Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my TBR That I'm Avoiding

Top Ten Tuesdays (TTT) is a weekly event now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's TTT is: Books on my TBR That I'm Avoiding.
This is such a perfect topic for me! I feel like I have quite the list of books that I'm avoiding, for various reasons. I could be a certified book avoider. I narrowed this list to 10 I've been avoiding the longest or most often where I tried to avoid adding on "someday I'll read this" or "maybe this time I'll actually read it"

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This book is so many people's favorite books and its so long, over 700 pages. I'm so intimidated by the hype, the length and scared I won't love it. I think I'll read this book every winter and then I don't.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book is another "I'm going to read this this year" and then I never do. I think I've been telling myself I'll read it every winter for over five years and then I don't. Someday I will read it!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I love historical fiction and this is a highly recommend historical fiction book that it seems everyone has read and loved. I know its the hype with this book - what if I don't love it like everyone else?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean
I don't want this series to end. I feel like if I don't read the book, then the series never ended.. right? Well I have to read this one before watching the films.. so I hope this one I'll read soon enough.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Another "of the wind" book I'm avoiding. This is another favorite book of so many people and a book about books which I love. But the hype is getting to me here too.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I love Taylor Jenkins Reid and have read all but two of her books. This one? I'm not quite sure why I'm avoiding it. I think I partly don't want to run out of her books to read, odd enough reason as it sounds.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Another book that lands of people's favorite lists.. and another I'm nervous about because of that hype. I have been holding onto this book, it's been waiting to be read. I've even picked up a time or two but didn't actually start it.

Kate Morton's books
 I had wanted to read Kate Morton for such a long time. Then I dived into The Clockmaker's Daughter.. and it was okay. I've been a bit nervous about her other books now, even though I think I'll love a couple of them.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
I got a couple hundred pages into this and put it down and haven't picked it up since. But I need to pick it up so I can continue on with the show. Its over 1,000 pages. I have really enjoyed the first two books in the series and I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too. But that page count is intimidating!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Another hyped book for me. But I'm also not sold on a circus setting. I love the whimsical stories. I have a feeling I'll really like this one but still haven't picked it up.

BookReview: Archimancy (Shadow School #1) by J.A. White

Title: Archimancy
Series: Shadow School #1
Author: J.A. White
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Pages: 304
Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Paranormal

Cordelia Liu knew Shadow School was going to be different. Black gates and ivied walls. Long hallways lined with old paintings. A tower with a window that looks like an eye. Different she expected; different she could handle. Still, Cordelia can’t shake the feeling that something’s not right—and that she’s being carefully watched. The answer isn’t just in front of her eyes—it’s in her gym, next to the bulletin board, even in the cafeteria. The school grounds are filled with ghosts. Cordelia soon realizes she’s not the only one who can see them; her new friend Benji can too. Together with supersmart Agnes, the trio are determined to find out why the ghosts are there, and whether there’s a way to set them free. But the school was created with more sinister intentions, and someone is willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure that the ghosts remain trapped forever.

I need to make it a point this year to read more middle grade novels. I do not know why I haven't but what I do know is that they can be such fun reads. Yes, some can be spooky and some can make me wonder if there are ghosts walking around me but like Shadow School it can be all fun, spooky, and a little ghost paranoid. 

Cordelia Liu has just moved cross country and is starting her first day at a new school. However, something doesn't feel right and that could be because of the little boy she sees under the gym bleachers, in his pajamas, crying. But it could also be the fact that when she goes to comfort him, her hand passes right through him. Soon realizing that she and another student are able to see ghosts the two of them plus the help of Cordelia's new best friend, Agnes, set out to set these ghosts free. What they do not know is something lurks in the shadow, and it is watching. 

Normally I would be reading spooky stories in October to go with the mood but this was a nice break from what I was normally reading. It was a light enjoyable read that flowed smoothly and held my interest. Talking to issues of relocating, new friendships, and teamwork, J.A. White writes a book that capture key things that kids will be able to connect too. 

Looking at characters, Cordelia is unhappy in the beginning of the novel, having to leave her past life behind and start a whole new life in her hometown. But as we move through the story we start to see this brave, young girl stand up for what she believes in and most importantly her new friends. Agnes and Benji are good friends to have. They have their own personalities that gave the story depth. However, I am concerned with the description of the unlikely duo of parents and the further description of the Chinese dad as the more unflattering and non-social character and the representation it brings for non-white characters. 

