T5W: Books I’ve Taken Off My TBR

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

July 18th: Books You’ve Removed From Your TBR
— Discuss the books that you wanted to read at one point, but don’t anymore

This week is actually a freebie week, so I decided to do a topic I meant to do last month.

Honestly, there are so many books I’ve removed from my TBR, it was hard for me to narrow it down to just 5. (Translation: I’ve forgotten most of the books that were once on my TBR, so I was just really happy I actually thought of 5 😛 )

In no particular order, as usual…


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway– Hemingway was, in general, on and off my TBR for like 10 years. On the one hand, I felt like I had to read some of his work because they’re ~classics~ and all that. But I’ve seen so many quotes and reviews that I lost interest and was quite turned off. I decided to try this one, though, just in case. I read the first page or two and was Done. Sorry, not sorry, Hemingway is just not for me.

 

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold– I read The Lovely Bones like 15 years ago when it was new, and I loved it (then…idk how I’d feel about it now). I found The Almost Moon for about $2 years ago and bought it, then it sat on my shelf for years. I finally picked it up and tried to read it and just could not get into it. I just didn’t care about what was happening, so I gave up on it and have no interest in ever picking it up again.

 

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough– I was on the fence from the beginning about this one anyway. It landed on my TBR after I saw it hyped on social media. I had it on there as a “maybe,” but after reading several reviews, I decided to remove it from my TBR. I think I’d rather read a biography or something about Artemisia Gentileschi.

 

 

Black Dahlia and White Rose by Joyce Carol Oates– I have no idea why, but I’ve felt like I’m “supposed” to read JCO for years. Maybe that came from some reading list I saw once, or maybe just because she’s kind of popular. Whatever the case, I found this one at a dollar store once and grabbed it. I tried several times to read it, and I hated every second of it :/

 

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan– I read the first two volumes and…kind of liked them? I didn’t love them, but I was intrigued. After two volumes with no real explanation about what was going on, I was frustrated, but willing to give it one more try. And then I read some reviews with people complaining about there still being no explanations. (I did see a couple that said there was finally some development, but not enough to sway me to read on.) Maybe I will pick up the series again later, but at this point, I kind of doubt it.


What are some books you’ve removed from your TBR?

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The Wicked Deep– Review


Genres/Descriptors:
 YA; Fantasy/Paranormal

Why I read it: I had this on my list for months, anxiously awaiting release day.

Who I’d recommend it to: Ok, this book was promoted as a meeting of Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, and the Salem Witch Trials. If that sounds appealing to you, I say check it out.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (maybe 3.5 stars?)

 

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books a Million | Amazon | IndieBound


Goodreads Description:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


Review:

First, I just have to say how weird my acquisition of this book was. It was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, but I’d forgotten when it was coming out. I was at a bookstore, saw it, squealed with delight, and bought it. It was only later (like, days later) that I realized I’d bought it within like 48 hours of its release. I almost never buy brand new release books. It’s like it was fate.

Anyway…

I read this in a day, and this has not been the best reading year for me (so. many. slumps.), so that’s saying something. I really enjoyed it, and thought it was a fun book, but there were a few things I didn’t love (which I’ll get to).

What I did like was the general concept. After reading it, I totally get the Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic comparison. It’s not a copy of either of those, but there are familiar elements (the three sisters, the small town thing, etc.) that reminded me of both.

The story just kind of floated along. The only way I can describe how I felt while reading it is “enchanted.” This book definitely had me under its spell, and I completely lost track of time while reading it. It’s a bit dark, spooky, and haunting without crossing over into horror, with a touch of mystery. Honestly, it read a lot like a fairytale.

It alternated between the present and the past in a way that didn’t bother me (I hate random time jumps, but this one wasn’t like that at all) and let the story unfold gradually, giving you little pieces of past and present until the end when the whole picture was revealed.

I kind of suspected a few of the twists really early in the book that turned out to be right, but I was still a little surprised by how everything eventually played out. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the mystery aspect of the story.  

The setting for this (Sparrow) was one of my favorite parts of this book. Shea Ernshaw did such a good job creating an atmospheric place that seemed to exist just a little outside the rest of the world. 

This is kind of a spoiler, but not really, so I’m just going to say it: insta-love. I generally hate it, and I didn’t love it in this book, but I was able to just kind of roll with it. By the end of the book, I had really mixed feelings about it, but I won’t go into that because that would definitely be spoilery.

One of my biggest complaints is probably the characters. I like really getting to know the characters in a book, and I didn’t really get that with this book. Some were better developed than others, but I wanted to know more about pretty much everyone.

I can’t talk about the thing that I disliked the most about this book without giving away a lot of stuff, but (while I’d guessed it early on) some things towards the end were not my favorite.

