Category: Romance

Webtoons and Where to Start

If you haven’t heard yet, WebToon is a platform for serialized graphic novels. Yeah, these are comics, and some are gorgeously drawn and deeply potted narratives that you don’t want to miss. Here’s our guide on how to get on board, starting by genre.

Webtoon has a website, if you want to see the art blown up, but it’s most alive on the app.

 

 

Best of the Best – Lore Olympus 

 

Lore Olympus 
Image via Webtoon

 

This comic tops the overall WebToon list with extreme regularity, and for good reason. The art is outrageously beautiful, the characters are complex and compulsively likable (or outrageously easy to hate), and the plotting is gorgeous. Persephone has left the mortal world to go to university on Olympus, but things get complicated almost immediately. This is a must read if you have any interest in myth, fantasy, or just really like fantastic graphic novels.

 

Paranormal – Krueger & Faust 

 

Krueger & Faust 
Image via Webtoon

 

Alice Kruger has been through a lot. No spoilers, but she’s had a bit of a bad year, and now, her cat knocks a pot off a windowsill and hits her on the head. This gives her the power to see supernatural beings, including the monster in her closet? Most people would be understandably put off, but Faust’s alright, and he certainly has problems of his own. Read this if you like a quality combination of paranormal silliness and dire peril.

 

 

Action – Phantomland 

 

Phantomland
Image via Webtoon

 

This comic has everything – an optimistic rookie paired with a cantankerous vet, a supernatural plague that erases your memories and makes you hard to kill, vaguely sketchy military organizations. The magic is seamlessly embedded in the world, the characters are compelling, and there’s plenty of running around stabbing and shooting people. It’s a classic model done in a very new and interesting way. And it has journalistic integrity.

 

Intrigue – My Dear Cold Blooded King 

 

My Dear Cold Blooded King 

Image via Imglogy

 

Mei is pretty normal. She’s been selling her family’s apples since her brother died in the Blood King’s army. Then she accidentally saves the life of the new Blood King’s young brother, and gets taken to the capital. It turns out her family is more connected to the capital than she thinks, and she’s suddenly on the radar of the Blood King, his chief generals, foreign royalty, and the most fearsome criminal in the empire. Mei is smart and tough and way out of her depth (or anyone’s).

 

 

Slice of Life – True Beauty

 

True Beauty
Image via AuthGram

 

After being bullied in middle school, Jugyeong decides she’ll learn how to do ‘beauty’ and become popular at her new school, which kind of works. It’s an interesting examination of the weird contradictions of beauty standards, without getting too philosophical or stepping on the story. This comic is funny, heartfelt, and relatable, but watch out for the cliffhangers! This also regularly tops WebToon lists, which it deserves.

 

Fantasy – Muted

 

Muted
Image via Twitter

 

Camille’s whole family died in a fire when she was young, and she had to live with her very severe aunt, now head of the Severin witch family. Everything goes (more) wrong when she tries to summon a demon for a rite of passage, and can’t summon a bird like she should. The art is beautiful, and the setting, a manor house in Louisiana, is elegant and immersive. Alligators, gal pals, and family secrets make this a must read.

 

 

Romance – Ms. Abbott & the Doctor 

 

Mrs. Abbot and The Doctor
Image via Anime Planet

 

This is not your standard romance. Cati Abbott is the orphaned daughter of idealists who died in ‘Amazonia’. Taken home to some more industrialized country by her anthropologist mentor, she’s considered charmingly eccentric, at best. Enter the town’s tight laced doctor. Chaos ensues, and they realize all this petty conflict might be something else.

 

Crime – Purple Hyacinth 

 

Purple Hyacinth 
Image via 41a

 

Lauren has always been able to tell when people are lying to her. After losing someone close to her, she becomes a police officer, but never stops trying to find out what happened. Her power makes her an effective officer, but when an assassin offers her information and help in stopping his boss, and maybe even with her mystery, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to save lives and find answers.

 

 

Comedy – Cursed Princess Club

 

Cursed Princess Club
Image via Webtoon

 

Gwendolyn is a bit of an ugly duckling compared to her anime eyed sisters, but this doesn’t bother her or her family. Her very caring father decides that his three daughters will marry his BFF’s three sons, easy as it gets. The only problem is that Gwendolyn’s suitor is terrified of her. Running into the forest so her sisters don’t see her crying and boycott the whole thing, Gwendolyn meets a bunch of other princesses under strange curses.

