Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Sequels I Need to Get to

I have a large pile of unread books on my shelves. While I get excited about all the books I can read, naturally, there are a lot of books that have remained unread for longer than they should. Some of them are sequels.

For some of the books on this list, I read the first book a few years ago and, since then, the series are complete. It’s not that I didn’t like the first book. In fact, I loved them, in most cases. But, for whatever reason, I didn’t get around to finishing the series.

Five sequels on my TBR that I need to get to are:

 

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffith

Screenshot_2019-04-16 Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #2)

One of the oldest books on my TBR, Dance of the Red Death is the sequel to Masque of the Red Death and the final book in the duology. The first book is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name, set in a darkly glamourous dystopian society where a disease has ravaged the city and only the wealthy can afford masks to protect themselves from it. The main character, Araby, is still grieving the death of her twin brother at the hands of the plague and turns to drugs at nightclubs to forget it all. There, she meets two boys that draw her into a rebellion against the royal family.

I read The Masque of the Red Death back in 2012 or 2013. It took me a while to buy Dance of the Red Death. I distinctly remember enjoying the former, so I honestly have no clue why I have not gotten to the sequel. In the meantime, I won’t unhaul the books because I want to give the series one more chance. Hopefully, I’ll get to them this year.

 

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison

Screenshot_2019-04-16 The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)

The Rosie Effect is the sequel to The Rosie Project and follows the couple who got together in the first book after they got married. The Rosie Project was a cute, fun read that pulled at my heartstrings. I have literally no idea why I have not read The Rosie Effect. With a third book, The Rosie Result, coming out next month, now is the time to finally read The Rosie Effect.

 

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Screenshot_2019-04-16 Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #3)

Library of Souls is the third book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. When I bought it, it was supposed to be the final book. Apparently, now there is going to be another series with Jacob and the peculiar children in America. Personally, I’m not entirely sure if I want to read the new books.

I gave Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a rather high rating on Goodreads, but that was back during a time I was discovering so many new books and not reading very critically. When I read Hollow City, it was fun, only it didn’t make me that excited for Library of Souls. I debated unhauling the books, except I want to give the trilogy one last chance before I do that.

 

The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I read The Queen of the Tearling back in 2015, around the time the paperback was published and lots of people were raving about it on BookTube. I did enjoy it. I liked how it was a grittier high fantasy with some dystopian elements. I liked how the main character was a strong and flawed queen not everyone likes. I planned on continuing with the series. Only the problem I remember with The Queen of the Tearling with how the story dragged for too long in certain spots. But this series is one I plan to finish in 2019.

 

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong  

Screenshot_2019-04-16 Thirteen (Women of the Otherworld, #13)

Thirteen is the final book in one of my favorite series yet it is the oldest book on my TBR pile. Truthfully, I think I know why I have not read this book. Not because I don’t want it to end—Kelley Armstrong has made certain that the Women of the Otherworld will never be truly over with short story collections and graphic novels. I realized recently it’s because there are problematic themes within the series that I could ignore as a sixteen-year-old but not as a twenty-six-year-old. Someday, I will unhaul the Women of the Otherworld series. Before I do that, I want to reread the first twelve books and read Thirteen at least once, because this series means so much to me.

 

What are the oldest sequels on your to be read pile?  

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Mind-Blowing Mysteries/Thrillers

Mystery and thriller novels were, and still are, some of my favorite genres. Growing up with crime shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: SVU led into it. I was obsessed with James Patterson in high school (not the case anymore). Mystery is actually how I got into urban fantasy. Most of the ones I read had a murder mystery plot or had a main character that was some sort of investigator.

Nowadays, I don’t think I read as much mysteries or thrillers as I used to. But I’ve definitely read enough within the last year or so that blew my mind. Those are:

 

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Screenshot_2019-02-04 Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

The third book in the Cormoran Strike series, Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling explored the more dark side of humanity in this one. We dive deeper into Cormoran Strike’s backstory, mainly the death of his mother Leda Strike and his interactions with two very evil men he investigated while he was still with the army. We also learn more about Robin’s past, which leads me into a trigger warning for rape, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse. Aside from that, I flew through this book as it took me through one twist after the other. After finishing the book, it took me a while to emotionally recover.

