Cassie

I'm either reading ten books at once, or stuck in a reading slump. I gravitate towards books--YA, fiction, SFF, memoir and even culinary narratives--that look at magic, folklore, traditions, tropes and stereotypes in new and imaginative ways.

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The Mirror Broken Wish Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781368046381
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 6th, 2020

Julie Dao reminds me why we as readers turn back to fairy tales. Broken Wish reminds me how much fairy tales can tell us something new, and can reveal to us both shimmering and dark pieces of ourselves and the world around us. It takes a skilled hand to show how much there still can be done with stories that feel as if they have been told over and over again. Broken Wish takes place in mid-19th century Germany and follows sixteen year old Elva, who is hiding her powers and prophetic visions from her small rural village. But when she has a vision of the future that suggests devastating outcomes, Elva seeks to learn more about her magic. Along the way she discovers that the lines between hero and villain might not be as clear cut as she has been led to believe. A stunning fantasy filled with secrets, and curses, and magical objects - perfect for advanced middle grade readers and young adults looking for a fun new fairy tale.


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Watch Over Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593108970
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

This is a sparse, atmospheric, emotionally resonant and absolutely devastating read in the best possible ways. Watch Over Me follows Mila, after she has aged out of the foster care system and finds work teaching foster children on an idyllic, but isolated farm owned by foster parents, Terri and Julia. Mila just wants to carve out a place to call her own, find a family she can claim for herself, and forget all about her mother's boyfriend, Blake. But as much as Mila wants to put her past behind her, the ghosts that reside on the farm make that decidedly impossible. Ghosts and family and belonging and resilience set to the backdrop of the fog-covered northern California coast. A pitch-perfect read while the weather cools and the leaves start to fall.


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
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Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

With The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V. E. Schwab took a knife to my chest, cut my heart out, pinned it to paper, and exposed it for the world to see. Its characters are clever and wicked and delightful and joyous and profoundly sad and trying their damndest. In 1700’s rural France, a woman makes a Faustian deal for more time and freedom and, as a result, walks through the world without a single person being able to recognize her. Until one day, three centuries later, she walks into a New York bookstore. And the man who works there remembers her name. What lengths will we go to, to leave a mark on the world? Schwab’s gloriously imaginative and detailed novel considers the grand and the simple. Two lovers. The devil. Can anyone win at the end?


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Cemetery Boys Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250250469
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Swoon Reads - September 1st, 2020

If you are looking for a book to salivate over, a book to savor, this is the book for you. The descriptive writing! The character development! Aiden Thomas has crafted a warm, and eerie story about Yadriel, a young brujo who only wants to show his traditional Latinx family that he has what it takes to join the men of the family in their daily and upcoming Dia de los Muertos rituals. All that feels nearly impossible while his family continue to deadname him and misgender him. And then Yadriel accidentally summons the ghost of the recently-deceased local “bad boy.” Who cares deeply for his family. And tries to protect his friends. Whose restless energy fills whatever room he’s in. And has a cute smile. Oh no, Yadriel. A sweet #ownvoices YA read filled with friendly and not-so-friendly ghosts; complex, growing family relationships; brujxs; cemeteries; marigolds; giant pit bulls definitely not named after mutant turtles; and fierce cousins. You won’t want to miss this tenderly woven and magical story.


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This Is How You Lose the Time War Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

Red and Blue are on opposite sides of the Time War - one a part of the collective entity known as The Garden, and the other a soldier of the Commandant, a high-tech-centered group. But this story, for all it’s expansive and ambitious concepts, focuses instead on the hunger of Red and Blue, for competition, for experience, for each other.
 
Reading This is How You Lose the Time War, a 2020 Hugo Winner, was like experiencing a work of art in person for the first time after only having read and heard about it in textbooks. The sheer joy el-Mohtar & Gladstone have for their craft, for the language and storytelling, shines brightly on every page. You’ll find yourself simultaneously reading a love letter for the written word and love letters between two characters on opposite sides of the Time War.


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Flyaway Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250260499
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Tordotcom - July 28th, 2020

For fans of Shirley Jackson, Helen Oyeyemi, and Samantha Hunt: an Australian gothic novella about monsters, long-held family secrets, changelings, transformation, fences, birds, and disappearing schools. Urban myths come to life, colliding and weaving through the life of Bettina Scott as she tries to navigate her way out of her small Western Queensland town, after receiving a mysterious note from someone who may or not one of her vanished brothers. Chilling, bewildering, and utterly magical, this short novel will have you questioning which way is up.


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Camp Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316537759
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 26th, 2020

I devoured Camp. The exuberance of the main character, Randy, leaps off the page even as he tries to quiet himself to win the heart of his crush, Hudson. Camp is a summer full of theater, misadventure, drag, hiking, friendship in all its forms, toxic masculinity in safe spaces, team-building obstacles courses, and the obstacles courses we build for ourselves.


