Olivia

 

I grew up in rural Rough and Ready California and moved to The Bay Area after getting my degree in Creative Writing at Willamette University. I've been selling books since high school, and my favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, horror, and short stories. When I’m not slinging books at Kepler’s, I love to write, draw, mother my plant babies, watch Miyazaki movies, and hike with my heeler- pitbull pup named Obi. To see mostly photos of my adorable dog and sometimes art, plants, and books, follow me on Instagram @monicalseye.

Favorite Genres: 
Fantasy
Fiction
Science Fiction
Short Fiction
Speculative Fiction
Young Adult
Book Recommendations: 
Staff Pick Badge
Clap When You Land Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

An unforgettable story about two half sisters who find each other as young adults, one living in the US and the other born in the Dominican Republic. Camino and Yahaira Rios do not even know about the other's existence until their father passes away in a plane crash. The world they both lived in is shattered as they deal with the grief of losing their father and the shocking news that they are not his only daughter. Inspired by the true story of flight AA587, Clap When You Land is uniquely told in verse and so tender and gripping that I plan on reading books in verse more often, especially anything Acevedo writes. Recommended for ages 14 and older. --Olivia


Staff Pick Badge
Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781534437678
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 13th, 2020

Fantasy readers, meet your new favorite epic. Black Sun is a rare experience.  Nebula, Hugo, and Locus award winner, Rebecca Roanhorse, has created an unmissable world influenced by pre- Columbian indigenous cultures. The destinies of three characters hurtle towards each other at a break-neck pace: a Sun Priest from humble origins, a man with a tragic past and the godlike ability to control crows, and a formidable, hot mess of a sea captain. Fans of Martin's Game of Thrones series and Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy will be stunned by a refreshing and vividly imagined world. --Olivia


Staff Pick Badge
Norse Mythology Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393356182
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 6th, 2018

I love mythology and anything Neil Gaiman writes, so I knew I would enjoy this one. Still, I could not believe how Gaiman made these retellings of old Norse mythology so suspenseful! I stayed up all night reading. Highly recommended for anyone age 13 and older. --Olivia


Staff Pick Badge
Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening Cover Image
By Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda (Artist)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632157096
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Image Comics - July 19th, 2016

Monstress, created by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, is one of the most epic and visually stunning graphic novels I have ever read. Recommended for mature readers, this unique saga blends fantasy and horror and gives off Miyazaki film vibes (reminding me of my favorite, Princess Mononoke) while also delivering an original, fascinating story. A curious collection of fantastical beings fill this wild world; most fascinating of all are the gigantic Old Gods that watch over the landscape, frozen and unblinking. Badass female protagonist, Maika Halfwolf, not only has the coolest name ever but is also a mysterious anti-hero I love to root for. --Olivia


Staff Pick Badge
Mexican Gothic Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525620785
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Del Rey - June 30th, 2020

If you enjoyed Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca or any of Shirley Jackson's novels, or not, read this elegant and suspenseful mystery set in 1950's Mexico with Mexican folklore woven throughout! I was completely sucked in by pithy and clever Noemi and the mystery of why her cousin needs rescuing from the mist shrouded and possibly haunted High Place. I couldn't get enough of Moreno- Garcia's gothic and dream-like tale. --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534413504
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - June 26th, 2018

In this epic dystopian fantasy, a flood has destroyed most of the world, but the Navajo nation endures, and Native American gods and demons walk the earth. Maggie Hoskie, a badass lone wolf with a rough past, is a monster hunter with deadly clan powers. Roanhorse has created an addicting dystopian series like no other, and you will need the sequel immediately!  --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories Cover Image
By Ken Liu
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481424363
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 4th, 2016

An incredibly moving and eloquent collection of short stories, combining multiple genres in each story, mostly historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. My favorite stories are the title story, "The Paper Menagerie", in which origami comes to life, and "Good Hunting", which Liu describes as "a story that begins as a fantasy fairy tale and ends as a gritty piece of steampunk." Each story is completely unique, many of them with anti-colonial themes, and Liu's writing will stun you! --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
Mr. Fox Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594486180
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Riverhead Books - November 6th, 2012

A brilliant and playful retelling of the French fairy tale, Bluebeard, that takes place during the 1930s in New York. The story starts with the writer, Mr. Fox, who can't figure out how to end his novels without killing off the heroine of the story, until his imaginary Muse visits him and challenges him to do better! The line between reality and fiction blurs more and more as the novel goes on, and I just love Oyeyemi's vivid, imaginative retelling. --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
The Only Good Indians Cover Image
Not available
ISBN: 9781982136451
Availability: Not Available at this Time
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - July 14th, 2020

This supernatural revenge story is terrifyingly good. Ten years after a group of young Blackfeet men go on an elk hunting trip that goes terribly wrong, something comes for each of them. Life on the Rez is so well described that the stark, unforgiving setting is a character in itself. My eyes were popping out of my head as I read, completely unable to put it down. One of the best scenes in the book is a basketball game that means life or death for a young Native American woman. Come and get it, horror lovers. --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

Very feminist. Very queer. VERY GOOD! Machado's mind blowing, fantastical, and uncanny stories frequently gave me the chills in the best way imaginable. She's one of the most exciting speculative fiction writers out there. These stories are so addicting that the book reads like a fast-paced novel. One of my favorite quotes: "Anything could move out there in the darkness, I think. A hook-handed man. A ghostly hitch-hiker repeating her journey. An old woman summoned from the rest of her mirror by the chants of children. Everyone knows these stories – that is, everyone tells them – but no one ever believes them." --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
The Deep Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534439870
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 4th, 2020

An extraordinary novel with the premise, what if African pregnant women who were thrown overboard by white slave traders evolved to survive underwater? What if they created a society of mer-people who endure, despite their haunting history? What if one of them had to bear the history of where they came from while everyone else was able to forget? This is a beautiful story about the people of the sea and the people of the land, steeped in the history of slavery's trauma. --Olivia

 


Staff Pick Badge
Severance: A Novel Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250214997
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

An intelligent and mysterious novel about a twenty-something woman named Candace living in New York and working in publishing as a bizarre and fatal disease, Shen Fever, slowly spreads. Some people are immune and Candace ends up joining a small group of survivors after society has crumbled. I found this novel timely, imaginative, and suspenseful with interesting elements of satire and a fascinating story of the immigrant experience within Candace's flashbacks in time. This is like no other apocalyptic literary novel I have ever read! --Olivia