Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #57

Posted February 1, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR, giveaway / 12 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?

So, I took last week off, as I’m still working to get to know this WordPress site, and we’ll see how this week goes! Over on my Blogger site, I would just copy and paste the html from the last week’s post into a new post, and then change the books as I went. Not sure how to do that here, so I’m just having to retype the whole thing.

1. Famished by Lauren Hammond:

There is no United States. There is no world. An asteroid has destroyed what the human race knew as earth and The Great Famine has wiped out most of the surviving human population. For the few remaining survivors, food is scarce–precious–a luxury. A luxury that most humans can’t find.

Seventeen-year-old Georgina Carver is fortunate. She’s survived the destruction. She eats three times a day while the rest of humanity is plagued by The Great Famine. And she’s safe, hidden away in an underground colony with her family and several other families of survivors.

All of that changes the day she’s randomly selected to be a gatherer. Georgina must leave her safe yet simple world and venture out into a world unknown. A vast, dangerous, destroyed world that could literally eat her alive.

After Georgina is severely injured, her life begins to fall apart. She can’t remember how she got home or what happened to her while she was on the new earth. The boy she is crushing on avoids her and she keeps having visions that involve an unknown person with violet eyes.

As Georgina begins to unravel the truth, it doesn’t take her long to figure out that maybe her safe yet simple life isn’t that safe at all.

My thoughts: So, this sounds like it could have been one I’d have been really interested in at the time I added it. But not so much anymore.

Verdict: Toss

2. Save Me by L. J. Baker:

Andi was doing just fine on her own. Sure the world had been hit with an outbreak that turned anyone infected into flesh eating zombies. Not to mention that everyone she ever loved was now dead. She was alive though, taking care of herself. She had little desire to indulge in building relationships with anyone. People just couldn’t be trusted. Whether they screwed you over intentionally, or just managed to get themselves killed, no one stuck around for very long. She didn’t need anyone else either. That was until Will showed up to save her.

Will, with his sparkling green eyes, lips you just wanted to taste, and insanely adorable crooked smile, wasn’t letting Andi get rid of him so easily. Yet still, Andi did everything she could to push her feelings, and Will, away. The more time they spent together though, the more difficult that became. In a world where another day was not something you could count on, wasting even a single moment, could mean missing out on your only chance for happiness.

My thoughts: So, again, I’m not much of a zombie story reader, and this again fits into what I was reading at that time, but not as much now.

Verdict: Toss

3. Lailah by Nikki Kelly:

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

My thoughts: So, I know everyone seemed to be all excited about this at the time it came out, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it. I think at one time I might have had a copy of it? If I do, and I find it, I’ll add it back to my list.

Verdict: Toss

3. Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes:

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.

Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

My thoughts: I read the first one, Viral Nation, but only gave it three stars, so probably won’t go on with this series.

Verdict: Toss

4. Dark Futures by Kami Garcia:

This anthology contain the dystopian short stories from the Shards and Ashes anthology from Kami Garcia, Carrie Ryan & Melissa Marr into a low-price e-book

My thoughts: You know how I feel about anthologies, even with these authors that I like.

Verdict: Toss

6. The Benefactor by Erin Fry:

They come from different walks of life, with different problems and different hopes and dreams. But they have one thing in common: they need a scholarship to college. And they’re ready to battle seven other contestants on a reality TV show to get it. There’s Mei, a budding artist with a secret disability; Henry, not in it for the money but for the chance to follow his true dream; Lucy, a tough Texan from a new kind of family; Tyrell, an injured football star with a sick sister at home; Sam, a musician with no family to fall back on; Allyson, a devout Christian with a good reason to pray; Cassidy, a beauty with a secret; and Hiroshi, a varsity swimmer who left behind his true love. But only one contestant can win on The Benefactor. Who will take home the big prize? Tune in to find out.

My thoughts: Not sure if this sounds that original. The cover is cool though.

Verdict: Toss

7. The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer:

With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily’s and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

My thoughts: Doesn’t really sound like my kind of book.

Verdict: Toss

8. Revolution by Jenna Black:

Nadia Lake and Nate Hayes find themselves at the center of a horrifying conspiracy in this action-packed finale of Jenna Black’s SF romance series that began with Replica
From the author of the Faeriewalker series comes the stunning conclusion to the young adult science fiction thriller series that began with Replica and continued in Resistance.

At the conclusion of Resistance, Nadia Lake and the Replica of her best friend, Nate Hayes, found themselves at the center of a horrifying conspiracy. Framed for murder and wanted by the government, they have no choice but to go underground and seek refuge in the dangerous, gang-ridden slums of the Basement.

Jenna Black brings readers an action-packed final installment that will have them racing to the finish.

My thoughts: I liked the first two in this series, Replica, and Resistance, so at some point I’m sure I want to finish.

