Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #19

Posted April 27, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in giveaway / 10 Comments

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Because I have so many to do, I’m going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.

1.   After Obsession by Carrie Jones:

she is. The dream rushes back to me. We were falling, clutching at each
other, with twisting darkness all around us… The girl looks up at me
and I realize I’ve stopped walking and am staring at her. I see something in her eyes, something like recognition.

And in that second I know, absolutely know, that something in my life has changed irrevocably. This is the guy from my dreams. Right here. And we are going to have to do something, save something, together. I just don’t know what.

Alan and Aimee have just met, but already they are bound to each other
by something they can’t quite name. Something that rattles the windows,
haunts the waters… and threatens to tear them apart before they get a
chance to find out what their connection means.

My thoughts:
This was probably thrown in during my paranormal romance obsession phase.  Now, don’t know that I am that excited by it.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  The Fall (The Rift #1) by Robert J. Duperre:

The World Will Never Be The Same…

ancient evil, trapped in the ruins of a lost Mayan temple for
centuries, has been unleashed. It takes the form of a deadly virus, one
that causes violent insanity in the living and the recently departed to
rise and walk. It spreads around the globe, throwing the world into
chaos and war.

As it progresses, those in the States who find
themselves far away from the epicenter watch it unfold with unbelieving
eyes. From Washington D.C. to Dover, New Hampshire, regular people are
hurled into an existence outside their control, left to deal with
catastrophic situations that they are unprepared to handle. Life becomes
a nightmare, and that nightmare is spreading.

First time author
Robert J. Duperre presents this scenario with The Fall: The Rift Book I,
the first of a four-part series. In this book, he throws his characters
into a gambit; when the alternatives are life or death,
self-preservation or the protection of others, what path will they
choose? Is there a darkness that resides in everyone, from every walk of
life, that is screaming for release? When society falls apart and we
are left to our own devices, will we make the right decisions, or let
the tide take us where it may? There is horror, there is death, there
are the walking dead, and all around are choices.

The novel is
illustrated by Jesse David Young, whose drawings capture the intense
feel of the events happening within. There are twenty illustrations in
all, as well as the cover art he provided. These add to the reading
experience and help to throw you, the reader, head-first into the world
they have created.  

My thoughts:  Eh, probably  not my type of read anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Damned (Crusade #2) by Nancy Holder:

There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….
would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects
her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they
defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to
fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into

Jenn, the newly appointed Hunter, aches for revenge
against the Cursed One who converted her sister. And with an even more
sinister power on the rise, she must overcome her personal vendettas to
lead her team into battle.

Antonio and Jenn need each other to
survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in
the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.  

My thoughts:  
I love this author, but not sure why I have this second book in a series on my list.  I don’t think I’ve read the first one.  

Verdict:  Toss

4.  This Dark Endeavour (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein) by Kenneth Oppel:

The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.

In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein,
16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change
his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor
is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists
his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous
search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.
Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten
their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his
success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of
nature, science, and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

My thoughts:
If you know me, you know I love a good retelling or new prequel to kind of retell a story. This is one that still sounds good to me.

Verdict:  Keep

5.   The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson:

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna,
Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies,
their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld.
Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least
at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without
her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at
last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they
know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long

Everyone except Jenna Fox.

My thoughts:
I liked the first one.  It’s been a while since I read it, but I feel like I’m still interested enough to go on with the story.

Verdict:  Keep

6.  A Breath of Eyre (Unbound #1) by Eve Marie Mont:

In this stunning,
imaginative novel, Eve Marie Mont transports her modern-day heroine into
the life of Jane Eyre to create a mesmerizing story of love, longing,
and finding your place in the world. . .

Emma Townsend has always
believed in stories–the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she
creates. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her
exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to
filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic
prospect–apart from a crush on her English teacher–is Gray Newman, a
long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon
arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre. . .

Reading of
Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things
a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s
body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma
has a sense of belonging she’s never known–and an attraction to the
brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and
uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in
the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own. . . 

My thoughts:
I do like retellings like this.  I still think this one sounds good too.

