Hi, I'm Em! I'm mainly a sci-fi/fantasy/horror reader, but I also read a lot of YA, romance, and (probably sad) contemporary fiction.
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass (Hardcover)
This fantasy book takes readers on an adventure with retired pirate captain Amina al-Sarafi as she gets pulled into one last job. Joining on her on her adventure are a poisons expert who has one solution to every problem, a cheery first mate with a penchant for consensual kidnapping, and al-Sarafi's cowardly demon husband. I could have spent six more books with this cast of characters, and I recommend this book to all pirate fans, buff old women fans, quirky demon fans, and pretty much everyone else.
Supernatural horror + historical fiction + trans protagonist = a horrifying Antarctic expedition. I have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it-- Wilkes combines genres and characters that are often not seen together and makes them linger.
This YA sci-fi romance made me lay face-down on the floor. It is a feat to make a book with only three on-page characters feel so full, and there is a reveal halfway through the book that made me walk laps around my apartment.
A sapphic romance novel with Jewish protagonists! The main characters of this novel make one of my favorite pairings I've read in any romance novel. This book is endlessly charming.
James Acker dares to ask the greatest question of our time: what if the captain of the track team and the captain of the field team had feelings for each other? His answer is the funniest book I've read this year with charming, hilarious characters.
Never once while reading this horror novel was I able to predict what would happen next. Monstrilio is about a family grieving the death of their son while also learning how to acclimate to life with the Lung, or Monstrilio-- a piece of their deceased son's lung that his mother fed until it came to life. Told from four different perspectives-- the mother's, the father's, a family friend's, and Monstrilio himself-- this story looks at grief, at humanity, and at what happens when parents try to make their children into something they are not.
The capaill uisce are a mythical kind of horse-- sea-dwelling, flesh-eating, utterly feral, but, when caught, the fasted mounts. Every fall, the small island of Thisby prepares for the emergence of the capaill uisce from the sea, and the danger this brings, while also preparing for the danger and excitement of the Scorpio Races, the race between those who have survived catching and wrangling their capaill uisce. This novel follows Kate "Puck" Connolly, an orphan trying to keep her family together in the wake of her parents' deaths, and Sean Kendrick, four-time winner of the Scorpio Races. Puck doesn't agree with the Scorpio Races after her parents died at the teeth of the capaill uisce, but she needs the prize money to keep her family together. Sean is famous by Thisby standards for his multiple race wins, but ultimately his success belongs not to him but to the man for whom he works, the wealthy Benjamin Malvern. Both of them need to win the race, but only one can came out on top.
I read this book for the first time as a 12 year old, and it has remained my favorite book to this day. Stiefvater's prose is beautiful and lasting, and every character on the island feels charming and distinct. I have reread this book countless times, and every time I am moved by the love in this book, for family and for horses and for the wild beauty of this island town.
We Ride Upon Sticks follows a group of high school field hockey players as they sign their souls away to a demonic force within an Emilio Estevez notebook so they can win more games. Told in first person plural, this novel is a feat of characterization; Barry's ability to make each member of the team feel distinct while also blurring the lines between them as Emilio's hold grows stronger sweeps readers into the deal along with the team.