Star Daughter

by Shveta Thakrar

STAR DAUGHTER — Shveta Thakrar

Sheetal Mistry has secrets. One, her hair is an unnatural silver that she dyes black. Two, the stars seem to call her by name. And three, her mother is a star. Since her mother was called back to the sky, Sheetal has been hiding herself away, living with her father on Earth.

As her 17th birthday approaches, Sheetal feels the pull of the stars more strongly than ever before and is unable to control her power. In a tragic accident, Sheetal loses control of her star fire and burns her father, sending him to the hospital. With no options, Sheetal and her cousin venture into the sky to collect the blood of a full star in order to heal her father.

When they arrive, Sheetal realizes that she was being called for a very specific reason, one that sits uneasily with her. Thrown into a competition for power, Sheetal must compete with mortals in order to win the favour of her family.

An adventure unlike any other, Sheetal discovers the dark past of the stars and must decide where she belongs.

A beautiful story brimming with light and friendships, Shveta has created a magical world full of sparkle and grandness.

I Killed Zoe Spanos

by Kit Frick

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Anna Cicconi has high hopes for the summer. A fresh start, and a babysitting gig at an elegant home in the Hamptons. What could go wrong? Almost immediately, Anna notices something off about the small town of Herron Mills. After asking some questions she realizes she has stepped into a town that is still reeling from the loss of one of it’s residents; teenager Zoe Spanos. Not only does Anna bear an uncanny resemblance to Zoe, she also finds herself remembering Zoe, even though she has never met her.

But Anna brushes this off, chalking it up to nerves and her lack of sleep.

However, when Zoe’s body is found at the bottom of a lake, Anna can’t ignore the memories she is having of Zoe, and her possible murder.

When Anna confesses, local podcaster Martina Green immediately notices that her confession is full of holes, and sets off to prove the truth of what happened to Zoe Spanos.

A slow burn thriller, Kit Frick amps up the chills in this compelling YA novel.

Raybearer

by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer (Raybearer, #1) by Jordan Ifueko

Tarisai has only ever known loneliness. Raised by a mysterious and often absent mother, she craves a family and the love that comes with it. After years of studying and being kept at arms length, Tarisai’s mother, The Lady, sends her to the Capital for a mysterious compeition.

Once there, Tarisai realizes she is there to compete with other children for the coveted spot on the Crown Princes council. If she is chosen, Tarisai will be connected to the Crown Prince by The Ray, a powerful and unbreakable bond.

Wanting nothing more than a family, Tarisai relishes the idea of becoming one with the council. However, The Lady has another plan. Use Tarisai to gain the Crown Prince’s trust, and then, through a magical wish, have her kill him.

Will Tarisai overcome The Lady’s last wish, or will she kill the boy her destiny is entwined with.

Jordan Ifueko has created a sparse yet lush story, with characters that spring off the page. An emotionally charged and own voices novel, a perfect read for those who love YA Fantasy.

The Shadow of Kyoshi

by F.C Yee

Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi The Kyoshi Novels Book 2:  Amazon.ca: Yee, F. C.: Books

Kyoshi is now the avatar, and without the guidance of her mentors, she is on her way Ba Sing Se. There, Kyoshi meets the Fire Lord and becomes enveloped in Fire Nation politics.

However, before Kyoshi can help with politics, she must deal with a threat from the spirit world, and an old friend, who she is convinced is not himself.

Follow Kyoshi, Rangi and their allies as they fight for peace and try to repair the Four Nations before they fall apart.

An absorbing and well written follow up to The Rise of Kyoshi, F.C Yee has produced a masterpiece in YA fiction.

The Silence of Bones

by June Hur

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

It is 1800 in Joseon, Korea and Seol is indentured to the Police. She spends her days doing menial tasks and fending off homesickness and memories of her long lost brother.

Suddenly, Seol finds herself helping a young inspector solve a high profile killing of a noblewoman. As they work together, Seol and the inspector form a bond of friendship that is truly tested when he becomes the prime suspect.

Seol now feels the burden of solving the case and figuring out who killed the noblewoman.

June Hur has written an elegant and atmospheric story, a true wonder in YA historical fiction and mystery.

by William Bell

5 Stars

Crabbe by William Bell

Everyone always has a will and the ability to survive, whether it involves life or death situations. The novel Crabbe, by William Bell, tells the story of a dependent, lonely, semi alcoholic, who escapes to the wilderness, only to learn that running away is not a solution to one’s problems. Franklin Crabbe, the main protagonist of the novel, feels controlled by his parents and thinks he has no freedom in his life whatsoever. Feeling pointless and ineffectual, the eighteen-year-old makes a life learning decision. He decides to run away from society a day before his final exams, without leaving any trace behind. Unprepared for bush life, Crabbe’s life nearly ends, until he meets someone else who has other reasons to hide. His journey throughout the woods, Crabbe learns many practical skills, which make him confident, mature, and responsible. The main message that Bell wants to convey to the reader is that running away is not the best option when solving problems. Instead, it’s better to seek help or to become more independent to develop good character traits that help find a solution.  

Overall, this book was truly remarkable. In the beginning, for me, this book wasn’t enjoyable and was losing my interest level. But as I kept reading, I started to realize this book wasn’t so bad after all. It includes all the symbols and motifs to help engage the reader more into the book. It shows the reader how little actions can make a huge difference in a person’s life. This book is definitely worth reading and would recommend it to anyone.

Ahmed Q.

