Thursday, July 20, 2017

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown | Hachette Canada
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher for honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse. 
This is the book that you didn't know you so badly needed! Little & Lion is a relevant and raw story about love and a bond between a brother and sister. It delves into the depths of mental illness, giving you an inside look at the affect it can have on a family.

The YA book scene has been introducing more and more LGBT characters and I can't put into words how much I love this and how important I think it is. We are living in a world where acceptance is being tested. People are falling back into the shadows with the fear of being ostracized for who they are. The more we have strong role models, in fiction and real life, the more we can rally together, stand strong and live our most authentic life.

The book comes from the perspective of Suzette(Little) who is struggling to define who she is. Brandy Colbert delivers Little's story at a perfect pace. Piece by piece we learn Little's back story and how she was brought to the position she is currently in. Throughout the novel we are also introduced to an outstanding cast of characters. Lionel(Lion) is Little's stepbrother but they share a very deep bond that some straight blood relatives don't even have. They are deeply connected and that radiates off of the pages. Lion was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and we witness throughout the novel the effects this has on Lion, his process on living with this new diagnoses and how the family is coming to terms with it.

Little & Lion is a coming-of-age story. We watch so many characters grow throughout the entirety of this novel, even Little and Lion's parents. Each character has a colourful back story and you won't be able to help falling in love with each one.

If I had to sum up Little & Lion in one word I would say: Diverse. It has a very diverse cast of characters and an even more diverse storyline. It goes there. It gets raw and the author tells it like it is. She crafted bold characters that have very powerful voices; and I believe these voices will speak to all of the readers that have the privilege of reading this story. I believe with books like this, we can change the world. We are taking the right steps but stories like Little & Lion really put things on the map and into action!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rosie, Girl by Julie Shepard

Rosie Girl
Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Teen | Putnam
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 256 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: From publisher for an honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn’t give your girlfriend’s step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she’s been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie's birth mother isn't dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere—having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won't reveal. Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she'll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary's no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there's Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who's been acting strangely all of a sudden. As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie's mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. With the ultimate unreliable narrator and twists and turns around every corner, Rosie Girl is an unforgettable tale of identity, devotion and desperation.
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That, fellow bookworms is how you write a book! Bravo, Julie Shepard, bravo!

Rosie, Girl will capture you heart from page one. I finished this book in nearly one sitting; believe me, I tried to slow down and savour every moment, but I simple couldn't peel my eyes away. I devoured it, searching for the answers just as desperately as Rosie. Rosie, Girl stole my heart and has yet to give it back. 

In this character driven novel the author weaves a delicate tale about a young girl and her fervent quest for answers. Shepard also tells the story about fierce friendship and the lengths these girls will go for one another. It's equally heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. There are moments that will make you cringe, gasp and tie your stomach in knots. There are moments that will make your heart flutter, skip a beat and your lips turn up in a smile. 

If like me, you will immediately fall in love with Rosie. Given the hand that she was dealt she is, for the most part, a happy teenage girl. She has a great sense of humour that makes some harsh moments a little bit lighter. Mary is tough as nails. There is some darkness that follows her around, and when reading, you will find out why, but one thing is undeniable, Mary and Rosie are deeply connected, a bond that is unbreakable. 

I adored Mac. Another quick-witted character that lightened up the mood at times. He was also a kind and gentle character that put his soul into helping Rosie. It was a treat watching their friendship and relationship unfold.

Now, I am not one for spoilers, but I will tell you, just when you think the book is going one way, Julie Shepard will blast you with the shock of a life time. A literally gasped and was left jaw-dropped by the last page. 

Rosie, Girl stole my heart!




Monday, July 3, 2017

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

The Rattled Bones
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Netgalley
Source: From publisher for honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past. 
To say I loved The Rattled Bones would be the understatement of the year. I simply cannot think of the words to describe how much I adored this story. This darkly enchanting novel will creep its eerie words straight down to your bones.

Rilla is not your average teenage girl. She has a strong and stubborn head on her shoulders and can stand equal, if not above, the finest and most seasoned of lobsterman. Her strength and will carry her far beyond the dark and deep Maine waters. Plagued with visions after her father's untimely death, she is fiercely determined to get to the bottom of what may be haunting not just her, but her family.

The characters are the true stars of this novel, but the setting is a very close second. Parker's ability to transport you from your reading nook right into this small, Maine fishing island, right onto its haunting waters is a true talent. She crafted such a beautiful view that you can almost smell and taste the salty air.

I can assure you that you've likely not read a story quite like The Rattled Bones. It's originality and hauntingly beautiful storyline makes for a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

I loved Sam. I can't say that enough. I love, love, LOVED him. You want your way into my heart? Be kind-hearted and have a sense of humor, and that was Sam. He was funny and quick witted, yet cared so deeply for Rilla.

If you're looking for a book that will hook you, that will cast you under it's spell than The Rattled Bones is the book that you want. Beautiful, in-depth characters, a stunning setting and an unforgettable story will leave you reeling at the end...Like what I did there...

 
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