Valentine’s Day is closer than ever, and let’s be real—some of us are going to need a date with a book. (And if you’re currently reading a book that’s not quite meeting your literary needs, you can always have an affair.) As the month drags on and the nights get lonely, it’s best to have a book by your side that you can really fall in love with. Our picks for the week range in subject matter from gripping political non-fiction, capricious fey, and the ever-more-relatable anxiety about the future. Here are Bookstr’s Three to Read: the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
OUR HOT PICK
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai will start with her own story of displacement as an Internally Displaced Person to show what it means to lose your home, your community, and the only world you’ve ever known. She will also share the personal stories of some of the girls she has met on her various journeys to refugee camps and the cities where refugee girls and their families have settled.
In a time of immigration crises, war, and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is a reminder from one of the world’s most famous people who experienced displacement that everyone deserves universal human rights and a home.
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize. From the age of eleven, Malala fought for education, anonymously writing for BBC about life under the Taliban regime. A survivor of a direct shot to the head, Malala’s story couldn’t be stopped even with a bullet. Kirkus Reviews‘ starred review called it “a poignant, fascinating, and relevant read.” We Are Displaced is something of a collective memoir, a unique exploration in communal storytelling. As Malala conveys her own story, she also introduces readers to the faces behind the grave statistics: 68.5 million displaced people around the world. Often, these are young people. Always, these are people who have experienced immense loss. This thought-provoking and timely work is a perfect choice to better understand the world and people in it.
OUR COFFEE SHOP READ
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
Holly Black has been one of the biggest names in YA fantasy for well over a decade. In 2002, Black published her debut novel Tithe, a gritty, unflinching, and terribly delightful urban fantasy novel. Through her White Cat trilogy (it’s the magical mafia; the plot twist is how many amazing plot twists there are), Magisterium Series (co-authored with best friend and bestseller Cassandra Clare), and other unique hits, Black proved her skill at finding that eerie liminal space where magic and reality meet. The Wicked King is the sequel to New York Times and USA Today bestselling The Cruel Prince. Booklist‘s starred review called the follow-up “brutally beautiful.” This one’s guaranteed to be wicked fun.
OUR DARK HORSE
Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny’s life. She’s failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.
Florence Gonsalves published Love & Other Carnivorous Objects just three years after graduating college, risking it all to become the novelist she aspired to be. The novel is as brave as its author, tackling difficult (and often taboo) topics: drug abuse, mental health issues, and the question of sexual orientation—a question that doesn’t always come with an obvious answer. As in her life, Gonsalves handles the challenges with humor and expertise. Since the novel came out early in 2018, you might have missed it. There’s no need to make the same mistake twice.