The Anticipated Releases Book Tag!

I was tagged by Rebecca to do the Anticipated Releases Book Tag. So thank you!

To be honest: sometimes, I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it’s a book I’m very, very excited for, such as the next installment in a favorite series. More often than not, I forget when books come out until I see them available on Amazon or at the bookstore and library. I try to focus on the books that are currently released and in my possession or I have access to before I think about the ones not out yet. Somehow, though, I came up with enough answers for this tag.

 

Your most anticipated release of the year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4)

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I am deliberately putting off reading Escaping from Houdini so I can marathon finish the series.

 

A book you’re not anticipating

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Wayward Son

This might hurt some of you, but Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. Wayward Son is the sequel to Carry On. While I’ve enjoyed most of Rainbow Rowell’s books, sadly, I did not love Carry On like so many other people have. Chances are, I won’t read Wayward Son.

 

Most underhyped anticipated release

lovelywar

Lovely War by Julie Berry, which I already own since Barnes and Noble had an amazing sale recently. I have read two of Julie Berry’s novels and I immensely enjoyed both of them. Even if I had not read any of the author’s previous works, I would have been drawn to it anyway. It is a fantasy historical fiction novel told through the eyes of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, as she tells the story of doomed lovers to Ares and Hephaestus in a Manhattan hotel room.

 

A book you’ve been waiting on forever

lethalwhite

Though it is technically not a new release at this point—it came out summer of last year—a book I waited for what felt like forever for was Lethal White by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. It is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series and the one that got pushed aside in favor of the disaster that was the Crimes of Grindelwald. As far as I am concerned, JK Rowling needs to retire her Boy Wizard and focus on her adorable, grumpy London private investigator.

 

A book you’re anticipating that’s out of your comfort zone

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Starsight cover image

That would be Starsight, the sequel to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I picked up Skyward last year because I’ve been wanting to get into Brandon Sanderson’s books for years and I wanted to read more Sci-fi. It’s not something I often reach for, compared to other genres.

 

Your top 3 “Can’t Wait” Books of the Year

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Technically, all three of these books are out by now, but they were all ones I was anticipating when I first heard of their publication. Contradicting my previous statement that I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it is by authors I’ve read previously, that is partially true.

Teeth in the Mist is Dawn Kurtagich’s third novel, and I read, and enjoyed, the other two. I bought Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel An Enchantment of Ravens when it came out, though I haven’t read it yet. But if a synopsis has any mention of libraries, magic, and sorcerers, like Sorcery of Thorns does, I am all for it. And I’m trash for Beauty and the Beast, so you bet your bottom dollar A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which came out way back in January, is on the list.

 

Top 5 most anticipated backlist books on your TBR

 

 

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I came to a slightly uncomfortable revelation about myself this year: I want all the books yet I continuously deny myself what I actually want to read. All of these books should have been read by now, among so many others. Yet I keep putting them unfairly on the backburner. No idea why. I guess I am a masochist.

 

What is a backlist book you keep putting off “for the right moment?”

(TAG! You’re it!)

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TBR Alphabet Tag

I don’t know what it is about book tags, but I see a whole bunch I want to do, I write up a draft almost immediately in a notebook, and then it takes me ages to type it up, edit, and post it on the blogsphere. I don’t get it.

Oh well. I saw this tag on Kristin’s blog a little while ago. Here it is now: the TBR Alphabet Tag.

 

A

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

Screenshot_2019-06-16 An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

 

B

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Beyond a Darkened Shore

 

C

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Crimson Bound

 

D

(The) Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4)

 

E

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Empress of All Seasons

 

F

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Far from the Tree

 

G

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1)

 

H

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Heretics Anonymous

 

I

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Isle of Blood and Stone (Tower of Winds, #1)

 

J

None

 

K

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Kindred

 

L

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Little Lion

 

M

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Screenshot_2019-06-16 My Name Is Venus Black

 

N

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)

 

O

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Out of the Easy

 

P

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Providence

 

Q: (The) Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Queen's Rising (The Queen’s Rising, #1)

 

R

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Ruined (Ruined, #1)

 

S: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1)

 

T

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

 

U

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Under Rose-Tainted Skies

 

V

(The) Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Virgin's Lover (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #13)

 

 

W

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crawley

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Words in Deep Blue

 

X

None

 

Y

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

Screenshot_2019-06-16 You're Welcome, Universe

 

Z

None

 

I tag:

Shanah

Grey

Rebecca

Crystal

Sophie

Top 5 Tuesday: 11 Debut Novels I Want to Buy (Eventually)

One of the things I love about Shanah’s Top 5 Tuesday topics is that she leaves them open to interpretation. With “Top 5 Debut Novels,” I could not keep it at five. There are a lot of books coming out this summer, or are already out, that I have my eye on. Worse still, my new top is smack in between two bookstores. But the promise of textbooks on the horizon and empty hangers asking for new clothes in my closet have me trying to refrain from going overboard with every paycheck.

Key word trying.

