Adult/YA Books Without Romance Recommendations

Some petitions you should check out:

Justice for Toyin | Justice for Tony McDadeJustice for Sheku Bayoh

Some UK resources. I feel like a lot of people in the UK are saying “Oh, well that doesn’t happen here.” It does.

https://www.blacklivesmatter.uk/

HomePage

https://www.stophateuk.org/

A booktube channel I’ve discovered recently and I think is dope:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCamkpihJtPvMuH49D6FejEw


I’m not the biggest fan of romance and I just want to read stuff with no romance sometimes. However, it’s really, REALLY difficult to find any books that are not marketed for children that do not have any romance in them. So if you have any recommendations for me, I would love to hear them. But here are some that I’ve enjoyed that had no romance.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

35967101

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a who done it mystery with some elements of fantasy/sci-fi. I could not stop reading this. I think I finished it in 2 sittings. There is no romance whatsoever, it’s all about solving the crime and it’s fantastic.

The Gift by Alison Croggon

873613

I didn’t love this book, I had some issues with it. But I did enjoy it and at least in the first book, there is no romance. I can’t say about the rest of them because I haven’t read them yet, but I do intend to continue with the series. And I feel like any series without romance in the first book will likely not have the biggest focus on romance even if it does eventually appears in the story.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

hundred year old man

This book is absolutely hilarious. I believe there is some kind of romance between side characters, but it’s very much an afterthought. There’s no like… romancey scenes or anything. I don’t know how to explain it, but basically there may as well be no romance. I have read all of Jonas Jonasson’s books and loved the majority of them. They’re so funny and poignant at the same time. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about them.

The Martian by Andy Weir

martian

No romance. Just a guy on Mars. I loved this book so much. I know a lot of people know about it, but I’d still recommend it!

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

127455

The first one has no romance in it, however, the second book in this series does have a little bit of romance and I suspect there will be more in subsequent books. However, the first book is just a fantastic bit of fun unhindered by romance and I love it for it.

Temerarie by Naomi Novik

temeraire

No romance, just the bromance between a guy and his dragon.


This is all I can actually think of. Which kind of highlights my point from earllier. Of the literal hundreds of books I’ve ever read, I can only think of 6 that have no romance in them.

Mid-Year Book freakout tag 2020 edition

This is my fourth year doing this. I have not done any wrap-ups this year, I don’t think. I’ve re-read a LOT of books so far. Like probably half the books I read were re-reads. So yeah, let’s see how this goes. I will try not to use re-reads for any of the questions.


Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

Foundryside is actually the latest of the books I read and it is by far one the best book I’ve read this year. It’s just a phenomenal book, I have a review of it if you want to hear more of my thoughts.

The only other book that I read this year and can compare is The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. This book totally deserves its hype, it’s one of the coolest mysteries that I’ve read. I can’t wait to see what Stuart Turton has in store in the future.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

39670900._sx318_

I read both the books in this series this year and man, this is another favourite series. One of the best middle grades I’ve read in some time. It’s so fun anf wholesome and magical. It’s exactly what I want in a middle grade book and I just want more. I can’t wait for the third book.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

42393392._sy475_

This was released in April. I obviously haven’t read it yet, I only just finished the first book, but I am soooo excited to pick this up! I have to say… for once I actually like the US covers for this series better than the UK ones. This almost never happens.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

It’s pretty much a tie between these two, even though I still need to finish Oathbringer. So maybe I’m anticipating Hollowpox more because I am caught up with the series.

Biggest disappointment

6699637

The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This was a DNF for me. I really wanted to read this series. I knew the the first book wasn’t the best, so I didn’t go in with huge expectations, but I absolutely hated everything about it. I hated the characters, I was bored out of my mind. I just could not push through this book.

Biggest surprise

9560573

This is a book that is outside my usual genres. I do read non-fiction, but not nearly as much as SFF books. And when I do read non-fiction, I like it because I learn things. But I don’t necessarily think they’re entertaining. But this was actually supremely entertaining. It was funny. I found myself laughing frequently. I actually plan to re-read this just because it was so entertaining. I especially recommend the audiobook.

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

See first question.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really get crushes anymore.

