Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #60

Posted February 22, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR / 9 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 Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz:

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

My thoughts: So, I like this author, but since my goal with this post each week is to get rid of books on my TBR, I’m going to toss this one probably. If/when I do decide I want to read it, we have it in my school library.

Verdict: Toss

2. The Three by Sarah Lotz:

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage. Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival.

My thoughts: While it kind of sounds interesting, it also doesn’t have a very high rating on Goodreads, so I’ll probably pass.

Verdict: Toss

3. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios:

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

My thoughts: I still kind of want to read this. I feel like there aren’t a lot of books about jinn, so it sounds unique. We do have it in my library at school as well.

Verdict: Keep

4. The Witch Must Burn by Danielle Paige:

There’s a new Wicked Witch in Oz—and her name is Dorothy. This digital original novella is the second installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and exciting New York Times bestseller Dorothy Must Die.

Dorothy Gale is back . . . and she’s not the sweet little heroine of Oz anymore. She’s power-hungry and vicious, and she leaves a trail of destruction beneath her spike-heeled, magical shoes. But behind the scenes, there’s someone else pulling the strings. Someone who doesn’t want fame or glory—just control.

Glinda of the North brought Dorothy back to Oz for a reason. And in The Witch Must Burn, a young maid is about to discover that a witch who says she’s Good might be the most dangerous kind of Wicked.

The Witch Must Burn, by debut author Danielle Paige, is a dark and compelling reimagining of a beloved classic and is perfect for fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Beastly by Alex Flinn, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

My thoughts: So, I feel like I’ve already read this, but I don’t have it marked as such, so for now I’ll keep it.

Verdict: Keep

5. Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige:

Once upon a time, there was a girl from Kansas named Dorothy.

You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her. She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves.

The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.

My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away on one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling:

Assassin.

The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.

But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?

Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again.

My thoughts: So, yeah, I still need to finish this series, including this one to see if I want to read the final book.

Verdict: Keep

6. I Wish by Elizabeth Langston:

Book 1 in a new series.

What Lacey needs is a miracle. What she gets is a genie with rules.

Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous “genie.” He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there’s a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.

My thoughts: Nah, probably not something I’m interested in anymore.

Verdict: Toss

7. Fun with Kirk and Spock by Robb Pearlman:

See the Enterprise. See the Enterprise go boldly. Go Go Go, Enterprise! Go Boldly! Join Kirk and Spock as they go boldly where no parody has gone before!

This Prime Directive primer steps through The Guardian of Forever to a simpler time of reading, writing, and red shirts. Fun with Kirk and Spock will help cadets of all ages master the art of reading as their favorite Starfleet officers, Klingons, Romulans, Andorians, and Gorn beam down into exciting adventures.

My thoughts: I remember why I added this, but I probably won’t go out of my way to read.

Verdict: Toss

8. Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch:

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows… and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving… and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

My thoughts: I still kind of am interested in this one!

Verdict: Keep

9. The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan:

Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn’t have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

My thoughts: As much as I love the setting of Louisiana, just not sure this is my kind of book.

Verdict: Toss

10. Loop by Karen Akins:

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

My thoughts: Hmm, it kind of sounds good, but don’t know when I’ll get to it.

Verdict: Toss

11. A is for Apocalypse by Rhonda Parrish:

What do you get when you take twenty-six amazing writers, randomly assign them a letter of the alphabet and give them complete artistic freedom within a theme?

A is for Apocalypse

A is for Apocalypse contains twenty-six apocalyptic stories written by both well-known and up-and-coming writers. Monsters, meteors, floods, war–the causes of the apocalypses in these tales are as varied as the stories themselves.
This volume contains work by Ennis Drake, Beth Cato, Kenneth Schneyer, Damien Angelica Walters, K. L. Young, Marge Simon, Milo James Fowler, Simon Kewin, C.S. MacCath, Steve Bornstein and more!

My thoughts: You know my thoughts on anthologies, and there aren’t even any authors in this one that I really know.

Verdict: Toss

12. Write this Book – A Do-It-Yourself Mystery by Pseudonymous Bosch:

I feared this may happen. I knew reading was a dangerous business, but now it’s not safe for writers either! You see, the author of this book is missing. Well, maybe not “missing.” A certain author whom I won’t name (okay, me) has abandoned his book and has left his readers hanging out to dry. This is a crime, I admit, but there it is. Most of this book, well, I just haven’t written it. And I’m not going to, either.Why? Oh, I have my reasons. Big. Grown up. Author. Reasons. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal them yet. Let’s just say a life is at stake (mine) and leave it at that. So will you do it? Pretty please? You’ll do it? Thank you! But please hurry! Time is of the essence and you can’t wait any longer. You must WRITE THIS BOOK!

This imaginative companion to the New York Times bestselling Secret Series teases, prompts, and leads readers through the steps of writing a story. Bosch’s signature rip-roaring voice delivers an engaging narrative (for the reader to help complete!) and interactive puzzles and games. Readers get the chance to create their own story while enjoying a satisfying mystery as well.

My thoughts: So, I’m guessing that I added this around the time I read this author’s book to a group of students. And I like that this is a good way to maybe help write a book. I might still want to look at it some day, but I wonder if it is for younger writers. Hmm, hard decision to make! But, I feel like I don’t want to spend all my time reading books on writing, but actually writing and getting the practice.

Verdict: Toss

13. A Gazillion Little Bits by Claudia Brevis:

New York City. 2256.

