by Jenny Han

5 Stars

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the third and final installment of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. Lara Jean is finally a senior in high school and is happier than ever in her relationship with Peter. She is also eager that her dad is getting remarried to their neighbour, Ms. Rothschild, and her sister Margot will be coming home in time for the wedding. Despite the immense fun that Lara Jean is having, the difficult decision of where she wants to go to college still weighs on her mind. She worries about how her decision may affect her relationship with Peter. Will Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship last? Will Lara Jean ultimately decide to follow her heart? Find out in Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Overall, this book was very well written, and I loved it very much. It was a great ending to an incredible series. Out of the three books in the series, this one was my favourite. I was engaged the entire time and enjoyed the mature themes within the novel. I loved how Lara Jean and Peter both were not perfect, however, their relationship was very beautiful and real within the series. When you are reading, it feels as if you are Lara Jean, and you are experiencing everything she is. Lara Jean is a character that has become very close to my heart. Jenny Han did an amazing job creating such a heartwarming series. I highly recommend this book and wish that there was a part 4!

Emily K.

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by Genevieve Graham

4 Stars

The historical fiction, The Forgotten Home Child, written by Genevieve Graham, was a shocking but an astonishing novel. This story is based on Canadian history, a history us Canadians shouldn’t be proud of. The main character Winny, also known as Winnifred Ellis, at the age of 15 Winny is absolutely done with her mother and her abusive stepfather. She takes matters into her hands and decides to run away, and she falls in a group with other homeless children. Mary, Jack, Cecil and Edward, all 5 together, find ways to live and at the same time also have fun in Liverpool, England. When the group got caught stealing, the group splits apart, Mary and Winny are sent to Dr. Barnardo’s Barkingside Home for Girls, an orphanage for girls.

The girls soon learn that girls and boys get to go to Canada, where better families are waiting for them. But what they don’t know is that apart of those boys they get to go to, they will see Jack, Cecil and Edward, but unfortunately it’s not a reunion, they eventually all get split apart. Except for the boys, they are accepted to work for a guy. The way Genevieve Graham wrote this novel it’s as if all the emotion that’s happening in the book, you also feel too. Which is absolutely crazy to me how she could make readers feel like that. Either way, what happened to them and other home children are absolutely terrible. Although some home children got to go into better homes that treated them like an actual human being, while others went into homes that got treated absolutely horribly. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12 because of the mature topics that unfold within this novel. Nevertheless, I rate this book a 4/5!  

Hoda D.

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directed by Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich

5 Stars

As your typical teen who occasionally overthinks about life’s ideals and how one, like myself, communicates these types of thoughts via any kind of art that tells a story. So as a person that really puts her soul into a movie she watches, I have to say that this film is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Coco does an excellent job at capturing the viewer’s attention from the start. It skillfully portrays the beauty of the “Day of the Dead,” a Mexican tradition, while unravelling one of the most endearing storylines I’ve ever seen in a film, which depicts a young aspiring musician named Miguel and his pursuit of his ambition of being a musician despite the disapproval of his family.

Throughout the film, Miguel entangles himself in an adventurous journey through the land of the dead, and he is caught between the love he has for music and the importance of family. Coco manages to convey the core of what it is to be human in such a simple and lovely way. What it means to love and to be passionate about the things and people you care about. The tale was delivered in such an exquisite manner that it didn’t make me think about the ideals it represented, but rather let me feel them with each scene, without my even analyzing what I was seeing. It did it so gradually that at the conclusion, I was overcome with a sequence that surely ranks among my favourite movie scenes, and I found myself sobbing. I’m not crying as I normally do when a scene moves me. I could go on and on about Coco, but I’ll just say that it’s a great film that I’ve rewatched at least twice. This movie is definitely a must-see!

Manaal I.

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by Adiba Jaigirdar

4.25 Stars

Do you enjoy reading books that feel like warm hugs, with sapphic romance, and diverse characters (Muslim MC, Bengali MC’s, Queer MC’s), includes the fake-dating trope (where two characters pretend to date for whatever reason and end up actually falling in love), and with realistic happily-ever-afters?
 If you answered yes to any — and even if you somehow said no — I recommend: Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating.

Summary: The book follows our two main characters (told from dual perspectives) Hani and Ishu. Hani comes out as bisexual to her ‘friends’ and they invalidate her- like the biphobes they are- and tell her that she can’t be bisexual if she’s never dated a woman. Not wanting them to think she’s straight, Hani blurts out that she is dating a girl- Ishu. The only catch? She isn’t. Ishu is a perfect daughter and student and as such, she needs to win the Head Girl position. When the popular and beloved Hani proposes that they fake date to aid each other, Ishu agrees. There’s only one small problem: Ishu doesn’t want to fake date Hani, she wants to date her for real.

Review: You know those books that have you grinning ear-to-ear and swooning like crazy? This book was that. Adiba Jaigirdar is a phenomenal sapphic romance writer (I highly recommend ‘The Henna Wars’ as well) and all her books have diverse characters that are usually queer. The book was fast-paced, sweet, funny, and so, so cute. The ending was sort of rushed (though not in a BAD way) and Hani was kind of annoying (fight for yourself, jeez) but overall I enjoyed this book a lot and I rated it 4.25 / 5 stars.

Jazleen H.

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