Saturday, December 21, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #52

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  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 (or 20 if you keep adding like I do!)
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?


1.  Sleep Tight by Jeff Jacobson:
They hide in mattresses. They wait till you're asleep. They rise in the dead of night to feast on your blood. They can multiply by the hundreds in less than a week. They are one of the most loathsome, hellish species to ever grace God's green earth. Thought to be eradicated decades ago, thanks to global travel they're back. And with them comes a nightmare beyond imagining.

Bed bugs. Infected with a plague virus so deadly it makes Ebola look like a summer cold. One bite turns people into homicidal maniacs.

Now they're in Chicago. And migrating to all points north, south, east, and west. The rest of the world is already itching. The U.S. government and the CDC are helpless to stop it. Only one man knows what's causing the epidemic. And the powers-that-be want him dead.

 
 
My thoughts:
There was a time when I'd have really been into this creepy bug story, but not really anymore.

Verdict:  Toss


2.  Ravens by Kaylie Austen:
What are Ravens, and are they as the world wants us to believe—sinister and without human qualities? When abruptly taken from their world, select humans are transformed into creatures of the night with penetrating eyes and uncanny abilities that most believe are a threat to mankind. Stripped from their mundane and ordinary lives, these creatures have no choice but to stalk the night and fight back in order to survive.

One such Raven is eighteen-year-old Liam, who uses his telepathy to communicate with Kendra in order to lure her into the transformation. It proves to be a double-edged gambit that turns into a tumultuous journey. Racing against time to save her sister, whom she believed to be dead, Kendra falls through a portal and into a parallel world where humans hunt her. She becomes a Raven with ill-controlled powers, trapped in a torrid affair with Liam, and desperately struggles to find a grip on her new reality.


My thoughts
Eh, not sure I'm interested in this one.

Verdict: Toss 


3.  Darkhouse by Karina Halle:
There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts.

Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance.

Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.

 
My thoughts:  
Now, I've read and loved this author's adult contemporary books, so I might want to get to this one some day.

Verdict: Keep


4.  UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn:
Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it's next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.



My thoughts:  
I haven't been reading as many books like this these days.

Verdict: Toss


5.   Sugarcoated by Shannon Crane Camp:
An unhealthy addiction to sugar cubes, a deep-seated fear of water, and universal luxury—these are the simple things that make up 18-year-old Brynn's Utopian existence. Why, then, is her perfect life also plagued with unanswered questions?

Like every other resident of the planet Halcyon, Brynn's home provides everything she needs, money is unheard of, and life is perfect. But unlike the rest of Seaside's residents, Brynn has questions. Why can't people leave the city? Why does the ocean fill everyone with terror? Who are the Workers? Not only is Brynn curious where others are compliant, but she suffers from chronic nightmares of an angelic woman torturing her for information she doesn’t possess. But these are more than just figments of her imagination; they're memories of things that never happened.

When Brynn meets Jonah, a brilliant, library-dwelling boy who shares her questions and her curiosity, they formulate a plan to find answers. Somewhere, the perfect veneer of Halcyon's instant gratification hides a city that only Brynn knows about—a city she and Jonah are determined to find. But will finding the city give them answers, or simply uncover the horrific truth behind the perfection?


My thoughts:
Not sure I'm interested in this one either.

Verdict:  Toss


6.  Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards:
She has everything she's ever wanted. But not her memory...

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.

Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...


My thoughts:
Not that original, don't know when I'd get to it.

Verdict: Toss


7. Bully - An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis by Cynthia Lowen:
A companion book to the acclaimed documentary film that inspired a national conversation, BULLY is packed with information and resources for teachers, parents, and anyone who cares about the more than 13 million children who will be bullied in the United States this year. From commentary about life after BULLY by the filmmakers and the families in the film, to the story of how Katy Butler’s petition campaign helped defeat the MPAA’s “R” rating, BULLY takes the story of the film beyond the closing credits. Celebrity contributions combine with essays from experts, authors, government officials, and educators to offer powerful insights and concrete steps to take, making the book an essential part of an action plan to combat the bullying epidemic in America.

