Cortney's Picks

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Alison CORTNEY
As a child, Cortney spent every day with her nose stuck in a book to the neglect of her chores, a habit that persists to this day. When she can be persuaded away from her books (usually with promises of chocolate), you can find her working on her novel, watching period dramas, listening to KPop, or arranging flowers. Her reading kryptonites include fairy tale retellings, Austen interpretations, YA fantasy, historical romance, and contemporary romcoms. Come find her if you ever want to chat about Downton Abbey, cheer on the Sun Devils, debate the merits of Matilda's book and movie versions, or reminisce about the magnificence of Mariah Carey's Daydream album.
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Knight Owl Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316310628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Christy Ottaviano Books - March 15th, 2022

Owl has always dreamed of becoming a knight, and he’s thrilled when his application to Knight School is accepted. Although it’s difficult (holding a sword without falling over, staying awake during the day’s classes, etc), Owl works hard and graduates with honor. When he’s put on Knight Night Watch, it isn’t long before his knightly skills are put to the test by a hungry dragon. This uplifting tale of bravery and perseverance absolutely charmed me. Owl’s courage vastly outweighs his tiny size and proves anything is possible if you believe in yourself.


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Magical Boy Volume 1: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
By The Kao, The Kao (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781338775525
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - February 1st, 2022

This wonderfully queer take on the “magical girl” concept was refreshing, funny, and genuine. Max is a trans high schooler trying to feel comfortable in his own skin and figure out how to tell his parents; however, when his mom tells him he’s destined to fight evil to save the world, his life gets even more complicated. Throw in demonic bugs, a dark deity trying to claw its way into our world, and a horrifically girly outfit to go along with Max’s newfound powers, and you’ve got a hilarious adventure! Content warning: dead naming, homophobia, transphobia, misgendering.


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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781635574043
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - March 3rd, 2020

Maas’ adult debut has all the hallmarks of her other books - crackling romantic tension, explosive action, and fascinating world building, not to mention characters you’re rooting for and others you can’t stand - on an epic scale. After her best friend was brutally murdered by a demon, half-Fae Bryce shut out her remaining friends and family. When a spate of murders by the same demon starts up - even though the supposed killer is already behind bars - Bryce must work with an infuriatingly handsome fallen angel named Hunt to discover who’s pulling the strings. If that’s not enough to captivate you, the adorable concept of otter messengers will!


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The Final Girl Support Group Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593201237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - July 13th, 2021

As a scaredy cat whose last horror read was a Goosebumps book in 6th grade, this had me leaping out of my comfort zone straight onto a gory roller coaster ride, full of adrenaline, blood, and more twists than a corkscrew. In a universe where every horror franchise (Scream, Halloween, etc.) is actually real and final girls are celebrities, someone has started to kill off their select group. Lynette is determined to catch whoever’s behind this so she and her friends won’t ever be victims again. But just when she thinks she’s figured it out, she’s proven wrong - with grisly results.


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King of Battle and Blood (Adrian X Isolde) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781728258416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloom Books - November 30th, 2021

Enemies-to-lovers stories are my kryptonite, and combined with an arranged marriage, there was no way I could resist Scarlett St Clair’s latest dark fantasy novel. The start of a new series, this vampire/mortal romance (or perhaps “hatemance” would be more accurate) grabbed me from the start. Princess Isolde would rather govern her own life than marry any man, but when her kingdom is threatened by the conquering vampire king Adrian, she willingly marries him to protect her people. Spicy and fast-paced with a heroine more likely to stab than kiss her new husband, I’m already impatiently waiting for book #2.


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Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks Cover Image
By Susie Yi, Susie Yi (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780063083806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperAlley - September 7th, 2021

Squash and Ginny aren’t regular cats: they’re magical cats with a very relatable quest - to eat as many snacks as possible! But when they run out of food, Ginny uses Squash’s magic wand to try to help get the ingredients for Squash’s never-ending snacks potion...except that she accidentally transports them to an island in the Mewmaid Ocean instead! Now they have to find the potion ingredients, fix their magic wand, AND somehow get back home. With some help from new friends, Squash and Ginny adventure to far-off lands as they complete their delicious quest. This adorable tale is full of heart, friendship, and (of course) snacks!


