Ali's YA Picks
"Nnedi Okorafor writes glorious futures and fabulous fantasies. Her characters take your heart and squeeze it; her worlds open your mind to new things." -- Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book and American Gods
This tale of bravery and quick wittedness features Baba Yaga, my favorite fairytale witch. Although this tale is more about main character Masha learning about herself and her own strength in the face of adversity, Baba Yaga is in grand form in this tale. Who wouldn't love a witch that lives in a sentient house with chicken legs and flies around on a giant spoon?
Humans and dragons signed a peace treaty nearly a century previously, and as the anniversary approaches tensions run high. Seraphina is a talented musician who is just trying to achieve her musical dreams and fly under the radar, but when a member of the human royal family is murdered and dragons are suspected she is drawn into the investigation. Can she help keep the peace and discover the murderer while ensuring her own secret stays safe? Politics and intrigue mix with murder and magic in this engrossing tale. Besides, who doesn't love reading about dragons?
Kaz, a criminal prodigy, is given the opportunity to work on the job that will make him rich, but can his ragtag team complete the mission before they tear each other apart? This is the magical heist story (a la Ocean's 11) that you've always wanted.
When your libraries hold dangerous grimoires that become beasts of ink and rage when treated poorly, your job is always going to be dangerous. When you're wrongly accused of murder after the most dangerous grimoire to enter your library goes on a rampage, how do you clear your name? Elisabeth has only ever wanted to be a librarian, but now she must work with a powerful necromancer to not only clear her name, but also possibly save the world.
Ophelia is an archivist, a reader of objects, and can travel through mirrors. She is perfectly content to stay ensconced on her home work running her museum and working with her uncle in the family archives, but she is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with a mystery suitor from another clan. Taken from her own life on Anima (her home ark), she is taken to a new ark where nobody can be trusted, not even her new fiance's family. This is a book that you expect will go in one way, and manages to continually surprise at every turn. The world created by Christelle Dabos is at once fascinating and rotten, and the characters are never who they seem. I love Ophelia's voice, and I can't wait to learn more about the fascinating world that Dabos created and continues to expand.