Showing posts from July, 2017

A Line In the Dark - Malinda Lo

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

This is a really interesting story with a twist that, whether you see it coming or not, will keep you on your toes. I have to say, I definitely have a thing for unreliable narratives and narrators, and this i…

Patina - Jason Reynolds

Patina, or Patty, runs like a flash. She runs for many reasons—to escape the taunts from the kids at the fancy-schmancy new school she’s been sent to since she and her little sister had to stop living with their mom. She runs from the reason WHY she’s not able to live with her “real” mom any more: her mom has The Sugar, and Patty is terrified that the disease that took her mom’s legs will one day take her away forever. So Patty’s also running for her mom, who can’t. But can you ever really run away from any of this? As the stress builds up, it’s building up a pretty bad attitude as well. Coach won’t tolerate bad attitude. No day, no way. And now he wants Patty to run relay…where you have to depend on other people? How’s she going to do THAT?
"My name is Patina Jones. And I ain't no junk. I also ain't no hair flipper. And most of the girls at Chester Academy are hair flippers who be looking at me like my mom some kind of junk maker. But ain't not of them got guts to co…

They Both Die at the End - Adam Silvera

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

My track record with Adam Silvera's Books: More Happy Than Not = ALL THE TEARSHistory Is All You Left Me = ALL THE TEARSThey Both Die at the End = well, I'm sure you can guess
I know that reading books with not altogether happy endings is not everyone's cup of tea, so I must be a glutton for punishment because I keep picking up Silvera's books anyway! I mean, his titles really give away the more tragic components of each work, but this one in particular says a lot, and though you may be tempted to hope that it's exagge…

The Art of Starving - Sam J. Miller

TW: Eating Disorder; Self-Starvation**

Matt hasn’t eaten in days.
His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.
Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.
So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?
Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of h…

The Pants Project - Cat Clarke

Whoever wrote the uniform policy decided (whyyy?) that girls had to wear skirts, while boys were allowed to wear pants.

Sexist. Dumb. Unfair.

“Girls must wear a black, pleated, knee-length skirt.”

I bet I read those words a hundred times during summer vacation. The problem wasn’t the last word in that sentence. Skirt wasn’t really the issue, not for me.
The issue was the first word. Girls.

Here’s the thing:
I may seem like a girl, but on the inside, I’m a boy.

So, from the sounds of the excerpt on the jacket copy, this sounds like it's going to be a book about a trans boy, but I have to say if that's what you're hoping for, you may be disappointed. Other than a smattering of descriptive moments (which sound more like authorial interruptions than inner monologue), the overall story is much more focused on overthrowing the school's dress code rather than Liv exploring what it means to be a trans boy.
The narrative voice sounds much more butch grade-six-girl than anything, as th…

Because You Love to Hate Me - Aviie (Editor)

In this rather bizarre, but ultimately worthwhile collection of stories about villains, readers will have the opportunity to explore backstories of known and unknown "evil" characters alike, all of whom are given realistic motivations for their own existence in the world. Without demonizing anyone, these individual stories explore motivations, histories, and family drama that lead to choices which we, as readers, often label as "evil" or "villainous." For instance, did you ever think Medusa could have a good reason for being so pissed off? Or that there might be a reason why a drug lord has killed off a LOT of people around a large urban centre? Or what about the backstory of beauty and the beast? This is a gorgeous collection of stories from a series of truly talented authors. Check it out!!


Kaleidoscope Song - Fox Benwell

Fifteen year old Neo loves music, it punctuates her life and shapes the way she views the world. A life in radio is all she’s ever wanted. When Umzi Radio broadcasts live in a nearby bar Neo can’t resist. She sneaks out to see them, and she falls in love, with music, and the night, but also with a girl: Tale has a voice like coffee poured into a bright steel mug, and she commands the stage.

It isn’t normal. Isn’t right. Neo knows that she’s supposed to go to school and get a real job and find a nice young boy to settle down with. It’s written everywhere – in childhood games, and playground questions, in the textbooks, in her parents’ faces. But Tale and music are underneath her skin, and try as she might, she can’t stop thinking about them.

Warning: Spoilers  /  TW: Corrective rape, physical abuse
This book is hard. I want to say I love it, but that seems like the wrong word for a novel that touches on such intense topics (physical abuse, excommunication, corrective rape, death), and yet…

The Artsy Mistake Mystery - Sylvia McNicoll

Outdoor art is disappearing all over the neighbourhood! From elaborate Halloween decorations to the Stream of Dreams fish display across the fence at Stephen and Renée’s school, it seems no art is safe. Renée’s brother, Attila, has been cursing those model fish since he first had to make them as part of his community service. So everyone thinks Attila is behind it when they disappear. But, grumpy teen though he is, Attila can do no wrong in Renée’s eyes, so she enlists Stephen’s help to catch the real criminal.
In this fast-paced comedy of errors, sometimes silly and sometimes serious mistakes are recorded in meticulous detail by our crime-solving narrator, Stephen. Together with his friend Renée, Stephen inadvertently becomes the primary investigator when Renées brother is considered to be the prime suspect in the theft of a series of painted fish that used to hang on the fence outside of a local school. As one miscommunication after another ends up leading them in the right direction…

Picturebooks Roundup (Part 4)

Picturebook Favorites [Part IV]  ALA (2017)
Where Are You?  Sarah Williamson
"Where are you?" asks the green worm. "I am here!" replies to the pink worm.  But can you see where the pink worm is? In the tradition of hide-and-seek storytelling, this seemingly simple story will keep youngsters engaged right from page one. Simple shapes, delightful textures, and bright, solid colours make this book highly appealing to those with a visual aptitude!
(Already Available - Knopf BFYR)

The World is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid  Jeanette Winter
Jeanette Winter tells the story of Zaha Hadid, a female, muslim architect who refused to play by the rules. She wanted her buildings to mimic nature: the waving grass, sea shells, and desert sand dunes that she saw around her. This inspirational true story is one that children and adults alike can hold close to spark their own imaginations and hopefully keep the work of Hadid alive.
(08/22/2017 - Beach Lane)

A Pocket Full of …

Picturebooks Roundup (Part 3)

Picturebook Favorites [Part III]  ALA (2017)
Not Quite Narwhal  Jessie Sima
This book is hard to describe without using the word "sparkly" a lot. It is so vibrant and colorful, the images leap off the page. Sima's story is adorable, but has depth as our cute little protagonist works to find out where in the world he belongs. Is he a Narwhal because he was raised by them? Or is he a Unicorn because he looks and plays like them? A sweet read aloud, for any age!
(Already Available - Simon & Schuster)

LIFE  Cynthia Rylant (Author) and Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator)
Life is big, bold, and beautiful, and sometimes a little bit scary. All of life's awesome wonder is expressed radiantly through Wenzel's artistic experimentation. Every animal expresses joy in its given environment, every vista boldly displayed in its full glory. Rylant's elegant prose is paired perfectly with every image. This is truly a work to savor!
(Already Available - Beach Lane)

a small blue whale  Beth …