Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #34

We’re slowly making headway on clearing out the good ole Goodreads TBR list, as it also steadily grows on the other end haha. Here is the next installment of the Down the TBR Hole meme that was started by Lia @Lost In a Story!

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?


Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

My Thoughts: This sounds sweet, and if I found it at an air bnb somewhere I might pick it up, but I don’t think this will be one I will actively search out. VERDICT: TOSS


Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

LILLIA, KAT, AND MARY ARE NOT FRIENDS.

In fact, they barely know one another. But a chance encounter in the girls’ room proves they have something big in common. The girls have all been hurt — by a bullt, an ex-friend, an almost boyfriend — and now they want payback. They hatch a scheme to work in secret, to help each other right the wrongs. Forget waiting for karma. They’re taking matters into their own hands.

My Thoughts: I mean…. Jenny Han meets John Tucker Must Die? I’m sold. Idk how I haven’t heard more about this one. VERDICT: KEEP


Crash by Nicole Williams

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He’s got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude’s everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she’s about to find out, is the only thing she’s incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love’s about to become the thing that tears them apart.

My Thoughts: This sounds like Step Up to me. While I would probably enjoy this, I just don’t see myself ever getting around to reading it. VERDICT: TOSS


Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

Lily Davis Woodward was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in World War II. Now he and the other soldiers are returning, and Lily and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia, plan a big celebration. Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. After a chance encounter in a starlit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she’d already made.

Debut author Jeffrey Stepakoff takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. Poignant and elegant, Fireworks Over Toccoa is a mosaic of all the emotions that only love can make possible.

My Thoughts: This one has me torn. It has pretty polarizing reviews and is compared to Nicholas Sparks books- which I have a love/hate relationship with. The plot sounds good, and I do love a good romance… hmm I can’t decide. VERDICT: KEEP (for now)


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld

All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life. 

My Thoughts: I have been drawn to this book for so long, and I actually have a copy somewhere in storage in NYC I think. It definitely gives me a certain vibe that I know one day I’m going to need. VERDICT: KEEP


Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments! ❤

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