Saturday, June 22, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #16

I saw this on an amazing blog called Lisa Loves Literature and I immediately fell in love with the idea. It originally comes from a blog called Lost in a Story. It's all about cleaning up our generally overflowing TBR pile, and I for one need some real help with that.


Anyway, it works like this:

  • 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?

Northern Exposure 

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it's unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo's ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble. 

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it's love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he's worried that he might be the violent canine in question. 

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he's not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

Thoughts: I read an excerpt for this story a while back and I don't think I was majorly impressed since I didn't add it to my TBR pile afterward.

Decision: Toss

What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all?

If you're fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you're a former jock turned freak, you can't afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they're more than just freaks, together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful would be mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price.

Thoughts: This book sounds interesting but also a bit too young for me.

Decision: Toss

Two sisters—as different as the sun and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Coven is to die for. But for the other, getting out could be lethal...

When Sunny McDonald gets dragged to Club Fang by her twin sister Rayne, she doesn't expect to find anything besides a bunch of Goth kids playing at being vampires. But when some guy mistakes Sunny for her dark-side-loving sister and bites her on the neck, she finds out that his fangs are real—and deadly. 

Now, Sunny has less than a week to figure out how to reverse the bite, or else she's going to end up as the perpetually undead. And not only will she be a vampire, but she'll also be bonded to Magnus—the bloodsucker who bit her—forever. And forever is a really long time...

Thoughts: I like Mari Mancusi's books, but I am not really feeling this one.

Decision: Toss

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

Thoughts: This one actually sounds pretty interesting and unique. I don't think I've read a story like it before.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR pile

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge.  That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day. 

Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident.  After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.  

Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid.  All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.  

As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.

Thoughts: This is one I've gone back and forth on many times before. I think I'm going to give it a chance.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR pile

In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Thoughts: I haven't read anything by Lili St. Crow before and so I think I'll toss this one for now until I figure out if I like her writing style or not.

Decision: Toss

On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker learns that her so-called deadbeat dad is actually a vampire king. And he wants Ana to assume her rightful position at his side, in spite of the fact that she has witch's blood running through her veins - from her mother's side.

Too bad witches and vampires are mortal enemies. And now Ana's parents are at each other's throats over her future. It's up to Ana to make a choice, but deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.

Thoughts: I think this another one from when I was just adding any and all vampire books left and right and I am just not feeling them anymore. I'm vamped out.

Decision: Toss

Haven Moore has always lived in the tiny town of Snope City, Tennessee. But for as long as she can remember, Haven has experienced visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in a fiery tragedy.

One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain and there, she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Is Iain her beloved Ethan? Or is he her murderer in a past life? Haven asks the members of the powerful and dangerous Ouroboros Society to help her unlock the mysteries of reincarnation and discover the secrets hidden in her past lives and loves before all is lost and the cycle begins again. But what is the Ouroboros Society? And how can Haven know who to trust?

Thoughts: I've gone back and forth on this one for about 8 years and I think after reading an excerpt it's time to call it quits.

Decision: Toss

After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died. 
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

Thoughts: I feel like I've read this one many times before.

Decisions: Toss

Carnegie medal-winning supernatural romance from Margaret Mahy.

The face in the mirror. From the moment she saw it, Laura Chant knew that something dreadful was going to happen. It wasn’t the first time she’d been forewarned. But never before had anything so terrible happened. The horrifyingly evil Carmody Braque touched and branded her little brother – and now Jacko was very ill, getting steadily worse.

There was only one way to save him. Laura had to change over: had to release her supernatural powers. And that meant joining forces with the extraordinary and enigmatic Sorenson Carlisle…

Thoughts: I honestly do not even remember adding this book to my shelf. This one reads very generic.

Decision: Toss

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help-but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

Thoughts: This sounds super interesting, but I don't think this book would ever be the first or tenth book I would snatch up to read on my off day.

Decision: Toss

Shay could never do the things her friends could--never try out for sports, never go to parties, never fall in love. Because of the mysterious and incurable blood disorder, she was born with, she can barely make it through three days of school a week.

But now, her doctor-turned-stepfather has a brand-new treatment that he thinks will change everything. And it does. As soon as the new blood starts pumping into Shay's veins, she has visions of a different life...Gabriel's life. She sees an orphanage, loss, fangs, blood, and lust that she can't explain.

Is Gabriel real? And if he is, could he really be what she thinks he is?

Thoughts: Again another vampire one..meh

Decision: Toss

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on a mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian, her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern, and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.

After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore. Except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

Thoughts: This is just a no for me. 

Decision: Toss

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Meridian has always been an outcast. It seems that wherever she goes, death and grief follow. On her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family's home - and although she's untouched, Meridian's body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she's a danger to her family and is hustled off to her great-aunt's house in Revelation, Colorado. There she learns the secret her parents have been hiding for her entire life: Meridian is a Fenestra. the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead.

It's crucial that Meridian learn how to transition human souls to the afterlife - how to help people die. Only then can she help preserve the balance between good and evil on earth. But before she can do that, Meridian must come to terms with her ability, outsmart the charismatic preacher who's taken over Revelation, and maybe - if she can accept her sworn protector, Tens, for who he is - fall in love. Meridian and Tens face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos. But together, they have the power to outsmart evil.

Thoughts: I've read a bit from this one and this again is one I've gone back and forth on and had the chance to buy several times over but never have.

Decision: Toss

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing.  Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town.
It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid.

Thoughts: I've had multiple opportunities to grab this one and I haven't and read some chapters but never picked it up when it's on sale for $1.

Decision: Toss

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this. 

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.
     But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.
     
Thoughts: This book sounds fine, but after reading a bunch of less than stellar reviews from other book bloggers with similar reading preferences I'm going to pass on this one.

Decision: Toss

A love like no other...

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead...and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her - one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Thoughts: This is another one that I've constantly picked up and read a little bit of, but even while on sale I don't pick up.

Decision: Toss

In the first novel of the Incarnation series, the immortal Seraphina grapples with a wrenching truth: Falling in love might mean succumbing to death. People say “love never dies”…but love might be the death of Seraphina.

Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. Yet she doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.

Sera has just landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. But she can never kiss Noah because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has, even more, to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her. If she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

Thoughts: This sounds like something I've read before but with a new twist. 

Decision: Keep and move to TBR pile

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction 

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

Thoughts: I feel like I've read something similar to this one a couple times before.

Decision: Toss

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him.

What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. He's been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy---all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn't stand a chance. But he has to work fast because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can't be far behind. And sure enough, it's not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

Thoughts: I'm not so much into the angels and religion anymore.

Decision: Toss

Overall: Kept 3 and tossed 17.

This week I posted 20 books from my Maybe pile. My goal is to have my Maybe pile cleaned up completely by the end of summer. I think it'll be a good way to keep me accountable in the future and help me make better decisions about what's on my TBR pile.

Thoughts on this weeks pile of choices? Any you would have kept or tossed? 

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