            Here are the eleven debut novels I am most excited to add to my bookshelves (or check out from the library, whichever comes for):

 

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Screenshot_2019-06-02 Again, but Better(1)

I’ve been following Christine’s writing vlogs since she started her novel project in 2016. Besides liking Christine and her videos, I’m drawn to this book anyway. The cover is super pretty and it’s about a shy bookworm that studies abroad in London in hopes of getting out of her shell to improve her college experience.

 

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Screenshot_2019-06-02 Wilder Girls

An all-girls boarding school on an island is quarantined after a virus infects and kills the teachers then leaves the students horribly mutilated. The girls are left to fend for themselves on the island to wait for a cure and never go beyond the walls of the school. But when one goes missing, another girl dares to venture into the world outside to find her. In doing so, she uncovers more to the story than what she and her friends knew.

 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Screenshot_2019-06-02 We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

A girl disguises herself as a man to hunt in a cursed forest to feed her village and a prince assassinates those who dare to challenge his father the sultan. They are two heroes that don’t want to be heroes. Now one has to hunt the other as they are both in search of an ancient artifact that can save their kingdom from war.

 

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Screenshot_2019-06-02 Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)

Finn is a skilled thief and shapeshifter that can disguise her face as anyone she wants. She’s blackmailed by a mobster to steal something from the royal palace, which causes her to cross paths with Prince Alfie. Grief-stricken by the murder of his older brother, Alfie feels he can never live up to his brother’s legacy and seeks forbidden magic to bring him back from the dead. But when he meets the shapeshifting thief, an evil force is accidentally unleashed. Aside from having a gorgeous cover, Nocturna is also based in Dominican mythology, something I am very interested in reading.

 

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

Screenshot_2019-06-02 The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #1)

Having just watched the live-action Aladdin, I’m craving more desert fantasy. Based on Indian and Hindu mythology, The Tiger at Midnight follows a rebel called the Viper and a soldier who are forced into a power play as the Viper seeks revenge for those who took everything from her. Both think they’re calling the shots, but they are only pawns in a larger, deadly game.

 

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Screenshot_2019-06-02 Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)

Spin the Dawn was a book I heard about on Hailey in Bookland’s most anticipated books of 2019 then forgot it until I made this list. A girl disguises herself as a boy to join a competition to become the emperor’s royal tailor to provide for her family. Then, she is presented the challenge of creating three dresses for the emperor’s betrothed—from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars—and travels to the depths of the kingdom, finding more than she anticipated.

 

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Screenshot_2019-06-02 Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens follows a bored, awkward queer teen named Nima who is in love with her straight friend and still reeling from her mom’s sudden departure. After an encounter at a festival, she is drawn into the drag scene where she not only learns how to love and accept it and herself, but also how to accept when love is lost. Plus, this cover is so freaking pretty.

 

How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox

Screenshot_2019-06-02 How It Feels to Float

Biz lost her dad when she was seven, although everyone but her thinks that. She doesn’t tell anyone she can still see him, or about her chaotic thought patterns, or how she kissed her friend Grace or noticed the new boy Jasper. Then, something happens to Biz one day at the beach and the strings that held her together for so long finally give way at the seams. The ghost of her dad disappears, leaving her to wonder if it might be easier to either disappear altogether or find her dad and bring him back to her. But there is a third option Biz has yet to find.

 

The Beholder by Anna Bright

Screenshot_2019-06-02 The Beholder

Selah is a princess that has waited her whole life to embrace her duty to marry for her kingdom and find happily ever after. But after a humiliating public rejection, she goes along with her stepmother’s plan of travelling the seas from country to country to find a husband. If she doesn’t come back engaged, she doesn’t come home at all. But while Selah embarks on the journey of a lifetime, she finds more than her stepmother’s schemes hiding belowdecks.

 

This is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale

Screenshot_2019-06-02 This Is Not a Love Scene

Aspiring filmmaker Maeve has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair-bound. Her friends and passion for what she does distracts her from constant rejection from the opposite sex. Then, she meets Cole Stone, a hot older guy starring in her senior film project that is giving her looks she’s never gotten before. With this new attention and unexpected confidence, Maeve gets a taste of teenaged dating life, both physically and emotionally. But when it comes to choosing between what she needs and what she wants, and getting an answer out of Cole, suddenly romance doesn’t look so fun anymore.

 

The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson

Screenshot_2019-06-02 The Art of Breaking Things

Skye is enjoying her time partying with friends and counting down to graduation and art school until her mom rekindles a romance with the man who betrayed Skye’s trust years ago. Too young to understand what happened to her, she kept quiet. Torn between running away and staying to protect her younger sister, she must find the courage to reveal the secret she’s hidden for so long. With the help of her friends and her artwork, Skye becomes her best ally and finds her words.

 

What is your most anticipated debut of the summer or of 2019 overall?

 

           

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

Like any bookworm, I have a large to be read pile that keeps growing. Not that I mind—I accept it at this point. Still, there are books sitting on my shelves unread, for longer than they probably should be. All for different reasons that I will try not to get into over and over again. You all just want to see the books, right?

