Saturday, June 15, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #15








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?
This week I'm going to be pulling 27 (I had 127 books on my MAYBE pile) to go through. My goal is to completely get rid of my Maybe pile by the end of the year. Hopefully summer, but I don't want to push my luck.



SHE RESTORES THE LIGHT OF HOPE.
Dr. Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon.

HE DWELLS IN SHADOW.
Michael Cyprien is New Orleans's most reclusive millionaire--and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills.

A NEW DAWN AWAITS THEM BOTH...
Beneath the foundation of a mansion in the heart of the Garden District, Alexandra will perform an illegal surgery. Her patient's disfigurement is beyond medical repair. But his body's ability to recuperate from his wounds borders on the miraculous.

Alexandra knows Michael Cyprien is no ordinary patient. Intrigued by how his remarkable physiology might benefit medical science, she is even more compelled by his presence--and the mystery surrounding him and his associates, a cadre of immortals who call themselves the Darkyn.

Thoughts: I can't tell if this book sounds creepy or not. I also can't really tell what this book is about.

Decision: Toss

THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED

In the days when powerful witches used their magic to shield humanity from demons, their allies and guardians were a group of men gifted with preternatural abilities of their own–the witch guardians. But when a band of witches traded their humanity for demonic power, the ancient bond was broken, and the guardians became the hunters.

Darcy MacAlister knows nothing of demons or magic. But this beautiful young woman is about to discover the truth about her past . . . and her future. For she is a witch–not just any witch, but the key to breaking the curse that has plagued witches and the men who hunt them. For if a hunter kills an innocent witch by mistake, the price is no less than a piece of his soul.

Axel Locke, the gorgeous leader of the Wing Slayer Hunters, has sworn never to shed the blood of the earth witches who have resisted the temptation of demonic power. But when his sister is cursed by a demon witch, he discovers that Darcy MacAlister may hold the cure–if she can master her newfound powers in time. When the chase begins and Axel and Darcy come face-to-face, this hunter must weigh his soul against his honor–and against his heart.

Thoughts: I can definitely tell why this book is on my Maybe pile. It kind of pulls me in and kind of makes me think 'meh' I think with me trying to clear off my shelves this isn't one that I'll pick up in the near or distant future.

Decision: Toss

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

Thoughts: Again, another one I can 100% see myself liking at one point since I love YA and this one seems like an amazing YA novel. However, I'm not a mega fan of the whole bringing back from the dead trope.

Decision: Toss

Lady Elyssa Yamato Amaterasu Wentworth is a seven-hundred-year-old vampire in need of a new servant-- now more than ever as she's suffering the signs of a mysterious ailment that threatens to consume her. As a gift, she's been given Jacob, an extraordinary physical specimen, but all wrong when it comes to being...used. A total alpha male, he's not accustomed to submitting to any woman's wishes.

Elyssa soon learns that what really binds Jacob to her are not her sensual midnight hunger, but something far more provocative. It stirs her blood, renews her life, and awakens her soul like only true love can. And the passion between Elyssa and Jacob is about to yield something else unexpected--a shared history that reaches back through the centuries and is fated to challenge their destiny like nothing ever will again...

Thoughts: All I can think is eh. Again, not super into vampires anymore and this description doesn't exactly pull me in.
Decision: Toss

I don't do dangerous.  

Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing and I don't know if I can get it back. 

Then there's Bishop. At first, I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me... 

NIGHTWATCHERS 

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

Thoughts: This is another one I can totally see why I added this to the Maybe pile. That being said I have now read some Michelle Rowen books and I'm not a big fan.

Decision: Toss

A thrilling new series featuring seven immortal Spartan warriors protecting mankind— and confronting passion along the way...

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior's discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him--the other half of his soul, Shay Angel.

Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn't the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern nights--an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax's worst enemy. As Shay and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy--one that could spell Ajax's death if they don't succeed--a fated passion arises, threatening to sweep away everything in its path.

Thoughts: I had to read this blurb three times to understand what was happening. If that's the description I worry about how the book will be written.

Decision: Toss

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

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?

Thoughts: I struggled with this one. It seems to be very interesting, but I'm just not thinking if I saw it in the store that I would pick it up over another book on my TBR pile.

