Stacking the Shelves (#27)

This was another relatively slow month in terms of adding new books, with 54 new books added to my shelf. Many of the books were added because of most anticipated lists and there were also that several that came up by reading or watching other people’s “Best of” lists from 2019. I was also very excited to see quite a few new books by authors I’ve already read and enjoyed, many of whom surprised me with announcements of new books! My TBR list still stands at a completely overwhelming 3381 books! Even though this is already an extremely long-term goal to read them all, I still love to look for new books to add, and hope to find a lot more this year!

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) Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest

46223352I found this book on a list of new and upcoming YA releases for the year, and to be honest, I was a little on the fence about adding it. This book is about an 18-year-old girl named Evie who is on track to be Hollywood’s next star, like her famous grandmother Gigi, until a friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted. Evie decides that the best way to save her career is to make a public appearance with her grandmother, a former actress who has become a recluse. Days before their scheduled appearance, Gigi disappears, and Evie sets out across New York to find her with the help of the last person who saw her, a musician named Milo. I was drawn to this book because of the adorable cover art, but I was on the fence about it because I don’t tend to care much for stories that center on fame or celebrities. On the other hand, I am very interested in books about characters who have a strong passion or dream to follow, and this one sounds like it could fit. I’m definitely interested in giving it a chance.

2) Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran

44553365. sy475 I guess it’s no surprise that this book made it onto my TBR, since it’s the exact kind of cover art that somehow tends to grab my attention. I have no idea why these kinds of covers tend to draw me in so strongly! This book is about a woman named Lexie who loves her home and feels very safe in it, thanks to her boyfriend Tom. When Lexie starts to notice subtle things wrong (ie. books out of place or doors left open), Tom insists she might be losing it. Lexie, however, is sure that someone is watching her and doesn’t know what she can do to make them stop. This book came out late last year, and I haven’t heard very much about it. I stumbled upon it by chance on Goodreads and thought it sounded really interesting. I’ve been very interested in thrillers that involve creepy neighbours, and it seems like this one might be along those lines. It’s one of those thrillers that has a pretty vague synopsis but I did find out a bit more by glancing (carefully) at some of the reviews, and it does seem like the kind of thriller I tend to enjoy, so I’m excited to try it at some point.

3) The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

47769541This is another book that I was a bit on the fence about, but I kept seeing it everywhere! It is about a musician named Neela whose song is covered by an internet-famous artist, Rukmini, leading to the two of them becoming close friends. As Rukmini’s career takes off and Neela’s doesn’t, jealousy begins to get in the way, and a single Tweet by one of the women takes the internet by storm, affecting not only their friendship but also their careers. Again, I was on the fence about this one because of the focus on fame, but I was also interested because of the focus on social media. I barely use Twitter myself and don’t really understand much about how it works, no matter how many times I’ve tried to figure it out, but I think it’s such an interesting idea for a book. I’m also a bit on the fence since this book is very short, at only 220 pages. I usually like a little more room for a story and the characters to develop, but given how many Most Anticipated lists this has been on, it may be worth a try.

4) The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

35890044This book immediately drew me in because of the intriguing title, even though I rarely read middle grade. I’ve always been fascinated by octopuses (octopi?) and one of my most distinct memories from school is starting a project about them that I never got to finish! This book is about a seventh-grader named Zoey who takes care of her younger siblings every day after school while her mother works, and whose family is living in a trailer with her mother’s boyfriend, Lenny. Zoey tries her best to stay invisible at school, until her teacher forces her to join the debate club, which leads her to start viewing her life in new ways and may be the motivation she needs to finally speak up. I very rarely read middle grade anymore because I find many of them harder to get into since I’m not the target audience, but this sounds like one that could be really strong. I’m especially curious to see how the octopus angle plays into the story. The synopsis suggests that Zoey thinks it would be easier to be one so she could have enough arms to do many things at once, and I’m interested to see what the author does with that.

5) More to the Story by Hena Khan

43822031This is another middle grade book, inspired by Little Women, which is one of my all-time favourite books. It is about a middle school student named Jameela who is picked to be the editor of her middle school’s newspaper, but is frustrated by the editor-in-chief’s rejection of all her ideas. Jameela wants to write a story about the new boy at school for a national media contest, but isn’t sure how to make the story interesting enough to be a good entry. At the same time, Jameela and her sisters are devastated when their father has to take a job overseas, which only motivates her to work even harder on her article to make her father proud. When her desire for fame starts to cost her a new friendship, and with her younger sister facing a serious illness, Jameela begins to question what really matters to her and whether she wants to be a journalist at all. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Little Women angle of this story because it seems like there’s enough in here already that adding in references to the original might be a bit too much. I’m very interested in Jameela’s writing for her school paper, since that is something that I also tried (in high school, not middle school) and I also was frustrated by some of the editing decisions at the time. I wouldn’t say this book is high on my list, but I’d love to give it a try.

6) The Argument by Victoria Jenkins

49529589. sx318 sy475 This is another book that is on the shorter side, and that alone was a reason that I hesitated to add it to my TBR when I first saw it on Goodreads. This book is about an argument between Hannah, and her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, who comes home late from a party that she was not allowed to go to in the first place. The argument ends with Olivia claiming that she hats her mother and won’t speak to her again, which Hannah initially passes off as normal teenage sulking. However, as more days of silence pass, Hannah begins to wonder whether Olivia is hiding something bigger. On the surface, the premise seems a bit weird. It seems pretty rash to jump to the conclusion that her daughter is hiding something because of a few days of sulking, but the Goodreads page has me very curious. I noticed comparisons of this one to Gillian Flynn, The Silent Patient, and The Woman in the Window, which are among my favourite thrillers. I’m very curious to see how this story plays out, and especially how it can develop in so few pages!

