This was another month where I initially thought I wouldn’t add very much to my TBR. Then, I made the “mistake” of discovering that Goodreads has a feature where you can see the most popular 200 titles released by month for the current, previous and next year, or by year for any year prior to that. Of course, I spent hours browsing through the lists of releases for 2018 – 2020, and I literally added about 60 books in the span of two days! Like last month’s Stacking the Shelves, the majority of the books don’t even have a cover and some don’t even have a title yet. Many of them are books by authors I’ve already read and enjoyed, or authors who have multiple books on my TBR already, so I added their new releases so I can keep track of updates. My TBR is now quickly approaching 3000 books (currently at 2875)!
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) Click by Lisa Becker and Chat Love by Justine Faeth
I found these books while looking for more books that focus on social media or online friendships. Click is about a woman named Renee, who is approaching 30 and worried that she is still single. She decides to join her male best friend Mark in searching for love online, with the story told through e-mails between Renee, Mark and her other friends, and the men she meets online. I tend to find stories that are told in this format a lot of fun to read, so that aspect of it immediately caught my attention. Chat Love is about a woman named Lucia who is having trouble finding a date, and decides to sign up for an online dating service that her friends suggest. Strangely enough, as many books as I’ve read that involve social media, I haven’t read too many that involve dating sites, so these are already a little different from others that I’ve tried. It did put me off a little to see that Click is part of three-book series since it doesn’t seem like the kind of story that would warrant more than one book, but I guess I’ll have to see for myself when I try it.
2) The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
To be honest, if this book wasn’t by Jojo Moyes, I probably wouldn’t have added it to my TBR at all. I’ve only read her Me Before You trilogy so far, which I loved, and I have so many of her other books on my TBR that I’ve been procrastinating on actually trying. This book is due out in October of this year, and it is about a woman named Alice who becomes part of a team of women delivering books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library. Alice becomes friends with Margery, the leader of the group, as well as three other women who join them as they deliver books despite the dangers of the land. The reason I say that I probably wouldn’t have been particularly interested in this one is that it is not really a time period or setting that really interests me much. I’m very rarely interested in books set in the “Old West,” although this one is Depression-era, so it might be a bit different than I expect. I’m still willing to give it a chance because I like Jojo Moyes’s writing in general, but I wouldn’t consider this one particularly high priority.
3) The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne
This is one of the many thrillers that I have on my TBR, but no matter how many I have, I always seem to find more that interest me. This one is about a woman named Rebecca, who receives a phone call from her best friend’s husband three years after they last saw each other. Rebecca learns that her friend Nicole has committed suicide, and discovers she may not have knew her friend as well as she thought. Getting closer to Nicole’s husband, she starts to step into the life that Nicole left behind. I have several similar thrillers on my TBR, which is probably why I end up putting many of them off for so long, but this one sounded so intriguing that I couldn’t pass it up. I love thrillers where characters try to get into the minds of the person who died or went missing, and this one seems to take it a step further with Rebecca literally stepping into Nicole’s life. It sounds like a very interesting story, and I’d love to eventually give it a chance.
4) A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson
I can’t even remember how I found this one, but I’m not surprised that I added it to my TBR. It is about an 18-year-old girl named Stella who is accused of brutally murdering a man who is 15 years her senior. Her father, who is a pastor, and her mother, a criminal defense attorney, defend their daughter while struggling to understand why she would be a suspect at all. I added this one to my list because it seemed to be a legal thriller along the lines of Defending Jacob, with a young person accused of a horrible crime and the family dynamics involved in a case like this. This book isn’t due out until the end of June so I haven’t seen too much information about it yet, but it sounds like an amazing story. The early reviews so far have been excellent, so I’m looking forward to reading it for myself. It’s been a while since I read a legal thriller, although it is a genre that I do tend to enjoy. It’s also interesting that the author of this one is Swedish. I’m not really sure why, but there is an entire genre of crime fiction (Nordic Noir) that has come out of Sweden, Norway, etc. that tend to be quite dark. I’m not sure if this book technically fits into that genre, but it definitely seems to be long the same lines.
5) The Perfect Son by Lauren North
I was first drawn to this one because of the interesting cover art, but it is another thriller that seems to be right up my alley. It is about a recently widowed woman named Tess who wakes up in the hospital the day after her son’s birthday, convinced that her brother-in-law and her grief counsellor are involved in his disappearance but no one will believe her. To save her son, Tess needs to piece together what happened between her husband’s death and her son’s birthday. It does seem that this book is another in the long line of thrillers involving women who might be unreliable narrators, but it also sounds like a very intriguing story. I find it a bit odd that this book is also listed on Goodreads with a different title and quite a different synopsis. In the listing for The Perfect Betrayal, the synopsis seems to focus more on the grief counsellor, Shelley, who promises to help Tess and her son cope with the loss of Tess’s husband. I’m not entirely sure if these are the same story told from two different perspectives, or just the same book advertised two different ways. It’s a bit confusing, but either way I’m very interested in reading this one.