My thoughts:  
I saw this movie, and it was so good.  And at the time I wanted to read this too. Now, sadly, I just don't know when I'd get to it.

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  Margot by Jillian Cantor:
Anne Frank has long been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.

In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied, and a family and a country she left behind.

Margie Franklin is really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with a life swept up into the course of history.


My thoughts:
I still feel like I want to read this some day.

Verdict:  Keep


9.  Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?


My thoughts:
I read the first book and enjoyed it, and its movie, so I probably want to read this at some point.

Verdict: Keep


10.  If I Should Die by Amy Plum:
I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?


My thoughts:
I still haven't read book 2 in this series, so I will probably take this off my TBR until I do.  The next book on my Goodreads TBR is a novella in the series, so I'll probably leave it though.

Verdict: Toss

 
11.  The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney:
A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.


My thoughts:
Nah, somewhat new, but somewhat not new.

Verdict:  Toss


12.  The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas:
It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.




My thoughts:
Fantasy takes me a bit to get into. And as new stuff comes out, I don't always think I'll get to the older stuff.

Verdict:  Toss


13.  Darkest Worlds:  A Dystopian Anthology:
An anthology that explores what humans are made of when society falls to its knees. Darkest Worlds includes six original novellas by award-winning authors and best sellers of Young Adult and New Adult Dystopia.

All proceeds go to Girls Write Now, a charity that promotes literacy of inner-city girls.

Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders: Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.

MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone: Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon's past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist.

The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s Daughter: When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to torture a confession from the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own...

The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge, a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award: Peree knows his duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he's falling in love with her.

Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost: A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are harboring secrets...but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.

clean slate complex by Megan Thomason, author of the daynight series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes--where "everything is provided" from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there's a catch...


My thoughts:
As much as I am or used to be a big fan of dystopia, I'm also not much of an anthology fan as you may know.

Verdict: Toss


14.  Spark by Evan Angler:
In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—but without it, you're on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Parents are looking for fiction that makes Christianity exciting for kids. This series is an alternative to the Hunger Games series and other dark dystopian fiction. It’s packed with action and intrigue, but the message is written from a Christian worldview.

Logan Langly went to get his Mark but backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years ago. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a network of Markless who oppose the iron-grip rule of the government. On the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

Spark introduces nine-year-old Ali, a beggar living in the Dark Lands city of al-Balat. Ali meets a stranger who gives her his tablet, a portal to a tech world that Ali never knew existed. But one day, the tablet begins to communicate back to her—and takes her on a journey that will cross her path with exiled Logan Langly, Chancellor Cylis, and the fierce battle for power that spans reality and the virtual world.


My thoughts:
I liked the first three in the series and really want to finish it.

Verdict: Keep


15.  When the World was Flat by Ingrid Jonach:
FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, brilliant scientist Walter Bishop and his estranged son Peter investigate the world of "fringe science"(telepathy, time travel etc) following a series of unexplained events, which begin to raise suspicions that a large scientific research company Massive Dynamic is experimenting on the general public.

The secret history of Walter Bishop and his onetime scientific partner William Bell continues in this exclusive tie-in to the hit Fox show Fringe! Witness their first attempts at pushing the boundaries of science and reality!




My thoughts:
I might have a copy of this, but I'm not sure, so for now I'll keep it!  This was a tv show that I loved, especially the beginning couple of seasons. Also the next book on my Goodreads TBR is one from this series, so I'll keep it too.

Verdict: Keep


16.  Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski:
A new life is just a phone call away!

Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?

Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?

Fans of Sarah Mlynowski's Magic in Manhattan series will love this hilarious new novel with a high-concept premise .


My thoughts:
Sounds like other books I've read.

Verdict: Toss


17.  Unthinkable by Shirley Duke:
Omar Phillips is Bridgewater High's favorite local teen author. His Facebook fans can't wait for his next horror story. But lately Omar's imagination has turned against him. Horrifying visions of death and destruction come over him with wide-screen intensity. The only way to stop the visions is to write them down. Until they start coming true... Enter Sophie Minax, the mysterious Goth girl who's been following Omar at school. "I'm one of you," Sophie says. She tells Omar how to end the visions but the only thing worse than Sophie's cure may be what happens if he ignores it.