Newest favorite character

36662021

Clef from Foundryside. I know this is the third or fourth question I answer with this series, but I just loved it that much!

Book that made you cry

I don’t think there has been one.

Book that made you happy

38352645._sy475_

This series definitely made me happy.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

44286509

This cover is GORGEOUS!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Basically all the Brandon Sanderson!

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – Book Review

Rating: 4.75/5

Genre: Fantasy, adult

Pubilshed: 2018

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett

Synopsis: Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artefact of unimaginable power. Now someone wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies.


This book was such a delight! It’s been a while since I’ve completely LOVED a book so much. I loved every character (with one exception), I loved the writing, I loved the world, I loved the story. It’s just fantastic! Robert Jackson Bennett is now the newest addition to my list of favourite authors. 

The story is set in this steampunky urban fantasy type thing. That sentence made no sense, but I’m going with it. This has a magic system so unique and complex, I loved it so much. It’s probably one of my favourite magic systems I’ve ever read. It rivals Brandon Sanderson’s magic systems and even surpasses some of them. If not all. It just has so much character. The magic system itself is almost like a character. It’s fantastic and I adored it.

It;s been a while since I loved a cast of characters so much. I think they’re generally great, wish one exception. I did not love the love interest. I really wanted there to not be a romance at all. The fact that there was is what actually bumped it down a quarter of a star. The love interest is… fine. I just found her to be kind of… bland. I think to be honest, by very, very strong desire for there not to be a romance definitely played  played a part in my dislike of the love interest, but I also just thought she didn’t really stand out in any way. One thing I really an mot looking forward to is the romance in the subsequent books. It’s so hard to find books without any romance and I thought this might be one of them because the love interest didn’t show up until maybe halfway through. But yeah… that’s just personal preference and if you don’t have that same problem, you’ll probably love it. 

I also found the main antagonist to be just a tiny bit… moustache twirling. It was one of those things where they make the villain be every evil thing ever just because. Without any nuance. Like “This guy is super evil. He likes to kill people. And is greedy. And he’s a rapist. Oh, and in his spare time, he kills puppies. Because he is SUPER EVIL!”. However, there was so much going on that it didn’t bother me too much and it was mostly made up for in other ways. 

The story was so fast paced. It was just one thing after another. If you love heist stories, you’ll love this. If you love stuff like The Lies of Locke Lamora and Six of Crows and those kind of heist stories, you’ll love this. If you like stories about unlikely allies and found family, you’ll love this. It’s just got so many awesome things going for it. I would 100% recommend, though do be aware that it’s fairly gory. 

 

The Nope Trope Book Tag

First, here are some important stuff for you to check out:

This carrd compiles a lot of resources about petitions you can sign and ways to donate

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Check out this playlist of black booktubers

Check out the Blackout Buddy reads readathon (Which I will try my best to complete the books within the timeframe. I have them both, they’re on my kindle and I have this week off so hopefully I’ll make good progress on them)


On to the tag. this tag was created by yerabooknerdzoe, if you haven’t already you should check her out, she is absolutely hilarious. This tag is basically centered around tropes that Zoe does not like.

Eavesdropping w/ miscommunication – Name a book you heard great things about and expected to love but ended up hating

I could probably give a list here… but I’ll go with Caraval by Stephanie Graber. This book was hyped to the heavens as the new Night Circus and as some amazing magical performance thing and firstly, there was no performance magical or otherwise. Secondly everything else was also poop (except for the cover, that was gorgeous). So yeah, this book sucked, I hated it.

Love Triangles – Name a series where you can’t pick your favourite book

First, let me say SAME! Love triangles (and polygons of any description, we don’t discriminate here) suck and they should just die.

A series I couldn’t pick my favourite… I could once again give a list, but I’ll talk about one I’ve not talked about before and that is Nevermoor by Jessica Townsed. I’ve not posted a review of this because I’ve not really posted much at all, but I binged the two books in this series earlier this year and it is now one of my favourite middle grade series. It’s so much fun and I honestly could not pick a favourite. I’m so excited for the third one coming out later this year!