 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Screenshot_2019-02-04 And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None is a classic mystery, published in the 1930s. It follows ten people, who are lured to an island off the coast of England by a mysterious stranger that then traps them inside with the promise of killing them all for their respective crimes. There is no other way on or off the island, so it has to be one of the “guests.” But just when you think it might be one person, they get killed off. Agatha Christie does a good job at making everyone look guilty. And having the characters die one by one to coincide with a creepy nursey rhyme adds a level of gruesomeness to it.

 

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Screenshot_2019-04-16 Two Can Keep a Secret

The most recent read on this list, Two Can Keep a Secret is set in a small Vermont town with a reputation for killing teenaged girls. True crime buff Ellery and her twin brother Ezra move to this town to live with their grandmother when another girl goes missing and strange, frightening threats appear. While I’m not sure many would call this book “mind-blowing,” since it is a young adult mystery, I still enjoyed it. I was surprised by who the killer was. Two Can Keep a Secret was highly entertaining and I wanted to give it five stars, only it didn’t quite get there.

 

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

thelasttimeilied

After being disappointed by Riley Sager’s debut novel, Final Girls, I went into The Last Time I Lied with low expectations. It follows Emma, who returns to the camp she visited fifteen years ago to find out what really happened to her three friends who vanished the summer she was thirteen. Like Final Girls, I flew through it, but I enjoyed The Last Time I Lied ten times more. I particularly like mysteries where not all of the characters are likeable, including the main character. The plot kept me guessing and entertained, and the ending I didn’t see coming.

 

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

huntingprincedracula18

Hunting Prince Dracula is the second novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper and probably my favorite in the series so far, even though I haven’t read the third book, Escaping from Houdini. Hunting Prince Dracula was set in Romania, at a medical school inside a castle. There was a lot of blood, a lot of death, a lot of mystery, and a lot, a lot of steaminess. I actually almost gave Hunting Prince Dracula four stars until the end blew me out of the water.

 

What is your favorite mystery novel you’ve ever read?

Top 5 Tuesday: Books I Predict Will Be 5 Stars!

I like to keep an open mind when it comes to books. There have been books I wasn’t sure about that I ended up loving. There were others I was certain I’d adore but didn’t. And there are the few I read the synopsis for then put down immediately.

The books on this week’s Top 5 Tuesday are books on our TBRs we predict will be five stars. Some of these I’m positive will be five stars, or at least I’ll give them high ratings, others make me nervous because of the hype around them. The books on this list are:

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

thesevenhusbandsofevelynhugo

If I give The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so much as a four stars, I will blame BookTube, Goodreads, the book bloggers, and all their friends and family for it. You all have hyped this book so much for me, my expectations are astronomically high.

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

thehateugive

It’s the same for The Hate U Give as it is for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I probably would have read it eventually, as I want to read more diversely. But as I said, this book is hyped and it has already been made into a movie. This book probably will be five stars…but in the off chance it’s not, I will be a very, very sad human.

 

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

lethalwhite

This one is a no-brainer. Lethal White is the fourth book and most recent installment in the Cormoran Strike series. While The Cuckoo’s Calling was OK, The Silkworm and Career of Evil were amazing. I love Strike. I love Robin. These books are huge but fast-paced and mind-blowing. I can only imagine how many twists Robert Galbraith is going to take with Lethal White.

 

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

girlsofpaperandfire

From reviews I’ve seen, Girls of Paper and Fire can be either a four star or a five star read for me. It is set in a world where every year a demon king collects eight girls from the human villages to serve as his concubines in the royal palace. This year, there is a ninth girl and she’s fed up with what’s going on. She plans to take the king down from the inside. In the meantime, she falls in love with someone you’d least expect: another woman. I didn’t need to know much else about Girls of Paper and Fire.

