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Unbound By Christy Healy Cover Image
ISBN: 9798212613835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blackstone Publishing - January 16th, 2024

Shyanne's June 2024 pick

This book features a genderbent retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in ancient Ireland and steeped in Irish folklore. Out of all the retellings I've read, this one might possibly be my favorite. Rozlyn O Conchúir is a cursed woman who makes her daring escape as a result of a cutting betrayal. After a decade of mastering the power of her curse, Rozlyn created a safe haven until her past came barreling through her doors. The news of savage mythological creatures awakening and prowling the land brings about this epic tale as she must work together with the man who broke her heart and trust. Together they embark on a harrowing journey to wake the old gods and restore balance to the land.

Healy's debut book is beautifully written, told with dual POV and timelines, it sets a fantastical stage to a story about resilience, strength, and love. 

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The Ministry of Time: A Novel By Kaliane Bradley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668045145
Availability: Backordered
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 7th, 2024

Shyanne's May 2024 pick (1 of 2)

Time travel! Romance! Government conspiracies! The perfect trifecta. 

Set in the near future in London, the government gets its hands on a time machine and decides to use it to bring people from the past to the present. Our protagonist is offered the job as a bridge to one of the “expats,” Graham Gore, from an 1845 arctic exploration. She is tasked with helping him adjust to his new surroundings; imagine trying to explain Spotify, indoor plumbing, germs, or social media to someone from the Victorian Era, or even to someone from the height of the Bubonic plague. Through a year of living together they build a surprising and deep connection, but with secrets and unbalanced power dynamics, their bond is tested. However, as typical, the government is a tad shady and the Ministry has ulterior motives with the time machine that may have deadly consequences. This is a humorous, sad, intense, and thrilling debut novel that discusses the complexities of colonization and its harmful impact on society and the world.

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Fruit of the Dead: A Novel By Rachel Lyon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668020852
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - March 5th, 2024

Shyanne's May 2024 pick (2 of 2)

A daughter who is aimless and eighteen, an older man who offers her a lavish life of ease, and the controlling mother who only wants what's best for her child; this novel reads like a fever dream, leaving the reader in a daze. In a time of Greek myth retellings, this contemporary reimagining of the abduction of Persephone is at the top of my list. Cory Ansel is fresh out of high school and finds herself entangled in the opulent life of pharmaceutical CEO Rolo Picazzo after working at a summer camp with his kid. Signing a NDA, Cory spends a few months on Rolo’s private island in Maine nannying and becomes entangled in the drugs, sex, and power of the ultra wealthy. Meanwhile, her mother, Emer, is frantically looking for Cory, going to extreme lengths searching for her daughter, ready to rescue her and bring her home; but Cory isn’t sure she wants to be found.

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A Short Walk Through a Wide World: A Novel By Douglas Westerbeke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668026069
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - April 2nd, 2024

Shyanne's April 2024 pick

What if you couldn’t stay in the same place for more than three days? And you couldn’t ever return?

This is the life of Aubry Tourvel.

After being cursed as a child, she is unable to remain in one location for more than three days, or four if she's lucky, before she starts to die. Being forced to live the life of a nomad, she sees and experiences things no one can imagine, she is a witness for the earth and all its hidden treasures and mysteries.

However, her life on the move can be a lonely one, and Aubry learns of the different kinds of love, kindness, betrayal, heartbreak and surprises that humankind has to offer. Her journey poses the question about what it means to be human, what our purpose is, and what it is that makes home.

Hypnotizing, emotional, thought provoking, and beautiful, Westerbeke’s debut novel should be one of your next reads. This novel has cemented its place as one of my top favorite reads this year, if not of all time.

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A Tempest of Tea (Blood and Tea) By Hafsah Faizal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374389406
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 20th, 2024

Shyanne's March 2024 pick

Perfect for fans of Six of Crows who wished there were vampires, A Tempest of Tea is a spellbinding story that breaks your heart in the best way.

With heists, a tearoom turned bloodhouse, colonialism, betrayal, romance, corruption, found family, assassins, and plot twists; it has it all.

Faizal is one of my favorite authors, and her writing never fails to captivate. Brew a pot of tea, cozy up, and lose yourself in this cunning and witty cast of dramatic criminals.

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The Kingdom of Sweets: A Novel of the Nutcracker By Erika Johansen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524742751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - November 28th, 2023

Shyanne's November 2023 pick

The Nutcracker has long been a family classic, but what if Claire had a twin sister cursed with darkness? This novel is a twisted take on the classic Russian tale. Its magic will lure you into its mystifying corridors only to spit you back out into ordinary life, landing you in a daze. The novel follows Natasha, who has lived her life in the shadow of her beautiful twin sister, Claire. Overlooked and unappreciated by those around her, her life changes the night of their 16th birthday after a shocking revelation and a surprise visit from rumored sorcerer and godfather, Drosselmeyer. Mysterious wizards, dark bargains, sinister autonomous toys, a harrowing alternate dimension, and so much more culminate within the journey of our underestimated main character. This is not the Nutcracker you think you know. It’s so much better.

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Bloom By Delilah S. Dawson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781803365756
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Titan Books - October 3rd, 2023

Shyanne's October 2023 pick (1 of 2)

What harm could a budding romance possibly do? This book can be summarized in three words: a lesbian cottagecore horror. Put on your rose-tinted glasses and get ready to fall into the blossoming romance between Ro and Ash. A farmers market meet cute, feeding each other homemade cupcakes, beating a raccoon to death with a shovel, and keeping her lover's nail clippings in a bowl. What's not to love? It's fine that Ash won't tell Ro her last name, and it's okay that there is no trace of her online, and of course, it's totally normal how furious she gets over the mysterious door in her house. Ash is just a sweet, gorgeous woman who wears pastel dresses, lives on a small farm and sells cupcakes, what kind of threat could she possibly pose?