6) I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
It took me a while to finally add this one to my TBR. I was drawn to it by the interesting title, but was on the fence for quite a while about how much the story really interested me. When new stations start to report that the Earth might be destroyed by aliens in just 7 days, three teenagers struggle to face their demons in the little time they have left. Jesse has always had a rough life where nothing seems permanent, and doesn’t seem to care that the world might be ending. Cate is desperate to use her last week to find the father she never knew, and Adeem is struggling to forgive his sister for leaving. This book isn’t out until late October so there isn’t too much more available about it yet, but it seems like it could be interesting. I’m mostly curious to see what happens with the rumours of aliens, and how much of the sci-fi elements are actually involved in the main story. The impression I got was that it was mostly a contemporary book with some small sci-fi aspects to it, but it’s hard to know for sure.
7) The Undoing to Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler
I was also very hesitant to add this one to my TBR because I didn’t really enjoy the last book I read by Katelyn Detweiler. I read her book Immaculate last year, which had a great concept but I didn’t like the way it was executed. This book is about a 17-year-old bestselling author named Thistle Tate who has written an immensely popular series with a new book due out in the next year. Only her best friend (and new boyfriend) Liam knows the truth — that Thistle is not the real author of the books. Her guilt about lying grows after she makes friends with Oliver, whose younger sister is a huge fan of her books, and she just wants the series to be over with so she can finally move on. As the deadline for the last book draws closer, Thistle’s world starts to come apart. Once again, it sounds like such an intriguing concept but I’m a little hesitant to try it because of how let down I felt in the previous book I’d read by this author. This one does sound like it will be a lot easier for me to get into, and it is a much more interesting storyline to me, so I’m willing to give her another chance.
8) Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
I’ve lost count of how many new Christina Lauren books I’ve seen on Goodreads in the past year or so. This one is due out in late October, so I doubt I’ll get to read it this year, but it is one I’d love to try eventually. It is about an 18-year-old named Tate who travels to London with her grandmother, where she meets a Vermont farmer named Luther and his grandson Sam. Tate and Sam quickly fall for each other, until she reveals that she is the daughter of a huge film star. When her secret is exposed, she feels betrayed by the only person she thought she could trust with the information. Meeting Sam again a decade later, Tate needs to decide whether she can give him a second chance. To be honest, anything to do with celebrities will generally put me off a book, although I’ve started to become a little more open to it ever since reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I’ve been very interested in every Christina Lauren standalone book that I’ve seen in the past couple of years, so this one seemed like another natural addition to my list.
9) Faker by Sarah Smith
Up until a couple of years ago, I never would have been interested in this kind of adult romance, but I’ve read a few through my reading challenges that have been a lot of fun. This book is about a woman named Emmie who is one of the few female employees at a power tool company. Emmie hates her coworker Tate, who has been hostile toward her all along, despite her best efforts to get to know him. When the two of them are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get heated. This book seems to sound a little like The Hating Game, which I loved. It’s the kind of book that I need to be in the right mood to pick up, but it can be a lot of fun to try. I also like how this one incorporates the idea of Emmie being a female employee in a very male-dominated field, since that leaves open some room to have more depth than just the usual hate-to-love story. It’s another book that may not be the highest on my list, but I’m definitely interested in giving it a chance.
10) The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne
I have so many Holly Bourne books on my TBR, although I’ve never read anything that she’s written. This was one of the many books I discovered through that Goodreads feature mentioned above. It is about a girl named Amelie who loved Reese, and thought he loved her too. The synopsis is quite vague, especially given that the book isn’t out until October, but it sounds like such a great story. According to the synopsis, Amelie is retracing her relationship with Reese by revisiting all the places that he made her cry, so she can learn to get over him by figuring out what went wrong. This sounds like a very interesting story and definitely a unique take on a break-up book. I always love to find YA contemporary books that have something a little different about them, and this one seems quite unlike most others that I’ve read. The only book I can think of that is even remotely along the same lines might be Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, and even then, it’s not exactly the same kind of thing. I’m very interested in trying this one.
11) Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee
I rarely add middle grade books to my TBR, but this was one that I couldn’t pass up. It is essentially about the #MeToo movement for a middle grade audience. I’ve seen so much controversy about teaching consent and other similar concepts to younger children, and it’s always confused me why that would be a problem. There are so many ways to teach the topic that don’t directly address the topic of sex. This book, for example, is about a 7th grade student named Mila who doesn’t like the attention she is getting from boys, including unwanted hugs, comments, etc. Her friends think she is making a big deal about nothing and that the boys are just trying to flirt, but Mila knows that it doesn’t feel right. She gains confidence when she enrolls in a karate class, and when she is finally pushed too far, she gets help from an unexpected source. I think this is such an important and relevant topic, and I’m glad to see books aimed for a younger audience about this. It is important for people to be aware of how their actions impact others, and for everyone to be able to set and enforce their own boundaries and feel safe.