At the ending there was a little bit of an emotional read that did hit home pretty hard but it was nice to have that in the story. It answered some questions that the reader might have towards a particular character and their suspicions throughout the novel. 

Overall, minus that bump, J.A. White writes a enjoyable read. Capturing my attention till the end and leaving with me wanting to know more. You do not have to wait till October to read this novel but the ghost paranoia, well that is something you should always be worrying about. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Tropes

Top Ten Tuesdays (TTT) is a weekly event now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's TTT is: Favorite Tropes. 

Hate to Love
This is probably my favorite trope. I'm a sucker for a good hate-to-love romance.
Book recommendation:

Fake Relationship (Fauxmance)
This one is so fun, and always seems to have a little bit of tension that seems similar to a hate-to-love romance.
Book recommendation:

Survival Setting
I'm such a sucker for survival stories. Especially ones where a romance forms as it seems to add a hope element to the story.
Book recommendation:

Heists or large quests
I'm always down for a good heist or quest. There's only one book that comes to mind for a heist, but I'd love to read more.
Book recommendation:

I don't travel often, so I end up doing my traveling through books. I love reading about different travel experiences characters have. Especially when there's a romance involved.
Book recommendation:

Opposites Attract
I find it so interesting when opposites attract and I love reading about it.
Book recommendation:

Star-Crossed Lovers
I love to root for love, especially in stories of star-crossed lovers. Though I do prefer the happier endings over the sad ones when it comes to this trope.
Book recommendation:

Person in disguise
There's always such a good story behind a good disguise. Why someone would be so determined to don on a disguise. It usually makes a good tale and I love seeing if any romance develops out of it.
Book recommendation:

I'm so fascinated by mythology - the stories, the characters, the gods, all of it. I love when books mention mythology whether it be retellings, a part of the story or just set during the time when mythology was prevalent and therefore part of the lives and culture of the characters.
Book recommendation:

Bookish Characters
Of course, I'm a fan of fellow book lovers. I love relating to characters this way.
Book recommendation:

Book Review: Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro + Emily Henry

Hello GirlsTitle: Hello Girls
Author: Brittany Cavallaro + Emily Henry
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Pages: 320
Format: ARC ebook
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Suspense

From critically acclaimed authors Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry comes a page-turning, darkly funny teen novel about two teenage girls who have had enough of the controlling men in their lives—and take their rage on the road to make a new life for themselves. Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in. Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them. Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by. One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt. A darkly funny, razor-sharp collaboration between Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry, Hello Girls is the unforgettable story of two girls who are filled with equal parts rage and love—and must reclaim their power if they are ever going to get away with their daring escape.

I grew up watching movies like Thelma and Louise and that's exactly what this story reminded me of, just with cell phones and young heroines. The friendship between Winona and Lucille is absolutely perfect. They are as different as two people can be, in terms of how they grew up. Winona lives in a huge house, comes from a wealthy family, and a monster of a dad. He's really, truly, the creepiest dad I've read in YA. Then there's poor Lucille, who has grown up poor, with a no-good mother and a controlling brother who runs the household - laden with drugs and devoid of any decent role models or even a semi-safe home life.

So one day, Winona snaps. And she leaves. And Lucille is there for the ride and what ensues is a chaotic, dangerous, and thrilling adventure. It's a road trip where they learn more about each other and themselves and their friendship is truly #goals because I love the relationship between these two. They are the heart of the story. One particular line really stood out to me:

It struck her then that the two of them were crouched between a church and a police station -- two places of confession -- and that, for whatever reason, they'd chosen each other instead.*

It was evident that the two authors are close in real life because the friendship between the two main characters came through so brilliantly. And by the end of the book, I just wanted Winona and Lucille to be happy for the rest of their lives - because they lived with me long after I read the last page.
So if you're looking for a character-driven story focused on female friendships, overcoming obstacles under difficult circumstances, and a story beautifully and poignantly written, you're going to want to pick this one up. As always, happy reading!

*I read the ARC so language is subject to change in its final published form.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Get at the Bookstore/Library Today

Top Ten Tuesdays (TTT) is a weekly event now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's TTT is: Freebie. For today's topic I choose to do Ten Books I'd Get at the Bookstore/Library Today. There are so many new releases and books I'm excited to read that picking out ten books at the bookstore/library would be fun and easy. 




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