Donna

Donna

East coast transplant Donna spends her free time reading, knitting, and listening to Kpop, that is, when she's not being distracted by her two adorable but needy chiweenies. She loves reading anything and everything, but her truest literary loves will always be science fiction & fantasy. Her literary crushes include Dickon from The Secret Garden, Luc from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Jane from One Last Stop.

Favorite Genres: 
Children's Lit
Fantasy
LGBTQ Fiction
Literary Fiction
Science Fiction
Young Adult
Book Recommendations: 
Staff Pick Badge
Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel (Celestial Kingdom #1) By Sue Lynn Tan Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063031302
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Harper Voyager - January 11th, 2022

This book is a gorgeous, lushly-written fable following Xinyin, the titular daughter of Chang’e, the goddess of the Moon. Long exiled for a slight against the Emperor of Heaven, the two have stayed hidden on the Moon, until an accident reveals them. Xinyin is forced to go on the run, and embarks on a quest to save her mother from the wrath of the Emperor.

I have such fond memories of hearing my own mother telling me the legend of Chang’e, and this beautiful fantasy brought those memories back to life. Highly recommend! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
When Women Were Dragons: A Novel By Kelly Barnhill Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385548229
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Doubleday - May 3rd, 2022

This is a book about women spontaneously turning into dragons. But it’s mostly a book about dysfunctional families, the complicated relationships between women, and how the patriarchy hurts everyone, but especially hurts women who dare to dream of things beyond what’s expected of them.

I simply could not put down this beautifully written book. If you’re looking for a light fantasy with a strong element of family drama, this is the book for you!
 ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1) By Arkady Martine Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250186447
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Tor Books - February 25th, 2020

The newest ambassador from her backwater mining station to the shining City at the center of the Teixcalaanli Empire, Mahit Dzmare arrives eager to fulfill her role, but totally overwhelmed by the death of her predecessor, and the political intrigue that surrounds her.

Filled with incredible worldbuilding and endearing characters, A Memory Called Empire is a stunning space opera in the tradition of Ancillary Justice and Leviathan Wakes. I absolutely cannot wait to continue the series. ~Donna


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Book of Night By Holly Black Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250812193
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Tor Books - May 3rd, 2022

Charlie Hall is an ex-thief and con artist just trying to stay out of trouble, keep her car running, and pay for her younger sister’s tuition. But in a world of shadow magicians, sinister crime bosses, and relentless reminders of her past, she can’t help but be drawn back into darkness for one last job.

Holly Black has woven such a dark, gritty story for her first adult novel, and I was hooked from the very start. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Maid: A Novel By Nita Prose Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593356159
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 4th, 2022

From the moment I started reading The Maid, I was completely captivated by the main character’s voice.

Molly Gray sees the world very differently from most people, and she relies on rules from her Gran to help her navigate her job at a posh hotel. But when her beloved grandmother dies, she’s left on her own. Even worse, she comes across a dead body in one of her meticulously maintained rooms, and is soon embroiled in a tawdry police investigation. What’s an innocent but clever hotel maid to do? ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Echo Wife By Sarah Gailey Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250174673
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Tor Books - May 24th, 2022

This is peak sci-fi for me, a book that explores ethical quandaries of scientific experimentation, the inevitable consequences of that experimentation, and ultimately, what it means to be human.

Clocking in at less than 300 pages long, it’s one of the best sci-fi thrillers I’ve ever read, and the bombshell ending will live rent free in my head forever. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Diviners By Libba Bray Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316126106
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 3rd, 2013

It’s the Roaring 20s, and aspiring flapper Evie O’Neill has been sent to live with her boring old uncle in New York City. But events quickly become a lot less boring as a series of gruesome murders hits the city that never sleeps. Evie must use her developing telepathy to try and stop the killer terrorizing the streets. Along the way, she meets other young people with similar strange powers. Don’t miss out on this fantastically inventive series! ~Donna


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The Priory of the Orange Tree (The Roots of Chaos) By Samantha Shannon Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781635570304
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 18th, 2020

Don’t let the length of this book scare you off! It is so well written, with such amazing world-building, that I finished it desperately wanting more from the world. I mean, what’s better than badass secret warriors, the various kingdoms they’re sworn to protect, and two kinds of dragons?!

I couldn’t put this one down, and I’m so excited for future books to come! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Spinning Silver: A Novel By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399180996
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Del Rey - May 7th, 2019

This stunning retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, set in a fantasy version of Lithuania, is one of the most accomplished fairy tale adaptations I’ve ever read. Naomi Novik’s writing sparkles like freshly fallen snow in telling the story of three women whose fates become intertwined as a result of the machinations of both fiery and icy creatures straight out of folklore.

