I’m pretty sure that I’m going to set myself some kind of unofficial goal next year to read books that have been on my TBR for 3 years or more. I started my Goodreads account in 2015, and at first I mostly added classics and other books that I’d consider long-term goals to my TBR. A lot of those were things like the entire Wizard of Oz series, or all of the Anne of Green Gables books. I tend not to post about these books, but I can if anyone is interested in the classics I have on my TBR as well. These are books that I’d like to read eventually, but they are very low on my priority list. The more I began to explore Goodreads, the more I discovered new books and started to use my TBR to keep track of books that I thought might interest me and that I wanted to remind myself to read. I’ve posted about the books that have been on my TBR for a very long time several times in the past year. By the end of July last year (the closest I could find to exactly a year ago), my TBR was at 1550 books, and it now sits at 2278! I actually find it strangely fun to browse through my massive TBR list, and remind myself of all the books I’ve been wanting to read. It’s very rare that I’ll actually lose interest in something completely and remove it, but it at least gives me an extra push to prioritize it.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Modern Monsters by Kelley York
I think I actually recently considered buying this one from Book Outlet, but ended up deciding against it. I added this one to my list toward the end of August 2015 alongside many other YA contemporary books, and I hadn’t heard of it at all until I saw it on Goodreads. It is about a guy named Vic whose popular best friend convinces him to go to a party, where he ends up held responsible for something horrible that happens to a girl, Callie. Vic teams up with Callie’s best friend to try and uncover the truth and clear his name. This is one of many “issues” books that I have on my TBR, and as much as the synopsis tries to leave it vague, I think it’s pretty obvious what Vic is accused of doing. It does not seem to be a particularly popular book and none of the reviewers I follow have read it or even indicated any interest, but it seems like it could be an interested YA book to try.
2) The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
I think I initially assumed that Laura Moriarty was related to Liane Moriarty after reading and loving Big Little Lies, but there is actually no relation. This book is told from the perspective of Leigh, a mother of a high-achieving high school student named Kara who makes a tragic mistake, which affects not only the family but their entire community. It interested me because it was compared to Jodi Picoult for its focus on a moral dilemma and the character-driven nature of the story, so that seems like something that would definitely interest me. I’m not a huge fan of such vague synopses though, which I think is part of why I’ve put this one off for so long. It’s hard to say whether I’ll be interested in reading it when the only information given is that it is about a difficult mother-daughter relationship, and a horrible mistake. I have several of Laura Moriarty’s books on my TBR though since they all sound very intriguing, so I’m sure it’s about time I pick one up.
3) What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
I added this one to my list alongside two more of Jessica Verdi’s books, so I’m assuming I found them while looking for YA contemporaries. This one in particular is about a boy named Ryden, whose girlfriend Meg stopped her chemo treatments when she became pregnant and passed away. Struggling to care for his daughter on his own and to graduate from high school, he meets Joni who starts to make him feel like himself again, but she doesn’t know that he has a child. When Ryden finds one of Meg’s old journals, it stirs up the past and he thinks she left other notebooks for him with a message to help make sense of his future. In all honesty, it all seems a bit melodramatic, but I’m also intrigued by the story. It’s not very common to see books that focus on single fathers, and especially not single teenage fathers, so that alone is enough to keep my interest. The reviews for this one have been pretty mixed, and I feel like it’s the kind of book I’d really need to be in the mood for, which is probably why I haven’t read it since adding it to my TBR.
4) The Next Together by Lauren James
I think I added this one to my TBR in the first place because it reminded me a tiny bit of The Time Traveler’s Wife, even though it is actually very different. This book is about a couple named Katherine and Matthew, who are destined to be reborn repeatedly throughout history, and every time they fall in love only to be tragically separated. I’m not the biggest fan of time travel stories in general, but something about this one keeps drawing me back to it and I think it may be one that I’ll have to try soon (at least, maybe for next year’s reading challenges). Part of what put me off is that this is not really a genre I tend to go for very often, and I think part of the deterrent was the fact that it was labelled as part of a series, and for a while I was avoiding series in general. I’ve discovered that it is just a duology, with a few optional short stories available, so it’s not even really a series. I keep coming back to this one, and that maybe a sign that it’s time to give it a chance.
5) The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
I’m completely at a loss for how this one made it onto my TBR in the first place, since I very rarely read anything paranormal. This book is about a girl named Brie who dies of a broken heart when her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her. Brie discovers that she is dead and living as a “Lost Soul” in a version of the afterlife. Guided by Patrick, who seems to be some kind of angel, Brie needs to move through the five stages of grief in order to be ready to move on, by observing the aftermath of her death and realizing that her life may not have been what she thought. It seems to be a little bit like A Christmas Carol, which I did enjoy, but it is definitely very different from the kind of book I would normally pick up. I can actually see this one going either way — it could either be amazing and very powerful, or I could find it completely stupid. It’s received an overall rating of just over 4 stars on Goodreads based on just under 15,000 ratings though so that seems to be a decent indicator that people like it. Something about it seems interesting enough to give it a try, but I can definitely see why it was low on my priority list.