Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole 8

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I haven’t done one of these in a little while, and I figured that I’d take another dip into the vast ocean that my TBR has become. I can’t quite call it spring cleaning anymore, but no matter the season, I need to clear out some of the dust. I’m honestly surprised that my Goodreads doesn’t lag whenever I go through it…

Anyway…

The Rules

  • 1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
  •  2. Order on ascending date added.
  •  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  •  4. Read the synopsis of the books.
  •  5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

Let’s begin, shall we?

  1. Hot Dog Girl, Jennifer Dugan
Amazon.com: Hot Dog Girl (9780525516255): Dugan, Jennifer: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

Though the Goodreads rating is on the lower side (3.49), I’ve seen plenty of good reviews for this one, and it sounds absolutely adorable.

VERDICT: KEEP

2. The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali, Sabina Khan

Amazon.com: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali (9781338227017 ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

A year on my TBR, and this one DEFINITELY still holds up for me–sounds like an amazing, POC/LGBTQ+ novel!

VERDICT: KEEP

3. Everneath, Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton · OverDrive (Rakuten OverDrive): eBooks ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

As much as I love Greek mythology retellings, the love triangle came very close to making me want to throw up in my mouth…

Pop Tv Ew GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

VERDICT: LET GO

4. We Are the Ants, Shaun David Hutchinson

Amazon.com: We Are the Ants (9781481449649): Hutchinson, Shaun ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

This one sounds rough, but deeply profound. Still in.

VERDICT: KEEP

5. This is Not a Love Story, Keren David

This Is Not a Love Story by Keren David

Blurb from Goodreads:

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect? 

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time. 

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone’s heart survive?

Despite the title, this one really doesn’t sound awfully compelling–or original, for that matter. Aaaaaaand of course we’ve got another love triangle.

Facepalm GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

VERDICT: LET GO

6. I’m Not Missing, Carrie Fountain

Amazon.com: I'm Not Missing: A Novel (9781250132512): Fountain ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Hmm…I’d completely forgotten about this one. I was on the fence when I first re-read the synopsis, but I think this one could be interesting.

VERDICT: KEEP

7. The Last Girl, Michael Adams

The Last Girl (The Last Trilogy #1) by Michael Adams

Blurb from Goodreads:

The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong’s telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can’t tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother’s mountain retreat. But it’s 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby’s escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity’s extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.

The Snap, huh? Sounds familiar…

Thanos End Game GIF - Thanos EndGame Inevitable - Discover & Share ...

[ahem] Anyway, the concept of the end of mankind being caused by a deluge of telepathy actually sounds fairly original and compelling.

Jean Grey Dark Phoenix GIF - JeanGrey DarkPhoenix - Discover ...

VERDICT: KEEP

8. Monster, Michael Grant

Monster The GONE series may be over, but it's not the end of the ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

It’s been four years since a meteorite hit Perdido Beach and Everyone disappeared. Gone. Everyone, except the kids trapped in the FAYZ – an invisible dome that was created by an alien virus. Inside the FAYZ, animals began to mutate and teens developed dangerous powers. the terrifying new world was plagued with hunger, lies, and fear of the unknown.

Now, four years later, meteorites are hitting Earth with a virus that is even deadlier. Humans will mutate into creates with power…and the whole world will be exposed.

But power corrupts. As some teens begin to morph into heroes, they will find that others become dangerously out of control and that the world is on the brink of a monstrous battle between good and evil. 

And there is only one thing more terrifying than the fear of the unknown: when history repeats itself.

In this first of a trilogy, Michael Grant has created a stunning follow-up to the globally bestselling Gone series.

Wait…follow-up?

Oops, I’m an idiot, I need to read another trilogy before I can understand what’s going on in this one…

Radiohead Im Weird GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
I dON’t bELoNg hERe

VERDICT: LET GO

9. No One Here Is Lonely, Sarah Everett

Amazon.com: No One Here Is Lonely (9780553538687): Everett, Sarah ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Eden has always had two loves: her best friend, Lacey, and her crush, Will. And then, almost simultaneously, she loses them both. Will to a car accident and Lacey to the inevitable growing up and growing apart.