View in Library Catalogue: Print

by Kahled Hosseini

5 Stars

The Kite Runner eBook: Hosseini, Khaled: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, is a well written, crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being completely destroyed. It tells the story of a young afghan boy named Amir, who faced many different challenges during his childhood, which will haunt him forever. This story takes place during the 70s in Afghanistan, following the two protagonists. Amir, a Pashtun boy, and Hassan, a Hazara. They were great friends and were both raised in Baba’s house (Amir’s father). One of the biggest challenges for the main protagonist Amir is to face the complex culture he faces. Growing up with Hassan, Amir felt like Hassan was stealing Baba’s love from him. Readers will get to see how Amir deals with his jealousy, and the ways he will get his father’s attention.  

To conclude, this novel is definitely worth reading. The events that took place during the novel were a bit disturbing and explicit, but overall I enjoyed reading it. The book contains a rollercoaster of different emotions. Hosseini also uses many literary devices such as Imagery, Foreshadowing, and Symbolism, to help engage the reader more into the book. The story itself, in my opinion, was heartbreaking and devastating. This life lesson story opened my eyes and has taught me the importance that everyone can become a better person, no matter their past, and the first main step is to forgive themselves and move on. It was an absolute pleasure to read this remarkable book.

Ahmed Q.

View in Library Catalogue: Print | eBook | Audiobook CD

by William Golding

5 Stars

Lord of the Flies eBook by William Golding - 9781101158104 ...

Lord of the Flies takes the reader on an adventure of the depraved side of humanity, and the savagery that underlies with even the most well-mannered, civilized human beings. William Golding purposely wrote this novel to illustrate and help readers understand mankind’s evil nature. Golding presents his message in a very unique way. He portrays a variety of events leading a group of young, civilized boys, who later on, turn into savage, bloodthirsty killers who have no desire for human life.  

In the midst of an infuriating war, a plane evacuating a young group of schoolboys for Britain is shot down, and ironically, all of the adults were killed in this tragic incident. The well-mannered, civilized boys find themselves on a deserted, tropical island, where no help is found. The group of young boys initially revel in their freedom and try to develop and expand their own society. They do this by appointing hunters, using the conch for a signal of help, holding assemblies, etc. Everything starts going well, but as disagreements break out amongst them, their life on the island becomes increasingly harsh and brutal. 

Overall, this expressive, tragic novel portrays a deep meaning. William Golding reminds us of the dark side of human nature. I personally enjoyed reading this book. Many readers as myself thought that Lord of the Flies might be confusing or boring, due to it being a classic novel, but the novel itself is quite exceptional. The ways different events change and devolve, add a very interesting and dynamic ending, of how the good of a person can quickly vanish and their primal human instincts taking over. The novel also contains good imagery that is displayed in the book. I recommend this novel for anyone who likes adventure and survival.

Ahmed Q.

View in Library Catalogue: Print | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook CD | Large Print | Paperback

by Arthur Golden

4 Stars

Memoirs of a Geisha - Wikipedia

Memoirs of a Geisha follows nine-year-old Chiyo as she begins a new life and is taken from her small fishing village in Yoroido, Japan by a businessman, Mr. Tanaka. Because her mother is sick, and her father cannot raise her and her sister alone, Chiyo believes that she is being adopted by a wealthy family. However, Chiyo eventually ends up in Kyoto, far away from her family and with an unexpected new family. She is sold to a Geisha house, forced to be a maid until the house’s ruling hierarchy determines if she is ready to become a Geisha herself. After much training, Chiyo becomes a Geisha and goes by the name Sayuri. Sayuri has incredible influence and beauty and begins her new life as one of the most powerful Geisha in Japan overcoming obstacles and learning valuable lessons along the way. 

All in all, this novel was filled with drama and constant surprises. I felt connected to Chiyo as her character was very realistic and described so vividly. By reading this novel, I got an insight into the world of Geisha in Japan, which I had no knowledge of prior to reading this novel. I was intrigued and fascinated by reading about the life of Geisha and Japanese culture. The overall storyline was griping and truly fascinating. My only critique would be that at some parts of the novel, I felt that some details could have been left out and some sections dragged on for too long. But overall, Memoirs of a Geisha is truly a beautiful and captivating novel that I enjoyed reading very much. 

Emily K.

View in Library Catalogue: Print | Audiobook CD

by Stephanie Garber

5 Stars

Caraval: Amazon.ca: Garber, Stephanie: Books

Stephanie Garber’s novel Caraval follows a girl named Scarlett Dragna on a journey of self-discovery, and the unbreakable bond between sisters. Caraval is a magical show of performers and magic where the viewers can play the game. When Scarlett’s sister Tella is kidnapped for this year’s show, Scarlett now has to face an island of magic and illusion, discover clues to find Tella. Before it’s too late. 

I enjoyed the metamorphosis Scarlett finds herself in and how her relationship with Julian, the “mysterious sailor”, is not rushed. I loved how the story kept me guessing, with its magical mysteries and constant plot twists. The scenes were written exceptionally and kept me turning pages, especially with the use of colours and smells.  

However, I do believe there was more potential with Scarlett’s parents, especially her mother. The plot twist at the end was a little sudden though I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the same. Otherwise, I don’t have anything bad to say, and I adored this book.  

Stephanie Garber put the magical elements of Holly Black’s Heart of the Moors and the mystical confusion of Alice in Wonderland together in the most perfect way. I would recommend Caraval for readers 13 and up who enjoy fantasy, magic, plot twists and dystopia with an unexpected romance.  

Caraval by Stephanie Garber made me feel as Scarlett felt, cry when she was sad, laugh, and that is the most important part of a book for me. Which is why I gave this book a five-star rating. 

Eva F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print | eBook | Audiobook CD