Bookseller at Lake Forest Park
Danielle reads literary fiction, fantasy, romance, and lots of YA. You can ask her anything about intersectional feminism, nontraditional relationships, or #ownvoices; she'll usually recommend a book to you! She spends her free time editing for fiction book projects, trying new restaurants, and giggling at the asian small-clawed otters at Woodland Park.
This book has so much heart. The magical realism element adds depth and creates a complex, yet fresh, metaphor with the word "alien". The story is a classic high school makeover-and-revenge plot. What sets it apart from other #ownvoices YA is the pansexual lead character, the trans love interest, the otherworldly best friend, and many unique small town dramatics. Think Miss Congeniality: the New Mexico high school Latinx edition.
This is a story of the impossible. "A" wakes up in a new body every day: male or female teen, the same geographical area, and never a body twice. That's 24 hours to have the least impact, to get through the day and have a neutral effect. That is, until "A" wakes up in the body of Rhiannon's boyfriend. Now "A" is going against better judgment to see her and kindle a relationship -- but at what cost? A beautiful, tender examination of gender amidst a variety of topical issues: mental health, first love, and biological family.
A gripping murder mystery in a smartly constructed world of magic, mages, and trolls. This multiple POV narrative chronicles the complex political and religious forces that affect ambitious student magician Onna, charming soldier Jeckran, and compassionate half-troll Tsira. The interplay of power, revenge, and zeal execute slowly but purposefully as Onna's career and Tsira's pursuit converge in wealthy city Hexos.
Set aside your preconceived notions: this is neither a postscript 'Harry Potter' nor a derivative apocalyptic novel. This is a compelling fantasy for fans of alternative timelines (two Chicagos), anti-hero narratives (Sloan is pissed off and NOT okay), and magic co-existing with our sense of reality.
Hands down, my new favorite historical romance of all time. What woman hasn't been disappointed, wronged, or hurt by men? Us cynics of love deserve a happily ever after, too!
Seraphina's memoirs are intended to enthrall her fellow ladies of society: her story is a call for equality of the sexes in late eighteenth-century England. She returns to her coastal home to focus on writing and instead discovers handsome Scottish architect Adam. THE RAKESS subverts all tropes to deliver a complex story of first heartbreaks, small-town gossip, and fiercely loyal friends.
Set in the town bookstore (!!!), this friends-to-lovers romance is an emotional, dramatic ride. If you are inclined to agree that the phrase "baby fox coffee" is a loving term of endearment, this is the contemporary series you should read next. Read in or out of series order - spoilers don't detract from the wit and heart of this series.
The best night of Gavin's life? When he hit a grand slam for the Nashville League. His worst night? That evening, when he learns his wife had been faking orgasms. In the aftermath, Gavin's best friend Del promises to help - as long as he courts Thea and saves his marriage using a romance novel for inspiration. All the ballplayers in their secret book club swear by the historicals so, lo and behold, he woos Thea and she doesn't completely hate his guts.
A second-chance trope romance that is witty, woke, and fun. Make it a book club of your own: read it and pass it on to your S.O.! Are you really gonna say no to a bunch of fit, sexy MLB players reading steamy romance novels to better understand women?
I loved this clever twist on 80's movie tropes - I spotted The Breakfast Club, Can't Buy Me Love, and Pretty in Pink - and a fake date, friends to lovers Regency romance.
Seb is a bluestocking anthropologist and member of the Union of the Rakes, a group of five Eton men who bonded over mischief and a long day of penance. Lady Grace is a herpetologist and scholar who's been on the shelf, crushing on a rakish colleague named Mason Fredericks who is oblivious to her availability. Seb volunteers to help his friend attract Mason's attention but here's the catch: he has terrible, debilitating social anxiety. With the aid of a fellow Union member and society elite, Seb transforms himself into a charming rake who publicly pursues Grace. Their plan begins to work but their hearts have other ideas...
Eva Leigh delivers a sexy, ambitious happily ever after that's sealed by a very dramatic, filmworthy grand gesture. I can't wait for book two!
Heartwarming and brilliant! A wintry historical romance perfect for fans of Sarah MacLean and Olivia Waite. Realistic stakes paired with rigid class boundaries set the stage for a bluestocking women's suffragist and a noble Tory political strategist to fall hopelessly in love.
Delightful! If you need a STARLESS SEA read-alike, you'll find this historical novel as bookish and magical but more approachable.
