Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #55

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.  The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram:
When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

  
My thoughts:
Hmm, it sounds good. But will I ever get to it? And is it that original?  I don't think so.

Verdict:  Toss


2.  Wilderness by Dean Koontz:
With this darkly intriguing original e-short story, #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz sets the stage for his masterly new novel of mystery, suspense, and strange wonder—Innocence.
 
“The world is a machine that produces endless surprises and mysteries layered on mysteries.”
 
Addison Goodheart is a mystery even to himself. He was born in an isolated home surrounded by a deep forest, never known to his father, kept secret from everyone but his mother, who barely accepts him. She is haunted by private demons and keeps many secrets—none of which she dreads more than the young son who adores her.

Only in the woods, among the wildlife, is Addison truly welcome. Only there can he be at peace. Until the day he first knows terror, the day when his life changes radically and forever . .


My thoughts
Because this is a novella and I think only available as an e-book or audiobook, I'll keep it on my list.

Verdict: Keep


3.  Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum:
Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.

 
My thoughts:  
Not sure I'll get to this or how original it is these days.

Verdict:  Toss


4.  Dark Duets by Christopher Golden:
DARK DUETS: New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy will be published in January, 2014 by Harper Voyager. Edited by Christopher Golden, it features an extraordinary lineup of collaborative stories, with the authors of each story collaborating for the very first time. And here they are!

-TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
-WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
-DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
-REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
-T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
-SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
-HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
-HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
-AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
-BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
-RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
-BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
-TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
-STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
-CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
-SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
-SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers


My thoughts:  
Even with some of the awesome authors in this one, we all know my stance on anthologies

Verdict: Toss


5.   All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry:
This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think.  You’ll see…

In the lush and magical Pacific Northwest live two best friends who grew up like sisters: charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora, and the devoted, watchful narrator.  Each of them is incomplete without the other. But their unbreakable bond is challenged when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them.

His music is like nothing I have ever heard. It is like the ocean surging, the wind that blows across the open water, the far call of gulls.

Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They're not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all.  We have paved over the ancient world but that does not mean we have erased it.
The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together in All Our Pretty Songs, Sarah McCarry's brilliant debut, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.


My thoughts:
We have this book in the school library where I work.  So I could always pick it up to read if I want. Don't know that I need it on the TBR list though.

Verdict:  Toss


6.  Sought by Margaret Peterson Haddix:
Return to the world of The Missing with this e-only short story!

Thirteen-year-old Daniella McCarthy begins receiving a series of unusual phone calls right before her family moves from Michigan to Ohio. How is it that total strangers seem to know more about her background than she does? And could it be possible that these strangers also know something about her future?



My thoughts:
Since this is an e-book only, I want to keep it as a reminder to find and read at some point since I like this series.

Verdict:  Keep


7. I Zombie by Jo Michaels:
It's the end of the world as we know it.

Trixie Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night at a party, a boy comes on to her and won't take no for an answer. As she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin.

When she finds her dog's mutilated body and realizes she's to blame, she starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they've been screaming about on the news isn't a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe she's one of the infected.

Now it's a fight for life as she joins together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?


My thoughts:  
Eh, I really don't read a lot of zombie books.

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe:
So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.


My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that original.

Verdict:  Toss


9.  This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl:
A collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.



My thoughts:
I wanted to read, but I do have it in my school library, so I can just get it from there and don't need to leave it on my TBR.


Verdict: Toss


10.  Talking Pictures:  Images and Messages Rescued from the Past by Ransom Riggs:
With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past.

My thoughts:
After getting to hear the author speak about this, and seeing the pictures he used in his book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I decided I wanted to find pictures like that, so I went to antique stores and flea markets and looked around.  I still kind of want to read this at some point, so I'll keep it on my list!

Verdict: Keep


11.  Phantom File by Patrick Carman:
Will Besting and six other teens were cured of their phobias at Fort Eden by the mysterious—and often quietly terrifying—Rainsford. But while the cure took away their phobias, it left them with other ailments: headaches, loss of hearing, fatigue. It also left Will with an intense need to know more about their supposed savior and his twisted methods. Now Will has discovered a file he was never supposed to see, and the story contained within involves characters he never expected to see together. What will the phantom file reveal about Rainsford's ghoulish ways?



My thoughts:
I liked the series, so I'll probably want to read this.


Verdict:  Keep


12.  On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor:
A funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdles

On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined.


My thoughts:
Sounds like it could be good, but nothing that original

Verdict:  Toss


13.  How Hard Can it Be by Robyn Peterman:
HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

One happy ending coming right up…

*************************************************

What happens when an accountant decides to grab life by the horns and try something new? Apparently a pirate named Dave, a lot of pastel fleece, and blackmail—just to start with…

Visualize and succeed, Oprah said. I was sure as hell trying, even if my campaign to score a job as the local weather girl had ended in a restraining order. Okay, TV was not my strength. But a lack of talent has never stopped me before. Which is why I’ve embarked on a writing career. I mean, how hard can it be to come up with a sexy romance?

