Laura

About Laura: 

Laura Speake is an avid devourer of varying types of literature, though most of her favorites are tragically out of print. She spends much of her free time in the liminal spaces between items on her never ending To Do list. Having been a cat in a previous life, she frequently gets the urge to curl up and take a nap in any given spot of sunshine. In the fall, she will be attempting, once more, to make progress on her Bachelor's in English.

Books: 
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The Prophet Calls Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781499807554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yellow Jacket - November 6th, 2018

Laura's November 2018 pick

Not for the faint of heart, this book centers on Gentry, a young girl growing up in a polygamous Mormon cult in New Mexico. The storys shows all aspects of her community's faith, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. Despite the heavy nature of its topic, The Prophet Calls has some truly wonderful moments of levity, beauty, and kindness. It also deals with the intersection of disability and faith, as Gentry's younger sister has Down Syndrome.

To be honest, I read this book in one day, in a single sitting. It is poignant and powerful, and I was unable to put it down. I cannot stress how much I want absolutely everyone to read it. It's Melanie Sumrow's debut, and I hope she writes more. There is something breathtakingly important about this book, something I don't quite have a name for.


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Forgotten City Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062696960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 9th, 2018

Laura's October 2018 pick, 1 of 5

Kobi was, until recently, surviving the toxic Waste outside the high school-turned-bunker with the aid of his father. Now, his father has gone missing, and Kobi must fend for himself. Fast-paced, exciting, and just a bit daring in its take on the apocalypse, this is the book for anyone looking for their next adventure story. For fans of Maze Runner, Divergent, or the Fallout game franchise, I cannot recommend this book enough. I will warn you, though, that the story does contain a betrayal or three, as well as some character death. Also giant wolves and possibly sentient (and hungry) plants. Consider yourself warned, and then consider yourself invited.


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Wicked Nix Cover Image
By Lena Coakley, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419728693
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 9th, 2018

Laura's October 2018 pick, 2 of 5
Nix’s job is to protect the forest. At least, he’s pretty sure that’s his job. Why else would the Fairy Queen have left him there after last year’s Midsummer Night’s festivities? With his hair full of twigs and his penchant for mischief, Nix knows he’s the wickedest and most hideous of the fairies. Now all he has to do is convince the human who’s just moved into his forest. For fans of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, and for those who grew up hearing tales of the Fey Folk, this book is sure to enchant and delight. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.


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The Brilliant Death Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - October 30th, 2018

Laura's October 2018 pick, 3 of 5

Amy Rose Capetta has created the combination of queer fantasy and political intrigue I have always wanted to see on the shelf. As soon as you read the first page, you are drawn into a world of loyalty, betrayal, magic, and murder, and you find that despite all the dangers in Vinalia, you never want to leave. The politics and mythology are based heavily on medieval Italy, and the story contains twists and turns that would put the machinations of Caesar's court to shame. At the center of it all is Teodora di Sangro, a powerful teenage strega, or witch, forced to hide her gift until she meets another with powers to rival her own. Is Cielo an enemy or an ally? Will Teo be able to navigate the dangers of courtroom politics and find a cure for her poisoned father, all while masquerading as a boy? You simply must read and find out.


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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338255843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 9th, 2018

Laura's October 2018 pick, 4 of 5

Jaclyn Moriarty has one of the best imaginations I've encountered in a long time. She has created a main character full of spunk and determination, and a world full of whimsy and chaos. The story starts with Bronte receiving the news that her parents, whom she has never met, have been killed by pirates. According to their will, she must travel across the Kingdoms and Empires to visit her 11 aunts and give them each a gift from her parents. The catch, of course, is that the will is fairy cross stitched, which means that if she doesn't fulfill the exact terms and conditions laid out, her entire hometown will be torn to pieces. Quite a lot of pressure to put on a 10-year-old girl! I would especially recommend this book to fans of Lemony Snicket and Terry Pratchett. All throughout reading of Bronte's fantastical adventures, I kept thinking of one word: delightful. It's truly the best way to describe this book. In fact, I enjoyed the read so much that upon finishing it, I emailed the author to tell her just how delightful an experience it was!


