ARC Review – Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

arc-review

LITTLE DARLINGS

Thriller | 336 pages | 04.30.2019 | Harper Avenue

2 STARS


499Little Darlings is a suspenseful narrative weaving in folklore and the paranormal. It is for sure a page-turner that keeps you guessing what is really going on. Lauren is a brand new mom of twin boys. She is convinced someone is trying to kidnap them, even trying to exchange them for some sinister changlings. The premise of this novel is immediately capturing, unfortunately, it falls flat in many aspects. Despite its intimate ties to some grimmer fairytales, the author struggles with seamlessly integrating their content. In fact, I thought on many occasions that the whole story could’ve worked without any mentions of river fairies or their attempts to swap out newborns. The protagonist, Lauren, is plenty unreliable on her own. We never know if she is delusional or if someone truly tried to take her babies. Another disappointment for me was the ending – it just left me feeling deflated. It was so anticlimactic that I was confused about whether or not I had missed a huge plot point somewhere along the way. I kept thinking “there has to be more, right?”. I also failed to care about most of the characters. Detective Harper had several of her own issues that should’ve been explored more. Her “relationship” with Amy, the journalist, was like an afterthought and added very little to the story. Lauren’s husband was sleazy and disgusting at the very least and hugely manipulative on his worst days. There was also NO solution to any of his indiscretions. Lauren herself was an ok protagonist but her personal struggles were incredibly relatable and earnest. And this is really where the author did her best work.

Golding tackled a very important issue – postpartum depression (PPD) – in a unique and smart way. Channeling it through an unreliable narrator in a setting of potential dark paranormal forces gave the novel some depth and made PPD accessible to a reader without any personal experience, like me. At times, I too had very visceral sensations as Lauren was going through her “breakdown”. I could understand her thought processes and I really felt for her. I am so glad we are starting to address some of our mental health issues in creative ways. I’d say this book could be a trigger for someone suffering from PPD but is definitely an interesting resource nonetheless. It sure allows bringing awareness to a topic that we often treat as hush-hush. I hope Golding will continue her writing journey along those lines and I will check out her next book.


I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Spring into Horror and Dewey’s readathon – yassssss!

readathon

April is bringing us two excellent readathon events and I am so in the mood for some social and virtual reading. I love online reading communities and the two described below are two of my favorites. I hope you will join one or both so that we can share book experiences and can collectively increase our TBRs.



The lovely Michelle is hosting once again this most awesomest of readathons – an entire month of horror!!!! This one runs April 1- 30. The goal is to read at least one scary novel. It includes several genres such as horror, thriller, paranormal, mystery, and gothic for example. I love me an excuse for reading more frightening books, so of course, I am so in!

 

Potential TBR for this readathon:

Follow my quest here or on my twitter. The official hashtag is #springhorror.

 



April is also Dewey’s readathon month. This year, this 24-hour goodness takes place April 6th. I love this bi-annual readathon and usually host one or two social hours in the Goodreads group or on the Dewey blog. I will update you on this once I have my time slots confirmed.

 

Potential TBR for this readathon:

 

A while ago, I wrote a post about how I prep for a 24-hour readathon, if you feel so inclined, check it out here. You can also follow my updates here or on my twitter. The official hashtag is #readathon.

