Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #55

Posted January 11, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR, giveaway / 8 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.  The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram:

When Avery Shaw’s heart
is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it
the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science
fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic
of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to
experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests,
she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself
ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her
partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds
the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother
Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school
basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and
some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson
to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than
she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery
doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing
Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

My thoughts:
Hmm, it sounds good. But will I ever get to it? And is it that original?  I don’t think so.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Wilderness by Dean Koontz:

With this darkly intriguing original e-short story, #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz sets the stage for his masterly new novel of mystery, suspense, and strange wonder—Innocence.
“The world is a machine that produces endless surprises and mysteries layered on mysteries.”
Addison Goodheart is a mystery even to himself. He was born in an
isolated home surrounded by a deep forest, never known to his father,
kept secret from everyone but his mother, who barely accepts him. She is
haunted by private demons and keeps many secrets—none of which she
dreads more than the young son who adores her.

Only in the
woods, among the wildlife, is Addison truly welcome. Only there can he
be at peace. Until the day he first knows terror, the day when his life
changes radically and forever . .

My thoughts
Because this is a novella and I think only available as an e-book or audiobook, I’ll keep it on my list.

Verdict: Keep

3.  Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum:

Insecure, shy, and way
overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom
and sisters love it. It’s her life: Dad’s a superstar, running for
office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his
marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the
campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle
on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative’s trailer, where
her mom’s contempt swells right along with Colby’s supersized jeans.
Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan,
finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic
family accident intervenes, and Colby’s role in it seems to paint her as
a hero, but she’s only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure,
Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame.
Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a
fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story
that is authentically new.


My thoughts:  
Not sure I’ll get to this or how original it is these days.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  Dark Duets by Christopher Golden:

of Horror and Dark Fantasy will be published in January, 2014 by Harper
Voyager. Edited by Christopher Golden, it features an extraordinary
lineup of collaborative stories, with the authors of each story
collaborating for the very first time. And here they are!

-TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
-WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
-DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
-REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
-T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
-SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
-HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
-HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
-AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
-BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
-RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
-BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
-TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
-STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
-CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
-SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
-SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers

My thoughts:  
Even with some of the awesome authors in this one, we all know my stance on anthologies

Verdict: Toss

5.   All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry:

This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think.  You’ll see…

In the lush and magical Pacific Northwest live two best
friends who grew up like sisters: charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful
Aurora, and the devoted, watchful narrator.  Each of them is incomplete
without the other. But their unbreakable bond is challenged when a
mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them.

His music is like nothing I have ever heard. It is like the ocean
surging, the wind that blows across the open water, the far call of

Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most:
friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are
even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the
only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an
ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical
at all.  We have paved over the ancient world but that does not mean we have erased it.
The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together in All Our Pretty Songs, Sarah McCarry’s brilliant debut, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

My thoughts:
We have this book in the school library where I work.  So I could always pick it up to read if I want. Don’t know that I need it on the TBR list though.

Verdict:  Toss

6.  Sought by Margaret Peterson Haddix:

Return to the world of The Missing with this e-only short story!

Daniella McCarthy begins receiving a series of unusual phone calls
right before her family moves from Michigan to Ohio. How is it that
total strangers seem to know more about her background than she does?
And could it be possible that these strangers also know something about
her future?

My thoughts:
Since this is an e-book only, I want to keep it as a reminder to find and read at some point since I like this series.

Verdict:  Keep

7. I Zombie by Jo Michaels:

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Collins is a normal teen making her way through high school. One night
at a party, a boy comes on to her and won’t take no for an answer. As
she jerks her arm away, his fingernails cut into her skin.

she finds her dog’s mutilated body and realizes she’s to blame, she
starts to think maybe the zombie apocalypse they’ve been screaming about
on the news isn’t a hoax after all. Worse, she begins to think maybe
she’s one of the infected.

Now it’s a fight for life as she joins
together with her brethren to stop the humans intent on destroying
them. Are zombies all bad, or is it just a huge misunderstanding?

My thoughts:  
Eh, I really don’t read a lot of zombie books.

Verdict:  Toss

 8.  The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe:

So many secrets for such
a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy,
a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths
of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as
lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is
painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every
move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a
competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one
will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers
surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania
Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father
could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior
struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without
breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face
the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is
destroyed by it.

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound that original.

Verdict:  Toss

9.  This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl:

A collection of the
journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl,
who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by
family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an
introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1
bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.

My thoughts:
I wanted to read, but I do have it in my school library, so I can just get it from there and don’t need to leave it on my TBR.

Verdict: Toss

10.  Talking Pictures:  Images and Messages Rescued from the Past by Ransom Riggs:

With the candid quirkiness of Awkward Family Photos and the confessional intimacy of PostSecret, Ransom Riggs’s Talking Pictures is
a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative
inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the
author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures
reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful,
quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the
writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one
seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance
of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a
flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up
our connection to the past.

My thoughts:
After getting to hear the author speak about this, and seeing the pictures he used in his book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I decided I wanted to find pictures like that, so I went to antique stores and flea markets and looked around.  I still kind of want to read this at some point, so I’ll keep it on my list!

Verdict: Keep

11.  Phantom File by Patrick Carman:

Will Besting and six
other teens were cured of their phobias at Fort Eden by the
mysterious—and often quietly terrifying—Rainsford. But while the cure
took away their phobias, it left them with other ailments: headaches,
loss of hearing, fatigue. It also left Will with an intense need to know
more about their supposed savior and his twisted methods. Now Will has
discovered a file he was never supposed to see, and the story contained
within involves characters he never expected to see together. What will
the phantom file reveal about Rainsford’s ghoulish ways?

My thoughts:
I liked the series, so I’ll probably want to read this.

Verdict:  Keep

12.  On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor:

A funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdles

New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s
painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college
she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and
complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about
what a loser she is. But what doesn’t know is that by taking those first
steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new
challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable
places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure
when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined.

My thoughts:
Sounds like it could be good, but nothing that original

Verdict:  Toss

13.  How Hard Can it Be by Robyn Peterman:


One happy ending coming right up…


happens when an accountant decides to grab life by the horns and try
something new? Apparently a pirate named Dave, a lot of pastel fleece,
and blackmail—just to start with…

Visualize and succeed, Oprah
said. I was sure as hell trying, even if my campaign to score a job as
the local weather girl had ended in a restraining order. Okay, TV was
not my strength. But a lack of talent has never stopped me before. Which
is why I’ve embarked on a writing career. I mean, how hard can it be to
come up with a sexy romance?

Leave it to me to wind up in a
group of grandmotherly porno writers who discuss sex toys and apple
cobbler in the same breath. Also leave it to me to leak an outlandish
plot idea to a bestselling author with the morals of a rabid squirrel.
And only I could get arrested for a jewelry heist I didn’t commit—by a
hunky cop whose handcuffs just might tempt me to sign up for a life of
crime. Maybe I’ve found my calling after all…

My thoughts:
Sounds like a lot of stuff is going on in this one, and I have so many other romances to read, I’ll probably skip this.

Verdict: Toss

14.  A Rare Titanic Family:  How the Caldwells Survived the Sinking and Traveled the World by Julie Hedgepeth Williams:

Historian Julie
Williams grew up hearing her great-uncle Albert Caldwell tell his
harrowing story of surviving the Titanic disaster. Albert, his wife
Sylvia, and their ten-month-old son Alden, are among the rare percentage
of families whose entire members survived the sinking. In A Rare
Titanic Family, Williams tells for the first time the family’s tale of
escaping to lucky Lifeboat 13 and their desperate sea journey toward
rescue. Their voyage on the Titanic, however, was only one part of an
around-the-world journey to try to cure Sylvia of a mysterious illness. A
Rare Titanic Family follows all the true-life plot twists of a family
who survived their trip on the Titanic but whose lives were forever
changed by what they witnessed.

My thoughts:
I don’t even remember adding this one, but again I am fascinated by all things having to do with the Titanic.

Verdict: Keep

15.  The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt:

Sixteen-year-old Holly
wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he
left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip.
Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal

And then there’s Grandpa’s letter. Not only is
Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she
needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach
out to Dax, the grandson of her family’s mortal enemy and owner of the
cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay
focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work,
school and… Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents
everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she
could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there’s a wedding
chapel to save.

My thoughts:
Sounds good, but don’t know when I’ll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

16.  Undiscovered by Jessica Brody:

Before the crash of Freedom Airlines flight 121…

There was a top-secret research compound hidden deep in the desert.

There was a girl held prisoner in a restricted sector.

And there was a boy who found her. And risked everything to set her free.

and action-packed, Undiscovered is sure to thrill fans of Jessica
Brody’s Unremembered trilogy. In this 100-page novella, told from Zen’s
point of view, more secrets are revealed about Seraphina’s forgotten
past, the corporation that created her, and the boy who fell in love
with her. Undiscovered also includes a sneak peek of Unforgotten, the
anticipated second book in the trilogy.

My thoughts:
I think I’d decided since I only rated the first book in this series 3 stars I wasn’t going to continue, so don’t need to read this novella.

Verdict: Toss

17.  The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe:

Sixteen-year-old Avene
was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn’t commit. Now
she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters
Race. Second prize isn’t so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure
Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and
the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense
forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a
mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they’re not back in
nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another
prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she’s
trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other
prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But
when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she
realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has
to survive.

My thoughts:
This cover looks really familiar, like a similar one has been used on other books.  Not sure I need to read it.

Verdict:  Toss

18.  Dead and Beloved by Jamie McHenry:

Ryan Moon was supposed
to star on the high school basketball team, but deadly science stole his
family and friends while infecting his future. Now he’s a carrier of a
dangerous virus that could trigger the apocalypse. Forced into a captive
existence between a hospital and high school, Ryan is trying to
graduate and pursue a normal life. That life includes Jessica Snow, a
mysterious girl he met online, and a promise to take her to prom.

is craving flesh, turning more and more into the monster that everyone
fears, and is determined to keep the virus from spreading. He also
hasn’t forgotten his promise to Jessica. He’ll stop the apocalypse and
take her to prom . . . if her dad doesn’t kill him first.

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound that original to me.

Verdict:  Toss

19.  Soul Screamers Vol. 4 by Rachel Vincent:

Saving the world has never come easy and Kaylee Cavanaugh’s died to prove it.

The final collection of New York Times
bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series is packed
with emotion, with intrigue, with secrets, with family and above all,
with love.

Don’t miss WITH ALL MY SOUL, FEARLESS and a brand-new novella, LAST REQUEST.

My thoughts:
First off, I want that dress on the cover.  Secondly, I love this series, so I will totally need to read this at some point!

Verdict: Keep

20.  Defy the Night by Heather Munn:

If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.

1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated
by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed,
new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now
the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do
something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette

Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.

with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that
it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves
in danger.

My thoughts:
Another time in history that fascinates me and I want to read about is of course World War II, so this is one I need to read.

Verdict: Keep

Final Thoughts:
Keeping 7 again this week, less than half, so that is good.

When I last said how many
were on the list last week, it was 3,065,  with cutting 13, I’m down to 3,059, and I know I added a bunch 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

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 0
Pin Share20

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #55

  1. I liked the Soul Screamers series. I think you made the right choice there. I mean, if you enjoyed the other books, you should finish the series. I have Avery Shaw. I think I will read it at some point. I have enjoyed Oram's books in the past.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.