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
Kill the Boy Band Cover Image
$5.99
ISBN: 9780545867481
Availability: Available Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - February 23rd, 2016

Moldovsky’s debut was like reliving my first viewing of Heathers, wanting to delve deeper and deeper into the craziness that these girls were getting themselves into. The world of fandom is a fascinating and terrifying place when watched from the outside, and watching someone wake up from living in that dream (or nightmare) is told here with an obvious love for the drama and flair of an 80s cult film. I loved this book, and cannot wait for more from Moldovsky.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The Smell of Other People's Houses Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553497786
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wendy Lamb Books - February 23rd, 2016

This is a novel of second chances, of teens being teens, and of what it meant to be the first generation of youth in Alaska to experience statehood. Where else could a ballerina be a pro at chopping the heads off of salmon? Or three brothers run away from home on a ferry? Early 1970s Alaska meant straddling the line between native culture and being an American teen, and Hitchcock gives us that dichotomy while keeping it accessible to today’s youth. The heart of this story is truly universal, because who couldn’t benefit from a second chance to do what’s right?


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The Darkest Part of the Forest Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316213073
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 13th, 2015

Welcome to Fairfold, a tiny town whose residents know that superstitions regarding the Fair Folk are anything but, and a beautiful boy with horns on his head has slept for decades in a glass coffin in the woods. Hazel and Ben have grown up surrounded by things most people would never believe, and now their magical home has taken a turn for the worse. Can they bring their version of "normal" back before something truly terrible takes over their town and their lives? Holly Black has a knack for world building and strong characters. Read this if you're into fantasy and magic and have a taste for a strong female lead and GLBTQ characters.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Get in Trouble: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780804179683
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - February 3rd, 2015

This newest short story collection from Link is even more of what I've come to love about her over the years. In one volume: A girl is left to take care of Summer People with very unique needs, a young online gamer takes on a false identity and enters a real-world quest involving superheroes and dentists, mermaids have become an invasive species, and pocket universes abound. I'm so jealous of the brain that thinks up these things!


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Like Water on Stone Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385743976
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Delacorte Press - November 11th, 2014

Sometimes the emotions surrounding a topic are too big and scary for a straightforward explanation. As a writer of both prose and poetry Walrath understands this, and chose to write her novel of the Armenian genocide as a story in verse. A beautiful, emotional read - great for lovers of history and those who seek to know more about the parts of this world that are often passed over in light of happier topics.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Lila Cover Image
$30.16
ISBN: 9780374187613
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 7th, 2014

This book is pure Robinson, and this time her graceful prose takes you into the head of the most intriguing character (in my humble opinion) in the Gilead world. This may be the third title in her series, but can also stand alone to tell the story of a female migrant worker in the 1950s who struggles to reconcile a new found security with the wandering nature of her upbringing. This novel was a National Book Award finalist for good reason


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Landline Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250049377
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 8th, 2014

This is the story of a woman who realizes that the decisions she has made are about to ruin her life. Attempting to walk a fine line between career and family, deciding to miss Christmas for the sake of a chance at her dream job may have just caused her husband to walk right out of Georgie’s life. Can she keep it together long enough to put the pieces together and save both her career and her family? Funny and smart and everything we’ve come to expect from and love about Rowell’s writing. Now where can I find my own magic phone?

Great for: Professional women who need a laugh, fans of Tina Fey (or other female comedians)


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The Queen of the Tearling, Volume 1 Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062290366
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - July 8th, 2014

An unlikely protagonist, and some serious world-building - the only problem with this book was that it was over with too soon! This book takes place in the future, but has a wonderful medieval feel complete with warring kingdoms and magic used for both good and evil. Great reading for those still awaiting the sixth Game of Thrones installment. The good news: Book 2 is already slated to come out this upcoming June!

Great for: Fantasy fans & readers who appreciate imperfect protagonists.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
Conversion Cover Image
$22.03
ISBN: 9780399167775
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Putnam Publishing Group - July 1st, 2014

A mysterious illness breaks out at a prestigious girls private school in Massachusetts and no one can figure out the source. A reaction to a vaccine? Rare side effects of a normal illness? Maybe environmental? Interspersed with the voice of a key player in the Salem Witch Trials and filled with references to the Crucible, this book takes a look at power and what some people will do to achieve it. Seriously. This one was "Up-Until-3-in-the-Morning" good.

Great for: History buffs & suspense lovers.


Reviewed by: 
Kari
The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides Cover Image
$20.87
ISBN: 9780765335494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Teen - October 14th, 2014

Kit Bristol was only a servant with a pretty lucky gig, living a solitary life taking care of the man whose alter ego happened to be the notorious Whistling Jack. But one day his master came home with a mortal wound and Kit is expected to take up the mantle. Does he have what it takes to be the next Whistling Jack- inspiring love in the hearts of women, dodging the law, and dealing in magic?

Great for: Fans of fantasy and adventure, as well as Gaiman’s Stardust and Goldman’s The Princess Bride.


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