Alli's Picks (page 1)
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When Alli, the behind-the-scenes receiver extraordinaire, isn't busy rescuing books from their oppressive boxes, she can be found drawing and illustrating and getting art degrees. She loves to read YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Manga. When she is not reading or keeping her Japanese sharp she is either playing tennis, the violin, or her Wii. Her cats' names are Ramses and Marco. Visit her website at AllisonLeighArt.com.
This breathtaking break in Novik's Temeraire series is like stepping into a Grimm fairy tale. It feels familiar and earthy, yet Agnieszka's fantastic journey is completely fresh. Novik's skillful use of language breathes depth and elegance into every aspect of the story, rendering it an instant classic. Filled with magic, a dangerous quest, friendship, and even a little romance, this is a must-read for any fan of fantasy.
This new and adventurous series by Rae Carson is truly golden! Fans will delight in leading-lady Leah, who's spirit and grit carries us along with her on the perilous journey to California during the American Gold Rush. Though Leah has "witchy powers" to find gold, the road to the Golden Coast is anything but easy. Under Carson's strong world-building and historical references, the long dusty trail comes alive, along with a compelling cast who face its trials together. If you're a fan of fantasy or history and are looking for a change of pace, this book is sure to please!
Calling all geek girls! This fun, upbeat celebration of all things nerd is sure to induce laughs and knowing nods, while reinforcing the voice women have in geekdom. From video games and TV shows, to anime and comics, Maggs draws from her experience as a professional geek to provide an entertaining break-down of all the facets of fandom. As an associate editor of the popular feminist nerd website, TheMarySue.com, she also includes interviews from ladies across geekdom, which demonstrate just how varied, and united, nerds can be. This is a must-have addition to any fangirl's bookshelf!
These days, social media is integral to the success of your business. But with so many options out there, where do you begin? Celebrated business guru Guy Kawasaki & social media expert Peg Fitzpatrick are here to offer this fast-paced, practical guide to all things social media. Kawasaki's dry humor and Fitzpatrick's clear advice make this book timely and effortless to understand. If you need a quick, fun refresh or a start-from-scratch resource, this book is for you!
This exciting second installment in Johansen's debut series further solidifies her ability to blend fantasy and dystopia with exciting results. A compelling, new voice enters the narrative alongside Queen Kelsea's as we experience Lily's terrifying domestic life and her collapsing North American society that feels uncomfortably familiar. How Lily and Kelsea's stories intertwine and relate is teased out over the course of the novel's action, and their connection ultimately lies at the heart of the mystery and magic propelling Kelsea's fate and that of her kingdom on the brink of annihilation. This sequel provides some answers fans have been dying to know, but raises even more questions that I can't wait to be revealed in the third book!
And you thought the ending of the first book had you jumping up-and-down? Wait until you sink into this equally thrilling sequel of revolution, courtly intrigue and misdirection. The stakes for Kestrel and Arin are even higher as they must both navigate the perils of the cunning Valorian Emperor's government, as well as their feelings for each other. Will the truth of their love ever prevail? Or is fate and circumstance determined to bring the unexpected... Fans of this series could not ask for a more gripping sequel for this break-out Young-Adult fantasy.
As a fellow late 20's-something, woman, small business owner, I can really appreciate Amoruso's Millennial perspective on entrepreneurship. Though her past is quite colorful, Amoruso's amusing, auto-bibliographical accounts tie in well with her hard-earned, spunky business sense. Overall, this reads like a youthful version of Lean In, aimed to inspire the new generation of #GirlBosses.
It's startling how quickly Kristen Simmon's seamless writing draws you in. Before I knew what was happening, Aya's triumphs and struggles became my own. From a harrowing capture by salvers in the forest, to making unlikely allies -including a wolf- in a cruel, futuristic city, Aya's journey both captivates and shocks while touching on attention-grabbing topics like reproductive rights. The fast-paced survival scenes, plot twists and raw emotions of this stand-alone are sure to entertain fellow fans of strong females in dystopian settings who try to beat the odds.
Fans of the Throne of Glass series, rejoice! Sarah J. Maas delivers yet again in this new, seductive fantasy series. Beauty and the Beast wishes it was this sexy, stunning and action packed. Under Maas's revision, the classic fairy tale becomes something entirely fresh and wonderfully exciting. Feyre (Fey-ruh) is a fierce heroine who's unwilling journey into the land of Fae will enchant you as much as the beautiful and dangerous characters who populate it. Rated "Older Teen" for cheek-flushing romance and shocking adrenaline-charged action.
