Tag: drama

Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/13

Welcome back, book lovers! These are some scary times, with what seems like every major city taking drastic steps to limit the spread of a certain novel virus. Take some time out from the panic and take a look at our Three to Read. After all, with schools closing and people working from home, the books on our TBR lists finally have a shot at getting read! Settle down, brew a tea, and let’s get into it.


hot pick

The body politic

by Brian Platzer

The Body Politic: A Novel by [Platzer, Brian]


New York City is still regaining its balance in the years following 9/11, when four twenty-somethings—Tess, Tazio, David, and Angelica—meet in a bar, each yearning for something: connection, recognition, a place in the world, a cause to believe in. Nearly fifteen years later, as their city recalibrates in the wake of the 2016 election, their bond has endured—but almost everything else has changed.

As freshmen at Cooper Union, Tess and Tazio were the ambitious, talented future of the art world—but by thirty-six, Tess is married to David, the mother of two young boys, and working as an understudy on Broadway. Kind and steady, David is everything Tess lacked in her own childhood—but a recent freak accident has left him with befuddling symptoms, and she’s still adjusting to her new role as caretaker.

Meanwhile, Tazio—who once had a knack for earning the kind of attention that Cooper Union students long for—has left the art world for a career in creative branding and politics. But in December 2016, fresh off the astonishing loss of his candidate, Tazio is adrift, and not even his gorgeous and accomplished fiancée, Angelica, seems able to get through to him. With tensions rising on the national stage, the four friends are forced to face the reality of their shared histories, especially a long-ago betrayal that has shaped every aspect of their friendship.


With the backdrop of societal uncertainty and political tyranny, this novel switches point of view periodically, introducing us to the inner workings of both the mind and human relationships. The novel has been praised for how it honestly – and brutally – hones in on the American political climate, which is particularly relevant in light of this year’s presidential race. It captures exactly how people felt during the trying times following two major events in history. The novel shows us just how linked our physical and emotional selves are to our political body. It is as insightful as it is truthful, and likely to resonate with a lot of readers, American or otherwise. 

“Brian Platzer has done something marvelous — transmuted the queasy early years of the Trump presidency into a novel that’s a delight to read. The Body Politic is a book about many things — what it means to be unwell, what it means to heal, how deep and strange friendships can be, and how hidden things never stay hidden for long. I was grateful for its engaging, empathetic company during these fractious times.” —Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites



american animals 

by Eric Borsuk

American Animals: A True Crime Memoir by [Borsuk, Eric]


American Animals is a coming-of-age crime memoir centered around three childhood friends: Warren, Spencer, and Eric. Disillusioned with freshman year of college, and determined to escape from their mundane Middle-American existences, the three hatch a plan to steal millions of dollars’ worth of artwork and rare manuscripts from a university museum. The story that unfolds is a gripping adventure of teenage rebellion, from page-turning meetings with black-market art dealers in Amsterdam, to the opulent galleries of Christie’s auction house in Rockefeller Center. American Animals ushers the reader along a gut-wrenching ride of adolescent self-destruction, providing a front-row seat to the inception, planning, and execution of the heist, while offering a rare glimpse into the evolution of a crime—all narrated by one of the perpetrators in a darkly comic, action-packed, true-crime caper.


This memoir is fascinating, largely due to its completely true story. Little imagination is needed to see the story, when you can watch the film of the same name, and digest the media coverage of the case itself. American Animals takes the age-old story of young rebellion and a search for more, and turns it on its head. Borsuk’s writing is darkly comedic and bizarre, sure to keep you hooked. Plus, the novel rings in at a concise 147 pages, making it quickly digestible. You’ll be racing to the end.

“American Animals is a book unlike any I’ve ever read. The twist and turns and audacity can lend themselves to incredulity, but at the heart of this book is a humanness that even those shaking their heads the most will have to recognize. Eric Borsuk’s work here is as daring as any heist.”– Jared Yates Sexton, author of The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage. 


dark horse

you let me in

by Camilla Bruce

You Let Me In by [Bruce, Camilla]


Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?

After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).

Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript.

Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother.

Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…


This novel is a genre-bending mix of fairytale/folklore and mystery. It is frightening and thrilling all at once. Perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson, the story is unsettling and, at times, horrifying. It is a dark family drama that just so happens to have its fair share of evil faeries. You’ll be left guessing throughout the novel, making up your own assumptions, just to have them dashed at the next turn. The story is fast-paced and the fantasy elements set it apart from many other novels under the dark mystery umbrella. One thing is for sure, this is no bedtime story.

