Down the TBR Hole is a (very) bookish meme, originally created by Lia @ Lost In A Story. She has since combed through all of her TBR (very impressive) and diminished it by quite a bit, but the meme is still open to others! How to participate:
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
- Order by Ascending Date Added
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or let it go?
On the chopping block this month:
#1 – The Unconsoled, by Kazuo Ishiguro
From the universally acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day comes a mesmerizing novel of completely unexpected mood and matter–a seamless, fictional universe, both wholly unrecognizable and familiar. When the public, day-to-day reality of a renowned pianist takes on a life of its own, he finds himself traversing landscapes that are by turns eerie, comical, and strangely malleable.
The blurb is pretty vague, am I right? I picked this up in one of my first used-book-buying sprees because I had heard of the author, but not the book. (I later found a copy of the more famous The Remains of the Day as well–I have yet to read either.)
In this situation I would usually turn to some reviews for guidance, but a quick glance shows a lot of spoiler warnings, and I prefer to remain unspoiled. I do already own this, so it stays, but it’s not a top priority at the moment.
#2 – Pivot Point, by Kasie West
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier…
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through… and who she can’t live without.
This hit my radar when a fellow author-blogger reviewed it as five-star worthy. The criminally under-appreciated rom-com movie Sliding Doors gets mentioned in a lot of its reviews on Goodreads–which is a movie I adored. Will it live up to the hype? Who knows? But I intend to find out–it stays.
#3 – The Devil Wears Kilts, by Suzanne Enoch
On a mission to rescue his runaway sister from the lure of flowery compliments and a useless lot of satin-clad scalawags disguised by their snooty titles, Ranulf MacLawry, Marquis of Glengask, has roared into British society like a storm across the Highlands. But he’s about to find out that satin has its appeal, especially when it covers the curves of Miss Lady Charlotte Hanover—whose tongue is as sharp as her skin is soft…
Lady Charlotte Hanover has had her fill of hot-headed men, having lost her fiancé in an utterly unnecessary duel. When did brawn ever triumph over brains? And yet there is something solid and appealing about the brash Highlander who’s as dangerous in the ballroom as in battle. Sometimes bigger really is better…
I have no clear memory of adding this to my TBR, so I’m guessing I grabbed it off a recommendation list. Maybe something to do with “If you liked Outlander…” to appeal to fans of the books/television series.
Well, since then I’m not an Outlander fan anymore, as the books exceeded my patience and I haven’t seen the show. And while I am a romance fan, I’m not so much into the historical subgenre. This one can safely go.
#4 – 5 to 1, by Holly Bodger
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.
Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Contestant Five, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.
Told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Contestant Five’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.
Mixed feelings. On the one hand, artificially constructed dystopias aimed at teens? In general, those are overdone. However, this is set in India (almost all dystopian settings I’ve seen/read have been American, British, or made-up but still heavily coded as Western) and focuses specifically on feminism, on an aspect of altering or overthrowing a patriarchal tradition.
I think this has enough potential strong points to offset my genre fatigue. It can stay.
#5 – For the Record, by Charlotte Huang
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
I’m an absolute sucker for rock-star romances–I do have a first draft of one sitting in my story trunk–and even though reviews for this seemed to be mixed, I’m intrigued. Especially since one review said this was heavy on logistics–which practically makes it research, right? I’m not expecting it to be my new favorite book, but I’m interested enough to give it a try. It stays.
As always, if you’ve read anything on these lists and want to share your opinion, talk me into or out of reading one of them, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.