American contemporary, Books for Everyone, Cross over, New Adult, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, YA

Thoughts on Fan Girl and New Adult: A Cure for the Freshman Ills?

There seem to be two streams of New Adult fiction- the racier, romance narrative  (see Cora Carmack and Abbi Glines), and the darker, grittier narrative about that messy time between 18-24. Fan Girl belongs in the later category, chronicling the freshman year of an introverted fan fiction writer. Cath and her sister Wren represent two… Continue reading Thoughts on Fan Girl and New Adult: A Cure for the Freshman Ills?

American contemporary, Books for Everyone, friendship stories, Funny Books, Historical Fiction, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Summer Reads

Surely Great: P.S. Be Eleven Review

When I first heard there was to be a sequel to the wonderful One Crazy Summer, I squealed, just like Vonetta is wont to do. It is one of the most highly decorated middle grade titles of the last ten years and deservedly so. To see why I loved this book so much, click here.… Continue reading Surely Great: P.S. Be Eleven Review

American contemporary, Bullying, Cross over, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, YA

Love in a Dangerous Time: Eleanor & Park Review

I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It's been getting flawless reviews, but to be  honest I've just about had my fill of contemporary YA romances starring quirky, intelligent misfits. But what sold me on this book was the unique take on teenage obsession and the truly painful depiction… Continue reading Love in a Dangerous Time: Eleanor & Park Review

American contemporary, friendship stories, grief, middle grade, Mystery, Summer Reads

Gold and Gators: The Girl From Felony Bay Review

There is nothing more comforting to read than a classic middle grade novel. After the death of my family cat (RIP dear Cocoa, almost 20), I was in need of some serious comfort reading. Something about the setting and situation of The Girl From Felony Bay reminded me of The Rescuers, a wonderful but often overlooked… Continue reading Gold and Gators: The Girl From Felony Bay Review

American contemporary, friendship stories, Ghost story, Gothic, middle grade, Mystery, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story

Perfectly Creepy: Doll Bones Review

I don't know what it is about dolls, but they are the perfect subject for creepy stories. One of my favourite scary stories is The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Wren Wright, which I recommended on Bookish Notions last Halloween . Doll Bones is a rare breed, a true cross-genre tale with both literary and commercial appeal. Zach, Poppy and… Continue reading Perfectly Creepy: Doll Bones Review

American contemporary, Bullying, friendship stories, Funny Books, grief, middle grade, Personal Faves, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Realistic contemporary

Hope, Grief & A Pizza Boy: The Boy on Cinnamon Street Review

Phoebe Stone is a master of contemporary voice. Despite a tragically misleading cover*, The Romeo and Juliet Code was (and remains) a favourite book of mine. She has done it again in the funny and cathartic The Boy on Cinnamon Street, the second of two MG books I've read recently dealing with grief. Warning, this review contains spoilers! Louise… Continue reading Hope, Grief & A Pizza Boy: The Boy on Cinnamon Street Review

American contemporary, Bullying, friendship stories, grief, middle grade, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Positive Gay Characters, Realistic contemporary

Dealing with Grief: See You at Harry’s Review

I've been reading a lot about grief in middle grade fiction these days. This is the first of two reviews that focus quite heavily on grief versus guilt, a concept one generally thinks of as too heavy for middle graders, but in the hands of a fantastic author is not only manageable  but important.  See You… Continue reading Dealing with Grief: See You at Harry’s Review

American contemporary, Cross over, Funny Books, Mystery, Personal Faves, YA

I Wanna Be a Bank St. Irregular: Kiki Strike & The Darkness Dwellers Review

I adore the Kiki Strike series. I still can't believe it's not bigger than it is. It is one of my missions in life to make The Irregulars a household name.One can only hope with all the spy and international intrigue "Bourne books" on the rise that people will get another chance to discover The… Continue reading I Wanna Be a Bank St. Irregular: Kiki Strike & The Darkness Dwellers Review

American contemporary, Funny Books, Mystery, YA

The Spy Who Loved Me: Also Known As Review

Remember how much I loved Robin Benway's Audrey, Wait? Well I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of Also Known As. There seem to be lots of spy and international intrigue books on the market right now, both in middle grade and YA, ranging from high-octane thrillers like Don't Turn Around  by Michelle Gagnon… Continue reading The Spy Who Loved Me: Also Known As Review

American contemporary, Ghost story, Mystery, YA

So Many Ways to be Haunted: Paper Valentine Review

I really must learn to not judge a book by its cover. I looked at this beautiful cover and thought, steampunk horror story, ala Masque of the Red Death. Paper Valentine is in fact an unusual blend of ghost story, murder mystery, issues novel and romance. Although I had some issues with the characters and… Continue reading So Many Ways to be Haunted: Paper Valentine Review