Stacking the Shelves (#40)

I wonder if it will be worthwhile at some point going back through some of my Stacking the Shelves posts and seeing how many of those books I’ve actually ended up reading! This month, I added a total of 44 books to my Goodreads list, which was actually a lot more than I expected. I spent the majority of the month feeling like I hadn’t added very much, but then I watched Kayla (BooksAndLala)’s recent video about upcoming books that look interesting, and I always end up adding a bunch from those since our tastes are pretty similar! Aside from that, several of the books I added are continuations of series that I’m already reading or actively planning to read this year, so it feels a little weird to count them in my numbers even though they are definitely another book added to the list. It was also a month where several of the authors that I really enjoy announced new books so those were immediate additions to my list. I was also very surprised to realize that Gilded by Marissa Meyer was already on my TBR. Just the other day, I saw the cover art and the plot summary and hopped directly onto Goodreads to add it, only to realize that it was already there! I have no memory of adding it (apparently it was in December 2020), but I’m glad I did because it will be very high on my list to read when it comes out!

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) The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

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I feel like I’ve been hearing about this book nonstop for the past year, and I finally decided to add it to my TBR. I don’t know why, but I’d somehow assumed that this book was middle grade, even though that does not seem to be the case. This book is about a man named Linus Baker, who is a case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and is sent to an orphanage where six children who are considered dangerous all live. While there, he is expected to observe the orphanage and its owner, Arthur Parnassus, and report on his findings to determine whether the orphanage should close. Linus soon learns there is more to Arthur and to this orphanage than he expects, and soon realizes begins to find himself as he becomes closer to them all. I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this book, and I’m especially intrigued because I’ve seen comparisons to the Miss Peregrine series as well as A Series of Unfortunate Events, both of which were favourites of mine. I’m a little apprehensive because of how overhyped this one seems, but sometimes the hype really is worth it!

2) Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

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None of Liane Moriarty’s other books have quite topped Big Little Lies for me yet, but I always look forward to her newest releases. This book is not due out until September so it’s very unlikely I’ll end up reading it this year, but it will be very high on my list for my next set of reading challenges! This one is about the Delaney family, whose children were all tennis stars, whose parents, Stan and Joy, have recently sold their famous tennis academy to finally retire. When a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door seeking shelter after a fight with her boyfriend, the family is happy to take her in. No one knows what exactly happened that night, and when Joy goes missing and no one knows where Savannah is, the Delaneys are forced to re-examine their parents’ seemingly perfect marriage and their family history from a new perspective. I tend to love Liane Moriarty’s writing and I’ve been really looking forward to another book from her! I’m very excited to give this one a try, although there is still quite a long time to wait. I’m glad I noticed it on Goodreads so I could immediately add it to my list as an extra reminder to pick it up.

3) Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

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This is another book that I added mostly because of all the hype recently. I was only mildly interested in it when I first saw it, but that was mostly because I already have a number of fantasy series going and wasn’t sure I wanted to take on any more. The more I’ve heard about this one, the more it seemed like something I would love. This book is about a 16-year-old girl named Bree whose mother has recently died in an accident, and she decides to attend a residential program as an escape. On her first night there, she witnesses a magical attack which introduces her to the world of Legendborn students who hunt down demons. After a failed attempt to wipe her memory of the attack, Bree’s own magic is unlocked as well as another memory of the night her mother died, making her realize that there was more to her mother’s death than what she’d been told. Bree is determined to find the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn with the help of Nick, another Legendborn who has a grudge against the group. This book sounds absolutely amazing, and I’m so glad I finally decided to look into it a bit more and add it to my list. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to the Mortal Instruments series, which I really enjoyed. It’s another book that I’ve seen generally amazing reviews for, and I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

4) Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells

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I added this book to my TBR mostly because the stunning cover immediately caught my attention, but it also sounds so interesting! This book is not due out until November so it is another one that I will have to wait quite a while to pick up. It is about a girl named Lena who was cursed before she was born so the touch of her skin can kill. After a horrible mistake, she and her father are forced to flee from their village to a mysterious forest with a dark reputation. One night, a mysterious girl named Miranda comes out of the forest on a quest to wake up a sleeping princess whom she believes is the key to saving her village from its ruler. Miranda offers to break Lena’s curse in exchange for her help, leading the two of them to travel through the forest together where Lena begins to suspect she may have been lied to about her family and her curse. I love fairy tales in general and I’m always interested in finding more modern ones as well, and it seems like this one might fit. The idea of bargains and a mysterious forest would definitely seem to suggest a very fairy tale-like atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to finding out more about this one closer to its release date.

5) Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

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I have only read one of Clare Mackintosh’s books so far, but I’ve been really looking forward to trying more! I was very excited to see a new thriller coming this June. This one is about a woman named Mina who is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant rather than her problems at home. Shortly after her plane takes off, she receives a creepy note from a passenger who is intent on ensuring the plane does not receive its destination, and knows exactly how to pressure Mina into helping them. To be honest, I had no idea what this book was about when I first added it. I’m not sure if the synopsis was available yet when I added it earlier this month, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. While this sounds so interesting, I’m also sure I will have a difficult time reading it. I have a huge fear of flying and the idea of a plane being hijacked or taken down terrifies me. On the other hand, I haven’t seen very many thrillers that have this kind of premise so I’m very interested in seeing how the author handles it. I absolutely loved the one book of Clare Mackintosh’s that I’ve read so far (I Let You Go), and I’ve been meaning to try more. I was a little thrown off by the fact that her previous release wasn’t a thriller like I’d originally assumed, but I really want to try that one too. I’m hoping I can be brave enough to try this one since it sounds great!

6) What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

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I’ve been hearing about this book for a few months already, and finally decided to add it because I keep seeing comparisons to The Addams Family. I’ve always been absolutely obsessed with any version of The Addams Family, and surprisingly rarely see it as a comparator for books, so I’m very intrigued. This book is about a girl named Eleanor who flees from her boarding school after a horrific incident, and ends up returning to the home she left behind where she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives. She soon finds herself trying to hold the family together, but in order to save them, she must also learn to accept them and control the darkness inside herself. I am very curious to see how similar to The Addams Family this might be and how that kind of dynamic would work in a book format. This book only recently came out so I’m interested to see what others think about it. I don’t often read books that are tagged as horror because I’m a huge coward about scary stories, but it definitely seems like this one won’t be too creepy. I wouldn’t necessarily say this one is especially high on my list right now, but it’s on my radar.