You Let Me In is a bewitching, beguiling, and deeply unsettling tale of one woman’s strange life. It will ensnare you from page one and keep you riveted until the end.” ―Caitlin Starling, author of The Luminous Dead.

all images via amazon, bookstr

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5 Reasons You’ll LOVE The New “Red Rising” Book

Best-selling author Pierce Brown is BACK with an inter-galactic bang in the newest installment of the Red Rising prequel series Sons of AresSons of Ares, Volume 2: Wrath, is the second book in the graphic novel series, and was recently released in hardcover. (Psst, we even have a few copies to giveaway – alongside some exclusive merch. You can enter here.)

Here are five reasons that you’ll love this new release.

1. The plot

The plot is the key to any good book, and the plot of Wrath does NOT disappoint. Longtime fans of Red Rising will be able to dive deeper into the world of the series, learning more about the origins of the Sons of Ares and the motivations of characters in their futures. For newcomers, although we don’t recommend jumping straight into it without Volume 1 for context, the plot is accessible and exciting, it will leave you reeling and eagerly starting your own Red Rising journey.



2. The artwork

image via dynamite

The artist, Eli Powell, has given the series a serious edge with his visceral artwork for the novel. The grit of the story’s society really comes to light with the harsh tones and lines. The scenes of drama are violent and vibrant, bringing the storyline and visuals together.

3. the action

Speaking of vibrant violence, the novel has plenty. The original Red Rising series doesn’t hide from the violent side of the caste societal system, and Wrath is no exception. Witness Fitchner on his quest for revenge, from which nobody is truly safe. There are plenty of showdowns and fights throughout the book to keep all readers engrossed and grossed out – depending on your disposition.

4. The difference

Fans of the Red Rising series may not inherently be fans of graphic novels, too. Brown’s use of the graphic novel as the vehicle for the prequel series opens it up as a genre to those unfamiliar with it. You’ll love getting to change up your reading style and get hooked into a visual read.



5. eo

In his introduction to the novel, Brown states :

I prefer to think of this prequel saga as the birth, not just of the Sons of Ares, but the birth of that fragile dream of Eo.

And yes, you got me. This was all really just an excuse to drop Eo pics. You’re welcome.



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A post shared by Pierce Brown (@piercebrownofficial) on



And don’t forget, if you want a chance to get any of this really cool merchandise, enter the giveaway! 



Enter to Win These Unmissable 'Red Rising' Prizes (Contest on Hive.co)


Featured image via Pierce brown books and bleeding cool

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What to Read After Binge Watching ‘Love is Blind’

Is love truly blind? Netflix’s newest reality TV show, Love is Blind, seeks to answer just that. Singles on the show speed-date in hopes of finding their future partner. But there’s a catch—they can only get to know each other through voice alone; only after they’re engaged can they meet face-to-face. If you’ve recently binge watched this super dramatic, totally addictive show, you’re probably suffering Love is Blind withdrawal and unsure what to watch next. But no need to fear: these five reads are sure to satisfy your hunger for more romantic drama.

1. The Selection

Image via amazon

Everyone loves a good dating reality TV show, and Love is Blind is no exception. While The Selection by Kiera Cass is more similar to The Bachelor than Netflix’s new show, any fan of Love is Blind is still sure to fall in love.

The book follows America Singer, who is chosen to be one of 35 girls to compete in the Selection. As a prince eligible to be married, Prince Maxon is expected to go on dates with all of the girls, gradually eliminating them along the way. By the end of the competition, Prince Maxon will choose someone to marry—and America is one of the few who doesn’t want it to be her. 

Like Love is Blind, readers get to watch relationships blossom as the girls vie for Maxon’s hand in marriage. But the book also delves into class differences, political intrigue, dramatic misunderstandings, and—you guessed it!—a love triangle or two. If you’re suffering from drama-withdrawal, pick up The Selection today!


2. Twilight

Image via amazon

Twilight is known for a lot of things—insta love and an iconic love triangle, for starters—a lot of which we see in Love is Blind. If you somehow haven’t stumbled upon Twilight or its movie adaptations, the book follows Bella as she moves in with her father and must adjust to a new school. It’s there she meets Edward Cullen, who she’s instantly drawn to. As they get to know each other, Bella quickly realizes that Edward is far from human—he’s a vampire, and she is utterly in love with him.

If you were intrigued by the Barnett-Jessica-Amber love triangle, then you’ll love as Jacob and Edward fight over Bella’s heart. 