Devastated by the holes they have left in her life, Eden finds solace in an unlikely place. Before he died, Will set up an account with In Good Company, a service that uploads voices and emails and creates a digital companion that can be called anytime, day or night. It couldn’t come at a better time because, after losing Lacey–the hardest thing Eden has had to deal with–who else can she confide all her secrets to? Who is Eden without Lacey?

As Eden falls deeper into her relationship with “Will,” she hardly notices as her real life blooms around her. There is a new job, new friends. Then there is Oliver. He’s Lacey’s twin, so has always been off-limits to her, until now. He may be real, but to have him, will Eden be able to say goodbye to Will?

Eh? Something about this doesn’t sit right with me. Sounds like an exploration of the role of the internet in our lives, but I’m not sure if I’m completely on board.

VERDICT: LET GO

10. A Time to Die, Nadine Brandes

Amazon.com: A Time to Die (Out of Time Book 1) (Out of Time Series ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. 

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. 

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

I mean…the concept of how one would live one’s life if they knew when they were going to die is interesting, but at this point, it’s been done so many times that it’s gone stale. Nope.

VERDICT: LET GO

RESULTS:

KEPT: 5

LET GO: 5

Fifty Fifty Half GIF - FiftyFifty Half Divide - Discover & Share GIFs

Another 50-50 split for today’s Down the TBR Hole…

Though this one wasn’t quite as productive as some of my other ones, I certainly found a lot of books that I’d forgotten about that sound fascinating. Here’s hoping that I can find a few of these on the Kindle library…

Today’s song:

I’d almost forgotten about how good this song was…

That’s it for this week’s Down the TBR Hole! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books, Down the TBR Hole, Goodreads Monday, Random

Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday/Down the TBR Hole/Assorted Book Tags, Part II

Hello again, bibliophiles!

Since I’ve had a bit more time on my hands in quarantine, I’ve had time to read plenty of books–several of which that I’ve posted about wanting to read in previous posts. This is my second of these posts; if you want to see the first one, click here. 🙂

To Do List GIFs | Tenor

 

1. Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand 

Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand - Hardcover

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (9/30/19)–Sawkill Girls):

I’ve been an on-and-off fan of Clare Legrand’s for a while; I loved Some Kind of Happiness (read my review here) and The Year of Shadows, though I wasn’t crazy about Foxheart. I figured that Clare Legrand’s creepy prose would be absolutely haunting in a YA format, so naturally, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. It’s had the dreaded ‘All Copies in Use’ marker on my library’s website for months [single tear slides down cheek], so I haven’t been able to read it. Hopefully my luck will change soon.

I’ve also heard Sawkill Girlscompared to Stranger Things, which is one of my FAVORITE SHOWS, so I’m really hoping this one won’t disappoint.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

An absolutely unforgettable YA thriller–lushly written, spooky, and fiercely feminist!

Click here for my full review! 

 

2. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library Novel): Cogman ...

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (4/13/20)–The Invisible Library):

Naturally, I’m drawn to stories about libraries.

Beyond that, I’m fascinated by the premise of fiction in alternate realities. There are infinite possibilities of what could be done and played within that vein, and I’m SO excited to see how it turns out! Adding onto that, the promise of rival organizations who want nothing more than one particular book…hmm, this could get interesting…

And what of alternate London? I’m glad the synopsis didn’t give much detail on what time period this London would be in, so I’m interested to see what Cogman’s vision of alternate realities–and fictions–end up looking like.

All in all, another reason why I want to enjoy The Invisible Library is that it’s SUCH A LONG SERIES. AND ALMOST ALL OF IT IS AVAILABLE ON THE KINDLE LIBRARY. Most of the books that I’ve checked out recently have been parts of a series, but their sequels haven’t been available, so I’m so glad that I might be able to have a lengthy series to binge! Of course, there’s the possibility of a story being perpetuated for an unnecessarily long time (there’s currently 7 books in the Invisible Library series), but I’m trying to push that from my mind. Fingers tightly crossed…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

This book took the concept of alternate realities and the fictions they contain and absolutely RAN with it. A wild ride through the may-have-been.

