Stacking the Shelves (#51)

I was shocked to see how few books I’d added to my TBR in the past month! In February alone, I added only 21 books to my list, and a few of those were books that I already had on my TBR anyway but got added again because of Goodreads giveaways. I also added about 15 other books to my TBR in the three remaining days of January after my last Stacking the Shelves post. It was very surprising to see that I’d added almost as many in those three days alone as I did in the entire month of February! I guess in a way it makes sense, since December and January are huge months for finding lists of upcoming new releases, but that tends to taper off by February. I also feel like I’ve generally spent less time on Goodreads this month, so I didn’t find quite so many books just by browsing my feed. I briefly considered mentioning all of the books I added in the past month in this post since there are so few, but I ultimately decided it didn’t really make sense to do that since many of them don’t have much information available yet, or were books that were already on my list anyway.

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) Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

This was one of the books I added to my TBR right at the end of January after my previous Stacking the Shelves post had already gone up. I’d heard about this book in someone’s Youtube video but forgot to write down the name or add it on Goodreads immediately, so I’d forgotten about it. It was mentioned by Cindy on the channel withcindy, and for some reason, and it sounded so cool! It is about a serial killer named Ansel Packer who is scheduled to be executed in 12 hours, but told from the perspectives of three of the women in his life — his mother, his wife’s twin sister, and the homicide detective involved in his case. I think it’s very interesting for the author to choose these three perspectives and how the women around Ansel knew him and were affected by him. I love thrillers in general, and especially books that try to delve into the psychology behind the criminals. I also love that it seems to be such a unique take on the typical thriller, and I’m glad I remembered to add it to my list this time!

2) I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers

This is another book that I added right at the end of January, but I didn’t want to miss mentioning it. It is the upcoming release by this author due out in September, and it is about a 16-year-old girl named Georgia who discovers the dead body of a 13-year-old child named Ashley, and decides to team up with Ashley’s sister to find the killer and bring them to justice. Their investigation throws Georgia into a world of wealth and privilege, and she soon discovers just how much money and power rule. I was mostly interested in this one because it’s tagged as the “spiritual successor” to Sadie, which was a book that I absolutely loved and devoured. Unfortunately, I’ve since tried two more books by this author and haven’t loved either of them quite as much. I was really expecting The Project to be an easy favourite last year, but found it a bit underwhelming. I’m hoping this one will bring me back to the same kind of impact that Sadie had, since that book was incredible!

3) One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

I added this one to my list mainly because I already have two other books by this author on my TBR, so her name caught my attention. This one is about a young woman named Katy, who is devastated when her mother Carol, who is also her best friend, dies before their planned trip of a lifetime to Italy, where Carol first met Katy’s father. Katy decides to take the trip alone, and soon feels her mother’s presence when she steps foot onto the coast. When her mother suddenly appears, alive and well but at only 30 years old, Katy has no idea what is happening or how, but she jumps at the chance to have her mother back in whatever way she can. Over the course of the summer, Katy gets to know Carol as the young woman that she was and reconcile that person with the mother she’s always known. To be fair, this was one of the books that got re-added to my list because of a Giveaway. I actually added it back in October, but since I didn’t mention it at the time, I thought it was worth bringing up anyway. It’s not necessarily at the top of my list to read, but it sounds like it could be very good.