I saw this book tag on Crystal’s blog.

 

A book that a friend is always telling you to read.

gemmadoyle18

I don’t have a lot of friends who are readers. But one who is a reader has frequently recommended the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. I have wanted to read this series for years anyway.

 

A book that’s been on your TBR forever, yet you still haven’t picked it up.

crimsonboundmar18

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge, which is a fantastical retelling of Little Red Riding. I loved her debut novel, Cruel Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast blended with Greek mythology. I want to get back into Rosamund Hodge’s books.

 

A book in a series you started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing yet.

myplainjane

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. It’s the second in a series of companion novels about famous characters named Jane from history, in which the familiar stories are turned on their heads with a humorous fantasy twist. My Plain Jane is a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

 

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read.

wutheringheights

For one year of summer reading in high school, I was supposed to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Only I read enough of it to fill out the worksheet. Now I’m an older and wiser reader, fully embracing my hopeless romantic side, I want to reread Wuthering Heights from start to finish.

 

A popular book it seems everyone but you has read.

thehateugive

The Hate U Give is a book I swear everyone and their mother has read and loved.

 

A book that inspired a film/TV adaption that you love, but just haven’t read yet.

Animated GIF

I had no idea the Hellboy movies were based off comic books until I actually looked it up. I love the 2004 film directed by Guillermo del Toro with Ron Perlman as Hellboy and Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, as well as the sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. To this day, I have not read the comic books nor do I really have any desire to do so.

 

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up.

I see a lot of books on Instagram that I have not gotten to yet. I swear it changes almost daily. Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo…The Cruel Prince by Holly Black….The list goes on.

 

I tag:

Rebecca

Grey

Kristin

Sophie

 

What books have been sitting on your TBR for too long?

The Book Buying Ban is Over!

My book buying ban is over guys! Well, sort of…

I got a temp job at a fine arts library for the next twelve weeks. I’m itching to apply for another job, too, one that’s recently opened up that I really, really want (and it could potentially be longer term, too). If not that, then an internship.

Thing is, the temp assignment only started this week….

I was out of a job for months. Taxes came through for me this year. I thought I could hold out until the summer before I bought more books. Then, as you will see, I cracked. I managed to get to my favorite independent bookstore. Barnes and Noble had new releases for half price as well as sales and so did Books a Million. But, to be honest, I’m pretty impressed with myself that I lasted for so long.

As for the “sort of” part…the right thing for me to do is save money for the next two months as I get settled into my new job. Will I stick to that? I hope so.

Until then, here are the books I bought:

 

Sightwitch and Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

The novella and the third book in the Witchlands series. I wanted to get into this series after reading the first book Truthwitch then buying the second novel Windwitch, then never did. Technically, I bought Sightwitch and Bloodwitch back in February, which led me into the book buying ban in the first place. But these are priority reads for the summer.

 

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

themermaidsvoicereturnsinthisone

One of my most anticipated reads of the year. I bought the pretty Target exclusive edition. Amanda Lovelace is neck and neck with Emily Dickinson as one of my favorite poets, but sadly, I didn’t love The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One like I was expecting to. Check out my latest reading wrap up for my full spoiler thoughts.

 

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

thelibrarybook

A mandatory read if you are a librarian or a library science student. It is a nonfiction novel surrounding the fire at the Los Angeles Public Library in the 1980s and the author’s speculations on who/what caused the fire and why. She also goes into her love of books and libraries overall. I had this on hold at my library, but the list was long and my demanding school schedule caused me to cancel the hold (and return all the other books I had checked out at that time). Now, I own it.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel by Margaret Atwood and illustrated by Renee Nault

thehandmaidstalegraphicnovel

A semi-impulse buy, I found this while browsing the book section of Target. I’ve wanted to reread The Handmaid’s Tale, especially with The Testaments coming out this fall. I didn’t want to read this right away, only I kept picking it up to gaze at the artwork. I read this recently, too. More on that in my reading wrap up.

 

Mist, Metal, and Ash by Gwendolyn Clare

mistmetalandash

This is the sequel to Iron, Ink, and Glass, which I have not yet read. It is a series set in an alternate history of 18th century Italy. The main character and her mother have the ability to, literally, rewrite reality through an ancient magical form of writing called scriptology. When her mother is kidnapped, the protagonist, Elsa, joins a secret society of people like her with an assassin on her tail. Unfortunately, I’ve heard virtually nothing about this series on social media, but I’m still hopeful.

 

The Wicked King by Holly Black

thewickedking

At this point in time, I still have not yet read The Cruel Prince. To be honest, I was hesitant about Holly Black after reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown last year. Then, I read The Darkest Part of the Forest from the library and really enjoyed it. I like Holly Black’s take on fairy lore. Hopefully, I will get to both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King around the time The Queen of Nothing comes out in November, so I can marathon.

