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Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.

Teen Advisory Corps member Claire L enjoyed Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. 

Jamie and Maya were close in pre-school, but have since found new interests. Aspiring politician, Jamie, has his summer booked: volunteering for a state senator candidate’s campaign. However, though he would love to canvas, his work has mostly been behind the scenes due to his worries about public speaking. Maya on the other hand, was prepared to spend the summer with her best friend, who is going to college. When her friend becomes too busy to spend time with her, Maya’s summer suddenly has an opening. Not wanting her daughter to be moping around all summer, Maya’s mother suggests that she canvas with Jamie. Never having cared that much about politics, Maya is unconvinced. But as Jamie and Maya spend more time together, it turns out that canvassing can be fun when you have the right person to canvas with.

 

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is an inspiring story about two teens trying to make a difference in their community. First of all, I am so happy to see two young adult authors addressing politics with their story; it is not often that politically active teens are showcased in young adult books. Especially considering that Jamie and Maya are unable to vote, I am glad to see the story focuses on the other ways you can become involved with a campaign. In addition, I loved Jamie and Maya’s unexpected friendship. Though they were friends when they were younger, they have since learned more about themselves and who they want to be. But throughout the book they discover that their ambitions overlap more than they expected. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is a hopeful story that exudes optimism for the future of the nation.

Pre-Order your copy today, and check out more from our Teen Advisory Corps below!

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Yes No Maybe So Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062937049
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 4th, 2020

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Twin brothers Emil and Brighton have grown up wanting to be Celestials, hoping to one day inherit magical powers. With a youtube channel dedicated to magic powers, Brighton hasn’t quite let go of their childhood fantasies, but Emil has changed his dreams to advocating for phoenixes and other mythical creatures. So when Emil is the one to discover fire powers in the middle of a subway fight, Brighton is a tiny bit jealous. While Brighton struggles to prove himself, Emil tries to cope with new powers and responsibilities, all while trying to stop a murderous gang leader from gaining immortality. 

Adam Silvera did not disappoint with Infinity Son. Taking place in modern day New York City, it’s a cross between a superhero novel and a fantasy novel, similar tropes to superheroes, but still has the mythical creatures and fantastical elements. 

To start off, I love the modern day element of Infinity Son. I thought the politics were particularly interesting, showing how magic might be treated in society today. It’s also fun to read about how normal people use their powers and what people who don’t have powers think about them. 

Silvera did a good job of writing realistic characters. The characters have powers, but aren't overpowered. Even the most powerful characters are beatable. The fight scenes are suspenseful because there is a possibility that the good side will lose, and they actually do frequently. Aside from the powers, he also gives the characters sensible emotions. Brighton especially, he gets jealous and upset when he feels he’s being overlooked or underestimated, but he isn’t portrayed as evil just because he feels negative emotions and is still a lovable character with good attributes. The other characters argue and get upset with each other unreasonably sometimes, giving more weaknesses to characters that could easily be overpowered.

The world building was very well thought out, but specifically the way that magic is viewed and the way that it’s handled by the police was a great touch to the world. Celestials are either vilified or glorified by people without powers, and the problems with each are shown. At some point in the story both sides give issues to the protagonists. Adding crime rings and other criminals into the magical realm felt very unique in the way that it was written. A black market for mythical creatures and making magical drugs added a very gritty element to the story, and gave more background for some of the villains. 

I don’t have any complaints about Infinity Son other than some of the writing during fight scenes. It was hard to tell what was going on in a couple of the scenes. There were a couple of times where there seemed to be pauses in battles for two characters to talk. I think there was supposed to still be things going on around the characters, or maybe the space where the fight was taking place was really big so they had space, but it felt a bit stilted.

I enjoyed Infinity Son, I’ll definitely be reading the next book. The characters and world building itself is worth sticking around for, but also I need some closure for the ending... I’d rate Infinity Son a 4.5/5, and I would recommend it to any fantasy lover.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062457820
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Quill Tree Books - January 14th, 2020

Girls of July by Alex Flinn

Britta is a bubbly social butterfly, looking for a getaway from her life. Meradith is the overachiever who's only focus is college - she needs a break. Kate is the rich, Georgia debutante hiding from a family scandal. Spider is the film obsessed loner who's disabiliy has serparted her from her peers her whole life. So when spider and her grandmother post an ad for a month lopng vacation in the Adirondacks, the other girls jump at the chance. They don't know that one month in the mountains is exactly what they need. 