 

Foreign Language – Flawless 

 

Flawless
Image via PicDeer

 

WebToon also publishes foreign language stories translated by fans. Flawless is a strange, philosophical examination of relationships, blindness, and how we treat others. Mostly it’s just fun though. Elios grows up in an orphanage, and when his foster sister gets in trouble, he ropes in Sarah, a local girl who gets into a ton of fights, in order to retrieve his sister. They somehow become friends, and end up going to the same high school. A fun read. (originally published in Indonesian)

 

 

Featured image from ComicsBeat

Top 5 Romance Picks That Will Pick YOU Up!

Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.

Today, we’ll be recommending five Romance novels that will entice and excite you!

 

5. Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

 

Tessa Bailey

Image Via Fantastic Fiction

 

Tessa Bailey was from Carlsbad, California, but the day after high school graduation she drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Since then, Bailey has become a New York Times Bestselling Author of the Line of Duty Series. Her newest release, which came out this past June 11th, is one we (as well as you!) should definitely picked up sooner!

 

Fix Her Up

Image Via Amazon

 

Georgie Castle has been in love with her child friend Travis Ford for years. After an injury tanks his baseball career, Travis comes back to his home town and meets back with Georgie. There’s an undeniable chemistry, but Travis is in denial.

However, when his womanizing reputation prevents him from landing a job as a broadcast announcer, Georgie suggests a mutually beneficial fake relationship.

From there, things only get crazier.

Like real-life romance, this novel is crazy, hectic, and sweet. As Kirkus Reviews warns, “Don’t let the cover fool you: This romance is as steamy as it is self-empowering”.

 

4. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

 

Alisha Rai

Image Via HarperCollins Publishers

 

Enthralled with romance novels since she first smuggled her first Harlequin home from the library at the age of thirteen, Alisha Rai shows off what she knows with her newest release.

 

The Right Swipe

Image Via Goodreads

 

Rhiannon Hunter might have created a dating app that promises Prince Charming, but in real life when that happens it ends up being just a one night stand.

Then one month later she finds that former Prince Charming: former pro-football player Samson Lima. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but should she swipe right on this love?

Kirkus Reviews says this August 6th release “high-tech romance…proves respect is the most potent love drug”.

 

 

3. Say You Still Love Me by K. A. Tucker

 

K. A. Tucker

Image Via Goodreads

 

USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment series, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, K. A. Tucker has brought us a newest release with Say You Still Love Me.

 

Say You Still Love Me

Image Via Amazon

 

Piper Calloway is a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multi-billion-dollar real estate development firm. On the other hand, she constantly has to prove her worth in a male-dominated world. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get complicated when Piper runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and  who, a long time ago, was the first love of her life. How much of this is a coincidence? And how much is true love?

To find out you’ll have to pick up this book when it hits bookstores this August 6th.

 

2. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare

Image Via Goodreads

 

A librarian by training, a writer by heart, and a booklover all around, Tessa Dare is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose written more than twenty historical romances. Knowing for her bestselling books such as Spindle Cove, Castles Ever After, and Girl Meets Duke, Tessa Dare excites and entices us with her newest release coming soon.

 

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Image Via Tessadare.com

 

Ruthlessly wealthy and…did we mention ruthless?, Gabriel Duke has moved into a new neighborhood. His neighbor, Lady Penelope Campion, prides herself by giving a loving home to any lost or wounded creature. But Gabriel doesn’t like the loving home Penelope gives these animals is her own so he orders her to get rid of them. Penelope instead offers him a challenge: the creatures will leave only if he can find them loving homes.

Now Gabriel has to find homes for a few kittens, a two-legged dog, a foul-mouthed parrot, a goat, an otter, a hedgehog, and many more…

While Penelope tries to save her the newest creature: Gabriel himself.

Wild, frantic, and heart warming, this August 13th release will, in words of Kirkus Reviews, have you “smitter” with Dare’s “inimitable wit, charm, humor, and emotional intensity”.

 

 

1. The Importance of Being Wilde At Heart by R. Zamora Linmark

R. Zamora Linmark

Image Via Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

 

Poet, novelist, playwright, and recipient of a U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, R. Zamora Linmark has brought us his newest novel, and you should definitely be extincted for it.

