Toward the end of December, my Top 5 Wednesday group also had a prompt asking for the books we meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get around to. I originally wasn’t sure I had enough books that I’d skipped to fill both posts, but the more I started to look back on the plans I had for the year, the more I realized that there were a lot of books that I’d intended to read, but didn’t. In my previous post, I focused mostly on books that I had very tentatively slotted in to different prompts, but only one of them was a book that I really felt I’d missed out on reading. As I started to look at the books I wanted to include this time around, I realized that there were quite a few books left! I had two challenges that I didn’t finish, with a total of 6 books remaining, and several others that I felt compelled to switch out in favour of something shorter/easier to read by the end of the year. At least it gives me some books to prioritize for this year instead!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
I’m actually currently reading this book, and as of posting this, I’m about a third of the way through it. This was one of the books I had in mind for a prompt for my Rejects Challenge, and I just ran out of time to get to it. It was frustrating, since I bought a copy from Book Outlet and really wanted to read it, but I did such a poor job of organizing myself last year, that I just couldn’t get to it. This book is about a girl named Claudia who accidentally overhears a popular couple at school breaking up, and ends up paired with Iris, a mean girl who was one half of that couple, for an assignment that leads to them both becoming involved in the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is one of two Emma Mills books that have made it to my list for this year, and I’m glad that I’m getting to read it now. It was especially frustrating to run out of time for this one last year because it’s such a quick read, at least so far. The book is just over 300 pages, but it goes pretty quickly and it’s been fun to read so far.
2) Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland
This was another book that was very high on my priority list for last year, and I ended up running out of time for it as well. It was the only other book from my Rejects Challenge that I didn’t finish, so I decided to add this one and Foolish Hearts to my Rejects Challenge for this year instead. This book is about a woman named Evie who is frustrated with social media and the constant communication that it entails, and decides to take a break from her smartphone and social media accounts. I love books that focus on social media, which is why this one was so high on my list in the first place. I was so excited to find an inexpensive copy of this one on Book Outlet too, and the only reason I kept putting it off was because I was prioritizing my library books instead. I’m very disappointed that I didn’t get to this one, but I’m planning on reading it within the next week or two instead. Technically I have the whole year since I added it to a new challenge, but it only seems right to knock off some of the leftovers from last year first.
3) The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser
I’ve had this one on my TBR since 2016, when I fell in love with the stunning cover art, but unfortunately I keep putting off reading it. This was the first of four books (the next 4 listed here) which I planned to read for my Book Riot challenge last year, and ended up scrapping because the books I had remaining were all for prompts that I found repetitive, or at least that was my excuse to not feel bad about running out of time. I had this book in mind for yet another “book in translation” prompt, which is a challenge category that I’m very tired of seeing. It is about a girl named Amy who moves to her mother’s childhood home, where her grandmother insists that she must read. Amy discovers that she is a “book jumper” who is able to leap into the stories she is reading, and interact with the worlds inside her books, and soon realizes that someone might be stealing from the books. I love the concept of this one, although it reminds me quite a bit of The Neverending Story and Inkheart, neither of which did I enjoy very much. I was interested in reading this one, but kept pushing it off until the end of the year, at which point I lost interest. I would love to come back to it at some point, but it’s not in my immediate plans.
4) OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
I had this book in mind for a prompt asking for a book that has an ugly cover, mostly because I found the colours of the cover pretty obnoxious. It was another one that I put off because I prioritized my library books over the books I owned, so this one fell to the bottom of my list, despite my interest in trying it. It is about a girl named Bea who is interested in a guy named Beck, but also can’t stop thinking about someone else, a guy that she watches and even takes notes about in her journal. While Bea insists that she has it under control, it seems to be more of a compulsion that is related to her OCD. I have seen extremely mixed reviews for this one, especially around the OCD representation. It’s interesting because I’ve seen several reviews that say the representation is terrible and even harmful, and about an equal number of reviews that are impressed with how accurate it seems. I do not have OCD myself so I’m definitely interested in seeing what reviewers who do think about the representation, but either way I still have some interest in giving this book a try.
5) The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
I’ve been hearing great things about this book for quite a while, and although I’m interested in trying it, it always seems to slip to the bottom of my list. I had this book in mind for a prompt requiring a book that was about an immigrant, and ultimately switched it out for an amazing graphic novel instead. This book is about a Mexican girl named Maribel whose parents move to America after she suffers a near-fatal accident, and the family soon realizes that her recovery may be more difficult than they expected due to language and cultural barriers. Maribel also meets Mayor Toro, a boy her age whose family moved from Panama 15 years ago, and the two of them form a close bond that is soon overshadowed by violence. If I’m honest, I rarely seem to find books about South or Central American characters that interest me very much, but this one sounds very intriguing. It reminds me a bit of Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation, which I absolutely loved, and which may have something to do with the very similar cover art. Every time I look at the synopsis for this one, it reminds me that I’m interested in reading it, but it never seems to make it to the top of my list.
6) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
This is the one and only re-read on this list, which I chose for a prompt requiring a book that was assigned in school that I’d hated or never finished. I had to stretch the prompt since I always did my assigned reading, and the only book that I outright hated was a book that I had no interest in trying again. I chose this one because it is commonly read in schools, and I read it while I was at university, although it was never assigned to me. When I last read this book, I didn’t like it very much. It is about a young man named Charlie who has a cognitive disability, and who participates in a lab experiment in which an operation increases his IQ to genius levels. When scientists notice some serious side effects in Algernon, the lab rat who has undergone the same treatment, it seems likely that the same will happen to Charlie, forcing him to lose his new life. In theory, I love the concept of this book and I was really hoping to enjoy it more than I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it very must because I found Charlie’s arrogance as his intelligence so off-putting. I’d love to try it again now that I know a bit more about what to expect from the character, but I wouldn’t say it is very high on my list.
7) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I’ve been debating reading this series for such a long time already, and even debated whether to include it in my plans last year at all. I initially decided against it, but eventually changed my mind and had it in mind for a prompt requiring a book that had been turned into a movie that I had seen. I saw the 2013 movie version, and I enjoyed it but wasn’t too interested in reading the books at the time. The longer I put it off, the more I felt overwhelmed by the series. It just started to feel like there were a million books to catch up on, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to it. I finally decided to give it a chance after seeing that so many other of the very hyped series that I’d been avoiding ended up becoming favourites. I intended to read this one closer to the end of 2018 so I could move on to the rest of the series this year without forgetting too much detail, but I pushed it off so long that I just ran out of time. I ended up making the 6 books of this series plus the 3 Infernal Devices books a goal for this year (assuming I enjoy the first one enough to continue), so I’m hoping to get to it soon.
8) Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
I’ve just realized that this was actually the last book I intended for last year’s Book Riot challenge, so one of the books above must have been for another one, not that it really matters much. This was another series that I wanted to try because I’d seen so much hype around it, and I also left it until close to the end of the year with the intent of reading the rest of the series early in 2019. It is about a set of triplet queens who are all heirs to the throne, competing in a game of life or death to see who will ultimately win the title of ruler. Each of the sisters has a different kind of magic that they use to try and overthrow the other two and take their place as queen. I kept mentioning this one late last year as a book I meant to finish before the start of 2019, and I just couldn’t get to it in time. I didn’t want to rush through it right at the end of the year since it seemed like a book that I would really enjoy, so I decided to push it off and read the trilogy together in 2019 instead. I’m probably not going to be reading the Queens of Fennbirn novellas this year, unless someone tells me that they are essential to the rest of the series (but no spoilers, please!) just because I don’t think I have any room to fit it in.
9) Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
I think this is the book that I’m most embarrassed about not reading. I asked for it for my birthday in 2017, with the intent of reading it for my 2018 reading challenges, and I just never managed to pick it up. I was first interested in this one because I saw it described as a Mulan retelling, and that has always been one of my favourite movies. The more I read about it though, the more I saw people commenting that it really has very little to do with Mulan, and I think that put a lot of people off. THis book is about a 17-year-old girl named Mariko who has been raised to be married off. On her way to meet the man she is supposed to marry for the first time, her convoy is attacked by a group called the Black Clan who aim to kill her, and as the lone survivor, Mariko decides to disguise herself as a boy and seek revenge on the Clan. I have been meaning to read Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn duology for a while as well, but haven’t read those either. Actually, the one biggest complaint I’ve seen about this one is that it is very slow-paced, which is something that tends to put me off, but the story still sounds interesting enough to appeal to me.
10) Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
This was another book that I was really annoyed about not getting to in time, especially because I really wanted to read it. It was another one that I managed to get from Book Outlet, which meant it got pushed back to the end of the year so I could finish my library holds first. Unfortunately, that also meant I left it too late. This book is about a hijabi Muslim teenager named Janna who is struggling to find her place in her family and friends. When Janna learns that a highly respected member of her mosque is responsible for a horrible act, she also has to decide whether she will be the one to call him on it, and risk causing an uproar in the community. I have heard a lot of great things about this book, and it was one that I was really looking forward to reading. I actually wasn’t completely sold on it at the beginning of the year, but the more I looked through my Goodreads TBR, the more this one kept coming back to me and I knew it was something I’d have to give a try soon. It’s frustrating that I didn’t get to it last year, so I’m hoping to get to it within the next couple of weeks.
Bonus #11) You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
I usually don’t list more than 10 books for a Top 10 Tuesday, but this list just didn’t feel complete without this one, even though I nearly forgot it. This was a book that caught my interest very early on in the year, but I ultimately switched it out for a different option when I had trouble getting a copy of it. For most of last year, my library did not have a copy available and I ended up buying one from Book Outlet instead. By the time I got a copy, I’d already read another book to fulfill the prompt that I wanted it for and I didn’t have anywhere else to put this one, so I decided to leave it for 2019 instead. This book is about 18-year-old twins, Adina and Tovah, who are Jewish and whose mother suffers from Huntington’s disease. The girls have their futures all lined up, until a genetic test reveals that one of them tests positive for Huntington’s, while the other tests negative. With little in common already, these opposite results push the twins even further apart as they try to come to terms with the results and the impact it will have on their futures. I’ve seen such amazing reviews for this one, and it reminds me a bit of a YA version of Lisa Genova’s books, which I love. I wish I would have found a copy sooner last year!