Ashley's Alternatives

Ashley Loga has experience in both the modern and antiquarian book trade. While attending college, she was the Headmistress and Head of Slytherin for the Muggles for Magic Club. Currently she is the co-organizer of the San Diego Harry Potter Meet-up group. Let’s just say if there was a mascot for Harry Potter, she’d be it. Ashley enjoys reading anything with rogues, thieves, assassins and lots of gore. “An author that can truly surprise me with a great plot twist is an author I love.”
Book List

Stranger (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670014804
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers, 11/2014
This book is a great YA read with a set of diverse characters and an imaginative world. The story follows the tales of five very different but equally entertaining characters: Mia, the town’s youngest mechanic; Yuki, an ex-prince with a desire for a more adventuresome life; Jennie, a strong female and teacher; Félicité, an ambitious, cunning and somewhat ruthless young lady; and Ross, the stranger who brings with him a mystery that slowly unravels the town’s peaceful life. In a world with carnivorous crystallized trees, mutant mammals, and humans with bizarre powers, The Stranger is a thrilling and great read. 

Of Beast and Beauty (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385743204
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Delacorte Press, 7/2013

The classical story of Beauty and the Beast, most people know it and many have tried to retell it in movies, books and even a TV series, some successfully, some not so much. If you are looking for a really good and creative retelling of the classic tale, I recommend Stacey Jay’s new novel, Of Beast and Beauty.

In the city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra or Beauty is held captive in a tower and raised to be a human sacrifice to the Rose Garden a twisted entity which sustains life in the city.  Outside of the city in the desert, Gem or the Beast, is a mutant creature who leads his people in a fight to survive against the smooth skin humans living in the cities.  Both are raised to hate the other kind. But when Gem is captured by Isra’s people, the two are thrown together.  As they begin to care for one another, their strengths and beliefs are tested.  Never would they have thought that only by working together can they end the curse that blackens their world.

What makes Stacey Jay’s novel so great is that unlike most Beauty and the Beast retellings, which simply take the classical plot and transfer it to a different city in a different time period, Stacey Jay really takes ownership of the story. She truly transforms this classic love tale, breathing new and creative life into an old plot line.  Of Beast and Beauty is a fantastic young adult romance.

-- Ashley

Coronets and Steel (Mass Market Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780756406851
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: DAW, 9/2011

If you’re looking for a great novel with a strong female character, awesome sword fighting, mystery and romance, this is the book for you. Kim Murray, a grad student from Los Angeles, sets off to Europe to trace her family’s lineage. There she meets the enigmatic Prince Alec who believes she is his not-so-beloved fiancée and kidnaps her. Following Alec, Kim arrives in Dobrenica, a small isolated country, where her grandmother was once royalty and ghosts walk amongst the living. With a missing princess, scheming relatives and mysterious hauntings, Kim is thrust into the dangerous world of politics while trying to discover her grandmother’s past. The subtle writing and strong character in Coronets & Steel are reminiscent of a great Jane Austen novel.

– Ashley

Wanna Get Lucky? (Mass Market Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780765364579
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Forge Books, 2/2011

Deborah Coonts’ Lucky O’Toole series is a sexy, funny, and highly-entertaining read. Lucky O’Toole, the head of customer relations at the Babylon Casino in Las Vegas, is one of those witty, strong female characters I love so much. When a woman falls to her death from the casino’s helicopter, it is up to Lucky to solve the mystery. Throw in more entertaining elements, including an anaconda in a guest’s room, a rogue security guard, and her cross-dressing best friend. After reading it, I was read to hop on a flight to Vegas to experience some of Lucky O’Toole’s crazy life.

- Ashley

ISBN-13: 9780553804690
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Del Rey, 10/2013

What can I say that Patrick hasn't already said in his review.

This book is fanatstic. If you haven't read Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastard series, you are missing out on a great read!

The Winner's Crime (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780374384708
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 3/2015
Kestrel, the heroine of this series, is a combination of Celeana Sordothien from the Throne of Glass & Severus Snape from Harry Potter….crazy right!? Kestrel is not your usual strong combative female. She is a true Slytherin with the determination and boldness of Celeana matched with the spymaster skills and self-sacrificing nature of Snape. The first book in the trilogy, The Winner’s Curse is good but the second book “The Winner’s Crime” truly is amazing. Rutkoski’s tightly weaves and layers the POV’s to create a thrilling novel. The intense story will having you gripping the book tightly and wishing you could read faster. In a richly imagined Romanesque world two young adults, Kestrel & Arin, find themselves trapped in a battle for power where “winning what you want may cost you everything you love.” Dark, dangerous, conspiracy, secrets, war, and adventure are just a few choice words to describe this great read