 

Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is a memoir graphic novel I’ve wanted to read for years. It follows a young woman’s adolescent years in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, leading up into the modern times under the laws of the regime covered in Persepolis 2. Memoirs and nonfiction are works I tend to go into with caution. Nonfiction tends to be dry for me. Memoirs are something I want to dive into more, especially after reading True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. With the overwhelmingly positive reviews and beautiful artwork, Persepolis seems like a good stepping stone.

 

What are some of your five-star predictions?

An Unofficial Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Popular Books I Have No Interest in Reading

Since there was no Top 5 Tuesday topic this week, I decided to make my own. A controversial one at that.

I pride myself on reading widely. I read long books and short books. I read both young adult and adult books, across a variety of genres, overhyped or under-hyped. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to a career as a reader’s advisory librarian: I read so many books, I want to encourage others to do the same.

But like any reader, there are books I have no interest in. No matter how much praise it’s getting, it’s not drawing my attention in libraries or bookstores or gaining a spot on my ever-growing Goodreads TBR and Amazon wish list. Some of the books on this list I originally had on Goodreads, but have since taken off. With all the unread books I own and the ones I want to read eventually, not to mention stories I someday want to reread, there are even some beloved titles that just don’t make it to my list of priorities.

Those are:

 

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Screenshot_2019-04-09 An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

I know lots of people love An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Thing is, I don’t get it. Alien robots and social media? While I liked Hank’s brother John Green’s books when I read them, I didn’t love them either. In fact, I unhauled them recently.

Regarding An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, I have come to the conclusion you have to be involved to a certain level of social media to really get anything out of it. For me, blogging is a hobby I don’t take too seriously. Social media is more of a platform to kill time on. I don’t care that much.

 

The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Screenshot_2019-04-09 A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

Me not wanting to read the Song of Ice and Fire has nothing to do with me watching the show. In fact, I could care less about Game of Thrones. I’ve watched episodes occasionally, but it’s more of something I ended up watching because my dad is hogging the TV.

Actually, I used to resent Game of Thrones because I would get kicked out of my own bedroom on Sunday nights. My mom hated it, so my dad would watch it on the TV he stashed in there while I was in college. That hasn’t been an issue for a while—I got new bedroom furniture as a graduation present and it took up enough space where the table with the TV no longer fit—but still. Game of Thrones and I don’t have the best relationship.

game of thrones drinking GIF by Sky

Tangent aside, I’m not intimidated by larger books. Larger adult high fantasies are something I’ve gotten more into recently. It’s my lack of interest in the overall Game of Thrones that is a big deterrent.

 

Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Similar to Game of Thrones, I have seen bits of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, yet never had the desire to pick up the source materials or even see the film adaptions through. I realized I don’t have a problem with too many characters and storylines. If done right, I find them entertaining. But for whatever reason, like Game of Thrones, I have just never been compelled to read the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit.

denied lord of the rings GIF

 

 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Screenshot_2019-04-09 Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

I have a strong suspicion I won’t like the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan. How can you not tell your girlfriend about your family? How could you let your mother and grandmother treat her like that? It’s already making me mad. Aside from that, reviews I’ve seen say Crazy Rich Asians is dense and the POVs can get mixed in together so much you don’t quite know who is narrating. I don’t have time for that, sorry.

 

The rest of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

I read Outlander a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t head over heels in love like so, so many other people. I liked Claire, but, sadly, Jamie Fraser doesn’t do it for me. I had the rest of the books in this series on my Amazon wish list for the longest time. I intended to pick up the rest of the series, yet seemed to forget they existed. Right now, there are about nine books in the series and they are all long. That is not what’s keeping me away. It’s the fact that Outlander was so boring for me for most of the time I was reading it.

At this point in time, I have no interest in completing the series. However, it is a hard maybe. If I were, I would definitely have to reread Outlander. Which, admittedly, is not something I’m looking forward to….

