Tag: Top Picks

Top Picks: 5 YA Picks To Make You Feel Young Again

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

This week, we have five YA books that are sure to make the teen in you squeal with joy:



5. Song Of The Crimson Flower


Song of the Crimson Flower by [Dao, Julie C.]

Image Via Amazon


This romantic drama follows Lan, a woman who cruelly rejected a man named Bao. When Lan finds Bao’s lost flute in the middle of an abandoned boat, she finds his soul trapped within the flute by an evil witch. Only love can break the spell, and Bao hates Lan for rejecting him. Still, Lan vows to make amends and the two set out on a journey to break the spell and repair their relationship.


Image result for julie c. dao

Image Via Twitter


Author of Forest of a Thousands Lanterns, Julie C. Dao, this is the first novel in the Rise of the Empress series. Song of the Crimson Flower was released on November 5th.



4. The Haunted


Image Via Amazon


Young adult author Danielle Vega, who has been called the “YA answer to Stephen King”, brought us a new horror story last March. It follows a woman named Hendricks who moves to a new town to get away from a traumatic past. Unfortunately, the house that she is currently living in is haunted and Hendricks must battle these spirits in order to survive.


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Image Via Twitter


Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of the best YA books of the summer.



3. Unnatural Magic


Unnatural Magic by [Waggoner, C. M.]

Image Via Amazon


Unnatural Magic follows a witch named Onna who forms a bond with a troll named Tsira. When a mysterious being starts targeting Tsira, the two join forces to find out who is targeting trolls and combine their skills to vanquish the dark magic that threatens to consume their kingdoms.


Image result for c.m. waggoner

Image via Goodreads


The debut novel of writer C.M. Waggoner, Unnatural Magic was released on November 5th.




2. How To Make Friends With The Dark


How to Make Friends with the Dark by [Glasgow, Kathleen]

Image Via Amazon


Kathleen Glasgow, the author of Girl In Pieces, follows a girl named Tiger who is trying to put her life back together after the death of her mother. Originally always having her mother by her side, Tiger must now face the world alone.


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Image via Goodreads


How To Make Friends With The Dark was released in April 2019.



1. The How And The Why


The How & the Why by [Hand, Cynthia]

Image Via Amazon


Cassandra McCarthy has a great life, but she does not know who her real parents are. Her adopted parents don’t have the answers, but Cassandra may have found some in the form of a series of letters written by a pregnant teen who may or may not be her mother. This leads Cassandra on a journey to discover who she really is.


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Image Via Goodreads


This novel is written by Cynthia Hand, author of the Unearthly trilogy. The How And The Why was released on November 5th.


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Top Picks: Romance Releases That’ll Get Your Heart Pounding

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

Sexy, steam, intense, those are the words that you’re going to see multiple times when you read this list, so be warned! But we don’t use them lightly. Each of these romance releases are heart-pounding to the extreme and might just leave you on the floor, crying, pounding for more!



5-The Stopover by T L Swan


T L Swan

Image Via Goodreads


We didn’t forget about this September 26th release! T L Swan worked in mental health in a former life, but now she has an addiction that cannot be stopped: writing!

So what is Swan’s newest release? Warning, you’ll be swooning over it!


The Stopover (The Miles High Club) by [Swan, T L]
Image Via Amazon


She was upgraded to first class, he was the blue-eyed devil sitting next to her. They talked, they laughed, the plane was grounded and they had an unexpected stopover for the night. With no plans, they made their own.

Twelve months later, she’s a new hire and he’s the CEO, and he wants to see her for a private meeting…

Sexy, scandalous, this book will linger in your eyes far after you put it down.



4-The Price of Scandal by Lucy Score


Lucy Score

Image Via Twitter


A Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author, this author enjoys sleeping, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and reading all the romance novels in the universe. Her name is Lucy Score, and this September 27th release scores!


The Price of Scandal: A Bluewater Billionaires Romantic Comedy by [Score, Lucy]
Image Via Amazon


Emily Stanton’s trust fund brother is looking for a handout, her father is more in love with his company than her, her mother thinks she should stop trying to be a billionaire CEO and just meet a man already, and, worst of all, a misunderstanding with the police is witnessed by the paparazzi.

Then comes a naked man in her bathtub who claims he can make her problems disappear. His name is Derek Prince, and his forte is fixing up the images of the rich and famous.

