The First Book of Calamity Leek, by Paula Lichtarowicz
This, my friends, is a hell of a book. It takes one of my favorite aspects of science fiction - being thrust into a whole new world and having to struggle to understand it and its dialect - and marries it to the creepy children of horror lore. And it's fabulous. Narrated by Calamity Leek, a teenage girl and an unreliable narrator if ever there was one, the world she describes is vastly different from the one we know to be true, and it becomes only more chilling the deeper we dive into it. I don't want to give anything away; this is a novel best discovered as an untouched country and experienced unexpectedly. Lichtarowicz packs a huge emotional and richly plotted wallop into less than three hundred pages, gifting us a work of unparalleled originality. This is a book I'll be thinking about for a long time to come.