Rin Chupeco

Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/27/20

Hello book lovers! I hope you’re well and, most importantly, home. The world has gone a bit upside-down hasn’t it? Hard to know what to do with everything changing. One thing you can count on, though, is the Three to Read. We’ve got you! I have three amazing reads for you this week – and with everyone self-isolating, your TBR pile might actually stand a chance. With no further ado; the Hot Pick, Coffee Shop Read, and Dark Horse.

Hot pick

Journey: A Novel

by Andrew Zimmerman.

image via amazon


Paul is a top business executive hoping to be the next CEO of Ascendant―a New York-based tech giant. He neglects everything―his family and himself―in the race to the top. His fast-paced life is interrupted when he travels to Glastonbury, England, to visit friends in a village rich in history and mysticism.

Glastonbury represents a complete counterpoint to Paul’s elite corporate day job. It compares to an amusement park, with shops and venues catering to spiritual seekers ranging from would-be witches, goddesses and druids, and burned-out hippies. Like many seekers before him, he is attracted to the energy of a nearby hill―Tor―said to be the mythical Isle of Avalon. Paul meets a beautiful soul reader, Christine, who reads his soul and plants the seeds that turn his life upside down.

When he returns to New York, his wife, Mary, is skeptical. Is Paul having a spiritual awakening or is he falling in love with an attractive charlatan? His journey both scares and intrigues her as she watches him struggle to navigate between the business and spiritual worlds. A series of synchronistic events draws Paul closer to Glastonbury and Christine, compelling him and a reluctant Mary to return, unaware that their lives will never be the same.


Zimmerman’s novel is as spiritual as it is intriguing. The reader is faithfully brought along on Paul’s journey to spiritual realization after his trip to Glastonbury. Many will relate to Paul’s struggle with balancing his career with everything else in his life. This is particularly poignant and thought-provoking these days, with most of the world working from home and reevaluating what is important to them. This novel provides the reader with the inspiration and hope that it is never to late to change the course of your own life, and proves the importance of looking inward, and trusting your gut.


coffee shop read

Wicked as you wish

by Rin Chupeco

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic Book 1) by [Chupeco, Rin]

image via amazon


Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.


Who doesn’t love a bit of escapism? Wicked As You Wish is a magical novel with endearing characters and an exciting premise, which Publisher’s Weekly have dubbed “A nail-biting quest that introduces a gripping new series.” Chupeco breathes new life in to many beloved fairytales, and takes some of their best aspects, building them into the totally unique universe that she has created.

Bonus points for Chupeco, too, in the seamless introduction of the novel’s non-binary character, who is correctly gendered and presented throughout. Non-binary readers will undoubtedly enjoy the fair and honest representation that Rin has managed to make natural and low-key.

“Rin Chupeco’s marvelously magical WICKED AS YOU WISH is a great read for fans of fairy tales, myths and legends. In fact, avid fans will want to read it two, three, or four times just to catch all the twists, updates and Easter eggs, as nearly every chapter is loaded with delights. Come for the adventure, stay for the sassy jerkwad firebird.” – Kendare Blake #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series


dark horse

The Middle Finger Project

By Ash Ambirge

The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge: 9780525540328 ...

image via amazon


“Don’t worry, this isn’t a book about God, nor is it a book about Ryan Gosling (second in command). But it is a book about authority and becoming your own.” –Ash Ambirge

After a string of dead-end jobs and a death in the family, Ash Ambirge was down to her last $26 and sleeping in a Kmart parking lot when she faced the truth: No one was coming to her rescue. It was up to her to appoint herself. That night led to what eventually became a six-figure freelance career as a sought-after marketing and copywriting consultant, all while sipping coffee from her front porch in Costa Rica.

She then launched The Middle Finger Project, a blog and online course hub, which has provided tens of thousands of young “women who disobey” with the tools and mindset to give everyone else’s expectations the finger and get on your own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure.

In her first book, Ash draws on her unconventional personal story to offer a fun, bracing, and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance. Employing the signature wit and wordsmithing she’s used to build an avid following, she offers paradigm-shifting advice along the lines of:

  The best feeling in the world is knowing who you are and what you’re capable of doing.
  Life circumstances are not life sentences. If a Scranton girl who grew up in a trailer park can make it, so can you.
  What you believe about yourself will either murder your chances or save your life. So why not believe something good?
  You don’t need a high-ranking job title to be authorized to contribute. You just need to contribute.
  Be your own authority. Authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules.
  The way you become a force is by being the most radically real version of yourself that you can be.
 You only have 12 f*cks a day to give, so use them wisely.



Who wouldn’t want to master the art of being their own authority? This novel is fun, fresh and on-the-nose. We all struggle with imposter syndrome, women in particular, and Ambirge will help you overcome this with The Middle Finger Project. Pulling from her own experiences, she inspires and instills hope in any woman (or person, for that matter) that is ready to break free of the shackles of the own worry that they aren’t good enough. Ambirge is inspiring both in matters of business, and life in general, with a down-to-earth and to-the-point read that will have you disobeying, making your own rules, and setting up your own business. The f-bombs are far from off-putting and instead come across as honest, because who hasn’t dropped a few of late? Ambirge doesn’t pretend that getting what you deserve is easy, either, and highlights the dangers and fears rather than hiding them. But this, too, is refreshingly honest and transparent. You’ll trust Ash, and most importantly, you’ll trust yourself. Go get this book and then go get your life!

