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Showing posts from February, 2015

Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson

From the title you expect a horrifying thriller, of the likes of Stephen King. What you get is a PG version for the YA audience. But readers shouldn’t be surprised, this is a YA novel after all. There is also the prerequisite bit of the "girl meets guy, girl pretends she doesn’t like guy, but girl eventually ends up liking guy" formula and, if that’s what you look for in a book, you won’t be disappointed.
It’s a kind of Flowers In The Attic sequel. In fact, Cut Me Free even references the classic novel. Seventeen-year-old Charlotte has escaped a dreadful situation. All throughout her childhood she and her brother have been locked up in an attic by her parents. A victim of abuse, she has somehow managed to escape. This is when we meet her…on the run, and desperately trying to change her name and identity. She enlists the help of Cam, a handsome teen and techie genius, to forge new documents for her new life. With a new name – Piper – and a new haircut and hair colour she think…

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

The timing of Miriam Toews book release All My Puny Sorrows in paperback coincides with the Supreme Court’s ruling this month that Canadians have right to doctor-assisted suicide. This unanimous ruling by establishing that the “sanctity of life” also includes the “passage of life”, extends constitutional rights into a new realm.

But while doctor-assisted suicide is not the focus of the book, suicide is. Drawing parallels from the sorrow in her own life – the author’s own father and sister were both a victim of this – Miriam Toews writes a complicated situation with an acute representation and clarity.
Surprisingly though, the focus of All My Puny Sorrows isn’t really about morbidity, as much as the relationship between two siblings, Elfrieda and Yolanda. And because of that, there are moments of laughter mingled beautifully with ones that are heart-wrenching.
Elfrieda (Elf) is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily-married, yet she wants to die. Yoli is a beguiling mess …

Cover Before Striking - Stories by Priscila Uppal

"Cover before striking," a warning to those about to innocently strike a match to be careful not to burn their fingers.
Unsettling relationships and situations that are on the cusp of igniting a flame, are at the heart of Pricilla Uppal’s first book of short stories. Published by DundurnPress, Cover Before Striking contains 13 short stories that push the protagonists to extremes, keeping readers at the edge of their seats waiting for the train wreck to unfold.
In Recipes For Dirty Laundry, Priscilla Uppal delightfully blends stain removing tips with the fragile storyline of a family.
“Tear stains: You’re the only one who notices them.”

With the delicate precision of a surgeon about to slice through the body, Priscilla Uppal deploys her writing charm on her stories, keeping us constantly on our toes. The rawness of her writing is unsettling; the endings sometimes unnerving -- yet, we motor through, unable to pull ourselves away from that train wreck.
Delving into topics that w…

A bookish look ahead....

Random House Canada had their bloggers conference earlier this week, and a select few had the honour of taking a sneak peak into the year ahead. And what a year, it's going to be. 

On the top of the list, fans of Crazy Rich Asians will be ecstatic to know that Kevin Kwan is going to be back with the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend. This wickedly funny new novel of social climbing, secret emails, art world scandal and lovesick billionaires, continues the outrageous story of Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young. It is still ironic how somehow we can all "relate" to this crazy world of the rich and famous. Perhaps Crazy Rich Asians has that same appeal as Sex And The City did. Either way, we can't wait for this book and the movie to be released. China Rich Girlfriend releases June 16, 2015. I sincerely hope Kevin Kwan makes it to Toronto for a book signing. I imagine him landing on the the top of the Shagrila Hotel in style. Fingers crossed everyone. 

A Robot In The Garden by Debo…

A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Twentieth is a charm. Anne Tyler’s new book A Spool Of Blue Tread hits book stores this month and fans everywhere are wondering what’s new in this novel.
The characters seem familiar. They are your family. Their situations are your situations. The background is domestic, perhaps even bordering on the mundane. Yet, Anne Tyler manages to take life’s banality and make a family’s eccentricities seem somewhat interesting.
Anne Tyler has an uncanny ability to find the quirks in families and make them relatable. It’s no wonder her fans have devoured her books for ages. Even though the topic of her current devotion isn’t new, she’s able to tug at the heartstrings gracefully with the requisite mélange of pathos: humour, tragedy, insight, and perhaps even infusing a dash of that que sera sera attitude.
A Spool Of Blue Tread centres around a family where parents Abby and Red Whitshank have four children, three of whom are married and the fourth who is a bit of a wild card prodigal child.
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Project Superhero - Written by E. Paul Zehr, Illustrated by Kris Pearn

Jessica is in Grade 8. And, it’s crazy. So, she’s started a diary to keep track of all the craziness. But she loves writing, and considers a career as an author or journalist someday…so she thinks writing a diary is definitely going to be fun. “It’s like thinking out loud, but in a quiet way.”
In school this year, their assignment is to explore what it means to be a superhero (It’s also partly the reason Jesse’s started this diary.) And, part of the project is that they get to pick which superhero to be. At the end of the year there will be a Superhero Slam, where the ultimate super hero will be chosen.
The first part of the book is Jesse picking the superhero she wants to become. All she knows is that her superhero is going to be female for sure, because she also wants to beat her nemesis Dylan. After going through several options and conflicts in her mind on who to pick (yep, there aren’t as many female superheroes to pick!), she finally ends up picking Batgirl.
“Which brings up the …