7) The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

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I was so sure I already had this book on my list! I remembered seeing it before and being interested in it, but somehow I didn’t add it until I saw it come up again on a list of upcoming romance releases that came out around Valentine’s Day. This book is about a Ph.D. candidate named Olive who does not believe that romance can last, but soon finds herself having to convince her best friend that she is happily dating someone. In a panic, she kisses the first man she can find who happens to be Adam, a young professor known as a tyrant in the lab, and she is shocked when he agrees to be her fake boyfriend. When a science conference goes wrong and Olive’s career is put on the line, she is surprised to have Adam’s support and soon finds their experiment is feeling a little too close to the real thing. I definitely need to be in the right mood to read these kinds of romances, but when I am, they are so much fun! I especially love the science lab backdrop for this one, which is what caught my attention about it in the first place. This is another one that won’t be out until quite late in the year, but I’m glad I found it again and remembered to add it to my list this time.

8) Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

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I could have sworn this book was out for a long time already, but apparently it only just came out in October 2020. I added this one to my TBR because I signed up for a Goodreads giveaway for it. I sign up for several and rarely win, but occasionally I do. This book interested me because it reminded me a lot of The Girl on the Train, which I really loved. I’ve never read any of Lisa Unger’s books before although there were several that I’ve strongly considered adding to my TBR. This book is about a woman named Selena who is commuting home from work when her train stalls out. While waiting, she strikes up a conversation with the stranger sitting beside her and the two end up confessing a secret to each other. For Selena, that secret was her suspicions that her husband is having an affair with their nanny, and she is surprised to find that her nanny mysteriously disappears several days later. The further she gets pulled into this mystery, the more she begins to wonder about the woman she met on the train. Now that I’ve seen the plot in more detail, it definitely seems a lot more similar to The Kind Worth Killing than The Girl on the Train, but either way, I’m intrigued. Even if I don’t end up winning the giveaway, I’m sure this is a book I’ll be picking up at some point.

9) The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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This was one of several books I added thanks to the aforementioned BooksAndLala video (here), and this one especially immediately caught my interest. This one is a thriller about a man named Jacob Finch Bonner who was once a promising author, and now teaches and struggles to write anything at all. When his most arrogant student announces he no longer needs his help, Jacob is ready to dismiss it as arrogance until he hears what the plot is. Jacob braces himself for the sudden success of this student’s book, but it never comes and he discovers that the student died before his book could be published. Years later, Jacob decides to steal the idea and publish it himself, experiencing all the success he believed his student would get, until a troll begins to accuse him of being a thief. Jacob finds himself struggling to hide the truth from his fans, and starts to learn more about his former student, including the true story behind his idea for this plot. This sounds like such an amazing concept for a thriller and I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it! This book is due out this May and I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it closer to the release date.

10) Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

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I very recently bought a copy of A Song Below Water, partially due to all the hype although I have not read it yet, and as soon as I saw this one I was strongly reminded of it. This book is a bout a girl named Simi who serves the gods as a mermaid known as Mami Wata, who is responsible for collecting the souls of people who die at sea and blessing their journeys home. When a boy who is still alive falls overboard, Simi violates the ancient decree by saving his life. To protect the other Mami Wata, she must make amends to the Supreme Creator and embarks on a journey to do so, but in the process, she realizes that the boy she saved seems to know more than he should and something seems to be following her and trying to stop her. This book is tagged as The Little Mermaid mixed with Children of Blood and Bone. I’m embarrassed to admit I have not read Children of Blood and Bone yet despite the series being high on my list for two years already! I think I’ve been putting it off to wait for the third book to come out so I can marathon them all. This book sounds just as interesting, but it’s another one that is not out until much later this year — not until November!

11) Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

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I stumbled across this book completely by accident yesterday. I had no idea Shari Lapena had another book due out this year, although I’m not surprised to see one coming. I have only read two of her books so far, but have three more on my list to read this year alone. This book is due out in July, and it is about a wealthy couple, Fred and Sheila Mercer, who are brutally murdered the night after an Easter dinner with their three adult children. Each of the children stand to inherit millions, and the family was never as happy as they seemed, but none of the siblings think the others would be unhappy enough to kill. Like many thrillers, the synopsis for this one is quite vague so far, but it sounds very intriguing. I’ve really enjoyed the two Shari Lapena books I’ve read so far and I’m pretty confident that I will like this one too. I’m glad I saw it while browsing Goodreads yesterday. I’ve often looked at lists of upcoming thrillers for the year and hadn’t seen this one before, so I guess it was only recently announced. I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze this one into my challenges for this year, but I’m looking forward to reading more by this author anyway.

12) The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks used to be my all-time favourite author, and although that is no longer the case, I still tend to enjoy his books and look out for his new releases. This is another book that is only coming out this fall, and one that I found completely by chance on Goodreads yesterday too. It is about a woman named Maggie who is a renowned travel photographer who splits her time between her gallery in New York and photographing remote locations. However, in 2019 she finds herself unexpectedly stuck at home over Christmas while she deals with a medical diagnosis and becomes increasingly dependent on her young assistant, and as the season draws to a close, she begins to tell him a story of another Christmas decades ago, which set her life on a different course. At age 16, she had been sent away to live with her aunt in North Carolina, where she meets Bryce, one of the few teenagers in town who first introduced her to photography and the bond between them changes her life. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of books that have a heavy focus on Christmas but this one sounds like something that might interest me anyway. It definitely intrigues me enough to want to give it a try.