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"Best Books March 2019"

The 10 Hottest YA Releases of March 2019

Winter might be cold—but these releases are guaranteed to be hot! We’ve got political dystopias; tragic, time-travel romances; and… genderqueer werewolves? Three months in, and 2019 already has more diverse reads than some years altogether. January saw the release of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, a heartbreaking depiction of a Bangladeshi lesbian whose parents force her into an arranged marriage upon discovering her sexuality. In February, we got the newest Angie Thomas release: On the Come Up, a poignant yet raw foray into poverty, ambition, and hip-hop. Hurry up and read these ten phenomenal releases—it won’t be long before more YA hits hit those shelves.

This list will include both standalone releases and continuations of established series! Of course, after reading some of the debuts, you’ll be hoping for a sequel. Let’s take a look at the hottest releases of March 2019.


New Content



Samira Ahmed's 'Internment'


Tense, chilling, and timely, Samira Ahmed‘s Internment imagines a society in which American Muslims are openly persecuted and detained—a society that, unfortunately, is not so difficult to imagine. This powerful novel explores horrors that exist, devastatingly, alongside xenophobia and racism: the compliance of adults who might have been protectors and the bigotry that exists in even the most progressive communities.

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.


Opposite of Always


Justin A. Reynolds' 'Opposite of Always'


Time travel? A perfect romance? What could possibly go wrong? As Justin A. Reynolds obviously knows, everything. When Kate dies, Jack will do everything he can to see her again—including going back to the moment that they first met, even knowing what will happen next. This heartfelt debut is guaranteed to cause one feeling in particular: tears. Don’t tell me that tears aren’t a feeling. Just read it, and you’ll see. The novel features two black protagonists, and The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas called Opposite of Always “one of the best love stories [she’s] ever read.”

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.


The Fever King


'The Fever King' Victoria Lee


Gone are the days of YA dystopias that read like a MadLibs of superficial concepts and arbitrary capitalization. Or rather, they’re not gone. They dwindled in the Pursuit—a.k.a. the desire for imagined worlds that comment upon our own. Victoria Lee‘s The Fever King is a vicious tale of political intrigue with timely commentary on immigration and power structures.

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.




'Heroine' by Mindy McGinnis


Unabashedly raw, Mindy McGinnis‘ Heroine goes to dark places most YA novels might hesitate to reach—dark places many American young people have learned to call home. Violent, unforgettable, and gripping, this portrayal of a descent into addiction clearly shows how this affliction can strike anyone… and what happens when it does.

A captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis—the deadliest drug epidemic in American history—through the eyes of a college-bound softball star. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a visceral and necessary novel about addiction, family, friendship, and hope. 

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.




'Shout' by Laurie Halse Anderson


Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Speak, the unforgettable story of a sexual assault survivor, has remained an enduring classic of YA fiction despite its status as one of the most-challenged YA titles of all time. Now, Anderson has spoken up again with Shout—intertwining the personal story of her own rape with broader criticism of confusing or contradictory messages surrounding sexuality.

A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless.

In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.


The Last 8


'The Last 8' by Laura Pohl


Readers will be all over this queer genre debut, The Last 8 by Laura Pohl. Nearly all characters are LGBTQA+, and YA lovers will get some much-needed representation for some of the more neglected letters of the acronym: the novel features an openly aromantic and bisexual lead character! Even better, it’s an #ownvoices novel—Pohl has shared her story so that you can finally read your own. (Sorry to any aromantics who have also been involved in an alien attack. This one might hit too close to home.)


A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave 

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.




'Out of Salem' by Hal Schrieve


We’ve got a lesbian werewolf, a genderqueer zombie… and a nonbinary author? Hal Schrieve‘s gritty, eclectic debut explores issues of surveillance, homelessness, and the ways that higher social class impacts even marginalized identities. Out of Salem builds to an explosive conclusion… and, hopefully, a sequel!


When genderqueer fourteen-year-old Z Chilworth wakes from death after a car crash that killed their parents and sisters, they have to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie. Always a talented witch, Z can now barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch, and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner. As Z struggles to find a way to repair the broken magical seal holding their body together, Aysel fears that her classmates will discover her status as an unregistered werewolf.

When a local psychiatrist is murdered in an apparent werewolf attack, the town of Salem, Oregon, becomes even more hostile to monsters, and Z and Aysel are driven together in an attempt to survive a place where most people wish that neither of them existed.



The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch #3)


'The Bone Witch' by Rin Chupeco


In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.

Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.

Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience…


Return of the thief (the queen’s thief #6)


'Return of the Thief' by Megan Whalen Turner


The thrilling, twenty-years-in-the-making, conclusion to the New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief series, by Megan Whalen Turner. This beloved and award-winning series began with the acclaimed novel The Thief. It and four more stand-alone volumes bring to life a world of epics, myths, and legends, and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Now more powerful and cunning than ever before, Eugenides must navigate a perilous future in this sweeping conclusion. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and Sarah J. Maas.

Neither accepted nor beloved, Eugenides is the uneasy linchpin of a truce on the Lesser Peninsula, where he has risen to be high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis. As the treacherous Baron Erondites schemes anew and a prophecy appears to foretell the death of the king, the ruthless Mede empire prepares to strike. The New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations, divine intervention, dangerous journeys, battles lost and won, power, passion, and deception.


The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2)


'The Everlasting Rose' by Dhonielle Clayton


In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen.

With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladiesa society that rejects beauty treatments entirelyand the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.


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