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
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321201
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022

I never thought I would enjoy a book about video game development as much as I did this one. Then again, it’s not really about that. It’s the story of two childhood friends whose lives are inextricably tied together as they navigate creative hurdles, fame, and tragedy. An absolutely beautiful book; I could not stop reading it! ~Donna


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Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes By Travis Baldree Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250886088
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Tor Books - November 8th, 2022

This is the perfect book to read on a cozy afternoon with a delicious baked good and a steaming cup of coffee (or cocoa, or tea!) by your side.

It’s the story of Viv, an Orc who’s tired of the adventuring life and desperately wants to find a place to call home and build something good. Through hard work and a bit of luck, she finds the perfect spot to open a coffee shop, and soon after, the beginnings of a true found family. ~Donna


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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) By Fonda Lee Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316440882
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Orbit - June 26th, 2018

The first in a stunning trilogy, Jade City is an epic urban fantasy. On the island nation of Kekon, in the sprawling metropolis reminiscent of our world’s Kowloon in Hong kong, Jade has long been a closely guarded magical substance that lends power to carefully chosen Green Bone warriors. The old guard is dying out, and now a new generation of warriors have risen up, vying for power and control over the city, its people, and most importantly, its Jade. ~Donna


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My Aunt Is a Monster: (A Graphic Novel) By Reimena Yee Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781984894182
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Random House Graphic - October 25th, 2022

Aspiring explorer Safia won't let a small thing like blindness get in the way of her dreams of  adventure. But sinister forces seem to be causing problems throughout her journey, and her aunt isn't quite what she seems to be.

Vibrant, hilarious, and moving in equal measure, you've never read a graphic novel quite like this one! ~Donna


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A Scatter of Light By Malinda Lo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525555285
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 4th, 2022

Aria Tang West expected to spend her last summer before college partying with friends. Instead, she's stuck in the Bay Area with her artist grandmother, and not a friend in sight. Unexpectedly, finds herself falling in with a working-class group gay and genderqueer musicians. As the summer unfurls, and against the historic backdrop of the legalization of gay marriage, Aria explores her artistic side and her growing attraction to the one woman she shouldn't want.

A beautifully-written and bittersweet tale of first love, A Scatter of Light is a fitting companion to Malinda Lo's award-winning Last Night at the Telegraph Club.~Donna


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Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands By Kate Beaton Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9781770462892
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - September 13th, 2022

Kate Beaton is better known for her hilarious, literary-inspired cartoon series, Hark a Vagrant. In this stunning, stark memoir though, she dives deep into her personal trauma, and the result is a work of art.

In her two years in the Alberta oil sands, working hard in lonely, isolated conditions to pay off student loans, Beaton came across the worst of humanity. But she also finds friendship and beauty where she least expects it. A must-read. -Donna


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Daughter of Smoke & Bone By Laini Taylor Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316459181
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 1st, 2020

Laini Taylor has crafted such a vibrant world, with stunning writing and characters that you’ll fall in love with right away.

The story of Karou, the beautiful girl with blue hair, and tattoos of eyes on the palms of her hands, captivated me immediately. I cannot believe I waited over ten years to read this book! -Donna


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A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593128503
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Del Rey - May 4th, 2021

Enter the Scholomance, a magic school where there are no teachers, no holidays, and no respite from the scores of blood-thirsty monsters trying to drain the magic out of all the students.

El (don’t call her Galadriel) is just one student trying desperately to survive. Between worrying she’s a dark sorceress in training, and the fact that the school’s resident golden boy won’t stop saving her life, El is in for a heck of a junior year. -Donna


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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) By Min Jin Lee Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781455563920
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 14th, 2017

This stunningly epic tale of one Korean family's struggles to survive in Japan is one of my all-time favorites. Though it may seem daunting at a page count of 512, it's actually one of the quickest books I've ever read. I simply could not put it down, and loved every minute of it.  -Donna


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Airi Sano, Prankmaster General: New School Skirmish By Zoe Tokushige, Jennifer Naalchigar (Illustrator) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593465783
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Philomel Books - September 20th, 2022

Airi Sano is a legendary Prankmaster, and she's bringing her A-Game to her new classroom in beautiful Hawaii. After all, all the other teachers on the other military bases she's lived in have given up on her after too many pranks (pros: less homework, cons: disappointing mom & dad), and she has a plan to make Mrs. Ashton give up on her too. 

But Mrs. Ashton is surprisingly tenacious, and Airi starts to realize that maybe pranking isn't the only thing she's good at after all. Perfect for fans of Dork Diaries and the Terrible Two, this hilarious book will leave you rolling on the floor laughing. - Donna


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The Ogress and the Orphans By Kelly Barnhill Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781643750743
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - March 8th, 2022

Kelly Barnhill has done it again! In the same vein as her critically-acclaimed and well-loved novel, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, this book is a gentle, beautiful fairy tale for a modern audience.

Readers will be captivated by the story of the kindly Ogress who secretly helps the town of Stone-in-the-Glen, and the orphans who are her friends.  -Donna


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I'm Not Missing By Kashelle Gourley, Skylar Hogan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kashelle Gourley, Skylar Hogan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781499812640
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: little bee books - May 17th, 2022

Fed up with the pressure, stress, and indignity of being a household pet, one dog takes his fate into his own paws, he will fulfill his lone wolf destiny!

But… being a lone wolf is lonely, and what’s a pup to do when he spots his best friend with *gasp* another dog?! Read and find out in this hilarious and touching book! - Donna


Staff Pick Badge
Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel (Celestial Kingdom #1) By Sue Lynn Tan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063031319
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Harper Voyager - October 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


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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


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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


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The Maid: A Novel By Nita Prose Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593356173
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 3rd, 2023

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


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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


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The Diviners By Libba Bray Cover Image
$16.99
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: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
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


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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


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The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings #3) By Mackenzi Lee Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062916020
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 25th, 2022

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


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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
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

 


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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


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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
 


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She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology #1) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250621818
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Tor Books - June 28th, 2022

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: In Stock at Kepler's Now
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


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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


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Felix Ever After By Kacen Callender Cover Image
$11.99
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