To fantasy and dystopian fans alike, this edge-of-your-seat debut should be next on your To-Be-Read list! In a world where the color of your blood - Red or Silver - determines your fate - poor or royalty - Mare's journey of intrigue, action and betrayal is sure to delight fellow fans of The Grisha Trilogy and Shatter Me. Just remember, "anyone can betray anyone..."
"X-Men meets Assassin’s Creed 2 meets Game of Thrones."--Are you hooked yet? Then welcome to Marie Lu's compelling new foray into fantasy! Adelina is a dark heroine that you'll equally empathize with and be wary of. But as political tensions rise, she is as much a prisoner in her new role as rebel, as to her frightening new powers. Additional narratives from obsessive Teren and resolute Enzo add moral complexity to the power struggle shaping their world and Adelina's fate. And no one is safe in the final conflict. Cinematic battles and layered agendas make this an instant page-turner, and book two promises to be just as captivating!
No fuss and all fun. This is a well-crafted, adventurous, paranormal who-done-it that should appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Or, I dare say, convert some young minds to the appeal of eccentric characters like the aforementioned. The precise prose of this homage to the Great Sleuth will quickly whisk readers into a suspenseful case that leads our clever narrator, Abigal Rook, and her unconventional employer, Jackaby, into more danger and excitement than they bargain for! Fans of Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. will surely approve.
With imaginative world-building, easy-to-enjoy writing and a kick-butt heroine, Sara Raasch offers a lot to love in this Young-Adult fantasy debut. Though Meira, a headstrong refugee of the fallen kingdom of Winter, has a lot of growing up to do in her story, Raasch provides plenty of romance, action and magic to carry readers through a vividly realized and troubled world of kingdoms ruled by seasons. This is a must-read for fans of fantasy-driven titles like Throne of Glass and Graceling.
Talk about literally being your own worst enemy! Josephine Angelini returns with this exciting new young-adult series exploring alternate universes, witchcraft, and the sometimes blurred line between science and magic. This combination leads to a compelling new setting and magic system--a real feat in this crowded genre. Personally having family members encumbered by severe allergies, Lily makes a very relatable, underdog heroine and her spunk is sure to delight well established fans of strong female leads. Just watch out, there's a great cliffhanger!
Calling all Aladdin fans! Let the romance of the ancient Middle East lure you into this enchanting and adventurous debut by Amber Lough. Duty and love tug the strings of fate for Zayele and Najwa, spirited young women caught in the middle of a war between their people, mankind and the jinn of legend. Lough refreshingly pulls from exotic, underused sources to capture the posh and politics of palace life, while beautifully conjuring the vibrant yet demanding world of the jinni. The weight of secrets driving the espionage and action is sure to capture readers, while the accessible language will delight middle readers venturing into the young-adult genre.
Why sleep, when you can stay up reading this remarkable fantasy debut by Sabaa Tahir? Pages fly as the dueling narratives of efficient, yet reluctant assassin, Elias, and terrified, would-be-rebel, Laia, immerse you into their shockingly harsh world. Tahir handles the language and pace of her story as lethally as Elias controls a spinning scythe. And the depth of even minor characters adds complexity to a world pressed in on all sides with dread and foreboding. This read isn't for sissies, and should appeal to fans who love the dark intensity of The Hunger Games and the fantasy element driving such tiles as Graceling.
Daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise! Enter Mary Pearson’s newest novel. Set in what is an assumedly post-post-post-post apocalyptic age, it is enjoyable exploring an eerily familiar yet distant world with Princess Lia on her willing, and ultimately, unwilling adventure. Her growth as a character is smooth and believable, and her trials the kind the adventuresome crave and the dramatic cling to. Her dueling love interests are not overly played, though they are definitely at the heart of the story. As the title suggests though, this love triangle is full of deceptions as much for Lia as for the reader. Overall, this is a fun story with real tread, populated by believable characters, colorful settings, and plenty of swoony moments to delight any young (or less young) romantic.
