue reading

The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

39725622The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Quirk Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+. Retelling, Fandom, Celebrity


REVIEW:

This is a contemporary, fandom-centered retelling of The Prince and the Pauper and it is almost as adorable as a puppy sniffing old books. It’s also exactly what I needed—the equivalent of comfort food—since I’m supposed to be in Romania right now but there was a problem with my ticket so I have to wait longer to see my grandparents. I felt really discouraged when I heard the news, but luckily I had a few books I was excited to read that helped improve my mood. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Birthday – Meredith Russo

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Birthday by Meredith Russo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 21st, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fiction, Transgenderism, Coming of Age, Friendship, Romance, High School, Family


REVIEW:

Three years ago, I read Meredith Russo’s debut – If I Was Your Girl – and I enjoyed it, but I could not have predicted it becoming a bestseller and award-winning novel, because although I found it sweet and meaningful, it was not a page-turner for me. Birthday is very different from her debut, so different that I feel a switch was made in the author’s mind or she wanted to tell a heart-breaking story instead of a mainly heart-blossoming one. Continue reading

The Grace Year – Kim Liggett

32929592The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 17th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Action, Dystopia, Feminism, Romance


REVIEW:

Do not be fooled by the excessively pink cover, this is not a sweet story and the characters do not care to be likeable and cherished by the reader. It’s a wild, wild world and so are the girls in it. I have not read a YA dystopian in over a year, but this one reminded me why I used to actively seek out these types of stories. Because they are messy and ugly and dramatic and despite all that, or maybe because of it, I am fascinated. Continue reading

Only Ashes Remain (Market of Monsters, #2) – Rebecca Schaeffer

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Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 3rd, 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Action, Paranormal, Revenge, Manipulation, Humanity


REVIEW:

If you thought the first book was a cold knife to the spine, you don’t know what’s waiting for you here, because this sequel is twice as intense and deceptive as its predecessor. After the cruel cliff-hanger at the end of book one, I was DYING to get my hands on this one. Even now, I can’t keep my hands to myself. I love this messy story and its disturbing characters so damn much. Continue reading

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Childhood Friendship


REVIEW:

I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book, after months of deliberation (and a bit of procrastination), because Kiersten White develops her ideas in interesting ways. Granted, this is a retelling, so credit must be given to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley as well, as the author of the original Frankenstein tale, which White would approve of based on her note at the end. But inspiration aside, this retelling stands out in a pool of other books of its kind. Continue reading