Discussion Posts

Book Con 2020: Book Conline

I have been wanting to attend BookCon for the past couple years. It’s always on my birthday weekend and living in NYC, I really have no excuse for not going. This was the year I was going to go…. and then Covid happened. BUT there was a silver lining and that was BookConLINE! The lovely people at BookCon made all of the BookCon panels available online via their Facebook group on May 30th-31st, and we got to experience some of the magic from the comfort of our own homes. I absolutely loved having this opportunity and listening to the truly fantastic groups of authors sharing their insights and their work with us and I came away feeling so inspired.

My Favorite Panels


The Magic of World Building

Dhonielle Clayton, Sabaa Tahir, Ransom Riggs, Naomi Novik

It was so cool getting insight into building a fantasy world and all of the different techniques these authors use. They had some really interesting pointers.


Epic YA

Victoria Aveyard, Adam Silvera, Nic Stone, Marissa Meyer

I loved the conversations in this panel. They discussed how the state of the world affects how they tell their stories and the importance of Epic YA Fantasy in both terms of escapism and as a mirror for the issues we face.


Witches, Ghosts, and Vampires, Oh My! Brining Back Paranormal

Claribel Ortega, Daniel José Older, Holly Black, Kat Cho, Isabel Sterling, Zoraida Cordova

This panel was so much fun! They discussed all things paranormal and where they get their inspirations and what else they would like to explore.


Contemporary Fictions and Modern Day Storytellers

Sandhya Menon, Jenna Evans Welch, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl

Getting to see where some of my favorite YA Contemporary authors get the inspirations for their stories was so wonderful. I loved getting to see into their writing processes.


Cassandra Clare in Conversation with Holly Black

Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Witnessing two brilliant minds discussing their work and their processes and seeing their friendship and camaraderie was just so cool. It’s also exciting to hear about all the new stuff they have coming out in the future.


Are You There BookCon? It’s Judy and Jenny.

Judy Blume and Jenny Han

THIS PANEL WAS ICONIC. I could not stop smiling the entire time.


The Broken World

Justina Ireland, Tahereh Mafi, Adam Silvera

I love dystopian books and it was very interesting to see the thought and processes that go into developing these worlds and stories.


Did you attend BookConLINE? What were your favorite panels? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #23

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

5470The 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 Walker11486

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

3137694When 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 Wasserman11378763

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

12792988Life 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 Draanen331920

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

22232A 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 George3697927

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

599953Meet 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 Miller31185

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 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #22

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?


The Bay At Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

161084Her family’s cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer — until tragedy struck when her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.

It’s been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie’s memories of her sister’s death still color her world, causing turmoil in her relationships with her teenage daughter, Shannon, and her mother, Maria.

Now an unexpected letter from someone in her past raises questions about what really happened that night. Questions about Julie’s own complicity, about a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. Questions about the person who went to prison for Izzy’s murder — and about the man who didn’t.

Now Julie must harness the courage to revisit her past and untangle the shattering emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.

My Thoughts: Ok, this sounds really good.  It’s hard cuz it’s probably not something I will seek out, but the story sounds engrossing and exciting… VERDICT: KEEP


Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Ten-year-old Sarah is brutally arrested with her family in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ 556602._SX318_roundup, the most notorious act of French collaboration with the Nazis. but before the police come to take them, Sarah locks her younger brother, Michel, in their favorite hiding place, a cupboard in the family’s apartment. She keeps the key, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s sixtieth anniversary, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist, is asked by her Paris-based American magazine to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Julia has lived in Paris for nearly twenty-five years, married a Frenchman, and she is shocked both by her ignorance about the event and the silence that still surrounds it. In the course of her investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connects her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from the terrible days spent shut in at the Vel’ d’Hiv’ to the camps and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Writing about the fate of her country with a pitiless clarity, Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and denial surrounding this painful episode in French history.

My Thoughts: I don’t normally like to read World War II novels because they just make me sad.  I always end up liking them because the stories are usually great, but I just know they are going to emotionally wreck me and make me feel sick.  I’ve been told this book is amazing though, and I’m pretty sure my mom has a copy and once I run out of books here during the quarantine…. VERDICT: KEEP


Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

10843755Three female friends face midlife crises in a no-holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for – a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges – a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.

As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters.

Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost. Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers. 

