This is a loving survey of modern-era science fiction built into diary entries from a Welsh girl who's just trying to grow up mindfully and ethically. Oh, and she uses magic and talks with fairies.
Morwenna/Mori Phelps/Markova is one half of a pair of identical teen twins. Her sister was killed by their insane witch of a mother, with the same car crash leaving Mori crippled (her word). After healing enough to run away, Mori is placed in a home for wayward youth until the agency eventually locates her long-absent father. That brings its own problems, though, not the least of which is that he has three controlling sisters who also know magic. The sisters decide to ship her off to boarding school in England, taking her away from her homeland and the rest of her mother's family.
The remainder of the book chronicles Mori's struggles to fit in, grow up, stay safe, read tons, keep only the ties that deserve to bind, and prepare for the inevitable reprisals from her vindictive mother. Along the way, she finds allies and enemies, many wonderful books, and a measure of grace.
This is a truly unique story that deserved its 2011 Nebula and 2012 Hugo awards for Best Novel.