Sunday, 14 March 2021

Down the TBR Hole #26

Current TBR shelf: 3870

Last week's TBR shelf: 3879

The rules   

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?


Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta

 
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.
 

I know that I said that I wasn't going to have multiple books by the same author if I haven't read anything by them yet but I'm going to make an exception for Melina Marchetta. Mostly because the two books (this and Jellicoe Road) are completely different in genre so I think I can let it go this time.

Verdict: Keep
 

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

 
For Kate Klein, a semi-accidental mother of three, suburbia has been full of unpleasant surprises. Her once-loving husband is hardly ever home. The supermommies on the playground routinely snub her. Her days are spent carpooling and enduring endless games of Candy Land, and at night, most of her orgasms are of the do-it-yourself variety.

When a fellow mother is murdered, Kate finds that the unsolved mystery is the most exciting thing to happen in Upchurch, Connecticut, since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though the local police chief warns her that crime-fighting's a job best left to the professionals, Kate launches an unofficial investigation -- from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school.

As Kate is drawn deeper into the murdered woman's past, she begins to uncover the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's picket-fence facade -- and considers the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between marriage and independence, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own.
 
I'm sceptical because of some fairly bad reviews for this one, mostly to do with the fact that Weiner is notable a contemporary romance writer and her go at a mystery isn't as well executed. However, I do like amateur detectives and mysteries set in perfect suburbia. 
 
Verdict: Keep
 

Wolves, Boys & Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler 

 
KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover's dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park.

But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she's not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that they're assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone.

As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted... and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.
 
Remember that time in YA when every other book had this style of title. Those were dark days. I like the sound of it being set near Yellowstone but I just have too many contemporaries on my TBR at the minute to convince myself I'll get round to it.

Verdict: Remove
 

The Enemy (The Enemy #1) by Charlie Higson

 
In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone sixteen and older is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. Teens have barricaded themselves in buildings throughout London and venture outside only when they need to scavenge for food. The group of kids living a Waitrose supermarket is beginning to run out of options. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across London. But their fight is far from over-the threat from within the palace is as real as the one outside it.

There's just so many books about dystopian worlds and a group of kids trying to survive in it, I'm slightly more inclined towards this one because it's British but probably a book I'd only pick up if I happened to spot it in my library.

Verdict: Remove


This World We Live In (Last Survivors #3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

 
It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

I read these out of order by starting the second book years ago, I don't remember particularly enjoying it so this is a series I think I can cross off my list. 

Verdict: Remove


The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

 
The Story Sisters charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.

What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you?
 
Why is it always the vague, slightly magical synopsis' that draw me in? No idea what this is really about but it sounds like my kind of book.
 
Verdict: Keep
 

Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim

 
If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system – the one she's sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children – her scoring might go something like this:

+2 points for getting excellent grades
–3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister
+4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High
–1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers
+2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage
–10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she's not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back

I think I'm just more interested in the author's more recent work but I may circle back round to it at some point.
 
Verdict: Remove
 

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark

 
The next morning we meet at the world headquarters of Leisure-Lee Tours. Which is a sentence I never thought I'd write. Ariel Flack never thought she'd write a postcard saying Wish you were here, especially to Dylan, the boy she's had a crush on forever and is finally (sort of) dating. She also didn't know she'd be sending that postcard from the family vacation from hell--a two-week geriatric bus tour with her crazy mom, annoying sister, embarrassing uncle, and frighteningly energetic grandparents. As South Dakota rolls by at five miles an hour, Ariel begins to learn that sometimes life is just too complicated to fit on a postcard. Sometimes your parents let you down (and sometimes they don't). Sometimes you meet an unexpected fellow traveler. And sometimes you just have to go where the road takes you--even if the tour bus won't.
 
Honestly, this synopsis is just pretty dull and it's not a book that anyone seems to have particularly strong feelings about.
 
Verdict: Remove
 
 

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart 

 
A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister's skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy's love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had "an accidental romance." And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn't seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification.
 
 
I would be interested in picking this anthology up but it's not top of my list nor do I think I'd be able to get my hands on it easily. I would like come back to it at some point though.

Verdict: Remove


Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

 
Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie—a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance—mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. 
 
I definitely have to be in a certain mood in order to pick up the fluffy chick-lit romance that Sophie Kinsella is known for and I feel more likely to pick this up at the library for a bit of a change rather then going out and buying it. 

Verdict: Remove

This Week:

Kept: 3
Removed: 7 

Overall: 
 
Kept: 93
Removed: 169
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