 

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

ladysmoke

Lady Smoke is the sequel to another unread book I own, Ash Princess. It follows a princess who uses political maneuvering instead of a sword to get her kingdom back from the tyrant that murdered her mother then held the protagonist captive for ten years. From what little I’ve heard, Ash Princess has gotten mediocre reviews and there’s been next to nothing about Lady Smoke. That’s fine with me, though.

 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

theimmortalists

The Immortalists follows the four Gold siblings: Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Varya. In 1969, they sneak out in the middle of the night to have their fortunes told by a travelling psychic. She tells them when they are going to die, thus impacting each of the children differently as they move forward in their lives.

Literary fiction is a genre I’ve been getting more into within the last year or so, and most of what I read, I enjoyed. The Immortalists sounds like an interesting, thought-provoking one.

 

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

thechalkman

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are bored kids when they find a dismembered dead body in the woods surrounding their small English village. Next to the body is a chalk figure, just like the ones they use as their secret code. In 2016, now an adult, Eddie is trying to move on with his life when he receives a letter in the mail with a chalk figure drawn on it and then finds out his friends got the same message. One of them is dead.

I tend to enjoy mysteries that surround secrets or trauma from the main character’s childhood. The Chalk Man is an underrated adult mystery/thriller and I tend to really enjoy those. We shall see.

 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

agentlemaninmoscow

A Gentleman in Moscow is set in 1922 Russia. Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest inside a luxury hotel, deemed an unrepentant aristocrat under the Bolshevik tribunal. Despite being trapped, the tall, imposing count has the perfect view of the political unrest in his country, as well as his eccentric, eclectic neighbors in the hotel. I don’t know much about Russia’s political history, so A Gentleman in Moscow will be an interesting read for me.

 

Losing It by Emma Rathbone

losingit

Admittedly, Losing It does not have the best reviews on Goodreads, only the plot hits so close to home. Julia Greenfield is still a virgin at twenty-six. She goes to visit her mysterious aunt Vivienne in North Carolina and discovers her aunt, at fifty-eight, is also a virgin. While trying to unravel the secrets of her aunt’s past, Julia spends the summer trying to prevent meeting the same fate.

 

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

theredscrollsofmagic

The first book in an adult fantasy trilogy set in the Shadowhunters universe, The Red Scrolls of Magic following Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. While they are on vacation in Paris, an old friend of Magnus’s arrives to inform them a cult called the Crimson Hand is going around Europe raising demons. The cult was allegedly started by Magnus years ago—as a joke—but he’s taking the blame for it. Now, he and Alec have to chase the cult’s mysterious leader to clear his name. And, I would just like to point out, The Red Scrolls of Magic is probably the shortest Cassandra Clare book I’ve ever seen.

 

Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne

nightmusic

Night Music is one of those hidden gems I found at the indie bookstore I’m shocked I haven’t seen anywhere on social media. It follows two music prodigies who are forced to work together when the boy becomes an apprentice to the girl’s famous composer father. After she flunks an audition to a prestigious music school where her father is on the faculty, Ruby has no idea what to do with herself. Oscar is a talented young composer determined to make a name for himself and does not intend on falling for his white benefactor’s white daughter. But with the connection between the two of them as hot as the New York summer, it’s easier said than done.

 

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

thewakingforest

While the plot of this next hidden gem does intrigue me, if I’m being honest, it was the cover that lured me in. The Waking Forest follows two main characters. The first is Rhea, whose backyard is at the edge of the Waking Forest, home of the Witch, the second protagonist. Rhea sees dark shapes lurking in her backyard that quickly vanish when she reaches them. The Waking Forest is home for the Witch, who sits on her throne of bones waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant a wish. Both girls are approached by a mysterious stranger that offers them a chance to answer their wishes, if only they are willing to play a game. Rhea’s path collides with the Witch as the two find themselves trapped in the midst of deadly secrets to survive.

 

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

theweightofathousandfeathers

I apparently have a knack for finding “sick mom lit,” because I happened upon this one at the indie bookstore, too. The Weight of a Thousand Feathers follows Bobby Seed, who is trying to keep it together while taking care of his terminally ill mother, watching his younger brother, and navigating the waters of his relationship with his best female friend that wants a different kind of title. All while being a teenager still in high school. Then, his mom asks him to help her end her pain for good. Though the synopsis doesn’t outright say it, The Weight of a Thousand Feathers sounds like it’s going to be touching upon the topic of assisted suicide, which is a bold move to make for a young adult novel.

 

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

shout

Shout was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It is a free verse memoir poetry collection by Laurie Halse Anderson, beginning with her rape at thirteen by a “friend,” leading into her becoming an author and an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. I also recently read Shout, so you can find my full thoughts in my reading wrap up.

 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

longwaydown

Long Way Down was previously a library book I had checked out but had not gotten around to reading. It is another free verse poetry novel, this one taking place during a teenaged boy’s elevator ride on his way to kill the person who murdered his brother. The elevator stops at different floors and he meets people who have already died that try to talk him out of his mission. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been really getting into free verse novels lately. And, so far, I’m enjoying them.

