I HAD to have it…but why haven’t I read it yet?

If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of books you are anticipating the release date of, all the time. I am always excited for something big coming out, and most times I’ll have them pre-ordered to guarantee release date delivery and to take advantage of any pre-order incentives!

Yet, I find myself looking at my shelf, wondering why all of these highly-anticipated books remain unread! I have a feeling that it may be something of a worry that the book won’t live up to my hype-levels. Plus, there’s just so many AMAZING books coming out all of the time. LIKE SLOW DOWN Y’ALL, there are only so many hours in the day!

So here are the books that have been sitting neglected on my TBR pile, waiting to be read. If you’ve read any of them and liked them, please YELL at me in the comments to get on it!

  1. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  2. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  3. City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
  4. Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
  5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  6. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  7. Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
  8. This Savage Song *and* Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  9. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  10. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
  11. A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess
  12. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  13. Armada by Ernest Cline
  14. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  15. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  16. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  17. Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan

Now having looked at these…many of them are sequels or in a series! I hate having to try to remember a year ago and what happened in a book to read the newest installation! Sometimes I’ll even wait for more than one to come out so I don’t have to do that!

So what do you think? Are you shunning me yet? Which of these do I NEED to read, and which should I just skip?

“Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody

30238163New release Tuesday! Take a card and stake your soul with Ace of Shades, book 1 in The Shadow Game series.

Enne (pronounced like the letter “N”) has no choice when her mom, Lourdes Alfero, doesn’t come back from her trip. She has to go to New Reynes to find her. With her handy tourist guidebook, she sets off to find Levi Glaisyer, the only name her mother left behind.

New Reynes is called the City of Sin for a reason. The South Side of the city is considered “safer” — this is where rich tourists go to vacation. The North Side, where Levi is the Lord of the gang called the Irons, is dangerous. There’s other gangs (the Scarhands and the Doves), plus notorious mafia casino families. Enne’s guidebook strongly advises not going to the North Side. But she must.

Ace of Shades switches from Enne’s and Levi’s perspectives. While Enne needs Levi to help her find Lourdes, Levi needs Enne to pay him for his help in order to pay off a large debt that if left unpaid, will cost him his life.

Told over the 10 days Levi has to pay back his debtor, we follow him and Enne through this magical, dangerous, Vegas-meets-carnival adventure. If you liked Caraval, and want more of the same, you have to pick this one up.

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Buy Ace of Shades here.

I also highly recommend Foody’s debut, Daughter of the Burning City – click this link to buy!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“I Stop Somewhere” by T.E. Carter

29751533._UY1678_SS1678_(Content Warning: murder, rape, sexual assault)

New Release Tuesday! I Stop Somewhere is a very emotional, sad, and gripping book. In the vein of novels like The Lovely Bones, we follow Ellie as she watches her murderer from the afterlife as a ghost of sorts. Where it differs, is that this book alternates between the past leading up to Ellie’s murder, and the present as she watches girl after girl be assaulted just like her, unable to do anything to help.

Finally, one of the victims speaks up. It isn’t easy, as the two assailants are the sons of the most powerful man in town, the one buying up all the foreclosed houses and remodeling them to keep the town from shriveling up and dying. Ellie watches as the girls struggle with the repercussions of their attacks, the boys scramble to save themselves from prison, and the police struggle to solve Ellie’s now long-cold case.

This book is very graphic, but it is also very addictive. I flew through it, pausing to reflect on how sad the story was, getting pissed at the bad guys, and wishing I didn’t have to do real life things instead of reading.

Here is an excerpt of the Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself” that the title was taken from:

I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“The Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule

1262745The Stranger Beside Me was originally published in 1980, and it had a 20th anniversary edition that came out in 2000. It’s been on my to-read shelf for…… longer than I care to admit.

Ann Rule, as you may know, is an acclaimed true crime author known for many of her works. Back in the 80’s, there was a suspected serial killer sexually assaulting and bludgeoning young women to death. The case was in full swing when Rule’s publisher asked her to follow the story and write a book about it.