Full review to come soon…

Soon GIFs | Tenor

 

3. Kissing in America, Margo Rabb

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole 7):

I’m not thrilled about some of these tropes, but the friendship/road trip dynamic seems like a fun way of handling it. I think I’ll stick it out.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

Though the title barely related back to the book, this one was an unexpectedly tender story of overcoming grief and the meaning of friendship.

 

4. The Black Witch, Laurie Forest

Amazon.com: The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black ...

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from The TBR Book Tag):

I’ve almost bought The Black Witch at least two or three times, at this point. Seems to be a pretty hyped-up book, but I’m excited to read it soon! It’s on the Kindle library, so hopefully I can read it soon! My friend was just recommending this to me last night…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

Though a good half of the main cast was difficult to like, and the romantic subplot felt *very* forced, the phenomenal worldbuilding and political intrigue made up for it 100%. Okay, maybe 99%, but I’m still itching to read the sequel. (And, of course, it isn’t available at the library…)

Full review to come in the next few weeks! (Probably…)

The Goldbergs Watch GIF by TV Land - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

5. Show Stopper, Hayley Barker

Show Stopper (Show Stopper #1) by Hayley Barker

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (1/6/20)–Show Stopper):

You’ve all heard me rant about how jaded I am with YA dystopia. But the element of the traveling circus in Show Stopper seems absolutely fascinating: a tiny bit Hunger Games-y, in the sense that it’s for the entertainment of the upper class, but creative enough that I’m absolutely hooked. If anything, I’m hoping for a well-needed subversion of the genre. Plus, not gonna lie, but I love the style that the cover was drawn in.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I might have set my expectations a bit too high, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this novel. I finished it up a few hours ago, actually. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, Show Stopper was an inventive take on the YA dystopian genre, and certainly a cautionary tale about falling prey to the evils of racism and xenophobia.

I might review this one, but we’ll see about that…

Perhaps. | Barnyard | Know Your Meme

 

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

 

Glad to say that this round of Goodreads Monday/DtTBRH/Book tag crossing-offs didn’t let me down! (I still don’t forgive Crown of Coral and Pearl) I’m glad to say that my predictions were right–though they varied in ratings, I enjoyed all five of these books. Here’s hoping that I can continue this string of luck for the next one of these posts…

 

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

thank you for reading sw.jpg.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole 7

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope today finds you all safe and healthy. 💕

Sending Love GIF by memecandy - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to do another round of *spring* cleaning for my gargantuan TBR list. I’ve now decided to stick with choosing the shelf to clean by means of a random number generator, and it’s landed on one of my oldest shelves, so this should be an interesting installation…

Groovy Flirtation - X-Men Movies in (_____) Order - Wattpad

The Rules

  • 1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
  •  2. Order on ascending date added.
  •  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  •  4. Read the synopsis of the books.
  •  5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

 

1. Destiny’s Fire, Trisha Wolfe 

Amazon.com: Destiny's Fire (9781936305988): Wolfe, Trisha: Books

Blurb from Goodreads: 

It’s the year 2040, and sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind-part of a nearly extinct race of shape-shifters descended from guardians to the Egyptian pharaohs. Her home and her secret are threatened when the Council lowers the barrier, allowing the enemy race to enter the Shythe haven. As the Narcolym airships approach, Dez and her friends rebel against their Council and secretly train for battle. Not only is Dez wary of war and her growing affection for her best friend Jace, she fears the change her birthday will bring. When Dez’s newfound power rockets out of control, it’s a Narcolym who could change her fate…if she can trust him. Dez’s guarded world crumbles when she discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, and she’s forced to choose between the race who raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.

 

Oof…the cover made me nervous from the get-go, but this sounds painful…

VERDICT: LET GO

 

2. The Last Princess, Galaxy Craze

Amazon.com: The Last Princess (9780316185486): Galaxy Craze: Books

Blurb from Goodreads: 

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless. When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become… The Last Princess.

