When I first realized I had a Stacking the Shelves post coming up last week, I was a bit surprised because I’d hardly added anything to my TBR! It was pretty surprising since I’ve been home for two weeks straight now, and spent quite a bit of time on Goodreads. By about the halfway point of the month, I’d added maybe 40 books to my TBR, some of which were repeats because they came up in Goodreads Giveaways, and about half of which are upcoming releases that didn’t have a cover or much detail yet, so it wasn’t much to go in to make a post. A few days later, my list exploded a bit after watching a few videos by ChelseaDolling and others, which showed me several new releases that I’d never heard of but seemed very interesting. By the end of the month, I’d added a total of 67 books to my TBR, which now stands at a grand total of 3488 books!
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) Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
This was one of several books that I first found out about through ChelseaDolling’s videos. It is about a teenage girl named Emmie who decides to release a balloon into the sky with her name, her e-mail address, and a secret attached. One week later, a boy named Lucas discovers the balloon and e-mails her, sparking an immediate friendship between the two of them. Nearly 15 years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she is in love with Lucas and is waiting for him to realize he has feelings for her too, to the point where she has neglected so many other areas of her life. When Lucas tells her that he has a big question to ask, Emmie is sure that this is the moment where he’ll finally confess his feelings too, only to find that life usually doesn’t go as planned. This sounds like exactly the kind of book that I tend to love! I was drawn to it because of the e-mail friendship angle, but I also saw it compared to books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which I’ve also loved. This book is not due out until July, so it will be quite a while before I get to it, but it sounds so interesting!
2) Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
I’m not really a huge fan of non-fiction in general, but I’ve been hearing a lot about this book lately, and especially became interested after seeing Emily Fox talking about it on her channel. This book uses case studies and research from around the world to show the data gaps when it comes to women in a variety of fields, including health, technology, workplaces, and the media, among many others. The intent is to show how the data often used in studies in these areas are biased and tend to exclude women, which has an impact on women’s lives. I’m not sure when I’ll really have the motivation to pick it up since I tend to find non-fiction incredibly dry and boring to read, but this one sounds like it could be intriguing. There has been so much conversation lately about feminism, gender bias, etc. that this book seems very relevant, especially with men taking issue with the fact that so many things in the world today are being “turned into” gendered issues. I’ll admit that I sometimes think it gets taken a bit too far myself, but I’m interested to see the angle that this book presents on the topic.
3) The One Who Got Away by L.A. Detwiler
This is one of two thrillers that I added to my TBR this month by this author, after looking for more new and upcoming thriller releases. It is about a woman named Adeline who has recently moved into a senior’s residence, where she soon begins to receive threatening notes. The other residents are warned against listening to her her because she is losing her memory, and instead assume that Adeline is just tormented by her own mind and her past. I’ve only seen a few thrillers that deal with elderly main characters, but it is such an interesting premise for this kind of book! It’s a strong alternative to the typical unreliable narrator, where so many of them either have amnesia or are alcoholics. This one reminds me a bit of The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald, which I own and plan to read soon, or of something like Elizabeth is Missing. In both of those cases there are major characters who have dementia and their claims of scary things happening are automatically dismissed because of their diagnosis. Given that I already have a similar book in mind for this year, I probably won’t be reading this one any time soon, but it’s such an intriguing concept.
4) Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern
I’ve read one book by this author so far, and I’ve been meaning to pick up more! This book is her newest release from this January about a boy named David, who is the senior class president and also has cystic fibrosis, and a sophomore named Jamie who is battling depression. When David and Jamie meet, they quickly realize they feel most comfortable with each other, and their friendship quickly blooms into something more, but each is also hiding a secret that they must decide whether to share before their time runs out. I absolutely loved the first Cammie McGovern book that I read back in 2017, which was called Say What You Will, and I have several more already on my TBR. I was first drawn to this book because I recognized the author’s name as someone I’ve read and enjoyed in the past, and was pleasantly surprised to find out this had already been released this year! I’m looking forward to giving it a chance.
5) Smash It! by Francina Simone
I think this was another one that I discovered through ChelseaDolling’s videos, but I can’t remember for sure. I was surprised to learn that Francina Simone is a Youtuber herself, and that I’ve seen a couple of her videos, without really making the connection between this book and her name. This book is about a teenage girl named Liv who decides to make a “F*ck It” list (instead of a bucket list) for her junior year in high school, to challenge herself to get outside of her comfort zone. She soon finds herself with a part in the school’s musical, new friends, and has gained the attention of three different boys. I’ve always been hesitant about books premised around characters trying to follow a list to change their lives, but this one’s a bit different because the list was completely self-made. In so many of the other books I’ve seen with this trope, the lists are prepared by well-meaning friends or partners who want to “help” their friend/girlfriend try new things. I think it’s such a cool change to have the main character take control of her own life this way and although the synopsis doesn’t necessarily give much to go on, it sounds like something I’d really enjoy.
6) Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey
I recently read Rea Frey’s debut Not Her Daughter, which I really enjoyed but unfortunately didn’t love quite as much as I’d expected. I was surprised to see that she already has another book out, with another new one due this August, both of which are now on my TBR. Because You’re Mine is her 2019 release about a single mother named Lee who has a young son, Mason who is on the autism spectrum. When Lee’s best friend, Grace, convinces her to take a break for the weekend, she is hesitant to leave her son with anyone until his tutor Noah offers. Within 48 hours, someone is dead, and Lee soon realizes that both Noah and Grace have secrets of their own, and she has some herself that she is desperate to keep hidden. This sounds like exactly the kind of thriller that I tend to enjoy, and I’m always drawn to books that involve characters with autism. The only issue I really had with Not Her Daughter is that I really had to suspend disbelief in places to make some of the characters’ choices make sense, and I hope this is not the case for this one. I did really enjoy her writing style in general though, so I’m excited to give her next book a chance.