Decision: Toss for now.

Some memories are better left untouched.

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family.

It's a miracle... at first.

Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together.

But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked.

Something unspeakable...

Thoughts: I like Lisa McMann's stories so I'm looking forward to seeing what this is about.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR.
Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old townhouse and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Thoughts: I kind of feel like this books whole story has been laid out.

Decision: Toss

Epraim is horrified when he comes home from school one day to find his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. Even more disturbing than her suicide attempt is the reason for it: the dead boy she identified at the hospital that afternoon--a boy who looks exactly like him. While examining his dead double's belongings, Ephraim discovers a strange coin that makes his wishes come true each time he flips it. Before long, he's wished his alcoholic mother into a model parent, and the girl he's liked since second grade suddenly notices him. 

But Ephraim soon realizes that the coin comes with consequences --several wishes go disastrously wrong, his best friend Nathan becomes obsessed with the coin, and the world begins to change in unexpected ways. As Ephraim learns the coin's secrets and how to control its power, he must find a way to keep it from Nathan and return to the world he remembers. 

Thoughts: I think I've seen this in a Supernatural episode.

Decision: Toss

Part 1 of 9

Th3rd World's adaptation of Cassandra Clare's New York Times best-selling novel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Set in modern-day New York, the Mortal Instruments series centers on the "Shadowhunters," human-angel hybrids that hunt down demons while also keeping the peace between the warlocks, vampires, werewolves, faeries and other mythical creatures who inhabit the Earth.

Thoughts: I enjoy graphic novels sometimes, but I think I mostly added this because I loved the Mortal Instruments series not because I wanted to read this.

Decision: Toss

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the "Wilds" who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Thoughts: I have heard such great things about this series and it kind of reminds me of Heather Anastasiu's Glitch series.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR

As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away.

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable. 

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both. Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love. 

Thoughts: This seems interesting and I've never heard of this particular mythology before.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR pile

It's been three thousand years since the fall of Azzaziel and the rebirth of evil; three thousand years since the Sentinal Order, an elite group of warrior angels returned to Celestium. Their job-rid Earth of the dark creatures, the UnHoly. And with luck, end Azza's rule. As if casting out demons isn't hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan. He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can't, because he's also the love of her former life as a human girl-a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel. Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty-damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell-or saving him and condemning herself. And her choice may cost her, and Celestium, far more than anyone realizes. How much will she sacrifice for love?

Thoughts: I'm not feeling this one. I'm not sure if it's the writing style or the angel bit, but this is not for me.

Decision: Toss

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . .

Thoughts: I've attempted to read this several times and I think at this point I need to call it quits.

Decision: Toss

When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she'd lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she's discovered that he's her guardian angel -- his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she's in terrible danger. Only Ivy's guardian angel can save her now that his killer is after her. 

But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he's finally reached her again?

Thoughts: This one feels like it's going to have a lot of religious undertones in it which is not for me. 

Decision: Toss





HIS NAME IS DANTE. 

Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumored owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination. 

HIS PAST IS A MYSTERY. 

F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be "nightkind": in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. With a juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien DeNoir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own. 

HIS FUTURE IS CHAOS. 

What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer -- and she's pretty sure that link makes him the CCK's next target. Heather must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man -- who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire -- in order to finally bring a killer to justice. But Dante's past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny... 

Thoughts: This is one I'm sure I added when I was all about the vampires. 

Decision: Toss

Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires-until she was unwillingly injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to them. Now, tormented half-vampire Declan Reese wants her blood to destroy the undead kingdom. Unfortunately, the serum has also made her blood irresistible to all vampires-including Declan, whose desire for Jillian is more than mere hunger.

Thoughts: Not for me and again Michelle Rowen's books aren't my cup of tea.

Decision: Toss

THE TRANSFORMATION 

Beth has always been "The Beast", that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR

When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion, for music, and for Beth, leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.

Thoughts: I was going back and forth on this one, but since it's on KindleUnlimited I figured it wouldn't hurt to check out.

Decision: Keep and move to TBR

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?

Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

Thoughts: Due to being married to a musician I avoid all books tied to music like the plague.

