Down the TBR Hole #5

Hello, reader!

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.

Last round, I ended up with 609 books left on my Want to Read shelf. Before we talk about how many books are currently on my shelf, I should mention that just got my 2021 Always Fully Booked reading planner (made by Little Inkling Designs). Why is that relevant? Well, each month has a page where you can write down books releasing that month. So I went through and wrote down my most anticipated reads for each month (so far) and, in the process, found a few more.

Which is why there are now 623 books on my Want to Read shelf 😬 The endless struggle of a booklover, eh? Let’s see if we can trim that down a tad this round!


The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Honestly, I don’t even need to re-read the synopsis for this one to know my verdict. I’ve had a desire to read this book since stumbling across in a Barnes & Nobel ages ago. The cover drew me in, but the premise of a King Arthur retelling told through the eyes of the women involved captured my imagination. I don’t know why I still haven’t picked this one up, but it’s one I want to get to eventually.

Verdict: Keep

Ever After: A Cinderella Story by Wendy Loggia

This book is based off the movie of the same name. I put this book on my TBR because I absolutely adore that movie. Honestly, it’s one of my favs! The thing is, I’m not sure I need to read the novelization of the screenplay. I don’t tend to enjoy that, to be quite frank. The movie is great on it’s own… I don’t really feel the urge to read the book, as well. I’m sure it’s good, but I think this one will be a pass.

Verdict: Remove

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November 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

Can you believe that we’re almost done with this hell year? We’re so close to 2021 I can taste it! Before we dive completely into December and looking into the new year, though, it’s time to talk about my reading in November. After coming off a pretty dismal reading month in October, I’m happy to report that November treated me much better! I fell back into my reading grove and it felt really lovely. I also read some incredible books 💖

So, without further ado, let’s get to the wrap up!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter::★★★★★::My review
  2. No Truth Left to Tell by Michael McAuliffe::★★★::My review
  3. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee::★★★★
  4. The Black Sky by Timothy D. Minneci::★★★::My review
  5. Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin::★★★★
  6. Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu::★★★★
  7. Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson::★★★★
  8. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll::★★★★
  9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier::★★★
  10. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol::★★★★

Shout out to the graphic novels for the fact that I managed to read ten books this month! They’re the real MVPs 💕

Challenges


Popsugar Challenge prompts completed: 2

  • A book about a subject you know nothing about (Check, Please)
  • A book published in the 20th century (Rebecca)

Look, we have one month left and I think we all know I won’t be completing these challenges 😂 Still, I like to keep y’all updated!

Highs and Lows


Though I read a lot of great books this month, there is definitely one clear winner that stands out. Funnily enough, it was the first book I finished in November! That book is…

What can I say? The sequel to one of my favorite books of 2019 just blew me out of the water! It was filled with action, incredible characters, and a hard look at what can happen when you treat people as the ‘other’. The writing is captivating and completely pulls you into the story. Absolutely loved this one and I can’t wait until the next book releases!

As for my low, this was a book that was sent to me by the publisher that I took a chance on and, through no fault of anyone, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I mean, I ended up giving the book three stars. It definitely had it’s merits. But it made me realize that there might be more genres than just Westerns that aren’t my thing. That book would be…

Like I said, this book was enjoyable, for the most part, but there’s a reason it took me almost all year to read this fairly short book. I just got so bored with the courtroom and police procedural stuff. I could not have cared less. But, plus side, I know now that kind of thing is just not for me.

Reflections


First, how is November already over? I remember thinking in March that this year was never going to end. Now we’re into the last month of 2020! It’s… been a weird one. But we’re talking about my last reading month, not the dumpster fire that was this past year. I’m so happy that I seem to have gotten back into my reading grove. The Poppy War legit ruined me for the entirety of October and it feels nice to have gotten back on the wagon.

Though I am planning to finish The Dragon Republic this month, sooooo… 😬

I also finally got a library card for our local library and my access to books has sky-rocketed! Well… books I don’t want to buy, lol. I had been spending way too much money on books after breaking my book buying ban shortly after lockdown happened. I had been doing so well and then the dam broke, lol. Now I have even more books chilling on my TBR bookshelf that I promise to read… eventually! I’m stoked that I can now satisfy my need to read books that I’m interested in but don’t necessarily want to own. And this will hopefully help me stick to my new book buying ban 😅

I also discovered a robust graphic novel collection at the library and got back into reading those. I love graphic novels, but I don’t tend to buy them. I don’t know why… I think it’s because I remember buying manga when they started becoming more widely available in the United States and being aggrieved about spending ten bucks on a book I could read in half an hour! Especially since I’m not big on re-reading books! So it’s nice to have access to graphic novels and manga again because there are a lot of books and series that I’ve wanted to check out. They certainly help bump up those end of year numbers, as well!

As for my reading challenges… it’s been a good run, but I don’t think I’ll be completing either the PopSugar Reading Challenge or the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. Mostly because I stopped trying to squeeze in books that fit the last few prompts I needed, lol. What with book/blog tours, ARCs, and my tendency to mood read, there just wasn’t room to fit a book just to fulfill a prompt! Still, I’m pretty stoked with how far I got with both of those challenges! And, who knows, maybe whatever I read in December will help me check off a few more. Either way, I had fun and I’m not overly stressed about it 😊

All in all, November was a fun reading month and, hopefully, December will shape up to be the same!


How was your reading in November? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Blog Tour: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Hello, reader!

It feels like it has been awhile since I’ve done a blog tour! I think I burned myself out just a wee bit in my first year of blogging, haha. But it’s hard to say no when so many incredible opportunities cross your path! Which happens a lot when you’re part of the Write Reads gang 😉 Dave @ The Write Reads has pulled me in once again with a tour that I couldn’t hop on fast enough! I’ve mentioned before that Karen M. McManus is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA thriller authors so, when Dave said there was going to be a tour for her newest book, The Cousins, I jumped at the opportunity!

That being said, I want to, first and foremost, thank Dave @ The Write Reads, the publisher, Penguin, and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC of the book in exchange for my participation in the tour. As always, I am forever grateful 💖

And now, let’s talk about The Cousins!


Synopsis


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.”

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Book Review: The Black Sky by Timothy D. Minneci

Title: The Black Sky

Author: Timothy D. Minneci

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia

Source: Author

Content/Trigger Warnings: Drug use, violence, death

Rating: ★★★

Book Links:
Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

A group of survivors living in a post-apocalyptic NYC race against the clock to try and save one man’s life while unraveling the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe that caused the end of the world.

Favorite Quote

“Please excuse the mess”, says Anthony. “The safety of our residents is of the utmost concern. Unfortunately, we had a pair of employees who betrayed our customer service principle, so they had to be retired.”
“We want you to know,” interjects Matthew, “because of your wife’s relationship with our family, the cost to repaid the door and remove the corpses from her apartment will not be taken out of her deposit. Consider it a gesture of apology.”
Bishop considers probing for more information.
Repair the door? Corpses? What the hell happened here?


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