He doesn’t normally have sex with his clients, but he sees stars in his eyes when he meets the dazzling Emily. In addition to fixing her images, he promises her “a lifetime supply of orgasms as part of the deal,” but can he protect her from her enemies?

Looks like this novel is a SCORE! for Lucy Score.



3-A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting


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Image Via Helena Hunting.com


NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, Helena Hunting thinks “the best place to sleep is her keyboard”. Turns out she doesn’t sleep for long, October 5th she brought us a new romance so steamy that it raises the roof.


A Lie for a Lie (All In Book 1) by [Hunting, Helena]
Image Via Amazon


NHL team Captain Rook needs an escape. He just wants to be a normal guy, just for a while. So he leaves Chicago, but while on his flight to Alaska meets with a gorgeous woman by the name of Lainey who has no idea who he is.

Meanwhile, Lainey’s plan for seclusion becomes a monthlong sex fest that ends as abruptly as it began.

A year later, Lainey and Rook meet again, but both are keeping secrets from each other. With more than lust at stake, what’s going to happen next?

Intense, steamy, heart-pounding, this romance will have you clawing for more.



2-Room to Breathe by Liz Talley


Liz Talley

Image Via Harlequin Junkie


A finalist in both RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA contests, Liz Talley has published twenty-five books, reaching number one in kindle romance. Her November 1st release is simultaneously is erotically intense and intensely erotic.


Room to Breathe by [Talley, Liz]
Image Via Amazon


Daphne Witt is celebrating the best part of her life in a successful career…by flirting with a hunk fifteen years her junior who just happens to be her daughter’s ex.

Meanwhile her daughter, Ellery, is fresh out of college. To support her fiancé in med school, Ellery returns home and reluctantly takes on a job as her mother’s new assistant. Her life plan is on a downturn and, with no outlet for her frustration, she lets an online flirtation go a little too far. No good, especially her pen pal think he’s flirting with Ellery’s mother Daphne.

In this tale of love and lives, this mother and daughter story might just leave you…breathless.



1-Your Perfect Year by Charlotte Lucas


Charlotte Lucas

Image Via uklitag


Born and raised in Düsseldorf, Wiebke Lorenz studied German, English, and media studies at Trier University. Now, when she collaborates with her sister, they write under the pseudonym Anne Hertz.

With dozens of bestselling novels under their name, this time Wiebke Lorenz seeks to make a name for herself, and that name is Charlotte Lucas.

What’s her newest novel about? Well, thanks to Allison Layland’s translation, I can tell you…


Your Perfect Year: A Novel by [Lucas, Charlotte]
Image Via Amazon


Meet Jonathan Grief, a hyper-particular publishing heir whose morning fitness regimen keeps his divorced, cynical, forty-two year old self in physical perfection. But Grief is easily annoyed, and he fumes when he finds a leather-bound day planned with the handwritten title Your Perfect Year on his spot on his  mountain bike at his fitness course.

Opening up the book, Jonathan finds the letter “H,” a clue to the identity of the owner, but also a list of suggestions, tasks, and action for each day, and the more he looks for “H,” the more Jonathan is drawn into someone else’s life.

A story of healing, feeling, and loving, this novel is one for the ages.




Featured Images Via Amazon

Top Picks: Five Awesome Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels

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 Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels that will not only take you to the past, to the present, to the future, but will also make sure you have fun getting there!



5-Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton


Kira Jane Buxton

Image Via Twitter


Kira Jane Buxton spends her time with three cats, a dog, two crows, a charm of hummingbirds, and a husband, but has taken the time to bring us a stellar debut novel.


Hollow Kingdom

Image Via SoundCloud


S.T. is a domesticated crow. He’s a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.

Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head. In a vein attempt to save him, S.T. starts beak-delivering beer while Dennis, Big Jim’s loyal, but dim-witted, dog, tries to lick Big Jim back to health. But there’s no point.

Thus, S.T. and Dennis venture out into the world.

Turns out humanity’s extinction has finally arrived, and it’s up to a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education, as well as a mangy mutt to find their way through the apocalypse.

From the lowest lows to the highest highs, this humorous romp will lift your spirits as you watch a cowardly crow can become a courageous hero. We can’t stop talking about this recent August release, and you won’t be able to stop reading it!


