Top 10 Tuesdays: Freebie — 2019 Releases That I Didn’t Get To

I’m not sure it’s necessarily accurate to call these books that I didn’t get to, since none of them were actually in my plans for this year’s challenges, but they are all books that were released this year that I’m excited for! In the past couple of years, I’ve become a lot better about keeping up-to-date with some of the most anticipated books of the year, although I’m often about a year behind on them. I made it a goal this year to try and read several newer releases, and while I think I’ve done that overall, it would be impossible to try and keep up with every new book that I want to read! When I make my plans for the next year, there are usually a bunch of books that jump out at me as something I want to read soon, but as the years go on, I often realize that I’ve missed some. Usually, this is because the book comes out quite a bit later in the year and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get them in time. I thought this topic would be a fun new way to simultaneously look back at the year, and also think ahead a bit to next year without giving any spoilers yet about my upcoming goals or plans! I’m not sure if any of these books will ultimately make it into my 2020 plans, but they are all books that I’m very interested in picking up in the future.

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) The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

38899788Somehow, I completely forgot about this book! I knew that it was due out this year, but forgot about it completely until I looked at my Goodreads list again for 2019 releases. It’s probably because I prioritized The Last Mrs. Parrish this year, so that overshadowed a second book by the same author. This book is about a woman, Dr. Kate English, who is an heiress with a wonderful husband and daughter and a beautiful home, but her life changes when her mother is found brutally murdered. Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire, who rushes to the funeral to be there for her, despite years of distance. That night, Kate receives an anonymous threatening text, and Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, alienating Kate’s friends and family in the process. It seems that the killer is likely someone Kate knows, and that she is next on their list. I really enjoyed The Last Mrs. Parrish and would love to read more by this author duo, but I’m a bit suspicious of the fact that I’ve heard next to nothing about this one. The reviews on Goodreads aren’t great either, but I’ll have to try it and see for myself.

2) I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

39863431I have never read any of Alice Feeney’s books, but my mom recently read one and really enjoyed it. I’m fairly certain it was this one that she read, but I’m also partly convinced that it was Sometimes I Lie. This book is about a well-known actress named Aimee Sinclair, who comes home one day to find her husband’s phone and wallet on the table, and he is nowhere to be found, after a huge fight the previous night. When Aimee tries to go for coffee the following day, her credit card is denied and her bank tells her that her account was emptied — and they claim that she herself has done it. Interspersed with her story is that of a young girl who wandered away from home. I’m not entirely sure how the two stories fit together, but it definitely sounds like something I would be interested in. Like many thrillers, the reviews have been very mixed, including two very negative reviews from two of my most trusted reviewers, but I am still curious to try this one.

3) Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

42091291. sy475 Ian McEwan has become one of those authors that I really need to be in the mood for in order to pick up one of his books, and I was especially hesitant with this one because I rarely read sci-fi. This one is set in London in the 1980s, about a man named Charlie who has fallen in love with his upstairs neighbour, Miranda. Charlie has spent his inheritance on Adam, one of 24 highly developed robot humans, and this robot becomes central to his relationship with Miranda. Although I don’t read a ton of sci-fi, the stories that I am most interested in tend to be those about androids and the differences between humans and robots. I was interested in this one because the Adam character reminds me a bit of Data on Star Trek, and the story also reminds me a bit of Bicentennial Man, which is one of my favourite movies. Given how much we now rely on technology and the prospects of more advanced artificial intelligence in the future, the whole premise of this story sounds fascinating, as long as I have the patience for Ian McEwan’s writing.

4) The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

41150483I had The Other Woman by Sandie Jones on my list for this year, but doubt I’ll be getting to it before the end of the year. Even though thrillers are generally standalones, I always seem to want to read them in publication order for some reason. This book is about a woman named Alice, who runs a successful business with her second husband, Nathan. When she starts to find her husband acting differently, Alice turns to her best friend Beth for support but soon starts to question whether her friend can really be trusted. On the surface, this book sounds a bit predictable, but based on the reviews I’ve seen, there seems to be a lot more to it than I expect. I find it really difficult in general to get a good sense of how a thriller might be since the synopsis for most of them are so vague. On the other hand, I also prefer to go into them knowing as little as possible, because it’s way too easy to spoil myself for the twists. That happened to me a few times this year already, and it was very frustrating! I think part of the reason I’d forgotten about this book is because the synopsis was so vague, but I’m definitely looking forward to trying at least one by this author.