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You Brought Me The Ocean Cover Image
By Alex Sanchez, Julie Maroh (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401290818
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Published: DC Comics - June 9th, 2020

The latest in DC Comics’ young adult graphic novels series from YA royalty Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh features the origin story of Aqualad. Jake Hyde is a young man who lives in Truth or Consequences, NM (a real town!) and desperately wants to go to the University of Miami to study oceanography. But he’s hiding secrets from everyone--from his mom, his best friend, and he starts learning secrets about himself. And not just about the strange “birthmarks” on his body. You Brought Me the Ocean has a cinematic quality that makes the joys more joyful, the heartbreaks more sorrowful, and the discoveries even more captivating.


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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555483
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - September 17th, 2019

Joy and heartache and astrology and queerness and school drama and first loves and new loves and family and found family are at the center of this beautiful YA debut. A Coretta Scott King Honor book told in two interweaving, harmonizing voices about two girls, one kicked out of her mother's home in Trinidad to live with her father in Minneapolis. And the other, a girl in Minneapolis whose recent diagnosis has her flung into an uncertain future where she has one wish. You'll want to spend as much time with Audre and Mabel as they do with each other. 


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The Boy in the Red Dress Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593113684
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 12th, 2020

With so much uncertainty, I like being able to make declarative statements. Here's one: The Boy in the Red Dress is my favorite YA of the year. No question. Veronica Mars meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Lambert's debut is a fun, enchanting mystery set in 1930 New Orleans that follows Millie, who helps her aunt run The Cloak and Dagger, a queer-friendly speakeasy. On New Year's Eve, when a young socialite is found dead in the club's courtyard, the police suspect the club's headliner and Millie's best friend, the titular character, Marion. And Millie is the only one willing to actually investigate what happened and clear her friend's name. It was so easy to fall in love with every character, so fully-realized, each with their own hopes and dreams and flaws, that with every scene I found myself hoping each new suspect wasn't the murderer. With all the glamour and grit of a Baz Luhrman film, Lambert's novel kept me guessing, kept me luxuriating in the ballrooms and back alleys. I didn't want to leave.


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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062444134
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Harper Voyager - July 5th, 2016

The intergalactic road trip-found family novel you didn't know you needed. If you, too, are still looking to fill the gap in your heart that Joss Whedon's Firefly left behind, this is for you. Ignore what the back cover summary says, this book is about an unforgettable motley cast of characters who just happen to be traveling through space together, punching wormholes to a distant planet. All the delightful tropes of a road trip book--engine troubles, passengers bickering, unexpected side of the road attractions, hijinks, and uncovered secrets abound--in space! 


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Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780807033272
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Beacon Press - March 11th, 2014

If you're looking for a book that lovingly showcases the outdoors, this memoir is for you. If you're missing the chance to breathe in backcountry air, and hike all day, this is the memoir for you. If you've never stepped foot in the woods, but are looking for strong, thoughtful voices that take a hard look at what it takes to create the outdoors and public lands enjoyed by so many? This is the memoir for you. Byl fell in love working seasonally in the dirt, and mud, and rain, and sunshine for the National Parks Service and for public lands. This series of interconnected essays examines the long-held differences between academia and manual labor, between white collar jobs and blue collar jobs, and gender stereotypes within those spheres. Each aspect of the work she describes--learning how to use an axe, build stairs in the back country, how to lead a group of strangers into the woods--is so beautifully written, and thoughtfully considered that the words feel comforting, even when she is describing back-breaking labor. I wish I knew who wrote the back cover summary, because it really puts it best, "Dirt Work is a contemplative but unsentimental look at the pleasures of labor, the challenges of apprenticeship, and the way a place becomes a home."


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Flyaway Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250260499
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Tordotcom - July 28th, 2020

For fans of Shirley Jackson, Helen Oyeyemi, and Samantha Hunt: an Australian gothic novella about monsters, long-held family secrets, changelings, transformation, fences, birds, and disappearing schools. Urban myths come to life, colliding and weaving through the life of Bettina Scott as she tries to navigate her way out of her small Western Queensland town, after receiving a mysterious note from someone who may or not one of her vanished brothers. Chilling, bewildering, and utterly magical, this short novel will have you questioning which way is up.


