Staff Picks by Tag

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A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

I think I’ve been waiting all my life to find this book. Or, perhaps, I’ve just been waiting for it to find me. With any translated novel there's a kind of unnameable wonder. So, I don’t know if it’s just the beauty of the translation itself from its original French text or something else entirely, but I haven’t read a book this magically alive since Harry Potter. Think of all your expectations of what a fantasy novel can be and know that this novel will surpass every single one. Gah! So this is love.


Review by Claire

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We Set the Dark on Fire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062691316
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 26th, 2019

Latinx culture. Near-future fantasy island. Espionage and arranged marriage. Queer romance.

 

In short, a gripping feminist story with excellent stakes, world-building, and character development that ends in a cliff-hanger. Let's just say I need book two of this duology immediately.


Review by Danielle

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A Short History of the Girl Next Door Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781524716103
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ember - December 24th, 2018

I have now read this book twice and, with both readings, finished it in one sitting. This hilarious and heartbreaking novel will make you laugh out loud and then cry so much you'll go through an entire box of Kleenex (or, maybe that's just me). Anddddd that's all I'm going to tell you because I promise it's just one of those books that is best approached--like most worthwhile things in life--by taking a chance and letting the story lead you where it will.  


Review by Claire

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Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781328567659
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

Trained by a convent of assassins under Death's employ, Ismae learns the many ways of anger management. Alternative history with fantastic costumes, intrigue, betrayal, and a satisfying conclusion (in that I proceeded to read the rest of the series right after). Excellent!


Review by Alex

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Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316341677
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 22nd, 2018

You won't want to miss a single sentence, word, not even one comma of this magical adventure. Goddesses, librarians, lost cities, adventures, fantastical dreams--have I convinced you yet? No? Well, then let me just add that this was hands down one of the most beautifully-written and imaginative books I've read in years (and, hold on to your hats folks, because the sequel is even better!). Now, what are you still doing here reading this review? Grab the book and start dreaming--I mean, reading!


Review by Claire

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Five Feet Apart Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534437333
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

Two teenagers with cystic fibrosis: they have a long list of DON'Ts but very few DOs. Stella sticks to her schedules and pins hope on a lung transplant. Will is ready to be 18, free of hospitals and his mother's race for a cure. An endearing and honest story of two teenagers learning there's more to living than simply surviving. 


Review by Danielle

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What If It's Us Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062795250
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperTeen - October 9th, 2018

The whole concept of “meant to be” is filled with lots of exhausting caveats. Are the stars aligned? Does everything feel effortless? Does it feel right? But really, fate and coincidence are all just little chances that we either take, or we don’t. At least, that’s what Ben and Arthur believe. When their meet-cute at a post office in New York City doesn't immediately lead into a romantic montage of bliss, they aren’t worried. By both believing that do-overs are an essential part of life and that important relationships don’t always come about effortlessly, Ben and Arthur’s romance is meant to be because they want it to be so. Through all the meet-cutes, witty dialogue, and, of course, the do-overs, this story is one of the sweetest I’ve read about all the awkwardness and wonder of falling in love for the first time. And who knows, it could be just the book you need? Maybe your reading of this review was…meant to be?


Review by Claire

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Mars One Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781481461627
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - March 27th, 2018

I often wish that there was more real science fiction in the young adult category. I was super excited to read Mars One and was amazed at the depth and thought put into this amazing story. A private company foots the bill to send the first humans to Mars. The impact on society and the world is profound. It was fascinating to experience first hand what life would be like if you were going to leave earth forever, live in space for months, and ultimately populate another planet. I raced through this and loved every minute!


Review by Patti H.

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American Street Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062473059
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 2018

Fabiola and her mother are moving to Detroit from Haiti to live with her aunt and cousins. But when her mother is detained without a green card, she must continue the journey alone. She's thrown into the complex challenge of navigating a Detroit high school while wrestling with her own identity as both Haitian and American. Fabiola's voice and her perspective on identity and immigration was moving. Zoboi so generously pours heart into all her characters. I fell in love with Fabiola, her cousins, and the entire community of American Street.


Review by Halley

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Dry Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481481960
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

I've come to expect a certain element of speechlessness every time I finish a Shusterman novel. A few audible gasps, some moments of gripping the pages so tightly in effort not to fall over in terror, etc. – the usual. However, I was not prepared for the thriller/urgent call to environmental action that is Dry. It's terrifyingly relevant to consider the ramifications of living in a world that's out of drinkable water. And the father-son Shusterman duo push this near-future dystopian narrative along around multi-dimensional and complex characters to wrestle with the question of how far desperation can take humans away from their humanity. It's been days since I read it, but I'm still haunted by this book.


Review by Claire

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