ARC REVIEW – WILL HAUNT YOU BY BRIAN KIRK

arc-review

WILL HAUNT YOU

Horror | 288 pages | 03.14.2019 | Flame Tree Press

2.5 STARS


464This story is meta! It begins with a warning to the reader that were you to proceed there is no turning back and bad things will happen to you – at times “the author” even speaks directly to you. If you continue reading, you’ll be sucked into whatever craziness this is. Of course, that immediately drew me in. The book starts off with a bang. We get to meet disillusioned guitarist, Jesse, who now writes commercial jingles instead of touring with his former heavy metal band. He is barely scraping by trying to support a wife and a child with a disability.  Immediately after a one-time reunion concert, he is giving his drunk friend (and frontman of the band) a lift home …. and now things get weird. As Jesse is driving down the road, ominous creatures appear out of nowhere, subliminal messages stream over a radio station, are they hunting him? why does the radio host know his name? and his friend bizarrely sleeps through all of this. Are these events related to a book Jesse recently read and who’s warning he blissfully ignored (same as you, the reader)? Or is he going crazy and all of this is happening in his head? Or could this be an elaborate prank orchestrated by his former band members? You, as the reader, may never find out. All you do need to know is that a journey through a funhouse on steroids begins and a hunt for survival begins. Honestly, that is where the author lost me. The chaos was so extreme and elaborate that I didn’t have time to even imagine the scary stuff that was happening. I was confused and irritated. I couldn’t follow the story. I know that this was done on purpose so I could experience what Jesse is experiencing but it just didn’t work for me. I wanted to be scared so badly but I never got there, and I am usually super susceptible to this kind of horror.

I am sad that this novel left me wishing for more. Great concept, much much less great execution. What I appreciated the most are the parallels between the things that happen to Jesse and his past steps to sobriety. His alcoholism led him to many questionable life choices, which he regrets but has to live through one more time.


I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

US RELEASES – MARCH BOOKS TO KEEP ON YOUR RADAR

US releases

Hi bookies,

Keep your eyes peeled for these goodies! As always, I’ve linked the titles to my Goodreads reviews or to the actual book page.

 

Books I reviewed before release:

While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt; Mar 8 Psychological Thriller, Horror

An unreliable narrator, gothic sexual dreams, demons, Scotland, a haunted house, and suspicious townies – I am here for this!

Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk; Mar 14 Horror

A book that will haunt you. Some of the weirdest chaos I’ve ever read. What is real? What is a dream? And will this really happen to me because I am reading this book?

 

Books I am anticipating to read:

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon; Mar 1 Historical Fiction, Romance

This one sounds a bit like Outlander but the reviews are great and it takes place in Ireland, so I decided to give it a try. I have this on my Kindle already.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah; Mar 1 Contemporary Lit

I’ve recently gotten into bird watching so was immediately drawn to the protagonist studying birds. The eeriness, the child that suddenly appears, the references to stars and the night sky all sound so lovely that I really want to check this story out.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid; Mar 5 Historical Fiction

First off, I love the book cover. And secondly, a novel set in the 60s centering around a band and a girl – yes, please. This is my BOTM selection and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum; Mar 5 Historical Fiction

I think this is one of those important books we all should read. It’ll allow me to explore a new voice, a different perspective, a novel experience: Arab women living in America. I am looking forward to expanding my mind.

Shades of Magic, Vol 1 by V.E. Schwab; Mar 6 Graphic Novels, Fantasy

I loved Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and I need more grey, red, and black London in my life.

March goals

Hey bookish fam,

I think my February goal setting paid off, and thus I will continue this little promise series at the beginning of each month. Indeed, I was able to read each of the 6 books I had committed to (plus some more, see my monthly wrap-up) as it kept me motivated since I made such a public vow. So without further ado, here are my goals for March.


 


I have several buddy/group reads planned this month: The Stand, Pet Sematary,  and Legion. In fact, since this post is a tad late, I have already started Legion and will probably start The Stand or Pet Sematary tonight (my library copy expires by mid-March). I own a copy of The Stand but with a whopping ~1450 pages, I will need all month to finish it. I am super pumped to read  Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I bought these books a while ago and with the upcoming movie, I need to read them soon. Little Darlings and The Dark Game are both ARCs that I’d like to review by the end of March. Looks like the theme this month again is “let’s see how scared I can get”. I love it!


