Keep or Toss (02.20)

Welcome to my next episode of ‘Keep or Toss’! In case you missed my very first post where I explained why I’m going through my TBR listing and the first batch of 15 titles, you can read it all right here: Keep or Toss Tuesday (01.20). If you just want to jump right in with me, here’s a short version of the process I’m using…

Each week I’m going to take a section of books on the list and see which ones I want to keep and which ones I’m going to delete. I first saw this idea on Confessions of YA Reader. According to her post, she saw it on Lost in a Story. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to your goodreads to-read shelf. (As mentioned before, I combined my two shelves (Goodreads and Amazon))
  2. Order in ascending date added. (I’m working in alphabetical order)
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous). If you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time. (I’ll be reviewing around 15 each week)
  4. Read the synopsis of each book.
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go.

I should also add this PSA again – I went through a bit of an erotica and steamy romance phase so some of these titles reflect that. #NoJudgementPlease 🙂 And finally, all cover photos were taken from Goodreads. So let’s gets started!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances is been a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself.

So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Geez! This cover is pretty and I think it’s one of the reasons I was drawn to the book. The premise looks interesting and I feel like 2020 will be all about fleshing out who I am too so I think I’ll be keeping this one.

The Fine Line by Alicia Kobishop

Love…

Slam on the brakes?

Or put the pedal to the metal?

I’ve got one rule. No attachments.

I’m sick and tired of losing the men I’ve grown to love. If my mother’s serial relationship disasters have taught me anything, it’s that getting involved with a man only results in heartbreak.

But the second my eyes lock with street racer Logan Tanner’s, my heart beats wildly against the walls I’ve built around it.

Stupid heart.

It doesn’t help that he’s got the body of a god and the eyes of an angel. I’m drawn to him in a way I’ve never felt before. And don’t even get me started about rush of adrenaline that courses through my veins every time I flag one of his races.

I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought we could just be friends. I thought I could keep us from crossing the line.

But with every encounter, every touch, and every kiss, Logan cruises through all my red lights.

Our relationship becomes emotional, messy, complicated…even dangerous. If I give in to the inevitable, our world will come crashing down around us.

I guess I’ve got a decision to make.

Is my heart strong enough? Is love worth the struggle? Is it worth fighting for?

Hot, bad boy racers. I’m pretty sure I was finishing up on a Fast & Furious binge session when this one caught my eye. But now that I’m rereading the description, I don’t feel that pull anymore. So #2 on this week’s list is getting tossed.

The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan

On the eve of WWI, two students fall in love in Harvard’s hallowed halls and must face a world at war from opposing sides

Helen Windship Brooks is struggling to find herself at the world-renowned Harvard-Radcliffe University when brooding German poet Wils bursts into her life. As they fall deeply in love on the brink of WWI, anti-German sentiments mount and Wils’ future at Harvard-and in America-is in increasing danger. When Wils is called to fight for the Kaiser, Helen must decide if she is ready to fight her own battle for what she loves most.

From Harvard’s hallowed halls to Belgium’s war-ravaged battlefields, The End of Innocence is a powerful new vision of finding love and hope in a violent, broken world.

Can’t lie. I’m a total goner when it comes to WWI and WWII romances. Especially when they’re from opposite sides of the war. Keeping! Duh.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.

2. Her mother was murdered.

3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Action. Intrigue. Smart, female lead. Probably a great read for someone into that genre. But I’m not currently. So despite that rocking cover, I’m tossing this title.

A Love That Never Tires (Linley & Patrick Edwardian Adventures, Book 1) by Allyson Jeleyne

Linley Talbot-Martin is a girl who likes to get her hands dirty. As the daughter of a famous archaeologist, she’s been everywhere and seen everything—except London. When the Talbot-Martin team travels there for her father’s investiture, Linley finally gets her wish. But when the time comes to trade her jodhpurs and work boots for silk gowns and kid gloves, she may be in over her head.

Even though she can out-ride, out-shoot, and outsmart any girl in London society, Linley is destined to be the failure of the season. No one she meets cares about ancient pottery or lost Buddhist texts, and fundraising efforts for future expeditions keep coming up short. If the Talbot-Martin team doesn’t find money soon, they will be out of a job, and Linley will lose everything she holds dear.

Patrick Wolford, Marquess of Kyre (pronounced ‘Keer’), is a man who knows his place. Well-connected and respected, he is everything everyone expects him to be, but beneath his façade, he is as neglected and crumbling as the family estate. Now the strain of keeping up appearances is taking its toll. The smart thing would be to marry the heiress nipping at his heels and be done with it, but when he meets Linley Talbot-Martin, who dares to shake up his seemingly proper world, he must choose between the life he’s always known and one he never dared to dream of.

Full disclosure… I added it for the fluff factor. Kind of like when you’re craving cotton candy even though it’s pretty much the most un-nutritious thing out there. Since I want to keep my TBR full of books with substance, I’m tossing Ms. Talbot-Martin and Mr. Wolford.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

Yeah, not gonna add much here. It’s staying!

Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel

The first book in Alyson Noël’s extraordinary new Immortals series. Enter an enchanting new world, where true love never dies…

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people’s auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone’s entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He’s the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head – wielding a magic so intense, it’s as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she’s left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is – or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she’s falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.