Isolated by shifting lands, fire and beasts, fewer than thirteen thousand people live in the ruins and rubble of Manhattan without technology, government or any connection to the world from which they’ve descended…

Until the mysterious whispers arrive, followed by a stranger who holds what may be the key to the city’s ultimate survival.

A post-apocalyptic tale of courage, faith, betrayal and hope.

My thoughts: Obviously there was a time when I was really into all the post-apocalyptic books. Doesn’t really seem to be my thing anymore, so I’ll probably pass.

Verdict: Toss

14. Ravenous by Erica Stevens:

The world didn’t end with a bang, didn’t go out in a ball of fire and fury. Nor did it end in ice, but in some strange way ice was the end; or maybe it was the beginning of something more.

Bethany is stunned and horrified when she finds herself suddenly alone in a world that was alive only moments before. Terrified, she flees into the streets of her town, looking for answers, and desperate to reach her family. Panicked, she is nearly captured by the monsters hunting her until Cade steps in to rescue her. Dark and distant, most people in school are weary of Cade, yet oddly fascinated by him. They had been close as children, but it has been years since Bethany has had any real contact with Cade. Inexplicably drawn to his dark presence, Bethany finds herself torn between her growing desire for Cade, and her boyfriend Bret’s unwavering love. As their situation becomes even more perilous Bethany struggles to come to terms with her past, her terrifying new reality, and her growing love for a boy that is powerful, mysterious, and deadly.

Book 1 The Ravening Series

Young Adult. This book contains some language, violence, and sexual situations. Recommended for ages fifteen and up.

My thoughts: Again, more post-apocalyptic.

Verdict: Toss

15. One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington:

Sabine isn’t like anyone else. For as long as she can remember, she’s had two lives. Every twenty-four hours she “shifts,” living each day twice. In one life, Sabine has everything: popular friends, perfect grades, expensive clothes, and the guy everyone wants. In the other, Sabine’s family struggles financially, and her friends are considered rebels. But then she meets Ethan. He’s gorgeous and challenging, and he makes her feel like she’s never felt before.

All Sabine really wants is the chance to live only one life. But when this finally becomes possible, is she willing to risk everything – including losing the one person who might actually believe her – to make it happen?

My thoughts: I still kind of want to read this one.

Verdict: Keep

16. Moonless by Crystal Collier:

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

My thoughts: As much as I love that description at the beginning, Jane Eyre meets Supernatural, I don’t know that I’ll ever get to this one.

Verdict: Toss

17. Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe:

What if the end of the world was just the beginning?

Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors.

When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.

87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry.

Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed.

But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past…

My thoughts: Yet another post-apocalyptic on my list.

Verdict: Toss

18. How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date): Lousy Life Lessons from 50 Teen Movies by Nikki Roddy:

Teen movies are a tremendous part of our culture—and so many of them have become classics. But does anyone really look at what these films are teaching us? Do black leather pants really lead to instant popularity (like they do for Sandy in Grease)? Should you really stalk a girl to win her over (like Lloyd Dobler does in Say Anything)? And if you steal your dad’s car and solicit a prostitute (like Joel in Risky Business), will you really get into an Ivy League school? This hilarious read gives us synopses from 50 classic teen movies and brings to light all the brilliant (well, maybe not) advice offered up in each one. Quotes and quizzes also included.

My thoughts: Funny premise, but probably won’t get to that.

Verdict: Toss

19. Artificial Evil by Colin F. Barnes:

Artificial Evil (Book 1 of The Techxorcist series) is a futuristic, high-stakes thrill ride.

In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity survives within a single domed city run by a shadowy benefactor known only as The Family. Each week the death lottery claims more lives and Gerry Cardle, head of the lottery, inexplicably finds himself the next on the list.

Something’s wrong with the system. A deadly artificial intelligence has breached security. Gerry has just 7 days to live. Forced off the grid, Gerry has to do the unthinkable: willingly leave the city. What he finds in the abandoned lands will shatter his perception of what it means to be human. Everything he had been told before was a lie.

In a deadly world of conspiracy, violence, and artificial intelligences, Gerry has to sacrifice everything he loves in order to save it, and time is running out.

My thoughts: No thanks

Verdict: Toss

20. Glittering Shadows by Jaclyn Dolamore:

The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore’s lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

My thoughts: I may actually have a copy of this. I need to check, and if I do, I’ll move this over to a different list on Goodreads. But for now I definitely will be keeping it!

Verdict: Keep

Final Thoughts:

So I’m keeping a few more this week, six, but that’s still less than half. Yay me! Last week I had 3,058 books left on my Goodreads TBR. I’m tossing 14 this week, leaving me at 3,045 on Goodreads. It looks like I did a good job of tossing and not so much adding this past 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.

Giveaway:

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:

2012-2016 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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9 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #60

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    I just got used copies of the Dorothy books and they do sound fun to read. I also have the P.B. book on my TBR as I loved his Secret book series, but this one I haven’t purchased yet. He has a new series based on a character names Oliver who wants to be a magician. I hope to read at least the first book this year.

  2. You’ve done pretty well these last two occasions! These posts are taking me down memory lane now. I remember Loop being all the rage but it wasn’t one that interested me enough so I approve of tossing it… I have Dorothy Must Die and have yet to read it, so I am glad to see you kept that one!

    Olivia Roach recently posted: The Very Hungry Bookworm #1

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