6 books worked for February so I am keeping this number for March. What are you pledging to tackle this month? Leave me a comment. Let’s work on those commitments together. 🙂

And thus concludes my February

monthlies

After a huge reading month in January, I am really pleased with another quite successful 4 weeks. I actually finished all the books I had pledged to read in February but one, which I finished on the morning of March 1st. I’ve been traveling for work quite a bit this month, so I am super happy with what I’ve accomplished.

 


Books read: 15

Books listened to: 1

Total pages read (includes “pages” from audiobooks): 5623


 

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It (Lauren Graham) ♠♠♠♠

461

Goodreads

As expected from Lauren Graham, this was a witty but also an insightful quick read. I adore her and her quirky writing. Her voice feels authentic and genuine. I specifically liked the illustrations that went along with her chapters.

This book would make a great “hey, I thought of you” gift. It repeats a message worth repeating: you are good enough.

 

The Exorcist (William Peter Blatty) ♠♠♠♠♠

466

Goodreads

Pure and utter perfection! I didn’t think it would be possible that I could love the book more than the movie. But it happened. The writing was superb. It combined elements of horror and gothic with elements of humanity and love. It read like a poetic eye-witness report. It featured some of the most authentic and real-feeling dialogue I’ve ever read. I definitely got sucked into the story right from the beginning. I felt icky and weird. I felt worried for the protagonists. I was amused by the vile demon and its foul language. I got annoyed with the mom’s attitude at times and I wanted the priest to hurry up already. I kept thinking about how lucky the actress is that every one of her staff is sticking around for this. This is definitely a book I’d consider a classic and a definite re-read.

The book was a lot less scary and a lot more poetic than the movie. If you enjoy dark themes with bloomy language, this book is for you. I whole-heartedly recommend this novel to any horror buff. 

 

The Mermaid (Christina Henry) ♠♠♠♠♠

477

Goodreads

As many of you know, I love Christina Henry’s retellings of Alice’s adventures. I love them because they’re creepy and dark and dangerous. This delightful book was quite the opposite: airy and light often, filled with romance and hope, and many lovable characters. Yet, the message still packed a punch: love yourself, grow and evolve, say you’re sorry when you mess up, and step up for others in need. Overall, this novel is deep and makes you think.

If you enjoy retellings and novels based on some actual events, I recommend it to you.

 

Let the Right One In (John Ajvide Lindqvist) ♠♠♠

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Goodreads

Honestly, this one left me feeling disappointed. I had been anticipating this read since I added it to my TBR a long time ago. It should’ve been a book I loved. Each element on its own was right up my alley: vampires, murder, gore and blood, bleakness and despair; but somehow these elements didn’t add up. They didn’t fit right. I can’t put my finger on exactly what happened, but the book just didn’t work for me.

I recommend this book if you enjoy suspenseful paranormal literature with a touch of murder, a little bullying, and 80s nostalgia (and not the good kind).

 

 

The Gunslinger (Stephen King) ♠♠♠♠♠

487

Goodreads

This was a reread for me. Well, I listened to the audiobook this time instead of reading the book. It proved itself once more to be great. I love how weird it is. I love how it slightly feels like a Western. I like the internal monologues. I enjoy the gothic-ness of it, like the appearance of ravens and brothels.

This is a different kind of Stephen King. I recommend this book (and this series) to you if you like a little sci-fi and a little fantasy with your weird.

 

Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier) ♠♠♠♠♠

420

Goodreads

I am still swooning over this book. Gah, it was just so damn brilliant. Is this a feminist book or what? I dunno but my gut feeling says yes. du Maurier perfectly observes the societal norms put upon women in England during her time. Could you be strong and free (and a little non-lovable) like Rebecca? Wasn’t it more appropriate to be a nobody like de Winter’s wife #2, who didn’t even get a name in the novel?! I don’t want to give away any spoilers and all my feelings about this book would give away spoilers. So, all I am going to say is that du Maurier masterfully crafted a cohort of characters, perfectly weaved together suspense, romance, and character studies, and put it all together in a poetic ease that you rarely get to see (or read). This novel is dark and flawlessly Gothic.