12) A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas
I’m noticing quite a few books lately that have psychologists or therapists as main characters. This one is about a psychotherapist named Ruth whose own son, Tom, disappeared a year and a half ago. When a new patient, Dan, shows up for a session with her, Ruth discovers that he looks exactly like her missing son, and although she is determined to help him, his resemblance to Tom makes it difficult for her to keep a professional distance. I was a bit surprised to see how mixed the reviews have been for this one so far, since it seems like such an interesting story. Having studied psychology myself, I think it’s very intriguing to have a psychotherapist as a main character and see how she struggles to maintain her professionalism while working on a case that hits so close to home. It is definitely a huge struggle in the field to separate yourself from your practice, and I think that makes for a very intriguing concept for the story. I’m a little hesitant since I’ve seen many reviews that call the book slow-paced, which is something I tend not to enjoy, but I’m willing to give it a try.
13) Such a Perfect Wife by Kate White
I guess “perfect” has become the new buzzword in thriller titles. This book is about a woman named Shannon who disappears one morning, not returning from her usual morning routine of taking some time for herself after dropping the kids off at school. When Bailey Weggins, true crime writer working for a new online magazine, is assigned to cover the case, she soon realizes that there is a lot more to Shannon’s story than people realize. An anonymous caller leaves a cryptic clue that leads Bailey to Shannon’s body, which suddenly shifts the focus of the case from a mysterious but isolated disappearance to the work of a serial killer. Bailey is left to figure out who the killer is and stop them before anyone else can fall victim, including herself. This book is a little different from the kind of thrillers that I usually read, but I think it would be a great chance to try something a little different from my usual domestic thrillers. I’m not always interested in police procedure or detective stories, but this one sounds interesting enough and from a unique enough angle that I think I’d like it.
14) The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
It was the title of this one that first caught my attention because it was a term that I’d heard before but wasn’t very familiar with. This book is about a group of four women who learn that boss is next in line to become CEO, despite rumours that have existed for years about the way he treats women. The “whisper network” of rumours that have spread has always been ignored, but in light of changing attitudes toward sexual harassment, the women have decided that they’ve had enough and set out to ensure that their voices are heard. I tend to enjoy books that focus on office politics, and this one in particular sounds like a great story. This book is due out in early July, and I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen much hype around it given the topic that it addresses. I think that if this story is done well, it could be a very powerful one, and I’m very interested in seeing how the author handles the complexities of the topic. I was also a bit surprised to realize that the author’s previous books have all been YA titles, one of which I even have on my TBR already. This book seems to be quite the departure from her previous books, which have mostly been YA retellings of classic horror stories. This one is definitely a different kind of book, but it is by far the most interesting to me of all the books by this author.
15) The Helpline by Katherine Collette
As soon as I saw this book compared to The Rosie Project and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I knew I had to add it to my list. It is about a woman named Germaine who is shocked to lose her job, and ends up taking a position at City Hall answering calls on the Senior Citizens Helpline despite her poor people skills. When both the mayor and Don Thomas, a national Sudoku champion whom Germaine idolizes, want to close down the senior center, Germaine is happy to help them until she begins to get to know the seniors that live there through their calls to the Helpline, and soon realizes that she’s made a mistake. This book features the kind of eccentric and socially awkward protagonist that seems to be more common recently. I’ve read a few books over the past few years that are along the same lines as this one, and most of them were books that I ended up really loving. It seems like it would be a fun book to read.
16) Stolen Things by RH Herron
This book is an upcoming release out in August, and it was the cover art that somehow first grabbed my attention. It is about a woman named Laurie who is working as a 911 dispatcher, whose husband is the police force’s first Arab American chief, and daughter Jojo has also grown up with the force. When Jojo calls 911, the entire force springs into action to help her. Jojo has no idea how she ended up at the home of a professional football player and activist, whose trainer is found beaten to death, or what happened to her best friend Harper, who was with her earlier that evening. As Jojo starts to look into Harper’s social media to discover what happened, she uncovers secrets about Harper and about the police force that make Jojo and Laurie both question everything, and realize they can only rely on themselves to find out what happened. To be honest, I had to read through the synopsis three or four times to really understand what this book was about, and especially why Laurie is mentioned first when Jojo seems to be the main character. I’m hoping the book itself is a lot less confusing, but it sounds very interesting.