Book Review: My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows is a loose history of the story of Lady Jane Grey,who must marry Gifford Dudley and become the Queen of England because her cousin, King Edward is dying of “The Afflliction”. However, when it is discovered that he is actually being poisoned and his sister, Mary makes a claim for the throne, King Edward, Jane and Gifford must get his seat on the throne back before Mary changes the laws in order to execute, Edians (people who can change into animals), a species which includes all three of them.

I loved this book. It was such a wonderful, fun and interesting adventure. I really like how the authors have taken the loose history of Lady Jane Grey including historical figures who actually did exist as a basis and woven such a unique and compelling plot line through these facts. The world building enhances the history in such an amazing way.

I really liked the authors’ writing styles and thought the breaks from the plot in which the narrators made comments were so amusing and worked so well with the book. The writing was the perfect blend of humour and adventure.

Finally, I really enjoyed the characters particularly Gracie, who is so strong, determined and brave. I also really loved Jane’s obsession with books and can definitely relate. All of the characters are really wonderful and enjoyable to read about though and I thought they all were included in the plot perfectly. I also thought the slow burn romances between Jane and Gifford and Edward and Gracie were really endearing.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun adventure loosely based in history.

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton,Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows is available now from HarperTeen.

Book Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo tells the story of Lucky, a K Pop Star, who decides to take a break from her demanding schedule and spend the day with Jack, a guy she’s just met. They soon start to fall for each other, however, Jack might be planning to sell pictures of their day to a popular gossip magazine.

I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely adorable and incredibly heartwarming. I love how Lucky and Jack are just spending the day together doing everyday touristy activities but Goo has managed to breathe so much life into the plot.

I liked Goo’s writing style. She seems to be really in tune with her character’s emotions and is able to convey this perfectly.

Finally, I also really liked the characters and how different they were in different contexts. The Lucky that shines through as a K Pop Star is very different than who she actually is and the way Jack is around Lucky is very different than who he is when he is working at the gossip magazine. I also appreciated how, through spending the day with each other, they were able to figure out what they each individually wanted out of life and how that varied from the expectations set out for them from parents or management teams.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adorable romance with an important message about discovering what you want to get out of life on your own terms.

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo is available now from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Book Review: The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars by Anthony Boucher

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars tells the story of the Baker Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes fan club who are asked to consult on a film adaptation of The Speckled Band. However, shortly after their arrival in Los Angeles, a real murder occurs and they are thrust into a mystery worthy of Holmes himself.

This book was so entertaining. There were so many twists and turns and I really didn’t know who was responsible for the murder; the plot kept getting more and more intricate. It was definitely a page turner that pulled me along and was full of gasp worthy moments.

I really liked Boucher’s writing style. It holds the tone of a Sherlock Holmes story or a classic mystery novel with a perfect element of suspense.

I also really enjoyed how different all of the characters were and seeing how they fit within the story. Suspicion was placed on most of them throughout the novel and the fact that I didn’t anticipate the conclusion whatsoever is a testament to Boucher’s skill as a writer.

Finally, the book is full of references to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, which I really had fun discovering. I think anyone who has ever read the Sherlock Holmes stories will appreciate these references too.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories or anyone who is looking for a highly entertaining mystery novel.

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars by Anthony Boucher will be released by American Mystery Classics on October 6th 2020.

Book Review: Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi tells the story of Pablo Neruda Rind who starts a relationship with Leanna Smart, a former Disney Star when she walks into the health food store he works at. He must adjust to being included in her lavish life style, while dealing with mounting bills and pressure from his parents to go back to school.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s real and fun and honest and requires just a little suspension of disbelief. The plot has literally been the dream of everyone who has ever been in a fandom, but Choi has added so many realistic elements to make it seem like it could actually happen.

I loved Choi’s writing style. She really dives into the inner workings of Pablo’s mind. I really appreciated how the book does feel like it’s being told through Pablo’s inner monologue.

Finally, I really liked the characters. I thought Pablo was very relatable in regards to his mounting anxieties about student debt and “adulting”. I also liked seeing how Leanna (Lee) was so multifaceted because she was so invested in her celebrity lifestyle but also expressed disappointment with this life at certain points when talking to Pablo.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a novel with multifaceted characters and an extremely adorable romance.

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi is available now from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Book Review: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey tells the story of Esther, who is running from a marriage she doesn’t want to a man who was previously engaged to her best friend, who she was in love with and who was executed for having resistance propaganda. She joins up with rebel librarians who are trying to make change and resist the government’s rule. Through this, she is able to learn to stand up for herself and accept herself while surrounded by fearless women and nonbinary people.

This book was absolutely everything I could want in a book: strong female and gender nonconforming characters, badass librarians who do not conform to the rules and excellent representation.