 

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

agirllikethat

The cover of A Girl Like That—a girl wearing sunglasses and a hijab on the cover along with the pink cheetah-print spine—has always caught my eye whenever I saw it in the library or the bookstore. For some reason, I never picked it up until now, when I finally read the synopsis.

The religious police is Jeddah, Saudi Arabia are called to the scene of a car accident where sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia and her eighteen-year-old boyfriend Porus Dumasia are found dead. Though a good student and a bright, vivacious orphan, Zarin was labeled “a girl like that,” a troublemaker, by other kids’ parents. But when the police begin their investigation, everyone soon realizes there was more to Zarin than they ever knew.

 

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

thehistorian

A classic vampire novel, The Historian is a book I’ve known about for years that I finally caved into buying when I saw it for sale at the bookstore. An unnamed young woman finds a series of letters hidden in her father’s study that lead her to finish his journey to uncover the truth behind Vlad the Impaler’s ties to the infamous Dracula. Along the way, she unravels her family’s history, how her father’s madness and ruin may have led to the death of her mother. If The Historian is anything like The Swan Thieves, I expect beautiful prose and a twisty plot to keep me up until two in the morning to finish it.

 

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

suicidenotes

I had heard of Suicide Notes years ago and added it to my TBR on Goodreads, then proceeded to forget it existed. Then, just recently, it was repackaged and I found it at the bookstore. In case you don’t know, Suicide Notes is about fifteen-year-old Jeff, who wakes up in the psych ward after what appears to be a failed suicide attempt. Forced to endure a forty-five day sentence, he’s convinced there’s nothing wrong with him, not like the other patients. Then, his fellow inmates stop seeming so crazy.

 

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

wickedsaints

Wicked Saints has blown up on BookTube. Though it has been getting rather mixed reviews since its release, it strikes me as the kind of book you should go into knowing as little as possible anyway. All I know it is about two warring kingdoms (as usual in high fantasy) and follows three main characters: a princess that can talk to gods; a prince that uses blood magic; and a monster boy. That’s really all I need to know.

 

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

twocankeepasecret

Yet another book I’ve already read, Two Can Keep a Secret was previously a library book I featured in a reading wrap up a few months ago. It is a young adult mystery set in a small town where three girls have been murdered in the last twenty-five years, the first being the aunt of one of the main characters. True crime buff Ellery and her twin brother Ezra move in with their grandma just as another homecoming queen goes missing. As a series of threats appear around town, she takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of it.

 

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

iamnotyourperfectmexicandaughter

As I frequently do, I recently checked out too many library books that I didn’t get to before their due date. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was one of them. It is a young adult contemporary novel about Julia, whose sister Olga was the “perfect Mexican daughter” that didn’t leave home to go to college or anything else their parents did not approve of. When Olga dies, something about her death doesn’t feel right to Julia. Enlisting the help of some friends, she digs into her sister’s life and finds there was more to Olga than their family knew.

 

Internment by Samira Ahmed

internment

A contemporary with a dystopian twist, Internment is set in an alternate universe where all Muslim Americans are forced into internment camps. Seventeen-year-old Layla and her family are among them. To fight for their freedom, she builds friendships with others inside the camp, receives help from her boyfriend on the outside, and forges an unexpected alliance. This leads them into a rebellion against the internment camp’s director and the guards. I haven’t read Samira Ahmed’s debut novel, Love, Hate, and Other Filters yet, but Internment is making me eager to read her books.

 

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

once&future

As soon as I saw Once & Future on the Internet, I knew I had to read it. I own The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta, which I’m also interested in reading. But Once & Future is a reimagining of the tale of King Arthur set in space and the king is reincarnated in a teenaged girl. That’s all I needed to know. And the cover is gorgeous.

 

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe and translated by Lilit Thwaites

thelibrarianofauschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz was another book I previously checked out from the library a while ago and, of course, didn’t read. It is a nonfiction/historical fiction book about a young Jewish girl sent to the concentration camp Auschwitz and is the deemed the protector of the few books the prisoners managed to smuggle in with them. She does everything she can to keep the love of books alive as she and those she cares for endures unimaginable horrors.

 

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

howtomakefriendswiththedark

How to Make Friends with the Dark is a book that covers a topic I can relate to. A teenaged girl named Grace, otherwise known as Tiger, ends up in foster care following the unexpected death of her mother. Her dad not in the picture, it was always Tiger and her mom against the world. Now, she’s on her own. How to Make Friends with the Dark is about her coming to terms with grief and moving on after losing the only family she had. Yes, I am a sucker for “dead mom” literature, apparently.

 

Lovely War by Julie Berry

lovelywar

I’ve read Julie Berry’s other books, All the Truth That’s in Me and The Passion of Dolssa and enjoyed both. Lovely War is a multi-generational story set between World War I and II. It is narrated by the goddess Aphrodite as she tells the story to her lover, Ares, and her husband Hephaestus in a Manhattan hotel room. It begins in 1917, where shy pianist Hazel falls in love with soldier James, who is later shipped off to the killing fields.