Intimate narrative and a story within a story device work together elegantly to unfurl the tale of January Scaller and her missing father, their wealthy benefactor, and a mysterious door in Mississippi that opens into another world. TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY has all the elements of a precocious, coming of age story within a low fantasy world. There's adventure, secret societies with nefarious plans, a big best friend pooch called Bad, and places drawn from the wildest reaches of imagination.
Cameron Bright is pretty and popular, but brutally honest. Her crappy home life is no excuse for failure so Cameron works hard and chases her goals: date crush Andrew, get an internship at her father's office, and get into the Wharton School at UPenn. But when Andrew calls her a bitch, her normal teflon-tough exterior chips. Like Katherine in Taming of the Shrew, does she need to be tamed?
A millenial teen retelling of the film 10 Things I Hate About You that draws heavily from Shakespeare, If I'm Being Honest is crafted with thoughtful, real-world stakes. Cameron's a ringer for Blair Waldorf - and yet she genuinely learns from her mistakes and works to become a better person. Her social circle is rooted in relatable struggles like making new friends, keeping old friendships alive, being supportive, and managing conflict. She's flawed and *almost* unlikeable but the more I learned about her family dynamics, the more I rooted for her to make better choices and follow a path of her own making.
This paranormal romance series hooked me to the Romance genre once and for all. The Darkest London series follows three sisters and their various supernatural acquaintances in Victorian England. There's adventure, there's horrible deeds, there's heroes lurking in the dark - all framed by a magical investigative organization that's as old as it is secret. It's like Gail Carriger's Soulless series but with more fabled creatures and very steamy couplings.
This runaway bride, second-chance-at-love romance was unexpected and totally swoonworthy. The narrative builds steadily until the final chapters when all hell breaks loose and the story peaks in classic Western fashion. If you like character-driven stories, here's all you need to know: there's a contemplative Native American hero, a Boston society wife with a spine of steel, an abusive bastard of a wealthy husband, and a band of misfit outlaws hidden in a valley of the idyllic Rocky Mountains. Great fun as a standalone or to read out of series order.
GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN is a hate-to-love romantic comedy with more depth than the adorable cover suggests. Strong, smart-mouthed Chloe challenges herself to live more fully after a near-death experience breaks the monotony of managing severe fibromyalgia. She has made a list, of course, but struggles to check off more than the first item: move out of parent's house. Enter Red, her new (rather grouchy) apartment caretaker. They strike a deal to help Chloe with items on her list in exchange for an artist website. Adventures commence: motorbike rides, a drunken night out, camping in the woods. Not on the list? Falling in love.
A hilarious and charming romance with wickedly sexy scenes and believable emotional stakes grounded in familiar anxieties and traumas.
Absolutely delightful! A steamy, second-chance romance between childhood sweethearts who are kept apart by family rivalry and corporate espionage. Fans of The Kiss Quotient will enjoy the premise: a Japanese-American neurodivergent tattoo artist home temporarily to care for her injured mother tries (and fails) to avoid run-ins with her clean cut ex-boyfriend, Nico, Caustic wit abounds, as well as lightly kinky encounters conducted in modest secrecy around town. Alisha Rai's brand of heroine means women with badass exteriors and marshmallow interiors... and the head-over-heels men who can't help themselves. Bonus points for the cannoli to clinch the HEA!
This gorgeous book is a historical, Sapphic, friends-to-lovers romance between a tenacious astronomer and a wealthy widow (who happens to be skilled in embroidery). AMAZING COVER ASIDE, this is an excellent "gateway" book for Romance: readers will enjoy how Waite draws parallels between women's experiences in the 19th century and the 21st.
Our heroines get to work translating a new astronomical text despite rebuffs from London's Scientific Society. As their friendship flourishes and their pursuits war against societal gatekeepers, they ask each other: who determines Art? What is the difference between Scientist and Hobbyist? And best of all -- can ladies have happy endings?
Did you love The Kiss Quotient? Then you need to read Alisa Rai! She writes strong, smart, diverse women falling in love and heroes that will melt your heart.
