We’re back with another monthly update on what the Bookstr team has read in the last month that was just WHOA. Read on to find a few new books to add to your TBR or even to your 2024 reading checklist.
Lorenzo by Sadie Kincaid
Ahem. Let me clear my throat for this one. I had been seeing snippets from this book all over BookTok. Every scene had my mouth watering, so even though my TBR was 5 miles long, I decided to read it. I finished it in a day. I could not put it down. Once the spice was introduced, I was reading a mile a minute. The beginning was a lot of plot and character building, but the second the first spicy scene happened, the entire rest of the book, almost every single chapter, was smut, smut, smut! It felt like I was reading One Shots on Wattpad one after another.
The story follows Lorenzo, his mafia family, and darling Mia. Lorenzo lost his wife two years prior due to an illness, so he is incredibly tortured. Mia is his sister-in-law’s cousin, and she is in an abusive relationship with a cop. She flees to her cousin’s house (where Lorenzo also happens to live) and tries to start a new life. As you may have put together, they fall for each other. It takes Lorenzo a long time to accept new love after the death of his wife, whom he loved deeply, so that’s all part of the drama.
This book is definitely a chaotic sex frenzy alongside your regularly scheduled mafia business, so it is not for everyone, but it is definitely for me. Catch me rereading this book for the next month!
Olivia Salamone, Editiorial
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
This book really got me into the Halloween spirit! I binge-read it over one weekend because I just couldn’t put it down. The mystery is exciting and twisty, and the suspense had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I also just adore the group of friends at the center of the book and how they unquestionably support and protect each other despite their complicated relationships. If you’re a classic horror movie fan or in the market for a good thriller, check this one out!
The Final Girl Support Group tells the tale of Lynnette Tarkington. She’s a real-life final girl who survived the brutal slayings of both her biological and adoptive families, leaving her physically and psychologically scarred. Now, Lynnette’s only human connections are with the other members of the Final Girl Support Group, a therapy group for final girls. When one of the group members is murdered, and others are targeted by an unknown killer, Lynnette is determined to unmask this new villain and protect her fellow final girls.
Lauren Nee, Editorial
#Never Again by David Hogg (Class of 2018) and Lauren Hogg (Class of 2021) Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
I lost the joy of reading for a while due to stress from family issues, and this is the first book that I’ve really read in a long time (estimated 3-4 weeks). I saw this book in Barnes and Noble on a meal break from work. When I realized it was written by a brother and sister who were there at Parkland that terrible day, I knew I had to hear/read the truth in their own words.
I couldn’t stop reading. Never Again gives both Lauren’s and David’s perspectives on what they experienced, how they reacted during the shooting, and the days, months, and years that followed. It’s horrifying to read that some students thought the shooting was just another active shooter drill because they had practiced those drills so many times. What really struck me was that when I was in school, my classmates had never had to go through active shooter drills. We only had intruder drills, but they’re not the same as active shooter drills. And now, all future generations will have active shooter drills.
Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
This book was truly one of the most unique books I have ever read. It follows a dual POV of two different fictional women who become the center of a very real serial killer’s life. I have been a fan of true crime for a long time, and you always think you know the whole story until someone else’s account turns your assumptions upside down.
I listened to the audiobook, and it was narrated by Sutton Foster and Imani Jade Powers, and they did such an amazing job. Their voices are so dynamic, and the way that they portrayed the emotion and the suspense of this book kept me hooked until the very end. You so rarely hear the victim’s stories, and even though this is fictionalized, it’s great to hear about how these powerful women took down such an evil man.
Bright Young Women is a fictionalized account of the aftermath of the Ted Bundy sorority murders as well as a fictionalized account of a victim from his Lake Sammamish murders. Pamela Schumacher, the president of the top sorority at Florida State University, witnesses a strange man she does not recognize leaving through the front door of the sorority house. She rushes upstairs to find that two of her sisters are dead and two are badly maimed and that she is the only one to have witnessed the man. Across the country, Ruth Wachowsky is trying to cope with her father’s death and finds joy in a grief discussion group and in fellow member Tina Cannon. But, when Ruth goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, Tina makes it her mission to spend the rest of her life finding out what happened to Ruth.
Corinne Vergari, Social
Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam by Yasmine Mohammad
This month has been tough with the whole War in Israel and the traumatization of my nation. So, my family decided to read books relating to Jews and Islam and came along with this book. It’s always good to read someone’s opinion and life story instead of just assuming. It was very, very emotionally hard to read, but it was very informative. She’s also a woman who promotes peace, and I always love that.
Unveiled is a non-fiction book by Yasmine Mohammad, who grew up in radical Islam. Not only was her radical Islamic stepfather so physically and emotionally abusive to her, but he also taught her and her family to hate Jews and anyone who wasn’t Muslim. She was also forced to wear a Hijab when she obviously didn’t want to follow Sharia law (the law that says women have to be covered at all times and can’t go anywhere in public without a man.) Unlike many people growing up with radical Islam, she realized to think for herself and not hate and is a rights activist for women all over the world. Of course, not all Muslims are radical, believing in the murder of other nations, but she talks about how it’s a huge part of their culture from her experience. Even though the radicals are only 10% of Muslims, she knows that is still a thousand times more than there are Jews in the world, and she still goes around promoting peace around the world.
For more Bookstr Books club picks, click here.
Check out these books and more on our Bookstr Book Club Bookshop shelf here.