Along with him is Carnegie Hall musician Aubrey Edwards, who is a member of the all-African American regiment sent to help end the Great War. Romance is the last thing on his mind, until he meets a Belgian girl named Colette Fournier, a survivor of unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Are you already getting the feels? Because I am.

 

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

theprincessandthefangirl

I love fairy tale retellings, especially if set in a modern setting. The Princess and the Fangirl is the companion novel to Geekerella, a reimagining of Cinderella centered around a convention. The Princess and the Fangirl follows the co-star of the male lead in Geekerella, who is blamed for the leaking of a movie script and does a switch with a mega-fan that looks like her to find the culprit. At this point, I’ve heard several reviews of The Princess and the Fangirl. Unfortunately, they haven’t been as great as the ones for Geekerella. But there are so few retellings of any works by Mark Twain (The Princess and the Fangirl is a retelling of The Prince and the Pauper) that I still want to give it a chance.

 

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

heroine

Mindy McGinnis is yet another author I’ve wanted to get into for years, even owned one of her books for the longest time, but, of course, have not gotten around to it. She is one where her books get mixed reviews. Such as, great things have been said about A Madness so Discreet and The Female of the Species, except some of her other works got flack. Heroine is her most recent novel. It is a contemporary, following a teenaged athlete who becomes addicted to drugs to keep playing sports after an injury. I rarely see these kinds of books, even though the topic is so relevant.

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

dearmartin

I want to improve on the amount of the diverse books on my TBR. Dear Martin is similar to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. African-American teenager Justice finds himself in handcuffs after driving his ex-girlfriend home and he has no idea why. Told in letters to Martin Luther King Jr., he comes to terms with what is happening around him as one unfair thing leads to another.

 

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

fieldnotesonlove

Another book I recently checked out from the library but did not read, Field Notes on Love is a cute, fluffy young adult romantic contemporary. When his girlfriend dumps right before a cross-country train ride, British-born Hugo gives her ticket to Mae, who happens to have the same name as his ex (Margaret). An aspiring filmmaker, Mae challenges Hugo to follow his dreams, but will their romance end once the train ride does?

 

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

youaskedforperfect

Ariel Stone has built his entire life around getting into college—violin first chair, community volunteer, and valedictorian candidate. After a failed Calculus quiz, he starts to pull all-nighters to keep his classmates from seeing any weakness. Reluctantly, he accepts help from a tutor, Amir, who provides too much of a distraction. But a relationship might be the thing that finally makes Ariel snap under pressure.

 

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

themusicofwhathappens

Another LGBTQ+ romance, The Music of What Happens follows two openly gay boys in Mesa, Arizona, Max and Jordan. Laidback Max is gay and him nor anyone in his life is making a big deal about it. But despite this, he can’t bring himself to talk about an encounter with an older boy. Uptight Jordan is trying to hide the fact that his mom is spiraling while searching for his first kiss from Mr. Right who might not like him to begin with. In the heat of summer, their chemistry will be as hot as a June in Arizona. And this cover is adorable!

 

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

werulethenight

A young adult fantasy stand-alone that sounds a lot like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Revna is a factory worker caught using illegal magic and general’s daughter Linne disguised herself as a boy to join the army. Both are offered a reprieve from punishment by joining a secret women’s military flight. The girls can’t stand each other as they are forced to take on terrifying missions under the cover of night. But if they can’t figure out how to work together, the enemy will kill them before they kill each other.

 

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

thelastvoyageofpoeblythe

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe follows a young captain who is hell-bent on taking down the individual who murdered her beloved and robbed her of everything two years ago. As she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine River, Poe discovers there is a traitor lurking her crew. From there, she will learn to move forward in her grief and anger, making a new path for herself. I haven’t read Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy, the cover for The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe (and my love of lady pirates) drew me in.

 

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap

izzy+tristan

This one was an impulse buy. After learning the legend of Tristan and Iseult in my college English courses, I’ve been fascinated by the story. If you are unaware, it is an earlier version of the Lancelot and Guinevere legend. Izzy + Tristan is a retelling of the tale set in a modern-day Brooklyn neighborhood. Two teenagers are in an ill-fated love affair after Izzy starts dating Tristan’s cousin but falls for him instead.

 

Voices: the Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

voicesjoanofarc

I had heard about Voices through BookTube and bought it when I saw it on sale on Barnes & Noble’s website. It is a retelling of the final hours of Joan of Arc as told through different forms of medieval poetry, through the eyes of Joan, her friends and family, and others, including objects. I finished it in a day, unable to put it down as soon as I started reading. It was also in my latest reading wrap up, if you want to know my thoughts.

 

Squad by Mariah MacCarthy

squad

You know what sold me on this novel? An outcast cheerleader gets involved with a transgender boy in what feels like love, only it isn’t. The cheerleaders at Marsen High School are normal girls trying to master the sport. But when Jenna finds herself suddenly on the outskirts, she sets out to take revenge on her former best friend while trying to come to terms in post-cheer life.

 

What is the best book you’ve bought recently?

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: 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?

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?