You know you're immersed in a story when things like eating and the bathroom become a distracting necessity. Enter Leigh Bardugo's captivating debut novel, Shadow and Bone. One-part fantasy and one-part Tzarpunk (steampunk with a Russian flare), this book is a breath of fresh air in an extremely crowded genre. I laughed, I cried, I got grumpy when interrupted - need a bookworm ask for more? Bardugo is equally as fascinating a character as the ones she brings to life in this not-soon-enough to be trilogy. If you're looking for one of the best debut YA books of the year, look no farther.
I can't believe how good it is to settle back into Cashore's amazingly realized world. The third book in her series, this is one of those rare sequels that lives up to its predecessor's glory. I dare say it may even be my favorite. Set 8 years after the conclusion of Graceling, we rejoin Bitterblue, whose struggle to grow into her role as queen takes her on a journey of growth and discovery that will keep you reading long into the night. Hands down this is my favorite read of the year thus far. — alli
This past decade Death Note has established itself as a classic among Japanese comics. However, it didn’t find a home on my shelf until the release of this special edition. The sleek design fits perfectly with the tone of this dark, psychological masterwork. This is a great series for serious readers who would normally be turned off by "Manga." I recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace and long nights spent in suspense. — alli
This book is an instant buy for any cat lover or fan of this adorable internet sensation. Since 2008, Maru has been stealing the hearts of millions of YouTube viewers worldwide and here's your chance to finally take him home! Join Maru in a play-by-play of his never-ending quest to sleep in the strangest places and his world famous box-slide. Guaranteed to make you smile from the first page you flip to, be prepared to fall in love with the silliest cat on the internet, if you haven't already. Published to include the original Japanese text, this book also makes a great resource for those interested in the language. —Alli
Anyone could be a little jealous of Gwen’s cousin Charlotte. She’s pretty, gets great grades, and inherited the illusive family gene of time travel… or she should have. But when it is Gwen who suddenly has dizzying episodes in the past, the family is thrown into chaos. Now Gwen must take a crash course in time travel to discover the mysteries surrounding her family, a secret organization of time travelers, and the handsome, but arrogant, Gideon. Ruby Red is the first book in a trilogy that was originally published in Germany. I blew through my copy on a round-trip flight, and was left wishing I knew German so I could read the next installments! Gier has truly taken the well-worn theme of time travel and given it her own spin. Both clever and funny, this book is a real gem. —Alli
The pristine forests of Vancouver Island are a dream, especially to Maya, a talented animal healer. But after a string of mysterious deaths, Maya is on edge. Is the new guy at school somehow related to the tragic events and the recent increase of cougar encounters? Or is the local research center that supports the town responsible? Maya is determined to find out, even if it leads to unexpected truths about herself. I am a big fan of Armstrong's protagonist, Maya. She’s practical, self-reliant and witty—with so many one-liners that I laughed out loud more than I’d care to admit. This is the first book I have read from Kelley Armstrong, but fans have told me that her Darkest Powers series for teens relates to this book in a “freakishly awesome” way. The Gathering is a sure winner for die-hard fans or the start of a summer reading-frenzy for Armstrong newbies. —Alli
If the human race had a “Watchman” to warn us of danger, he would be shaking his rattle right now. We are in danger of becoming extinct, as the decline of our societies is evident. Pulling headlines from today’s news, Rebecca D. Costa demonstrates how our world’s accelerating complexity is quickly outpacing our poor brains’ abilities to keep up. She suggests we are a species addressing only the symptoms of our complex problems with quick fixes, instead of longer-lasting solutions. Drawing from historical, biological and economical sources, Costa uses savvy rationality to fully develop her thesis and suggest solutions that could help counter our downward spiral. Far from being doom-and-gloom, this book has clear, factual insight about the human condition that is sure to get you thinking about the “Big Picture” and our place in it. —Alli
This book has a little of everything I’m a sucker for: castles, sneak-thieves, secret identities, warring royalty, a strong female protagonist, magic and even a little romance. It follows the misadventures of Digger, a 16-year-old girl who is a professional thief-for-hire with three rules: stay alive, don't get caught, don't get involved. But when a job goes horribly wrong Digger is forced to push her rules to their breaking point. Filled with espionage and set at a snowy mountain castle, this book is an exciting read with mysteries that will keep you guessing. I am trying to wait patiently for the second book. —Alli