"I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books." So says our protagonist, a 15-year-old girl who has just fled from her mother, reunited with her father, and been shipped off to boarding school. Mori is awkward and lonely, but confident in who she is, a mixture that is undeniably appealing. Her crippled leg (a souvenir from a car accident or a magic battle or perhaps both) gets her out of the physical part of her lessons, leaving her hours of uninterrupted reading time in the school's library. Mori is a devout fan of SF, and her diary reads as a love letter to the classic books in the genre, shaping her just as surely as the circumstances around her. Mori sees beyond the surface of things, an ability that makes her a critical reader, a keen observer of people, and able to see fairies. The magic in this book is unlike anything I've otherwise seen. It's a quiet magic, and the theory behind it is so well done that I started to wonder if perhaps everything I once believed was magic and later convinced myself was coincidence was truly magic, after all. Although the story is told from a teenager's perspective, the book is marketed as adult fiction, and it would be well worth reading in either age group. Mori's self-sufficiency makes me want to cheer, while her love of books and desire to understand magic set off my soulmate vibes.
Recommended by Danielle.