Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When an otherworldly stranger—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on Karou in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Pick it: For Karou, one of the most complex, mysterious, and kick-ass heroines we've seen in any book this year-- and for tall, dark, and fiery Akiva, who completely redefines "swoonworthy."
Skip it: If fantasy bores you. Though the book is initially set in the "real world" (Prague, to be specific), things get imaginary fast.
Pair with: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, for an alternate take on the end-of-days story imbued with Prachett's signature brand of British humor.