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Bluebeard's Castle: A Novel (Verso Fiction) By Anna Biller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781804291856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - October 10th, 2023

Shyanne's October 2023 pick (2 of 2)

This Gothic thriller features Judith, a successful mystery author, and Gavin, a seemingly charming and wealthy baron. Set in a stone castle in the countryside, this novel takes the reader on a suspenseful journey complete with mysterious wailing during midnight hours, the sounds of chains rattling behind a locked door, and wandering through dark hallways by candlelight. This story entrances by using the classic tale of Bluebeard wrapped up in the aesthetic of gothic heroines and villains. Author Anna Biller illustrates the manipulations and abuse one can become entangled in, and the struggles and difficulties that arise from it. This feminist retelling is beautifully written. Her clever storytelling drew me in with lush settings and scenery and a strong female lead. 

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Maddalena and the Dark: A Novel By Julia Fine Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250867902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - June 11th, 2024

Shyanne's August 2023 pick

This novel will entrance its reader with its passion, desire, ambition, and betrayal; complete with an undercurrent of mysterious dark power. Set in 1717 among the canals of Venice, Maddalena is sent to the Ospedale della Pietà, a covenant, orphanage and music school, where she soon develops a deep connection with Louisa. The two girls come from very different worlds, with Maddalena temporarily attending the Pietà in order to prove herself desirable for a strong marriage match and to move past the rumors of her parentage, and Louisa knowing nothing but her violin and the church. Together they must navigate the complexities of Venetian society as well as their burgeoning feelings burning within.

This book transported me into the sticky summer days and the chilling winter evenings of 18th century Venice in all its gothic glory. I’m absolutely entranced by the moral ambiguity of these characters and their relationships, the grip of the suspense and mystery that echo throughout the book, and the final lines that tie it all together. After finishing this novel, I sat staring at my wall for an unreasonable amount of time. When I came out of my trance, I realized that this book had bewitched me and holds a place of honor among being my top three favorite books this year.

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The Sea Elephants: A Novel By Shastri Akella Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250867056
Availability: Not in stock, but we can get it for you!
Published: Flatiron Books - July 11th, 2023

Shyanne's July 2023 pick

Set in India during the 80’s and 90’s, this novel follows the path of Shagun, a boy who struggles to find his place in the world. His journey is heart wrenching and beautiful. Shagun is gay in a time and place where it’s illegal and being his true self could get him imprisoned, beaten, or placed in a conversion therapy center. After joining a traveling acting group, he’s able to grow into himself, yet is still held back from his life's full desires by past trauma that still haunts him. It's a long and difficult road of healing from his past in order to move on in his present. Shastri Akella writes about the complexities of generational trauma in a way that touches the reader with the intricacy of family and love. This novel is poignant and emotional, his journey includes found family, grief, self-discovery, all while interspersed with Hindu myths and most importantly, the tale of the Sea Elephants.

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Where Ivy Dares to Grow: A Gothic Time Travel Love Story By Marielle Thompson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496742629
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kensington - June 27th, 2023

Shyanne's June 2023 pick

Outlander meets Jane Eyre in this hauntingly gripping romance. Saoirse is spending the gloomy winter at the Langdon estate where her fiance’s terminally ill mother spends her last days. Not only is Saoirse struggling with her mental health, but she also has to endure the constant emotional abuse from her soon to be in-laws. When she mysteriously enters a timeslip into the 19th century and meets her fiance’s ancestor, she finds that the Langdon Hall she's come to know wasn't always the dark and eerie place it is now, but instead a flourishing estate full of life and promise. Torn between two times, and two Page men, Saoirse must decipher between what is real, what is a product of her mind, and what is a product of the house that seems to have a will of its own.

I absolutely loved reading this book, in fact I couldn’t put it down and stayed up late into the early hours of the morning in order to finish it. Thompson's debut novel encompasses mental health struggles and love in a tasteful and real way. The mystery, the romance, the pain, and the gut wrenching twist at the end all add up to a book that is grippingly beautiful. 

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1984: 75th Anniversary By George Orwell, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Introduction by), Sandra Newman (Afterword by) Cover Image
By George Orwell, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Introduction by), Sandra Newman (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780452262935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - April 1st, 1983

Shyanne's April 2023 pick

This science fiction classic is not one to skip over. The futuristic world created by Orwell is a terrifying take on the consequences of absolute totalitarian government, the importance of freedom, and the impact of brainwashing. Winston is living in a society where everything he does and says is monitored by Big Brother and every aspect of his life is controlled by the government; his wife, job, and the media he consumes. Throughout the story, Winston and the reader experience both triumphs and horrors while delving into the secrets the government of Eurasia has been keeping under wraps.

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We: A Novel By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bela Shayevich (Translated by), Margaret Atwood (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bela Shayevich (Translated by), Margaret Atwood (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780063068445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 2nd, 2021

Shyanne's April 2023 pick

Published in 1921, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin helped inspire George Orwell’s haunting 1984. This science fiction classic follows along with the main character D-503’s journal logs through his harrowing journey of self-realization and discovery of the lies and cover-ups the government has been orchestrating. While reading this, you’ll be pondering about the ethics of technology; when is it too much? Where do we draw the line? The parallels from this novel to our current world are still applicable over a hundred years later, with totalitarian governments, rapidly increasing technology infiltrating our everyday lives, and filtered media to control the public masses.

We is a must-read for anyone who claims to be a science fiction fan, likes plot twists in the final pages, or likes books that give them plenty to ponder about and leaves them with a book hangover.