My Thoughts: I vividly remember seeing this cover at Barnes and Noble for the first time and being so drawn to it.  I didn’t buy it though and have never gotten around to reading it.  Reading the description now, it doesn’t really appeal to me anymore.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not10163292._SY475_ the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.

My Thoughts: Despite several of my friends telling me I need to read a JoJo Moyes book, I have yet to get around to it.  I hear they’re really great, and this one does sound like something I would like a lot.  VERDICT: KEEP


Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

10047589Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

My Thoughts:  In this season of my life when all of my friends are getting married, I relate to this book already.  I’ve been wanting to read this for a while and it’s one of those books that every time I see it somewhere I think, “Yeah, I need to get to that one.”  Maybe I’ll read it for my Charms O.W.L. in The Magical Readathon this month since I need a white cover…VERDICT: KEEP


Alright, mostly keeps this time!  I feel like that hasn’t happened in a while.  Have you read any of these?  Which would you have kept?  Which would you have tossed?  Let me know in the comments 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #20

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?


It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake

11018878Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They’ve come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee deep in murder…

Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: They’re actually Wishcrafters – witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt’s magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills.

But their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead – strangled with Aunt Ve’s scarf – and Ve’s sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming over the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Skylar wish that the victim would disappear – forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it’ll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery….

My Thoughts: This sounds adorable, and as we know, I’m a sucker for anything witchy, but I don’t know if this is a MUST READ…  VERDICT: TOSS


Confessions of a Call Center Girl by Lisa Lim

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets The Office. Madison Lee is a fresh college grad, ready to take on10863203 the world of print media. But she has zero luck landing a job. Unemployment is at ten percent and on the rise. Desperate and left with no other options, she accepts a position as a service rep at a call center in Pocatello, Idaho. At the Lightning Speed call center in Spudsville, Maddy plunges into the wild and dysfunctional world of customer service where Sales is prided over Service and an eight hour shift is equivalent to eight hours of callers bashing her over the phone. Oh sure, the calls are bad. But Maddy manages to find humor on the phone and off the phone. And with all the salacious drama behind the calls, there is never a dull moment at the Lightning Speed call center.
Lately . . . Maddy has been pining for her smolderingly gorgeous co-worker Mika Harket. Now things are heating up on the phone–and elsewhere. Don’t hang up on this novel. Working at a call center has never been this garish . . . or this delightful.

***DISCLOSURES: If you find politically incorrect shows like The Office, South Park and Chelsea Lately detestable, juvenile and offensive, then this book is probably NOT for you.

My Thoughts: This sounds cute, but nothing about it really grabs me.  There are too many other books that have a more promising and exciting premise.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

10798416._SY475_Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

My Thoughts: I would love to see this as a movie.  It sounds like the perfect rom-com, but I really think I’d rather watch it than read it…VERDICT: Toss


Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and 11715276far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My Thoughts: Ummmmm yes. This is everything I want.  It also has a pretty good Goodreads rating which is always nice encouragement to keep a book for me.  VERDICT: KEEP


Saving June by Hannah Harrington

10947600‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one — so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going — California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down — again.

My Thoughts: This book sounds really emotional and sad, and I know that teen Lexie would have lived for this sort of angsty story, but nowadays that’s not really what I’m looking for in a read.  VERDICT: TOSS


Have you tossed any books from your TBR’s recently?  Which ones have you added? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #19

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?


The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

18687376Who is Jason Bourne? Is he an assassin, a terrorist, a thief? Why has he got four million dollars in a Swiss bank account? Why has someone tried to murder him?…

Jason Bourne does not know the answer to any of these questions. Suffering from amnesia, he does not even know that he is Jason Bourne. What manner of man is he? What are his secrets? Who has he killed? 