Not Like Other Girls/Didn’t Know I’m Beautiful – Name a book that has a pretty cover but was boring as all hell

Once again, yeah I agree. This trope is overdone and annoying and it makes it sound like being a girl like other girls is an undesirable thing or that being aware of your beauty is a bad thing. And I bought into that lie for a long time as a youngin and it harmed me. I am a woman just like any other and that in itself is a good and beautiful thing. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

As for my choice for the prompt, I will go with The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I really wanted to enjoy this book but honestly I was bored out of my mind. I DNFed it at around 180 pages or so. I just could not get through it. I do really like the cover though.

All-Consuming Love – Name a book that gave you a book hangover

Ah yes! You know when you pick up a cool sounding fantasy and you’re really excited because there’s dragons and magic and whatever and the first 100 pages are wonderful and you fly through them, and then Jane meets Tarzan and it’s all about their boring, awkward romance and the dragons and magic just get lost. And it sucks. If I wanted to read a romance, I’d have picked up a romance.

Have you ever gone to a beer festival and tried honey mead for the first time and found that it’s delicious and tastes nothing like alcohol and before you know it you’re throwing up on someone’s shoes in a train on your way back from Oxford and then you wake up the next day and you wish you hadn’t woken up at all? No? Me neither. But that’s the level of hangover that this book gave me.

Douchebag Boyfriend – Name a book that took you a while to get into, but you ended up loving

Yeah… why is that a trope? Although, I will say I’m a sucker for the brooding guy with a tortured past blah blah (I’m looking at you Will Herondale) trope which is very close to this one. And I know it’s trash and if someone actually behaved that way in real life, I would tear him a new one. But for some reason, I read about it and I love it. What is logic? But then there’s also the “He was a douchebag before but she fixed him” angle and yeah… I hate that one.

I can’t really think of anything right now. I’m sure there are some, but I can’t think of any. So instead, I’m going to go with one that I put off for a long time because I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it and ended up absolutely loving it and that is the Bear and the Nightingale series by Katherine Arden. This series was honestly a balm for my soul. I loved it so much.

Tell us your favourite or least favourite trope!

I think my least favourites have probably mostly been covered. There are a few more like the new kid in a small town school one that really annoy me. As for my favourite, I’d say probably discovering magical abilities, magic schools and assassins.

Phrases authors should stop using part II

As I continue my Shadowhunters re-read, I have come across a few more weird phrases that should just not happen. I will say, the writing is much better as the books progress, but I’m still in murky waters for now. You can check out part 1 if you want as well, but without further ado, here are some more phrases that should just stop.


*Blank* didn’t realise they’d spoken out loud

Never, not even once in my 23 years of life have I ever spoken out loud without realising it, nor have I ever met anyone who spoke out loud without realising it. Not when drunk, not when tired, it just does not happen except I suppose if you talk in your sleep. I’ve said stupid things, I’ve spoken nonsense, I’ve spoken to myself out loud. But at no point was I taken by surprise by the fact that I had audibly uttered those words. Like I get it’s meant to show how absorbed the character is by their thoughts, but it just makes them sound like they have some kind of mental issue. So stop.

no sheldon gif

They clenched their fists so hard they drew blood

Or some variation of that. This one doesn’t bother me so much in terms of writing, but it’s just so unrealistic. Like, how sharp are their nails? I have never clenched my fist so hard I drew blood. And I practice mixed martial arts. I clench my fists a lot. Like, are they all Wolverine or something?

People reading each other’s facial expression across the room

Not so much a phrase specifically, but it happens all the time that the POV character is across the room from someone and can read their every micro-expression. And not just like a small room, but big, big rooms. So big, they can’t hear what the other person is saying but they can read their facial expression. I mean, I know I don’t have perfect eyesight, but I doubt anyone can see that well. And not only that, but they detect super specific expressions and can deduce what the thoughts behind them are. And of course, as we saw in the previous post, their shoulders are incredibly expressive as well and have their own set of emotions that can be read in them. Do they all have Superman eyes or something?

She felt/returned the pressure of his hand on hers

Or variations of that. I know what it’s trying to say and technically… it’s correct. We do detect pressure when we are touched even if it’s light pressure. But to me it just sounds like they’re all very aggressive about holding each other’s hands. I would not describe the sensation of someone else touching me as pressure unless it was forceful enough to be uncomfortable. Surely, there are better words to describe the sensation of touch.

