Sunday, August 25, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #25

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?

Current count on my TBR pile is 2,064. 7 down from last week. I'm hoping to get that below or at least to 2,000.

I was having some bad anxiety this past week so I decided to do 20 this week.

Demons.

They’re everywhere, hiding in plain sight. Chances are, you’ve interacted with one or two of them in your lifetime without even realizing it...

Demon hunter Evelyn Brighton saves unsuspecting humans from the malevolent creatures masquerading around them every day. Working under the Lebriga Corporation’s direction, she never fails to bring her A-game with her keen skill, fiercely independent spirit, and the best weapon in her arsenal: the Divinity blade.

Evelyn’s world is turned on its ear, however, when she is ordered to train cocky new recruit Daniel Summers. They both feel an instinctive pull drawing them to one another, the ancient spells tattooed into their skin illuminating whenever the two hunters come into contact. But with evil looming over the city of Los Angeles, Evelyn and Daniel’s mutual competitiveness and sense of duty to Lebriga and all humankind forces them to hold back their desires. Will their restraint be enough to keep them focused and save southern California, or will the dark forces prevail?

Thoughts: I think I was drawn to this book because of the cover and weakness for demon stories. That being said I feel like I'm burnt out on this demon-hunter trope.

Decision: Toss

Poisoned
Poisonous mists settled in the lowlands 17 years ago, rendering ninety percent of the land uninhabitable and killing over half the population. Most blame their misfortune on industrialization or the fey, but some curse Snow White, the princess who was born poisoned.

As the only person who can survive entering the poisoned woods without a gas mask, Snow White has dedicated her life to studying the poison and finding a cure. This obsession draws her deeper into the woods and its secrets, where nothing is as it seems. When Snow White saves a man who should never have been saved, she uncovers an evil more destructive than the poison.

The Mirror
Snow White vowed to protect the men she saved from the woods. Keeping that vow will be difficult when everyone in the kingdom wants her companions dead. To save them and herself, she will have to trust the terrifying man who shadows Rose. But nothing comes without a price, and neither Rose nor Snow White understands the true cost of the mirror's services until it's too late.

The Huntsman
When Rose and Snow White are caught in the middle of a political conspiracy, they are separated for their own protection. Snow White fears for Rose's safety. Rose, however, beings to fear herself. Isolated and hunted, Rose must rely on Ambrose's advice to survive. But as her relationship with the enigmatic man deepens, she learns things about her character and desires that should have stayed hidden.

Thoughts: This book sounds a little confusing but very interesting and I enjoy Katherine Pine's books a lot, but as this book is no longer in print I don't see myself reading this one.

Decision: Toss-no longer available

Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn't have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn't happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn't thought possible. But Conn's interest in her is confusing. It doesn't line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can't rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades' latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .

In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won't soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.

Thoughts: This one seems interesting and while I went back and forth on keeping it and went and read a little preview and wasn't really drawn in the way I like so I'm going to pass on this one.

Decision: Toos

Guardian angel Selene was so close to becoming an archangel—the supreme of all beings—until she fell in love with Cole, a forbidden dark one. Once she discovers her vampire lover has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is by abandoning her number one priority—Caitlyn, her human charge—there really is only one answer in Selene’s mind, even though leaving Caitlyn unguarded will most likely cause Selene to fall from grace.

But her choice to save Cole doesn’t come without a price…and now Selene is racing against time to not only save her dark lover but find a way to keep Caitlyn alive as well.

With the help of a new vampire ally, Luke, Selene will push her diminishing angel abilities to the point where her very existence lies in the balance. Now threatened with the chance of becoming a fallen angel or even dying, Selene can only pray she’ll have enough time—and good grace—to save the ones she loves.

Thoughts: After going back and forth on this one as well and reading a sample I think I'm going to keep this one for now.

Decision: Keep

Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry...

... in a new, horrific, unimaginable way...

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.

But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation... or her death?

Thoughts: This one sounds very much like something I've read before and I am really trying to lay off the vampires.

Decision: Toss

Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.

Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. She meets him by chance - a man who's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she's a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or lives with Justus and learns how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her against the one man who has a right to claim it?

Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

Thoughts: Reading this I just feel eh. Like I don't really care at all to know more.