Eh…really not on board with this anymore.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

3. Struck, Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

The usual suspects of YA dystopia tropes are all here, but the concept of Mia as a “lightning” addict still intrigues me. I think I might stick it out for this one.

Halle Berry Storm GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

VERDICT: KEEP

 

4. Auracle, Gina Rosati 

K.T. Crowley: Day 8 Item #7: Author Gina Rosati

Blurb from Goodreads: 

16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she’s only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there’s a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna’s body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn’t take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.

 

Ooh…this seems fascinating! I don’t see astral projection much in YA–or in most books I’ve read, period–so this could be really creative, if executed well enough.

VERDICT: KEEP 

 

5. Bright Lights, Dark Nights, Stephen Emond 

Amazon.com: Bright Lights, Dark Nights (9781250080066): STEPHEN ...

Blurb from Goodreads: 

“This is my spot,” Naomi said. “You can’t help but dream up here. I’m going to take my baby sis up here when she’s older so she can dream, too. You can see the whole world from up here.”

I could only see Naomi.

Walter Wilcox has never been in love. He just wants to finish high school under the radar with his 2.5 friends and zero drama. And then there’s Naomi Mills, an adorably awkward harpist with a habit of saying the wrong thing at the right time.

It’s inevitable that they’re going to get together…but they’re also on the unavoidable path to being torn apart.

First love meets first fights in this timely, honest, and heartbreaking story about race and relationships by acclaimed author Stephen Emond (Happyface).

From the get-go, I love the art style from the cover (this one’s a graphic novel), and beyond that, I’m interested to see how they blend this teenage love story with the topic of race.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

6. One of the Guys, Lisa Aldin

Amazon.com: One of the Guys (9781939392633): Aldin, Lisa: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.

Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.

But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

Though I’m glad to see the “Then she meets [insert name of Attractive Male™️]” trope flipped on its head in the synopsis, this one isn’t keeping my attention anymore.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

7. That Time I Joined the Circus, J.J. Howard

That Time I Joined the Circus by J. J. Howard | Scholastic

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake–and facing a terrible tragedy–Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

I mean…fairly original, but this one isn’t capturing my attention anymore, either. Also, the name “Lexi Ryan” just tweaks me for reasons I can’t put my finger on.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

8. Kissing in America, Margo Rabb

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Blurb from Goodreads: 

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

I’m not thrilled about some of these tropes, but the friendship/road trip dynamic seems like a fun way of handling it. I think I’ll stick it out.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

9. Impostor, Susanne Winnacker

Amazon.com: Impostor: A Variants Novel (9781595146540): Susanne ...

Blurb from Goodreads: 

TESSA IS A VARIANT, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor – the stress, the danger, the deceit – but loves playing the role of a normal girl. Disguised as Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human arrives at a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

OH, YEAH. SO IN. SO. IN.

Animated gif about Jennifer Lawrence in Film/Series by effect

VERDICT: KEEP

 

10. Revolution 19, Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 (Revolution 19, #1) by Gregg Rosenblum

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Mmm…nah. Looks like the same, post-apocalyptic plot that’s been regurgitated over and over. Meh.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

Results: 

KEPT: 5

LET GO: 5 

Michael Corn Ball GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
“EVERY TIME!” 

 

Another 50/50 split. Can’t tell if that’s a good sign or not.

 

 

Today’s song:

ONE WEEK ‘TIL MAKING A DOOR LESS OPEN!

 

That’s it for this Down the TBR Hole! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole 5–The Empire Strikes Back

Happy Wednesday (my dudes), bibliophiles!

Thus continues my ongoing “spring” (it’s really just year-round, who am I kidding?)…

Now that I’m scouring the online library for books to read, I’ve been digging further into my TBR to find books to read, and with that, lots more books that I need to remove from the list or that I’ve forgotten about. Here we go again…

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The Rules

  • 1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
  •  2. Order on ascending date added.
  •  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  •  4. Read the synopsis of the books.
  •  5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

 

1. Blanca & Roja, Anna-Marie McLemore 

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

 

It’s Anna-Marie McLemore. Of course I’m going to keep this one!

