Top 5 Wednesdays: TBR Benchwarmers (#8)

I really don’t know what I was looking for when I added books to my TBR at the beginning of 2016, since it is such a strange mix. The very first set I added (some of which are mentioned in last week’s post) were mostly education/teaching-related books, many of which were nonfiction. As I moved on to the next page, it is mostly Sarah Dessen and other YA books that seem to fall on the younger end of the spectrum. I love YA in general, but I do tend to find there are some books that seem to skew a bit toward a younger audience (ie. Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han), and others that seem to be aimed more toward older audiences. That’s not to say that I can’t enjoy or won’t read both kinds, because I can and I do, but it was a bit weird to notice so many clustered together. I must have been specifically looking for YA at the time.

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) Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

204297I know very little about this book and can’t even remember where I found it, considering it was published back in 2005. It is about a boy named Scott who is starting high school, and his mother has recently announced that she is pregnant. Scott decides to take what he learns about surviving high school and write a survival manual for his new sibling, while also trying to capture the attention of his classmate Julia. Right off the bat, this book reminds me of the TV series Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, which was a bizarre but fun show about three friends putting together a guide to help people survive a variety of common school problems. I was also very surprised to see that this book has a sequel that was published a full 10 years after this one, about Scott’s sophomore year. My initial impression when I saw this one on my TBR just now was that I wasn’t sure it would interest me much anymore since it is narrated by such a young teen, but looking at a preview of it changed my mind. It looks like this could be a lot of fun to read, and worth a try at least.

2) November 9 by Colleen Hoover

25111004. sy475 I think I specifically added this one to my TBR because I had a challenge prompt that required a date or time in the title, but I ended up reading a different book instead. I have several of Colleen Hoover’s books on my TBR even though I’ve never read any, especially because I keep seeing such mixed reviews for them. This book is about a woman named Fallon who meets an aspiring writer named Ben the day before she moves across the country. Their attraction leads them to spend her last day in the city together, and her life becomes the inspiration Ben needs for his book. Over time, they continue to meet on the same day every year, until Fallon begins to question whether Ben has been telling her the truth. I keep putting off reading this one because I’ve seen some very negative reviews for it from several reviewers that I follow, and my taste is usually quite similar to theirs. The synopsis interests me enough that I think it may still be worth a try, but it’s become fairly low on my priority list.

3) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

51737Honestly, I could have listed just about any Sarah Dessen book since I added 7 of them to my TBR the same day, beginning with her most recent release (at the time), Saint Anything. I was never a huge fan of Sarah Dessen even when I was in her target age group, although I did really like Dreamland. That was the only book of hers that I distinctly remember reading, although it’s possible that I’ve read a few others. The Truth About Forever seems vaguely familiar, but I don’t think I’ve ever read it. It is about a girl named Macy who is bored over the summer because her boyfriend is away at camp, but is also grieving the traumatic loss of her father. Macy is prepared for a long summer of prepping for the SATs, working at the library, and spending time with her mother. When her summer takes an unexpected turn, Macy finds hserlf coming out of her shell, especially when she meets a new boy named Wes. Even though I think I may have outgrown these books a bit, they still interest me enough to give them a chance. It helps that I enjoyed the one book of Sarah Dessen’s that I have read, so hopefully I will get around to the rest eventually.

4) Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

15937108Speaking of being outside the target age range, I was a bit surprised to find a middle grade book on my TBR since it is a genre that I read very rarely. This book is about a 12-year-old girl named Willow who is obsessed with diagnosing medical conditions and is comforted by counting by 7s. Willow is also adopted, and her world is turned upside down when her adoptive parents are both killed in a car crash. The book focuses on the aftermath of this for Willow, as she is left to build a new life for herself, with others that are brought together by the accident. This seems like quite an intense storyline for a middle grade book! I’m very interested in this one because I tend to like books where the main character is a bit unusual, like Willow. It is a book that I have heard about quite a few times over the years, and it has also received a lot of award nominations. I’m not sure how soon I’ll be getting to this one, but it sounds like it could be great.

5) But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

9541845This is another book that I haven’t been able to read because my library doesn’t have it. It is about a high school senior named Ann who is dating Connor, and believes she is the only person who can “heal” him, only to find herself in an abusive relationship. The story is told in reverse order, tracing back through their relationship to show how it developed and why Ann stayed with him. When I was younger, I went through a phase where pretty much all that I was reading were “issues books,” especially the Beatrice Sparks series of diaries supposedly by anonymous teenagers. This seems like exactly the kind of book I would have picked up at that time, although it’s been a while since I’ve read this kind of realistic fiction, at least in something that wasn’t a thriller. I stopped picking up these kinds of “issues books” for a while because they were all starting to feel a bit similar, but it’s been such a long time by now that I think this might interest me, if I can actually find a copy.

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