Last month, I was surprised to realize that, for once, I hadn’t added a ton of books to my TBR. I expected that this month would be mostly the same, since I thought I’d already added all the upcoming releases that I was excited for. Somehow, I still ended up adding 111 new books, and I think about half of them are new releases. The unintentional theme this month seemed to be finding new books by authors that I’ve either read only once before, or that I’ve had repeatedly on my TBR without trying yet. My list currently stands at a completely overwhelming 3222 books! It should be fun to start planning for next year’s reading challenges with so many books to choose from, and I would hope that I could find something for every prompt from among what’s already on there.
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) Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson
I swear I had this book on my TBR already, and it is one of those ones that ended up as a duplicate because of Goodreads giveaways. If that’s the case though, I must have deleted the previous one, since I now can’t find it. In any case, I was first drawn to this book because I absolutely loved the cover art. It is about a boy named Adam, who is dealing with the death of his oldest brother, and a girl named Jolene, who is an aspiring director with divorced parents. With the two of them spending every other weekend in the same apartment building, they soon strike up an unlikely friendship, and start to realize that their weekends together have become the best parts of their lives. When one of their lives finally starts to piece back together while the other’s spirals further out of control, they struggle with the idea of falling in love after seeing the pain it’s caused everyone around them. To be honest, I’d mostly forgotten what this book was about, but now that I’ve seen the synopsis again, it’s moved way up on my list for next year! Divorce and death of a family member both tend to be a bit overused in YA and this book has both, but it sounds like an adorable story.
2) The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
I think I need to add more Christina Lauren books to my list for next year. I’ve only ever read one (Autoboyography), and hope to read at least one more by the end of this year, but all of their standalones are on my list! This book is their upcoming 2020 release, about a woman named Carey who works for home design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp, who hate each other but are on the verge of a huge career breakthrough. She is set to go on a book tour with the Tripps, along with James McCann, hired to be an engineer and unhappy about the prospect of having to tour. The two of them decide to work together to keep the struggling couple together for the few weeks of their tour, and soon realize they may have the chance of building something more together. I’m not sure if this is my highest priority Christina Lauren book to try, but they all sound so fun! I’m definitely planning to incorporate at least one of theirs into my challenges for next year.
3) If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
This is another author that I’ve had on my TBR for ages, but I haven’t read any of her books yet! This one is actually coming out in March, around the same time as the Christina Lauren book above. It is about a woman named Laurie who is devastated when her partner of more than a decade suddenly ends things, and it’s especially difficult since they work at the same law firm and will still see each other every day. When a chance encounter with the office’s player, Jamie, happens in a broken-down elevator, Laurie realizes that it is the perfect opportunity. She wants to give the rumour mill something other than her ex’s pregnant new girlfriend to talk about, and Jamie needs a serious girlfriend to impress the bosses. The two of them decided to fake a relationship and let the whole thing play out on social media, and of course, soon start to develop real feelings for each other. This book reminds me a bit of a cross between The Hating Game and The Wedding Date, and it has several of the tropes that I love! This is another author that I think I should try next year, and this might be the book to start with.
4) The Kissing Game by Marie Harte
I found and added this book, among several other contemporary romances, on a list of upcoming releases with illustrated covers. This one is about a woman named Rena who is a diehard romantic, interested in a man named Axel, who is a regular at the dive bar where she works. As Valentine’s Day approaches, and with no signs of any interest on his part, Rena is about ready to give up on Axel. Meanwhile, Axel has been crushing on her but has no idea how to show her how he feels, and decides he has one last chance to win her over. This book is due out just before Valentine’s Day, and not too much information seems to be available about it yet. It’s definitely not at the top of my list right now, but I’m interested enough to keep it on my TBR to find out more as the information becomes available. The synopsis on its own sounds mildly interesting, although it could also fall quite a bit into the frustrating side of the miscommunication trope.
5) When I Find You by Emma Curtis
I found this one while browsing for thrillers on Goodreads, and I’m pretty sure I was drawn to this one because it has a cover that is along the lines of the creepy house theme that I always seem to like. This one is about a woman named Laura who takes up after her office Christmas party with a man’s shirt on the floor, and no memory of what happened. Laura also suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness), which means she is unable to remember and identify people’s faces. She knows that the man she spent time with at the party was wearing a pink shirt, but the shirt beside her is blue. Laura must now go to work every day and face the man who seemed to have taken advantage of her, with no way to know who it was. I think the prosopagnosia angle could create a unique angle for a thriller, and it is definitely not something that I’ve seen often in books. The story is narrated from the perspectives of Laura, as she tries to track down the man, and her boss, Rebecca, the only person at work who knows of her face-blindness. This sounds like it has potential to be a great thriller, and I’m interested in giving it a try at some point.