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Super Sleepover! (Simon and Chester Book #2) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780735267442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tundra Books - October 12th, 2021

When Simon the ghost gets a notification that his haunting inspection is coming up, he panics - he’s failed all of his previous tests! His best friend Chester offers to help him train in haunting basics like light flickering, object flotation, and invisibility. At school Chester gets invited to a sleepover; however, he’s never been to one, and he’s worried about what to wear and say. Will shy Chester be able to go to the party with confidence and have fun? Is Simon about to fail yet another inspection? Find out in this funny, heartwarming book about friends helping each other, no matter what.


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Six Crimson Cranes Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9780593300916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - July 6th, 2021

Shiori isn’t a proper princess: she hates sewing and other ladylike pursuits, she runs away from her betrothal ceremony to a barbarian lord, and worst of all she has magic, which is forbidden. After learning more about her abilities from a young dragon, Shiori’s growing powers make her a target. Shiori’s stepmother, also a sorceress, transforms Shiori’s brothers into cranes and curses Shiori - for every word she speaks, one of her brothers will die. To break the curse, Shiori will need all of her wits and cunning...but even that may not be enough. Set in a wondrous world and filled with action, emotion, and twists, this fantasy adventure will captivate you.


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Dragonboy Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316462167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 14th, 2021

Dragonboy is a lovely story about a boy with a powerful imagination and a bunch of stuffed animal friends. Every day is a great day for exploring, Dragonboy says, and he and his friends set off on adventures near and far. The adorable illustrations will pull you in, but Dragonboy's empathy and huge heart will leave a lasting impression.


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Mister Fairy Cover Image
By Morgane de Cadier, Florian Pigé (Illustrator), Angus Yuen-Killick (Translator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781636550008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Comet Press - September 7th, 2021

Mister Fairy has yet to find his special fairy talent, and he feels useless. Dejected, he leaves the forest for the concrete jungle, where everyone seems sad and unhappy. With a few waves of his wand, Mister Fairy's particular magic starts to put smiles on everyone's faces instead - especially his own. I was not expecting a story about a grumpy fairy to be so charming and heartwarming: simply delightful!


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Before We Sleep Cover Image
By Giorgio Volpe, Paolo Proietti (Illustrator), Angus Yuen-Killick (Translator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781636550046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Comet Press - September 7th, 2021

This sweet story explores the friendship between Little Red the fox and Hazel the dormouse. The two best friends love to play together, but as the season for Hazel's hibernation approaches, Little Red does everything to put off the encroaching separation. It isn't until Hazel reassures Little Red that spring will come without fail and they'll play together again that the fox is able to accept it and look forward to that time. A perfect story for tucking little ones into bed under cozy covers.


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Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales Cover Image
By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 21st, 2021

These are definitely not your childhood fairy tales! Soman Chainani twists 12 commonplace fairy tales into inventive and unsettling stories, full of surprises and just as dark as the fables by the Brothers Grimm. In each enchanting tale, Chainani explores various perspectives of unexpected characters or refashions the familiar until it’s nearly unrecognizable. Modernized ideals run throughout the tales: girls fight and save themselves instead of waiting for a prince and love takes many forms, not just romantic or paternal. NOTE: Contains innuendo and blood/brutality, recommended for mature middle graders up to adult readers.


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Sir Ladybug Cover Image
By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780063069060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 29th, 2022

Come one, come all for the most charming, adorable, and hilarious tale of Sir Ladybug, brave and stalwart knight, and his loyal friends as they quest to rescue a caterpillar from a terrible monster (AKA a hungry chickadee). Can Sir Ladybug, his herald Pell the roly-poly, and his squire Sterling the snail save the day and perhaps make some new friends along the way? Why, anything else would be nigh unthinkable! The first in a new graphic novel early chapter series, perfect for fans of NARWHAL AND JELLY and OWLY.


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Bombshell: A Hell's Belles Novel Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780063056152
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Avon - August 24th, 2021

Being widely known as an improper lady means Sesily Talbot’s able to do things doe-eyed debutantes can’t, like beguile gentlemen into dark gardens for tête-à-têtes. And if later that earl happens to return with his ungentlemanlike sins tattooed on his forehead...well, whoever would suspect “Sexily?” Together with her dearest friends, Sesily is set on righting wrongs and living life on her own terms (not the ton’s!), using scandal as a shield. All their plans would be flawlessly executed if there weren’t an infuriatingly handsome American poking his nose where it didn’t belong. Sarah MacLean proves, once more, why she’s the queen of historical romance.