VERDICT: KEEP

 

2. Finding Yvonne, Brandy Colbert

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

This one sounds like it tackles a lot of important issues, as well as weaving a complex story. Still in 🙂

VERDICT: KEEP

 

3. The Mind’s Eye (SYNSK, #1), K.C. Finn

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Blurb from Goodreads:

A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.

At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.

As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.

There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.

Oooh, this one looks fascinating! Jean Grey, anyone?

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VERDICT: KEEP

 

4. The Life and Death Parade, Eliza Wass

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Blurb from Goodreads:

One year ago, Kitty’s boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he’s dead.

With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade–a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic… and Kitty’s late mother.

Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he’s letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything.

Eh…this one doesn’t look very original…

VERDICT: LET GO

 

5. Because of You, Pip Harry 

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Tiny is homeless. Nola has everything she could ask for. They meet when Nola is forced into volunteer work for the writers’ group at the homeless shelter where Tiny is staying, and at first it seems impossible that two people who are so different could ever be friends. But despite her initial prejudice, Nola quickly learns that there isn’t much separating her from the people who live on the streets. And Tiny begins to see that falling down doesn’t mean you never get back up. Because of You is a story about homelessness, prejudice and the power of words to provide a little hope.

This one looks rough, but it still sounds wonderful.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

6. Ingo, Helen Dunmore

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

I wish I was away in Ingo, Far across the sea, Sailing over the deepest waters, Where love nor care can trouble me…

Sapphire’s father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea. But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.

I’m all for mermaids, but there really doesn’t seem to be much plot here…at all…

VERDICT: LET GO

 

7. Drum Roll, Please, Lisa Jenn Bigelow

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat.

Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse.

Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods.

But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

Aah, this sounds so cute! And it’s shelved as LGBTQ+…YES!

VERDICT: KEEP

 

8. The Rising Storm (Paradigm Trilogy, #1), Ceri A. Lowe

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

What if the end of the world was just the beginning?

15-year-old Alice Davenport was a loner and an outcast before the Storms swept away everything she knew. Saved from the ravaged remains of London by the mysterious and all-powerful Paradigm Industries, her fierce independence and unique skills soon gain her recognition from the highest levels of command. But their plans to rebuild civilisation from scratch mean destroying all remnants of the past – no matter what, or who, gets left behind.

Alice must decide if she will fight for the old world, or the new…

Decades later, 15-year-old Carter Warren is woken from the Catacombs after years of cryonic sleep. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to climb the ranks to Controller General – until he realises the Industry’s control methods have become harsher than ever. The Barricades make sure nothing from the Deadlands can get in to the Community – and no one can get out. And a shocking discovery about his own family causes Carter to question everything he’s ever known…

As Alice becomes entangled in the Industry’s plan for the future, and Carter delves into the secrets of his past, they must make sacrifices which threaten to tear them apart. And both of them are forced to confront an impossible question…

Would you dare to risk it all for the perfect world?

…aaaaaaaand it’s another cliche-ridden dystopia. Oops.

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VERDICT: LET GO

 

9. Scales of Empire, Kylie Chan

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

An exciting new adventure filled with diverse characters, strong heroes and heroines and wild creatures from the bestselling author of White Tiger.

Corporal Jian Choumaliis on the mission of a lifetime – security officer on one of Earth’s huge generation ships, fleeing Earth’s failing ecosystem to colonise a distant planet.

The ship encounters a technologically and culturally advanced alien empire, led by a royal family of dragons. The empire’s dragon emissary offers her aid to the people of Earth, bringing greater health, longer life, and faster-than-light travel to nearby stars.

But what price will the people of Earth have to pay for the generous alien assistance?

Okay, listen. I love space. I love dragons. But I’m not sure if I’m on board with dragons in space.