Decision: Toss


When she was nine, Megan Meade met a group of terrible, mean, Popsicle-goo-covered boys, the sons of her father's friend -- the McGowan boys. Now, seven years later, Megan's army doctor parents are shipping off to Korea and Megan is being sent to live with the little monsters, who are older now and quite different than she remembered them.
Living in a house with seven boys will give Megan, who has never even been kissed, the perfect opportunity to learn everything there is to know about boys. And she'll send all her notes to her best friend, Tracy, in...

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys

Observation #1: Being an army brat sucks. Except that this is definitely a better alternative to moving to Korea.
Observation #2: Forget evil, laughing, little monsters. These guys have been touched by the Abercrombie gods. They are a blur of toned, suntanned perfection.

Observation #3: I need a lock on my door. STAT.

Observation #4: Three words: six-pack abs.

Observation #5: Do not even get me started on the state of the bathroom. I'm thinking of calling in a hazmat team. Seriously.

Observation #6: These boys know how to make enemies. Big time.

Megan Meade will have to juggle a new school, a new family, a new crush -- on the boy next door, as in next bedroom door -- and a new life. Will she survive the McGowan boys?

Thoughts: This is another I went back and forth on and really feel like this is one of the reasons I made the Maybe pile in the first place. After going back and forth I think this is one I don't see myself picking up any time soon.

Decision: Toss for now.

A mysterious teen boy knows the secrets of Keira’s dangerous hallucinations in this gripping romantic fantasy from the author of Claire de Lune.

Keira’s hallucinating. First, it’s a door hovering above the road; then it’s a tree in her living room. But with her parents fighting and her best friend not speaking to her, Keira can’t tell anyone about her breakdown.

Until she meets Walker. They have an electric connection, and somehow he can see the same shadowy images plaguing Keira.

But trusting Walker may be more dangerous than Keira could have ever imagined. The more she confides in him, the more intense—and frightening—her visions become. Because Walker is not what he appears to be. And neither are her visions.

Thoughts: I like Christine Johnson's books a lot, but I think I need to read more from this book before I can decide.

Decision: Toss for now.

Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

Thoughts: Not feeling this one.

Decision: Toss

When Vampires Go On Vacation...
Escaping a horrible marriage, Carolyn Connor has no desire to think about men — a vow she's determined to keep while on vacation in St. Lucia. She'll take the Caribbean sun and sea and plenty of tropical drinks with those cute umbrellas poolside, thank you. She absolutely does not need male company, no matter how tan and rock-hard his body may be.

Easy enough, but then Carolyn meets the charming Marguerite Argeneau, who is infamous among her family for her matchmaking prowess...

Christian Notte has well known the power of finding a life mate. He's seen enough of his Argeneau relatives taken down for the count, but he never imagined he'd let himself fall in love — until he meets the enthralling, charmingly skittish, and oh-so-mortal Carolyn. But how will he reveal what he is and still convince this once-bitten mortal to trust him with her heart...and her forever?

Thoughts: I like Lynsay Sands Argeneau books but I've kind of gotten tired of them after ten or so.

Decision: Toss

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Thoughts: This is one I've heard a lot of good things about so I think that's why I added it, but the premise doesn't sound all that great to me.

Decision: Toss

The wound inflicted only a few minutes before was nearly healed. A small cut was the only sign that anything had occurred. I watched in disbelief as it finished closing and eventually disappeared.
“What are you?” 
* * *
Gods, demons, and vampires… Eighteen-year-old Alina Taylor doesn’t believe in any of them. Then, she meets Samuel Grant and Duncan Michaels and discovers a world that could destroy everything she loves.

Thoughts: I can't get any kind of read on what this is about so I'm going to pass.

Decision: Toss

What happens when you fall in love with the perfect guy... twice... in one day?

Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she’s back in the States, she’s determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance. 

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.

The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.

But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn’t know why he can’t get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake’s sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be darker and more complex than Brenna’s willing to handle.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies... and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.

Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school’s rising punk band, keeping up her grades in both academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about without juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice. But how can she when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the others?

Thoughts: I am not into love triangles.

Decision: Toss

Overall: Kept 4 and tossed 23.

Went through a lot this week, but it feels so good to only see 100 books left to go through on my Maybe pile. Were there any books I tossed you would have kept or any I kept you would have tossed?

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