May 142015
 
Review: Being Emily

This is such a powerful story about a girl born in a boy’s body. The reader really gets to journey with Christopher as she fights to become Emily. It felt like an insider view to a very personal and emotional struggle. I liked that the focus was on the psychological side, with Emily learning to embrace herself, and really coming to terms with the person she wants to be. The story is primarily about Emily, but I really like the addition of Claire. Her character wasn’t just a vehicle to push education about transgender issues, she was fully developed with […]

Feb 262015
 
Review: Slayers

Modern day dragons and dragon slayers. The very idea is enchanting and this story delivered well on the idea. With unique paranormal powers thrown in, it was like watching an exciting movie unfold. As with any movie though, there were good parts and bad. On the good side was the portrayal of the dragons, and the well thought out history. I was able to buy into the dragon stories easily, and enjoyed how everything was explained. On the not so great side, the characters were fairly stereotypical. You have the pretty-girl main character, two hot guys battling for her attention, […]

Aug 122014
 
Review: Eyes Like Stars

This was a wildly creative story. With magic and fairies, and a whole theatre full of living characters, it was easily one of the most imaginative stories I’ve ever read. Bertie was very likable, and it was easy to understand and feel sorry for her. She grew up as an orphan in the theatre, being cared for by the employees, yet never really having a family. When her wild and unpredictable behaviour cares the Theatre Manager to threaten to kick her out unless she finds a useful role for herself, it’s easy to hope that she finds that role. To […]

May 262014
 
Review: Chime

This story had both ups and down. I was confused for the first half as I tried to understand it, but I was entranced by the lyrical feel so I stuck to it, and was rewarded with a sweet and warming ending. This book felt like a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy with an older style of speech, and a reality where magic was common. The village and villagers felt like something out of an English story set in the 1800s where superstitions ruled the day, but with a slight twist to make those fears reasonable as magic was […]

Apr 212014
 
Review: Wake

This book was all about secrets: keeping and revealing them. Who knows them, who can be trusted with them, what do you do with them. It was an intriguing story, and while the romance was sweet and clean, and very cute to read, I kept going back to the secrets. Not all the secrets are revealed in this first book. We got very little explanation of Janie’s condition, which was a bit annoying. I wanted to learn more about how she got it, and how it works, and just more in general. Hopefully this comes later in the series. My […]

Apr 152014
 
Review: Before I Die

I wanted to like this story. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but I just didn’t care for it. Tessa is just not a likable character. I understand that Tessa’s situation is heartbreaking and her anger is a very valid response, but I just couldn’t like her. Tessa is selfish, obnoxious, and mean to everyone she meets, including her family and friends. She has lost herself in her cancer and treats everyone around her like garbage. Her list of things to do before she dies isn’t very mature, or respectable: sex, drugs, illegal activity. Nothing on her […]

Feb 212014
 
Review: Small as an Elephant

This was a surprisingly delightful story. I was expected a serious tearjerker, it’s about a boy whose mother leaves he alone after all. There were definitely tears at the end of the story, but the rest of the story was more about hope and Jack’s ability to fend and think for himself. I think there were emotions and elements of the story that stuck with me more than the target young YA reader would understand. For that reader, there is survival and confusion about why this was happening to him. There were unexpectedly good things and good people, as well […]

Oct 292013
 
Review: Shadow's Edge

It sounds funny to say, but I find Kylar to be a very lovable assassin. He is very human, and struggles constantly with the various aspects of his life, and how they fit together. His love for Elena and Uly are pure, and he is always trying to do the best by them. The world building in this story is very detailed. It built on the foundation set up in the first book, and while it briefly summarized what was already provided, it didn’t feel repetitive. The more I read of this world, the more I want to know. This […]

Sep 092013
 
If I Stay

This was an intensely emotional story. It is the story of Mia’s life, and her choice whether to live or die after she’s in a car accident that kills her family. Mia’s body is in the hospital in ICU, and her essence is somewhat separated, in the hospital watching what is going on, and she must decide what to do. The story has a lot of flashbacks and memories of Mia’s life so far as she reflects on everything that has happened. She’s quite young, but like most teenagers, her memories are very strong, and the emotions connected to them […]

Aug 162013
 
Review: Among Others

I’m not sure exactly what kind of story I was expecting from this book, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it. There is some magic in the story, but this was more of a contemporary coming-of-age story than anything else. Morwenna was an interesting character and I wanted to hear her back story. Specifically, I wanted to hear about the accident and what happened to her twin. This was never explained well, and it felt like this was the sequel to that story. I loved the scenes with the fairies. They were my favourite part of the book. Those […]