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VERDICT: LET GO

 

10. Lotus and Thorn, Sara Wilson Etienne

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Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by Earth 500 years ago, resources are scarce and life is cheap. To stay alive, the survivors, the Citizens, scavenge the remains of a now dead city, trading for food with the resource-rich Curadores, the only other survivors on Gabriel. Every old computer, every piece of wire, every scrap of metal counts. To steal is the ultimate sin. So when tough-as-nails seventeen-year-old Leica is caught doing just that, she’s exiled and left to the mercy of Gabriel’s unforgiving desert for the rest of her life.

While in exile, Leica discovers a mysterious shuttle, which may not only lead her home, but even more impossible—reestablish contact with Earth. Then Red Death rears its head again, killing her entire work crew, leaving Leica all alone until a handsome Curador offers her refuge in the Dome—the only place on Gabriel untouched by Red Death, where a decadent and sultry life awaits. But there’s a catch: Leica can only enter the Dome as his concubine—his Kisaeng. When a rogue group of Citizens see their chance for revolution in Leica’s good fortune, she finds herself unraveling a deadly mystery with chilling answers to the true origin of Red Death and the reason Earth really abandoned them so long ago.

THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE DYSTOPIA RIPOFFS…

VERDICT: LET GO

 

RESULTS:

KEPT: 5

LET GO: 5

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Another successful cleaning, and another 50-50 split! Glad I cleaned out some dystopian cliches from my TBR, and I discovered some that I’ll have to read soon!

Today’s song:

I discovered Oppenheimer Analysis via a Snail Mail interview, and I liked most of this album!

 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole, Goodreads Monday

Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday or Down the TBR Hole (Part I of ?)

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

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For the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve put on my Goodreads Monday and Down the TBR Hole posts. Now that I’ve been doing both for a fair amount of time, I’ve actually managed to read a few books that I’d posted from my TBR. It’s gonna be interesting to see how my initial thoughts measure up with how I actually feel/felt about the book. Some of them, I’ve already reviewed, but there’s some that I haven’t, so let’s see…

(These are posted in order of when I read them, not when I posted them.)

 

1. Breakfast Served Anytime, Sarah Combs

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday, 11/18/19):

First off, I’m glad that Breakfast Served Anytime seems to be a novel about self-discovery, but without the romance aspect at the forefront. I’m not opposed to romance, but as I said in Goodreads Monday (9/9/19)-Loveless: WOMEN 👏 CAN 👏 DISCOVER 👏 THEMSELVES 👏 WITHOUT 👏 A 👏 MAN 👏

Other than that, most of the concepts and plot points in here seem to be pretty intriguing, what with Gloria trying to find her way amongst fellow outsiders, and navigating her own loss and heartache. Plus, you know I’m here for these X-Men references…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

Though I’m disappointed (but not surprised) that the “Professor X” plotline wasn’t also an X-Men reference (they probably had to change it up for copyright reasons), this was a cute and fluffy novel, and very much a feel-good read. Forgettable at worst, but a nice reprieve from more intense literature and the state of the world. I’m also glad that somebody else appreciates The Magnetic Fields, at least.

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2. Anya’s Ghost, Vera Brosgol 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole #1):

Oh, yeah. This one’s been on my TBR for three years, and I’m still on board with this sarcastic spookiness.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I’m so glad I was right about this one. An absolute joy to read, with relatable themes, adorably stylized artwork, and witty writing. Don’t regret reading this one, not one bit.

Read my full review here! 

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3. Roar (Stormheart, #1), Cora Carmack 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole 2: Electric Boogaloo):

A fantasy with a female lead who can control the weather? I’M IN. SIGN ME UP.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I put a GIF of Storm from X-Men after my blurb on that DtTBRH post, and though Aurora/Roar doesn’t *quite* measure up to her (I mean, it’d be incredibly hard to do that, anyway), Roar was a fantasy with incredible chemistry between its characters, though a bit lacking in the romance department.

Read my full review here! 

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4. Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #1), Mara Rutherford 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday, 9/23/19):

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a mermaid book, but it seems like a good execution of the concept of undersea kingdoms. If all goes well, it sounds like Crown of Coral and Pearl has a lot of political intrigue and some interesting world building. I’m not expecting another Smoke Thieves, but here’s hoping that we’ll get *something* as good as that.