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Cemetery Boys Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250250469
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Swoon Reads - September 1st, 2020

If you are looking for a book to salivate over, a book to savor, this is the book for you. The descriptive writing! The character development! Aiden Thomas has crafted a warm, and eerie story about Yadriel, a young brujo who only wants to show his traditional Latinx family that he has what it takes to join the men of the family in their daily and upcoming Dia de los Muertos rituals. All that feels nearly impossible while his family continue to deadname him and misgender him. And then Yadriel accidentally summons the ghost of the recently-deceased local “bad boy.” Who cares deeply for his family. And tries to protect his friends. Whose restless energy fills whatever room he’s in. And has a cute smile. Oh no, Yadriel. A sweet #ownvoices YA read filled with friendly and not-so-friendly ghosts; complex, growing family relationships; brujxs; cemeteries; marigolds; giant pit bulls definitely not named after mutant turtles; and fierce cousins. You won’t want to miss this tenderly woven and magical story.


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How to Be a Pirate Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681197784
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - March 3rd, 2020

When CeCe is told by the neighborhood boys that she can't be a pirate, she goes to her grandfather--a man with a ship and a lot of tattoos--to see if he can teach her all about a pirate's life. Smart, vivid illustrations by Brigette Barrager adorn Isaac Fitzgerald's rollicking text. As CeCe learns just what it takes to be a pirate, readers are immersed in increasingly colorful and high-spirited adventures. For all young readers, the sailors, the swashbucklers, the landlubbers, and any oceanically inclined. You'll find your adventure in between these pages.


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Gingerbread: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594634666
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

An absolute fever dream of a book, you'll want to read this story over and over again. Oyeyemi’s sentences and turns of phrase are as delightful and delicious as the magical gingerbread she writes about. I had to keep going back and re-reading passages because I was so focused on how the words sounded so pleasing together, I started losing their meaning. If you are looking for a fairy tale you probably haven't read before, a fairy tale that truly adheres to fairy tale logic, talking dolls, magic mushrooms, stories meandering within stories, and a country that Wikipedia claims doesn’t exist, this is the story for you.


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The Box Turtle Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735230507
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Dial Books - February 11th, 2020

Terrance the box turtle was born without a shell, so his parents gave him a shell of his own. But when someone points out that his non-traditional apparel looks "weird," Terrance begins a hunt for a different shell that reflects who he is and looks good. This sweet picture book features tiny turtle butts, a very good hermit crab friend, a trash-loving raccoon, a lot of imagination, and ALL of the shells. Punny, colorful, and adventurous, this picture book will keep young readers entertained, even on the twentieth re-read.


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The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385541213
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Doubleday - November 5th, 2019

I have no words. Erin Morgenstern used all the words, and now they are buzzing around in my brain in an utterly impossible, and magical way. Closing the final page of The Starless Sea immediately prompted me to request the audiobook. To open the book back up and begin from page one again. Morgenstern’s sophomore novel is about a love of stories, a love of storytelling, and how inseparable, and timeless our own stories and mythologies are. But it is also about bees, keys, swords, cats, good cocktails, doors, video games, underground labyrinthe libraries, stars, pirates, and sculptors, and approximately a hundred other images that have been superimposed into my brain in trying to devour this book. The Starless Sea easily slid into the top spot of my favorite books.


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Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250313188
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

Gideon the Ninth would very much like to get out of indentured servitude to the Ninth House, Keepers of the Locked Tomb. But when the Emperor is looking for necromancers, Harrowhawk, heir to the Ninth House and famed necromancer, decides to throw her hat in the ring. Gideon is the only swordswoman strong enough to take on the challenges posed by the emperor. Mad Max: Fury Road by way of Deadpool featuring necromancers and sword-fighting in space. Utterly ridiculous in the most extravagant and delightful ways.


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Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062317643
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 1st, 2019

Best title of the year alert! For a book about a ghost with no memory and a girl left in an orphanage by her father amidst World War II, Thirteen Doorways is heartfelt and surprisingly relevant. The novel is compelling, not just because you are eager to uncover secrets of both past and present, but because the characters feel so achingly similar in the middle of a time and place that seems to be going up in flames.   


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All the Bad Apples Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525552741
Availability: Book ships to store in 3-5 days (may take longer if sourced from further away)
Published: Kathy Dawson Books - August 27th, 2019

Moira Fowley-Doyle's latest is an emotional gut-punch of a book. Deena Rys' older sister Mandy is presumed dead, having last been seen at the edge of a cliff. But then Deena starts receiving letters from Mandy that tell the story of their family history, and why all the Rys women wind up cursed by their 17th birthday. Deena, along with old and new friends, sets off on a cross-country tour of Ireland to find her sister, and get some answers. Weaving in Irish folklore, historical and recent events surrounding reproductive rights, queer rights, and bodily autonomy, All the Bad Apples leaps from the page, grasps your hand, and invites you to scream along with it.