My thoughts:
Eh, doesn't sound that original or like anything I need to read.

Verdict:  Toss


18.  Damn You, Autocorrect 2 by Lyndsey Saul:
You'll cringe, you'll laugh, you’ll cry, and you'll triple check all of your texts

It's back, and it's more awkward than ever. Ever been mortified by predictive text on your smart phone? You are not alone. This brings together more of the laugh-out-loud funny and painfully embarrassing posts from damnyouautocorrect.com, which highlight the hilarity that often ensues when text messaging goes wrong. This second volume of epic auto-correct fails is packed with never-before-seen content, as well as the most cringe-worthy posts from the site.



My thoughts:
I love these things, but like all other humor books, I don't need to keep it on my Goodreads TBR.  Especially since I can go to the website. 

Verdict:  Toss


19.  The Asylum by John Harwood:
A brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The SeanceConfused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before, then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: “Your patient must be an imposter.”

Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary. Who is the woman in her uncle’s house? And what has become of her two most precious possessions, a dragonfly pin left to her by her mother and a writing case containing her journal, the only record of those missing weeks? Georgina’s perilous quest to free herself takes us from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her survival depends.

Another delicious read from the author praised by Ruth Rendell as having “a gift for creating suspense, apparently effortlessly, as if it belongs in the nature of fiction.”


My thoughts:
Sounds maybe good, but I know I probably won't get to it. 

Verdict:  Toss


20.  Game Changer by Margaret Peterson Haddix:
Athletics are everything for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one day during a championship game—in the middle of an important play—she suddenly blacks out.

When she wakes up, she’s in a different world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball hopes.

KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot more important than a softball game?


My thoughts:
As much as I love this author, her books are really a lot younger than what I read these days.  Plus I probably would be able to remember this if I ever wanted because she is such a popular author.

Verdict:  Toss


Final Thoughts:
It looks like I'm only keeping 5 this week, so that's good!

Now that I'm back to doing this basically weekly instead of a month ahead, I'll look at how many I had before and after.  When I last said how many were on the list last week, it was 3,097, and even with cutting 15, I'm only down to 3,089 thanks to more from Edelweiss last week. 

Have you read any of these?  Would you suggest I keep any I'm tossing?  And if you're inspired to do this on your blog, please feel free to join in and share a link in the comments, since it will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.      
 


Giveaway:
Once again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way.  You get to pick any two books from the pictures below, as long as they don't get traded away, or picked by last week's winner, and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice.  As I mentioned above, unpacking is finding a lot of books to get rid of, so you have even more to pick from this week!  Here are your choices:   

2018 ARCs:




2013-2016 ARCs (if you pick Zodiac, I kind of want to keep it with Wandering Star):



I'm continuing to add in my 2019 ARCs now.  You can pick one of your two choices from the picture below, the other book you pick needs to come from the pictures above.  



Once again I'm going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below.   Disclaimer:  Unfortunately, while I've only had it happen once, I'm going to have to make a statement like other giveaways I've seen on blogs that I am not responsible for lost mail.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

  1. I loved Fringe when it was on too. But I actually don't remember if I ever watched the end of the series? I think I'm just as bad about finishing TV series as I am about book series!! Guess if I won your giveaway I'd choose Song of the Crimson Flower, since I just read your review and it sounds good! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I feel like the end of the series was pretty underwhelming. Good luck at this week's giveaway!

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  2. Behold the Bones sounds intriguing.

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  3. I haven't heard of any of these, but you tossed out 3/4 so that is good progress! Ah, Edelweiss loves to make us add to our tbrs ...

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    1. So many new books from Edelweiss, even some from next fall are up! Thanks for visiting!

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I love to get comments and I read them all! If you leave a link in your comment, I just might visit you back.