Top 5 Wednesdays: They Keep Telling Me Not To…

This week’s prompt is based around the idea of “Don’t judge a book by the cover” — ironically, by asking us to look for books with the most attractive covers! It’s actually pretty lucky for me that this week’s topic was a relatively quick one because this is my first week back to work in-person full-time in about a month, and I knew my time would be limited. For this week’s prompt, I decided to focus on all of the books on my TBR list on Goodreads, and not just the set that I have earmarked for my challenges this year. It was actually a little harder than I expected to find books that really jumped out at me as having especially interesting covers, probably because I added quite a few thrillers to my TBR and the covers of those generally aren’t the most appealing. I decided to just skim through my Goodreads list and see which five jumped out at me first. Unfortunately, none of these are books that I’m actively planning to read any time soon, but the covers had me intrigued! (Again, I have no idea how to make the pictures be less huge, so apologies in advance for the weird sizes)

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.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud

Even though I tend to really empathize with a lot of book characters, it’s very rare that a book will make me laugh out loud (or cry, for that matter). I’m a lot more likely to react that strongly to a movie than a book. There have definitely been books that I’ve read which had some very funny moments or funny quotes, but it’s rare that I’ll literally end up laughing out loud. In part, it’s probably because I read quite a few thrillers and I’d be very surprised if those made me laugh! I know for a fact there have been some fantasy series that I’ve read, even recently, which had some very funny lines but it’s not really something that I keep track of. I’m pretty sure The Dark Artifices had some great quotes in it, for example, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider the book as a whole something that made me laugh. I tend to love when characters have snarky banter or witty comebacks, but it’s not something that I’d necessarily remember long after the fact. I think the majority of the books that I found the funniest end up being collections of comics or children’s books, neither of which are the kinds of books I read too often. It was a real challenge to come up with books for this list!

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) Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park – It wouldn’t feel right to start this list with anything else. This was my absolute favourite series when I was younger, and even reading them as an adult, Junie B. Jones is hilarious! I still think the first book, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, is the best in the series and it’s something I have a lot of fun with every time I read it.

2) The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series by Louise RennisonI can’t remember if I ever finished the whole series, but I know I’ve read several of them repeatedly! I would love to revisit this series at some point and read them all. This series is about a British teen named Georgia, written in diary format, and her narration is so funny! The constant use of made-up slang can get annoying at times, but I loved this series.

3) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshThis book does touch on some more serious topics so I wouldn’t necessarily say the whole thing made me laugh, but there were so many very funny parts — especially the stories involving Allie Brosh’s dogs. I’m planning to reread this one very soon along with Solutions and Other Problems, and I can’t wait!

4) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – This is by far my favourite graphic novel, and that is mostly because of Nimona’s antics. I’ve read this book twice over the years so far, and both times, I found it so much fun and I loved the dynamics between Nimona and Ballister, especially his deadpan reactions to her. This is probably one book that literally did make me laugh out loud.

5) Fowl Language by Brian Gordon I first discovered these books because I saw the comics come up frequently on Facebook and I thought they were so funny. These books are a series of comics about parenting, with the entire family illustrated as ducks. I’m not a parent, but I still find the cartoons so fun and relatable to my own interactions with kids when I babysat or worked at camp.

6) Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi – This one is a case of a very specific funny scene, that occurs immediately as the book opens. I read this book for the first time this year, and thought the first pages were hilarious. I don’t want to give too much detail in case anyone hasn’t read it yet, but it involves Warner, Kenji, and a haircut. This is definitely a series like I mentioned above that had some very funny moments and lines throughout, mostly because of Kenji, but that scene in particular stands out.

7) The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – Again, this one made the list because of a specific scene, although I think the book had some other funny moments as well. I was specifically thinking of the part set around Thanksgiving, where each man who showed up to the party very quickly rushed out to help the others with the deep fryer. I was listening to the audiobook while doing some work, and that part really stood out for some reason.

8) The Wayside School series by Louis Sachar – I probably should have mentioned this one at the top alongside Junie B. Jones since it was a childhood favourite, but it took me a while to think of it. I was absolutely obsessed with these books when I was younger and I read them so many times! It’s another series that I still tend to find funny, even when reading them as an adult.

9) Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen Like the Fowl Language series, this is another set of comics that I discovered originally through Facebook and I found them so relatable! I was very excited to see them collected into books, even if I had already seen the majority of them. These comics are always so fun to read.

10) The Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters – I’ve already fallen behind on this series, despite making an effort to catch up a couple of years ago. I read the first 9 volumes, but just discovered that there are already 16 published, with 3 more due out this year! It’s no surprise that I loved the humour in this series because it was similar to Nimona, even after the author change mid-series.

7 On Sunday: Books by BIPOC Authors On My TBR

In honour of Black History Month, this week’s prompt is a good chance to focus on recommendations or at least books by BIPOC authors that I’m planning to read. I was a little surprised to see that it was phrased as BIPOC and not specifically Black authors. I have so many books by Black authors that I’m very excited to read this year! To be honest, I generally don’t look at the race, gender, etc. of the author when I’m choosing books for my reading challenge plans so it’s not something that I’m really consciously aware of. However, given all the recommendation lists that came out last year during the BLM protests, I naturally picked up a ton of suggestions for books and many of them jumped straight to the top of my list to read this year. I’ve already mentioned several of my most anticipated, including Grown, Concrete Rose and The Cost of Knowing, just to name a few. I wanted to take this opportunity to mention a few more of the books by Black authors that I’m really looking forward to trying this year.

7 on Sunday is a new weekly project that was started by Grace of G-Swizzel Books, with a weekly topic for videos and/or blog posts! The official Goodreads group with topics can be found here.

1) The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

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For some reason, I had the impression that I’d brought this book up a lot already, but it turns out I’ve only mentioned it once before as a book on my wishlist, which was a Top 5 Wednesday topic back in December. I ended up buying a copy for myself not too long after. I think the reason I thought it was everywhere is because I had this book in mind for so many different reading challenge prompts, so I was seeing the name repeatedly on my own lists. This book is about twin sisters who grew up in a small southern Black community before they both run away at age 16. Years later, one of the sisters returns to living in the same town with her daughter, and the other is white-passing and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Something about this book reminds me quite a bit of Homegoing, probably because of the idea of following two different sides of the same family, and I’m really looking forward to trying it. I also read The Mothers by this author a few years ago and really enjoyed that one too. Let alone seeing this book everywhere on my reading challenge plans, I also feel like I’ve been seeing it everywhere in general lately. I’m very excited to try this one, and hope to get to it very soon.

2) Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

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Speaking of Homegoing, I was very excited to see a new book by Yaa Gyasi! Her name alone was enough for me to be interested in trying this one, even before I had any idea what it was about. This book is about a woman named Gifty who is studying neuroscience at Stanford with the hopes of discovering the scientific basis for the suffering she’s seen in her own family. Her brother was a talented athlete who died of a drug overdose after an injury left him addicted to OxyContin, and her mother is suicidal. As Gifty turns to science to help her figure out her family’s loss, she also finds herself returning to her childhood faith and the promise of salvation that it brought. I’m not generally a big fan of books that have a strong focus on religion (or on drugs, for that matter), but I loved Yaa Gyasi’s writing so much in Homegoing that I’m fairly sure I will love this one too. I was also very hesitant going into Homegoing since I also wasn’t the most interested in the subject matter before I tried it, but it very quickly won me over. I’m hoping to have the same kind of experience with this one. It’s another book that I ended up buying recently and plan to read relatively soon.

3) Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

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This is a book that I only very recently added to my TBR. I think I’d somehow mistakenly assumed it was non-fiction, and probably had it mixed up with Stamped. This book is actually a novel in verse about a 16-year-old boy named Amal who is convicted of a crime that he did not commit, and ends up being sent to prison for it. I don’t know much more about it, but I have seen some rave reviews for it recently, and they definitely sparked my interest in trying it. One of the authors, Yusef Salaam, was part of the Central Park Five, a group of men who were falsely convicted in a sexual assault case in 1989 and they all served years in prison for the crime. He was only 15 years old when he was convicted, and ended up serving more than six years. He was eventually exonerated as part of The Innocence Project thanks to DNA testing which proved that another man was responsible. Given how closely this book seems to resemble Yusef Salaam’s real story, I’m very intrigued to see how it plays out. I’ve recently started to become a lot more open to novels in verse in general, mostly thanks to Elizabeth Acevedo, and I’m glad I ended up adding this one to my TBR.

4) My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

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I’ve been only mildly interested in trying this one for a while and finally decided to add it to my TBR for the year because it was a good fit for a prompt that I was struggling with. It is about a woman named Korede whose sister Ayoola his a history of killing her own boyfriends, supposedly in self-defense. Korede is a nurse who often helps to clean up after her sister, but her views start to shift when Ayoola starts dating the doctor that Korede also has a crush on, leading her to question whether it is finally time to turn her sister in. I love thrillers in general so I’m not sure why this one never really caught my attention. It seems like a very unique and interesting premise, and I’m also intrigued because it is set in Nigeria. I’ve rarely read any thrillers set outside of the US or UK, and I’m very interested in giving something different a try. It is also quite a short book, at only 226 pages, which is much shorter than I usually like for a thriller but I’m curious to see how the author develops the characters in so few pages. I’ve been hearing so much about this book for the past couple of years that I think it’s about time I give it a try.

5) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

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This is another book that I’ve been weirdly hesitant to add to my TBR, probably because it was starting to feel a little overhyped. It is about a Black, queer, trans teenager named Felix who is taking part in a summer arts program at school, where he finds himself subject to transphobic anonymous messages from another student, who also publicly posts his deadname and pre-transition photos. Felix sets out to find the person responsible and take revenge, and soon finds himself stuck in some kind of love triangle in the process. What really got my interest in trying this one is when I started seeing some comparisons to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is one of my favourite YA contemporaries, due to the anonymous messages and attempts /threats to out someone. I’ll admit I’m still a little nervous to try this one because of all the hype surrounding it, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my reading challenges in the past few years, it’s that sometimes the hype really is worth it. I’m hoping this will be one of those cases. This book came up so often on other people’s best books of the year lists for 2020, so I’m hoping to love it just as much.

6) Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

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I’ve mentioned Early Departures by this author quite a bit, but I don’t think I’ve talked about this book nearly as much, even though both are very high on my list to read this year. Opposite of Always was Justin A. Reynold’s debut back in 2019, about two teenagers named Jack and Kate who meet at a party and very quickly bond. When Kate suddenly dies, Jack is somehow sent back to the moment where they first met, and soon realizes that he may have the chance to prevent her death, although he soon finds that all of his choices have consequences. This sounds like such a great twist on a YA romance! I know there have been other books that have explored this kind of time loop before, especially Before I Fall, and it’s a premise that can be very interesting if done well. I’m always a little nervous with this kind of storyline because they can get very repetitive, but I’ve seen some great reviews for this one so I’m excited to give it a try! I think of the two books by this author, I’m a little more interested in Early Departures overall, but they are both at the top of my list to pick up before the end of the year.

7) The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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This book has been on my radar for a while, but it wasn’t until last year that I really actively started planning to read some of K. Ancrum’s books, mostly because I saw BooksAndLala talking about them! I don’t even think I realized that this book was by a Black author until I saw The Weight of Stars, and realized that these were both by the same person. This book is about a boy named August who learns that his best friend Jack is showing signs of a degenerative hallucinatory disorder, which lead him to see an elaborate world on top of our own that is ruled by the Wicker King. Jack leads them both on a quest to fulfill a prophecy, causing August to also begin to question what’s real and what’s not. I tend to absolutely love books that really play with the idea of what’s real and what’s just in the characters’ minds, but I’ve been a little hesitant to try this one because I’ve heard that it is very confusing. I’m also intrigued by it because of the mixed media format, including drawings, maps, etc. and how the pages tend to get darker and darker as the story itself gets darker. I also tend to love books that have this kind of creative formatting, so that’s another strong reason for me to try this one.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Can You Please Repeat That?