4) The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

I’d forgotten that I’d thought about making Kimberly Belle one of my priority authors to try this year, but ended up bumping her off my list since there were other thriller authors that I wanted to try a bit more. If I don’t end up reading any of her books this year, she will definitely be high on my list next time! I was especially surprised to realize that I’d already seen her books around for years, and had even considered adding some of them to my TBR in the past. She caught my attention all over again with My Darling Husband, but when I looked into her backlist I realized that The Marriage Lie was a book I’d already been interested in. I’m not sure why I didn’t end up adding it to my list at the time. This book is her 2016 release about a couple named Iris and Will whose marriage seems perfect, until Iris is notified that Will has been killed in a plane crash on his flight headed toward Seattle. Will had told her that he was going to Orlando for a business trip, so Iris assumes there must be some mistake but as time goes on without any sign of him, she is forced to accept that he must have lied to her and sets out to discover what else her husband must have been hiding. I suspect I didn’t add this one to my list at the time since I assumed it would be very similar to other domestic thrillers, but it definitely seems like something I would enjoy. I added it to my TBR along with another backlist thriller by this author, and I’ve only just now discovered she has two more that I’d never heard of either so I’m adding those as well. It definitely seems like she will need to be a priority author for next year!

5) On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass

Of course this one attracted my attention because of the house on the cover. I really wish I could figure out why that’s something that always seems to draw me in! This book is an upcoming 2022 release due out in May, about a woman named Cora who is convinced her husband Finn is cheating on her, and enlists of the help of a woman named Paige to help catch him in the act. Paige lost her son in a hit-and-run accident the previous year, and her grief causes her to make reckless choices, like spying on others in the neighbourhood to find proof that her son’s death was not an accident. Another neighbour, Georgia, is a young mother who seems afraid to leave her own house, despite the fact that she used to travel the world. All three of these women have secrets to hide, but their stories may connect more than any of them expect. This is one of those thrillers that has quite a vague synopsis so it’s a little tricky to really figure out what the actual storyline is, but I tend to enjoy books that focus on neighbourhood secrets and domestic drama, so this sounds like something I’d enjoy.

6) Curfew by Janye Cowie

I’m pretty sure I noticed this one just while browsing my Goodreads feed, and decided that it looked very interesting! It is set in a near-future version of Britain, where women now dominate workplaces, public spaces and the government, and men are electronically tagged and not allowed out past 7 pm in an attempt to make things safer for women after dark. However, the curfew does not necessarily make life easier for everyone. Single mother Sarah is worried about her husband Greg’s release from prison, since she was the reason he was sent there for breaking curfew. Their teenager daughter Cass hate the fact that her best friend Billy is forced to follow restrictions when he poses no danger to anyone, and is determined to find a way to prove it. Cass’s teacher Helen is desperate to have a baby, and worries that her cohab certificate with her boyfriend won’t be approved. When one of these women is murdered, evidence suggests that she died late at night and was killed by someone she knew, but the public believes it couldn’t have been a man because of the curfew, leaving everyone to wonder what really happened to her. This sounds like such an interesting concept for a sci-fi/thriller mix, and I’m very interested in giving it a try!

7) Woman Last Seen by Adele Parks

Adele Parks is one of those authors whose books have been mildly on my radar for years, although I haven’t tried any of them yet. She’s also an author who has written in multiple different genres, but it wasn’t until she started writing thrillers that she really caught my attention. This book is her latest release about a woman named Leigh, a happily married stepmom who goes missing, and her husband insists he knows nothing about where she went. Another woman, Kai, goes missing that same week from the penthouse she shares with her husband, a wealthy Dutch businessman named Daan, who is has no idea what happened to her. When Detective Clements begins working on these cases, she soon realizes that although these women were so different, their disappearances might actually be connected. This is one of many thrillers on my list so I’m not sure how soon I’ll be getting to it, but it does sound like something I’d enjoy. Given how many of this author’s books are stacking up on my TBR, I may need to make her another priority author for next year.

8) The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

I’ve been hearing about this book absolutely everywhere lately, but I also was a bit confused about its publication. Apparently this book was originally self-published back in 2020, which is the version that I’ve mostly been hearing about, but due to its popularity it got picked up and will now be released again as a new edition. It is an adult fantasy book about a group of six magicians who are selected for initiation, where they must all spend one year together. During this time, they will have access to the Alexandrian Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge, but at the end of that year, one of them will be eliminated. I mostly added this one to my list because it came up as a Goodreads Giveaway and I decided to try my luck and enter. I knew so little about what the book was about, but now that I’ve looked into it, it actually sounds really cool. There’s apparently a sequel coming out later this year too, so I will most likely end up waiting and reading both together if I decide to pick them up at all.

9) Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate

This is another book that was re-added to my list thanks to a Goodreads giveaway, but I decided it was worth mentioning here anyway since I’ve never really discussed it in any detail. This book is set in 2072, where a volcanic eruption is due to devastate the Earth, and the only way out is to send people into space. World leaders and scientists frantically try to produce a space fleet meant to save everyone, and their children are brought into to the lab for a tour of the prototype spaceship. However, when the apocalypse starts much earlier than expected, Leigh Chen and the other teens who were on the tour with her are the only ones to escape. The group is forced to work together to figure out how to survive and find a new habitable planet, but as the isolation begins to get to them all, their team begins to fracture. Essentially, this book has been pitched as a Lord of the Flies story set in space, which sounds surprisingly interesting. I’m not a big fan of survival stories in general, but I often like reading about space, and I’ve really enjoyed this author’s books in the past so I’m interested in trying it.

10) My Perfect Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil

This is another author who already has several books on my TBR, but this one specifically came up on my Goodreads feed. This book is about a woman named Zoe who picks up a 5-year-old girl, Maddie, whom she finds alone on a country road and takes her back to her father. However, Zoe doesn’t realize that Maddie wasn’t lost, she was there to lure her father’s next victim. After Zoe escapes from him with Maddie, she bonds with her and when no other family comes forward to claim her, Zoe decides to adopt her and move away to a new home. Zoe soon gets married and has another child, but her family is challenged by Maddie’s callous behaviour. Although she loves Maddie, Zoe can’t help being a little afraid of her, and years later, when Maddie’s school bully is found dead, Zoe also begins to wonder just how much like her father Maddie really is. I absolutely love thrillers that focus on the whole nature vs. nurture debate and parents questioning whether their children could really have done something horrific. While I do think the setup for this one seems a bit overcomplicated with all the focus on how Zoe escaped and took Maddie in, it sounds like an interesting premise, and I’m excited to try it.

11) We Don’t Talk Anymore by Julie Johnson

This was another book that came up as a Goodreads Giveaway, but I’d never heard of it before. It is about a young woman named Josephine, who starts seeing her best friend Archer a new way the summer they turn 18 and decides to confess her feelings for him. To be fair, I think I was first drawn to this book because the cover led me to believe it would be a book that involves a friendship/relationship via texting. I hadn’t really looked into it that much before entering the giveaway. Now that I’ve seen some of the reviews for it, I’m a little more on the fence about whether I still want to read it. I’d also assumed this was a new release, but apparently it’s been out for 2 years already, and there is a sequel that just came out. I’m not really a big fan of romances that are drawn out over more than one book, although the reviews for the sequel do seem to be a bit stronger. I may wait to see if I win this one in the Giveaway before deciding whether I want to keep it on my list.

12) Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

This is yet another book that I stumbled upon by chance on Goodreads, and decided that I might be interested. I’ve been starting to get a bit more into historical fiction again lately, so I wanted to mark this one down in case I wanted to read it later. This one is set in Montgomery, Alabama in 1973, and it is about a Black woman named Civil Townsend who is fresh out of nursing school and takes a job working at the Family Planning Clinic to help women make their own choices about their bodies. However, on her first week of her job, she is sent to a dusty country road where she meets her first patients, who are just 11 and 13 years old. Neither of these children have even kissed a boy, but as poor children from a Black family, they are expected to be on birth control and Civil decides to fight back against the injustice, with their case eventually landing before the Supreme Court. To be honest, I didn’t really have a strong sense of what the book was about until I looked at some of the reviews since the synopsis was a bit on the vague side. It is definitely a part of American history that is not widely addressed, and I’m very interested to see how the author tackles it.


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