The Dead Romantics
Ashley Poston$17.00 $15.81
Florence grew up with parents who run their small town's only funeral home...and she can see ghosts, just like her dad. She's lived with and learned from death all her life. But that doesn't make it any easier when her own dad dies. Now a successful ghostwriter for a famous romance author, Florence hasn't been home in years because she's not a fan of the town or some of the people in it. She just wants to go back to New York and try to finish her latest book, even though she can't find it in her any more to write a happy ending, and her new editor Ben won't give her a deadline extension. Then Ben's ghost shows up, and they strike up an unconventional friendship while Florence tries to figure out what Ben needs from her and realizes that he might be her hardest goodbye yet. This is SO GOOD, with lots of laughing and crying. Fans of Poston's young adult books will recognize her signature punny humor, and fans of Emily Henry will adore this.
Two teens end up on a bridge, and this book shows all four possible outcomes. It is SO important because it shows what could happen in either situation. I was destroyed four times while reading this because I was able to see so clearly what could have happened if things in my life had turned out differently, and I have to hope that it can do the same for people contemplating this terrible decision, could make them consider what the world might be like without them and perhaps make them reconsider.
Greg Van Eekhout and Beatrice Blue$16.99
Anyone who has ever felt out of place will enjoy this story that examines humanity in a way that only non-humans can.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Tj Klune$28.99 $26.96
This has become one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES. While this book is technically fantasy, it's not so much about magic as it is about prejudice and fear and hate, and how people are absolutely capable of change, both individually and inspiring change in others. This is a beautiful book that I will undoubtedly revisit many times in the future.
Guts: A Graphic Novel
Raina Telgemeier$12.99 $12.08
Raina Telgemeier's autobiographical graphic novels appeal to any kid who's been there, done that, and this one is no exception. Guts is about the worries kids have and the fears they face as kids, and how those worries and fears can affect all aspects of daily life, even physically in the case of Raina's tummy aches. But it also shows readers that there are healthy ways to deal with those fears, and that even small victories (like getting just a little freaked out instead of completely losing control) are victories worth celebrating. My 10-year-old devoured this book twice in one night.
A magical story about hope and bravery and friendship in the face of loss and despair. Fans of Kelly Barnhill will like this one.
Would Like to Meet
A fun romance that will have readers rooting for Evie and her happily-ever-after.
Marissa Meyer$18.99 $17.66
Marissa Meyer makes a foray into contemporary!
Among the Beasts & Briars
Ashley Poston$17.99 $16.73
A fairy-tale inspired fantasy. Different from Heart of Iron, but just as enjoyable, with Poston's trademark sense of humor.
Far from the Tree
Robin Benway$11.99 $11.15
Benway has written a touching, sometimes humorous, compulsively readable book that will resonate with anyone searching for their place in the world, showing that sometimes where you are is exactly where you belong.
Olivia Dade$18.99 $17.66
This is hilarious (especially the between-the-chapter scenes -- literal LOL!). My favorite romance since Beach Read.
Brandon Sanderson and Ben McSweeney$14.99
This well-plotted story is perfect for all sorts of readers—the math geek, the fantasy lover, and the sucker for happy endings. It grabbed me from the very beginning and ended with a goofy grin on my face, despite my strong desire for a sequel.
Nic Stone$18.99 $17.66
A follow-up to Dear Martin. Just as powerful, but focuses instead on our justice system and how it fails Black kids.
Black Brother, Black Brother
Jewell Parker Rhodes$16.99 $15.80
An important story about race and the myriad ways it can affect all aspects of a person's life, but also about learning that sometimes seeing and knowing yourself is more important than how others see you.
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London
Garth Nix$19.99 $18.59
Fun, bookselling-ish related fantasy read. Will appeal to fans of other literary themed fantasies like Phantom Tollbooth or Glass Sentence.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Kelly Barnhill$17.95 $16.69
If stories are magic, then Kelly Barnhill must be ever so powerful, because this story is the best kind of magic. Witches and monsters and dragons, sorrow and hope and love, especially love, all wound together in a fairy tale so perfect I want to read it again and again and again. This is definitely on my list of favorites.
Tracy Deonn$19.99 $18.59
Black Girl Magic in all conceivable forms. Seamlessly blends contemporary fantasy with Arthurian lore while exploring what it means to be Black.
The Witch's Boy
Kelly Barnhill$9.95 $9.25
An extraordinary middle-grade novel about magic and friendship that will enchant readers of all ages. The lyrical storytelling reminds me of Lauren Oliver, with fantasy and adventure that will pull you in and make you stay until you're done. An amazing book.
Rosaria Munda$18.99 $17.66
While you might pick this book up because of the dragons and revolution, Munda's real accomplishment is in her wonderfully flawed and complex characters. This is not a straight good vs. evil story, and that is reflected in the difficult decisions the characters have to make, and how their morals affect those decisions.
Punching the Air
Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi$19.99 $18.59
A novel in verse about the system in place that lands young Black men in prison, and the use of art as an outlet.
The Silver Arrow
Lev Grossman$16.99 $15.80
An adventure story about two siblings who go on a magical adventure, chock full of "important life lessons" and train facts, with the environmentalism of Carl Hiaasen or Louis Sachar and the whimsy of Roald Dahl and Nevermoor.
There Will Come a Darkness
Katy Rose Pool$19.99
With admirable world-building, this debut novel will appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas and will leave readers wanting more.
The Merciful Crow
Margaret Owen$18.99 $17.66
Readers of Children of Blood and Bone will love the world building and magical system, and the girl who comes into her own as a leader in the midst of it all.
The Faithless Hawk
The sequel to The Merciful Crow. I enjoyed this one just as much as the first, and was able to get back into the story and the world even after a long hiatus between reading them. Character, relationship development, plot pacing were awesome.
More Than Just a Pretty Face
Syed M Masood$17.99 $16.73
So funny! The main character is a bit clueless and very endearing. I LOL'd many times while reading. And it kept getting better the more I read.