Books I Want to Read Tag

I’m currently on spring break. It’s been nice, only I wouldn’t exactly call it “spring,” since we just had a big snowstorm nor would I call it a “break,” since I’ve been up to my next in homework assignments.

Other than that, I am proud to announce, the book buying ban is still going strong (it helps not having any money to spend). I’ve been using the library like crazy. I know there are books at home that I can/should read, but the library has been so helpful maintaining my book buying urges. Which brings me to the situation of my TBR.

Like many of you, I have a massive TBR, at home and on Goodreads. There is no chance of it getting smaller. But I like big to be read piles, so I’m fine with it. And I like to talk about the books I want to read. It decreases the likelihood I’ll forget about them. So, when I saw this tag on Kristin Kraves Books blog, I knew this is exactly what I needed for a homework break.

The Books I Want to Read Tag was created by Jamishelves. Thank you!

On to the tag!

 

A book that you feel like you need to read because everyone talks about it.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seann McGuire

Screenshot_2019-03-08 Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

To be fair, if you can sell a book to me, chances are, I will want to read it. When Every Heart a Doorway first came out and everyone was reading and loving it, I was neutral. Novellas aren’t my thing. It wasn’t until Beneath the Sugar Sky came out that I really felt compelled to pick up Every Heart a Doorway, as well as the companion novels. I plan on checking the series out from the library in the next month or so.

 

A book that’s really long.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

kingdomofash

I think I have said this before, but I’m not as madly in love with the Throne of Glass series as I used to be. Only I’m too invested into certain characters to not finish it. The series finale, Kingdom of Ash, is well over 900 pages, so it will probably take me a while. Still, Sarah’s books are easy enough reads that, if I focused, it wouldn’t take me too long.

 

A book you’ve owned/had on your TBR for too long.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Sadly, I could name three books for this question. I attempted to read Wicked almost two years ago now, got about 50 pages in, and then set it aside. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it; I was in the throes of a reading slump brought on by the feeling of “I have no idea what to do with my life and there’s all this other stuff going on I can’t deal with.” But Gregory Maguire’s writing spoke to the English nerd in me. I definitely plan to pick this book up again.

As for The Magician’s Lie and The Shock of the Fall, there isn’t any explanation as to why I haven’t read these books yet. I have owned both of these books since my sophomore or junior year of college. And I still want to read them. The Magician’s Lie follows the Amazing Arden, a magician who is arrested for murder and the novel takes place over the course of a single night, as the detective interrogating her tries to unravel her secrets. The Shock of the Fall is a contemporary novel about a mentally ill young man struggling with his personal demons and the hidden truths behind the tragic death of his older brother years before.

Needless to say, I should have read these books a long time ago.

 

A book that is “required” reading.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey is the only Jane Austen book I have not read. I have enjoyed every single one of her books, so there is a strong possibility I will also like Northanger Abbey. That will be remedied this year. As for Wuthering Heights, it was a summer reading book in high school that I know for a fact I did not finish. I read just far enough where I could gather quotes for the worksheet they wanted us to fill out. I don’t think I liked it back then. Only now that I have had more Bronte exposure, I want to read it cover to cover this time.

 

A book that intimidates you.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Screenshot_2019-03-08 The Queens of Innis Lear

I checked this book out from the library months ago and stopped reading. I knew I wasn’t going to finish it, even if I renewed it. I just wasn’t feeling it at the time, or I thought I wasn’t.

I am 50/50 on The Queens of Innis Lear. The writing was dense, but also lyrical and the atmosphere the author created was beautiful. In the 50 pages I read, I hated the three female leads, but felt drawn to their male love interests. The synopsis still intrigues me, even as the mythology intimidates me. I really don’t know at this point.

 

A book that you think might be slow.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

queenofairanddarkness

While I do enjoy them overall, because of their page length and the on-again, off-again pacing, sometimes Cassandra Clare’s books feel slow to me. While I am excited to complete The Dark Artifices trilogy with Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness, it will likely take me a couple of weeks. Apprehensive is the word I’d use to describe my feelings.

 

A book you need to be in the right mood for.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Beautiful and Damned and This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I don’t consider myself a “mood” reader. I make TBR lists and, for the most part, stick to them. Only there are some books that I do need a particular mood for when I read them. I learned that a few months ago when I attempted to read Leaves of Grass. I love Walt Whitman’s poetry, yet this one was a struggle bus to ride for some reason. I ended up putting it down.

Besides Leaves of Grass, the other ones I own are Villette, the Fitzgerald novels, and the Dickens books. Villette by Charlotte Bronte is a big book, which at the moment, is likely the only reason I haven’t given it much thought. Bigger classics are sometimes a chore, no matter how much you may or may not love the author. I loved The Great Gatsby when I read it in high school, though Tender is the Night was a disappointment. That only makes me apprehensive about the remaining two I own. The same goes for the Charles Dickens books. I grew up loving A Christmas Carol and I distinctly remember reading Oliver Twist as a child, but his book Hard Times, which I read for a college literature course, fell flat.

