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Alli's Picks

Alli ALLI
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.

 

Jackaby (Hardcover)

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9781616203535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 9/2014
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.

Snow Like Ashes (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780062286925
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, 10/2014
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.

Trial by Fire (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781250050885
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends, 9/2014
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!

The Fire Wish (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780385369763
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers, 7/2014
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.

$19.95
ISBN-13: 9781595148032
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Razorbill, 4/2015
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.

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780805099232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 7/2014
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.

Shadow and Bone (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780805094596
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 6/2012
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.

Bitterblue (Hardcover)

$19.99
ISBN-13: 9780803734739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Dial, 5/2012

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

 


$14.99
ISBN-13: 9781421539645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: VIZ Media LLC, 12/2010
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 

I Am Maru (Hardcover)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780062088413
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow, 8/2011
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

Ruby Red (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780312551513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish, 5/2012
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 Gathering (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780061797033
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperCollins, 4/2012
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

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781593156053
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vanguard Press, 10/2010
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

Starcrossed (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780545136051
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 10/2010

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


Mistwood (Paperback)

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780061957017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Greenwillow Books, 5/2011
Isabel is the Shifter, a legendary shape-shifting immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. During times of peace she exists in Mistwood forest blissfully unaware of time passing. It is here two young princes come to her seeking protection. But amid a swirl of court politics, scheming factions, and doubtful loyalties, Isabel finds she is having her own problems. Namely that she can’t seem to remember anything, much less her powers and duty. Amidst all the confusion and misplacement, how will Isabel be the shifter she's supposed to be and unravel the plot endangering Rokan's life? An amazing debut, this book will reward readers with its serpentine plot, magic and strong main character. Fantasy fans will devour! —Alli

Inside Out (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780373210060
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harlequin Teen, 4/2010
Could you image living in a closed environment where everything (including people) is recycled and everyone is just a number? Well that’s Trella’s life. She lives in the lowest regions of the dank and crowded construct known simply as Inside. When the latest Prophet appears preaching about the mythical exit called Gateway, Trella is reluctant to be involved. But when she agrees to secretly retrieve four informational disks she sets off a chain of events that will lead to death, revolution, and a shocking revelation about Inside and herself. Inside Out is a sci-fi thriller full of action, adventure, and romance that will leave readers guessing till the end. —Alli (Look for Alli’s name in the acknowledgements!)

The Line (Paperback)

$6.99
ISBN-13: 9780142417768
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Puffin, 4/2011
Isn't this cover just wonderfully eerie? And you WOULD be creeped out if you lived in the world Rachel does. In this futuristic landscape, the USA is split in half by the Line, an electronic marvel which the government claims is protecting citizens from Away and its supposedly deformed inhabitants, the Others. Growing up next to the Line, Rachel has always been fascinated by Away. But when she receives a mysterious message events are set in motion which bring the dark realities of the Line—and the Others—to life. A great read for fans of The Giver by Lois Lowry and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. —Alli

$6.99
ISBN-13: 9780061825002
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperCollins, 1/2011
I love re-tellings of classic fairy tales and this story was fun all around. Based on The 12 Dancing Princesses, this fresh re-imaging has just the right amount of magic, loyalty, and love. If you enjoy princesses and happily-ever-afters, this book belong on your shelf and in your heart. —Alli

Leviathan (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9781416971740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse, 9/2010
This is World War I like you’ve never imagined! Alek is the prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and he’s on the run. His people have turned on him and he must flee to neutral Switzerland. Deryn Sharp was born to fly and she’s ready to join the British Air Service. But there’s one problem; she’s a girl and girls aren’t allowed to serve. Will her scheme to dress up as a boy and join work? Will Alek be able to smuggle himself past his own country's war machines? In this alternative vision of the past, Europe becomes entangled in war as Alek and Deryn’s destinies become entangled with each other. Complimented by brilliant illustrations, this steampunk story is action packed from start to finish! —Alli

Graceling (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780547258300
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphia, 9/2009
What if your talent was to kill? That is the fate of Katsa. In a land where people are born with "Graces," or extreme talents, Katsa is shunned and exploited for her frightening ability. It’s not until Katsa encounters a mysterious Graced fighter does she seems to meet her match. But in this land, taking Graces at face value can be deadly! Adventure, romance, and espionage make this a fun read. If strong, butt-kicking women are your favorite heroes, this book is for you! —Allison

Poison Study (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9780778327110
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Mira, 12/2008
We find Yelena in her worst hour, imprisoned and fated to hang for a most unforgivable crime. On the day of her execution however she is given an unexpected reprieve, but with one big condition: live for now and become a food taster for a leader who has been marked for death, or hang. Yelena suddenly finds herself in clean clothes, her own room in a castle, and the apprentice to the cool-eyed Valek. As she learns to detect poisons in food, she soon discovers poisons of another kind that threaten the very country. Yelena finds that just may wield the power to save herself and her world… if she can only survive her next meal. This riveting fantasy novel is the perfect combination of action-adventure, fantasy, and romance. Fans of Stephenie Meyer and Shannon Hale will find themselves an instant favorite! —Allison

The Goose Girl (Paperback)

$9.99
ISBN-13: 9781582349909
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 5/2005
This magical retelling of the classic Grimms's Fairy Tale follows Princess Anidori as she is sent off to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. During this journey, however, a mutiny occurs led by her lady-in-waiting who steals her identity, forcing Ani to become a lowly goose girl. Born with the ability to speak to animals, Ani must learn to use her special powers to realize her true destiny. Filled with characters who will steal your heart, this book leaves you dreaming long after you've read it. Fans of Ella Enchanted and InkHeart will find this an instant favorite! —Allison

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780152050856
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Graphia, 4/2010
Meet Mary "Jacky" Faber: orphan, reluctant beggar/thief, book lover, musician, seamstress and salty sailor. Masquerading as a boy on H.R.M.S. Dolphin, Jacky earns the nickname "Bloody Jack" and meets danger, fortune, and romance on the high seas. You will delight in Jacky’s excitable nature and lopsided naïvete. Meyer’s balance of panic and distress crossed with Jacky’s hilarious, knee-slapping narrative; and the slightly more serious examinations of love, poverty, loneliness, and courage. A great read for all ages, Bloody Jack will leave you reaching excitedly for the next installment. Go ahead, treat yourself to this fabulously fun book! —Allison

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