As soon as I saw this week’s prompt, I knew it would be a big challenge for me. This week, the topic is characters with names that were difficult for you to pronounce. I knew it would hard because I have a reading challenge prompt for this kind of book, and it was a huge struggle for me to find anything. I’m generally pretty good at figuring out words and can pick up (some) other languages fairly easily, so it’s pretty rare that I’ll find a character whose name I have no idea how to approach by now. When I was younger, it was a bit more of a problem. I remember reading Harry Potter out loud to my dad and I had no idea how to pronounce Hermione’s name. I asked him if I could just call her something else instead, but he insisted that Hermione is her name and that is what she should be called, so we’d have to figure out how to say it. I also remember going to see the movies with my best friend and being completely confused about who “Shamus” was — turns out, in the books his name was spelled Seamus, which I had always read as See-mus. Even in fantasy books, I generally have a pretty good guess of how a character’s name is pronounced and more often than not, I find I’ve guessed right. To be fair, if I haven’t, it can be pretty tricky to change the pronunciation in my head after I hear it if I’ve already spent the majority of the book reading it differently. These are a few of the books I could think of where I had some trouble figuring out how to say the character’s name, at least for a while.

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) Each Of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro – This is the book I ultimately chose for the challenge prompt. I haven’t read it yet, but I chose it because the main character’s name is Xochital, and I really have no idea how to say that. I’ve guessed that it’s Zo-chai-tel, but I’m really not sure. I may need to listen to at least part of the audiobook to hear the name said correctly so it doesn’t get stuck in my head the wrong way.

2) Maryse Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra ClareI figured this one out fairly quickly, but it definitely gave me pause at first because I naturally started to read it as “Mary” so my brain interpreted it as “Mary-see” or maybe even “Marcy” for a while. According to Cassandra Clare’s Twitter, it is supposed to be Maris.

3) Anyone whose last name is Galathynius in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThis last name actually isn’t hard for me to pronounce at all if I take the time to look at it, but for some reason I kept reading it as “Gally-an-thus.” I think I just didn’t read it carefully enough the first time so it got locked into my head the wrong way. As far as I know, it’s supposed to be “Gala-thin-neeus.”

4) Yahaira from Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – I’m pretty sure I had this one pronounced correctly while I was reading it, but I’m actually not 100% sure. I thought it was pronounced just like it was spelled, “Ya-hair-ra” but I’ve just listened to a short interview with the author and heard her say “Ya-hi-ra.” I was pretty close, but not quite right, it seems.

5) Arsinoe from Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake – This was another case where I’d assumed I had it right, but only later realized that I was close but not exactly right. When I read the series last year, I naturally read this name as “Ar-sin-no” with a silent E. I’ve just looked it up to check, and it’s apparently supposed to be “Ar-sin-no-ay.” I kind of had a feeling I was a bit off with my verison of the name but wasn’t sure what else it could be and for some reason, I didn’t bother to check at the time.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Purple, Yellow and/or Green Book Covers (In Honour of Mardi Gras)

To be honest, this week’s topic seemed completely random to me. I know absolutely nothing about Mardi Gras, and for some reason, I naturally assumed that it was always in March. Literally the only thing that I know about Mardi Gras is that there is often some kind of huge carnival-like celebration, which seems like a very strange thing for me considering it is February and currently snowing in my area. It’s also something I generally associate with New Orleans, which may be mostly because I’m pretty sure that’s usually how it was shown on TV shows. I vaguely remember an episode of The Simpsons involving a Mardi Gras celebration, but now that I’m thinking about it, I think it was actually Spring Break. Upon doing a bit of research, I learned that the day is actually connected to the start of Lent, since it is the last day to eat rich, fatty foods before the common practice of fasting or at least giving up something for Lent. I’m not entirely sure where the colours purple, green and yellow come into it, but it at least made a relatively easy topic to find books that might fit! I was surprised to realize how many books I had already on my TBR for this year that had one of these three colours on the cover! The books below are all books that I’m hoping to get to within the year.

(Apologies in advance for the pictures being so huge! I still haven’t figured out how to adjust the size when they are displayed as a gallery like that)

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.

The Romance Book Tag

In honour of Valentine’s Day, I thought this would be a good chance to try a new tag. Just a few days ago, I saw Heather at Bookables do the Romance Book Tag on her channel, and it looked like fun. Like her, I’m still pretty new to the romance genre so I probably haven’t really read enough books to really answer all the questions, but I wanted to give it a try anyway. Even though I haven’t necessarily read many books in the romance genre specifically, I’ve read quite a few YA books that involve romance. One of the reasons it took me a while to really get into romance is because I assumed that they would all be too similar. I get very easily bored of reading the same kind of storyline over and over, and I often look for something more in the romances I do read, especially when they are YA. I like when the books involve a strong or at least an entertaining storyline outside of the main relationship. I’m sure this tag will be worth revisiting again at some point in the future when I’ve read more romances, but I’ll give it a try!

1) The first romance you remember reading

Technically, it would probably have to be a Nicholas Sparks book. I’m pretty sure the first one I read was A Bend in the Road. I started reading his books when I was around 12, but for some reason, when I think of reading romance, I tend to think that it started when I read The Hating Game back in 2017. Even if I were to count The Hating Game as my starting point, it’s technically not accurate since by then I had already read The Rosie Project and Me Before You, but for some reason, my brain doesn’t classify those as romance in the same way as The Hating Game is.

2) The last romance you read

I’m currently reading The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory, but I’m only about a third of the way through that right now. The last one that I actually finished was If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane back in September of last year. Unless you also count YA romances, in which case it was I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn in December.

3) The romance you’re most likely to recommend to a newbie

I don’t think I’ve read enough in the genre to really make a valid recommendation, but I’d probably pick something like The Hating Game or The Unhoneymooners. If I was going to go for a YA romance, definitely Tweet Cute!

4) An underrated romance you wish more people would read

Again, I’m not familiar enough with the genre to really know what’s considered underrated, but one book that I really enjoyed and rarely see talked about is Goodnight Tweetheart, which I read back in 2016 and I had a lot of fun with it. I loved it because of the unique style.

5) An overrated romance you wish people would stop talking about

Anna and the French Kiss! To be fair, I haven’t read it but every single thing I’ve heard about it just makes it seem unappealing. I like YA romance generally, but this one seems extremely overrated, especially given that it involves cheating. I feel like I’m forgetting a very obvious overrated adult romance, but I can’t think of anything right now.

