Recently, I’ve been seeing a couple people going through their TBR on Goodreads and deciding which books to keep and which books to take out as a sort of “clean-up”. Over the years, I’ve been adding books to my TBR but sometimes never get to them or lose interest, but I’ve been too lazy to actually take them out of my TBR shelf. I’m hoping by doing this cleanse I’ll clean up my TBR list and reintroduce myself to some of the older books on the shelf.
There are many different ways other people did this “cleanse”, but this is the way I’m going to do it:
- Choose the first 10 books in your TBR list.
- Read the blurb.
- Decide whether to keep it or “kick” it out of the list.
- Repeat with the next 10 books every week until you go through the whole list.
(All the blurbs were taken from Goodreads.)
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Blurb: Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.
With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.
Verdict: Keep. I remember the reason I added this. It was because at my very first book festival, I got to meet Sarah J. Maas and hear her talk. She mentioned this book because it was what inspired her love for fantasy and could possibly have influenced how she wrote Throne of Glass (if I remember correctly… it’s been a couple years). I loved Sarah J. Maas’s books, so I thought why not try the book that inspired the author?
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Blurb: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
Verdict: Keep. I was given a copy by a friend of mine as a present so I feel like I need to give it a try. Plus, the premise sounds interesting.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Blurb: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
Verdict: Keep. I just recently got a physical copy at a used book sale because the movie recently came out. I haven’t watched the movie yet (and I’m not sure I plan to), but I want to at least try the book out.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Blurb: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Verdict: KEEP! I’ve heard amazing things about this book, and I loved Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. All I need to do is find the time to read this book.
The Griever’s Mark by Katherine Hurley
Blurb: Astarti’s master controls her through a Leash, a bond of energy anchored deep within her. Despite being one of the few remaining Drifters, able to manipulate the energy world, she cannot break free. She knows her fate: she will serve until she dies, at which point her master will harvest her energy to augment his own.
Oh, yes, she’s done some bad things in her master’s name. She’s not asking for forgiveness. She expects you to hate her.
What she doesn’t expect is Logan, a man meant to be her sworn enemy. A man with secrets as dark as her own.
Verdict: Kick. It’s nothing against the author or the story. I’ve just lost interest in this book over the years.
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Blurb: protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.
That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
Verdict: Keep! To be honest, I didn’t think I’d keep this one but once I reread the blurb my interest in the story is renewed. Plus, The Book Thief is a great story, so I’m willing to give Markus Zusak’s other books a try.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Blurb: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
Verdict: KEEP! I really need to read this book. I think it’s going to be very wholesome.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Blurb: Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.
Verdict: Kick. I know a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I don’t think I’m going to keep this book on my TBR shelf. I know it’s a great story, but I don’t think I’m in the right mindset to read it.
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Blurb: Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun’s crimes, both against her country and her family.
Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?
Verdict: Kick. I love Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae Files, but I’m not sure I’m interested enough in this series to start it.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Blurb: 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 a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization…
Verdict: Kick. Just like a lot of the books in this first batch, it has been years since I’ve added this to by TBR and my tastes have changed. I’m not interested in the story anymore so I don’t see a point in keeping it in my TBR.
Until next time….