3. Beastly

Image via amazon

A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Beastly features Kyle Kingsbury, who is transformed into a beast after he plays a practical joke on an unattractive girl. The girl is actually a witch, and curses Kyle for his cruelty. If he can’t find true love within two years, sealed by a kiss, then he will remain a beast forever. 

The singles on Love is Blind are on the show to find an emotional connection with someone who, only after getting engaged, they can try to connect with physically. Beastly plays with that same emotional-over-physical connection as Kyle (a.k.a Adrian) attempts to find love despite his beastly appearance. If you love romantic fairytale retellings, and a good old “don’t judge a book by its cover” read, Beastly’s for you!


4. Adventurous Proposal


Image via Goodreads

If you thought Love is Blind featured whirlwind romance (seriously—who says “I love you” after only five days?), wait until you read Adventurous Proposal by Laura Barnard. This chick-lit romance follows Florence Gray after she meets Hugh Humphreys at a bar. After lamenting about online dating and their mutual unsuccess in love, Hugh proposes an idea: he wants them to get married at the end of the month, on Christmas morning. What follows are the twenty five days in which Florence must plan her wedding, all while navigating her fiance’s family and questioning her decision to accept Hugh’s proposal.

Adventurous Proposal features all the family drama and rushed wedding planning that we see in Love is Blind. But this book doubles as a holiday read—which is all the better! If you’re looking for something light and tropey in the best way, this is the book for you!


5. Matched

Image via Amazon

In Love is Blind we see people fall in love and get engaged—all before meeting their fiance face-to-face. While there are no “pods” in the world of Matched, the people of this society are paired with an ideal mate prior to ever meeting them. 

Set in a dystopia, Matched revolves around a society where the government makes your decisions for you: your spouse, your job, and even your death. When Cassia is Matched with her best friend, Xander, it seems like the perfect match. But when Cassia meets Ky, her certainty wavers, and she begins to realize that the Society isn’t as perfect as it seems.


Featured Image via Washington Examiner



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Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 02/21/2020

Hello, book lovers and welcome back! If you’ve made yourself sick with discount Valentine’s chocolate, we’ve got just the remedy for you. Pick up one (or all) of our Three to Read picks for this week and forget about your far-from-romantic sugar crash.


Hot pick

What kind of girl

by Alyssa Sheinmel



Girl In Pieces meets Moxie in this unflinching exploration of the many forms of abuse society inflicts upon women, and the strength it takes to rise above it all to claim your worth.

The girls at North Bay Academy are taking sides. It all started when Mike Parker’s girlfriend showed up with a bruise on her face. Or, more specifically, when she walked into the principal’s office and said Mike hit her. But the students have questions. Why did she go to the principal and not the police? Why did she stay so long if he was hurting her? Obviously, if it’s true, Mike should be expelled. But is it true?

Some girls want to rally for his expulsion—and some want to rally around Mike. The only thing that the entire student body can agree on? Someone is lying. And the truth has to come out.


What Kind of Girl is a visceral look at the question we have long been aware of; what kind of girl stays with her boyfriend after he hits her? I can’t give you the protagonist’s name without spoiling the plot as we are introduced to her by a label, rather than her actual name. This novel is a heavy read but a very fulfilling one, and is particularly relevant in today’s climate of victim-blaming and shame. This book will have you thinking about it long after you turn the last page. Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author says What Kind of Girl is “Both timely and timeless, a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth.”

coffee shop read

Kidnapped on Safari

by Peter Riva



Kidnapped in Safari is the third book in the Mbuno & Pero series, pulling terror from headlines to create a gripping international thriller.

Expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar are filming on Lake Rudolf in Northern Kenya when they receive the news: Mbuno’s son, himself an expert guide, has been kidnapped while on safari in Tanzania. Tracing the kidnappers back to an illegal logging operation, Mbuno and Pero uncover a vast criminal network run by the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram.

Relying on Mbuno’s legendary bush skills, the pair face dangers both inside and outside the terrorist camp. But kidnapping and deforestation are only the beginning of this group’s sinister aspirations. When Mbuno and Pero discover just how powerful and far-reaching the network is, they realize that rescuing Mbuno’s son could put the entire region at risk.


While this book is part of a wider series, it works well as a standalone novel and is a great companion to any coffee shop trip! There are some stunning depictions of the African landscape that will transport you from your subway car or local Starbucks to an African safari. The story is punchy and thrilling, with danger at every turn for the story’s protagonists.