5) The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed

42201421This is one that only recently became very exciting for me, after I read The Nowhere Girls by this author, even though this one is completely different. This book is about a boy named Billy and a girl named Lydia, who have both lost their mother and both live on the wrong side of the tracks. When their lives collide, they both begin to question their outlook, and at the same time, weird things start to happen around them. This book is a bit on the longer side for a YA contemporary, with around 460 pages, and it sounds like a very weird kind of story. I’m always a bit hesitant when it comes to anything with magical realism. I do tend to enjoy it most of the time, but it can also really throw me off a story when it is not done well. This is a pretty big departure from The Nowhere Girls, but I really loved Amy Reed’s writing style in that one, so I’m curious to see how she’d tackle a different genre. It was also one that I was drawn to because I found the cover art pretty interesting. It’s not necessarily at the top of my list right now, but I think I could really like this.

6) I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

43352274I keep coming back to this one because the title just seems so intriguing. It reminds me a bit of They Both Die at the End. This book is about two girls, Lena and Campbell, who both attend a Friday night football game that devolves into chaos due to a violent incident, which unexpectedly forces them into each other’s lives. This book has only been out since August, so it doesn’t seem to have too much attention overall yet , but it is another one where I’ve seen some extremely mixed reviews. I’ve seen everything from comparisons to The Hate U Give, to comments of problematic content. It is also a very short book, at barely 250 pages, which is quite a bit shorter than I’d usually be interested in since that rarely gives enough room to fully develop the story or the characters. However, it is a debut for this author duo, and it sounds like a pretty interesting concept. For some reason, it is one of a handful of books that really sticks out to me when I look at my Goodreads list, so it might be one that I end up reading sooner rather than later.

7) The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

38097294I read Little & Lion by this author last year, and I enjoyed it although nowhere near as much as I expected to. I missed her 2018 book, Finding Yvonne, which is also on my TBR to pick up eventually. This book is her 2019 release, about a girl named Dove (known as Birdie) who works hard to follow her parents’ expectations, until she falls for a boy that she knows her parents would never approve of due to his troubled past. When her estranged aunt returns to town and moves in with Birdie’s family, after years in and out of treatment for addiction, Birdie begins to get to know Aunt Carlene and the boy she likes, causing her to start to want more freedom. I liked Brandy Colbert’s writing for the most part in Little & Lion, so I’ve been looking forward to trying more of her books. I’m not often too interested in stories that involve a character dealing with addiction, but this one sounds like it could be a great one because it is so character-driven. I’m definitely looking forward to trying more of Brandy Colbert’s books in general, and this one might be a great place to start.

8) I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

43699608. sy475 I saw another book earlier this year which had a very similar cover, and I kept getting the two of them confused! This is another one that I’ve only recently become very interested in, after seeing several vloggers talk about it since they all received it in a book box. This book is about several high school students who hear that the Earth might end in 7 days, after it makes contact with another planet called Alma. Jesse doesn’t care if the world ends since life has consistently been a series of struggles for him anyway. Cate is desperate to use her remaining time to find the father she never knew, and Adeem is struggling to forgive his sister for leaving, even though he knows this week might be his lats chance. It took me a while to actually differentiate this one from We Are Lost and Found, because I somehow found the covers very similar, and both are about three teens trying to come to terms with their futures. I’m glad I saw this one so often lately on so many vlog channels, because it really got me interested in trying it!

9) Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

36596583. sy475 I really wanted to read American Panda this year, but there’s only a slight chance that I’ll be able to squeeze it in. This book is Gloria Chao’s latest release, which just came out mid-October, and focuses on a teenage girl named Ali who is the only Asian person at her school, where she tries to fit in with her classmates while ignoring the seemingly unintentional racism from staff and students. When a new student, who is also Taiwanese, arrives at the school, Ali is hesitant since everyone expects the two Asian kids to be together, but she and Chase soon connect. As soon as Ali’s mother finds out about their relationship, however, she forces Ali to end it, which leads her to dig into her family’s past to unearth the reasons for her mother’s disapproval. I keep getting drawn to this one lately because of the cover art, although I rarely like covers with people on them for some reason. I also think this sounds like a very interesting story, and I love anything that involves family dynamics. I’d love to be able to fit this one into my reading challenges next year!

10) Jackpot by Nic Stone

43744299I’ve read both of Nic Stone’s previous YA books so far, and I’ve really enjoyed them both. This one is her latest release, published in October, about a high school senior named Rico who works after school at a cashier at a gas station, before rushing home to take care of her brother every day. When Rico sells a lottery ticket that wins the jackpot, she thinks it’s the opportunity she’s been looking for to change her luck, and teams up with wealthy classmate Zan to find the person who has the ticket, but has not yet claimed the prize. This sounds like such an unique and interesting premise for a story, and I’m very curious to see how this one plays out! There seem to be a few more books lately that go into issues of wealth and class, and I’d be very interested to see how Nic Stone tackles it, especially given the strength of her debut, Dear Martin. I tend to really enjoy her writing style, and I like that she tackles stories that are a bit different from the typical YA contemporary, so I’m looking forward to trying this one too.


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