Still, I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Ernshaw in the future, because I loved her writing.


Have you read it? What did you think?

T5W: Tropes I usually hate, done right

I almost didn’t do this one because a) I was having a really hard time coming up with more than 2, and b) I’m sick and have felt like garbage all day. But I finally feel semi-human again, and I tried.


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

August 8: Books You Liked with Tropes You Usually Hate
–Pick some of your most hated tropes and discuss books (or other media) that actually handled that trope well

I’m not sure if these actually count/work, but my brain is still kind of going “uuuuuggggghhhh” from being sick, so I apologize if they don’t all work.

In no particular order…


Friends Who Are Secretly in Love

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee– I mean really. I usually end up rolling my eyes sooo hard at this trope (and I did a few times while reading GG, because I wanted to shake Monty and Percy), but I kind of loved it in this one. When I wasn’t ready to cry or scream, that is 😛

 

 

Insta-Love


 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor– I think this is the only book I’ve ever read with insta-love that I liked. 

 

 

 

Girl Changes Her Life After Meeting a Guy



A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab–
I won’t go into details about this one, but I think this counts? It was just done in a way that’s really different from most cases of this trope happening.

 

 

 

Tragic Background = Asshole Character



Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo–
All I’m going to say is “Kaz Brekker.” 

 

 

 

Strong Female Character

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– Usually, the #StrongFemaleCharacter is a girl who’s into things that aren’t “traditionally girly,” which…Hanna kind of is. She is a badass, but she’s also the kind of badass I wouldn’t want to cross, whether she’s wearing training gear or fancy clothes.

 

 

T5W: Favorites I Want to Revist

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

August 1: Favorites You’d Like to Revisit
— What favorite books would you like to re-read? These don’t just need to be books, they can also be TV, movies, video games, etc.

I’ll probably have a “Why I haven’t been around for almost a whole month” post later this week, but I’m trying to kick August off to a good start by getting back into doing my favorite weekly meme: Top 5 Wednesday.

This topic is so hard because I could easily do more than 5 for different categories (movies, books, TV shows), but I decided to keep it mostly bookish. I couldn’t help but throw in 2 TV shows, though.

In no particular order, as usual…



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– I read this when it was pretty new, before I discovered booktube, booklr, etc. (It was after I joined goodreads, though.) So, it’s been like 6.5 years since I read it :/ It’s still a book I consider a favorite, though, and I’m strongly considering (finally) re-reading it soon.

 


Buffy the Vampire Slayer–
I watched this show pretty much from the beginning. I used to have VHS tapes with episodes recorded, and then later I had the first season on DVD. Sadly, I lost it, and haven’t been able to get it again (and the other 6 seasons) yet. And now that BTVS isn’t on Netflix anymore, I haven’t been able to watch it in years 😦  (I do have the movie, though, and now that I think about it, I’d love to re-watch it because it’s been a while.)


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde– It’s only been about 3 years since I read this one, but I really want to dive into it again. I absolutely loved it the first time around, and it’s one of my all-time-favorites. I’m not sure I actually will get around to re-reading it anytime soon, but maybe.

 


Xena: Warrior Princess– I haven’t seen Xena since…oh gosh, probably high school, which was 10+ years ago :/ I grew up on this show, though, and I miss it soooo much. 

 

 


The Mists of Avalon
by Marion Zimmer-Bradley– I was torn between this and Jane Eyre, but I’ve read the latter more recently. It’s been about 7 years since I read The Mists of Avalon, but I still think about it all the time. It’s a chunky book, though (over 900 pages, I believe), so I’m not sure when I’ll jump back into reading it. In the meantime, I might re-watch the miniseries (which I highly recommend because it’s a great adaptation, and Anjelica Huston is amazing).


What are some favorite things you’d like to revisit?

T5W: Future Classics

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

July 11th: Future Classics
–What books do you think will stand the test of time?

I think this was more stressful than it should have been haha. I first sat down and couldn’t come up with anything. It was one of those “I can’t remember a single book I’ve ever read” kinds of moments (ok, more like half an hour, during which time I just sat and stared at my shelves and actually almost cried, but let’s not talk about that).

But I finally came up with 5, so yay! In no particular order, as usual…




The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan–
I think his books are going to stick. Maybe not all of them, but I have a feeling that in another 10ish years, they’re going to be considered modern classics, as Harry Potter is now.

 


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid– I read this last summer and I still think about it a lot. I still hate the description because it makes it sound different from what it was actually like, but it was really good, very timely, and I hope it makes it as a classic. (My review.)

