Down the TBR Hole #7

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?

Up for debate this time around:

#1 – The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, by Jenn Bennett

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Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

I remember adding this to my TBR over two years ago because someone on Tumblr said something interesting and unique about the book they were reading, but didn’t give the title. I was intrigued and messaged them for it. And it was this book.

What I can’t remember is what that interesting thing was. And since Tumblr’s messaging system was crap then, and has changed since, I don’t have the record of it anymore. Trying to find the original post that hooked me, without the name of the poster or the title of the book included in the post, is even worse than a needle-in-a-haystack situation, because it could have been literally anything, and I might not even recognize it if it showed up on my dash tomorrow.

Based on what the blurb says, this could be good, or it could be all melodrama and angst. Based on a sampling of reviews, I’m seeing “quirky” and “manic pixie dream girl” too often for my taste. It goes.

#2 – The Blindfold Club series, by Nikki Sloane

I read and reviewed the first two books in the series, and currently there’s a novella, then three more novels. I did enjoy the first two books (4- and 3-star ratings, respectively) but I have so many unread romances I already own, and the blurbs for books #3 + 4, especially, don’t suit my tastes: Three Little Mistakes is an older man/younger woman, forbidden romance story, and Three Dirty Secrets is apparently as much romantic suspense as much as it is BDSM, and I’ve had bad luck with that particular subgenre. Since I’m not absolutely dying to read these, I think I should concentrate on what’s already on my Kindle. They all go.

#3 – A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

A) This sounds fascinating, and B) tons of my Goodreads buddies and Booklr mutuals adore this book, sometimes to the point of obsession. I know I’m sometimes disappointed by hype (yeah, Uprooted, looking at you) but still, this seems worth a shot. It stays.

#4 – The Abyss Surrounds Us, by Emily Skrutskie

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Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

Well, I trusted the hype around this one enough to buy it when the Kindle edition went on special. It stays. Lesbian space pirates for the win!

#5 – Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence

13057750Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that’s true enough, but there’s something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.

From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father’s castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

I saw this on a trip to a non-local library, and I wanted to get it but couldn’t. The dark fantasy aspect of it intrigued me enough to toss a cheap copy onto a past Thriftbooks order, so I own it, so it stays. But digging a little deeper into it, it’s apparently got some troubling aspects that might make me regret the impulse buy. I guess we’ll see what I think!


I went back through my previous posts and counted the books I’ve eliminated so far–nineteen! Given that my current to-read list is 804 books long, that’s a good thing. Life’s too short to waste on books you’re not interested in or excited about!

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.

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