4-Containment by Caryn Lix


Caryn Lix

Image Via Reveted by Simon Teen


First we had Sanctuary, a book about how a loyal corporate prison guard teams up with the superpowered criminal holding her hostage to an evil coming from space, and now Caryn Lix does her magic again in this gripping story.



Image Via Goodreads


Now a former prison guard, Kenzie, finds herself stuck in a stolen alien ship with nowhere to go, surrounded by super-powered criminals and her mother who failed to even lift a finger to help her in the first book. To add to the mayhem, Kenzie is constantly haunted by memories of the aliens who nearly ripped her apart as well as when she accidentally had to kill one of the few prisoners who was actually kind to her.

As the aliens make their way towards Earth, Kenzie knows that the alien ship must be destroyed before they reach Earth. To make things worse, the aliens are coming after Kenzie first and the Omnistellar, the people she once loyally served, are after her as well.

This release had fans of the first book and newcomers both alike shocked, awed, and swooned away into this space adventure where “[m]ysteries, conspiracies, and legends become true“.



3-Their Last Hope by Krista and Becca Ritchie


Krista and Becca Ritchie

Image Via Twitter


You want a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author? How about two? And how about they are identical twin sisters?

Your wish is granted, and now we have Krista and Becca Ritchie. One’s a science nerd, the other is a comic book geek, but both are fantastic writers and storytellers. Don’t believe me? Well, check out their newest release!


Their Last Hope

Image Via Goodreads


Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal are desperate to escape, but to do so they’ll have to trust a mysterious young stranger who somehow knows everything about them. This man will give them the answers they need, if only they join forces on a mission that will determine the fate of humanity. 

What is this mission, you may ask? Well, legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets.

The trio has to find this infant. Better hope it’s not just a myth! Worse yet, as Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new.

Then everything takes a turn for the worse when the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.

An equally stunning and thrilling conclusion to this sci-fi/romance duology, this August release, in the words of Kirkus Reviews, is “[t]ightly plotted and brimming with heart”.


2-Times Like These by Jan Stryvant



Image Via Amazon


Yep, that’s his Amazon profile picture, and it’s the closest thing to a face we could find for this author, but the book speaks for itself.


Times Like These

Image Via Amazon


The war has begun. The main gateway has opened and the minions of the Onderwereld are coming through. You can kill them, but they just reincarnate a week after you kill them.

However, Sean knows that there are weapons that can kill a demon so that it can’t respawn and he’s going to get them. One problem: he’ll have to find a way to sneak past a million demons, get into their home, and run around without getting caught.

But he’s ready for anything.

While Jan himself admits on his Amazon page that, “No I’m not the next great American literature writer, sorry, I just want to have fun (is there anything wrong with that?) and entertain people,” we here at Bookstr have to admit that he’s awesomely entertaining, and this action-packed adventure is one wild ride!


1-Harley Merlin and her Secret Coven by Bella Forrest


Bella Forrest

Image Via Speakerpedia


Not only did her 2012 debut, A Shade of a Vampire, sell over seven million books, but Bella Forrest also brags that, low-key, “[s]he [herself] might be a vampire“. Her newest release is something for all you fantasy/horror fans out there!


Harley Merlin and her Secret Coven

Image Via Amazon


Harley Merlin has a secret power: she can sense people’s emotion. Her power has gotten her far in life, in fact it’s how she snagged her first job pinpointing cheaters at a casino, but there’s just one little problem: she has no idea where she got this power. An orphan whose only tie to her family is her father’s cryptic note, she’s as much a mystery to herself as she is to others.

Then one day she meets warlock Wade Crowley, who introduces her to a hidden world of beasts, magic beings, and covens riddled with secrets—as well as clues about her murky past. But someone is out for her blood and Harley finds herself locked in a battle of good versus evil that threatens to make both the human and the magical world dangerously crash into each other.

Fun, exciting, and delightfully dark, this is for all those magic-loving young adults out there!



Featured Images Via Amazon and Blog Talk Radio

Top Picks-Five YA That’ll Broaden Your Horizons!

Each week, Bookstr will be looking at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your ever growing TBR pile.

Today, we are looking at some of the most sought after Young Adult novels that will pull you into their world and broaden your horizons.