 

The Importance of Being Wild At Heart

Image Via Amazon

 

When Ken Z, a bookworm with a Japanese mother, meets Ran at the mall food court, everything changes. From Ran, Ken learns the lessons of love, but when Ran disappears, and Ken Z is left wondering: Why love?

With this question comes his best friends at his aid, comforting haikus and lists, and the ghostly appearances by Oscar Wilde, helping Ken find if there is more to love than heartbreak.

Kirkus Reviews call the novel, “[a]n unabashed love letter to Oscar Wilde, Cole Porter, and the arts’ ability to give voice to human emotion” this August 13th release travels the length of a human heart and shows just how diverse love can be.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via St. Anastasia School Library – Edublogs

A Booker Brace – Top 3 Booker Prize Picks

 

The Booker Prize has been a principal barometer of the British literary community since 1969, and since 2014, has considered all original fiction written in English. If you don’t have time to read all 13 books on the long list (a Booker dozen), and you don’t want to wait for the short list in September or the winner in October, here are our top picks.

 

 

 

1. My Sister, The Serial KillerOyinkan Braithwaite

 

Cover - My Sister, The Serial Killer

Image via Amazon

 

This is a gallows humor slasher about the things you do for the ones you love. Morally unencumbered, capturing the complexities of sibling life, this is a page turner you won’t want to put down. It’s already won several awards, including the LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller and the Field Notes Morning News Tournament of Books, as well as being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and optioned for a movie.

This is Braithewaite’s debut, but already shows a distinct, explosive voice, and has been perhaps one of the most publicized of the long list novels. Anyone with a taste for killers, or good female villains in general, should pick this up, but you don’t have to be a slasher fan to enjoy this novel.

 

 

2. QuichotteSalman Rushdie

 

Cover - Quichotte

Image via Amazon

 

Quichotte won’t be released until September, but the modern retelling of Don Quixote promises Rushdie’s signature blend of reality and magical realism, with both a commitment to the source material and the devastating strangeness of the present age.

Salman Rushdie has long been a towering figure in literature. Both literary and surrealist, Rushdie has won a battery of awards for his 13 previous books, including the Eggerton prize, and promotion to Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Frances greatest literary honor. Rushdie has won the booker three times, including the 25th and 40th anniversary prizes.

It may not be out yet, but it can be prehumously recommended on anticipation.

 

 

3. An Orchestra of MinoritiesChigozie Obioma 

 

Cover - An Orchestra of Minorities

Image via Amazon

 

This pick is both more tragic and more fantastical, narrated by the guardian spirit of a lovelorn chicken farmer. In love with a wealthy woman, and cheated out of everything he’s ever had, this book explores suicide, loss, and abandonment all through the lens of a narrator who is both hundreds of years old and removed from humanity. The prose is rich and ethereal, and explores what victimhood does to a person, and how far it’s possible to fall – all while traveling the world and more astral spaces.

This is Obioma’s second novel, and his first was short listed for the Booker Prize, so it’s a good bet this year.

 

 

Featured image via The Irish Times

 

 

Disney Achieves Highest-Grossing Year…And it’s Only July

Disney fans have become numb to the studio reaching milestone after milestone. As Disney continues to grow, develop and produce, it becomes hard to remember that other studios even exist!

With a grossing of $7.67 billion at the box office so far this year, Disney has surpassed the previous record of $7.61 billion in 2016 (also set by Disney…of course).

 

Aladdin
Image via Disney

 

Disney beat itself at its own game largely due to the release of Avengers: Endgame, which premiered on April 22 and has since become the highest grossing movie of all time, surpassing Avatar, never mind other hits such as Aladdin and Captain Marvel.

 

 

With more recent releases, such The Lion King and Toy Story 4, that $7.67 billion will surely continue to grow and grow, and we still have five month left this year!

 

Image result for frozen 2
Image via Digital Spy

 

Disney still has highly anticipated films set to release in the coming months of 2019: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in October, Frozen 2 in November and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December. Surely, Disney executives are on the edge of their seats to see the final record breaking number at the end of 2019…

 

 

…just so they can break it once again in 2020.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via ScreenRant