Monday, May 25, 2015

Mental Preparation Will Be Amy's Downfall

I could actually really like the second book but it wasn't the one I planned to talk about! Also, everyone should read The Raven Boys. Always.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Alex Is Reading...MAGONIA

Maria Dahvana Headley's Magonia isn't exactly the book you think it's going to be. When it starts off, its protagonist is on the verge of dying from a mysterious respiratory illness that has plagued her for her entire life. All right, you think. Here goes another acerbic, wonderful dying teen girl, leaving behind her grieving best friend, and his analytical genius mind, and his tendency to recite pi when he's upset.

Okay, so that already sounds like some darn good writing in the sick teens genre. The thing is, that is not the whole story. The rest of the story is the explanation for this setup: that Aza Ray, seemingly unsuited to the basic facts of life on Earth, isn't strictly speaking of the Earth. That while she wheezes through hospital visits, ships fill the skies invisible to humankind, and birds who sing heart-songs live in people's chests. That while she waits for the day she will die (too young), shapeshifters and flying cities and missing mothers and brutal politics close in. They are coming to rip Aza Ray out of the only world she remembers, into one where she is told that she belongs.

Magonia is a brand-new book, inventive, soaring, and unique, and definitely one to check out.


1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Boy crosses forbidden wall in normal English village; nine months later, boy is left with a baby. Some years after that, the baby goes back across the wall to catch a fallen star for the girl he thinks is the love of his life. Instead he finds out the the star is a (very interesting) person, gets in a lot of trouble at the hands of greedy witches and power-hungry princes, and discovers that his birthright has been on that side of the wall all along...

2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina has been hiding her half-dragon heritage for her entire life. That has meant hiding herself. But her music is beginning to draw her into the limelight, dragon-human politics are becoming increasingly tense, and Seraphina has just learned that she and other half-dragons can find each other telepathically. Soon Seraphina may have to take a stand--where everyone can see it. The long-long-long anticipated sequel to this one just came out, and you'll be glad you don't have to wait.

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

After Gemma Doyle's mother is murdered, Gemma is sent packing from India to attend her mother's old boarding school. The only saving grace of the school, aside from Gemma's few friends, is a magical discovery: a haunting other world where they have the power to make everything they dream of real. But they're not the only people who know about this magical country--and some of what lurks there is deadly and heartless.

4. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

The first thing that happens is that Elizabeth Marie Hall dies in a car crash. Then, the story begins: Liz arrives in a strange, quiet place--not quite heaven, not hell, just...elsewhere. As she adjusts to life after death, her family grieves her in their life after her death. Will any of them be able to let go? Surprisingly, Elsewhere isn't a devastating book--it's thoughtful, original, and about learning to look for what comes next.

5. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Impetuous Lyra has grown up sheltered by Oxford's many walls, with only herself and Pan, the animal embodiment of her soul, for company. But thanks to the machinations of distant parents and heartless strangers, she is thrust into a world of witches, portals, armored bears, missing children, and cruel plots that could forever twist her world into an ugly, death-filled place.


So those are my recommendations for if you want to get your head into the clouds instead of out of them. None of them are entirely safe, but they're sure to be exhilarating. Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May Television Inspired Lit

Summer is quickly approaching. For those of us who watch television shows weekly (read: not on Netflix), we're going to be losing our favorite Wednesday night activity. Luckily, we've got some books that will give us our fill of demon butt-kicking! 

If you like Supernatural, try these titles:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Everyone Does Things Their Own Way

There's something fitting about the fact that the eraser decided to chew on this particular strip.

Monday, April 27, 2015


If you have come into the store recently, you might have noticed that things feel slightly different right around the young adult section. That is because, let me gleefully tell you, this year the YA section achieved the holy bookstore grail of MORE SHELF SPACE. We now have an entire extra bookcase for this awesome and beloved (and you know we love it--have you seen all the recs we have up over there?) section. And we are doing everything we can with it.

Point One--We have a nonfiction section! From biography to history to self-help, you can check out the top shelf for some truly excellent books. Model is Cheryl Diamond's memoir of entering the cutthroat world of high fashion in NYC. In The Pregnancy Project, teenager Gaby Rodriguez feigns pregnancy to find out firsthand the limits of people's acceptance. Award-winning children's author Jack Gantos relates his time in prison in Hole in My Life. And here you can also find National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming.

Point Two--Below nonfiction you will also find YA poetry and short story anthologies! Pro tip: short stories are a great way to find new authors, get around an antsy brain, or read on public transit. The Great War is a new anthology of World War II stories by incredible authors, each based on a real relic from the war. Love and Profanity will bring you a more modern realistic angle, and Rags & Bones is a very cool collection of retold classics. For poetry, try Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets For the Next Generation.

Point Three--All of your devoted kids' booksellers got to suggest some older books to bring in, books we desperately want to give you so that you can be as happy about them as we are. There are a bunch (and you should ask us when you see us what they are), but here are a few.

Kylie brought in The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold, a quaint story about a girl who goes to a B&B with her family and then gets sucked into a Victorian version of the hotel by an angry ghost who probably wants to kill her. She also picked Kenneth Oppel's exuberant and exhilarating steampunk novel Airborn, which is one of her favorite books OF ALL TIME.

Clarissa picked Lauren DeStefano's Wither, the first book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy--a dystopian romance of epic bioengineering proportions--and Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist, a satisfyingly creepy blend of mystery, horror, and monster thriller.

Amy got us four-books-in-one Balefire, which includes secret twins, secret magic, and New Orleans witchcraft--basically everything good--and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's Den of Shadows Quartet, which is absolutely delightful supernatural fantasy about tough girls, beautiful guys, and scary close-knit families with weapons and magic powers. Also, AA-R wrote them as a teenager. We should all be so awesome.

I, Alex asked for the Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones, because they are brain-tickling, lively, funny, wonderful fantasies. And if you like Supernatural or The Raven Boys or witchy, demonic, delightful books with great plots, you need to read Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon IMMEDIATELY.

There are other things happening in our department happening all the time, and we will tell you about more of them soon. For now, come browse our bigger, better, more ultimate YA section! You will find happiness there. It is full of good things.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Just Take Note Of How Many Pages You Have Left

It's even worse when someone comes up to the register and buys the book you're almost done with.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April's Television Inspired Literature

We love fairy tales, fairy tale adaptations, and spunky princesses who defy gender norms, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that we love, love, love ABC's Once Upon A Time!

Here are some books we think you'll like if you're a fan of the show: