Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #52

Posted December 21, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR, giveaway / 6 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 (or 20 if you keep adding like I do!)
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

1.  Sleep Tight by Jeff Jacobson:

They hide in mattresses.
They wait till you’re asleep. They rise in the dead of night to feast
on your blood. They can multiply by the hundreds in less than a week.
They are one of the most loathsome, hellish species to ever grace God’s
green earth. Thought to be eradicated decades ago, thanks to global
travel they’re back. And with them comes a nightmare beyond imagining.

bugs. Infected with a plague virus so deadly it makes Ebola look like a
summer cold. One bite turns people into homicidal maniacs.

they’re in Chicago. And migrating to all points north, south, east, and
west. The rest of the world is already itching. The U.S. government and
the CDC are helpless to stop it. Only one man knows what’s causing the
epidemic. And the powers-that-be want him dead.


My thoughts:
There was a time when I’d have really been into this creepy bug story, but not really anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Ravens by Kaylie Austen:

What are Ravens, and are
they as the world wants us to believe—sinister and without human
qualities? When abruptly taken from their world, select humans are
transformed into creatures of the night with penetrating eyes and
uncanny abilities that most believe are a threat to mankind. Stripped
from their mundane and ordinary lives, these creatures have no choice
but to stalk the night and fight back in order to survive.

such Raven is eighteen-year-old Liam, who uses his telepathy to
communicate with Kendra in order to lure her into the transformation. It
proves to be a double-edged gambit that turns into a tumultuous
journey. Racing against time to save her sister, whom she believed to be
dead, Kendra falls through a portal and into a parallel world where
humans hunt her. She becomes a Raven with ill-controlled powers, trapped
in a torrid affair with Liam, and desperately struggles to find a grip
on her new reality.

My thoughts
Eh, not sure I’m interested in this one.

Verdict: Toss 

3.  Darkhouse by Karina Halle:

There’s always been
something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with
a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other
twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For
one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened,
and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts.

Luckily for her,
that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an
eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though
the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening
enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her
life and seduces her with a sense of importance.

Her uncle’s
haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a
horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and
causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts,
may not be all that he seems.

My thoughts:  
Now, I’ve read and loved this author’s adult contemporary books, so I might want to get to this one some day.

Verdict: Keep

4.  UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn:

Mina Grime is unlucky,
unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush’s life on a field
trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But
with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family
curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and
has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which
includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it’s next
fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family
and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until
the very Grimm end.

My thoughts:  
I haven’t been reading as many books like this these days.

Verdict: Toss

5.   Sugarcoated by Shannon Crane Camp:

An unhealthy addiction
to sugar cubes, a deep-seated fear of water, and universal luxury—these
are the simple things that make up 18-year-old Brynn’s Utopian
existence. Why, then, is her perfect life also plagued with unanswered

Like every other resident of the planet Halcyon,
Brynn’s home provides everything she needs, money is unheard of, and
life is perfect. But unlike the rest of Seaside’s residents, Brynn has
questions. Why can’t people leave the city? Why does the ocean fill
everyone with terror? Who are the Workers? Not only is Brynn curious
where others are compliant, but she suffers from chronic nightmares of
an angelic woman torturing her for information she doesn’t possess. But
these are more than just figments of her imagination; they’re memories
of things that never happened.

When Brynn meets Jonah, a
brilliant, library-dwelling boy who shares her questions and her
curiosity, they formulate a plan to find answers. Somewhere, the perfect
veneer of Halcyon’s instant gratification hides a city that only Brynn
knows about—a city she and Jonah are determined to find. But will
finding the city give them answers, or simply uncover the horrific truth
behind the perfection?

My thoughts:
Not sure I’m interested in this one either.

Verdict:  Toss

6.  Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards:

She has everything she’s ever wanted. But not her memory…

Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she
wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six
months of her life.

Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now,
she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League
schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s
her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best
friend won’t speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows…

My thoughts:
Not that original, don’t know when I’d get to it.

Verdict: Toss

7. Bully – An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis by Cynthia Lowen:

A companion book to the
acclaimed documentary film that inspired a national conversation, BULLY
is packed with information and resources for teachers, parents, and
anyone who cares about the more than 13 million children who will be
bullied in the United States this year. From commentary about life after
BULLY by the filmmakers and the families in the film, to the story of
how Katy Butler’s petition campaign helped defeat the MPAA’s “R” rating,
BULLY takes the story of the film beyond the closing credits. Celebrity
contributions combine with essays from experts, authors, government
officials, and educators to offer powerful insights and concrete steps
to take, making the book an essential part of an action plan to combat
the bullying epidemic in America.

My thoughts:  
I saw this movie, and it was so good.  And at the time I wanted to read this too. Now, sadly, I just don’t know when I’d get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

 8.  Margot by Jillian Cantor:

Anne Frank has long
been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in
the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by
her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.

In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank
has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman
named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a
Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a
secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied,
and a family and a country she left behind.

Margie Franklin is
really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in
Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for
America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s
carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new
relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her
during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is
forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with
a life swept up into the course of history.

My thoughts:
I still feel like I want to read this some day.

Verdict:  Keep

9.  Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale:

When Charlotte Kinder
treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves
behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful
children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a
bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive
Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the
guests’ Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a
role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn’t sure where roles end and
reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she
finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the
brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside’s
mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic
room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in
Charlotte’s heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides
the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty
of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that
might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen’s world. How could it
not turn out right in the end?

My thoughts:
I read the first book and enjoyed it, and its movie, so I probably want to read this at some point.

Verdict: Keep

10.  If I Should Die by Amy Plum:

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was
shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I
lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals,
and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be
possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent
is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do
anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve,
a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to
go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so
that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my
love back to me?

My thoughts:
I still haven’t read book 2 in this series, so I will probably take this off my TBR until I do.  The next book on my Goodreads TBR is a novella in the series, so I’ll probably leave it though.

Verdict: Toss

11.  The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney:

A teenage girl is
transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life
with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina
Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse
apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong
side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then,
in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an
underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she
navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she
trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her
duty to uphold it.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping
and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy
Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate
any reader.

My thoughts:
Nah, somewhat new, but somewhat not new.

Verdict:  Toss

12.  The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas:

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s
been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm.
It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most
powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a
suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl
with no training.

Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to
avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as
he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the
terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been
only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing
in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

My thoughts:
Fantasy takes me a bit to get into. And as new stuff comes out, I don’t always think I’ll get to the older stuff.

Verdict:  Toss

13.  Darkest Worlds:  A Dystopian Anthology:

An anthology that
explores what humans are made of when society falls to its knees.
Darkest Worlds includes six original novellas by award-winning authors
and best sellers of Young Adult and New Adult Dystopia.

All proceeds go to Girls Write Now, a charity that promotes literacy of inner-city girls.

Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders:
Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered
species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are
born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the
nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her
enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t
realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.

MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone:
Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New
Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a
time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the
dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon’s past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist.

The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s Daughter:
When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to
torture a confession from the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to
defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her
escape—but she has an agenda of her own…

The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge,
a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award: Peree knows his
duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his
people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the
flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract
her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his
people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he’s falling
in love with her.

Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost:
A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled
wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are
harboring secrets…but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her
own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.

clean slate complex by Megan Thomason, author of the daynight
series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit
The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick
mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean
Slate Complexes–where “everything is provided” from jobs to food,
shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that
sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…

My thoughts:
As much as I am or used to be a big fan of dystopia, I’m also not much of an anthology fan as you may know.

Verdict: Toss

14.  Spark by Evan Angler:

In a future
United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the
Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and
even get medical care—but without it, you’re on your own. Few refuse to
get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Parents are
looking for fiction that makes Christianity exciting for kids. This
series is an alternative to the Hunger Games series and other dark
dystopian fiction. It’s packed with action and intrigue, but the message
is written from a Christian worldview.

Logan Langly went to get
his Mark but backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on
the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily,
who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years ago. His
journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a network of Markless who oppose
the iron-grip rule of the government. On the way to the capital to find
Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless
community, warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

Spark introduces
nine-year-old Ali, a beggar living in the Dark Lands city of al-Balat.
Ali meets a stranger who gives her his tablet, a portal to a tech world
that Ali never knew existed. But one day, the tablet begins to
communicate back to her—and takes her on a journey that will
cross her path with exiled Logan Langly, Chancellor Cylis, and the
fierce battle for power that spans reality and the virtual world.

My thoughts:
I liked the first three in the series and really want to finish it.

Verdict: Keep

15.  When the World was Flat by Ingrid Jonach:

FBI Agent Olivia
Dunham, brilliant scientist Walter Bishop and his estranged son Peter
investigate the world of “fringe science”(telepathy, time travel etc)
following a series of unexplained events, which begin to raise
suspicions that a large scientific research company Massive Dynamic is
experimenting on the general public.

The secret history of Walter
Bishop and his onetime scientific partner William Bell continues in
this exclusive tie-in to the hit Fox show Fringe! Witness their first
attempts at pushing the boundaries of science and reality!

My thoughts:
I might have a copy of this, but I’m not sure, so for now I’ll keep it!  This was a tv show that I loved, especially the beginning couple of seasons. Also the next book on my Goodreads TBR is one from this series, so I’ll keep it too.

Verdict: Keep

16.  Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski:

A new life is just a phone call away!

life isn’t turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past
three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan.
Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn’t join any clubs
. . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it
only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn’t
some wacko—she realizes that she’s been given an awesome gift. She can
tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she’s already done
all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future

Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?

Fans of Sarah Mlynowski’s Magic in Manhattan series will love this hilarious new novel with a high-concept premise .

My thoughts:
Sounds like other books I’ve read.

Verdict: Toss

17.  Unthinkable by Shirley Duke:

Omar Phillips is
Bridgewater High’s favorite local teen author. His Facebook fans can’t
wait for his next horror story. But lately Omar’s imagination has turned
against him. Horrifying visions of death and destruction come over him
with wide-screen intensity. The only way to stop the visions is to write
them down. Until they start coming true… Enter Sophie Minax, the
mysterious Goth girl who’s been following Omar at school. “I’m one of
you,” Sophie says. She tells Omar how to end the visions but the only
thing worse than Sophie’s cure may be what happens if he ignores it.

My thoughts:
Eh, doesn’t sound that original or like anything I need to read.

Verdict:  Toss

18.  Damn You, Autocorrect 2 by Lyndsey Saul:

You’ll cringe, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll triple check all of your texts

back, and it’s more awkward than ever. Ever been mortified by
predictive text on your smart phone? You are not alone. This brings
together more of the laugh-out-loud funny and painfully embarrassing
posts from, which highlight the hilarity that
often ensues when text messaging goes wrong. This second volume of epic
auto-correct fails is packed with never-before-seen content, as well as
the most cringe-worthy posts from the site.

My thoughts:
I love these things, but like all other humor books, I don’t need to keep it on my Goodreads TBR.  Especially since I can go to the website. 

Verdict:  Toss

19.  The Asylum by John Harwood:

A brilliant new Gothic thriller from the acclaimed author of The Ghost Writer and The SeanceConfused
and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon
House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England. She has no memory
of the past few weeks. The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she
admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before, then
suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone
else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that
Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: “Your patient must be an

Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes
involuntary. Who is the woman in her uncle’s house? And what has become
of her two most precious possessions, a dragonfly pin left to her by her
mother and a writing case containing her journal, the only record of
those missing weeks? Georgina’s perilous quest to free herself takes us
from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of
Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her
survival depends.

Another delicious read from the author praised
by Ruth Rendell as having “a gift for creating suspense, apparently
effortlessly, as if it belongs in the nature of fiction.”

My thoughts:
Sounds maybe good, but I know I probably won’t get to it. 

Verdict:  Toss

20.  Game Changer by Margaret Peterson Haddix:

Athletics are everything
for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track
to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one
day during a championship game—in the middle of an important play—she
suddenly blacks out.

When she wakes up, she’s in a different
world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and
after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One
where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated
on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball

KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but
bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if
something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot
more important than a softball game?

My thoughts:
As much as I love this author, her books are really a lot younger than what I read these days.  Plus I probably would be able to remember this if I ever wanted because she is such a popular author.

Verdict:  Toss

Final Thoughts:
It looks like I’m only keeping 5 this week, so that’s good!

that I’m back to doing this basically weekly instead of a month ahead,
I’ll look at how many I had before and after.  When I last said how many
were on the list last week, it was 3,097, and even with cutting 15, I’m only down to 3,089 thanks to more from Edelweiss last week. 

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 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.  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. 
As I mentioned above, unpacking is finding a lot of books to get rid of, so you have even more to pick from this week!  Here are your choices:

2018 ARCs:

2013-2016 ARCs (if you pick Zodiac, I kind of want to keep it with Wandering Star):

I’m continuing to add in my 2019 ARCs now.  You can pick one of your two choices from the picture below, the other book you pick needs to come from the pictures above.  

Once again I’m going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below.   Disclaimer:  Unfortunately, while I’ve only had it happen once, I’m going to have to make a statement like other giveaways I’ve seen on blogs that I am not responsible for lost mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #52

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