Everyone must read this masterpiece. 

 

Ruin and Rising (Leigh Bardugo) ♠♠♠♠♠

465

Goodreads

What a satisfying and well-done ending to this trilogy! I quite enjoyed book 1 and 2, but this one had me at the edge of my seat, had me suffering along with the Sun Summoner and her Tracker, had me grieving for Nikolei’s fate, and had me yelling (in my head) “yasssssss” when the Grishas and their allies went all badass the entire time!

The Grisha trilogy is definitely a series that sounds like it could be formulaic and predictable but then proves you entirely wrong. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy adventure with a whole lot of world building. 

 

Geekerella (Ashley Poston) ♠♠♠ and 1/2♠

488

Goodreads

This was just plain cute! It was spunky and nerdy and full of amazing references to all kinds of fandoms. It was a love story, a story about friendship, and a story about becoming your own. I needed this after a few heavier books early in the month. It made me feel like a belong to some fun social phenomena centering around some of my favorite fictional characters. This book is definitely geared toward a younger audience but allows an older reader to feel young at heart again, and who doesn’t want that?!

If you belong to any kind of fandom or if you just want to feel like you belong, I recommend this book to you. 

 

On the Come Up (Angie Thomas) ♠♠♠♠

463

Goodreads

I didn’t read The Hate U Give – mostly because I have some weird visceral aversion to super hyped books (or movies or anything really). When On the Come Up was a February BOTM pick, I decided to give Angie Thomas a try before this one, too, gets super hyped up. And I am so glad I did. I loved all the classic hip hop references. I felt for the main characters. Their lot in life is not easy and I empathized deeply. Bri, the young rapper and main protagonist, is a difficult person and almost impossible to love as a literary character. That was why I loved her even more. I was immersed in her story. I flew through the pages. I wondered “is it possible that so many things go wrong for one person?” and I had to admit that yes it is. It made me want to be even more understanding toward others, even more aware of how good I have it, and try much, much harder to give back. Any book that can accomplish that is relevant!

I recommend this book as it pushes cultural boundaries. It’s significant and impactful. 

 

Beast (Brie Spangler) ♠♠♠ and 1/2♠

489

Goodreads

This is a nice and very heartfelt own-voices novel. The story was predictable but the characters appeared real, vulnerable, and unique. In fact, I was quite surprised by how emotional I ended up getting throughout the book. I am old enough at this point to not just see the teenagers’ point of views but to also understand how the parents coped and felt about their children’s struggles. I am in an interesting in-between land now. I hope to read more novels like this in the future. This one seemed educational to me without stereotyping or pushing an agenda.

I recommend this book for you if you too feel out of place or are just looking to relate to someone, irrespective of your age.

 

Can You Keep a Secret? (Sophie Kinsella) ♠♠♠♠

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Goodreads

This was a spur of the moment library grab. I was looking for a lighter but engaging read and the synopsis of this book fit the bill. Well, it turned out to be quite a surprising insightful novel! At times it reminded me of One Day in December, which I read and loved last year. This is marketed as a romance novel, and yes it does feature a romance, but it is not front and center. Instead, we get to know the protagonist Emma, who like many 20- or 30-somethings struggles to find her place in the world. She is smart and witty. She is kind and cares. She can be stubborn and selfish but she always comes back around to consider everyone’s feelings and perceptions. She wants to be successful in her job. She is looking for an identity and fulfillment. She is trying to make her mark. Yes, this novel has some clichés like a young girl falling for a succesful wealthy, broody man. But that doesn’t matter, because we are along for the journey, and the journey somehow feels real.

If you’re looking to read a romance novel that feels genuine, I recommend this book to you.