Verdict:  Keep

7.  Starstruck by Cyn Balog:

Gwendolyn “Dough” X
doesn’t think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds,
her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of
millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don’t
seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime
boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or “Wish.” He moved away to California
three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her
via e-mail, and he’s been her long-distance BF ever since.
At the
beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he’s moving back
to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70
pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his
Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she’ll be
headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays
their meeting as long as she possibly can.
But when she sees Wish at
school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she’s just as
gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the
sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the
bakery, Christian, is convinced that there’s more to Wish’s good looks
than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on
Wish’s neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of
astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish
and Dough’s love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?

My thoughts:  
I don’t remember adding this one, but it sounds like it is good.  I need to keep it.

Verdict:  Keep

 8.  Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto:

Three years after her
husband Max’s death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow
than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings.
Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max;
same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose; he
could be Max’s long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an
Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some
childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the
bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to
age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.

outrageous as Paolo’s claims seem; how could her husband be alive? And
if he is, why hasn’t he looked her up? Shelley desperately wants to know
the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down; if it
is really Max and along the way, Shelley recounts the European
package tour where they had met. As she relives Max’s stories of bloody
Parisian barricades, medieval Austrian kitchens, and buried Roman
boathouses, Shelley begins to piece together the story of who her
husband was and what these new revelations mean for her “happily ever
after.” And as she and Paolo get closer to the truth, Shelley discovers
that not all stories end where they are supposed to. 

My thoughts:
Yeah, this is so not my type of book.

Verdict: Toss

9.  The Princess of Westfalin Trilogy #1 and #2 by Jessica Day George:

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of
twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under
Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse
that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need
is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted
silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to
conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are
working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King
Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the
evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

Hoping to escape the
troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part
in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel
to each other’s countries in the name of better political
alliances–and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy
tale–until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful
fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince.
Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic
and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair
for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

My thoughts:
So, both are fairy tale retellings. But as much as I want to keep and read all of these, I just don’t know when I would get to them. The Twelve Dancing Princesses that the first book is based on is one of my all time favorite tales, but oh well.  

Verdict:  Keep the first, toss the second for now

10.  Exes and Ohs:  A Downtown Girl’s (Mostly Awkward) Tales of Love, Lust, Revenge, and a Little Facebook Stalking by Shallon Lester:

Think you’ve have some outrageous dating horror stories? You don’t have anything on Shallon Lester.

Shallon Lester has accumulated more than her fair share of embarrassing
stories. In this collection of hilarious essays, she chronicles her
dorky, daring, and awkward journey from waitress at the ninth circle of
hell known as Houston’s Time Square restaurant, to columnist at one of
New York’s leading gossip magazines, to MTV reality star, gleefully
weaving in stories of all boys she’s loved, lost, and avenged along the

Complete with cringe-worthy tales of:

-The time a new boyfriend found the stockpile of Magnum condoms hidden under her bed
-Getting caught stealing (borrowing?) bacon from her local supermarket
-Unwittingly getting romantically involved with the leader of a mafia ring
dumped on Valentines Day (for the second year in a row), just minutes
before being forced to attend El Concierto Del Amor con Marc Anthony y
Jennifer Lopez. Alone. Did I mention on Valentine’s day?
-An unfortunate sholess, sweaty, shoe-less run in with Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford on an East Village Street Corner

a fresh and irresistible voice that makes you want to sit down and
rehash last night’s misadventures over martinis, Lester speaks volumes
to anyone who’s even been young, ambitious, and a little bit slutty.   

My thoughts:
This again during my phase of lots of single girl or diet memoirs. And at first when I saw this on the list, I was like, eh, I don’t know if I’ll ever date again, so why bother. But reading it, well, I think I might still want to actually read this some day.

Verdict:  Keep

Final Thoughts:
Only tossing half of them this week, but I’m still happy to be doing that.  Have
you read any
of these?  Would you suggest I keep any I’m tossing?  And if you’re
inspired to do this on your blog, please feel free to join in and share a
link in the comments, since it’s not really catching on, I’m not going
to waste time with the link up this week.  It will also get you an extra
entry into my giveaway at
the bottom of this post.    


again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a
book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the
difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way.  This week
I’m upping the prize, you get to pick any two books from the pictures
below, as
long as they don’t get traded away, or picked by last week’s winner,
and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice. 
Here are your choices:

2018 ARCs;

2017 ARCs:


Once again I’m going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #19

  1. You had some good ones this week. I read After Obsession and you're right to toss it, it was a drag! I think I tossed A Breath of Eyre last week, but I'm not into those types of books. I too have added sequels of books to my TBR pile without adding the first book lol.

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

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