My TBR has definitely hit a new record, with 1915 books currently on it! I’m not sure if I should look forward to it reaching 2000, or dread it. Compared to last month, I’ve definitely slowed down a bit when it comes to adding new items to my list, but I still added about 50 new books to my TBR (as opposed to 80 in January)! Even with goals of reading 150+ books each year over the past couple of years, I’ve barely made a dent in my overall TBR size, but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. I know a lot of people have a goal of getting their TBR down to zero, but I don’t think that would ever be realistic for me. There are always so many new books coming out that interest me, and I can’t possibly keep up with them all. Actually, many of the books added this time are because I was looking at lists of upcoming releases and found many that seemed appealing.
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week. It is hosted by TyngaReviewsand ReadingReality.
1) All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of short story collections, but I somehow keep ending up adding them to my TBR anyway. This book is a collection of stories featuring LGBT characters, written by a variety of authors including Robin Talley, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sara Farizan, Mackenzi Lee, and many others. I’ve read and enjoyed books by several of the authors involved, and the few synopses I’ve heard of some of the stories sound good. For example, the Goodreads page mentions a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood in 1870s Mexico, and a story set in a 16th century convent. This book comes out at the end of this month, and has already received excellent reviews by a few of the reviewers that I follow. Like most story collections, it might not be my top priority to read, but it definitely sounds like it could be very interesting. I’d love to see more reviews as they come in when the book is released next week.
2) That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
I added this to my list only yesterday, but I was very, very hesitant because I really did not enjoy The DUFF at all. The movie was amazing, but the book was a huge disappointment and I wasn’t sure I’d want to read anything else Kody Keplinger wrote. This book is about a survivor of a high school shooting, whose best friend became a martyr after a story spread that she died proclaiming her faith. The unnamed main character was there when her friend died and knows that the rumour is not true, but doesn’t know whether to speak up about it. This book caught my attention because the story of the girl who died proclaiming her faith reminded me of a real victim of the Columbine shootings, and the similar controversy about what really happened when she died. It sounds like such an interesting concept, but I’m very reluctant to try another of Kody Keplinger’s books. This one is not out until the next of August this year though, so I’ll wait for more information to come out. I added it to my TBR for now anyway as a reminder to look into it.
3) The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
I have not read anything by Kiersten White yet, but her Conquerer’s Saga series is one I’m hoping to get to soon. This book caught my interest because it seemed to be along the same lines as The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, which I loved. It is about a girl named Elizabeth who has the chance to escape her miserable home life when she befriends Victor Frankenstein, and is taken in by his family. I read the original Frankenstein for the first time a couple of years ago and loved it a lot more than I expected to, and I’ve really been getting into retellings of classics. Some of them are so incredibly well done, and this one seems to have a lot of potential. I discovered it on a list of upcoming releases for this year, and it is not due out until late September so there isn’t too much information about it yet. I have to say though that the cover artwork is pretty creepy!
4) Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
This is another book that I was a little on the fence about adding. I’ve seen it on lists of upcoming releases for a while now, and somehow the cover artwork always caught my attention. I was hesitant to add it because of the religious content, which is something I often find off-putting in books, but it actually sounds pretty interesting. This book is about an atheist named Michael who is attending a strict Catholic School, where he meets Lucy, a girl who introduces him to “Heretics Anonymous” consisting of the other outcast students in the school who rebel against the school. Although the emphasis on religion does not appeal to me much, the rest of the story sounds so interesting and it seems like this one could be a lot of fun to read.
5) Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
I saw this one on several lists of upcoming releases for the year for a while now, but was a bit hesitant to add it, mainly because for some reason I never bothered to read the synopsis properly. I feel like I skimmed over it a couple of times and dismissed it immediately, but once I actually took the time to read it, the book seemed kind of cute. It is about a girl named Megan who always seems to be the person her exes date right before finding “the one,” so she decides to focus on her dream school’s acting program instead. As expected, in the process she meets an guy who catches her attention and needs to figure out what she really wants. Until writing this post just now, I’d never noticed that this book was co-written by two authors, and I’m kind of curious to see exactly how that plays out. Sometimes I find multiple authors leads to a very disjointed story, but sometimes it works well. This one sounds like a pretty typical YA contemporary, but also sounds really adorable.
6) Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Retellings have become such a huge trend lately, and this is the second one based on The Little Mermaid that I’ve seen in the past year or so. Instead of focusing on Ariel, this one is an origin story for the Sea Witch, named Evie in this version. When a girl who resembles Evie’s friend Anna, who drowned to death, appears suddenly Evie is sure that Anna actually survived somehow. She soon discovers that her new friend is keeping secrets and needs Evie’s help to keep the life she’s built and the prince she’s fallen in love with. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a version of The Little Mermaid that focuses on this character, so it will be interesting to see what kind of backstory the author can create for her. This book is not out until the end of July, so there is still quite a while to wait!
7) The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
I’ll admit that I was very hesitant to add this to my list because it already seems so overhyped. For a book that’s only been out two weeks, it has literally been everywhere. I was also hesitant for pretty silly reasons, like the fact that the world was called “Orleans” which didn’t seem particularly creative since it seemed to just be a rip-off of New Orleans. The more I heard about this book, the more interesting it started to seem, . It is about a girl named Camellia who is a Belle, a woman who has the ability to transform things and make them beautiful. Camellia wants to be favoured by the Queen, and arrives at court with other Belles only to learn that her abilities are more dangerous than she believed. It sounds like a pretty unique concept for a dystopian and the early reviews seem pretty positive so far, but I’m definitely going to wait for some of the hype to die down first.
8) Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Although Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books, I’ve never been particularly interested in Jane Austen retellings. This one is about a girl named Zuri who lives in Brooklyn, who wants nothing to do with the wealthy Darcy family who moves into the neighbourhood, and especially not with their arrogant son Darius. There is not much detail available yet about the plot, but so far it seems like a very straightforward version of Pride and Prejudice. To be honest, that has me a little nervous to give it a chance because it’s hard to imagine it being done well enough to not just seem like a copycat book. However, I’ve heard great things about Ibi Zoboi’s writing in American Street, and it seems possible that she could present the story in a refreshing way somehow. I’m curious enough about it that I might like to give it a try, but since this one also is not due until September, I’ll have to wait quite a while. I’m interested to see if any more details come out before then to see what makes this version different from the original, aside from the setting.
9) Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee
I found this book on a list of upcoming releases by authors of colour as part of a Black History Month feature on Buzzfeed. To be honest, what first caught my attention about this one is the beautiful cover art. This book is about a girl named Emma who is falling in love with her new foster brother, Dylan. When they are assigned to work together on an epistolary-format English assignment based on Wuthering Heights, they try to keep their feelings for each other limited to the page to make sure Dylan doesn’t risk his chance of being adopted. Stories involving feelings between people in a sibling-type relationship don’t always appeal to me, but in this case, it seems as though the characters met when they were already older and had not grown up as siblings. The English assignment aspect also seems like a creative way to tackle the story, and I’m really looking forward to this one.
10) Sarah Smiles by Sean-Paul Thomas
Honestly, the main reason I added this book to my list is because the cover art reminds me of The Addams Family. It is about an introverted and bullied teenage boy who makes friends with Sarah, who changes his life. According to Goodreads, this book has been compared to Stand By Me and Bridge to Terabithia, so I’m assuming it will be pretty sad. It’s also quite a short book, at only 200 pages, so it will be interesting to see how the author manages to develop the story in so little time. This is one of the few books on this list that has already been released. Oddly enough, every version of it on Goodreads is published in a completely different year, which is a little confusing. It’s received practically no ratings or reviews either, so if it really has been out for a long time, it’s completely flown under the radar.
11) Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
For the longest time, I assumed this was a YA book and bypassed it completely even though I usually enjoy reading YA. When I finally took the time to look at it properly, I discovered that I was completely wrong. This book is about a woman named Ingrid who writes a bunch of letters to her husband, Gil, about their marriage, and hides them in thousands of books he’s collected over the years, and then disappears., leaving her husband and two daughters to believe she has drowned. Twelve years later, Gil’s claim that he saw Ingrid recently is chalked up to senility, and their daughter Flora comes home to care for him and in the process, discover what really happened to her mother. I’m kind of surprised I never paid attention to the synopsis before because it seems really interesting, and the cover artwork is also pretty attention-grabbing.
12) Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson
To be fair, I’m not really a fan of the cover or even the title for this book, but it caught my attention because it is based on the real-life Slenderman murder case. It is about a 14-year-old girl named Alice who was attacked and left to die by her classmates, who claimed she was a sacrifice to “Mister Tender,” a fictional character featured in a series of graphic novels written by Alice’s father. More than a decade later, as Alice attempts to move on from the attack, she receives something creepy in the mail that suggests she is being watched. This book just came out this month, and the early reviews have been very positive. The Slenderman case was a very interesting and disturbing news story when it came out, and it was only a matter of time before someone based a book on it.