Britta, Meradith, Kate and Spider are all very different people. So when they end up spending the month in the mountains together, things don't go smoothly at first. But after a while the girls form a fierce bond and come out of it knowing themselves better than before. In the book the diverse collection of characters paint a beautiful picture of the worlds ups and downs. Girls of July shares a message about taking action when something goes wrong instead of sitting back and waiting it out. 

Books: 
Girls of July Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062447838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - June 4th, 2019

Loveboat Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Having just finished a stressful senior year, Ever Wong is looking forward to the summer months before college. But when her parents announce that she will be going to Taiwan for a Mandarin immersion program, her original plans are ruined. Ever’s parents have always had high standards for her, and she worries this camp will involve similar expectations. However, as soon as she arrives, she learns that while the program is full of successful teens, they too are looking for freedom from their parents’ watchful eye. Nicknamed Loveboat by the students, the immersion program doubles as an opportunity to meet people, and maybe even date them.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen is a fun read that explores the excitement and thrill of freedom. The adventures of Ever and her fellow campers include intriguing glimpses of Taiwanese sights and experiences. In addition, the adrenaline rush of the characters’ joys and discoveries are shared with you so that you feel as if you are part of the adventure, too. Furthermore, the plot develops in a riveting way that keeps you on the edge of your seat; you never know what the group will get up to next. Another enjoyable aspect of the story was Ever’s growing self-confidence. Her character development encourages you to stick up for what matters most to you. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen is the perfect combination of romance, adventure, and self-discovery.

Books: 
Loveboat, Taipei Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062957276
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperTeen - January 7th, 2020

We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler

Callie VanDrexel thinks she knows exactly what her future holds, until her mom accepts a job at an animal santuary in Florida, forcing callie to leave the circus and put her high wire dreams on hold. She is still struggling with the recent death of her grandmother, Victoria, and the move is doing little to help her cope. Fifty years earlier Victoria runs away to the circus with a plan to make a new life for herself in Texas. But as time goes on she gets closer to the members of VanDrexels Circus, and findes her place on the highwire. After a while Texas seems less and less like the right path to take. Frustrated and confused Victoria writes down lessons she picks up from the circus on scraps of paper that she stores in her jewelry box. 

We Walked the Sky telles the story of Callie and her grandmother, Victoria. Their journey shares a powerful message about love, change, and the difference between running from and running to. Throughout the book Victoria's many secrets unravel through a series of journal entries and random notes, leaving Callie to put the pieces together to reveal the shocking truth about her beloved grandmother. In the novel Callie and Victoria both learn to embrace change and deal with the hardships of life. 

Books: 
We Walked the Sky Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451480804
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Razorbill - July 2nd, 2019

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Jinghua has been exiled from her home and forced into slavery after her kingdom was conquored by the Mongolian empire. While stealing apples for her brothers ghost, she meets Khalaf, prince of Kipchak Khanate. Kind and smart, Jinghua is enamored by him. When Kipchak Khanate is attacked, Jinghua follows Khalaf and his father as they flee. Jinghua finds herself growing more deeply in love as the journey progresses, but Khalaf has other ideas. Turandokht, the Great Khans daughter, offers anyone who can answer three of her riddles her hand in marriage. Khalaf can save his Khanate and help his people if he is successful. But, if he fails to answer correctly, the consequence is death. 

    Based off the opera Turandot, The Bird and the Blade has a very play like style. It’s very character driven and there is a ton of dialog. Definitely my kind of book. 

    First of all, this book is hilarious. The way Jinghua describes her circumstances and basically everything Timur said made me smile. The humor also made it really easy to connect with the characters and sympathies with them. I don’t think Timur would have been likeable or even bearable without his amazing snarky comments. 

    It could be just because The Bird and the Blade is based on an opera, but all the characters were very well written. Every character had their own unique personality, even characters that only appears for one chapter. The characters react to different situations in ways that fit their personalities perfectly. It makes them seem more realistic, and again, easier to sympathies with. 

    The structure of the book was super cool. It skips through time, but in a very organized way. It makes the transition between timelines seamless and understandable. The riddles that Turandokht tells splits other more monotonous parts up and makes it more interesting as a whole. It also connects the riddles back to experiences that Khalaf had in the past which really tied everything together, and connected the past and present in an interesting way. 

