Somehow, I’ve just noticed that the tagline I include in each Stacking the Shelves post notes that it is a weekly meme. I’m not really sure how I never noticed that before! I’m sticking to monthly Stacking the Shelves though, otherwise these posts would be completely overwhelming. This was another month where I felt like I didn’t add too much to my list, so I was surprised to realize that I’ve somehow managed to add 60 books. It is definitely not the highest number of books I’ve ever added in a month, but it was a lot more than I expected. Many of the books I added this time around were because I saw them mentioned by various other blogs or vloggers online, although some were just because of the author name alone.
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) Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland
I can’t even remember where I first saw this book, but it sounds very interesting. I’m fairly certain that I saw it mentioned on Destiny’s blog HowlingLibraries, but I’m having trouble finding exactly where. It is a YA fantasy book due out this October, which is about a “soulwalker” named Kamai who can go into other people’s souls while they sleep. Kamai has always been warned never to open the black door that follows her into every soul, but after a tragedy strikes, she opens it. I was drawn to this book because of the very intriguing cover design and because it was listed as a “dark fantasy” that has court intrigue, both of which really appeal to me. It is also supposed to have several LGBT characters, including a main character who is asexual. It’s only really been in the past couple of years that I started to read a lot of fantasy again, which has led to a massive number of them on my TBR. I’m interested to see more about this one as we get closer to the release date.
2) Troll by D.B. Thorne
This one caught my attention because it fits perfectly with my interest in books involving social media. It is a psychological thriller about a man named Fortune, whose daughter Sophie disappeared in a case that even the police have given up investigating. Fortune takes it upon himself to figure out what happened, and realizes that his daughter was being harassed by an online troll, and starts to suspect that her disappearance is related to this. I love thrillers and especially tend to love anything to do with social media or the internet, so this sounds like a very interesting concept. This may sound a bit silly, but it puts me off a bit that the main character is named Fortune because it is hard for me to process that as a person’s name. I have read a few thrillers that involve social media, but nothing yet that involves trolling directly. In case anyone does not know, a “troll” is a person who intentionally making random and/or controversial comments online with the intent of derailing the discussion and sparking an argument. Essentially, it is provoking someone to get a reaction from them, usually through false information, stupid questions, etc. but it is usually obvious that the person is trolling. In the case of this book, it sounds like the trolling is much more persistent and much darker than the typical case, and it sounds like a very interesting story.
3) Minecraft Volume 1 by Sfe R. Monster and Sarah Graley
Part of the reason I added this to my TBR is because I love Minecraft, and another part is because I love Sarah Graley’s comics. This is not the kind of book that would usually interest me very much, since I rarely read middle grade, but I could’t resist adding it when I saw it on HowlingLibraries (linked above). I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a huge gamer, but Minecraft is important to me because it is one of the few games that my boyfriend and I both like and play together. We actually haven’t played in a while, but it is a fun game. This book is about a boy named Tyler whose family is moving away, and wants to stay connected to his best friends through playing Minecraft. This is a very short book, with only 88 pages, and it is due out this June. I wouldn’t necessarily say that is very high on my TBR list, but I think it will be a lot of fun to read because of my interest in the game itself.
4) Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom by Terry Blas, Molly Muldoon and Matthew Seely
I think at this point I need to credit Destiny for a good chunk of the books that I added this month, since I’m realizing now that many of them were added after seeing them on her blog, so thank you! This is a graphic novel about a group of young detectives who are working on solving a murder mystery while at a weight-loss camp. The story focuses on two teenage boys and two teenage girls who are trying to figure out who is responsible for the death of a favourite counselor, with the only clue pointing to another staff member as the killer! I used to love reading Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children, and those kinds of mysteries, so it might be fun to try something along those lines again again. I was a little worried that the book was portray the camp or the characters in a stereotypical way, but so far every review I have seen have gone out of their way to mention that the representation is very well done. This book has been out for a little over a year, and I’d never heard of it until recently, but it sounds like a lot of fun to read!
