Maud


Title: Maud
Author: Melanie Fishbane
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Lucy Maud Montgomery lives with her maternal grandparents in Cavendish PEI. Her mother died when she was twenty-one months old and her father moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Maud had trouble with her teacher the previous year, so she was sent to live with her Aunt Emily for a while. However, Maud still causes trouble for her grandparents when she returns. They find her secret diary which ruins their relationship. She also starts to have a relationship with Nate, the stepson of the Baptist minister. This is a problem because her family is Presbyterian. These incidents lead her grandparents to send her out to live with her father. But her life doesn’t get easier when she has to deal with his new wife and family. Throughout all of this, Maud finds solace in her writing, both stories and letters to her friends.

The beginning of this story shows Maud being immature and playing with her friends. Though she is fourteen, she acts younger. She often passes notes with Nate and her best friend Mollie. But when everyone else grows up around her, like her cousin Pensie, she also matures.

Maud changes throughout the novel as her situation changes. She acts like a child with her friends in PEI but she has to grow up quickly when she faces her stepmother, who treats her like her personal maid. Maud has to adapt to this new life, where she must defend herself.

Though there were hints of her inspiration for Anne of Green Gables, Maud wasn’t portrayed as her iconic character. Sometimes, stories about authors just show them acting like their characters, but that wasn’t the case with this one.

I liked this story about Canada’s most famous female author.

Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud

Title: Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud
Author: Anne Helen Petersen
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Plume
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Unruly women are ones who don’t fit into the stereotypical box set out for women. Ten different celebrities are described in this book in the way that they are unruly. Serena Williams is “too strong” because she is such a powerful tennis player. Melissa McCarthy is “too fat” in today’s culture that doesn’t want to see fat people on their screens. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham is “too naked” because she doesn’t contour her body into the perfect nude image. In a similarly unruly way, Nicki Minaj flaunts her sexuality in her own way, which puts her in the category of “too slutty.” The creators of Broad City, Anni Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, are “too gross” because they discuss female topics that are usually taboo. Madonna is “too old,” Kim Kardashian is “too pregnant,” and Hillary Clinton is “too shrill.” Caitlyn Jenner has used her trans identity to give a voice to marginalized trans women, but she is considered “too queer,” while Jennifer Weiner’s outspoken opinions on women in publishing have made her “too loud.”

This book covers many aspects of women that are always being criticized like sexuality, age, and size. This makes it very relateable.

I like that these celebrities are discussed through a feminist lens. It demonstrates that (for most of them) their professional decisions from interviews to clothing choices have been premeditated choices that contributes to their identity.

This book is perfect for the feminist movements happening right now. It also made me view some of the celebrities in a more positive light because they are making conscious decisions to become the “unruly” women they are today. I really liked this book.

Infinite Seven Volume 1

 

Title: Infinite Seven V.1
Author: Dave Dwonch
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Anthony plans on spending the summer playing video games while his parents are away on a business trip. He invites his friend from a coffee shop over to have a movie marathon. But his plans are ruined when Smash Brannagan storms into his house asking about Mavara. Anthony has no idea who she is and he gets his dad’s gun in defense. When Smash doesn’t back down, Anthony shoots and kills him. This immediately makes him a member of the Infinite Seven. Whoever kills a member takes their place and has to go by their name. Though Anthony killed Smash, he doesn’t think he’s powerful enough to be part of the Infinite Seven. But he is able to use his video game knowledge to work alongside them to find and defeat Mavara.

This graphic novel was very good. The group of “superheroes” reminded me of Marvel groups.

The way that Anthony figured out a way to use his computer skills to fight with everyone else was very clever. I think kids would be able to relate to this since video games are so popular today.

The ending of the story had a good twist. It really hooked me and made me want to read more. I’m going to have to look for the next volume.

Girl Last Seen

Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Nina Laurin
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Ten years after she was found, Lainey learns that a ten-year-old girl has gone missing. The girl resembles her, so she knows she was taken by the same kidnapper. Lainey was held by him for three years from the time she was ten. However, the police contact Lainey to help them because of her connection to the girl: she’s her birth mother. Lainey has to use her unique position to help find Olivia Shaw while also finding her own kidnapper. 

This is an original thriller with many twists and turns. It reminded me of the stories in the last few years of girls being held captive for many years.

This story also demonstrates the different media coverage that cases get, depending on who the missing child is. Lainey’s story wasn’t as popular because her mother was in jail, whereas Olivia’s family is very wealthy so they had a lot of media coverage.

I really liked this thrilling novel!

Here and Gone

Title: Here and Gone
Author: Haylen Beck
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Audra Kinney was driving her two children, Sean and Louise, across the country from New York to California when she was pulled over by Sheriff Whiteside. He claimed that he thought her car was loaded down too much at the back, so he offered to help her unload some things into his car. But when he reached into one of her boxes in the trunk, he found a bag of marijuana, more than would be considered for personal use. He arrested her and had his deputy come and take her children to “a safe place.” However, when he brings Audra into the station and she asks where her children are, he says “what children?”

This was a chilling thriller. My heart was racing through the whole book. I was hooked right from the beginning, when I didn’t even know why Audra was escaping something in New York with her children.

I liked that it was a small cast of characters, so they could be developed. The perspective switched between characters too. Even though I knew who had taken the children, the story was exciting because they were still in danger.

I highly recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers!

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Title: World of Warcraft: Dark Riders
Author: Mike Costa, Neil Googe
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

Mardigan is always looking for a fight. So when his latest victim is found dead, he is the first suspect. He runs away to find the wolf cult. Meanwhile, his father, Karlain, has gone on a quest to find a missing artifact. When he returns home, he finds his house torn apart and covered in blood. He is sure that something happened to his son but the officials say that his son is a murderer. He doesn’t believe it, so he goes on a search for his son and the wolf cult.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. It’s a good story and has nice pictures.

I’m a huge fan of World of Warcraft so I had to read this book! It was really cool to see the world on the page. But even if you don’t play the game, you could understand the story.

Small Hours


Title: Small Hours
Author: Jennifer Kitses
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Tom starts his day by taking his three-year-old daughters to see the sunrise. Then he goes into the office, where he is a news editor. His mind isn’t on his work though. He’s thinking about the other three-year-old daughter he has with his former boss and mistress in the city. Meanwhile, his wife, Helen, picks up their twin daughters from preschool, where their tuition is late. She then has an altercation with some teenage girls, which frightens her daughters. She spends the rest of her day in fear of the teenagers retaliating in some way, while also working from home. Tom and Helen live their lives full of secrets told in this hour by hour story.

This story was a little slow at the beginning. It was describing the mundane activities of their lives, such as Tom’s commute into work and Helen’s workout in the gym. Also, the story wasn’t just about what was happening during that day. There was a lot of background of Tom’s past relationship, so it wasn’t all told in the present. I think this information could have been given in a different way, so that it didn’t have to flash back to years ago, but could stay within the 24 hours of the story.

This story was well written. The hourly account of the couple’s lives is a unique form. I really liked the tension at the end. However, it was left on a cliffhanger which could have been more dramatic.