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The Heart Principle Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451490841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 31st, 2021

This book broke my heart in the best way. Helen Hoang’s contemporary romances are full of heart, compassion, and neurodivergent heroes and heroines. Anna has always had to have things a certain way, but it isn’t until her therapist suggests she might be on the autism spectrum that everything suddenly makes sense. When she meets Quan, who’s struggling through his own emotional journey, love blooms unexpectedly, but a family tragedy puts their relationship to the test. A wonderful read both for fans who have been eagerly anticipating this one and those new to Hoang.


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Iron Widow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735269934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Teen - September 21st, 2021

Touted as “Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale,” Zhao’s electrifying debut is full of female rage and brutal combat. Set in a futuristic Chinese city, humankind battles giant insectoid aliens with enormous machines called Chrysalises. Male yin and female yang power the Chrysalises, but female concubine-pilots usually die in battle, since their male counterparts drain their qi as they fight. Unwilling to accept this system, Zetian voluntarily enters service to kill the male pilot who murdered her sister. However, getting her revenge is just the start of the story. Absolutely unputdownable - read this and come yell about it with me!


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Cheshire Crossing: [A Graphic Novel] Cover Image
By Andy Weir, Sarah Andersen (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780399582073
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - July 9th, 2019

Andy Weir (The Martian) and Sarah Andersen (Sarah’s Scribbles) team up for the zaniest, swashbuckling, multiverse mashup you’ve ever seen. Alice Liddell, Dorothy Gale, and Wendy Darling, now teenagers, meet at Cheshire Crossing boarding school. Not content to sit quietly, Alice steals Dorothy’s slippers and escapes to Oz, dragging Wendy with her in the process. Soon all three teens are jumping from world to world, inadvertently introducing the Wicked Witch to Captain Hook with disastrous results. They’ll have to band together to save all the worlds and get back home. This tale is irreverent, anachronistic, and loads of fun. Suggested ages 14 +


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Séance Tea Party: (A Graphic Novel) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984894151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - September 15th, 2020

When her friends’ interests start to differ from her own, 12-year-old Lola holds a seance tea party for her Halloween birthday party to have fun by herself. Alexa, the ghost haunting Lola’s house, shows up and reveals she was Lola’s childhood imaginary friend. Reunited, the friends head off for some Halloween fun. As time passes, each girl slowly realizes growing up is inevitable - but they won’t have to do it alone. Reimena Yee’s fun, bright, cartoonish art style breathes life into this touching story of deep friendship and the perpetual magic of childhood.


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Miles Morales: Shock Waves (Original Spider-Man Graphic Novel) Cover Image
By Justin A. Reynolds, Pablo Leon (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338648034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - June 1st, 2021

After watching Into the Spider-Verse, I wanted more Miles Morales. Fortunately, Justin A Reynolds and illustrator Pablo Leon did, too, and their love for Miles has manifested in Shock Waves, a middle-grade adventure graphic novel. Leon’s illustrations are bright and fun, bringing Reynolds’ quick-paced tale of Miles juggling being a superhero, a son, and an artist, to life. When an earthquake hits his mother’s homeland of Puerto Rico, Miles quickly organizes a fundraiser to help. But after a new classmate’s father goes missing, Brooklyn’s own webslinger puts on his detective cap and discovers a sinister connection between the two events.


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The House in the Cerulean Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250217318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - December 29th, 2020

This book was an absolute delight from beginning to end. Through the eyes of a lonely social worker, TJ Klune introduces readers to a magical, dreamy world. After being a case manager for magical children for almost 20 years, Linus has sunk fully into the drudgery of his job. It’s only after he’s assigned to investigate Marsyas Island Orphanage, its mysterious director, and the highly classified (read: dangerous) children living there, that Linus begins to wake up and realize that there may be more to life. Sweet, heartwarming, and utterly endearing.


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Tidesong Cover Image
By Wendy Xu, Wendy Xu (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062955791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - November 16th, 2021

Though she tries, Sophie can't control her magic. She's sent to train with her great-aunt; instead of encouraging her, however, Auntie offers nothing but criticism, crushing Sophie's spirits. Determined to prove her capability, Sophie attempts a powerful spell and accidentally intertwines her magic with a young water dragon named Lir. Together, they’ll have to figure out how to get him home, but Sophie’s anxieties and fears that she’ll never be a good witch threaten to overwhelm her. Tidesong is a charming story about unlikely friendship and finding your own path, even when your biggest naysayer is yourself.