Penguin Teen Social 2019 - Recap (May 23, 2019)

Right before going to NYC for BEA/BookCon, I got to be at Penguin Teen Social event at Penguin Random House Canada HQ - effectively, kicking off my bookish 2 weeks. I was trying to write and upload this post before I left, but there was just too much happening!

I love going to book events in Canada as I get to see lots of bookish friends and bloggers! Not to mention get my hands on the newest releases. And this event was not an exception.

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My Top 5 Favourite Under-appreciated YA Books | Blogmas Day 1

While thinking about what topics to do for Blogmas, I realized that there are several YA books that I really love, but which seem to be either unpopular among bloggers/booktubers or simply have lower than I would have expected ratings on GoodReads. So, I decided to make a list of those! Let me know if you have read any of these! :D

Anything Could Happen

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton Genre: contemporary, romance, LGBT+ Tagline: When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen. My review: Perhaps, some readers might consider this book a bit cliched. But for me, it was sweet and realistic, and the plot was very well executed. If you liked "Simon vs Homo Sapiens Agenda", you will enjoy "Anything Could Happen". However, this book has more real-life problems in it, which I really appreciated. My rating: 4 stars GoodReads link Buy this book





Hero by Perry Moore Genre: drama, superhero, LGBT+ Tagline: To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his father's past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be. My review: This book broke my heart a bit. Mostly because of Thom's father. The plot switches between contemporary drama and superhero action, which can seem a bit jumbled, but it is well-written overall. Sadly, this was the only book by Perry Moore. Since it was published in 2007, I feel as if few people know of it. My rating: 4 stars GoodReads link Buy this book



The Abyss Surrounds Us

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Genre: dystopian, sci-fi, pirates, LGBT+
Tagline: Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?
My review: This book has amazing sea monsters that are reminiscent of those in Pacific Rim. Plus, pirates. Plus, badass girls. Definitely, a must read! I had some issues with the writing at times, but it is a solid book for a debut. It is book one in duology, but I am yet to read the sequel.
My rating: 4 stars



Made of Stars

Made of Stars by Kelley York
Genre: contemporary, suspense/thriller, LGBT+
Tagline: Even the stars are lies
My review: I loved this book! I read it almost in one sitting, and I couldn't put it down. Told from the three perspectives of three characters, don't let it full you that it is going to be a fluffy contemporary romance. It is not. It is realistic, thrilling and the ending broke my heart. (How could you, Kelley, how could you?!) I have been wanting to re-read it for a while, but I am terrified to.
My rating: 5 stars



27 Hours

27 Hours (The Nightside Saga #1) by Tristina Wright
Genre: dystopian, sci-fi, LGBT+
Tagline: Hour zero means war.
My review: I have read and reviewed this book on my blog (LINK), and it is a new release. However, I am adding it here as it has not enough (in my opinion) positive reviews for such an amazing book. It is definitely one of my favourites of 2017.
Read it and have Beatles' "Hey Jude" forever stuck in your head.
My rating: 5 stars
Here are all of my under-appreciated (in my opinion) YA books, and hey! All of them have queer characters! ?

More of my Blogmas 2017 posts

More of my book reviews

**Some of the links might be affiliated.

Happy Canada Day: Book Recommendations


Happy 150th Birthday, Canada! Have a wonderful maple-syrup-sweet and fun weekend. I put together a list of some of books by Canadian authors that I don't see recommended a lot. Or not at all. So, if you would like to see what I have read by Canadian writers and enjoyed - read on!

This blog post (sadly) does not contain any affiliated links, but I will link to my reviews and GoodReads pages for you to learn more about those books.


"Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur

If you are from Canada and haven't seen (or read) this collection of poetry and prose by a Toronto author, Rupi Kaur, you must be living under a rock (or in an igloo). It is a collection about love, abuse, pain and betrayal. So, consider yourself warned.

Personal rating: 4 stars



Long Story Short: An Anthology of (mostly) Ten-Minute Plays, edited by Rebecca Burton

This is one of my favourite anthologies to date and includes scripts and plays by Canadian playwrights from coast to coast. I have read and reviewed this collection on my blog.

Personal rating: 4.5


"Jane, The Fox and Me" by Fanny Britt

It is a cute middle grade picture book/graphic novel. I adored it. (And not only because it has a fox on the cover and in the title.)

Personal rating: 4.5 stars



"Hark! A Vagrant" by Kate Beaton

You probably have seen Kate's cartoons all over tumblr even if you don't recognize the book title or her name. Go check it out through - it is hilarious and has the best Canadian memes ever.

Personal rating: 4 stars




"The Lady Paranorma" by Vincent Marcone

A creepy and unique graphic novel from a visual artist. Plus, you get a challenge throw in - you need to find cardinal birds throughout the book. I loved it.

Personal rating: 4 stars



"Through the Woods" by Emily Carroll

Five creepy stories with gorgeous illustrations. If you like Brothers Grimm's like fairytales and graphic novels - it is a must have. I loved it so much, that I gave it to my friend as a gift. (But I still don't own a copy myself, why....) If you are at it - check out another book by Emily Carroll co-authored with Marika McCoola - "Baba Yaga's Assistant" - I liked it slightly less but the art is great!

Personal rating: 4.5 stars


"The Liszts" by Kyo Maclear, Julia Sarda (illustrated)

Another graphic novel with gorgeous art (I know, I have a trend here). It is super short but I want my own copy. Because a) the art, and b) I love making lists.

Personal rating: 4.5 stars




And here are 3 books that I haven't read yet but would like still recommend.


The Secret Loves of Geek Girls by Hope Nicholson (edited)

I was lucky to be at the panel with some of those lovely lady authors. This is a collection of stories and graphics and illustrations all about geek girls, and insecurities, and loves, etc. One of the stories was even written by Margarett Atwood (I couldn't NOT mention the dame of Canadian literature, eh). I am yet to read it myself but I heard only great things.



"The World Needs More Canada" by Indigo

It is a coffee table type of picture book that celebrates Canada and the country's 150th anniversary. It definitely looks pretty on my shelf :)




"Now You Know Canada: 150 Years of Fascinating Facts" by Doug Lennox

I picked it up at the library because I want to know more about Canada. Although I have a feeling the book might be 2/3 hockey facts :D



I hope you enjoyed my list, and Happy Canada Day, eh!