I know. I’m WAY late to the party on this one. A friend of mine recommended it a while ago when I mentioned I was into new takes on vampire fantasy books. I added this one because she said the series was really good but then it got buried in my TBR pile and forgotten. I’m keeping it and I suppose the upside is since the series is done, I can binge on the whole thing if I really like this first book!

Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, Book 1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Like Evermore, this one was added when I was in a Vampire Diaries / The Originals mood. Still totally into that sort of thing so I think I’ll hold on to this one. I’m not completely positive I’ll be in love but I might be surprised. I’m hoping anyway!

Helen of Sparta (Helen of Sparta, Book 1) by Amalia Carosella

Long before she ran away with Paris to Troy, Helen of Sparta was haunted by nightmares of a burning city under siege. These dreams foretold impending war—a war that only Helen has the power to avert. To do so, she must defy her family and betray her betrothed by fleeing the palace in the dead of night. In need of protection, she finds shelter and comfort in the arms of Theseus, son of Poseidon. With Theseus at her side, she believes she can escape her destiny. But at every turn, new dangers—violence, betrayal, extortion, threat of war—thwart Helen’s plans and bar her path. Still, she refuses to bend to the will of the gods.

A new take on an ancient myth, Helen of Sparta is the story of one woman determined to decide her own fate.

When I pretty much lose interesting while reading the description, it’s a pretty good indicator on how I feel towards a book. Sorry, Helen, but you’re being tossed.

Laughing at the Thunder by Amanda Harte

The last thing Martha Wentworth York needs is more change in her life. She’s already lost her husband to what the politicians are calling “The War to End All Wars.” If that weren’t enough, her brother and sisters have gone to France as part of the war effort. Being alone in her hometown of Canela, Texas is certainly not the life Martha would have chosen, but there’s no point in thinking of what might have been. Happy endings, Martha has learned, are meant for other people. Instead of dreaming about the future, she devotes herself to her hometown, where she becomes an indispensable member of the community, teaching school and serving on every imaginable civic committee. Life settles into a comfortable pattern until the day a handsome stranger drives into town.

Tom Fleming is a man who thrives on change. A renowned photographer, he travels around the world and has no intention of ever settling down. Marriage, a family, and small town life are not for him. When Tom arrives in Canela on his cross-country search for a woman whose picture will inspire the soldiers abroad, he can’t believe his luck. Martha York is perfect! All Tom needs is a day or two in Canela, and he’ll be ready to head back to New York, his prize-winning photograph in hand.

But life, as Tom has good reason to know, doesn’t always go according to plan, and his two-day stay is extended by Martha’s stubborn refusal to be photographed as well as an attraction neither one of them wants to admit. Soon the rumor mill is predicting a wedding. It’s a preposterous idea. Or is it?

Another one giving me “meh” feelings. That’s never a good sign. Going in the toss pile.

Ascend (Trylle #3) by Amanda Hocking

Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself.  If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe.  But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind… even if it’s the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice… who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end.

Everything has been leading to this moment.  The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it.

This is definitely staying! My girl, V, let me borrow her copy of the first in this series – Switched. I loved it and immediately went to the library to check out Torn. It’s been about a year since I read them so when I get to this one, I’ll need to reread those two (bummer, haha!) before finishing out the Trylle trilogy!

What’s Left of Me by Amanda Maxlyn

Life works in mysterious ways.

Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.

I refuse to cry.

And I refuse to give in.

A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.

He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.

But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.

What if it changes everything?

Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.

Love found me when I was twenty-one.

My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

Sounds cute but I’m not feeling hooked. And another one bites the dust!

Promises (The Syrenka Series, Book 1) by Amber Garr

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiance, would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined. A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape.

I don’t know about this one. On the one hand, a story about mermaids and selkies is different and intriguing. On the other, I can see this going horribly wrong and being completely cliche. I already have it as an ebook so I think I’m going to label it “Maybe” for now. Possibly give it the 50 page test and decide then.

Inescapable (The Premonition #1) by Amy A. Bartol

My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I’d been hoping that once I’d arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t.

I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life.

What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

This one feels way too much like the Mara Dyer series. I’ve read that series and I loved it so I’m not completely ready for what feels like a very similar story. I’d be too busy comparing. Removing from the TBR list.

Becoming Us (London Lovers, Book 1) by Amy Daws

~The college prequel to the London Lovers Series~

The dreaded friend-zone…

The last place Finley ever want to be with college basketball God, Jake LaShae. She is losing her mind trying to figure out what this guy wants from her. Between their late night phone calls, cuddle sessions and him showing up at parties, causing a scene, his mixed signals are giving her whip lash.

When a mind-blowing betrayal knocks the wind out of Finley and she thinks she can’t feel any lower, Brody stumbles into her path—barefoot and charmingly sexy.

This boy next door is a breath of fresh air. And he’s not shooting her any mixed signals.

But even he has a past. A past that makes him anything but perfect.

When Finley begins to think she’s found the one in Brody, will Jake try to make one final play and ruin the game for everyone?

Okay, so this one seems kind of fun. Cheesy, most likely but with some laughs. And I always like to read prequels before a true series so maybe this one will lead to enjoyment of the rest. I’ll keep it for a summer fun read.

That’s the next 15 books done! 7 are staying, 7 are going, and 1 is being relegated to a “maybe” pile. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Thanks for joining me for the second episode of Keep or Toss Tuesday!

TBR

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