What happens when an anti-social teenage boy is chosen to study at a magical school in another realm? Author Sarah Rees Brennan explores that question with the story of Elliot, a snarky, misanthropic young man with a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. The book follows Elliot through his teen years, as he grudgingly makes a friend or two, falls in and out of love, and discovers that maybe he has a place after all. While the magical school calls up instant mental comparisons to Harry Potter, this is really closer to Rainbow Rowell's "Carry On" in feel, and the dialogue resembles an extended episode of "Firefly." If you like sarcastic wit, magical adventure, and unlikely teams, give this a try!

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