My Thoughts: I still haven’t seen these movies, but this genre book is not really my cup of tea.. I most likely will never pick it up and as much as this normally pains me to say… I’ll just watch the movie. VERDICT: TOSS


Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

6909544._SX318_

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

My Thoughts: I definitely added this during my dystopian phase, which I still have a huge soft spot for.  I haven’t seen or really heard much about this book, but it has decent reviews on Goodreads.  If I stumbled upon this at the library, maybe I would pick it up, but I probably won’t go searching it out and I’m trying to be more purposeful with my TBR so… VERDICT: TOSS


Bumped by Megan McCafferty

8517207When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

My Thoughts: I loved Megan McCafferty’s other series, and when I finished that I was looking at her other work and found this one.  It was right up my alley so I added it to my TBR, but somehow never got around to reading it.  It sounds like a teen version of The Handmaid’s Tale.  I think there are other books that are more important for me to get to than this one… VERDICT: TOSS


Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

New soul8573642

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

My Thoughts: I’m even confused by this summary.  I love the concept of reincarnation, but after reading some bad reviews of this one, I’m gonna cut it loose.  VERDICT: TOSS


Green Heart by Alice Hoffman

12463444A two-fold tale of grief and hope, loss and love, told as only Alice Hoffman can.

When her family is lost in a terrible disaster, 15-year-old Green is haunted by loss and the past. Struggling to survive in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story.

As she heals, Green lives every day with feelings of loss. Her family is gone, the boy she loves is missing, and the world she once knew has been transformed by tragedy. In order to rediscover the truth about love, hope, and magic, she must venture away from her home, collecting the stories of a group of women who have been branded witches for their mysterious powers. Only through their stories will Green find her own heart’s desire.

My Thoughts: I love Alice Hoffman! I want to read more of her work and this one sounds perfect for me.  I love her magical realism and beautiful prose.  VERDICT: KEEP


Whew! I was pretty cut-throat this time! I only kept one book!  What do you think of my choices?  Did I cut any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
Discussion Posts · Monthly Wrap-Ups

Getting My Shit Together: Bookish Goals for 2020

Reading in the Wings

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and are ready to take 2020 by storm!  I always love the fresh feeling that comes with the new year and I am ready to set some new goals for myself and for Reading in the Wings.

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Goodreads Challenge- Read 100 books.  This was my book goal for last year as well, and I, unfortunately, didn’t quite get there.  I definitely could have read more than I did, but I was also living up tour life and trying to experience it all to the fullest.  Now that I am back in the city for the foreseeable future, I should be able to carve out more time to read.  So, we’re aiming for 100 books again.

Be more mindful with my posts.  I was starting to feel a little bit of blogging burn out towards the end of 2019.  I wasn’t feeling very inspired and I was just trying to get posts out on schedule, which didn’t always make for the best content.  I also want to get more variety and dig into my creativity in the types of things I am posting. I still want to stick to my schedule, but put more effort and thought into each one of my posts.   If I don’t feel like I can do that, maybe wait to post until I can.  I want to get more quality than quantity.

Get my Netgalley feedback up to 80%.  I’ve been so much better about giving my feedback on Netgalley, and have raised my feedback ratio up to 68%.  I know that I can get it up to 80% this year.

Be more active on my bookstagram.  I love bookstagram.  It is such an awesome platform, I’ve managed to connect with so many cool people, and people are so creative with their photos.  It is really inspiring.  I want to be more active in the bookstagram community and on my account @readinginthewings.


What are your goals for this year?  I’d love to hear what y’all are working on! Let me know in the comments ❤

 

 

 

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #18

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?


The Ghost of Greenwhich Village by Lorna Graham

11323566In this charming fiction debut, a young woman moves to Manhattan in search of romance and excitement—only to find that her apartment is haunted by the ghost of a cantankerous Beat Generation writer in need of a rather huge favor.

For Eve Weldon, moving to Greenwich Village is a dream come true. She’s following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother, who lived there during the early sixties among a lively community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the only scribe she meets is a grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is for chirpy segments on a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. The hypercompetitive network environment is a far cry from the genial camaraderie of her mother’s literary scene, and Eve begins to wonder if the world she sought has faded from existence. But as she struggles to balance her new job, demands from Donald to help him complete his life’s work, a budding friendship with a legendary fashion designer, and a search for clues to her mother’s past, Eve begins to realize that community comes in many forms—and that the true magic of the Village is very much alive, though it may reveal itself in surprising ways.

My Thoughts: This sounds cute.  There was a time when I was younger that everything about New York City grabbed me.  I couldn’t wait to be there.  Now that I live here, the glamour has kind of worn off, even though I still love this glorious city, so my draw to the setting isn’t as big as it once was.  As cute as this book sounds, I know I probably won’t ever get around to reading it.  There are too many other books.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring 9519064morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it.

Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.

At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school’s students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.

With The Twisted Thread, Charlotte Bacon has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, one that pulls back the curtain on the lives of the young and privileged. 

My Thoughts: I’m not the most avid thriller reader, but I do love a good murder mystery and this one sounds right up my alley.   The limited reviews it has on Goodreads are pretty mixed though, so now I’m torn.  If anything it helped my find The Secret Society by Donna Tart which might be a better one to start with… VERDICT: KEEP (for now)


All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion by Lisa Appignanesi 

11816425Unruly, unpredictable—love is a maddening deity. In this insightful and eloquent meditation on that many-splendored thing, Lisa Appignanesi draws together psychology, literature, popular culture, and her own experiences in order to tangle with love’s paradoxes across the span of our lives. Beginning with the rose-tinted raptures of first love, she proceeds to love in marriage, triangulated love, jealousy and adultery, love in the family, and friendship. By illuminating the expectations, the joys and difficulties, and the cultural undercurrents that accompany each stage, Appignanesi raises provocative questions about love in the twenty-first century: Has the unbinding of obstacles to love emptied it of meaning? Do our desires for variety and experimentation result in increased anxiety? What gains and losses have come from greater openness and equality and the burgeoning sphere of virtual fantasy? As rewarding as it is captivating, All about Love will leave you a little wiser about the emotion that rules our lives.

My Thoughts: Was this 19 year old Lexie’s attempt to figure out her emotions? Perhaps.  Does this interest me at all anymore? Nope.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression 4395chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

My Thoughts: This has been on my list for SO LONG.  Of Mice and Men and East of Eden are two of my favorite classic reads and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t tackled this one yet.  I finally have a copy so I’ll hopefully get around to this beast soon.  VERDICT: KEEP


Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

37732Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.

But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.

Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable—you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.

My Thoughts: This is a classic.  I can’t believe I never read this book growing up and it feels like it is a must-read, even as an adult.  VERDICT: KEEP


There were a couple trickier ones in there for me today.  How do you think I did?  Are any of these books hidden gems that I should reconsider? Or any books that I’ve kept that you think aren’t worth the time? Let’s chat in the comments! 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #17

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?


The Maze Runner by James Dashner

6186357If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run. 

My Thoughts: I definitely still want to read this one.  I’m all for a YA dystopian and I feel like this one is classic.  VERDICT: KEEP


Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mylnowski

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they 9266810(definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.

My Thoughts: I went through a HUGE Sarah Mylnowski phase in high school but I never got around to this one.  My younger self, I am sure, would have loved this, but the summary just doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy anymore.  VERDICT: TOSS


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

594139A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house’s first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted.

My Thoughts:  Seeing as I currently have this checked out from the library and am really excited to read… VERDICT: KEEP

 

 


The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that 10518423._SY475_there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship and her family safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

My Thoughts: I normally shy away from World War II stories because I find them too sad and anxiety-ridden, but this one sounds really good to me.  VERDICT: KEEP


Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

213753Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

My Thoughts:  I’m not sure what made me add this book, to be honest… VERDICT: TOSS


 

What do you guys think of my decisions? Should I rethink any of them? Why? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #16

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?


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

439288“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

My Thoughts: I saw this movie a long time ago and thought it was so good; therefore I immediately added the book to my TBR.  Years later, while I still think it is a great and influential story, I don’t really feel the draw to read the book anymore. VERDICT: TOSS


Entwined by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing 8428195suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

My Thoughts: For some reason, I am never drawn to Fairytale retellings, but I always love them when I read them.  The 12 Dancing Princesses is one of my faves, so this book definitely intrigues me.  I’m not dying to read it, but seeing as it has good reviews I’ll stay on the look out for it.  Plus that cover is GORGEOUS.  VERDICT: KEEP


Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

8698531Alice, Griffin, and Dinah Stenen’s mother and father died tragically when they were quite young. The loss haunts them into adulthood. Alice is a stage actress in New York who can’t commit to a relationship. When she meets Ian she’s smitten, but suspects it’s Ian’s four-year-old son that really captivates her. Griffin and his longtime partner are settled into a contented domesticity, however Theo’s insistence that they adopt a child throws Griffin into a panic. When he refuses to cooperate, the crack in their relationship widens. Dinah, the youngest, has a short, passionate love affair that leaves her pregnant and alone when she discovers the father is engaged to someone else. The three look to each other for support during this rough period but they falter. What they don’t know is that their parents are watching them from a place outside time and space–worrying, reminiscing, and perhaps guiding their children as each makes their tentative way towards happiness. In luminous prose, Cook tells the story of these tender souls and a love that knows no boundaries.

