I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess. I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it. I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.
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?
1984 by George Orwell
The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia”—a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.
My Thoughts: This one is a no brainer. It’s on my Classics Club Challenge TBR and I feel that it is a classic novel that needs reading. VERDICT: KEEP
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
My Thoughts: I have seen both the movie and the Broadway musical based on this book. While I think the story is beautiful and important, having seen it in two other formats, I don’t think I have a need to read the book too. VERDICT: TOSS
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
When Ava Nickerson was a child, her mother jokingly betrothed her to a friend’s son, and the contract the parents made has stayed safely buried for years. Now that still-single Ava is closing in on thirty, no one even remembers she was once “engaged” to the Markowitz boy. But when their mother is diagnosed with cancer, Ava’s prodigal little sister Lauren comes home to Los Angeles where she stumbles across the decades-old document.
Frustrated and embarrassed by Ava’s constant lectures about financial responsibility (all because she’s in a little debt. Okay, a lot of debt), Lauren decides to do some sisterly interfering of her own and tracks down her sister’s childhood fiancé. When she finds him, the highly inappropriate, twice-divorced, but incredibly charming Russell Markowitz is all too happy to re-enter the Nickerson sisters’ lives, and always-accountable Ava is forced to consider just how binding a contract really is…
My Thoughts: When I saw this book on my TBR I couldn’t even remember adding it. I can see why 2011 me added it, as I was definitely in a Rom-Com phase. While I still love a good Rom-Com, the idea of this one does nothing for me now. VERDICT: TOSS
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.
My Thoughts: I don’t remember adding this one either, but I am definitely intrigued again. It has some pretty mixed reviews on Goodreads which also interests me to see what the fuss is about. Some people have said that it is like a YA Dan Brown book, which I shamelessly love, so I think I might keep this one….VERDICT: KEEP
Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
My Thoughts: We love a Dystopian YA book. This one has some really promising reviews on Goodreads too. I’d be interested in checking this one out whenever I’m in the mood for a Dystopian trilogy, even though there are a few classic ones that I still have to finish. VERDICT: KEEP
Flipped by Wendalin Van Draanen
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.
My Thoughts: I have such vivid memories of all of my friends RAVING about this book in elementary school. I never read it and there is a big part of me that still wants to! I’d be interested to see if it holds up to my middle school friend’s excitement over it as an adult. VERDICT: KEEP
Stargirl by Jerri Spinelli
A celebration of nonconformity; a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Ages 12+
Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.
But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.
In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love.
My Thoughts: This one goes hand in hand with Flipped for me because it was around the same time that all of my friends were raving about Stargirl too. The movie just came out in March on Disney+ and I do still want to read the book before watching the movie, and I just happened to have found it in my closet… VERDICT: KEEP
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.
My Thoughts: I do love this fairy-tale, but I don’t know if I need to read another retelling of it anytime soon. This one sounds pretty straight forward too. VERDICT: TOSS
Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot
Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:
* works for the T.O.D. (short for Tyrannical Office Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins, Director of the Human Resources Division at the New York Journal)
* is sleeping on the couch because her boyfriend of ten years refuses to commit
* can’t find an affordable studio apartment anywhere in New York City
* thinks things can’t get any worse
They can. Because:
* The T.O.D. is making her fire the most popular employee in the paper’s senior staff dining room
* that employee is now suing Kate for wrongful termination, and
* now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest law families, who embraces everything Kate most despises … but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.
The last thing anybody—least of all Kate Mackenzie—expects to find in a legal arbitration is love. But that’s the kind of this that can happen when … BOY MEETS GIRL.
My Thoughts: Meg Cabot is an auto-read for me. I don’t care what the subject matter is, I always end up liking her books. I read the fourth book in this series of stand-alones and really enjoyed it so I imagine I will like this as well. VERDICT: KEEP
Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller
What if you could see inside the head of the guy you love? Know his every thought? Feel his every dream and fantasy? The mystery girl who’s Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn can. She tells us the intoxicating story of her beloved Gideon, an adorably clueless boy who flukes his way into New England’s fanciest prep school.
Gideon’s naïve compared to the wolves at Midvale Academy, especially Cullen and Nicholas, his charming, morally ambiguous roommates. They welcome Gid by trashing his music and betting big on when he’ll lose his virginity. Will he lose it with the cute and feisty Molly McGarry? Or Pilar Benitez-Jones, the most beautiful girl Gid’s ever seen? Gid actually likes Molly and hooking up with her might be possible. But winning Pilar would be legendary. Gid is torn–he wants to prove himself to his roommates, but he also wants love.
Through it all there is one hysterically funny girl sharing every thought in Gid’s conflicted little mind. But who is she?
My Thoughts: This sounds very interesting and different! I love the idea of a mystery narrator and I live for a prep-school setting. I’m gonna look and see if the NYPL has this book because I am very intrigued by it. VERDICT: KEEP
WHEW! I decided to get through ten books today instead of my usual five. There were a surprising number of keeps today, and a few wild cards that I was not expecting. What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your opinions 🙂