A short time before this, Ann had done some work for a suicide hotline to honor her brother’s memory (he had committed suicide many years before). She became close to another volunteer there named Ted Bundy. Bundy was kind of a charmer, and Rule felt almost sisterly love for him, giving him rides and attending events together.

As Ann followed the serial killer case, she began to hear things that brought Ted to mind. But no, nice Ted that she worked with would never do something that horrible! Eventually, Ted was caught and sentenced to death by electrocution. Rule continued to communicate with Ted, even with him knowing she was writing this book, up until when he was executed.

Doesn’t that sound like an amazing, unbelievable story? In case you didn’t catch it, this is a T R U E  S T O R Y. You could not make this stuff up.

This is a very solid read, even with its age. If you like serial killers and well-researched procedural and mystery books, you should definitely put this on your list.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Buy the book here.

“13 Minutes” by Sarah Pinborough

Out today in the United States!

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Sarah Pinborough is one of the reigning queens of the thriller, right up there with Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. Her other title, Behind Her Eyes, released earlier this year, and I was skeptical of its promotional hashtag of #wtfthatending. It was so unbelievably accurate I was blown away. So, having loved that book, I knew I had to get my hands on 13 Minutes.

Tasha is technically dead for 13 minutes when she is pulled from the freezing river and revived. No one knows how she ended up there or if it was foul play. The story switches between viewpoints, and is such a good whodunit, with lots of threads leading to dead ends. No matter where you think the story is going, you’ll be wrong. It’s just a given, and that’s what I adore about Pinborough’s books.

The more I thought about this book as I was reading it and after I finished, the more I thought it was comparable in nature to Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia. The characters are young, there’s been a horrible crime committed, and they both use technology (e.g. texting) to convey parts of the story.

★★★★

Purchase 13 Minutes here.

Also, purchase Behind Her Eyes and Reconstructing Amelia. You won’t regret it!

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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

Okay everybody, take a seat. This is another case of “Why didn’t anyone force me to read these before?!” So here I am to shove these books in your face and make you read them.

This is a three-book series: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts off with Mara starting a new school in Florida after surviving a building collapse that kills her three best friends. Mara is understandably distraught and is diagnosed with PTSD that leaves her hallucinating at random. At her new school, Mara meets Noah Shaw, a supposedly notorious ladies’ man. There’s something about him that she can’t put her finger on, but he eventually convinces her to go on a date with him.

But Mara isn’t sure all of her hallucinations are actually figments of her imagination. Some of them are too real. She starts receiving creepy messages and photographs, and she suspects they’re coming from her deceased ex-boyfriend, Jude.

I can’t really get into any more details because it’ll be too spoiler-y.

This series is awesome because it combines so many genres flawlessly. It has YA contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, historical fiction, and more. It’s amazing, really. The audiobooks are narrated by Christy Romano… yes, that one — Christy Carlson Romano, known best for her role in Even Stevens and the voice of Kim Possible.

My review of the first book was few words — I couldn’t process it. “Wowwwww. Yes. Amazing.”

The same happened with the second book. ” Wow wow wow. Normally a second book falls flat. But that ending……..On to the next oneeeee!!!”

And the last book prompted this, “Well that ending had me SHOOK. But it definitely felt like it was dragging in the middle there. I can’t wait to read The Shaw Confessions series. NOVEMBER GET HERE NOOOOOW.”

Because *excited face* there’s a new spinoff series coming out that focuses on Noah! The first one is called The Becoming of Noah Shaw and it comes out November 7th, 2017.

So get caught up now, because there’s about to be another installment in the series! Overall, I give this series 4.5 stars.

Buy the box set of the first three books here.

Pre-order The Becoming of Noah Shaw here.

7 Series You Need to Check Out

I love a good series — diving in and getting to fly through multiple books in the same world, reveling in the sheer mass of story you have to conquer.

I have many different series I’ve started, some finished, some unfinished, some with books still yet to come. Here’s some you need to check out.