 

The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater) ♠♠♠

491

Goodreads

I have been wanting to read a Stiefvater book for ages. I tend to avoid getting into series if that’s an option so I picked this one because lots of my bookish friends had loved it and because wild and dangerous horses sounded awesome. I am sad to report that I super, duper struggled with this novel. I had to read past the halfway mark to get into the story and start caring for the protagonists. In the beginning, I was bored and confused and just felt super blah about it all. I ended up sort of loving the mystical sea horses and their violent streaks but feel that if Stiefvater had spent some time at first introducing them and their tales outside the yearly race on the beach, I would’ve loved them immediately and would’ve been invested in the story much more.

I am having a difficult time recommending this book. You have to decide for yourself. 

 

My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel (Kitty Curran, Larissa Zageris) ♠♠♠

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Goodreads

This is one of those books that sounds awesome in theory and then turns out to be rather cumbersome in reality. Given I read this in Kindle format, but I just struggled way too much to make it through the alternate storylines once I read it through for the first time with my original picks. I do really appreciate all the references to known classics like Wuthering Heights, Dracula, Rebecca, and Pride and Prejudice just to name a few. And of course, I loved the over-the-top romances. Also, no matter what storyline you choose, our main character is sure to get a little something-something every time.

I recommend this book only in paperback or hardcopy format. 

 

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland (Jim DeFede) ♠♠♠♠♠

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Goodreads

I started listening to this book because I tend to do better with nonfiction as audiobooks. I got immediately sucked in. The narrator was compelling. The characters were captivating. The 9/11 backdrop was fascinating. I switched to a Kindle version about 20 pages in because I was too impatient to wait how the story unfolds. I had never thought about what it really means when the airspace over the US is closed to planes. I had no idea how intricate of a play it is to find a place for them to land or refuel. I didn’t think about Canada’s role in this as our neighbor. While all those topics were covered in this book, we also get to know the people that were affected by these decisions quite intimately. We know who has a firefighter son in NYC, we know who has a military background wanting to help but can’t because they’re stuck somewhere on a remote Canadian island, and we know who would rather sleep in a tent on the lawn than crammed inside a small auditorium with hundreds of other stranded people. Parts of the story were hilarious: how DO YOU feed 12000 people in a town that originally has less than 5000 inhabitants? and parts were deeply moving: how would you connect with your newly adopted baby girl amidst all this drama?. This is not a long book but it packs a punch.

This is one of those nonfiction reads that just sucks you in. Read it. 

 

The Mermaid’s Daughter (Ann Claycomb) ♠♠♠♠ and 1/2♠

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Goodreads

This book pick is a direct result of an awesome book-ish community. One of the Top Ten Tuesday prompts (check out here what TTTs are all about) this month was to feature books that we loved that had fewer than 2k ratings on Goodreads. I stumbled across this novel on the TTT post by mimich42 and was immediately intrigued. Retellings and books about mermaids are definitely totally up my alley (I mean you can see that I read two of those just this month) and my library had a Kindle copy available right away – a match made in heaven. I really, really liked this book. It was full of lovely prose. It was dark and mysterious. It had interesting characters. It had Ireland. I thought involving a plotline of opera and composing was smart and beautifully tied in with writing fairytales. There were a few things but that bugged me but they were essentially super minor.

If you like a bit of a gruesome fairytale and enjoy the Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid, I recommend this book to you. 

 

Hope Never Dies (Andrew Schaffer) ♠♠♠ and 1/2♠

498

Goodreads

This was so adorably corny but also very weird. I enjoyed this read for that it is – a bit of fluff combined with some fangirling. I didn’t quite like how Obama was portrayed at times but since we get to hear the story told from Biden’s viewpoint it could just be that his little bit of whiny and his little bit of jealous clouded his perception of his best friend.

I recommend this as a fun break from reality and/or a sweet book club read.


How was your February? Did you have a favorite book? Mine has to be a tie between Rebecca and The Exorcist. They’ve both have been in my TBR for way too long and they both blew me away!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved With Fewer than 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

ttt2

It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is actually quite difficult. While I often read books with few ratings on Goodreads, finding some below 2000 is not easy. As you’ll see, several of the books I am featuring here are either in German or fairly new releases (published before Jan 2019). And as you’ll also notice many of them somehow deal with WWII societies across different countries.