 

 


Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn– Confession: I haven’t read this one. I tried (several times, ugh), and couldn’t get into it. I also didn’t like the movie, or Sharp Objects (which I actually did manage to finish, but barely). I think Gillian Flynn’s writing just isn’t for me, idk. But this book exploded a few years ago, and people are still talking about it and referencing it regularly, so I have a feeling it’s eventually going to be considered a classic.

 



A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab– Maaaaaybe it won’t become a fantasy classic, but I think it should, and I hope it does ❤ (Do I need to explain this one, and why I chose it?)

 

 


The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern–
I feel like I don’t have to explain this one, either. The writing, the story, the cover ❤ It’s still a really popular book, and I see it as a lot of people’s favorite/in their list of favorites pretty regularly. I honestly can’t remember a time (since I became aware of the bookish parts of the internet a few years ago) when I haven’t seen this book pop up on social media at least once a week.


What are some books you think are destined to become classics?

T5W: Best Books I’ve Read This Year

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

July 4th: Best Books You’ve Read So Far in 2018

This one was easier than I expected, yay! In no particular order…




The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo– I read this one back in April and absolutely loved it. It’s a novel in verse, and an emotional read. (Reviewed here)

 

 


 

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff– Do I need to say anything about this one? ❤

 

 



The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee– I loved this book and tore through it in about a day and a half after I finally sat down and started reading it.

 

 



The Language of Thorns
by Leigh Bardugo– It’s Leigh Bardugo and fairy tale/folklore/myths-inspired stories, so of course I absolutely loved it. 

 

 


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien– I finally finished this back in May and mostly loved it. (I think I actually rated it 4.5/5 stars, but only because I found the first half of Fellowship sooo slow to get started. After that, I got through it pretty fast.)

 

 


What are some of the best books you’ve read so far this year?

Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag

I was not tagged for this, but I’ve seen it everywhere (here, tumblr, youtube…) for about a month now, and I kept wanting to do it, and now I am. I think this originated on Youtube, but I saw it most recently on Lia @LostInAStory’s blog.

Here we go!


The best book you’ve read so far in 2017

I hate this one because I’ve read several books I loved, but I narrowed it down to 2 (it was originally 3 until I read the next category)…which is probably cheating, but I love them pretty equally, so I’m going with it.

  

 

Your favourite sequel of the year

I love this book, I love this series, and I am still pushing it on everyone every chance I get 😛

 

A new release that you haven’t read but really want to

So. Many. For this one, because there are probably a dozen I could pick from, I’m just going with a new(ish) release that I own but haven’t read yet.

I actually hadn’t even heard of this one (how??) until last month when I saw it on social media. I grabbed a copy last time I was at a bookstore and I’m hoping to get to it really soon because it sounds like something I’m going to love.

 

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

I thought this was going to be super hard to narrow down, but then I remembered that this is coming out in October!

 

Your biggest disappointment

It’s a tossup between these two. I’ve heard amazing things about both, and I really disliked both. I won’t say I hated them, but it was really close. I gave both a grudging 2 stars (actual 1.5 rating, I think), and kinda wish I hadn’t read either of them because I feel like my time could have been spent much better.

  

 

Biggest surprise

I’m going more negative here because I expected to like this more than I did :/ I still did enjoy it, but I went into it expecting to really love it and it fell a little short of my high expectations.

 

Favourite new to you (or debut) author

No thought needed for this one. I absolutely loved this book and I can not wait for more books ❤ (I reviewed it here if you want to check out my full thoughts.)

 

Your new fictional crush

I don’t think I have any.

 

New favourite character

Oh gosh, pretty much everyone from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

A book that made you cry

This one. (Reviewed over here.)

 

A book that made you happy

I loved this book and it was so satisfying ❤

 

Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year

I didn’t read it this year, but I finally watched The Martian a few weeks ago and loved it. Not as much as the book, but I think both are great.

 

Favourite book post you’ve done this year

I’m not even sure why, but I think it was a Top 5 Wednesday and my first post of the year: 2018 Reading Resolutions. I think it might be my favorite because I’m actually not doing too bad with sticking to my goals, yay!

 

The most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

This gem ❤

I’ve seen these editions online (they’re the Harper Collins ones with “interactive elements,” and I know they have at least two others besides The Beauty and the Beast) but holy crap are they so much more amazing in person! (Confession: This was still in the plastic until 2 minutes before I took the pictures :/ So…I still haven’t even actually really looked closely at this gorgeous book and all the cool stuff that’s inside it, like that door. That door opens and there’s all kinds of other nifty things to explore.)

 

Books I want to read by the end of the year

I just did a T5W about this, so I’ll just leave that link here (and also because I am very lazy right now, sorry).


What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

Do you have any goals for the second half of the year?

If you did this tag, let me know and I’ll check it out 🙂