Verdict: Keep

9. Something Real by Heather Demetrios:

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

My thoughts: Just don’t know that I’m going to get to this one.

Verdict: Toss

10. Story Girl by Katherine Carlson:

Tracy Johnston is having a really bad reaction to her own life, and she has the hives to prove it. Turning 30 set the alarm bells ringing… She’s just not traditional like her mother, and she’ll never be perfect like her sister. And the one thing she hoped would set her apart – her brave move to Hollywood – has turned out to be a monumental flop. Despite the handful of English classes she’d taken at her local mid-western community college, churning out awe-inspiring screenplays isn’t quite as doable as she’d predicted. So, she’s stuck with a crummy job, a wobbly mattress, and a career that refuses to show up. Her prospects for fulfillment are looking dim – until, that is, a car crash delivers her a strange new possibility. And a sexy one at that. STORY GIRL is a comical look at a young woman’s attempt to be ‘somebody’ and find love in the ensuing confusion.

My thoughts: Eh, doesn’t sound that original, and I have lots of good new romances on my TBR.

Verdict: Toss

11. Unravelled by Anna Scanlon:

“No one heard us. They decided not to, to turn their heads away.

It was too much to bear. Too much to know. Too hard to swallow.

But now that the world knows, now that the world has heard, it all seems so simple, so easy to defray.

I screamed and no one heard.

Next time, will you be listening?”

Aliz and her twin sister, Hajna, are enjoying their playful, carefree and comfortable life with their parents in Szeged, Hungary just before the Nazis invade. Seemingly overnight, their lives change drastically as they are transported to the ghetto on the outskirts of the city and then to Auschwitz to be used in Mengele’s deadly experiments. After several months of brutal torture, Aliz is liberated to find that she is the only survivor in her family. At not even 11 years old, Aliz must make the journey to San Francisco alone, an entire world away from everything she’s known, in order to live with her only known relatives whom she has never met– a depressed aunt and teenage cousin who is more than ready to escape her mother’s melancholy. Told through the eyes of both Aliz and her cousin Isabelle, Unravelled tells a story of survival, hope, family and the lives war and genocide haunt long after liberation.

My thoughts: As I’ve mentioned before, I do tend to read a lot of Holocaust stories, and this one mentions Mengele’s experiments, so that sounds like one I do still want to read.

Verdict: Keep

12. The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson:

A Southern girl. A wounded soldier. A chilling force deep in the forest.
All collide at night’s darkest hour.

Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother.

When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she’s drawn to him. But Violet isn’t Thomas’s only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn’t been out of compassion.

Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.

From the author of Strands of Bronze and Gold comes a haunting love story and suspenseful thriller based on the ancient fairy tale of “Tam Lin.”

My thoughts: Hmm, this one sounds like it could be good. I don’t remember adding it, but after reading through the synopsis I kind of do want to read it.

Verdict: Keep for now

13. Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano:

Keeping secrets is second nature to Nearly Boswell. Living in a trailer park outside Washington, DC, with a mom who works as an exotic dancer, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Only her best friends know about her obsession with the personal ads, and Nearly hasn’t told anyone about the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin.

Then a serial killer goes on a murder spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper. Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it out soon – she’ll be next.

Big, dark, scary, and brilliantly plotted, Nearly Gone will leave you guessing until the very end.

My thoughts: Well, we have this at my school, so if I ever want to read it, it’s there.

Verdict: Toss

14. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown:

Jersey Cameron has always loved a good storm. Watching the clouds roll in and the wind pick up. Smelling the electricity in the air. Dancing barefoot in the rain. She lives in the Midwest, after all, where the weather is sure to keep you guessing. Jersey knows what to do when the tornado sirens sound. But she never could have prepared for this.

When her town is devastated by a tornado, Jersey loses everything. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she’s sent to live with relatives she hardly knows-family who might as well be strangers. In an unfamiliar place, can Jersey discover that even on the darkest of days, there are some things no tornado can destroy?

In this powerful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown delivers a story of love, loss, hope, and survival.

My thoughts: I like this author, and she lives near me, but I have this one in the library, so can read it if I want.

Verdict: Toss

15. Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:

Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can’t resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price.

Where’s a Linkubus when you need him?

My thoughts: I do like the two books I read in the series, and need to read more. So I’ll probably keep this one for now.

Verdict: Keep

16. Always Emily by Michaela MacColl:

Emily and Charlotte Brontë are about as opposite as two sisters can be. Charlotte is practical and cautious; Emily is headstrong and imaginative. But they do have one thing in common: a love of writing. This shared passion will lead them to be two of the first published female novelists and authors of several enduring works of classic literature. But they’re not there yet. First, they have to figure out if there is a connection between a string of local burglaries, rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental, and the appearance on the moors of a mysterious and handsome stranger. The girls have a lot of knots to untangle—before someone else gets killed.