My Thoughts: This story sounds potentially interesting and most likely emotional, but I am no longer drawn to this type of fiction.  This summary doesn’t really do anything for me. VERDICT: TOSS


A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be forgotten. 7656231

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need – a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become – her mark on this earth, her very existence – is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny – no matter how dark the consequences? 

My Thoughts: OOOh this book sounds really interesting and has such mixed reviews.  Kendare Blake’s goodreads review of it makes me want to read it though… I trust her opinions.  VERDICT: KEEP


Adored by Tilly Bagshawe

544522Sienna McMahon was born into glamour. The granddaughter of film legend (and ogre) Duke McMahon, she grows up amid Hollywood scandal and opulence. Determined to forge her own identity, she becomes first a successful supermodel, then an actress; but unhappiness and tragedy keep breaking through. Then, in the time-honored tradition of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel, the love of a good man brings her happiness and fulfillment. 

My Thoughts: For some reason, I have ALWAYS wanted to read this book and I just never have.  I always keep it in the back of my mind as a book I want to read and never do anything about it.  I love a smutty, escapist, Hollywood drama so when my friend recommended this book to me years ago I couldn’t wait to read it…. So why haven’t I?? VERDICT: KEEP


What do you guys think of my decisions? Should I rethink any of them? Why? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #15

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?


Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

7664334When you’re on a road trip, life is all about the detours. . . . 

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There’s just one small problem: Since her father died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute … and dealing with some baggage of his own. 

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

My Thoughts: I LOVED Morgan Matson’s Save the Date, and I definitely want to check out her other books, this one included. VERDICT: KEEP


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed 6068551wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Thoughts: This one sounds so intriguing to me.  I probably won’t go seeking it out, but if I come across it one day I’ll definitely pick it up.  VERDICT: KEEP


The Adults by Alison Espach

9061509In her ruefully funny and wickedly perceptive debut novel, Alison Espach deftly dissects matters of the heart and captures the lives of children and adults as they come to terms with life, death, and love.

At the center of this affluent suburban universe is Emily Vidal, a smart and snarky teenager, who gets involved in a suspect relationship with one of the adults after witnessing a suicide in her neighborhood.  Among the cast of unforgettable characters is Emily’s father, whose fiftieth birthday party has the adults descending upon the Vidal’s patio; her mother, who has orchestrated the elaborate party even though she and her husband are getting a divorce; and an assortment of eccentric neighbors, high school teachers, and teenagers who teem with anxiety and sexuality and an unbridled desire to be noticed, and ultimately loved.

An irresistible chronicle of a modern young woman’s struggle to grow up, The Adults lays bare—in perfect pitch—a world where an adult and a child can so dangerously be mistaken for the same exact thing.

My Thoughts: While this does sound good, I have too many other books to read and I just don’t think this one is going to make the cut.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Every girl who had taken the test has died.9681214

Now it’s Kate’s turn.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.

If she fails… 

My Thoughts: This still sounds really good to me.  I completely forgot that I had this book on here and it sounds like it would be really good and has good reviews.  I’ll have to make an effort to find this one.  VERDICT: KEEP


The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

8725696Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979—when only three women had ever served full Senate terms and none had been appointed to the Court—the four have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant. 

But when the Senate hearings uncover a deeply buried skeleton in the friends’ collective closet, the Ms. Bradwells retreat to a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, where they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past—one that stirs up secrets they’ve kept for, and from, one another, and could change their lives forever. 

Once again, Meg Waite Clayton writes inspiringly about the complex circumstances facing women and the heartfelt friendships that hold them together. Insightful and affecting, The Four Ms. Bradwells is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love.

My Thoughts: This book sounds like it would be really juicy and good, but after reading a bunch of negative reviews about how boring and hard to get through it it, I don’t think it’s worth my time.  VERDICT: TOSS


What books are you tossing out of your TBR?  Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments 🙂