Decision: Toss

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught upon. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead, she sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began...Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels.

Thoughts: This sounds weird as heck and like a big no.

Decision: Toss

Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…

Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives.

Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one, the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning…

Thoughts: This is another one I just don't have any interest in really.

Decision: Toss

All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them...beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland.

In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don't see. Her best friend Logan suddenly acts very protective.

Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That's fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.

Thoughts: Last few years I've tried to get into the faerie thing but I have yet to find one I really like in YA or Adult romance.

Decision: Toss

A new guy in town. Rumors of witchcraft. And doomed first love. This is where the saga begins. . . .

Fallen Oaks isn’t like other small towns, it’s a secret community nestled deep within the woods, where forces of both good and evil reside.

And Shiloh Trudell isn’t like other sixteen-year-old girls. She’s a heritage witch with psychic powers, who can communicate with the dead. So when she takes a summer job at the haunted Craven Manor, her life takes a frightening turn after she encounters a ghost with a serious attitude problem and an even more sinister agenda.

Thoughts:

Decision: Toss- no longer available

Computer expert Ethan Savage is done with his crush on his beautiful coworker. The dazzling Violet Moore is not interested and she doesn’t have a submissive bone in her body. And Ethan can’t do vanilla, especially with a woman he can’t stop thinking about owning. In a box hidden under her bed, Violet hides her submissive fantasies. No one has ever guessed her true desires and she intends to keep it that way. Modern-day women do not want to be tied up, spanked and ordered about. When Ethan discovers Violet’s secret, he sets out to give her a taste of true submission in one whirlwind night, but will the reality be too much to handle? Or will Violet finally see Ethan in a whole new light?

Thoughts:

Decision: Toss- no longer available

Some of the industries best selling 'new adult' paranormal romance authors have come together to bring you a collection of short stories inspired by their most popular novels. Get alternate point-of-views from your hottest book boyfriends. Learn about the early days of the relationships that you've grown to love. And find out how some of the early challenges faced by your favorite characters have shaped the novels you can't get enough of.

Thoughts: I am very much not into anthologies

Decision: Toss


Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except for Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter... when there may not be a future.

Dan Krokos’ debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series.

Thoughts: I think I added this one because everyone seemed to be reading it but I'm not sure if it's for me.

Decision: Toss

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Thoughts: I am very unclear about how this book ended up on my shelf at all.

Decision: Toss

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is positutely ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Thoughts: I don't really like books set back in time. I struggle a lot with historical romance so this one isn't really for me.

Decision: Toss

A HOUSE FULL OF SECRETS.

For four centuries, Sarah Parsons's family has owned a grand Maryland estate called Amber House. When Sarah visits for the first time, she discovers she can see visions of the mansion's history: her icy mother as a young girl, unimaginably warm and happy, or the cruel sea captain who lost a cache of diamonds in the house long ago. She finds herself drawn to both handsome Richard, who introduces her to a world of wealth and privilege and puzzling Jackson, who dares her to find the missing diamonds. Piece by piece, she uncovers the secrets of Amber House, its ancient crimes - and its fresh betrayals.

Where are the diamonds? Who caused her mother's unhappiness? And what tragic act still echoes through Amber House? Sarah needs answers soon. Because when her visions threaten the person she holds most dear, she must untangle the web of the past before it traps them all forever.

Thoughts: This seems interesting enough but I don't think it's for me.

Decision: Toss

A romantic time travel story that's ideal for fans of novels by Meg Cabot and Donna Jo Napoli--and, of course, Shakespeare.

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Thoughts: I am not a fan of time travel.

Decision: Toss

Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

Thoughts: This seems interesting enough but this is another I can't see myself rushing out to read.

Decision: Toss

16-year-old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there are a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state? Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.

Thoughts: This might be one I added on a whim or just because but I can't see myself ever picking this one up.

Decision: Toss

For eighteen-year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she's around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma's life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn't real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.

Thoughts: This seems interesting but I don't really think this one is for me. I'm not a mega-fan of Jessica Sorensen and don't find myself rushing to read her books.

Decision: Toss

Overall: Tossed 19 and kept 1 leaving me at 2,045 on my TBR pile! So close to my goal.

Did you see any books on my list that I shouldn't have tossed?

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