6) An auto-buy author

For romance, I’d have to say Christina Lauren. I’ve only read a couple of their books so far, but I keep stocking up on them all and I’m hoping to read a few more this year. I also tend to automatically buy anything by Sally Thorne.

7) An author you used to love that you’ve since abandoned

To a degree I could say Nicholas Sparks although abandoned is a very strong word. I haven’t completely stopped reading his books, but they definitely don’t have the same draw for me as they used to.

8) Your favourite trope

I love any romances that involve some kind of friendship or relationship that develops through interacting online. I also love hate-to-love, friends-to-love, forced proximity, and generally enjoy fake dating. I also often like second change romances too.

9) Best book with your favourite trope

I thought The Unhoneymooners and Beach Read both did hate-to-love very well. Another favourite was The Flatshare because of the way the two characters bonded through post-it notes, which was similar enough to social media.

10) A book you didn’t like even though it had your favourite trope

I think I’ll have to go with a YA option for this one as well since I don’t remember any adult romances that I didn’t really like. My least favourite YA romance was Textrovert, which was especially disappointing since it involved a relationship that first develops via texting. In fact, the texting was about the only thing I liked in that book. I thought the two main characters were both pretty bland, and I was very disappointed to find that the texting element was dropped fairly early on.

11) Your most hated trope

Mostly the very typical answers — I don’t really care for insta-love or love triangles, unless they are done very well. I especially have a hard time buying into insta-love because I find it so hard to get invested in those relationships (in most cases) without it constantly bothering me that the two characters just met! Other than those, I’m also not a big fan of accidental or sudden pregnancy as a trope. I’m not even sure why this one bothers me, but I find myself being a little annoyed with it every time.

12) A book you like even though it has a trope you hate

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare has one of the best love triangles I’ve ever read, although I’d consider that more fantasy than romance. I also really liked The Sun Is Also a Star, which had insta-love since it took place in the span of only one day, but I thought it handled it very well.

13) Your problematic favourite

I’m not sure I can answer this one because I haven’t read enough romance nor am I familiar enough with most authors to know who might be considered problematic. I almost want to say Jane Eyre because Mr. Rochester is definitely problematic because of the whole attic situation, but I’m not sure that’s really what the question means. Also, Me Before You because I’m in the minority who actually really enjoyed it.

14) A book everyone else loved that had you scratching your head

The DUFF! I loved the movie but found the book so disappointing. I was surprised to look at the reviews for it after I’d read it and see so many people say it was their favourite. It might have been because I saw the movie first and this was very different, but I couldn’t get into it. I also didn’t love Love & Gelato nearly as much as everyone else seems to.

If I had to pick an adult romance, I actually think I’d have to go with A Walk to Remember. I didn’t hate the book by any means, but I loved the movie so much already and couldn’t help finding the book underwhelming. To be fair, I’m not sure how popular the book itself was, but I seem to remember it being a favourite for a lot of people around the time the movie was first out.

15) Your favourite “Romancelandia” person to follow on Twitter

This is literally the first time I’ve seen the term “Romancelandia” so I have no idea how to answer this one.

16) A place or person you go to for recommendations or reviews

I mostly go to ChelseaDolling @Chelseadolling Reads because she reads a lot of the same kinds of romances that I tend to love, and I’ve already picked up several great recommendations for her. I’m also subscribed to Jessica @ Peace Love Books and I love her videos, although I don’t necessarily read the kinds of books she does.

17) A book that has a character that reminds you of yourself

Cath from Fangirl!

18) A romance cover you love

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19) A book you’ve reread more than twice

Definitely The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks. It was one of my favourites of his books, and I know for a fact I’ve read it at least twice since I once chose it for a book report in school after I’d already read it at least once. There are other romance books that I probably would re-read, but haven’t picked up again yet since there are so many more that I still want to try!

20) Best romance audiobook

This may be the best because it’s the only romance audiobook I’ve listened to, but I really enjoyed the audiobook for The Bromance Book Club. It was so much fun!

21) Best romance/rom-com movie

A Walk to Remember is definitely up there as one of my favourites, and I also love Clueless and Legally Blonde if those even count as romance. I also liked How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (although I seem to remember liking it more the second time around). 50 First Dates is fun too.

I’ve actually never seen some of the most popular ones. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bridget Jones’s Diary. I’ve never seen Notting Hill or Love Actually.

22) Favourite heroine

Probably one of the classics like Jane Eyre or Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, but from a recent book, I loved January from Beach Read and Tiffy from The Flatshare.

23) Favourite hero

I feel like hero (and heroine, really) is a very strong word for the characters in the kinds of romance I read. I really liked Gavin from The Bromance Book Club and I loved Leon in The Flatshare. Or to go for a classic, again I’d have to say Mr. Rochester (as problematic as he is) or Mr. Darcy. Oh, and I also really liked Michael from The Kiss Quotient!

24) Your all-time favourite romance

I’m surprised I didn’t mention this one until now, but I’m long overdue for a reread. My favourite would probably be The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Bookish Couples

I always have such a hard time coming up with favourite couples from books! Since I read quite a few YA romances, there are many books that focus on relationships and falling in love, but I don’t always find them particularly memorable after the book is over. On the other hand, I also read a lot of thrillers, and those rarely have great couples in them. I think most of the most memorable couples for me are from fantasy series. There are a few exceptions, like Harley and Vas from Harley in the Sky, Maya and Jamie from Yes No Maybe So, and especially Pepper and Jack from Tweet Cute! For this week’s prompt, I decided to pick some of the best and most memorable couples from books and series that I’ve read recently.

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) Emma and Julian from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare – This was the first big series that I read this year, and I really enjoyed it! There was actually one couple that I liked even more than Emma and Julian, but they are the focused of an upcoming series so I’ll save them for another time. Emma and Julian were very angsty, but I loved how they had a real partnership of equals and they were so devoted to each other.

2) Juliette and Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – I just finished the entire series a couple of days ago! I read the first three books over the span of three years but somehow hadn’t kept up with the newer ones, so I made it a goal to read them all. While I can definitely see where Juliette and Warner are problematic, I really liked them together and they were one of the highlights of the series for me. I especially loved how Juliette came to recognize and understand her feelings for him.