5-Wilder Girls by Rory Power


Rory Power

Image Via Penguin Random House


Crime fiction editor Rory Power’s debut novel is part gripping-post-apocalyptic-romance, part-high-octane-thriller, and all heart that you should definitely check out.


Wilder Girls

Image Via Amazon


We are transported to the world of Hetty where she lives in Raxter School for Girls, trapped there thanks to a horrific plague that put the world in disarray. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will have to break quarantine an brave the horrors that lie beyond the fence…

Kirkus Reviews call it “a staggering gut punch of a book,” Young Folks pleads “I’m desperate for more”, and we here at Bookstr hope that Powers writes another novel that’s even half-as-good as this July 9th release.


4-Vow of Thieves by Mary E Pearson


Mary E Pearson

Image Via Goodreads

A masterclass in Young Adult Fiction, Mary E Pearson’s A Room on Lorelei Street won the 2006 Golden Kite Award for fiction. Her book The Adoration of Jenna Fox was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and her newest release has shocked and awed old and new readers alike. A sequel to Dance of Thieves (which is set in the same world as The Remnant Chronicles), Vow of Thieves was released this past August 6th and it should be in everyone’s hands.


Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves Book 2)

Image Via Amazon


Elite soldier and skilled thief Kazi and Jase Ballenger are madly in love and it seems to be happily-ever-after since the end of the last book, but we still got a whole book to go. Outside threats are a sure thing, but betrayals run deep and deadly when someone in their circle traps them in a web of deceit…

Those who love hard-won victories and dark fantasy will love this novel, especially if they thirst for buckets of blood. In the words of Kirkus Reviews, this August 6th release is “[a] smashing, satisfying adventure”



3-Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

Britanny Cavallaro (top) and Emily Henry (bottom)/ Image Via The Nerd Daily


Brittany Cavallaro has written A Study in Charlotte, A Question of Holmes, The Case for Jamie, and many more. Joining her is Emily Henry who has written When the Sky Fell on Splendor, The Love That Split the World, and A Million Junes.


Hello Girls

Image Via Amazon


Together, they bring us Hello Girls.

On one hand we have Winona whose perfect father isn’t perfect at all. The short of it, he locks the pantry door to control her eating habits and beats her behind closed doors. On the other hand, we have Lucille whose is barely getting by thanks to her thankless job as a waitress and her emotionally unstable mother and drug-dealing brother.

When Winona and Lucille meet, they realize that when graduation comes they need to get out of here as quickly as possibly.

They steal a convertible and go on a road trip from their small Michigan town to Chicago, running away from their old life and entering a new one where the only person they can depend on is each other.

Kirkus Reviews says the book “provides a fun, fast-paced plot with resourceful feminist protagonists,” and that’s basically all you need to know from this August 6th release


2-Frankly in Love by David Yoon


David Yoon

Image Via Entertainment Weekly


This might be his debut novel, but David Yoon has already made a lot of headway.


YA's Next Superstar

Image Via Davidyoon.com


He’s the Illustrator of Everything, Everything, and his book has already got Entertainment Weekly calling him “YA’s Next Superstar” (which he notes as “a little dramatic to say the least“), and Kirkus Reivews calls his novel “deeply moving account of love in its many forms”.

Okay, but what’s this book about?


Frankly in Love

Image Via Amazon


Frank Li is a Korean American, born and raised in Southern California. His life seems to be going well when he meets the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. They get along and love each other, but his parents want him to find a Korean girl and Brit, well, she’s white

So Frank teams up with Joy Song, a family friend whose in a familiar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to keep their parents off their backs while they stay with the people they love.

But things don’t always work out the way you plan.

Want to check it out? A lot of people will when it releases this September 10th!


1-Slay by BriTTNEy Morris

Brittany Morris

Image Via Publisher’s Weekly


After seeing Black Panther in the theaters, “I left the theater a Wakandian queen,” Brittney Morris explained. Same thing the second time she saw it. Following that high, it took her eleven days to write this sure-to-be bestseller Slay.



Image Via Amazon


At school, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy.

At home, Kiera joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel in the worldwide role-playing game SLAY.

When a teen is Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in SLAY, news outlets blame the video game, labeling it as racist, exclusion, and a violent hubs for thugs and criminals. Some even threaten to the developer for “anti-white discrimination”.

No one knows it, not even her closest friends, but Kiera is, in fact, the developer.