Leave it to me to wind up in a group of grandmotherly porno writers who discuss sex toys and apple cobbler in the same breath. Also leave it to me to leak an outlandish plot idea to a bestselling author with the morals of a rabid squirrel. And only I could get arrested for a jewelry heist I didn’t commit—by a hunky cop whose handcuffs just might tempt me to sign up for a life of crime. Maybe I’ve found my calling after all…


My thoughts:
Sounds like a lot of stuff is going on in this one, and I have so many other romances to read, I'll probably skip this.

Verdict: Toss


14.  A Rare Titanic Family:  How the Caldwells Survived the Sinking and Traveled the World by Julie Hedgepeth Williams:
Historian Julie Williams grew up hearing her great-uncle Albert Caldwell tell his harrowing story of surviving the Titanic disaster. Albert, his wife Sylvia, and their ten-month-old son Alden, are among the rare percentage of families whose entire members survived the sinking. In A Rare Titanic Family, Williams tells for the first time the family's tale of escaping to lucky Lifeboat 13 and their desperate sea journey toward rescue. Their voyage on the Titanic, however, was only one part of an around-the-world journey to try to cure Sylvia of a mysterious illness. A Rare Titanic Family follows all the true-life plot twists of a family who survived their trip on the Titanic but whose lives were forever changed by what they witnessed.


My thoughts:
I don't even remember adding this one, but again I am fascinated by all things having to do with the Titanic.

Verdict: Keep


15.  The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt:
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.



My thoughts:
Sounds good, but don't know when I'll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss


16.  Undiscovered by Jessica Brody:
Before the crash of Freedom Airlines flight 121...

There was a top-secret research compound hidden deep in the desert.

There was a girl held prisoner in a restricted sector.

And there was a boy who found her. And risked everything to set her free.

Romantic and action-packed, Undiscovered is sure to thrill fans of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy. In this 100-page novella, told from Zen’s point of view, more secrets are revealed about Seraphina’s forgotten past, the corporation that created her, and the boy who fell in love with her. Undiscovered also includes a sneak peek of Unforgotten, the anticipated second book in the trilogy.


My thoughts:
I think I'd decided since I only rated the first book in this series 3 stars I wasn't going to continue, so don't need to read this novella.

Verdict: Toss


17.  The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe:
Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.



My thoughts:
This cover looks really familiar, like a similar one has been used on other books.  Not sure I need to read it.

Verdict:  Toss


18.  Dead and Beloved by Jamie McHenry:
Ryan Moon was supposed to star on the high school basketball team, but deadly science stole his family and friends while infecting his future. Now he's a carrier of a dangerous virus that could trigger the apocalypse. Forced into a captive existence between a hospital and high school, Ryan is trying to graduate and pursue a normal life. That life includes Jessica Snow, a mysterious girl he met online, and a promise to take her to prom.

Ryan is craving flesh, turning more and more into the monster that everyone fears, and is determined to keep the virus from spreading. He also hasn't forgotten his promise to Jessica. He'll stop the apocalypse and take her to prom . . . if her dad doesn't kill him first.


My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that original to me.

Verdict:  Toss


19.  Soul Screamers Vol. 4 by Rachel Vincent:
Saving the world has never come easy and Kaylee Cavanaugh's died to prove it.

The final collection of New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series is packed with emotion, with intrigue, with secrets, with family and above all, with love.

Don't miss WITH ALL MY SOUL, FEARLESS and a brand-new novella, LAST REQUEST.




My thoughts:
First off, I want that dress on the cover.  Secondly, I love this series, so I will totally need to read this at some point!

Verdict: Keep


20.  Defy the Night by Heather Munn:
If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.

In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives.

Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.

Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.




My thoughts:
Another time in history that fascinates me and I want to read about is of course World War II, so this is one I need to read.

Verdict: Keep


Final Thoughts:
Keeping 7 again this week, less than half, so that is good.

When I last said how many were on the list last week, it was 3,065,  with cutting 13, I'm down to 3,059, and I know I added a bunch 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

8 comments:

  1. I liked the Soul Screamers series. I think you made the right choice there. I mean, if you enjoyed the other books, you should finish the series. I have Avery Shaw. I think I will read it at some point. I have enjoyed Oram's books in the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will have to see what you think about the Avery Shaw when you get to it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Ransom Riggs' book sounds really interesting---now I'm curious about that one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    Replies
    1. It was one he talked about when I got to hear him speak. I want to read it too! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Replies
    1. I think so too. Just haven't had time or the desire to pick it up since I got it.

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  4. Even when adding books you've diminshed the tbr so that sounds good to me. Lol the avery shaw experiment is actually one I want to read :P

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    Replies
    1. Have to keep working on the list. But I know I probably won't get to some of them, so maybe if I want to later I will! Thanks for stopping by!

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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.