Hello bookworms! Today I’m back with another look at my (monstrous) TBR!
For those that don’t already know, Down the TBR Hole is a meme created by Lost in a Story that involves cleansing your TBR of all the books you no longer feel like reading. I’ll be featuring ten books at a time, and deciding if they should stay, or be removed!
Here we go!
1. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Published: May 3rd, 2007
Synopsis: Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden’s daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . .
Thoughts: I’m not totally sure, but I think this book may have been the very first one that I added to my “official” TBR list on Goodreads. So essentially now I can blame all my TBR problems on this book, lol! Truthfully, it hurts my heart that I never got around to this, but just reading the synopsis, it’s something I know I’m not interested in anymore. Though it’s a close call, because the premise still sounds cool! (On a side note, this has been out for TEN YEARS. I feel so old)
2. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Published: June 7th, 2011
Synopsis: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Thoughts: Dang, I was really into the dystopian scene when I was younger. The gang of “girl revolutionaries” sounds pretty cool, but honestly I’ve read enough stories about a strong female protagonist surviving in a desert-filled futuristic world.
3. Pawn by Aimee Carter
Published: Nov. 26th, 2013
Synopsis: YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed—and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.
Thoughts: Another book that pains me to *still* see on this list. The hardcover is actually really cool too, just for the record. Pawn sounds like a cross between Red Queen, The Selection, and that one really old series called The Uglies. I’m definitely on the fence, but there are just so many other books on my list that I want to read more. I’ll probably take this off my Goodreads TBR and out of my book jar, but keep the physical book just in case!
4. Half Bad by Sally Green
Published: March 4th, 2014
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?
Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.
Thoughts: I had to scroll through the Goodreads reviews to really decide on this one. It seems like one of those “you love it or you hate it” books. Most people seemed to give it three stars, and a general “meh” in attitude. I also heard that the series gets generally worse with each book. If you’ve read this book, please let me know your thoughts on it! For now though, I’m going to take this off my list.
5. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Published: Oct. 6th, 2009
Synopsis: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.
Thoughts: Okay, we all know I’m a sucker for anything high fantasy, and this actually sounds really good. I’ve also heard generally good things about it in the community. There are a ton of books in this series, so it feels intimidating to start, but I think I’d still like to get around to this!
6. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Published: Oct. 7th, 2014
Synopsis: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.
The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.
The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.
Thoughts: Including this book in today’s post is really more of a formality, because I’m definitely never taking a Rick Riordan book off my shelves! I’ve read the whole Heroes of Olympus series except this book, and I could just kick myself for waiting this long to finish it. Now I don’t remember a single thing from the other books, so I have to reread everything. Which is why I continue to procrastinate reading this book.
7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Published: Sept. 18th, 2012
Synopsis: It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Thoughts: This is one of those classic cases where I own the entire series but still haven’t read any of it yet (oops). A long time ago I read The Scorpio Races by Maggie and loved it, so I really want to read her most highly acclaimed series.
8. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Published: Feb. 27th, 2007
Synopsis: Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great – until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.
Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind, part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At their helm sits the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game – a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.
As if his bizarre heritage isn’t enough, Jack finds out that he’s not just another member of Weirlind – he’s one of the last of the warriors – at a time when both houses are scouting for a player.
Thoughts: Unlike The Demon King, this book by Cinda Williams Chima doesn’t sound so appealing anymore. The underground fantasy world is cool, but I prefer my fantasy not mixed with reality lol. And after scrolling through the reviews, I’ve heard this isn’t nearly as good as Demon King.
9. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
Published: March 5th, 2013
Synopsis: “I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”
Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.
Thoughts: Having reread the synopsis, it seems like this book was almost ahead of its time. I think this is probably a book worth reading, but … I can’t help it I’m just not interested in this. I’m a fantasy reader that occasionally picks up contemporary when like, all the planets are in perfect celestial alignment.
10. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Published: Oct. 7th, 2014
Synopsis: Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
Thoughts: I honestly have no idea why I haven’t read this yet. I love Marie Lu. I love fantasy. And I LOVE anti-heroes. It has everything for me! Guess I should really move this one to the top of my list!
TBR Status Check