6) In the Role of Brie Hutchins by Nicole Melleby
I’m a little on the fence about this one since it is tagged as middle grade, and I’m definitely not the target audience. It is about an middle school student named Brie who wants to convince her parents to let her go to a performing arts high school. When her mom walks in on her looking at some potentially inappropriate pictures of her favourite actress, Brie panics and blurts out that she has been chosen to take part in a ceremony at her Catholic school. Not only has Brie not been chosen, but she stands little chance of getting the role because it always goes to a top student. Brie decides to turn to Kennedy, the girl expected to participate in the ceremony, and Brie soon realizes that she may have feelings for Kennedy. It’s rare that I pick up a middle grade book, aside from graphic novels, but this one sounds like it has potential. I’m especially interested in seeing how the Catholic school setting plays a role. I can definitely see myself reading this at some point, but I wouldn’t say it’s near the top of my list just yet.
7) The Betrothed by Keira Cass
I read The Selection series a couple of years ago because I’d seen so much hype for it, and I really enjoyed it, although it definitely felt like more of a guilty pleasure. I liked Kiera Cass’s writing enough to be interested in giving something else she writes a chance, so I was excited to see this upcoming release mentioned on Goodreads. This book is not due out until next May, so there is not too much detail about it yet. It is about a woman named Hollis who has captured the heart of the king, only to realize that being queen might not be what she wants after all. She soon meets a commoner with a strange power, and finds that the future she wants is not what she ever thought. At first glance, this book does not seem too far off The Selection. Both involve girls who are chosen to marry a member of the royal family, but it sounds like it could be interesting. This book is supposed to be the first in a duology, and I’m very interested in finding out more about it as we get closer to the release date.
8) The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown
I saw this one mentioned very recently on the Youtube channel ProblemsOfABookNerd, and immediately thought it sounded very interesting. This is another middle grade book,about a girl named Iris who sneaks into the woods with her best friend, Daniel, where they discover a gravestone of a young girl. As soon as the grave is discovered, strange things start happening to Iris and she finds herself pulled back the woods and the grave. Iris and Daniel decide to investigate the area as part of a school project to figure out what’s happening, and soon learn that Avery’s grave is part of a forgotten cemetery for black people that existed at a time when white and black people were segregated, even in death. As the two of them learn more about their town’s history, they are determined to give Avery and the others buried there the respect they deserve. However, they have also awakened an angry ghost who is not satisfied with their plans and is determined to find herself a permanent best friend. This book sounds really creepy for a children’s story, and I also think it is a unique and interesting way to introduce the topic of segregation and racism. I’m not quite sure how I’ll feel about it since it’s a middle grade level story, but I’d like to give it a try.
9) How Far We Fell by Jane Shelmit
Another addition to my “creepy house covers” habit! I bought another of Jane Shelmit’s thrillers from Book Outlet, which, ironically enough also had a creepy house cover, but have not read it yet. This is her 2018 release, which I somehow didn’t hear of until this month. It is about a woman named Beth, who is married to Albie, a man who seems to have given her the perfect life and the chance to leave her past behind. Unbeknownst to him, Beth had an affair a year ago with Ted, the boss who has been helping to boost Albie’s career, but now that the affair is ending, things are starting to fall apart. Beth soon sees an opportunity to support her husband’s ambitions and satisfy her own desire for revenge, while keeping both her marriage and her secret safe. This definitely seems a bit different from most of the other thrillers that I’ve read, but it sounds like a very interesting premise. Like many thrillers, this one seems to have incredibly mixed reviews, and I’m especially intrigued because I’ve seen it described as “a modern Macbeth.”
10) Offline by Kealan Patrick Burke
I found this book through a post on Destiny’s blog Howling Libraries, and it immediately caught my attention because of the social media theme, even though it is also horror. This book is written in the form of a true crime case presented as Facebook messages, which seems to center on the dangers of online communication. I was a bit surprised to realize that this book is less than 50 pages, which is usually enough to put me off since I prefer more room for a story to develop. I think this one could be very interesting to read, since it seems to be along the lines of a book like You by Caroline Kepnes. Social media provides such a great backdrop for a thriller, and I’m especially intrigued to see how this one plays out considering it is so short. I also tend to enjoy books that are told in some kind of unusual format, so that was another reason to add it to my TBR. I have never read anything by this author before, and horror is a genre in general that I tend to stay away from, but this one seems just close enough to my comfort zone that I might be able to manage it.
11) In My Mother’s Name by Laura Elliot
I’ve read one book by this author so far, with many more on my TBR already. This book was just released last week, and it is about a woman named Adele who has just returned to the last town where her mother, Marianne, was seen alive, after finding a diary that reveals a disturbing secret about her past. Adele is determined to find the men involved and bring them to justice, as well as find out what happened at the Mother and Baby home run by a self-proclaimed religious group. Her return to the town stirs up a lot of memories and secrets, and Adele must find a way to prove that her mother was telling the truth. This sounds like a very intriguing story, and I was glad to see it come up on my news feed. To be honest, I don’t remember very much about the one book by this author that I read, but I do remember that I really enjoyed it, and immediately added the rest of her books to my TBR. I’m definitely interested in trying this one.