The characters are well-described and genuine, engaging and enjoyable. You’ll be turning the page both for the quick-paced plot and to see the fate of your favorite characters. Lose yourself in this thrilling read now!

“Peter Riva delivers again with a timely procedural thriller that will keep you up well past your bedtime. Set in East Africa, where the modern world coexists (not always peacefully) with ancient ways and traditions, this story seamlessly blends wonderful detail with relentless pacing in a nonstop adventure that you just can’t put down.” —Jeff Crook, author of The Sleeping and the Dead.


dark horse

Angels of Stockholm

by Neil D. Desmond



This is Neil D. Desmond’s debut short story collection full of deeply enriching tales.

“Marina cut her small ration in half, sharing with the sick (possibly dying) young girl she had been trying to look after. The girl was too weak to leave the cramped, dirty sleeping quarters to work in the camp. Marina feared the girl would be sent to the gas chamber if the guards deemed her incapable of labor. Marina was beginning to think this might be worse than Auschwitz, where she and many other women and children had come from in the fall of 1944. She had hoped the transfer would have improved her chances of survival, but it appeared now there wasn’t much difference between one labor camp or another. Hope was in short supply, but not totally eradicated. Marina had heard rumors recently in the camp. Rumors the war was ending and the allies had won. Rumors of liberation. But she, like the other prisoners, had heard about liberators coming to save their lives before and it never seemed to happen.” – from the Angels of Stockholm.


The collection is well-crafted and paced, with each story grabbing your attention from the get-go. Covering a wide range of locations, you’ll be transported with each new piece. Travel the world from within one book! You can bring it with you and read one story at a time, or you can read it all in one fell swoop – each story is so engrossing you won’t want to put it down.

The title is based on a heartbreaking story from the time of holocaust, but the book covers so much more than that alone. From prostitutes in Pakistan to downtown New York City, the varied topics make it palatable for every type of reader in every kind of mood. Desmond has a deft hand at his craft of containing multitudes in each short story, and piecing them all together to create a cohesive and enjoyable read.

images via amazon
featured image via bookstr

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Bookstr’s Week in Review ICYMI

Ah, February. It’s always the speediest month after the decade of January. This week is, as many of us are (sadly) aware, Valentine’s day. Fun fact: the day that follows is Single’s Awareness Day, apparently. Anyways, the ramblings of a single girl on Valentine’s Day belong on HBO and the pages of my personal journal. I promise you are still on Bookstr and not a Sex and the City script excerpt. So, what have you missed this week? Let’s find out.

If you’re WEEKS behind, here‘s what we’ve been up to recently.


black history month


February is Black History Month and everyone here at Bookstr is working hard at writing about, designing for, and (most importantly) reading the work of authors of color. Here are five female authors of color with some exciting releases. There’s a bus making the rounds in conjunction with members of the NBA. Barnes & Noble did their take on popular covers for the month’s commemorations. Lauren is filling us in here. Keep an eye out for some features coming up this month, like the 5×5 series kicking off with Black History Month as it’s inaugural theme.



every day is someone’s birthday


Wow, we really can’t go a week without it being somebody else’s birthday. How many can there possibly be? It’s almost like there’s more than 365 people in the world. This week saw bestselling author Ransom Riggs celebrating his 41st birthday. James Joyce’s birthday would also have been this week, alongside the publication date of Ulysses.



 I know. These GIFs are getting less relevant as the weeks go on but I just can’t resist.


Not my president


Don’t worry, this isn’t about Trump. (He really isn’t my president, FYI, Ireland has Micheal D. Higgins.) This week we learned a little more about George Washington in a new biography. There’s a new book set for release this summer, taking a look at what could have been. If Hilary Clinton had never married Bill, where would she be now? Would 2016 have ended differently?


Three to read


I’m not sure how I’d frame my week if it wasn’t for the one constant of Nehal’s bookish wisdom. She’s back with some gems this week and they perfect for this crazy weather. Is it raining? Warm? Snowing? Who knows. You won’t care because you’ll be so engrossed in your new reads. Check it out here. For some more weather-appropriate books take a look at Kali’s recs here.



Miscellaneous/just for fun/harry styles


Was it the Harry Styles that got you? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Kathryns got us sorted for a HS fix here. Have you ever wondered what star George Orwell was born under? Satisfy your astrological interest here. We’ve got some exciting YA releases recently that are as fun as they are anticipated (aka A LOT). Take a look here. Match up your fave 90s film with a book here, courtesy of Gina. Match up your fave bagel with a book here, courtesy of Kathryn.

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