Kari's Picks

After a fateful trip to Vermont, inspired by a comic book, Kari decided to leave the west coast and make this state her home. One can most often find Kari reading at least six books at a time with a good mix of genres in hand. Her favorites tend to feature at least one element of magic, and she loves a good graphic novel. Give her a fresh storyline with a strong female lead and she's happy. Throw in some stunning illustrations and she's over the moon.

Authors of Note (According to Kari): Catherynne Valente, Karen Russell, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link.
Pictorial-Authors of Note: Faith Erin Hicks, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Gail Simone, Fabio Moon& Gabriel Ba.

Reviewed by: 
Kari
Vassa in the Night Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765380548
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Teen - September 20th, 2016

If you like your fairy tale retellings to be smart, humorous, and well-written - and don't mind a bit of gore on the side - this modern day reworking of Vasilisa the Beautiful & Baba Yaga will be right up your alley!
—Kari


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Paper Girls, Volume 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632156747
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - April 5th, 2016

1988, the morning after Halloween. Four tough girls. All hell breaks loose. Or maybe it's not hell but just time travelers, or aliens... Regardless- things are happening that have no right to go down, and these girls are set right in the middle of the whole mess. From the writer who brought us Saga & Y the Last Man comes a whole new series that will keep you hungry for the next volume.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Mr. Splitfoot Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780544526709
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - January 5th, 2016

This book is many things: a ghost story, a road trip adventure, and at it's heart and exploration of relationships, belief, & what it means/takes to be someone's "mother". And it's all wrapped up in a haunting, strange, and beautifully written novel. I devoured it.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The First Book of Calamity Leek Cover Image
$19.71
ISBN: 9781250087935
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - April 5th, 2016

"Wonderfully Strange" & "A mash-up of Atwood and Dahl" (the blurbs featured on the jacket of this book) are the perfect ways to describe this book. The author drops you into the middle of this strange world and reveals the truth about your surroundings in tiny pieces, giving the sensation of following a trail of breadcrumbs into a dark, dark place. Loved it.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Griffin and Sabine, 25th Anniversary Limited Edition: An Extraordinary Correspondence Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781452155951
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 5th, 2016

I first read this book over 10 years ago, & I continue to revisit this favorite author and artist on an almost yearly basis. Bantock's oddly beautiful collage work adds an otherworldliness to the relatively simple storyline (two strangers falling in love) and the almost vintage delivery method (through handwritten postcards & letters). You'll love every moment of invading the privacy of Griffin & Sabine.

Note: The series consists of six books in all, and a new seventh volume of "lost correspondence" The Pharos Gate, has just been released this year. With each volume, the tale grows more fantastic and outlandish, so make sure you're ready for some fantasy elements if you continue beyond book one. But I highly encourage it. These books claim a highly prized spot on my personal bookshelves.


The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine's Lost Correspondence Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781452151250
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chronicle Books - March 29th, 2016

Reviewed by: 
Kari
Radiance Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780765335296
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - October 20th, 2015

With six big ideas at its heart, Radiance is above all else a love letter to the golden ages of cinema and science fiction. With a text made up of everything from diary entries to screenplays to radio dramas, this novel is great for those who love non-linear stories told in abnormal formats.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385539838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - October 6th, 2015

A novel told through (fictional) primary sources - great for library and history enthusiasts who enjoy a science fiction slant in their reading. This novel contrasts the stories of a family, jumping in time between a naturalist traveling during the settling of Texas and those existing in a futuristic society built up after the fall of the United States. As the book progresses, the tales intertwine in unexpected ways. Open to any page and you'll immediately understand why print books will never go out of style. This gorgeous volume will keep your aesthetic love of books alive and well.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316222730
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 2nd, 2015

Glory O'Brien is graduating high school and currently has no plans for the future. Frankly, after her mother died when Glory was only four, she never thought she would have one. But when she and her next door neighbor decide to drink the remains of a petrified bat they found in a barn... everything shifts: Glory and her neighbor begin to get transmissions from everyone they lock eyes with. Images of ancestors and descendants flash before Glory's eyes and she decides to write down what she sees. Read this if you enjoy magical realism and strong topical themes - Glory is a feminist, the survivor of her mother's suicide, and an artist in her own right, and she navigates the world in such a solid way that I would firmly hand this book to any teen and hope it might influence their view of the world around them.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The Serpent King Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553524024
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - March 8th, 2016

Growing up anywhere is hard, but the Bible Belt brings its own brand of difficulty. In the South extreme poverty clashes with serious money and opportunity; family tradition and responsibility goes head-to-head with hopes and dreams inspired by technology that gives access to the wider world and ideas that unconnected parents simply cannot grasp. The divide between generations in the South is something that can’t be understood unless you witness it first hand. The Serpent King is a brutally honest story about getting out of your situation, and how hard it really can be. Sometimes all it takes is a fantasy novel or a laptop, but sometimes it can take so much more. Zenter has crafted a beautiful literary piece that gets right to the heart of what it means to be a teen in the south in the 21st century.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Underwater Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780374368869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) - January 12th, 2016

There was a shooting at Morgan's high school last year, and she's not handling it well. Months later, she's attending online classes and physically cannot leave her family's apartment - but she's working on it. Between twice-weekly house calls with her therapist and an intriguing new neighbor, Morgan starts to make progress with her PTSD.

This inspiring debut novel manages to be both uplifting and realistic at the same time, avoiding a sugar-coated over-simplification of a truly complex condition. Morgan is also dealing with her estranged father’s struggle with his own PTSD, a souvenir from his active duty in Afghanistan, driving home the point that the struggle is real and the work is hard. But no matter how difficult it may be, the work truly is always worth doing.


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