12) The New Husband by D.J. Palmer
I already have D.J. Palmer’s Saving Meghan pretty high on my priority list for next year, so I was excited to see another book by the author come up on Goodreads. This one is about a woman named Nina whose husband, Glen, seems to have been living a double life before he disappeared and was presumed dead. A year and a half after the accident, Nina has a chance encounter with her daughter’s teacher and believes she has the chance to find love again. Her son, Connor, welcomes this new man, but her daughter Maggie sees a much darker side to him. Nina is committed to moving forward with her life and resuming her career, but she must first make sure she is making the right choice with her new partner and soon uncovers a shocking truth. I have an idea already in mind of what one of the twists is likely to be, but I’m very intrigued to try this book to find out if I’m right since it seems like such an obvious choice. This sounds like exactly the kind of thriller I tend to enjoy, so there’s a chance that both of D.J. Palmer’s books might make my list for next year.
13) The Good Nieghbours by Kiersten Modglin
You can probably guess by now what first drew me to this book. I have no idea why these kinds of covers have become such a pattern for me! This book is about a couple named Bryant and Harper, who move to Lancaster Mills, and are shocked to find that their first encounter with their neighbours, Jason and Tori, is not the warm welcome they expected. Intrigued by the people living on their street, they soon realize that everyone has secrets and digging into them might be dangerous. The Goodreads synopsis for this one is frustratingly vague, even for a thriller, but it sounds intriguing. I’ve read a few thrillers that are based around creepy neighbours, and have many more on my TBR, so this seems like something I’m likely to enjoy. It reminds me a bit of The Magpies by Mark Edwards, which I enjoyed. This book has been out since June of this year, but does not seem to be very well-known yet. I’m not sure how high priority this one will be for me yet, but it is something that I’d like to read eventually.
14) I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson
I heard about this book just a few days ago on either a blog or vlog that I was looking at, but I can’t remember whose it was! I was immediately intrigued by premise. It is about a teenage girl named Jemma who has severe cerebral palsy, which impacts her ability to communicate and move. When someone reveals to Jemma a dark secret, they assume that it is safe because she can’t speak, until new technology becomes available that gives her the ability to communicate and share all that she knows. Now able to identify the killer, it seems to be only a matter of time before they act again, especially to make sure that their secret remains safe. As someone who works with adults with special needs, some of whom have limited abilities to communicate, I find this whole premise fascinating. It is very common for people to assume that individuals who can’t speak also don’t understand what is said to them or, as seems to be Jemma’s case, that you can say anything because it “doesn’t matter.” I’m actually amazed that I haven’t seen this as a thriller before, and I’m very interested in reading it! I’m a tiny bit put off by the fact that it is a YA thriller though, since I tend not to enjoy those quite as much, but it’s still unique enough that I think it will be worth trying.
15) Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
I think Riley Sager will also end up on my priority list for next year. I have all of his books on my TBR, yet have never read any of them. This book is his upcoming new thriller, due out in July 2020. It is about a woman named Maggie, who lived with her parents in an apparently haunted house for there weeks as a child before fleeing the building. Their entire experience was captured in a book written by her father, Ewan, which became a worldwide phenomenon. Now a restorer of old homes, Maggie has decided she does not believe any of her father’s writing, and sets out the renovate the “haunted” house of her childhood after inheriting it from her father’s estate. However, she soon discovers that people of the small town are upset about her father’s book and the level of attention it brought to the town, and the house itself seems to have a dark history that leads Maggie to question whether her father’s writing was more true than she believed. I think of all of Riley Sager’s books, this is the one that seems most interesting, although I would like to try all of them. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get a copy of this one quickly enough to read it next year, unless I decide to buy it myself, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.
16) You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
Katie Cotugno has not quite made it onto my list of authors that I need to try already, but she probably comes pretty close considering I have the majority of her books on my TBR. The main reason I haven’t picked any of hers up yet is because I’m rarely interested in a straightforward YA romance, which is what her books mostly seem to be. This one is about a girl named Meg who thinks she has her future perfectly set up, with a supportive boyfriend, and plans to go to the same college as her best friend. While working at a call center to register voters, Meg unexpectedly connects with Colby, who immediately winds her up. Colby is stuck in a dead-end job and is struggling to cope with a family tragedy, and wants nothing to do with Meg or the political process. However, their phone conversation sparks a series of calls that turn into a long-distance friendship and maybe something more. I think of all of Katie Cotugno’s books, this is the one I’d be most likely to try first, although I’m not thrilled about the potential for cheating involved since Meg already has a boyfriend. I love books that involve online or long-distance friendships, so that might be enough to draw me to try this one.