Stacking the Shelves (#56)

I didn’t even remember adding a ton of books to my TBR this month, so I was very surprised to see that I’d already added 75 (plus 3-5 more that I added while writing this post)! This month was a bit of a weird one. I went from having COVID (extremely mild) right at the end of June, followed one week later by a 24-hour stomach bug, so that definitely put a damper on the start of my month. July is always a bit of an unusual month for me anyway since it’s when the day program I work for closes for two weeks of training and planning for the upcoming year, and then I tend to take two weeks off. I always expect that I’ll read so much during that time, yet somehow that never seems to be the case. Strangely, this month has felt both super slow and super fast at the same time. The majority of the books that I added this month were upcoming releases from authors that I’ve either tried or at least already had on my TBR. Unfortunately, I didn’t really keep track of where I first saw them so I have no idea how I first heard of most of these books!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week. It is hosted by TyngaReviewsand ReadingReality.

1) My Other Husband by Dorothy Koomson

I’ve been meaning to read more of this author’s books for years now, but they tend to be a little hard to find here in Canada. Luckily, it seems that her newer books are becoming a little easier to access through Amazon or Indigo, at least in paperback. I read The Ice Creams Girls by this author back in 2016 for one of my reading challenges and really enjoyed it, but haven’t read anything else by this author ever since! This book is her newest release due out in August. The synopsis is quite vague, but it seems to be about an author who is being framed for murder using the same methods they write about in their books, but she can’t tell the police or use her alibi because that would mean revealing all of her own lies. This is one of my favourite thriller premises and I’m very excited to give it a try. From what I can see, it is only available as an ebook so far which does not really help me, but I hope another version comes out soon too!

2) Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender

I delayed reading Felix Ever After for such a long time because it seemed overhyped, and then it ended up becoming one of my favourite books last year! I was very interested to see Kacen Callender had another new book coming this fall, due out in September. This book is about a non-binary teenager named Lark whose ex-best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread to their Twitter declaring his love for his crush, which brings the whole school’s attention to Lark’s tweets. To protect her friend, Lark decides to take the blame and pretend they posted the thread about someone else, allowing Lark to get closer to their crush while keeping Kasim’s privacy intact. However, the lie soon starts to take its toll as Lark tries to keep up appearances for their online following, and Kasim soon starts to find himself growing closer to Lark again, just like things used to be. To be honest, I added this book to my TBR on author name alone without even looking at the synopsis, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m even more excited for this book!

3) Friends Don’t Lie by Nell Pattison

I’ve read two books so far in this author’s Paige Northwood series, and I believe this is her second standalone book. This is another case where the synopsis is incredibly vague, but from what I can gather, this book is about a woman named Isabel Butterworth who is mistaken for another woman of the same name. It took some careful delving into Goodreads reviews (hopefully without seeing too many spoilers) to get any more information, but it seems that Isabel is attacked by a man who was targeting the other woman, so she decides to try to warn the other Isabel that she may be in danger. This sounds like an interesting premise, although to be honest, I was a little disappointed with the second book I read by this author after absolutely loved The Silent House. I’m still willing to give her another chance, and I’m actually hoping to read the third book in the Paige Northwood series pretty soon as well. I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is at the top of my list to try, but I’m interested in giving it a chance at some point.

3) Such a Beautiful Family by T.R. Ragan

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this author before, but it’s no surprise that this book ended up on my TBR given that it has a house on the cover, and for some reason that always draws me in. I can’t even remember where I first saw this book, but I think it may have just come up on my Goodreads feed. It is about a woman named Nora who has a great marriage with two children and a shot at her dream career, working for a software consultant named Jane who seems determined to have Nora on her team. However, Nora soon notices that Jane is acting more like a friend than her boss, and she seems a little too attached to Nora’s family, especially her daughter and her husband, leaving Nora to question whether Jane is just lonely or if there’s something darker behind it. Like many thrillers, the reviews for this one seem quite mixed, but it sounds like a very interesting premise. I tend to love books about someone trying to weasel their way into a relationship or a family, so this seems right up my alley.

