The power of fictional writing is that there are no set parameters on settings, characters or themes. A story can be about a completely unknown place, known only in some author's mind. I like a good, realistic setting (contemporary or in the past) with just a little something that is unexplainable or has a slightly magical feel. These books deliver with compelling mysterious magic.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby is the winner of the 2016 Printz award! The town of Bone Gap is full of gaps where people can hide and disappear. A town favorite disappears and the only witness is a boy named Finn who cannot distinguish faces.
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. Two competing show families in one California town. One family dominates the trees, the other the water. The show and the family are everything, there is no escaping. Romeo and Juliet meets The Night Circus.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton is a haunting generational tale full of family secrets and stories.
The Apothecary by Malie Meloy. It is 1952 and Janie has just moved to London from Los Angeles. Her life becomes more transformed after meeting a mysterious apothecary whose son and gets swept up in a race to prevent nuclear war.
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie. Henri is paid by Olivia's father to use the hypnosis to make her more docile and womanly, but instead it gives her the ability to see people's true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women's rights.