And let me elaborate on the whole “desperate to read a mermaid book” thing. I haven’t read a book in years that has executed the concept of mermen well. Case in point: Jennifer Donnelly’s Deep Blue. Avoid this one at all costs; the mermaids were uncreatively designed, as was the kingdom. And, there was the unrealistic dialogue and the onslaught of awful puns that the author seemed to think that we were going to take seriously. Just stoooopppp. Ally Condie’s Atlantia has a similar plot to Crown of Coral and Pearl, but it fell into a nearly identical trap: corny dialogue, cardboard characters, etc. So yeah, I really need a good mermaid book. Soon. Right now. 🅱LEASE?

RATING: ⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to 3

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I was promised mermaids. Kind of.  The pictures I’ve seen from some of the giveaway boxes that came from it had mermaid drawings. But did we get mermaids? Nope. Just a shoreline kingdom with some pearl divers. That’s it.

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[both songs play simultaneously on a broken recorder as I smack myself in the forehead]

I just finished one up a few hours ago, so here are my firsthand thoughts. Though the worldbuilding, political systems, and writing were intriguing enough, it lacked in most other departments. The plot and romantic subplot were both riddled with cliches, and I only felt the slightest bit of sympathy for the characters. They were well-written, to be sure, but it felt like the same plot that’s been plaguing YA for years, vomited up yet again. And…it’s shelved as fantasy, but there’s almost nothing that would qualify it for fantasy–or even science fiction–save for a few semi-magical critters and oceanic lore. Disappointing, really. Meh.

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Today’s song:

Man, this one brings back some serious memories…

For now, that’s all the books that I’ve read that have come from my Goodreads Monday and Down the TBR Hole posts! I’ll post more of these once I start stacking up more finished books. Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole 4–A New Hope

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I’ve neglected my TBR-cleaning duties for the past few weeks, and since I have some time to blog today, I decided to be…somewhat productive. I’ll just keep telling myself this is a good use of my time. I suppose there’s a lot of dust bunnies that need to be swept out from under the metaphorical bed.

Without further ado, my fourth recorded TBR-culling…

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The Rules

  • 1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
  •  2. Order on ascending date added.
  •  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  •  4. Read the synopsis of the books.
  •  5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

 

1. Vanilla, Billy Merrell

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

A bold, groundbreaking novel about coming out, coming into your own, and coming apart.

Hunter and Van become boyfriends before they’re even teenagers, and stay a couple even when adolescence intervenes. But in high school, conflict arises — mostly because Hunter is much more comfortable with the sex part of sexual identity. As the two boys start to realize that loving someone doesn’t guarantee they will always be with you, they find out more about their own identities — with Hunter striking out on his own while Van begins to understand his own asexuality.

In poems that are romantic and poems that are heartbreaking, Vanilla explores all the flavors of the spectrum — and how romance and love aren’t always the same thing.

 

Oh, this one’s definitely a keeper.  Gay/Asexual representation? Count me in!

VERDICT: KEEP

 

2. The Lonely Hearts Club (The Lonely Hearts Club, #1), Elizabeth Eulberg

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Love is all you need… or is it? Penny’s about to find out in this wonderful debut.

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It’s a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there’s this certain boy she can’t help but like. . . .

 

Huh…as much as I love the Beatles/all these Beatles references, I’m not sure if that’s enough to hold up the plot. Plus, I’m not one to trust Stephenie Meyer.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

3. How Not to Be Popular, Jennifer Ziegler

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

 

Yeah, nope. I hate to say it, but…does anyone else smell a boatload of cliches?

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VERDICT: LET GO

 

4. Freya (Freya, #1), Matthew Laurence

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Freya is myth. She is legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback.

Sara Vanadi is more than she appears to be.

In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. Now all that’s left of her legacy is herself. Her power comes from belief, and for an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers are hard to come by.