4) Never Vacation with Your Ex Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

I definitely assumed this book was another adult contemporary romance, so I was a little surprised to see that this was YA. The cover style is more in line with this author duo’s adult romances so I guess that makes sense. I was very surprised to realize that their next adult romance has somehow already been on my TBR for a year, even though it is not due out until 2023 and I was convinced that it had only recently been announced. This book is also due out next year, and it is about a 17-year-old volleyball star named Kaylee whose only break from her carefully controlled life is her family’s yearly vacation in Malibu with the Freeman-Yus. However, this year’s trip is bound to be awkward since Kaylee dated Dean Freeman-Yu and she just recently dumped him. To spare them both an uncomfortable summer, Kaylee decides to walk Dean through her steps to getting over an ex, but as the pressures of her family legacy and future career loom, she finds herself falling for Dean all over again and has to make the choice whether to do what’s expected of her or take a chance on love. This sounds so cute, and I’m excited to give it a try!

5) Something Certain, Maybe by Sara Barnard

I added this book to my TBR mostly because of author name recognition, because I absolutely loved Goodbye, Perfect when I read it in 2020. I have quite a few more of this author’s books on my list to try as well. This one is her latest release which just came out at the beginning of July, and it is about a girl named Rosie who is excited to be starting university, but soon realizes that it might not be what she expected. She doesn’t really like her program or her flatmates, her friends all seem much happier than she is, and back home, doctors are struggling to figure out what is wrong with her mother. Soon, Rosie meets Jade and everything starts to look up, but only when she’s with Jade, causing her to question whether their relationship is enough when everything else seems to be falling apart. There are so few books that seem to focus on the transition to university beyond the application process, so that alone was enough to draw me to this book. I loved Goodbye, Perfect a lot more than I expected at the time, and I’m hoping to love this one just as much.

6) This Is Our Place by Vitor Martins

Now that I’m thinking about it, I remembered that I found many of these books (including this one) on a list of upcoming LGBT YA books at, although to be fair, I had to dig back a bit in my internet history to remember exactly where I’d seen them. This book is another one that drew me in because of the cover art. Apparently it doesn’t matter if it’s a real house or an illustrated one, a house on the cover will still get me every time. This book is about three queer teenagers who have all lived in the same house over three different decades — 2000, 2010 and 2020. This seems like such a unique concept, and I’m especially interested in how the author tackles the 2020 storyline which will involved the COVID pandemic. This book is by a Brazilian author and is not due out until November, and the majority of the reviews so far are in Spanish (which I do not speak). I’m very curious to see more about this book closer to the release date.

7) What We Saw by Mary Downing Hahn

I don’t add a ton of middle grade to my TBR, but this one seemed very intriguing. This book is about two best friends, Abbi and Skylar, who witness a secret meeting between a woman and someone in a dark van. The girls take this as a mystery to liven up their summer, and become determined to find out what the meeting was really about. However, when a local woman goes missing and is found dead in the woods, they soon realize that their interest in the mystery may hold the key to solving the murder. As tensions rise, the girls find themselves in danger and must choose between keeping the secret or exposing the truth. The main reason I don’t read a ton of middle grade is because I tend to find it hard to relate to characters in that age range, however this one sounds interesting because it’s more of a thriller. I actually don’t think I’ve ever read a middle grade thriller before (at least not as an adult), so this seems like it could be a good place to start.

8) Poster Girl by Veronica Roth

I’m going to be upfront right away, and say that I liked the Divergent series but didn’t love it. However, I’ve been curious to try more of this author’s books anyway. I bought a copy of Chosen Ones not too long ago although I haven’t read it yet, and I’m also interested in Carve the Mark. This book is due out in October, and it is about a girl named Sonya who was the former poster girl for The Delegation, a group that kept control of society using constant surveillance and a very strict moral code, until their rule was ended by a revolution. Sonya had been imprisoned for 10 years for her role as the poster girl, but when an old enemy comes to her with an opportunity to earn her freedom by finding a missing child, Sonya finds herself digging deeper into her past and her family’s secrets. I love the concept of a character coming to terms with the dystopian society they were a part of and the whole idea of uncovering what was really going on. It sounds like such a unique premise, and although I didn’t love this author’s writing in Divergent, I’m willing to give her another try.