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  • Harry Potter — Okay, this is an obvious one. But it continues to shock me when I find out someone I know hasn’t read them yet! And before you say it, no, the movies don’t count. And if you want my brutally honest opinion, I’d tell you that the movies are complete garbage compared to the books. They left out so many great things! Peeves! Winky and S.P.E.W. All of the flashbacks they left out in HP6!
    • Bottom Line: Read them however you can, but I highly recommend the Jim Dale narration of the audiobooks. It’s like watching a movie IN YOUR HEAD!
  • uglies1Uglies by Scott Westerfeld — In this series, Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16. In her society, that is the age when you “turn pretty” — you get surgery to make you perfect and bubbly-headed. This series has such cool technology and rebels and swoons and fights. Uglies was one of my favorite series when I was in middle school, and I have it from a very reliable source (Mr. Westerfeld himself) that there is more in this world coming!
    • Bottom Line: Is the price of being Pretty worth losing what makes you original? Does Tally have what it takes to fight back?
    • If you liked Uglies, try Divergent and The Hunger Games.
  • d1cehmuxhes-_sl250_fmpng_Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge — This is an adult mystery/thriller series in which the main character, Detective Helen Grace, is on the prowl for serial killers. Each book focuses on a different killer, and they are all pretty gruesome and heart-pounding cases. This series has 5 books out in the US, but 2 additional out in the UK that aren’t here yet, PLUS two novellas.
    • Bottom Line: While they won’t win a pulitzer prize, these books are fast-paced, chilling thrillers. I flew through 5 in about a week and a half, and I can’t wait for more!
    • Bonus: Killer covers. (Pun intended.)
  • The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristilluminae-filesoff — These books are awesome for a few reasons. First, the story is just top notch space race against the ene<my. On top of that, both books feature absolutely bad-ass young women that show the villain who's boss. But ultimately, the reason that puts these at the top of many people's lists, is that the format and design of the book itself is stunning. Told through transcripts, emails, chats, web pages, and more, reading The Illuminae Files is a lot like what it sounds like — you're literally reading a file of evidence. But it's extremely well-done.
    • Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something different and fun, plus space and bad-ass bitches kicking ass, you need to pick up Illuminae and Gemina. (Plus Obsidio comes out next year! Time to catch up!) 
    • Bonus: While I haven’t personally listened to them, the audiobooks for this series are narrated by a full cast and are allegedly amazing. Let me know if you’ve listened to them.
    • If you liked The Illuminae Files, try The Themis Files (ALIEN ROBOTS NEED I SAY MORE?).
  • a-darker-shade-of-magic-ve-schwab-series-book-covers-1024x513A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — Set in a universe where three Londons exist in different worlds (Red London, White London, and Grey London), there exist two beings who are the only ones who can travel between worlds. When one of these beings unknowingly brings a piece of evil magic into the world, it creates a series of chaotic events that seemingly can’t be stopped. You can also read my review here.
    • Bottom Line: If you like fantasy books, this is for you. If you don’t like fantasy books, I think this is still for you. It’s just so much crazy awesomeness that I can’t even properly put into words why you should read these massive, beautiful tomes.
  • 516wcmsapcl-_sx332_bo1204203200_To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han — This is just a cute, squishy, happy feels series. It all starts out when Lara Jean’s letters get mailed out. Sounds normal, right? But they’re not — they’re “break up” letters Lara Jean wrote to everyone she ever had a crush on or “loved,” as the title implies. This series has food, cute decorations and adorable clothes, swoon-worthy boys, and a strong family support system not often seen in books.
    • Bottom Line: These 3 books are definitely something I used as a palate cleanser, and I mean that in the best way possible! They’re just consumable, sweet, and adorable. I love them like a little sister.
  • 51qxkni9til-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French — This series is super unique in that each book is from a different officer’s perspective, and you meet the new officer in the book before (typically). These books are beautifully written, but thorough, so don’t expect to fly through them. There’s 6 of them, and they range from creepy, to strange, to sad, to school-girl, and so much more. The perspectives aren’t always from a man or a woman, but rather switch off, which I find to be a nice change of pace. Read my review of In the Woods here.
    • Bottom Line: Read In the Woods and try to tell me you weren’t biting your nails and running away from dark rooms. This isn’t to say they are all scary, though, and they’re definitely not horror books, so they’re okay for the easily frightened.

That’s just a few of my favorites. What are your favorite series? Have you read any of these and agree or disagree with me?