Hello, YA librarians!
Whew! We’re back from ALA Annual and, with that, our 2018 conference season comes to a close! The past few months have been such a fun and wild ride, and we certainly ended on a high note.
Speaking of ALA, some of you may have picked up this magical YA debut. If you were one of the lucky ones who got a copy, you’re going to want to put it at the top of your pile.
Amani lives “on a small moon orbiting a large planet, in a small farmhouse in a small village” with her family. Their moon, Cadiz, is part of Mizaal Galaxy and is ruled by the Vathek Empire’s cruel king, Mathis, and his daughter, Princess Maram.
On Amani’s Majority Night—the night she is to become an adult in the eyes of her village and celebrate her coming-of-age—she is kidnapped by Vathek guards and forced to become Princess Maram’s body double. The one bright spot in Amani’s bleak situation is Idris, Maram’s fiancé (who’d mistaken Amani for Maram the first time they met). As Amani perfects her role as Maram and draws closer to Idris, she discovers the rebellion and an opportunity to use her position in an unexpected way.
MIRAGE is one of my favorite debuts of 2018 and I can’t stop talking about it. Somaiya Daud has skillfully blended fantasy and sci-fi, with the elements of the two twisting together to create something stunningly unique. Though the setting is otherworldly and fantastical, the culture is based on Daud’s Moroccan heritage and is so lush and beautiful. The influence of Moroccan poetry is also seamlessly integrated (which you can read more about here). And, on top of all of that goodness, the characters are phenomenal. Watching Amani gain agency and power as she transforms into a princess (even an impersonator of one) is magical. Idris is dreamy—and 100% off-limits—but has a sort of kinship with Amani because of their pasts. And Maram is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever encountered. I felt constantly torn between despising her and feeling sympathetic for her.
Because it bridges the gap between multiple genres, this book is perfect for a wide variety of readers, but especially for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Renée Ahdieh, Leigh Bardugo, and Sabaa Tahir. I devoured this book. It is captivating and powerful, and it’s one you’re going to want to get your hands on ASAP.
Day’s YA Archives: