- The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness – I’ve written about this book already, but I love it so much that I just had to mention it again. It’s a clever take on the “chosen one” narrative, written from the point of view of Mikey, who is just a regular kid living in a town full of strange, supernatural drama.
- Carry On, Rainbow Rowell – Although the story of Baz and Simon started out as a Harry Potter-esque fanfic in Fangirl, it is its own unique blend of romance, battling monsters and mystery. I love that it is set at a school for magic, but I also love that Simon Snow is a terrible wizard and Baz (his nemesis) has such a well-developed storyline as well.
- The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly – Angry and grieving his mother’s death, 12-year-old David seeks solace in books and finds himself becoming lost in a fictional world full of strange heroes and monsters. While at first this might seem like a typical “door-to-other-realm” book, Connolly’s artful re-imagining of fairytales is a thoughtful study on grief told in a whimsical fashion.
- Dust City, Robert Paul Weston – I loved this book for the beautiful prose, but I was drawn in by the unique twist on the big bad wolf. Told from the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf’s son, Henry Whelp, Dust City is a murder mystery set in a fairy tale world that is overrun with corruption, greed and a mind-bending drug that many of the creatures are addicted to: fairy dust.
- Nimona, Noelle Stevenson – When Nimona, a wild-hearted shapeshifter teams up with the villainous Lord Baluster Blackheart to prove that the heroes at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t so virtuous, all sorts of hilarious mayhem ensues. I loved this graphic novel not only because it is told from the villains’ perspectives, but also because it does such a fantastic job of deconstructing the classic good versus evil narrative.