She’s been lying low for a few decades, when all of a sudden a shadowy corporation extends an offer: join them and receive unlimited strength and believers—or refuse and be destroyed. Sara chooses neither; she flees with the help of a new friend named Nathan.

With a modern power rising that wishes to bend the divine to its will, Sara decides to fight back—but first she needs some new clothes.

 

Lord…I added these books to my TBR about a year ago, but WHAT was I THINKING?

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VERDICT: LET GO

 

5. Bookshop Girl (Bookshop Girl, #1), Chloe Coles

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Blurb from Goodreads:

A hilarious tale of female friendship, bookshops and fighting for a cause – perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Louise Rennison.

Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?

Eh…as much as I (sort of?) relate initially to Paige, the synopsis all started to fall apart in the last few sentences. Can’t say I have faith in this one.

VERDICT: LET GO

 

6. The Tomb, S. A. Bodeen

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Your world is as you see it to be. Until it isn’t.

These are the first words Kiva’s best friend, Seth, says, after years of silence.

Kiva thought she was growing up in ancient Alexandria. That’s what she and all her classmates had been led to believe by their parents. It turns out she was living in virtual reality, in a sleep chamber in deep space. She and Seth are among a handful of humans who continue to survive. Because Earth no longer exists.

Seth was the first to wake up. Now it’s Kiva’s turn.

Together, they must take an escape shuttle, nicknamed the Tomb, to search for the engine part their ship needs to keep running. But it’s been a long time since their ship has communicated with any of the other vessels harboring human civilization. And not all the survivors are friendly…

 

For some reason, I checked this out at the library a year or so ago, but never got around to reading it. Though the dangerously low Goodreads rating scares me a bit (2.88…yikes…), this one’s still intriguing.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

7. The Wise and the Wicked, Rebecca Podos

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

 

Witches? Magic? Feminism? Sisterhood? Shut up and take my library card…

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VERDICT: KEEP

 

8. Hello Girls, Brittany Cavallaro

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.

Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.

Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.

One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.

 

Yikes. This one sounds like a rough ride, but I still think I’m in.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

9. Kaleidoscope Song, Fox Benwell

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

South Africa is loud. Listen. Do you hear the song and dance of it? The chorus of Khayelitsha life? Every voice is different, its pitch and tone and intonation as distinct as the words we choose and how we wrap our mouths around them. But everybody has a voice, and everybody sings…

Fifteen year old Neo loves music, it punctuates her life and shapes the way she views the world. A life in radio is all she’s ever wanted.

When Umzi Radio broadcasts live in a nearby bar Neo can’t resist. She sneaks out to see them, and she falls in love, with music, and the night, but also with a girl: Tale has a voice like coffee poured into a bright steel mug, and she commands the stage.

It isn’t normal. Isn’t right. Neo knows that she’s supposed to go to school and get a real job and find a nice young boy to settle down with. It’s written everywhere – in childhood games, and playground questions, in the textbooks, in her parents’ faces. But Tale and music are underneath her skin, and try as she might, she can’t stop thinking about them.

Ohhhh yeah. I’m ALL in.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

10. Proud, Juno Dawson

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.

A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.

 

I haven’t read anything by any of these authors, but I am SO excited for this one.

VERDICT: KEEP

 

RESULTS: 

KEPT: 5

LET GO: 5

[Thom Yorke voice] “Everythiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing…in its riiiiiiiiiiiiight plaaaaaaaaaaaace…”

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Anyway, I feel like that was a successful TBR-cleaning session. I got rid of some books that were in dire need of deletion from my list, and I found a few possible gems that I forgot about. Also, full disclosure: I skipped a book, but only because it was a volume of B.P.R.D. that I haven’t yet read, and that’s an automatic keeper for me.

 

Today’s song:

I’ve had (Sandy) Alex G on my lists of artists to check out for a while, and so I decided to make a commitment to listen to his music today. He’s kind of hit-or-miss for me (I’ve only listened to House of Sugar and part of Rocket, so maybe there’s something I’m missing), but I found a few that I liked, such as this one.

 

Thus concludes today’s post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and in wake of all this COVID-19 weirdness, stay safe out there!

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