City of Saints & Thieves (Penguin Teen, $24.99) reviewers were right; Natalie C. Anderson’s book was both fast-paced and nail biting. But beyond that, it was a rich, sad, hopeful story filled with characters who are good, good and bad, and just evil.

Stories like these make me appreciate the life – and opportunities – I have, and grateful my grandparents chose Canada as a place to call home.

Tina, the main character, certainly didn’t have, or will ever have, the choices I have. It is because of her lack of choices, mainly due to where she lives and the fact she is a woman, that she chooses her path. And what a path.

Along the way, you meet some pretty interesting characters, both good and bad; learn about a world that seems so foreign to our own; and find more out about Tina and her mom.

My heart breaks for the characters in this book, and the real people whose stories are not that different.

Visit https://booktime584.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/qa-with-former-child-solider-and-toronto-resident-michel-chikwanine/ to read Toronto resident Michel Chikwaine’s story about being forced to be a a child solider in Democratic Republic of Congo rebel militia.

A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Canada for honest review.

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