5) Camp by Kayla Miller
Again, this is a book that is a bit outside my comfort zone. I am well outside the target age range, but this one caught my attention because the style reminded me of Raina Telgemeier, whose books I tend to enjoy. I actually didn’t realize that this was the second story featuring Olive, so I’ve also just added the first book Click as well. This book specifically is about Olive’s friend Willow, who is having trouble making new friends at the camp that the girls are both going to. Willow decides to latch onto Olive instead, which causes her to feel smothered. When I was younger, I hated going to camp because I never knew anyone there, and I only ever went to day camp. It always seemed like everyone else came there with built-in friend groups already made, and there was no room to add anyone else. I was also incredibly shy and socially anxious, so I’m sure I didn’t exactly seem comfortable talking to anyone either. I think it’s great to see stories like this because I’m sure there are many other kids who are struggling with the same kinds of completely normal experiences. I would have loved to see a character going through the same thing as me when I was going to camp.
6) The After Wife by Cass Hunter
This book drew me in both because of the intriguing cover, and because of the comparisons to The Time Traveller’s Wife and Me Before You, which are two of my favourite books. It is about a couple named Rachel and Aidan, who expected to be together forever. When Rachel dies, she leaves behind her life’s work which is called iRachel, which from what I can gather is some kind of robot with AI that she designed to take her place. The story is told from the perspectives of Rachel, Aidan, their teenage daughter Chloe, Rachel’s lab partner, and Aidan’s mother. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, but this sounds like something that would be right up my alley. It also reminds me a little of Bicentennial Man, which is one of my favourite movies. I was surprised to realize that this book has been out for just over a year already, since I hadn’t heard of it at all until recently. I can’t even remember where I first saw this one, but it really sounds like something I will love.
7) The Friend Who Lied by Rachel Amphlett
I’ve been bombarded with this book recently through Facebook advertisements, but I’m not sure I would have heard about it otherwise, so I guess it was worth it. It is about a woman named Lisa, whose health has been quickly deteriorating. As one last group activity with some friends, she decides to go to an escape room. Regaining consciousness in the hospital two days later, Lisa learns that one of her friends has died, and saved her life in the process. She soon realizes that one of her friends may be hiding a secret, and someone is determined to make sure it doesn’t get out. I’m mostly curious about it because it has been compared to Friend Request by Laura Marshall, which I read last year, although I don’t necessarily see an obvious connection between the two books. Given how many thrillers I have on my TBR in general, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be getting to this one, but I’m definitely interested in finding out a bit more about it when it comes out next month.
8) To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
I have no idea how I ended up with so many camp-themed books on my TBR this month! This one is about two 12-year-olds, Avery and Bett, who are both being raised by single dads who are gay. When their dads fall in love with each other, Bett and Avery are sent to the same sleepover camp, with the hope that they will become friends and eventually sisters. The Parent Trap (the Hayley Mills version, not the Lindsay Lohan one) was always one of my favourite movies, and this book seems to be along the same lines. The book is told in the form of e-mails between Bett and Avery, and I tend to enjoy books that are written in this style. It seems like it could be a lot of fun to read. Thinking about it now, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Parent Trap type of story in a book, and I’m not entirely sure how well it will work in this format. I still think it is worth a try though, and hopefully it is just as fun as the movie! I’ve heard quite a bit about Meg Wolitzer as an author but never had much interest in any of her books, although I don’t have any of her other books on my TBR. To be fair though, I’m sure a middle grade camp story is not the best way to judge whether I might be interested in any of her other books.
9) Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough
I’ve been hearing quite a bit about this book very recently, even though it was first published about a year ago. It is an Australian YA book, so I’d imagine the recent buzz about it is because it’s probably been re-released elsewhere. It is about two teenage girls, Harriet and Will, who create an imaginary student, Amelia Westlake, to try and expose their swim coach’s inappropriate behaviour. As Amelia starts to attract more attention, it calls into question how long the girls will be able to keep it a secret — as well as the feelings that are starting to develop between them. There are definitely starting to be a lot more books that tackle feminist topics and social injustices, with young people taking it upon themselves to fight back and call attention to the issues. I think this book has a very interesting concept and I’m especially interested to see how the girls manage to create a completely fictional student at their school without anyone realizing that she isn’t real, but I’ve also seen some pretty mixed reviews overall. It interests me enough to try it for myself though, so hopefully I enjoy it as much as many of the reviewers have.
10) Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak
I found this book while looking for new and upcoming thrillers. It is about two best friends, Stella and Violet, who have known each other since college. After graduation, Violet moves to New York and works her way up in a cable news network, where she is glad to be finally out of Stella’s shadow. She does very well, until Stella decides to use her connections and charm to get hired at the same network, and soon becomes the face of the channel, getting all the credit for the stories that Violet produces. With both women striving for success, they both need to decide how far they will go to get there, even if it is at their friend’s expense. This sounds like such a fascinating, character-driven thriller, which is exactly the kind of story I tend to enjoy. It reminds me a little of Jessica Knoll’s The Favourite Sister, which is one of my favourite books so far this year. This book just came out last week, but I’m already looking forward to reading it at some point!
