Sweet. Earnest. Thoughtful. Optimistic. This book is a wonderful coming out story following Simon as he navigates high school, family, friendships and other complications as he comes to terms with his own sexuality and the ups and downs that come hand in hand with such a journey. Albertalli's writing is swift and thoughtful with a loving attention to detail as she tells this story of first love, first betrayal and growing up.
I very rarely stray from reading science fiction and fantasy and it takes something truly exceptional to enrapture me if it is not within the realm of speculative fiction. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman is truly exceptional. The prose is achingly beautiful, the characters sharp and defined, even those who are not the story's focus. The love story at the heart of these pages is heartrending and perfectly bittersweet. This is not a story of happily ever after but of a life defining love. Aciman's skill makes the relationship between these two men so vital the pages just kept turning and I didn't even realize how much time was passing. This book is, simply put, beautiful.
A stunning debut novel from Ilana C. Myer. Set in a world of where, far in the past, poets wove enchantments with music and words, until the enchantments were lost and a song was nothing more than a song. And now, something dark stirs in southern reaches of the kingdom of Eivar. An ancient plague has crept back into the world as a malevolent force threatens to topple the kingdom from within. The only hope lies with a Lin, a woman who, with friends at her side and foes on her trail, seeks the Path, the only way to restore the power of the poet's enchantments and save the kingdom. This is a story of love, loss and triumph over adversity, trauma and restrictive tradition. Myer's prose is nothing short of beautiful, with a lyrical rythym that matches the importance of music and poetry in her story.
Just as well written, visually stunning and imaginative as the first volume, Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood picks up the tale of Maika Halfwolf, raising the stakes, introducing fantastic new characters and expanding the unique world crafted by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Full of gorgeous, art deco inspired artwork, Monstress is a series like no other!
True fact: once upon a time the United States legitimately considered importing hippos as an alternative meat source. Sarah Gailey takes this obscure almost-happened of history and asks, what if? Welcome to a world where the Mississippi river is damned, creating a massive swamp inhabited by feral hippos, floating casinos and hippo-riding wranglers-for-hire. Against this backdrop, the author spins a heist and confidence game wrapped around a revenge tale. Sarah Gailey's writing is beyond excellent, her pacing sharp and unrelenting, holding your attention, refusing to let go. Her characters are well crafted, diverse and feel utterly real. River of Teeth is a truly unique read that presents an engaging and fascinating alternate history tale.
Okorafor is masterly with words. Binti is only ninety pages long but every page counts. The plot moves fast but never feels rushed. Binti is a character with wonderful depth and nuance but her development is woven intricately through the plot so it never feels like the story is halting to tell you who she is. The world which Binti inhabits is wonderfully fleshed and Okarofor succeeds in that extremely difficult science fiction endeavor: creating aliens that are truly alien. The Meduse are excellently done and it is their different physical form, their alien culture and the bridge of understanding that must be formed that makes them, and Binti itself, so fascinating a read. This is essential science fiction.
Monstress is a graphic novel with a visual style that bridges Eastern and Western artistic styles and the result is staggeringly beautiful. Sana Takeda’s work is perfection both in style, color and movement and the art deco and steampunk influences of the art give Monstress a distinct and impactful visual style. The writing is an equal to the art. Liu has worked in the comic book industry for a long time and has written extensively for Marvel. Her experience shows in Monstress which reads like a thick fantasy novel it imparts so much character development, worldbuilding and plot on each and every page.
In an unstable, apocalyptic world, Essun searches for her lost daughter, her secrets surfacing as her journey unfolds. With The Fifth Season, Jemisin once again proves herself a master world-builder and storyteller. The world of the book is simultaneously beautiful and unflinchingly brutal, and the pages seem to simply turn themselves!
The Wood is a force of death and corruption in the world and Agnieszka has grown up in its shadow. Every ten years, the Dragon, the sorcerer who keeps the Wood at bay, chooses a girl from the nearby villages to be his servant. No one thinks Agnieszka will be chosen: her skirt is always torn, her hem muddy and she is anything but graceful. But the Dragon's choice surprises everyone and leads Agnieszka on a journey filled with magic, danger and discovery. In Uprooted, Naomi Novik packs in more - more plot, more character development, more magic and more fantastical twists and turns - than most authors manage in an entire trilogy. The pacing is non-stop and, just when you think you know where the book is heading, it manages to surprise you in the best way possible.
The Learned Owl's Wise Readers Club
One of the things we at The Learned Owl Book Shop enjoy most is recommending books to our customers and talking with them about books they have enjoyed. We are always happy to direct them to bestsellers and highly-anticipated new releases, as well as the classics and much-loved children's books. In keeping with this favorite activity and just in time for the start of your holiday shopping, The Learned Owl Book Shop proudly introduces our Wise Readers Clubs!
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