Kirkus Reviews claims that “[g]amers and black activists alike will be ready to SLAY all day” and we here at Bookstr promise that this book will be the next best thing when it reaches a bookshelf near you this September 24th.




Featured Image Via Amazon

Top Picks: Crime and Thriller Books You’ll Go Crazy For

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 highly anticipated Crime and Thrillers that you will shock you into delight.


5. Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin

Image Via www.alisongaylin.com

The Edgar award-winning author of eleven books, Alison Gaylin is a writer you should definitely have on your to-be-read list. Her latest novel, mysteriously titled Never Look Back, was released July 2nd.

Back in 1976, thirteen days were filled with death as murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized South California, a murder spree that ended in a blazing fire that took those killers lives.

Forty years later, podcast producer Quentin Garrison wants to know get to the bottom of what happened with these grisly killers. But then he discovers something shocking: April may still be alive.

Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond finds reason to believe that her mother might be the infamous killer. With Garrison on the hunt and her reputation at stake, is there anyone she can trust?

Kirkus Reviews calls this novel “[a] mind-bending mystery, an insightful exploration of parent-child relationships, and a cautionary tale about bitterness and blame”.


4. The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl

Image Via Penguin Random House

Critically acclaimed author of The Boy at the Door, Alex Dahl teased us with her newest novel in an interview when she said, “It was a hard book to write— it gets pretty dark in places, but I really wanted to write a grief novel with the plotline and traction of a thriller. I’m very excited about it, and hope the end-result will be a creepy tear-jerker!”

So what is the novel about? Well…

After years of struggling with a heart condition, Kaia receives a new heart. Now things are finally looking up for her and her mother Iselin, especially after they make friends with an affluent young woman.

But that affluent young woman is Alison, the mother of a daughter whose death gave Kaia life, and grief will turn into a terrible obsession.

Released July 2nd, this story showcases the thin line between love and obsession.


3. The Need by Helen Phillips

Image Via Vulture

Recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and the Italo Calvino Prize, Helen Philips’ newest novel has received heaps of praised.

Here’s what it is about:

Home alone with her two children, Molly hears a noise. It’s worst-case scenario when she finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows way too much about her and her family.

With a hook like that, what more do you need?

If you’re somehow not convinced, Kirkus Reviews calls it “suspenseful and mysterious, insightful and tender,” and says that “Phillips’ new thriller cements her standing as a deservedly celebrated author with a singular sense of story and style.”

Released July 9th, this book if one you should definitively check out if you like tight, suspenseful stories that are all too real.

2. Lady in the Lake by Laura LIppman

Image Via Baltimore Sun

With a career spanning over twenty years, Laura Lippman is a name that you should be familiar with. It’s always a treat whenever she releases a new novel, and her latest is sure to thrill us.

Set in the tumultuous year of 1966 in Baltimore, Maddie Schwartz wants to make a name for herself now that she’s bolted away from her controlling husband. Working at the newspaper, Maddie finds just the story to do it: the body of a missing woman has been discovered in the city park lake’s fountain.

The body belongs to Cleo Sherwood, a young black woman, and as Maddie investigates she’ll have to look beyond her own needs before tragedy strikes again.

Kirkus Reviews notes that “[t]he racism, classism, and sexism of fifty years ago wrapped up in a stylish, sexy, suspenseful period drama about a newsroom and the city it covers.”

Coming July 23rd, this book about race and class is one any fan of thrills and suspense should check out!

1. The Bird Boys by Lisa Sandlin


Image Via Cinco Puntos Press

This is a late release, but it’s definitely something that should be on your reading list because its from accomplished writer and teacher, Lisa Sandlin.

A sequel to 2015 The Do-Right, this new novel follows Delpha Wade. After nearly being killed, Wade is released from the hospital but her boss, Private Investigator Tom Phelan, desperately needs her help.

Thus, Wade is back in action, digging through old records and knocking on doors to unravel a dangerous case of two brothers and how it connects to a grand larceny. As Wade and Phelan unravel the mystery, they will discover that “sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder“.

Kirkus Reviews assures that this novel is proof “that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands,” and that “Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor”.

With praise like that, this novel is sure to dazzle and surprise us when her latest book hits shelves August 20th.



Let us know what you think of our suggestions in the comments! Hopefully, you’ll add some of these for your ongoing reading list.



Featured Image Via Amazon