Review: Detached by Christina Kilbourne

detachedDetached
Christina Kilbourne
Dundurn Press
Available August 13, 2016

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After her grandparents’ unexpected deaths, Anna begins to feel untethered from her life. She fantasizes about suicide, the only end to the awful pressure of existing that she can see. On the outside, her best friend Aliya senses something isn’t right with her usually level-headed friend. But as Anna’s behavior becomes more and more erratic, it’s hard for her friends and family members to face the truth that something is deeply wrong.

This is a fairly dark story about a teenage girl suffering from depression. What I liked most was having the inside and outside views of Anna—in her point-of-view and her friend Aliya’s. I found it … Continue reading

Review: Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson

Finding Hope by Colleen NelsonFinding Hope
Colleen Nelson
Dundurn

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Sixteen year-old Hope is trapped in a small town as her family wrestles with her brother’s addiction to crystal meth. After her mom pushes her to apply for a prestigious boarding school over an hour away, she’s shocked to discover she’s been accepted. There’s only one problem: if she moves away, how will her brother, Eric, survive on the street without the money and food she regularly slips to him? When Eric learns Hope has gone away to school, he follows her to the city. Unfortunately, his inner demons only torment him harder as he draws nearer to the memories that pushed his former life completely … Continue reading

Review: Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait

Li Jun and the Iron RoadLi Jun and the Iron Road
Anne Tait
Dundurn

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Working as a servant to help her family becomes unbearable when Li Jun’s lecherous master makes it clear he plans to take advantage of her. As a Chinese woman in the 1880s, Li Jun has few other options. She makes a daring escape by disguising herself as a boy and living as a street urchin. When she hears of an opportunity to travel to British Columbia to work on the railroad, she realizes this could be the chance she has longed for: to follow in her father’s footsteps and discover what has kept him from returning home.

As Little Tiger, Li Jun befriends … Continue reading

Review: The Merit Birds by Kelley Powell

The Merit Birds by Kelley PowellThe Merit Birds
Kelley Powell
Dundurn Press

Furious. That’s how Cameron feels about leaving Canada during his senior year and missing his star spot on the basketball team. That’s how he feels about his dad being gone. And how he feels about living in Laos for a year with his mom.

Then Cam meets Somchai, who turns out to be a better friend than all of his friends at home combined. He meets Nok, the shy massage therapist who teaches him about doing good deeds for others. He begins to fall in love. With her gentle smile. With the slow, peaceful rhythm of life in Laos.

Nok’s brother Seng longs to do something useful. To save his sister from the knife’s edge of poverty. To … Continue reading

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer PayneSince You’ve Been Gone
Mary Jennifer Payne
Dundurn
Published February 17, 2015

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Edie has to be ready to run at any time. Even though it’s been years, he still chases them. She and her mom move again and again, trying to stay ahead of him, but somehow he always finds them. The most recent move takes them to London, where her mom grew up. It’s a foreign place to Edie, who struggles to grasp the slang and hide within the shelter of a clique of girls.

When her mother disappears, Edie has two choices: find Mom … Continue reading

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