 

What popular books do you have no interest reading?

Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag

I was tagged by the marvelous Grey to do the Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag. First, thank you to them for the tag! I completely forgot this tag existed, created last year on BookTube. The semester is currently at that weird point where things are winding down yet I feel like I’m missing something so the stress is piled on high.

It also doesn’t help that one of my professors gently suggested my papers are not quite up to par with the graduate level and recommended I visit the writing center. With a play and a Bachelor of Arts in English under my belt, that is the closest to a kick in the crotch I’ve ever gotten. But I still got a good grade on the paper, so I don’t know why it was bugging me so much. So what’s my solution? Book tags!

On to the Out of My Comfort Zone Book tag!

 

A book that is an exception when it comes to genres or elements in books that you don’t typically like.

Screenshot_2019-04-07 This Heart of Mine

Despite that the majority of what I read is fantasy, I do enjoy contemporary novels. Although, I tend to lean towards the ones with more serious topics. Rarely did I reach for ones focused only on a romance. Then, I heard about This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. It promised to be a romantic contemporary about a teenaged girl learning to live again after receiving a heart transplant.

After not hearing such great things about the author, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. But the transplant and the magical realism elements (she starts having dreams about the death of the boy whose heart she received) ultimately drew me in. Surprisingly, what kept me reading was the romance. The relationship was adorable and healthy, with lots of communication. Sadly, something you don’t see a lot in young adult novels.

 

A book you enjoyed from a genre you previously held some stigma about.

Screenshot_2019-04-07 True Notebooks

I am not a fan of nonfiction. I find it dry. I might have enjoyed one or two memoirs I read for school, but I definitely would not reread them. This semester, I took a literacy services class. To prepare for our visit to a prison library, my professor wanted the class to read True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. The novel covered the early years the author volunteered as a creative writing teacher at a youth correctional facility. I liked it more than I expected. He covers a lot of different issues inside the prison system and how society has treated these prisoners even before they were locked up. There was a lot of gray area in between the black and white, too. True Notebooks made me consider looking into more nonfiction.

 

A book you didn’t know was actually our of your comfort zone until you started reading it.

Screenshot_2019-04-07 Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

I didn’t realize Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was out of my comfort zone. Science fiction is a genre I could never quite figure out if I liked, or if I only liked some books instead of others. Normally, I enjoy books written in different formats, like how Illuminae is. However, I realized with science fiction, the only way I might be able to get anything out of it if it’s written in prose. Otherwise, the scientific jargon will go right over my head. Unfortunately, because of this, I won’t be continuing with the Illuminae Files series. I didn’t enjoy Illuminae as much as everyone else seems to.

 

Pick a friend or BookTuber that motivates you to pick up books you might not normally be interested in. What is one book out of your norm that they convinced you to give a try?

Screenshot_2019-04-07 Skyward (Skyward, #1)

As I mentioned previously, science fiction is a hit or miss for me. Brandon Sanderson is an author I have been interested in reading for a couple of years, yet I had no idea where to begin with his books. His most recent release, Skyward, was the Booksplosion group’s last read of 2018. The way Kat, Jesse, and Christine talked about it, how it was fast-paced and about pilots battling aliens, somehow drew me in. They weren’t wrong either. I enjoyed it way more than I expected.

 

A book that is out of your comfort zone that you would like to read.

Screenshot_2019-04-07 The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)

Over my winter break, I checked out The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare from the library and, naturally, didn’t get around to reading it. The novel is an adult historical romance about a seamstress, who marries a tragically scarred duke after his fiancée leaves him at the altar. In exchange for a comfortable life, the seamstress agrees to marry the duke and produce an heir for him. But things don’t exactly go as planned.

I always look at those cheesy mass market paperback romances with amusement. After reading Meg Cabot’s Ransom My Heart, I had no interest in further reading of the historical romance genre. But I have heard many good things about Tessa Dare as an author. And, since my own love life is significantly lacking at the moment, I’ve noticed I am slowly becoming more and more drawn to romance books. Not that the books help much.

