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Teen Review - History Is All You Left Me

January 17, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha, with thanks to "Helena at TPL for sending the ARC my way!"

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Rating: 4/5 stars

History is all you left me coverHistory Is All You Left Me follows Griffin as he mourns and tries to come to terms with the death of one of his best friends and his first love. There is guilt and the complex relationships at play, as well as the memories and the things left unsaid.

I read History Is All You Left Me for two weeks and a couple days. As a voracious reader, it is unlikely that I take even a week to read a single book and yet, I read this book over a long period of time and I think I enjoyed it more for it. I feel so connected to the story as it has been actively taking up a part of my mind for the better part of a month and this story is one that will stay with me for a long while yet.

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Teen Review - The Boy Most Likely To

January 14, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Rifa, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The boy most likely to coverThe Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a young adult contemporary novel that focuses on Tim Mason’s and Alice Garrett’s story. I anticipated this book to be a light-hearted romance that focused on the relationship between the two main characters. However, this book was much more than that and actually brought up quite a bit of serious topics. In this story we deal with two different perspectives. The first one is Tim who is an alcoholic, abuses drugs, gets kicked out of his home and has an unexpected surprise coming at him a little bit after the beginning of the book. The second perspective is Alice, a girl who struggles to take care of her large family while her dad is in the hospital recovering from an injury.

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Teen Review - Never Always Sometimes

January 12, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Tasmi, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Never always sometimes coverJulia and Dave are longterm best friends that are just about to start their freshmen year in high school. But they aren’t your typical cliché best friends that will end up being a quarterback of the football team, or the cheerleading captain and grow apart like other high schoolers. Right before they embark on their journey towards the next four years of high school, they write a Never List, that includes all the cliché things you could do, and vow to never do any of them. Some of the rules are like, #5 Never dye your hair the colour of rainbows, or #7 Never hook up with a teacher. But of course, rules are meant to be broken, as Dave broke rule #8 Never pine silently after someone for the eternity of high school. 

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Teen Review - Frostblood

January 10, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Review by Fariha, with "thanks a ton to HBG Canada for providing me with an ARC! All quotes are from the ARC and are subject to change."

Rating: 2/5 stars
Release Date: January 10, 2017

Frostblood coverFrostblood by Elly Blake was one of the 2017 releases I was eagerly waiting to get in my hands because it’s a High Fantasy novel by a Canadian author that involves powers of frost and fire, a deadly tournament and a thirst for revenge. What more could a girl want? Possibly for the book to be actually good, whoops.

As excited as I was, the very first chapters disappointed me. I hadn’t realized that the book was in first person, which is my least favourite of the POVs (2nd person might be slightly uncomfortable but it’s interesting) and I find 1st person to usually be very un-atmospheric in fantasy. I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t unique or memorable. The events that were occurring seemed abrupt but not engaging. I felt my hopes for the book crashing around me as I read the first couple pages. Also, the beginning of the book required empathy, or at least sympathy, to make any impact from the readers but there was nothing that made the reader empathetic. Oh, look, something terrible that happens in literally every other book happened! I care so much!

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Your Bookmark Here: Vassa in the Night

January 8, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

VassaIn the mystical and magical land of Brooklyn lives Vassa and her not so pleasant stepmother and constantly  bickering step sisters. The wealthy and glamorous people put on their absolutely adorable shoes and go out partying often. There is a huge cultural divide between the upper class people and the working class and they don't mix. Magic is often to be found and dealt with but many times it is wiser just to leave magic alone. 

The local convenience store is run by Babs Yagg (think legend Babba Yagga) who has no issues with beheading shoplifters or dealing with people with her own personal sense of justice.  One night Vassa is sent out by her bickering step sisters to get light bulbs. This is very much a death sentence as she knows what can happen at the convenience store, but she herself has her own little piece of magic that she carries with her. Vassa just may be able to free her Brooklyn neighborhood from Babs but only if the playing field is level and fair. 