7) You Have to Believe Me by Sunday Tomassetti

45895084. sy475 I have no idea where I first saw this one since I can’t even remember adding it to my TBR, but it does seem like the kind of thriller that I tend to love. This one is about a woman named Dove whose divorce left her with very little. When the body of her ex-husband is discovered outside her apartment on what should have been their fifth anniversary, investigators are quick to make Dove a person of interest. Although she is sure that she didn’t do it, the mounting evidence makes her begin to question herself and her memory. I love books that have an unreliable narrator, so this should be right up my alley. I was also intrigued to see that this author is actually a pseudonym for Minka Kent, since I already have another of her books on my TBR. I’m not entirely sure why she decided to write under a pseudonym since her books under both names are similar kinds of mystery-thrillers, but either way, her books sound so interesting!

8) The Perfect Son by Freida McFadden

48386946. sy475 I guess there’s been a trend toward shorter thrillers lately, since this is another one that is under 250 pages! I was intrigued by this one because the synopsis reminded me of Defending Jacob, which is still one of the most memorable books I’ve read in the past few years. This book is about a woman named Erika, who is shocked when two detectives show up at her door one evening to investigate the disappearance of a local teenage girl. Erika’s son Liam was the last person to see the girl before she vanished, and while she wants to believe that her son is innocent, Erika has always felt there was something dark about him and begins to question whether he may have been involved. I read both Defending Jacob and We Need to Talk About Kevin my first year of doing reading challenges, and those really sparked my interest in this kind of storyline. I find the whole premise fascinating and I’m always intrigued to see this kind of story done well. This book is another fairly recent release (October 2019), but I haven’t heard too much about it yet. I’m very interested in giving this one a try.

9) The Good Neighbour by Cathryn Grant

48127656. sy475 Aside from creepy houses on the cover, I’ve also noticed a ton of thrillers with discarded shoes, and these also always seem to capture my attention. This book is about a 14-year-old girl named Brittany whose parents are devastated when she disappears one night. To make matters worse, the police seem to suspect that her parents were involved themselves, and only their neighbour Taylor seems to be on their side. Taylor decides to start a Facebook page to help the search, which brings out a lot of hidden secrets that might be linked to Brittany’s disappearance. To be fair, I didn’t even realize there was a social media angle to this story until just now, and that has made me even more excited to pick it up! This is another thriller that came out last fall and seems to have flown completely under the radar since then, but it sounds like exactly the kind of book that I tend to enjoy. I may need to start pushing my library to buy more of these lesser-known thrillers.

10) Master Class by Christina Dalcher

39501304. sy475 I very rarely add sci-fi books to my list, but this one somehow caught my attention immediately. I think something about it reminded me of The Girl with All the Gifts, which I really enjoyed. This book is set in a world where the future of every child is determined by a standardized test score. Those who score high enough are sent to a top-tier school and are set for bright futures, but those who score too low are sent to federally-run boarding schools with limited future prospects. The main character is Elena Fairchild, a teacher at one of the elite schools, whose own daughter fails a test, bringing her score too enough to be sent to a federal school hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena knows exactly what goes on in the education system, and will do what it takes to be near her daughter again. I think if any sci-fi book was going to catch my attention, it would be this one. I studied psychology myself and I’ve always found it fascinating to see how intelligence measures were designed, and many of the inherent problems with these kinds of tests. It seems like this  book could be a really intriguing commentary on education and standardized testing, or at the very least, a very interesting dystopian. Either way, I’d love to read it!

11) Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

49099926. sy475 This book snuck right in there at the end of the month! I came across it completely by chance on Goodreads and immediately added it to my TBR. This is the fifth book set in the Wedding Date “series,” this time featuring a woman named Olivia who moves to LA to start her own law firm. After spending an entire night flirting with an attractive man at the hotel bar, Olivia is surprised to learn that he is junior senator Max Powell. She has no interest in dating a politician, but soon realizes that he may not be the privileged political figure she assumed him to be. They begin to secretly date, but as soon as they are ready to go public, the intense media scrutiny causes Olivia to question whether what they have is worth it all. I’ve read the first two books in this “series” (although really, they are all standalones with minimal overlap), and to be honest, while I enjoyed them both, neither quite reached 5 stars for me either. I did like them both enough to keep reading though, and this one sounds especially interesting.

12) The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

50265329. sx318 This was another huge surprise announcement at the end of the month, and I added it to my TBR before even really noticing what it was about! This book is about a woman named Dawn who is on a flight that is preparing for a crash landing, and is shocked to realize that instead of her husband, the person she thinks of is a man she last saw 15 years ago, Wyatt Armstrong. Surviving the crash, Dawn begins to question her life and whether she had made the right decisions. She faces the choice of going home to her husband and daughter, or to return to the archaeological site in Egypt she left years ago and reconnect with Wyatt, to continue their research on The Book of Two Ways, which is meant to be a map of the Egyptian afterlife. Now that I’ve actually seen what this book is about, I’m even more excited for it. I love learning about ancient history and the Egyptians are an especially interesting culture. I do tend to prefer Jodi Picoult’s books that focus on some kind of ethical dilemma, but this one sounds very intriguing and I’m excited to pick it up. It’s not out until late September though, so it may be a long wait!


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