Helen Oyeyemi is a masterful writer—poetic, witty, and captivating. Each of the short stories in this collection is tentatively connected by their characters and by themes of locks, keys, doors and books, yet each also seems to create its own secret world. In each new world, I was immediately entranced by its mystery and, inevitably, its poignant tragedy.
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 26th, 2016
Beautiful, heartbreaking, a must-read. Told through the perspective of a child forced to navigate a dangerous and confusing world, this story is about discovering truth in a world that lies in many languages. In the way that children learn a first language, some things are understood without needing to be expalined. This is how we discover some things to be magical, no matter the explanation behind them. This is how we learn that love is dangerous—and our only hope for survival.
Uprooted is an unapologetic fairy tale brimming with enchantments, sorcery, and foreboding evil forces; reading it reminded me of why I fell in love with magic. Like my teenage self, Agnieszka is inexperienced, completely naive, and a total klutz, yet she kicks some wizarding butt as she learns to trust herself and outsmarts some really pompous bullies. This book has a bit of everything a good fantasy should: undying frienships, gory swordfights, and sparks-flying romance—yes, things get a little steamy—so read it and let's talk about it! But seriously, it's good.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 4th, 2016
I don't think I can accurately describe how powerful this book was to me. The women who live in these pages are fictional characters, but they are oh so real. Mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, young women, old women, soon to be dying women, these stories tell it all through the eyes of women who have born their burdens, braved their struggles, and come out alive, if barely. Tough women, strong women—not strong because they have control over their world, rather as life deals them inevitable abuse and violation, these women show their resilience by baring their scars.
If you love epic fantasy worlds, complete with elaborate histories, lore, and systems of magic; if you enjoy multiple story lines following fleshy characters; if you are intrigued by intricate power struggles that promise to develop over many more books to come; then you must start reading the first book in this great new fantasy series by Michael J. Sullivan.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 1st, 2016
Clever and fearless, The Diabolic doesn't hold back. Set in an inter-galactic future with a political structure based on the ancient Roman Empire, violent plots and ruthless adversaries are interwoven with dysfunctional families, first loves, and unbreakable friendships. Topped off with a kick-ass protagonist named Nemesis, this book is pretty awesome.
If you haven't read Nicola Yoon's first novel, Everything, Everything, I'm going to tell you to read it right now. But then, you must read The Sun Is Also a Star, which is even better. Yoon creates characters that you are sure to fall in love with and stories that are both real and hopelessly optimistic. For fans of John Green, these are must-reads.
Not only an insightful reimagining of a biblical figure, this is a great novel in its own right. Framed in a beautifully crafted historic setting, fleshed with brokenly human characters, and propelled by a gripping plot of war and politics, this is a story of how one man lead a struggling nation of farmers to become a kingdom feared by their neighbors. It is a story of great love and great loss, great faith and great failings. I haven't stopped thinking about it.
Amy Leach's essays are quick and refreshing, the perfect lunchtime read. They are also both whimsical and fascinating. Like taking a nature walk guided by a woodland fairy, Amy's writing will show you the world around you (and perhaps the world inside you) through a new, fantastic perspective.
With eerie and visceral prose, Ottessa Moshfegh latches onto the fundamental human experience of realizing that you are a dark, fragile, and volatile creature deep inside. Most of us experience this realization in solitude, when we stare nakedly into a mirror and examine our deepest fears, embarrassments, and imperfections. Eileen dwells in this awareness. This might seem an un-endearing quality for a first-person narrative, but as Eileen seeks human connection, she reveals to us an honest, and not hopeless, glimpse of our race in all its desperate wanting.
The Accident Season is a haunting and riveting tale that shows how sometimes the memories and relationships that shape us can be as unshakeable as ghosts and as deadly as a curse. A perfect read for a gloomy October night, or anytime you want to feel some goose prickles.
Things get complicated when a girl who is allergic to everything falls in love for the first time. Madeline's story will make you feel all the feels as she chooses between the safety of the world she knows and the adventure of the unknown, finally discovering what is worth Everything, Everything.
This book is perfect for introverted book nerds or anyone who loves The Little Prince.
Though only a few pages each, I haven't been able to read two of these stories consecutively. Like eating a hearty meal, reading one of these stories requires that you sit back awhile upon finishing. Not to say that they are heavy or tedious, rather that they leave a rich, lingering flavor that is best appreciated when allowed to unfold slowly. Great for a long train ride or a quiet evening.
This story is about the "green and crazy summer" during which 12 year old Frankie "belonged to no club" and "hung around in doorways." I usually love stories with child protagonists and McCullers depicts the end of childhood so well.
Also, the descriptions of summer are so vivid that I always feel like it's summer, no matter what the weather's like.
I love staring at the art in this series. I think I actually got tangled up once in Batwoman's hair just by reading this. The storyline and characters are well developed, and this is a great book to introduce the series.
This memoir is in the form of a graphic novel and is beautifully illustrated in shades of red and grey. Bechdel uses classic literature, psychological studies, and her own keen insight to explore and better understand her relationship with her mother, and, in the process, better understand herself.
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - December 7th, 2010
This AMAZING series is what made me fall in love with books! It's the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to follow her dreams and become a knight. These books are packed with action, adventure, the drive to overcome adversity, and just the right amount of MAGIC!!
A world full of superpowers, but no heroes... Set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, the city is ruled by the most notorious and powerful Epic (as the superpowered are known), Steelheart. One ordinary boy, David, has a plan to take down Steelheart and stop the Epics' reign over humanity. This is an action-packed ride that grabs you from the start, keeps you guessing, and leaves you wanting more.
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 11th, 2013
The Game: Book One is a well written sci-fi-esque young adult novel. It's a fast paced action packed story with description that will pull you in and leave you wanting more. I would love to give a detailed synopsis of the story line but it would ruin half of the fun of reading the book. While it's not necessarily post apocalyptic, fans of the genre will love it! This book will keep you guessing until the very end and you won't be disappointed.
I love Russian novels -- give me Tolstoy or Dostoevsky and I'll be entertained for days. It's hard to adapt/capture the feelings evoked by these classic Russian novels in the 21st centure, let alone by the hand of an American author. Towles came damn close, through this tale of a count sentenced to life in the Metropol Hotel, which is across from the Kremlin in Moscow. Recounting days spent and lives lived in this swanky hotel, this book offers a great escape. Highly recommend!
I usually struggle with plots that move back and forth through space and time, but this book flowed unlike any I've ever read. It is beautifully written and very moving. You'll also learn a lot about Chechnya.
This novel was an awesome surprise and became one of my favorite books of the pst year. A man gets a large settlement after a mysterious injury and goes about using the money to "re-create" specific moments in his life when he felt happy, hiring actors and designing sets etc...The he re-creates a bank heist and things dissolve into chaos from there.
In an informative and equally entertaining fashion, Foer sheds light
on the animal farming industry in The United States. Filled with
personal stories and anecdotes, this book reads like fiction with all
the facts of non-fiction. A great read!
The watch was one of my favorite fiction reads last year. The story describes a sentinel event for the characters during the Afghan war. Each chapter tells the same event from a different characters point of view. My heart raced and pounded as if I were present.