3) Bryce and Hunt from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – I’m a little worried about these two because the first couple Sarah J. Maas introduces in any series tends not to be endgame, but I love these two together! They’re dynamic was very interesting right from the start, and I especially loved how they genuinely seemed to become friends first. One of my favourite parts of this book was the casual scenes where they’d just watch TV together, or small moments like Hunt putting his hat on Bryce’s head. I can’t wait for the next book!

4) Audrey Rose and Thomas from Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco – To be honest, it took me a little longer than expected to get invested in these two. I’d expected a bit more from their banter in the first book, but their relationship grew on me pretty quickly after that! Like Emma and Julian, I really liked the way Thomas respected Audrey Rose and seemed to view her as a full and independent partner, which was especially great given the time that this book was set and the prevailing attitude toward women of that era.

5) Jude and Cardan from The Folk of the Air series – I went into this series with pretty low expectations and had picked it up mostly because of the hype. I was very surprised by how much I ended up loving it, and I especially loving the relationship between Jude and Cardan. I was so disappointed to learn that there was another edition of the books (I believe it was the third book) that had the letters he had written to her, whereas mine only mentioned them.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Valentine’s Freebie (Romance Books on my TBR

I decided to take a fairly easy route with this week’s “freebie” topic for Valentine’s Day, and look at some of the romance books I have on my TBR for the year. I’ve always picked up books, mostly YA, that involve romance, but it’s only really been in the past few years that I really started picking up adult contemporary romances too. I think one of the first books that really got me into the genre was The Hating Game, which I loved a lot more than I expected! Since then, I’ve been slowly branching out and trying some different authors. Actually, it was probably The Rosie Project first, but both were big factors in my choice to try some more romance! I was actually a bit surprised to realize just how many romances I currently have on my TBR for the year, and how many of them ended up making my list of most anticipated books to read in 2021, or my most anticipated books. I’m sure the list would be even longer if I also included the YA books on my list that involve romance too. I’m purposely skipping over some of my most anticipated books of the year since I feel like I’ve already mentioned them all quite a bit, but I would definitely include Second First Impressions by Sally Throne, People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston and The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon on this list as well!

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 Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

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I was fully prepared to add this book to my most anticipated books for the first half of the year, but then I realized it wasn’t due out until mid-August! I’m sure it will end up on my list for the second half instead. This book is another companion novel to The Kiss Quotient, this time following Quan, who is Michael’s cousin and has always been viewed as a player until he becomes CEO of an up-and-coming new business. Suddenly, everyone is paying attention to him, including Camilla, a woman who rejected him years ago. Camilla’s younger sister Anna has a secret crush on Quan too, but would rather pretend she dislikes him because she knows how he feels about her sister. Now that Camilla is engaged, Anna is determined to seduce Quan to make sure he doesn’t ruin it and take down a crucial real estate deal along with it. To be honest, I’m a little confused by the premise but I’ve loved both of the other books in this series so far, so I’m very interested in reading this one too!

2) The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

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I’ve only read two Christina Lauren books so far, three if you include their YA romance Autoboyography, and I’ve really enjoyed them! I have several more on my list for this year, but I’m especially looking forward to their upcoming release due out this May. This book is about a single mom named Jess , who signs up to be part of GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based matchmaking company that is supposed to help you find your soulmate. Jess is shocked when she gets a 98% compatibility rating with Dr. River Pena, the founder of the company, especially because she already knows him and doesn’t think he could be her soulmate. However, since she is struggling to make ends meet, she decides to take an opportunity offered by the company where she will be paid to get to know him, and soon realizes there may be more to him than she originally thought. Part of the reason I was so drawn to this one is because it reminds me quite a bit of The Rosie Project, which is one of my all-time favourite romances.

3) Well Played by Jen DeLuca

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Well Met was one of my favourite books last year because it was just so cute! I’ve been really looking forward to reading more in this series, although I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews for this one specifically. This book follows Stacey, another employee of the Renaissance Faire who has given herself one year to get her life together, and maybe even find “the one.” Stacey never thought her summer fling Dex could be the one since she’s never felt much of an emotional connection, but when she receives a surprisingly sweet email, she’s not sure what to think. When the Ren Faire returns, Stacey suddenly comes face-to-face with the man she’s been exchanging emails with over the past nine months, but to her surprise, it isn’t Dex! I’m a little skeptical of this one because it feels like the synopsis reveals practically everything, but I loved Jen DeLuca’s writing and characters in the previous book, and I’d love to see more of them. I also tend to love the trope of people meeting and becoming friends or falling in love online, so that alone is a reason for me to pick this one up.

4) Undercover Bromance by Lyssa K. Adams

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The Bromance Book Club was a book that really surprised me last year! I picked it up as an audiobook completely on a whim after seeing so much hype around it, and I ended up loving it. It seems to be quite rare for romance books to focus on a male lead and that book quickly became a favourite. I have both of the sequels in my plans for this year as well, starting with this one, which follows Braden, who steps in to help Liv after she confronts the celebrity chef owner of the restaurant where she’s working for harassing another employee and ends up getting fired. Inspired by the romantic suspense novel that they are reading, the book club works together to help Braden and Liv set up a sting operation to take down the chef, which the club also sees as an opportunity to get the two of them together. I don’t really remember either of these characters from the first book, but that doesn’t usually matter much in these kinds of companion novels. I’m hoping to enjoy this one just as much as The Bromance Book Club! It’s great to see romance books from such a different perspective, and I love the added component of the book club shaping the way they approach their problems.

5) The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

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This is another set of companion novels that I’ve been meaning to catch up on. This one focuses on Maddie and Theo, two of Alexa’s best friends who are both part of her wedding party. They hate each other, but soon find that they can’t stop thinking about each other after they kiss, and tensions only continue to grow as they keep getting thrown together for their bridal party duties. The two finally agree to keep sneaking around just until the wedding is over, and soon find themselves regretting the imminent end of their relationship as the big day draws closer. I’ve really enjoyed the previous two books in this series so far and it sounds like another fun one to continue. I’m tentatively planning to read this one as well as Royal Holiday within the month, so it’s probably the first book from this list that I’ll actually be getting to this year. I also really want to read Party of Two, which I believe is Jasmine Guillory’s first book outside of these companion novels. So far, none of her books have quite reached 5 stars for me, but they’ve come pretty close!

6) Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

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I’m planning to read the entire Brown Sisters series this year, starting with this one. It’s another book that I’m picking mostly because of the hype, but from what I’ve heard so far, it’s worth it! This book is about Chloe Brown, who comes up with a list of seven things to help herself “get a life,” and soon enlists the help of Redford Morgan to teach her how to rebel. I’ve never read anything by Talia Hibbert before although I know she is a very popular romance author. These books seem a lot closer to the kind of rom-coms I tend to enjoy compared to the rest of her series, so it seems like a great place to start with her writing. I decided to try this series after seeing several of the vloggers I watch raving about how much they enjoyed it, including some who don’t usually even care for romance! I ended up putting this whole series on my list of priority series to try this year, which is a first for a romance series. I haven’t decided yet whether I want to read all three books in a row or space them out, but I’m excited to give them a chance.

7) One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

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This is another book that seems to have quite mixed reviews so far, and it’s one that I’ve even seen some people say is more of a “women’s fiction” book than a real romance. It’s another one that caught my attention mostly because of the hype, and I just received my copy so I’m hoping to get to it soon. This book is about a plus-sized woman named Bea who becomes a contestant on her favourite reality show Main Squeeze, where she is enjoying the chance to be the first plus-sized woman featured on the show and sees it as a chance to kickstart her career as a fashion blogger, but she is also determined not to fall in love. Once she is on the show, Bea soon realizes that things are much more complicated than she expected, and she may even have an opportunity to find real love. One of the things that most intrigues me about this one is that it includes blog posts, texts and transcripts, and I love books that involve social media and this kind of mixed media format! I also think it’s great to see a romance that focuses on a plus-sized main character since that is still unfortunately quite rare.

8) Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

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Speaking of romance books featuring plus-sized main characters, this was another one that I actually found and added to my list at the same time as One to Watch. This one is about a man named Marcus who is the start of a Game of Thrones-like TV series and also secretly channels his frustration with the direction the show is taking with his character into fanfiction. However, if anyone found out he was doing this, he would be immediately fired. He soon notices April, a hardcore fan of the show’s female lead, who goes viral after posting her latest cosplay of herself as a plus-size version of the character. Marcus decides to ask her out to spite all the critics, and soon realizes that he wants more than just a publicity stunt, but once he realizes that she is a fellow fanfiction writer who he’s already become friends with online, he realizes he has another big secret to hide from her. This book sounds like so much fun, and it has so many tropes that I love to see! I’m really looking forward to it, and may need to pick up a copy the next time I order some books.

9) Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

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Katherine Center is one of my priority authors to try this year, and I’m really looking forward to reading all three of her books that I have on my TBR for the year. Acutally, the one I’m most looking forward to is What You Wish For, but I decided to pick a different one for this list that I haven’t mentioned quite so often. I was going to go for How to Walk Away, but I’m not entirely clear on whether that one is a romance from the synopsis, so I settled on including this book instead. This book is about a female firefighter named Cassie who was forced to give up her job when her estranged mother falls ill, and asks her to move back home to Boston. Cassie gets a job at the firehouse there, but soon finds that her coworkers are not thrilled about having a woman on the team, except for one rookie who immediately takes an interest in her. Cassie does not want to jeopardize her career, especially when she already has to work so hard to be taken seriously, and is not so interested in dating a coworker. Given that this one is tagged as a romance, I’m sure she’ll be changing her mind. I’m very excited to try this author!

10) You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

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I added this one to my TBR back in 2019 because I saw a lot of hype around it for a while, and it also looked so fun! This book is about a couple, Naomi and Nicholas, who are three months away from their wedding, but realize that neither of them want to get married anymore. The only catch is whichever of them calls off the wedding first will have to foot the bill for the entire nonrefundable thing. The two of them soon end up battling it out to see who will be willing to walk away first, and soon find themselves changing their mind as they start to remember what it was like to have fun together. When I first mentioned this book, I said that it reminded me of Bride Wars with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, but it also reminds me a bit of How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Something about the idea of the characters trying to one-up each other to force the other one out reminds me a lot of (again) Kate Hudson’s character trying to drive her boyfriend to break up with her while he works hard to keep it all together, since they both have an on-going bet on the line. This book sounds like exactly the kind of fun rom-com I like to watch as a movie, and I’m very interested to see how it will work as a book instead.

More Quarantine Book Hauls!

It seems unlikely that I’ll have much access to the library again this year, at least not for a long while. My local branch is technically open for curbside pickup, but that doesn’t help me very much since I don’t drive, and I don’t know if they would be willing to let me walk over to pick things up. It’s also a hassle to have to leave the books to “quarantine” in my house before I read them, so it doesn’t really seem worth it. Instead, I’ve been going a bit overboard buying books instead! I’ve been very lucky recently to find several of my most anticipated books come up on Book Outlet for a much more affordable price than buying them new in stores, especially because I specifically wanted the hardcover editions. I’ve also done something I’ve never done before, and preordered several books months in advance! I usually only preorder things in the week or two before they are released, but there were some great discounts available, so I decided to just go ahead and preorder now instead.

These two pictures are a combination of several different Book Outlet orders over the past few months:

Some of them are books that I’ve already read and really enjoyed, like Radio Silence, I’ll Give You the Sun, and Reconstructing Amelia, just to name a few. The majority are books that I’ve been very excited to read and was so happy to see them come up on Book Outlet!

These next two pictures are some of the many books I bought from Indigo. Again, a few are books that I’ve already read and loved, but the vast majority are new books that I’ve been highly anticipating! I still have quite a few more books on the way too, including many of my preorders:

I think it’s safe to say I’ve gone a little overboard with the number of books I’m buying, but to me, it’s worth it if it means I can still read all of my most anticipated books this year! I’m also lucky enough to be in a position where I am able to buy so many books relatively easily, so I’m very thankful for that.