7) A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
I have to admit I was a tiny bit hesitant to add this one to my TBR. I absolutely adored Uprooted, but was surprised to find that Spinning Silver just didn’t hold my attention. I’d expected it to be one of my easy favourites of the year, and I really struggled with it although to be fair, I was reading it at a particularly busy week where I couldn’t give it the attention that I should have. The more I saw about this one however, the more it convinced me that it is something I’d probably like. This book is about a girl named El, who is a student at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means death and the school won’t let anyone leave until they either graduate or die. The school also contains monsters lurking everywhere, and El is uniquely prepared to stop them because she possesses a dark power strong enough to wipe them out, but at the cost of potentially killing the other students too. I’ve seen this book described as a “dark, feminist version of Harry Potter,” which does sound intriguing. I generally love anything set in a magical school so that alone was enough to catch my interest.
8) The Spare Bedroom by Elizabeth Neep
This was another one that I discovered through ChelseaDolling’s videos, and it immeidately reminded me of The Flatshare, which is one of my favourite books of the year so far. This book is about a young woman named Jess who finds herself homeless and without a job after moving to Australia for a fresh start. She soon runs into her ex-boyfriend, Sam, who she has never gotten over, who offers to let her move in with him — and his new girlfriend. This sounds like such an interesting setup and definitely different from other romances/rom-coms that I’ve read before. I love books that focus on character dynamics, and I’d imagine that this is the perfect setup for exactly that kind of story. This book is due out in May and there is surprisingly little detail about it on Goodreads so far aside from the synopsis, but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun to read. I’ve definitely been getting a lot more into rom-com books lately, and this sounds like a great one to try. I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy it anywhere near as much as I loved The Flatshare.
9) It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti
For some reason, I feel like I’ve been adding a lot more books that have to do with space and aliens to my list lately. This book caught my attention because of the title and interesting cover art, although it is not due out until August. This is a YA book about a boy named Gideon, who lives in a town in Pennsylvania where people believe there was a real alien invasion. Gideon, however, knows what really happened since he and his brother were to blame for the hoax, after a science experiment gone wrong. The boys decide to blame the explosion on alien activity instead, and to their surprise, the lie is quickly believed and spreads, forcing them to go to great lengths to keep the story going and avoid getting caught. Gideon soon finds that the story has threatened his whole world, and needs to find a way to “banish” the aliens from his own before his life is changed forever. This sounds like such a fun and unique story, and I’m especially intrigued to see that it is told in a mixed media format! I don’t think I currently have room for this book in my plans for this year, nor do I know if or when my library would even reopen to get it, but it may need to be a top priority for next year!
10) The Catch by Lauren H. Mae
I think this book proves that my interests have shifted a bit to include more rom-coms, but this one just sounded like so much fun! It is about a woman named Catia who falls for a man named Josh while on vacation, and skeptical of love in general, she decides it will just be a fling, even after learning that Josh lives in a neighbouring town. When she finds themselves constantly thrown together and even her friends attempt to convince her to give Josh a real chance, Catia decides to prove her point about love by making a bet that her vacation romance won’t last long in the “real” world. She decides to put Josh through a series of tests and games to prove that he is too good to be true, only to realize that she may be betting against the one man who might actually convince her to believe in love again. This book reminds me of a combination of The Hating Game and something like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and it just seems like something that I would find so fun. This book was just released in January, and there is already a sequel slated for this summer, which appears to be following side characters, as is the current trend. I hadn’t heard of this book at all until recently, but now I’m very interested in picking it up!
11) The Truth Project by Dante Medema
I feel like I’ve been seeing this book around for a while before I finally decided to add it to my list, although it’s not out until October and has very little attention so far on Goodreads, so I have no idea where I would have seen it. It is about a 17-year-old high school senior named Cordelia who decides to rehash her sister’s genealogy idea for her own senior project, while also getting reacquainted with her former best friend and longtime crush who has been assigned to be her partner. Cordelia expects the project will be easy — all she needs to do is mail in a DNA sample and write about her results, so she is shocked when her results reveal that her father is not the man she thought, leaving her to question everything she thought she knew about her life. To be honest, stories about characters finding out their father is not their real parent is not something that particularly interests me, but something about this one caught my attention. I’ve seen a couple of references in the few reviews out so far on Goodreads that it is told in verse, so it may have been that unique angle that drew me to it. I wouldn’t say this book is at the top of my list currently, but I’m interested in eventually trying it.
12) Running by Natalia Sylvester
There has definitely been at trend lately toward more YA books with political themes, and this one is no exception. It is about a 15-year-old Cuban American girl named Mariana whose father decides to run for president. The Senator has always been able to count on his daughter’s support, but when the campaign starts to bring a new level of scrutiny to the family, Mariana starts to change her mind. The more she learns about her father’s political views, the less she agrees with him. This book raises some very interesting and important questions about speaking up and finding your voice, and especially when the person you are speaking against is your own family. I’m surprised how many books with political themes have interested me lately since politics in general is not something that I tend to gravitate toward in books. I think this one sounds particularly interesting because it comes from a different angle than I’ve seen before. Other YA political books that I’ve seen so far have mostly focused on characters involved in campaigning or canvassing for votes for candidates, but not where the character has been in the candidate’s own family. This one is not due out until May and I doubt I’ll be able to read it this year, but it’s definitely now on my radar.