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Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

I have never been so mad to realize a newly released title was an author's debut. Sweet, tender, funny, I devoured this book. I wanted to cancel plans for this book! Spending time with these characters was the literary equivalent of curling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, while it's snowing outside. McQuiston's words were a direct line to my 23-year-old self. I couldn't believe they stared back at me from the page. And while I wish this book had been around when I had just come out, when I was figuring myself out, reading it now is almost just as good.


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Wilder Girls Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780525645610
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Ember - June 2nd, 2020

If you were to combine the literary genius of Jeff Vandermeer with the cinematic prowess of Guillermo del Toro you would end up with Rory Power. Her debut novel, Wilder Girls, is captivating and grotesquely delightful.

The Raxter School for girls was put under quarantine when a disease known only as The Tox hit the island. The teachers died. The girls were infected. And then they began changing--bodies distorting and growing spines, gills, silver hands. Hetty, Byatt, and Reese are as close as any three girls can be in a world where a normal life is a thing of the past. And then Byatt goes missing. And Hetty will do everything in her power to save her.

Wilder Girls is a powerhouse novel filled with a tangled web of secrets and something wriggling under the surface.


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Truman Cover Image
By Jean Reidy, Lucy Ruth Cummins (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534416642
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - July 9th, 2019

This tiny tortoise tackles the impossible when his Sarah boards the bus and she doesn't return! Truman must leave his seven green beans, cross uncharted territory and face insurmountable obstacles to reunite with his girl. Even if it takes a thousand tortoise hours. This sweet adventure will keep you on your tortoise toes and have you grinning from ear to ear.


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I Wish You All the Best Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338608359
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Push - May 5th, 2020

Reading Mason Deaver's debut feels like what it might be like to hug sunshine; warm, tender, comforting, but not without a little sunburn. Ben is kicked out of their home, without so much as the shoes on their feet, when they tell their parents they are nonbinary. They move in with their estranged sister and her husband who try to help Ben cope with their anxiety and starting at a new school in the middle of the year. But then Ben meets Nathan Allen, the boy next door, whose friends eagerly accept a new face into the fold. Readers will find themselves basking in the warmth as Ben begins to come into themself, dedicate themself to their talents, and be vulnerable, angry, and scared with their loved ones. I read most of this book in a single sitting. I was invested in Ben's story from the very first page and I cannot wait to see what Deaver writes next.  


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Stepsister Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338268478
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Scholastic Inc. - April 7th, 2020

Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Stardust and Naomi Novik's Uprooted, in her latest novel Jennifer Donnelly combines elements of the original Grimm Brothers story with the Disney version of Cinderella. This time, the tale follows the youngest stepsister, Isabelle, after Ella gets her prince. This novel is an earnest, beautiful howl and a refusal to fit into the glass slipper presented to us. 


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The Devouring Gray Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781368042314
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 3rd, 2020

Violet Saunders is new to Four Paths -- a town whose population is rapidly decreasing as the Gray begins picking them off one-by-one. But Violet, along with Justin, May, Harper, and Isaac, are all descendants of the town founders who originally trapped the monster. I'm not saying they're the only ones who can save the day, but despite the secrets they've been burying for years, the missing hand, the grief they carry, and their magic powers -- they might be the best qualified. 
The Raven Cycle meets Stranger Things in this unearthly, spine-tingling read you won't want to put down. Plus! multiple!! on-page!! multi-generational! bisexual! and queer! characters!!! My favorite book of 2019 so far. 


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Leah on the Offbeat Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062643810
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 7th, 2019

Leah is sarcastic, dramatic, and anxious. Like, all the time. Leah is a mostly good daughter, a kick-ass drummer, and she's also bisexual. NBD. Despite her best friend Simon's (of Simon vs. Homo Sapiens Agenda) coming-out ordeal last year, she still struggles to be vulnerable with the people she loves the most. 

In this companion novel, Leah faces prom, graduation, casual racism, friendship drama, and relationship drama. Ultimately a feel good story, with a focus on personal growth, Leah's story had me wanting to simultaneously hug and high-five my teenaged self.


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We Are Okay Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142422939
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Penguin Books - February 26th, 2019

The novel follows Marin, a college freshman who has decided to stay in her dorm room for winter break. Her best friend Mabel is traveling from California to spend a few days with Marin and try to convince her to spend the break with her family. While Mabel is visiting, readers learn about the events of the summer leading up to the girls' starting college. Calling this a narrative about love and loss would be reductive, because the story is so much more than that: found families, evolving relationships, understanding how someone you thought you knew isn't who you thought they were, and how you can still love them anyway. 


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The Seas Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781947793569
Availability: On our shelves now (please call to confirm)
Published: Tin House Books - July 16th, 2019

When I turned to the final page, my brain was full of exclamation points and question marks.  And I immediately turned back to page one. The San Francisco Chronicle describes this novel as "...a watery dream that pushes the boundaries between fiction and fantasy..."