Rhi Hunter knows the best revenge is success. As creator of the dating app Crush, she has what it take to takeover her competitor, Matchmaker. But tracking down their elusive, eccentric owner hasn't proved easy and with buyers circling - like her toxic ex-boyfriend and former boss - she's had to be rather creative in her approach. Fate serves up a twist when she discovers a former hookup is the new face of Matchmaker: retired footballer player Samson Lima, aka "The Curse". He's goofy, nervous, and totally clueless when it comes to online dating, but Rhi has a solution that might just help them both get ahead. A romance that is sweet, a little spicy in the bedroom, and full of active consent, The Right Swipe is a believable second chance romance for tech-savvy readers.
This YA novel is essentially Rory and Paris fanfiction, if Rory was Persian and Paris was Jewish-Mexican. Oh, and if they were lesbians with secret crushes on one another. It's everything you wanted that Netflix's last season of Gilmore Girls didn't deliver.
Rachel and Sana hate each other. When a chance blunder at school forces a collaboration in Rachel's senior film, neither girl trusts the other to get it right. And, as much as she is loathe to agree with her film adviser, Rachel knows Sana is perfectly cast as her Helen of Troy. Soon, the prim cheerleader is narrating the Greek epic and demanding other changes. With only 30 days left to meet academic deadlines, Rachel needs the film to be perfect to clinch her spot at NYU... and Sana needs a distraction as she runs down the clock on mailing her deposit to Princeton. The sweetest romance could bloom between them if they cast aside fear and their prep school personas.
Is it fate that intertwines 17-yr-old Xochi and 12-yr-old Pallas, or is it simply kindred spirit? On the night of the Autumn Equinox, they cast a playful spell and summon two eerie, green forest children - "Water Babies" in Native American lore - but these creatures do more than cause vivid dreams. Told from multiple POV's (including a bookstore cat!) with interludes in verse and oral storytelling, Keil's debut is a lush, magical novel of first loves and found family.
A delightfully dark "New Adult" read for fans of Francesca Lia Block, Sherman Alexie, and Hayao Miyazaki.
If The Dresden Files and The Magicians had a book baby, this would be it. Our heroine is an ordinary private eye hired to solve a murder at a boarding school for magical teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also the school where her magical twin sister, Tabitha, works. As Ivy gets further involved in the inner workings of the school, its faculty, and its students, she questions her sanity and skill. Can she keep up appearances, find the killer, and reunite with Tabitha?
Excellent storytelling with a plot that had me guessing "whodunnit" until the last 50 pages.
Oh, did I miss Cain's special blend of pop culture satire and zany camp! Here's the deal: menstruation turns teen girls into massive killer cats. Luckily, capitalism (aka THE MAN) has delivered a range of products to eliminate periods once and for all. Except... a cat attack plagues our teen heroine's Portland suburb.
If you like BITCH PLANET and teen angst, MAN-EATERS is totally on brand!
Unmoored by the loss of her first love, Poe Blythe has created deadly armor to protect the Outposts last dredge as it sets sail to pan for gold. Led by a man known only as The Admiral, Poe's grief and anger serves a purpose. But when her ship is attacked by drifters downriver, Poe's faith is tested. Why do the drifters hate the dredge?
Poe's survival depends on more than her engineering skills, but who can she trust?
Latinx culture. Near-future fantasy island. Espionage and arranged marriage. Queer romance.
In short, a gripping feminist story with excellent stakes, world-building, and character development that ends in a cliff-hanger. Let's just say I need book two of this duology immediately.
Are you a parent? Do you want to be a parent? Do you have a uterus or know someone who does? Then I recommend this book for you.
Lucy Knisley's personal experiences are balanced by her research on obstetrics throughout history. I am fascinated by the anecdotes and myths perpetuated by science, politics, and well-meaning mothers and mother-in-laws, but most endearing are the illustrations of Knisley's rocky path to parenthood. She has a terrifying pregnancy experience, no doubt about it, but her story is warm and hopeful.
Two teenagers with cystic fibrosis: they have a long list of DON'Ts but very few DOs. Stella sticks to her schedules and pins hope on a lung transplant. Will is ready to be 18, free of hospitals and his mother's race for a cure. An endearing and honest story of two teenagers learning there's more to living than simply surviving.
I'm a sucker for coming-of-age novels, more so when the setting is a crumbling English castle. Cassandra is a witty, observant girl on the cusp of adulthood. Her family is in a perilous financial situation: her father probably isn't writing another groundbreaking novel, her stepmom has retreated to London, and her sister pins their salvation on their new, wealthy American neighbors. A lesser-known work by the author of 101 Dalmations, suitable for adult and teen readers alike!