Vassa in the Night is a thrilling modern take on a fairy tale. Indulge yourself and give it a read.

Place a hold on Vassa in the Night, by Sarah Porter.        

Teen Review - Moana: The Perfect Disney Movie

January 5, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Vyshnavi

MoanaWhen one thinks of Disney princesses, they probably picture your average young white maiden, who is a magically talented damsel in distress. Said damsel in distress would obviously need a young, strong, powerful prince to save her. Not to mention both princess and Prince are drop dead gorgeous. How typical of Disney. Moana breaks all of these stereotypes.

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Teen Review - Six of Crows

January 3, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha

Six of crows coverWe are all someone’s monster.

Leigh Bardugo just became one of those authors whose shopping lists I’d read with this book. While I enjoyed Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, it did not affect me as emotionally as Six of Crows has. Six of Crows is about a heist crew with an impossible mission but there is no better group of misfits fit for the job.

None of the characters here are good, per se. They are greedy, they are recklessly ambitious, they are very much morally ambiguous, sometimes they are cruel, everybody has a past that made them that way and the readers can get behind their goals and, despite the characters’ flaws. Leigh Bardugo clearly has a gift for creating dark, scheming, lovable characters who are not heroes but the readers cheer them on despite that.

I was going to talk about a favourite character here but then realized that I simply cannot choose. I’d have a better luck choosing a single favourite book than a favourite character from this book. What does that say?

What is the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?

Knife to the throat?

Gun to the back?

Poison in his cup?

You’re all horrible.

The easiest way to steal a man’s watch is to tell him you’re going to steal his watch.

Inej is the purest of them all and I love her. Kaz is one greedy bastard but I love how clever he is. I approve of 0% of Jesper’s actions but I want to give him a hug. Wylan needs a hug because reasons. Nina’s sassy confidence is unforgettable and her mistakes only make her human. I LIVE for Matthias’ character development. I love them all so much.

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TOP 5 MOVIES TO WATCH THIS HOLIDAY

December 28, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Hannah, Runnymede Branch Youth Advisory Group member

You don't know what to do this holiday? You don't want to go out in this weather? Too lazy to read a book? The best thing to do is stay home and watch movies - let this post help you decide what to watch!  

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Top Ten Teen Holds of 2016

December 27, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

Want to know the hottest books of 2016? Well, a lot of great teen books were published in 2016 and we've rounded up the most popular for you. These were the top ten placed on hold at Toronto Public Library this year. These books are in hot demand, so place your holds now!

The Crown The Glass Sword United as One Lady Midnight The Last Star


Court of Mist and Fury Torch Against the Night The Fever Code Stars Above Raven King

  1. The Crown, by Kiera Cass (ebook)
  2. Glass Sword, by Victoria Aveyard (ebook)
  3. United as One, by Pittacus Lore (ebook)
  4. Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare (ebook)
  5. The Last Star, by Richard Yancey (ebook)
  6. A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah Maas (ebook)
  7. A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir (ebook)
  8. The Fever Code, by James Dashner (ebook)
  9. Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection, by Marissa Meyer (ebook)
  10. The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater (ebook)

Your Bookmark Here: Stealing Snow

December 25, 2016 | Cameron | Comments (0)

1681190761Danielle Paige burst onto the scene a few years ago with her re-imagining of the land of OZ. In her new title "Stealing Snow" she has taken the fairy tale of "The Snow Queen" (think Frozen but the original story" and re-imagined it as a modern day pilgrimage of a young woman finding herself.

The heroine of the book, 17 year old Snow, has been in a mental health institution for most of her life. She suffers from visions and delusions, however she is convinced that she does not belong there and that the things in her head are actually memories and not an affliction. She meets the handsome and mysterious (you have to have some fairy tale tropes) Bale and he helps her to escape.

Once out of the institution and into the woods the line between reality and fairy tale becomes even more blurred as New York City fades and she is in a Narnia like world where there is magic and witches and thieves. Snow may very well belong in this world, but is it a place that she can survive?

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