As for the rest of them, the thick, dense, complex books Anna Karenina, Moby Dick, and Gone with the Wind, those are on my unofficial “book bucket list.” I want to read them, mostly to say I did, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t.

 

A book you’re unsure if you will like.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Screenshot_2019-03-08 For Whom the Bell Tolls

Of all the unread books I own, For Whom the Bell Tolls is at the very, very bottom of the pile. I read two other books by Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, and was not crazy about either of them. I know he covers the more serious, less happy times of an era the modern world glamourizes, which I appreciate. However, his writing style in these books are like nails on a chalkboard to me and I don’t like how he portrays his female characters. After those rather unpleasant reading experiences, I don’t know when (or if) I will read For Whom the Bell Tolls. But I would never get rid of these books—they were passed down to me by my parents.

 

What are books on your TBR you’re not sure if you will like?

 

I tag:

Shanah

Grey

Crystal

Sophie

Rebecca

And anyone else who wants to do the tag!

My Book Buying Ban Challenge of 2019

I’m calling this a challenge as if I have any say in the matter….

I am a month into my second semester. I like my classes so far and I started my archives internship, which could either be pretty fun or really complicated. While I have two full days in the middle of the week where I don’t have to travel two hours into the city and I can devote it entirely to homework, it’s slowly becoming a problem. My temp agency has had a heck of a time finding me part-time work. I’ve applied to several places over these past few weeks, but not all of them responded and the one that did was a rejection.

rejected no kiss GIF

Between Christmas, my birthday, and those weeks I didn’t have work on my last assignment, my funds are stretched thin. Buying books right now is not a good idea. I learned that the hard way when I bought two books I really wanted. Whatever money I have left must go towards lunch at school, train rides, and bus fare.

For the next I don’t know how many months, I’m on a book buying ban. Even if the assignment my consultant recently found for me works out, my bank account needs a break. It would be wise if I waited to get my finances under control before I splurged on my next book haul. Especially since it is a big kick in the gut every time I have to accept the money my dad offers me.

sad ice cream GIF

While I have many unread books at home, there are a select few that have been on my TBR for longer than they should have been. Those are the ones I should focus on. I also want to spend this time taking full advantage of the library, checking out books I am interested in, and rereading old favorites.

Recently, I realized I rather like having large TBR piles. It is my over indulgent book hauls that are the problem. In the past, to get my spending under control, I did the “you read X number of books off TBR, you can buy more.” Sometimes, it worked, at least for a few months. Now, I have a stronger motivation of saving money.

The books I want to cross off my TBR the most are:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Vicious and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popovic

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Windwitch, Sightwitch, and Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Now I Rise and Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

 

I’ve been an avid user of libraries for years. Now that I’m on track to being a librarian, it’s been an even bigger push to practice what I preach. There is a long list of backlist titles I have wanted to get to for years, like The Selection series by Kiera Cass and the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. Those I am checking out from the library in the next few months, once I get through the stacks I have currently. Also, there are other books that have caught my eye while browsing various places, books I am interested in reading but not enough where I want to risk the money to buy them or they are so old I would have a hard time buying a copy anyway. Or I actually do want to buy them except my bank account is like…

the office no GIF

Thank God for the library.

In case you were wondering, these are the books I currently have checked out:

 

Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

True Notebooks by Mark Salzman (this is actually a book I checked out for school)

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez

Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Blood and Salt and Heart of Ash by Kim Liggett

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

Born of Illusion by Teri J. Brown

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

The Healer by Donna Freitas

In Paris with You by Clementine Beauvais

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

If Only by Jennifer Gilmore

Reader, Come Home: the Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf (another book I checked out by recommendation of a professor)

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins

 

Yes. I am a crazy library person. But I will read all these books. Even if I have to renew them.

Rereading books is something I’ve wanted to do for so long. There are series I own in which I read the first book, bought the rest of the series, then never read them. It’s been so long, I have to reread the first book before I even thinking about reading the others. These include the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs and The Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen.

Second, there are books I own that I have marked as “read” but I don’t remember reading them. Before college, I had a habit of reading multiple books at a time, then I would get bored with certain ones and mark them as “read” on Goodreads without having finished them. I was a lazy reader back then, sadly.

My main reading resolution of 2019 is to do an unhaul. There are books I know I will never read again, I realized problems with them, like the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain. The same can be said for the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong; I don’t know if I would be able to tolerate the borderline problematic urban fantasy tropes now like I did at sixteen. Other books I outgrew them and I’m mainly keeping them for the nostalgic value, like The Mediator series by Meg Cabot and the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. Unfortunately, with limited shelf space and outrageous book-buying urges that are constantly at odds with the dedicated librarian, nostalgia has to step aside.

 

 

Right now, I have typed up a whole reading list of books I want to read before I break my book buying ban. Will I be able to stick to this? I have no idea and, if I know myself, there is a strong probability I will change my plans to something else. All I know is that I cannot buy books right now. Which I’m sure my bank account will be very relieved about.

 

Do you have tips for a book buying ban? Any are much appreciated!