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