9) Little Red House by Liv Andersson

Again, I was drawn to this book mostly because of the cover, which I believe came up on my Goodreads feed. This book is about a woman named Eve whose daughter Kelsey ran away and vanished in 1997. Eve is convinced that Kelsey was victim to a serial killer who had been in the area, but her body was never found. Years later, Eve dies and leaves everything to her adopted twin daughters, with the majority going to the “good daughter” Lisa, and her sister Connie inheriting only a small amount and property, which she assumes is another one of her mother’s cruel games. Connie arrives in New Mexico to find a small red house which has a mysterious caretaker living on the property, and soon learns that there has been a string of women killed in the area. Connie soon realizes that this house may be yet another of her mother’s dangerous games, leaving her in a race to save herself and what’s left of her family. I love these kinds of darker thrillers, and this sounds so interesting!

10) The Ex-Husband by Samantha Hayes

This was one of several thrillers I added to my TBR within the past few days after going down a bit of a rabbithole of books in the “Readers Also Enjoyed” section on the sidebar of Goodreads. I have several books by this author already on my TBR although I haven’t tried any yet. This book just came out at the end of June, and it is about a woman named Leah who thinks she’s finally free of her abusive ex-husband Craig after moving to a new house with their children. Leah is shocked to see her ex walking past her window and into the house next door, and realizes that he and his new partner are her neighbours! Although Craig insists that it is just a coincidence, Leah is sure that he moved there on purpose and her nightmare soon begins again, and she is left to question whether anyone will believe her, even as their secrets are revealed. This sounds very intriguing, and I definitely need to try at least one of this author’s books since I have so many on my list already.

11) The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson

I purposely didn’t look too deeply into what this book is about because (embarrassingly enough) I still have not read The Kind Worth Killing because I didn’t want to risk any spoilers! That book was one of my top priorities to read in 2020, but I had a really hard time finding a hardcover copy of it like I wanted, so I didn’t get it until too late in the year to prioritize it. However, there is absolutely no excuse for why I didn’t get to it in 2021 or even this year! I have so many of this author’s books that I still need to get to, and I have no idea why I haven’t read them yet when they have all been so high on my list. I’m hoping that this book will give me that extra push I need to finally pick up The Kind Worth Killing, although I really shouldn’t need any more of an excuse since it’s already something I really want to read. This book is due out next March, and I am very excited to read this too!

12) Big Bad by Lily Anderson

It’s perfect timing that I came across this book yesterday, because I’m currently in the middle of rewatching Buffy and finally making my way through Angel. Buffy is one of my all-time favourite series, although I’ve never quite been able to get into Angel as much. I must have seen all the episodes at some point but I’ve never watched the entire series all the way through in order. The last time I tried, I got all the way to the second half of season 5 and the show was pulled off of wherever I was watching it. I like Angel, but I’m definitely not as attached to the show as I am to Buffy. In any case, this book is set in an alternate reality version of Sunnydale, now known as Demondale, where the Mayor managed to open the Hellmouth and the town has become a safe haven for monsters. Jonathan and Andrew are trying to hold their own in the town, while Anya is looking for a way to give her life purpose again, teaming up with some of Demondale’s most notorious villains to save their world from Buffy, who they see as the Big Bad for trying to root out all the evil. I’m a little nervous about this because it’s such a twist on the storyline (and I also don’t understand why Anya is only 300, when in the show it’s established that she’s over 1000 years old), but it does sound like a fun concept, and realistically, I’m very likely to read anything Buffy-related.

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