    The ending of the book was full of plot twists that I didn’t see coming at all. They were the type of plot twists that make you want to reread the book to pick up on the clues that you overlooked. The twists aren’t revealed in an overly dramatic way either, they are revealed naturally through flashbacks and normal conversations. The ending of the book itself just felt like a giant plot twist, realistic, but still unexpected. It felt like a treat for finishing the book. 

    The only complaint I have is that it was a bit slow at some parts. Not unbearably so, because there were still things going on, just not for the plot. I think that’s to be expected of a book based off of an opera though. 

    Overall I would give The Bird and the Blade a 4.5/5. I really enjoyed this book, it was hilarious and entertaining. The characters were lovable but realistic and the plot was great. I really hope Megan Bannen continues to write because I would love to see more from her.

Books: 
The Bird and the Blade Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062674166
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

Speak Easy, Speak Love by Mckelle George

Beatrice is studying to become a doctor, so when she was kicked out of her boarding school, she is unsure of what she will do next. Hearing of her expulsion, Beatrice’s uncle, Leo, invites her to come live with him. Little does she know, Leo runs a speakeasy, Hey Nonny Nonny, in their basement. As Beatrice is introduced to the other residents, she unravels more about Hey Nonny Nonny and the business of running a speakeasy. One resident, Benedick, a writer-hopeful, leaves his boarding school to get away from his father’s ideal future for him. Accepting bootlegging as a better destiny, he resorts to Hey Nonny Nonny, his second home. When they first meet, there is a curiosity sparked between the two, but each of Beatrice and Benedick’s conversations seem to end negatively. Despite this, there is an allure that draws the two towards each other.

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George transports you to the roaring twenties. Following six residents of Hey Nonny Nonny, you see glimpses and exploration of the varying aspects of the 1920’s including prohibition, women’s rights, jazz, and gangs. I adored the dialogue and banter, especially between Beatrice and Benedick. Not only is the dialogue fitting for the time, but it also feels relevant today. In addition, I enjoyed the balance between light-hearted relationships to more serious issues pertaining to operating the speakeasy. Furthermore, the multiple themes contributed to the drama and intrigue of the story. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George is a fun and delightful story about the glamorous (and not so glamorous) 1920’s.

Books: 
Speak Easy, Speak Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062560926
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 19th, 2017

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

On October 7th, 1961, a tornado touched down at the drive in theatre in tiny Mercer, Illinois, killing dozens of teens. Almost fifty years later, on the anniversary of the tragedy a tornado tears through the exact same spot. Soon after the shocking event, three teens' paths start to cross. With everyone on high alert from the recent tornado the three of them start to notice some mysterious occurances, all while their own lives are spiraling out of control. We Speak In Storms is a rich and insightful book with a lot of emphasis on the characters's journeys as friends and as individuals. The story is told from the perspective of three teens; Callie, Joshua, and Brenna. Sprinkled through the book you get a couple mysterious and resonating paragraphs from the kids who were killed by the tornado fifty years prior. These short chapters are really enjoyable because they add some contrast to the style of the book. Over all the aspect of the novel that stood out the most was the unique voices and journeys of the characters. 

Books: 
We Speak in Storms Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525518006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - September 3rd, 2019

The Booksellers of Country Bookshelf Recommend

We recently partnered with Harper Collins and went LIVE on Facebook with some of our booksellers favorite recommendations and books to handsell. If you missed it live, you can check out the video here.

We kicked things off with some important Bozeman books - including the One Book One Bozeman pick The Weight of an Infinite Sky by Montana Author Carrie La Seur. Keep an eye out for more events tied to this book and make sure you book club adds it to your rotation. We also highlighted one of our Children’s Festival of the Book authors, Brian Floca and his book Moonshot, since this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the lunar landing. Floca will be joined by Caldecott winner Sophia Blackall and Montana Author Susan Adrian. Visit the Children’s Festival of the Book website for more details. 

Our mystery maven Wendy jumped in with two of her favorite fall books - The Chestnut Man by Soren Sviestrup, which Wendy calls a great chilling Scandanavian thriller. Wendy also loved Tim Egan’s newest book A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith about his travels along the Via Francigena. 

Harry was prepared for “Spook-tober” with his recommendations - The Saturday Night Ghost Club, Undead Girl Gang, and The Cosmology of Monsters. He also had two graphic novel recommendations for you - Maestros and Fairlady. 

