Adding to Your TBR – June 2018
TBR – To Be Read tower/list
June is stuffed full of great releases and this is a list of the twelve I am the most excited for. Of course, my TBR is murmuring (ha! I wish) in the corner – it knows I can’t keep up. Goodreads is in on the plan to take me down and helpfully points out that although I have read forty-four books so far, I am eight books behind schedule if I am to achieve the total I faithfully declared I would read in the Reading Challenge. Fortunately, no one knows I have already reduced the total in a vain attempt to see the completed stamp at the end of the year…
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Expected: 5 June 2018
This fantasy is a retelling of the opera Turandot written by Giacomo Puccini, which is it’s self a retelling. The original story was written by Nizami Ganjavi and published in 1197 as part of a collection called The Seven Beauties. With this rich background, there is much pressure on the début author but the early reviewers have high praise with the pre-publication average rating on Goodreads an amazing 4.43 out of 5 stars.
As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.
Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.
Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart. – Abstract from Goodreads
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Expected: 5 June 2018
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. – Abstract from Goodreads
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Expected: 5 June 2018
So, this is magical realism? What makes it different to fantasy. Ever so slightly confused but rave reviews indicate it’s well worth reading to find out.
A magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. A summer that will become legend.
Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming, Georgina fears her gift will never come.
Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms. – Abstract from Goodreads
Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone
Expected: 5 June 2018
Friendships and secrets. What’s not to love? I have just read her first book, Every Last Word and was blown away by richly layered characters and the unpredictable twist.
Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.
Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.
No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.
Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all re-examine the things they hold true. – Abstract from Goodreads
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez
Expected: 5 June 2018
This is the first book in an epic fantasy series of the same name. I am slightly put off by the cheesy title and the cliché cover but hoping I am proved wrong.
Not you without me, not me without you.
Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.
As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved. – Abstract from Goodreads
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
Expected: 7 June 2018
A Thousand Perfect Notes is my most anticipated read this month. Although I am absolutely sure this emotional book will destroy me I can’t wait to read it. C.G. Drews (aka Cait @Paperfury) is an extremely popular book blogger (slightly obsessed with cake and stabbing) who writes fun blog posts, laugh-out-loud Twitter feeds and is an amazing photographer as seen in her Instagram posts. She is also very supportive of fellow bloggers, generous enough to share her knowledge in tutorial posts, always replies to comments and takes the time to return the favour. So to Cait, now a published author and whose second book is due in 2019, keep writing with the aim of totally overloading our TBRs! PS Cait’s second book is called The Boy Who Steals Houses – have you ever seen such a brilliant title? I love it!
An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.
When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it? – Abstract from Goodreads
The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall
Expected: 19 June 2018
A highly anticipated historical fiction set in the Southern United States in the 1960s. The description includes a dysfunctional family and dark secrets so obviously, I am in!
Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.
If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction. – Abstract from Goodreads
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Expected: 19 June 2018
Spanning generations, this story promises to take us behind the scenes of The Beijing Duck House to meet the staff and discover their secrets…
The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.
Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children. – Abstract from Goodreads
The Date by Louise Jensen
Expected: 21 June 2018
So, at last, a thriller on the list this month. Just one caught my eye though but the early reviews promise it’s a good one.
Something bad has happened to Alison Taylor.
Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future.
By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.
Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her… – Abstract from Goodreads
Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak
Expected: 26 June 2018
It was the first two lines of the abstract below that prompted me to add this book despite not liking most of Carlie Sorosiak’s first book If Birds Fly Back. But there was also a part of the book that I loved – if you want to know more the link above is to my review on Goodreads.
There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.
Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.
Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.
After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.
But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads
Your Destination Is on the Left by Lauren Spieller
Expected: 26 June 2018
I love this cover! And it’s about art and artists. I have the impression it might be as good as I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson which will be brilliant! High hopes indeed.
Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.
Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck travelling forever.
Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving? – Abstract from Goodreads
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings compiled by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman
Expected: 26 June 2018
These short stories featuring East and South Asia folklore and mythology sound amazing. Short stories are what I turn to when life gets too crazy and it’s difficult to concentrate on a novel.
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.
Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.
A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.
From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. – Abstract from Goodreads