My thoughts: Now, you know that normally I like this type of story. But, we do have this one in my library, and so I’ll probably just take it off my TBR for now.

Verdict: Toss

17. Dark Days by Kate Ormand:

The future world has been divided into sectors–each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors’ thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what’s coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she’ll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

My thoughts: So, this doesn’t sound that original and it has a low rating on Goodreads.

Verdict: Toss

18. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis:

Amara is never alone. Not when she’s protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they’re fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she’s punished, ordered around, or neglected.

She can’t be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he’s yanked from his Arizona town into Amara’s mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He’s spent years as a powerless observer of Amara’s life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive–and discover the truth about their connection.

My thoughts: So this is another one I have in my library. It does sound kind of good, but don’t know that I need to keep it on my TBR.

Verdict: Toss

19. Violet Eyes by John Everson:

Their bites are more than deadly…

The small town near the Everglades was supposed to offer Rachel and her son a fresh start. Instead it offered the start of a nightmare, when an unknown breed of flies migrated through the area, leaving painful bites in their wake. The media warned people to stay inside until the swarm passed. But the flies didn’t leave. And then the radios and TVs went silent.

That’s when the spiders came. Spiders that could spin a deadly web large enough to engulf an entire house overnight. Spiders that left stripped bones behind as they multiplied. Spiders that, like the flies, sought hungrily for tender flesh… through Violet Eyes.

My thoughts: Sounds creepy. Hmm. Maybe I’ll keep it for now.

Verdict: Keep for now

20. Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter:

When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

TAG is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master’s injured gladiators. But his warrior’s heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

LUCIA is the daughter of Tag’s owner, doomed by her father’s greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she’s been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air. . . .

When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them — to Lucia’s father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?

My thoughts: Eh, not that original to me, but I do love the idea of a story about Pompeii!

Verdict: Toss

Final thoughts:

Started early this week, got this going on Tuesday, to make sure I’d have time to go through and set it up. I still don’t know how to make it easier for next week, but I have to say some of it is easier, like setting up with the pictures and all that.

Two weeks ago when I did one of these, I had 3,074 books left on my Goodreads TBR. I’m tossing 15 this week, leaving me at 3,075 on Goodreads, but to be fair, I might have added a bunch from Edelweiss again last week.

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 will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.


Once 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.  You can pick only one from the 2019 pile, and one from the 2020 pile, the other should be from one of the others. Here are your choices:

2020 ARCs:

2019 ARCs:

2012-2015 ARCs:

Finished copies: I also found some finished copies of books that I either have already read or won’t get to, so thought I’d throw them in for the giveaway as well!

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.

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12 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #57

  1. John Smith

    Maybe you’ll like “Dangerous Dream” since you liked the other two books in the series–and I’m very taken with that swirly lettering on the cover!

    • Lisa Mandina

      It wasn’t bad, what I read, I just wasn’t in the mood and it wasn’t grabbing me to start with. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Holy smokes! You did amazing this week. Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl I kept too! Revolution by Jenna Black was a complete and utter disappointment for the series. In all honesty, I loved that series until I read the final book. I think you’d be better off not reading it. I totally agree about the anthologies. They aren’t really my style.

    Sharrice @Reese’s Reviews

    • Lisa Mandina

      Ah, that stinks that the final book wasn’t great. But I’ll keep it just in case I have time. I won’t move it to the top of the list though, based on your thoughts!

  3. These posts make me so nostalgic. I remember when everyone was reading Lailah and I don’t have interest in it either so I agree on tossing. And the same goes for Something Real! I did read Beautiful Creatures but I have to admit I was not so impressed with it…

    Olivia Roach recently posted: Book Haul – Triple the Books!
    • Lisa Mandina

      That’s exactly why I added it, everyone was reading it. I loved Beautiful Creatures, although the second one was kind of sluggish, but I would like to go on at some point.

  4. Danielle Hammelef

    Requiem is still on my TBR so thank you for the chance. I recently decided to figure out how to remove books from Goodreads and found it–but my list is beyond hopeless at this point.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, that’s why doing this 20 at a time helps a little. It just takes so long to do it! They need to make an easier way to take them off, but oh well for now this works for me.

  5. Lily M.

    Hi!! Thank you so much for this opportunity :):) you always have a great list of books. I was just going through my goodreads to-read shelve and saw so many books that I once really wanted to read but now I see them and they just don’t interest me anymore, which kind of saddens me. I think sometimes its because of the pretty covers. Some of the books on your blog post I’ve never heard of but I’m sure at one point they were on the top of your TBR. I guess over time some genres or plots are just not interesting anymore 🙁

    • Lisa Mandina

      I know a lot that are on my Goodreads TBR come from when they were big in the blog world too, and now I just am not as interested!

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