A must-read for fans of The Bear & the Nightingale and The Wolf & the Woodsman. ~Donna


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These Hollow Vows By Lexi Ryan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358386575
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Clarion Books - July 20th, 2021

I could not stop reading this book! If you love books about Fae lands, court intrigue, smoldering love interests, and kick-butt female protagonists, you will also love this book!

Basically, if you’re a fan of Cruel Prince, A Court of Thorns and Roses, or An Enchantment of Ravens, you have to read this! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Gallant By V. E. Schwab Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062835772
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 1st, 2022

Stay away from Gallant. These are the last words Olivia’s mother ever wrote to her. But for a girl without a voice, the invitation from a long-lost uncle to her strange ancestral home seems a better option than the cold, gray orphanage she’s spent her whole life in.

But when she arrives at Gallant, Olivia finds herself faced with unfriendly family members, ghostly remnants of her mother, and a door in a hedge that inevitably draws her closer.

A book that demands to be devoured in one sitting, with beautifully haunting black & white illustrations, Gallant is not to be missed. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Yolk By Mary H. K. Choi Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534446014
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2022

Jayne and June are sisters. They are also nothing alike. They live in their separate spheres in New York City, barely interacting, until June drops the bombshell. She has cancer, and Jayne is the only one who can take care of her.

This unflinchingly honest novel follows the two sisters, once inseparable, trying desperately to bridge the gulf between them. Mary H. K. Choi’s writing is whip-smart and heart-wrenching, and I could not stop reading. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Ace of Spades By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250800817
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - June 1st, 2021

Despite being the only two black kids at prestigious Niveus Private Academy, Devon and Chiamaka could not be more different. Soon after the school year starts though, an anonymous texter called Aces starts spreading rumors about the two, rumors that could derail their futures entirely.

I loved this dark, twisty thriller that had shades of Pretty Little Liars and Get Out. The explosive ending left me reeling, and I can’t wait to read what Àbíké-Íyímídé will write next! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Gilded (Gilded Duology #1) By Marissa Meyer Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250618849
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 2nd, 2021

A fantastic new retelling of Rumpelstiltskin by the queen of fairy tale adaptations, Gilded is a fantastic read that cannot be missed! Follow the story of Serilda, a miller’s daughter whose spellbinding but untrue story accidentally and catastrophically catch the ear of a king from another realm. A must-read! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings #3) By Mackenzi Lee Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062916013
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - November 16th, 2021

The epic saga of the Montague siblings concludes with this action-packed and hilarious book about Adrian, the youngest of the three. Desperate to find the origin of his mother’s mysterious spyglass and a solution for the endless anxiety that plagues him, Adrian must brave storms, pirate, and, most importantly, his relationships with his newfound siblings to find the truth. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
A Forgery of Roses By Jessica S. Olson Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781335418661
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Inkyard Press - March 29th, 2022

The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Knives Out in this fast-paced, mysterious fantasy set in a world where magical paintings can change the physical appearance of their subjects. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Other Words for Home By Jasmine Warga Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062747815
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - April 6th, 2021

This beautifully-written book in verse follows Jude as she flees the civil war in Syria, leaving her older brother and father behind. She struggles to adjust to life in America, learn English and come to terms with her new identity: Middle Eastern.

But through strength she finds from her mother, her new friends, and from deep within herself, Jude comes to find that America, too, can be a place she calls home. ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1 By M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator), Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator) Cover Image
By M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator), Elisa Paganelli (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250791436
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Square Fish - February 23rd, 2021

Do you like trains, mysterious characters, and intrigue? This book is definitely for you!

11-year-old Hal is not quite so excited to go on the final journey of a historic train, but his mind soon changes when a royal prince and princess board the train, and soon after, a priceless jewel goes missing!

It’s up to Hal and his stowaway friend Lenny (who happens to be the conductor’s daughter) to figure out just what’s going on and catch the culprit! ~Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Last Night at the Telegraph Club By Malinda Lo Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780525555278
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - December 28th, 2021

The well-deserved winner of this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Last Night at the Telegraph is a beautifully written novel about first and forbidden love set in 1950s San Francisco’s Chinatown. The author’s dedication to historical accuracy really brought the time period to life and completely drew me in. --Donna

 


Staff Pick Badge
Daughter of the Deep By Rick Riordan Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781368077927
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 26th, 2021

Don’t miss this incredible, action-packed modern take on Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Aspiring underwater explorer and linguist Ana Dakkar stumbles into the middle of a century-long school rivalry that is turning deadlier by the day, and the secret of her mysterious heritage is finally revealed. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Batpig: When Pigs Fly (A Batpig Book #1) By Rob Harrell, Rob Harrell (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Rob Harrell, Rob Harrell (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593354155
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Dial Books - November 9th, 2021

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… pig? This hilarious super-swine hero origin-story had me giggling the whole time I was reading. It’s perfect for fans of Max Meow and Dog Man, and will be a hit for any young reader! --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero By E. Lockhart, Manuel Preitano (Illustrator) Cover Image
By E. Lockhart, Manuel Preitano (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401293222
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: DC Comics - September 7th, 2021

 I loved this beautifully-illustrated graphic novel which tells the story of Willow, a young Jewish activist stuck in an unethical job in order to pay for her mom’s medical bills. When a freak accident bonds her telepathically to her loyal dog companion, she decides to use her powers to be a voice for her community.. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Small Favors By Erin A. Craig Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780593306772
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Ember - June 28th, 2022

This beautifully-written, atmospheric, and spooky novel follows a young girl, Ellerie, who, unlike her twin brother who can roam the town at will, can only spend her time tending her family’s bees and caring for her sisters.