 

Heinrich Böll is one of my favorite authors and I am slowly but surely making my way through his collection. I loved both, Der Engel schwieg and Der Zug war pünktlich, for their bleakness and misery – made worse by the fact that both stories could’ve easily been real in wartime Germany. I tend to not like autobiographies and I often avoid reading WWII based books, but Reich-Ranicki was one of the most revered literary critics in Germany and was also a Warsaw Ghetto survivor. His writing is excellent, he is a wizard with words, and his anecdotes and life events are gripping and often sad or depressing, but always thought-provoking. I encourage everyone to pick up his book.


onourown

I am surprising myself that I have yet another WWII story on this list. If I didn’t make this clear before, I definitely have survivor’s guilt, and I wasn’t even born during that time. I am sure almost everyone has read the graphic novels, Maus I and II. We Are On Our Own is another impactful tale of war refugees and their journey of survival. The illustrations match the haunting mood of the book perfectly.


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The aforementioned books I recommended so far are all kind of niche books – Germany or WWII themed, so I understand why they are not that popular, but I am actually flabbergasted that Supernatural Tales doesn’t have more than 2000 ratings. This is a book of Gothic excellence. It is written by Violet Page under a male pseudonym who is the goddess of supernatural fiction. Her talent jumps off the page in this collection of short stories and I really hope more people will read her work. Quickly looking through Goodreads shows all of her books are far below 2000 reviews, we need to change that.


 

Receiving ARCs is one of my favorite ways to discover new books. The three I have featured here still have few ratings on Goodreads but are each wonderful in their own way and deserve more attention. The Trees is a heavy read – heavy because it makes us think about what we are doing to nature. Imagine, mother nature, one day gets mad and takes back her earth. How will humanity cope? Who will survive? Who deserves to live on? The Song of the Orphans is the second book in a sci-fi/fantasy series called Silvers. While the first installment has more than 2000 ratings, this one does not, and I really want to drum up readership in anticipation of book #3, which I am hoping will be released later this year. I definitely liked book 2 better than book 1 since the main characters started to come into their own and since the plot just picked up tremendously. This series seems to be a good balance of sci-fi and fantasy elements thus making it a very decent entry-level sci-fi trilogy. Everyone should know that I love Edgar Allen Poe – seeing his work in manga form is sheer perfection as that genre just works so damn well for his stories. I loved the illustrations and the weirdness in this book. It’s a quick read and perfect for anyone who wants to explore Poe a bit more.


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I have been expanding my ARCs to middle-grade books as I believe I’ve been missing some very impactful stories. The two here proved my suspicion. Both have significant messages beyond middle-grade ages and deal with issues that apply to anyone really. Beyond the Green is a heartful novel about kinship and how it crosses invisible borders. It is a middle-grade read that I am hoping will find its way into many school libraries. The Orphan Band of Springdale is a complex story of fitting in, making friends, and dealing with prejudice all the while the US is at the eve of its involvement in WWII.


I hope this post will inspire some of you to pick up one of these books as they deserve all the love they can get. I am looking forward to checking out other TTTs which I am sure will lead to an inevitable increase of my TBR.

Splattertine’s Day – a gooey conclusion

readathon-wrap-up

465

 

I had a really great time with this readathon. I quite enjoyed focusing on gore and horror instead of romance in the first half of February. Though if you know me, that’s usually my general MO throughout the entire year. I read a lot of books in January (see my wrap-up here), so I didn’t devour books at the same rate this time but I was able to finish 3 that I consider suitable for this challenge (and a few others that didn’t fit the bill).