Non-fiction fan Kaycee took us to the True Crime section, recommending I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Chase Darkness With Me, Savage Appetites, and the new adult horror title from Stephen Chbosky Imaginary Friend. 

Not to be outdone, Kasey jumped in with some of her favorite recommendations, including Name of the Wind - a perennial staff favorite, and the work of Otessa Mosfegh - which she brought to our Book Club in July with My Year of Rest and Relaxation. 

Finally, Jessica closed us out with some of her favorites, including Lady Derring Takes a Lover from our new romance section, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Braiding Sweetgrass (which you won’t be able to get her to be quiet about), and her favorite book of the year, Gideon the Ninth.

Obviously we love talking about books, so we hope you’ll ask our staff for their recommendations on your next favorite read.

 

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
The Chestnut Man: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062895363
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 3rd, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735225237
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 15th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133933
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Penguin Books - July 9th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Undead Girl Gang Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780451478245
Availability: Backordered
Published: Razorbill - May 14th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
A Cosmology of Monsters: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524747671
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - September 17th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Maestros Volume 1 Cover Image
By Steve Skroce, Steve Skroce (Artist)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534306738
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Image Comics - November 6th, 2018

Fairlady Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534313316
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Image Comics - September 17th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062319791
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders Cover Image
By Billy Jensen, Karen Kilgariff (Foreword by)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781492685852
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Sourcebooks - August 13th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501188886
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - August 20th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Imaginary Friend Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781538731338
Availability: Backordered
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 1st, 2019

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780756404741
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: DAW - April 1st, 2008

My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Lady Derring Takes a Lover: The Palace of Rogues Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062867469
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Avon - February 26th, 2019

The Poet X Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - March 6th, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
Braiding Sweetgrass Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 1st, 2014

Staff Pick Badge
Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250313195
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - September 10th, 2019

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Romance Recommendations Halloween Edition

 Something Old 

Jeaniene Frost is one of the best paranormal authors out there. So let’s start at the beginning – her debut novel – with HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE – A Night Huntress Novel.

Cat is half vampire, half human, who hunts vampires. Bones is a vampire bounty hunter. When they team up it’s out of necessity, but neither of them can deny the chemistry between them. Bones helps Cat see that not all vampires are evil, and neither is she as they race to rescue innocent enslaved girls.

An entertaining, sexy, action-packed adventure into the darkness where everyone is neither all good nor evil.  

 

 Something New 

Start a new magical series with Ilona Andrews BURN FOR ME – the first book in their Hidden Legacy series.

Tough, determined, ready to take on any challenge, Nevada teams up with a seductive, dangerous man to find her next target to save her detective agency. Rogan knows how dangerous magic can be – and so can love.

A magical society, powerful families, a strong female lead, an enemies-to-lovers romance, and a compelling mystery kept me enthralled and turning the page.   

 

Something Borrowed

I was so excited – and star struck – when Jeaniene Frost emailed me with her favorite paranormal books…

The most recent paranormal romance I read and loved was SAPPHIRE FLAMES by Ilona Andrews. This is another continuation of her hugely popular Hidden Legacy series, this time featuring new leads, Catalina and Alessandro. With smoldering tension, non-stop action and laugh out loud humor, I loved everything about this book. 

I'm also a huge fan of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series, most especially the books featuring Elena and Raphael. The most recent one is ARCHANGEL'S PROPHECY, but fans like me won't have long to wait until Elena and Raphael's next adventures in ARCHANGEL'S WAR.  If you haven't yet discovered this mesmerizing paranormal world of angels, vampires, vampire hunters and forbidden love, start with ANGEL'S BLOOD, book one in the series. Careful, though - Nalini's writing is addictive!

Check out Jeaniene’s new series! SHADES OF WICKED is out now!

 

Something Blue-ish

HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE - I love this cover. It’s kind of creepy, but still has the promise of a happy-ever-after – literally in this case because vampires live forever!

What’s a vampire to do when he loses a fang? Find a dentist to fix it before his natural healing abilities leaves him a one-fang vamp with only half a bite. Too bad Shanna has the Russian mob after her, making it even more difficult for Roman to get his chomp back. Lucky for Shana, she’s found the one man who has the power, strength, and determination to keep her alive – because he wants her for himself.

Action, humor, a millionaire vampire – Highlander vampires! – and a romance between an unlikely couple make this a really enjoyable read.

I hope you enjoy all of these recommendations.

 

 
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