I absolutely love the plot. It so unique and compelling. I heard queer librarian rebels and I was convinced to pick up the book right away.

I really like Gailey’s writing style. They have a really good tone and pace of writing that fits with the story while also having a unique voice for each character.

All of the characters were really amazing and worked really well together. I liked seeing the senior librarians take Esther under their wing. I also liked seeing how Cye did not want to mentor Esther at first and how their relationship evolved.

Finally, the representation in this novel is incredible. Esther was attracted to her best friend, Beatriz and Leda and Bet, the two head librarians are in a relationship with each other. Additionally, Cye is nonbinary and there is a polyamorous relationship in the novel.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a book with badass librarians and excellent representation.

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey is available now from Tor.com Publishing.

Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers tells the story of Sadie, a missing girl who might have been looking for the man who murdered her sister, Mattie. The novel is told through a podcast that explores who Sadie was and where Sadie might have been.

This book was very well done, however, it is a very difficult read. A few trigger warnings that I feel should be pointed out are pedophilia, sexual abuse and parental neglect.

I thought the format this story was told through was really interesting. Through alternating chapters told by the podcast and through Sadie’s point of view, it really provides an all encompassing and sometimes contradictory view of who Sadie was.

I also thought Sadie’s love and dedication to her sister, Mattie was really heartwarming. You could really tell that she would go to any lengths to protect or avenge her sister.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a mystery that is very character driven and does not have a clear cut ending.

Sadie by Courtney Summers is available now from Wednesday Books.

Book Review: The Card Catalog by The Library of Congress

The Card Catalog by The Library of Congress details the history of the Card Catalog.

I found this book fascinating. I’m a librarian so I’m always interested to learn more about Library history and this book definitely fit that bill.

I really enjoyed discovering new facts about the history of card catalogs and cataloguing in general. It was also nice to be reminded of little bits of information that I did know but hadn’t thought about in a while.

Finally, I thought all of the images that were included in the book were so interesting and informative.

The Card Catalog by The Library of Congress is available now.

Book Blitz: I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

I Kissed Alice
by Anna Birch
Published by: Macmillan
Publication date: July 28th 2020
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

For fans of Leah on the Offbeat and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Anna Birch’s I Kissed Alice is a romantic comedy about enemies, lovers, and everything in between.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Rhodes, a gifted artist, has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts (until she’s hit with a secret bout of creator’s block), while Iliana, a transfer student, tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a webcomic. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other… a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43300915-i-kissed-alice


Purchase:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Cthwdr

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-kissed-alice-anna-birch/1131993172?ean=9781250219855

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/i-kissed-alice/id1486181193

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/i-kissed-alice

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux tells the mysterious story of the Opera Ghost as he terrorizes the Paris Opera House with the ultimate goal of getting the opera singer, Christine Daae, to fall in love with him.

I am a huge fan of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera and the original novel had been on my list for awhile. This book was amazing and definitely exceeded my expectations. I absolutely loved how evocative the atmosphere that Leroux created was. It was so rich and lush and descriptive. It made the novel so entrancing and mesmerizing.

I also really liked Leroux’s writing style. I thought it was interesting, how although it was a fictional story, he chose to write it as if he was directly reporting what the characters told him about the Opera Ghost.

Finally, I enjoyed discovering aspects of the story which differed from the musical and am sure that I would find more if I went back and re-read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Phantom of the Opera musical or anyone who is looking for a captivating, mysterious read.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is available now.

Book Review: Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson is a coming of age novel that tells the story of Jared, an Indigenous teenager as he deals with alcoholism, strained family relationships and the possibility that he might be the Son of a Trickster.

I didn’t enjoy this book, however, I can understand why people would enjoy it if they go into the novel with different expectations.

I went into the novel thinking that it would delve deeper into the fantastical elements promised in the story as well as exploring Indigenous history and heritage more. I’m interested in learning more about Indigenous history and I thought a fantasy novel with Indigenous characters sounded compelling. Unfortunately, the fantasy element and the Indigenous history aspect are only developed in the last quarter of the book. This part of the novel was incredibly interesting and was what I had expected from the rest of the novel.

The majority of the novel is a coming of age story and follows Jared as he experiences love, alcohol and drug addiction and a strained relationship with his mother. As a coming of age novel, it is very well done and if that is what you are looking for, I highly recommend it. It is also incredibly well-written. However, I had anticipated the coming of age aspect of the story to relate to Jared coming into his Indigenous history and the knowledge that he might not be entirely human and his experiences with that, which this book does not cover.

I also feel it is important to note that there is a suicide attempt in the novel, so if you feel that this might be triggering to you, maybe skip that part of the novel.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a a coming of age novel with a mostly Indigenous cast of characters.

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson is available now from Knopf Canada.