 

 

 

Each one of these had been on my TBR for a very long time and I was really looking forward to tackling them. Both, The Exorcist and Rebecca, blew me away. Brilliant writing. Brilliant plot development. Brilliant message. I felt a little disappointed after finishing Let the Right One In. I can’t exactly describe why but I just know something was missing, and that something was something crucial. I’ll be elaborating my reviews for these novels in my monthlies, which is my monthly wrap-up post where I review each book I read. I hope the Splattertine’s Day readathon gains traction and I will be doing it again next year with a bunch more bookish peeps! Thank you mall3tg1rl for hosting this!

Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Couples in Books

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is about favorite book couples. I tend to not have those or idealize bookish relationships but I was able to think of 10 12 romantic relationships that left an impression on me. As you’ll see, most of them involve at least one dark character. What can I say? I love them brooding and mysterious with a touch of evil or violent or at the very least not conventionally nice. I also really dig a fierce and independent female. These are in no particular order. So, without further ado …..

 

Vasya and Morozko

Lila and Kell AND Alucard and Rhy

Liesl and der Erlkönig

Inej and Kaz

Cherry and Hero

18

Richard and Lady Door

355

Tristran and Ivaine

481

Deryn and Alek

Alice and Hatcher

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Jo and Laurie

483

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

Top Ten Tuesday – Keep or Toss edition

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s topic is about upcoming releases that I am on the fence about. Well, I tend to not focus all that much on upcoming releases when deciding on my TBR, so I don’t feel like I have a strong enough opinion to feel on the fence. Thus, I decided to use a random number generator between 1 and 799 (the current number of my Goodreads want-to-read shelf) instead to find 10 books that I was hoping you could help me decide what to do with it 🙂

The generated numbers were 306, 52, 624, 387, 608, 228, 609, 353, 461, and 791 resulting in these books:


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton YA, Fantasy, Romance

Djinns, magical beasts, a badass female heroine, potential for love with a handsome fugitive … . This novel seems to have it all but is it just another YA fantasy? Why should I read this one when there are a million others sounding just the same? Is this a series worth getting into? Keep or toss?

The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie Classics, Suspense, Mystery

As a teen, I devoured Agatha Christie books and one day I just added all her books I haven’t read yet to my TBR. But will I actually ever get around to them? I’ll probably toss this one.

Contagion by Erin Bowman YA, Sci-fi

I love sci-fi but I generally don’t read YA Sci-fi. Is this a good book to start with? I am always hesitant to start a series because you essentially commit to several books at once. Keep or toss?

Stiff by Mary Roach Nonfiction, Science

I have this book at home. I really should finally read it. I’ll keep it.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olson Scandinavian Lit, Thriller, Suspense

Ugh, another series, but the setting is Denmark. I do like Scandinavian crime novels. Has anyone read this? Is this series worth it? Keep or toss?

20000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne Classics, Sci-fi, Fantasy

I’ve always wanted to read this. I have this book on my shelf and tried last year I think but just couldn’t get into it. I blamed the timing then but was it that? What do you think? Keep or toss this one? Also, how are the other books in this series?

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg Scandinavian Lit, Crime

Another Danish mystery novel. I honestly don’t even remember putting this on my TBR list. I’ll toss that one I think. Change my mind.

1984 by George Orwell Classics, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Another classic book. I definitely need to read this one. It stays! I’ll keep it.

Atonement by Ian McEwan Classics, Historical Fiction

I put that one on my list last year because it would’ve fulfilled a Popsugar category and it is also on the 1001 books to read list. I feel so meh about it though. I glanced at the first few pages and was bored out of my mind already. Anyone who has read it, is it worth struggling through in the beginning? Keep or toss? I am leaning toward tossing.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal YA, Fantasy

This one comes out in May this year and is a very recent addition to my TBR. It sounds fabulous and I will keep it on the list.


I hope y’all play “Keep or Toss” with me this week. I am enjoying this so much, I might have to make this a regular thing! Leave your comments and suggestions below!