11) The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Waters
This book is a bit outside my comfort zone since it is tagged as horror, but I’m willing to give it a try. It is about a woman named Heather, who used to be part of the Dead Girls Club with her friends in the early 90s, due to their obsession with the macabre. Her best friend, Becca, insists that the Red Lady, a vengeful witch, is real and that she could prove it, which ultimately leads to Becca’s death. Thirty years later, Heather has done her best to put it all behind her, until a necklace suddenly shows up in the mail, and it is one that she has not seen since the night Becca died. This book sounds so spooky and I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to handle reading it without freaking myself out! I rarely (if ever) read horror because they creep me out so easily, but there are a few that catch my attention enough to seem worthwhile. This one seems more along the lines of the thrillers that I tend to enjoy than a true horror story, although there may be elements of both. It is not out until December of this year though, so it will be quite a while before I can try it.
12) All Her Secrets by Sue Watson
I don’t know why I always seem to be drawn to thrillers that have some kind of creepy view of a house on the cover, but they always seem to catch my attention. This book is about a woman named Lucy who makes friends with her neighbour, Amber, who is a minor celebrity due to being the town’s weather girl on the news. When Amber starts acting strangely, she confides in Lucy that she is being threatened and wants to stay at Lucy’s house until things calm down, but Lucy is not sure how much she can trust her new friend. I’ve seen a few complaints in the reviews so far that none of the characters are very likable, but otherwise the early reviews for this one have been excellent. It was also a bit surprising to realize that this book is such a departure from Sue Watson’s usual style. Upon looking her up to see if she had written anything else, I saw a long list of contemporary romances and women’s fiction, many of which seem to be Christmas (and cake) themed. This one is definitely very different, although to be fair, I haven’t read any of her other books either so it shouldn’t matter.
13) The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin
I noticed this book on Goodreads last week, and immediately added it to my TBR. It is about a woman named Claire who is married to a man to a man, Byron, whose first wife has disappeared in a suspected suicide although her body was never found. The Goodreads synopsis itself intrigued me because it is either a snippet from the book itself, or at least written in the form of one, with Claire picking up the phone only to hear a woman that she suspects might be Colleen, the wife who was presumed dead. Claire becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened. One of the things that really struck me about this book as I was looking through reviews (carefully, to avoid any spoilers) was how much the story seemed to resemble Rebecca. Both books are about a young second wife who feel that they are living in the shadow of the wife who came before them. This book comes out in early June, and I’ve already entered a Goodreads giveaway for it, even though I never seem to win, but I’m very excited to read it. I’m not sure yet if I’ll be able to fit it into my plans for this year, but if not, it may be high on the list for next year.
14) The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
I was surprised to come across this one on Goodreads because I had no idea this author duo was releasing another book yet. I have only read one of their books so far, but have another planned for this year and lots more on my TBR. The premise of this one seems a bit weird. It is about a woman named Lila Bennett whose life has literally been split in two by her choices. In one life, she is hostage forced to face what she’s done, otherwise she will be killed. In the other, she manages to get away but is hunted by someone who is determined to expose all of her secrets, taking down her marriage and her career in the process. In order to figure out who is behind all of this, Lila must make a list of everyone she has wronged and decide which parts of her life are even worth saving. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about having the same character living out two alternate lives, since I’m a little worried it will get confusing but it also sounds very intriguing.
15) Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers
This is another book that just came out last week, and that I hadn’t really heard of until very recently. It focuses on Alice and Daphne, who meet at the Waisted program which promises fast results, if the women agree to be part of a documentary series, along with the five other women in the program. The women soon realize that the filmmakers are exploitative and decide to fight back. I’m a little worried about some of the reviews so far which suggest that the representation isn’t the best, but I’ve also seen many comments suggesting that the book brings up some great points about body image and self-acceptance. Given that the book deals with an exploitative documentary, I wonder if some of the more potentially problematic elements are due to the negative attitudes of the filmmakers, in which case it makes sense as part of the story. I will have to try this one to find out for myself. As a side note, I was surprised to realize that I have two other books by this author already on my TBR, both of which have been on my TBR for several years already!