 

A book or genre so out of what you normally read you’ll probably never give it another chance.

Screenshot_2019-04-07 Middlesex

Easy: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I read this before starting my blog, while I was still in college. I got it out of my school’s library, to read and review for the library’s Facebook page. Jeffrey Eugenides is an award-winning author, yet Middlesex made me extremely uncomfortable. I barely even remember what it was about otherwise. I’m not entirely sure I finished it, either. All I know is I have absolutely no desire to give it another chance.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Crystal

Sophie

Rebecca

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Romantic Reads (on my TBR)

When Shanah announced April’s Top 5 Tuesday topics, I had no idea how I wanted to write today’s topic or even if I wanted to (my love life is currently nonexistent and I’m not feeling particularly romantic because of it). I consider myself a hopeless romantic, yet I was never drawn to novels where the plot was all about the relationship. I definitely avoided those cheap-looking mass market paperbacks with the half-naked men and women on the cover or the ones with the really, really cheesy titles.

However, in the past few months, I find myself adding more romantic reads to my TBR on Goodreads, even buying them. The ones that don’t have the cheesy titles or terrible covers (or they’re not that bad of covers). The most romantic-sounding books on my TBR pile that I currently own are:

 

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

thelastletterfromyourlover18

On this list, The Last Letter from Your Lover is the book I’ve owned the longest. I bought it back in 2015, when I was first introduced to Jojo Moyes after reading Me Before You and was obsessed with reading every single one of her books. This one follows dual timelines, the first in 1960, where a woman wakes up from a coma after a car accident with no memory of who she is and then finds love letters addressed to her from someone called “B,” who is not the man she is supposedly married to. The other timeline is set forty years later, where a lovelorn reporter finds the letters and investigates the story of the star-crossed lovers in hopes of she might also find a happy ending in her own unconventional love story.

 

Vanilla by Megan Hart

vanilla18

I bought Vanilla when the movie for Fifty Shades of Grey came out and I wanted to dip my toes into the waters of erotica fiction. Though I haven’t read it still, from the synopsis, it is more about an adult romantic relationship than kinky sex. Alex is a strong woman who likes to be dominant in and outside of the bedroom. Then she meets sweet Niall, who should not be her type at all as he is too “vanilla” for her tastes. But when he takes a chance on wooing her, the lovers find themselves struggling to find common ground in the relationship when both are so used to taking the lead.

 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

thekissquotient

The Kiss Quotient is another adult romance novel following a young woman on the Autism Spectrum who really wants to be in a romantic relationship but lacks dating experience and struggles with intimacy. So, she hires a male escort to teach her the art of the bedroom. That is all I wanted to know about The Kiss Quotient. That is all I needed to know about The Kiss Quotient. Reminding myself it is on my TBR, sitting up front on my bookshelves, only makes me want to read it this second.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Manon

whendimplemetrishi

A popular young adult novel that took the book world by storm a couple of years ago, When Dimple Met Rishi follows two Indian-American teenagers who meet at a STEM camp through an arrangement made by their parents in hopes of making a match. The girl, Dimple, rejects everything her Indian upbringing represents and just wants to focus on her education while the boy, Rishi, is a hopeless romantic that embraces his Indian culture. Naturally, love and chaos ensue. Better believe I will be reading When Dimple Met Rishi this year.

 

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

autoboyography

Another book I want to read this year, Autoboyography is an LGBTQ+ young adult romance following two boys. Bisexual Tanner is forced back into the closet when his family moves from California to a conservative town in Utah. In his senior year, he takes a creative writing seminar where he meets Sebastian, the class mentor. Sebastian is a Mormon and the son of missionaries. He’s too scared to come out to his family and the community, but when he begins a secret relationship with Tanner, things get way more complicated. And can we take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this cover is?

 

What are some romantic reads on your TBR?