But when mysterious entities start granting wishes for the townsfolk, no matter how grand or impossible, Ellerie must find strength within herself to fight the creatures and save her town and everyone she loves. --Donna
 


Staff Pick Badge
She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology #1) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250621801
Availability: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
Published: Tor Books - July 20th, 2021

This epic fantasy, based on real Chinese history, but with a genderqueer twist, is one of my favorite reads of the year.

From the very first page, the main character’s voice had me completely enthralled. Her journey from nameless girl with a fate of nothing to esteemed general in a rebel army was full of twists, turns, and surprises, and I enjoyed every minute. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables) By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250765352
Availability: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
Published: Tordotcom - October 5th, 2021

What if there was a multiverse full of different Sleeping Beauties? What if there were some of them who decided to stop being victims in their stories, and instead become the saviors? And what if the dark fairy at the heart of the story isn’t who she seems?

These are the questions being answered in Alix E. Harrow’s newest novella. Harrow is quickly becoming a must-read author, with her lush but readable prose, instantly engaging characters, and incredible imagination. Highly recommend! --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Dial A for Aunties By Jesse Q. Sutanto Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593333037
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Berkley - April 27th, 2021

Meddie Chan is just trying to be the best daughter and niece she can, helping out with her family’s upscale wedding business (“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”), when a disastrous first date turns into an accidental homicide! Now it’s up to Meddie and her well-meaning but chaotic mom and aunties to hide the body and make sure the wedding they’re in charge of goes off without a hitch.

Of course, hijinks ensue.

I devoured this book, laughing the entire time. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
One Last Stop By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250244499
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 1st, 2021

I loved Casey McQuiston’s debut novel, so I was more than eager to get my hands on this book. It did not disappoint me. In fact, I loved it so much I immediately bought another copy so I could lend out my first one!

This beautiful and queer love story follows August, a student who lives with a hilariously quirky group of roomates. One day she encounters Jane on the subway and her life is never the same. Because though Jane returns August’s feelings, they can only meet on the train, because Jane is unmoored through time. It takes all of August’s love and resolve to save her. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Felix Ever After By Kacen Callender Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062820266
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - April 20th, 2021

Felix Love has never been in love. How ironic. Then again, he’s also worried that he has one too many marginalizations, being Black, queer, and transgender, to ever be truly happy. And when he starts getting hateful messages sent to his social media, his worst fears start coming true.


I loved reading along with Felix’s journey as he navigates school, bullies, and struggles with his art. Kacen Callender’s writing moved me to tears, and the book left me wanting to read more from such a talented author. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
The Sea in Winter By Christine Day Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062872050
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Heartdrum - January 4th, 2022

This beautifully written middle grade novel tells the story of Maisie Cannon, a young Native girl struggling with a leg injury that may put a stop to her lifelong dream of becoming a ballerina. She and her loving family go on their annual trip to see family and friends in the Makah Nation, but she can’t shake the feelings of hopelessness and sadness that have settled on her like a dark cloud since her accident. Maisie’s family desperately want to help her, but how can they when she doesn’t want to help herself? --Donna
 


Staff Pick Badge
The Awakening Storm: A Graphic Novel (City of Dragons #1) By Jaimal Yogis, Vivian Truong (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jaimal Yogis, Vivian Truong (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338660425
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Graphix - September 21st, 2021

Moving to a new country and starting at a new school is hard enough, what happens when you mix in ancient tales and dragons?!

This fun, action-packed graphic novel follows Grace as she is given a strange egg by a mysterious jade merchant, which soon hatches into an adorable baby dragon. She and her new friends must care for the dragon all while avoiding masked men who are determined to dragon-nap him for their own gains. Perfect for fans of Avatar the Last Airbender and Raina Telgemeier. --Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Cranky Chicken: A Cranky Chicken Book 1 By Katherine Battersby, Katherine Battersby (Illustrator) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534469884
Availability: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 7th, 2021

Everything makes Chicken cranky, the sun, the sky, surprises, dirt, mismatched socks, cupcakes without sprinkles, the list goes on! But what happens when an optimistic worm comes into Chicken’s life? The friendship of a lifetime.

This hilarious early graphic novel is perfect for those days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed!--Donna