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After the Fire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492669791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - October 1st, 2018

Laura's October 2018 review, 5 of 5

This is a book about a girl who's lost everything. Her home, she lost in the fire. Her Family, she's been losing bit by bit for years. And her Faith, well. That hasn't been the same since her mother was Banished. Join Moonbeam (yes, that's her name) as she tells a therapist and an FBI agent about life inside the Lord's Legion, a cult led by Father John Parson, said to be a messenger from God.

With some truly remarkable prose, Will Hill has shown us the story of what happens after lifelong trauma, of the not so easily stomached healing process. The book is clearly a labor of love, well researched and as realistic as possible. It shies away from nothing, but never gets so gruesome as to make you want to put down the book entirely. This book is Good and Important, and I truly hope we as an audience give it the attention it deserves.


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Check, Please!: # Hockey Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250177964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - September 18th, 2018

Laura's September 2018 pick, 1 of 2

I've been reading this in its webcomic form for years, and I'm really excited to be able to take it home with me as a graphic novel! Join Eric Richard "Bitty" Bittle as he starts his first year at Samwell University and finds himself thrown into the world of College Hockey Bros. He spends the book baking, ice skating, and learning how to live with, and love, both himself and his teammates. A great book for anyone who loves stories about team dynamics, falling in love, and coming of age. Also important to note: there's canon LGBT representation, lots of diversity in the main chracters, and both the book and the author handle issues of mental health and addiction with a great deal of respect and well researched accuracy.


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The Good Demon Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419731273
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - September 18th, 2018

Laura's September 2018 pick, 2 of 2

The book begins shortly after Clare's lifelong companion, a demon, has been exorcised by a local preacher and his son. She's miserable, and all she wants is to get Her back so she can feel whole again. If you pick up this book (which you should), you will find yourself aching for Clare and the connection she's lost. You will find yourself rooting for her as she gets closer to the son of the very man who caused her so much anguish, and you'll be on the edge of your seat as she uncovers far more than she ever bargained for in her quest to reunite with her demon.
 

Clare also reads a lot like someone with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), and it feels like a lot of research went into portraying that accurately and respectfully. As someone with loved ones who deal with DID, those elements made the story even more compelling.


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The House in Poplar Wood Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781452149868
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - August 28th, 2018

Laura's August 2018 pick

If I were organizing by genre, I would put this book squarely in the middle of Realistic Fiction. So masterful is the integration of the fantasy elements that make the story flow that you feel as though it could happen in your own hometown. When you’re reading about Felix and Lee Vickery, thirteen-year-old twins determined to break the Agreement that controls their family’s lives, you forget that the world isn’t full of the Shades and Summoners that run the town of Boon Ridge. As you flip through the pages, you’ll also meet Gretchen Whipple, an outsider in her own family who just wants answers to the question “who killed Essie Hastings?” I sincerely hope your future includes this book and these characters, as I’m certainly glad I took the time to get to know them.


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Pax Cover Image
By Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062377012
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 2nd, 2016

Laura's June 2018 pick

If you’re in the market for a heart wrenching animal fantasy novel, this is the one for you. It tells the story of a boy and his pet fox who get separated by an unnamed war. The point of view switches back and forth between Peter (the boy) and Pax (the fox) as they push their way across the countryside in an attempt to reunite. This book features a remarkable cast of side characters, from an outcast wise woman whose passion for marionettes teaches Peter something profound, to a haughty vixen just trying to keep her family together. While I think absolutely everyone everywhere should read this book, I do feel the need to warn that there are somewhat graphic depictions of injuries, as well as some character death. If you give this book a try, I don’t think you’ll be able to put it down.


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Mera: Tidebreaker Cover Image
By Danielle Paige, Stephen Byrne (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401283391
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: DC Ink - April 2nd, 2019

Laura's April 2019 pick

This is a Little Mermaid retelling like you've never imagined. The art is stunning, the worldbuilding is phenomenal, and the characters feel so much like real people it's almost scary. You will find yourself agonizing over the decisions Mera has to make whether you want to or not, and you will not be able to put this book down until you finish her story.