I think of all the Benchwarmers lists I’ve posted so far, this is one of the ones with the most books that I’ve actively remembered wanting to read. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any of them are books I’ve actually picked up yet! Most of these are books I found at the time by playing around with Goodreads’ different features, and especially the recommendations pages. I’ve always found the recommendations pages really hit-or-miss. Sometimes, the books they suggest are quite similar to the one I’ve read or at least indicated an interest in, but in other cases, the connection seems a lot more vague. There have been quite a few cases where I don’t even see how the recommended book connects at all, but the feature has still given me quite a few books that made it onto my TBR.
1) I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff
I bought this one from Book Outlet because I remembered that it had been on my TBR for quite a long time, and I thought owning it would give me an extra push to try it. It is about a woman named Eliot, who lives a happy life with her husband Grant, and three children including two step-daughters that Eliot thinks of as her own. When her long-lost first love suddenly returns, it triggers a chain of events that forces Eliot to make a difficult split-second decision that will affect her family forever. I don’t specifically remember finding this one on Goodreads, and while it does sound like an interesting story, I can also understand why it has taken me so long to get around to reading it. It is also a book that seems to have received very little attention on Goodreads, so it is not something that I’ve been reminded to try very often. None of my Goodreads friends or reviewers I follow have read this one, so it is not something that shows up in my newsfeed too often. Now that I own a copy though, it will hopefully be something I pick up soon.
2) What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross
I’ve always been drawn to this book because of the interesting cover, and it is another one I bought from Book Outlet. It is about a woman named Lucy who kidnaps a baby out of a shopping cart and decides to raise her as her own, keeping it a secret from the child for two decades. As Mia grows up and learns the truth about the woman she thought was her mother, she decides to reach out to her birth mother, forcing Lucy to go into hiding to avoid prosecution. Just last year, I actually was drawn to another book that had a plot along similar lines, so it definitely seems like something that would interest me. I think I didn’t read it at the time because it wasn’t easily accessible from the library, and it still isn’t. I’m glad I managed to find a copy to buy, and especially an inexpensive one so I can finally try it! I’m hoping to get to it by the end of this year, but if not, it is definitely high on my list for next year.
3) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
To be honest, I never had the strongest interest in reading this one, but I added it to my TBR anyway after several people very strongly recommended it to me. It is about a teenager named Wade Watts who has devoted his life to the virtual reality game Oasis. When the eccentric creator of the game dies, he leaves behind his fortune to the person who is able to find the Easter egg hidden somewhere within the game. I’ve heard great things about this book in general, and I have some interest in gaming myself, so it seems like something I might enjoy. It also reminds me a bit of anime like Sword Art Online or Accel World, both of which I loved. At the time that this was first recommended to me, I wasn’t particularly interested and put it off because I already had other books in mind for my reading challenge that year. Since then, I honestly think I kept putting it off partially because it felt overhyped, and I got a bit tired of hearing about it everywhere. It still seems like something I might enjoy, but I can’t say it has moved up very much on my priority list.
4) If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin
This is one book that for some reason has crossed my mind several times over the years as an option for my reading challenges, but somehow never made the final cut. I found it back in 2016 while browsing for YA realistic fiction, and thought it seemed interesting, although I’m realizing now that I think I misunderstood what it was about. It is actually about Autumn and Finn, childhood friends who grew apart over the years. The story follows them through their high school years, with both of them now hanging out with different crowds, and Autumn constantly wondering what would have happened if they had never grown apart. It seems like the kind of book that I shouldn’t put off for much longer if I’m going to read it at all, because I’m not sure how much it would really appeal to me anymore. It is getting to the point where I feel like I need to just read it already to get it off my list, which is a long time coming since it’s been over 3 years now!
5) What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
I could have sworn I bought this one from Book Outlet too, but I think I had it mixed up with another book of a similar title. It is about a girl named Kate who is having a hard time remembering what happened at a party the previous night, where she really hit it off with her crush, Ben. When a picture of another girl passed out over a boy’s shoulder appears online the next day, Kate worries that something serious may have happened, especially when the other girl presses charges against four classmates. As Kate starts to uncover more of the facts about what really happened at the party, she finds herself left with one important question: where was Ben when the crime was committed? This book is based off the real Steubenville High School rape case, which I have to admit that I don’t know very much about. I’ve seen some excellent reviews for this book, although it doesn’t seem to be very well-known, and it is a storyline that is unfortunately still relevant even this many years later.