The girl and the Stars by Mark lawrence – Book review

43155726._sy475_Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: adult, fantasy, grimdark

Published: 2020

Author: Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.


This was by far one of my most anticipated books of the year and Mark Lawrence came through again and dragged me out of my reading slump to delight me with his fantastic world.

This book obviously takes place in the same world as the Book of the Ancestor series (which I’ve reviewed for your convenience). I don’t think we get a timeline of when the events of this book take place relative to Nona’s story, at least not in this first book, but it focuses on a lot of aspects of the lore that we just kind of glimpse in Nona’s story. Which I am so glad about because I still have so many questions and I can’t wait to see how it all ties together and I am just super excited for this series. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to read the first series, but I would recommend it because there’s a lot of world-building in that series that you don’t see in this one. And it’s not because of bad writing, but it’s just because of the ignorance of the main characters. They will probably slowly get revealed in this series as the story progresses, but I think knowing those things in advance definitely add to the story.

The biggest problem I had with this and really why I didn’t give it 5 stars is that the relationships seemed kind of rushed. The whole thing takes place over I don’t know. A few weeks maybe and already after the first couple of days they were all tight friends and it felt kind of rushed. It wasn’t too bad, like it didn’t get in the way of the story too much but it was a bit of a let-down for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the characters. I still think I prefer Nona over Yaz, but I really liked Yaz as well. I liked the supporting ast as well, though I do wish we’d got to know some of them a bit better. Thinking back now, I read the book maybe two weeks ago and I don’t have a strong feel for what a lot of the supporting characters are like. I think there’s just maybe 3 or 4 of them that I can distinctly remember and rest are just kind of a blur and even while reading I couldn’t really remember who was who.

We do meet some interesting characters who may or may not be human, who knows, and I thought they were really cool I just want to know more about them. I’m really, really intrigued by the conflict going on. It was kind of hinted at vaguely in The Book of the Ancestor, but here it’s just fully focused on and I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

The underground setting was so cool. It just gave the whole of Abeth a new dimension and it took the world we already knew and expanded it and I loved it.

The ending was just such a… I don’t even know what the appropriate word for it is. It was just emotionally demanding. And a cliffhanger. And I just want the next book now. The tragedy of new books is that you have to wait so long for the next instalment. But yeah, would 100% recommend this book if you enjoyed his other series. And if you’ve not read that, then I recommend you go do that. Though do be aware that these are fairly dark books. There is a fair bit of violence and sometimes gore so reader discretion advised.

Phrases authors should just stop using

Everybody talks about “they let our a breath they never knew they were holding”. And I agree, it’s such a stupid phrase that makes no sense and it should just not be used. However, I’ve been struck by the mood to re-read the Shadowhunter books. Don’t ask why, I never thought I’d read them again, but here I am and I am actually enjoying. However, the first few books in that series are a study in bad writing. So here are some other commonly used phrases I’ve come across that are just stupid and should not be used.

Sucking in a breath

First of all, it just sounds weird. Secondly, how does that even work? How does one suck a breath? You can suck a lolly, you can suck your finger, your teeth and a variety of other things, but you can’t suck a breath. Like, just try to picture someone sucking a breath and tell me what imagery that conjures cause the closest I can get is this

Closing their mouth with a snap

Like… do they dislocate their jaw while closing their mouth? Do their teeth crack every time? How do they still have teeth? Seriously guys, you should get that checked out. Jaws aren’t supposed to snap when you move them.

*Blank* was visible in the line/set of their shoulders/back

I don’t even know. Have you guys ever seen annoyed shoulders? An amused back perhaps? Exasperated shoulder blades? A smirking spine? Cause if you have, please let me know. I must have been missing an entire aspect of human communication for the past 23 years.

whaaa_dean_supernatural gif

Everything being done viciously

He scratched his head viciously, She zipped her jacket viciously. They looked around viciously. Everyone should just chill the heck down okay. Take some anger management classes, the jacket’s done nothing to you. Deep breaths.

That’s it for now, but if I come across more I’ll make a part 2 for sure. Also, let me know if you have come across any super weird phrases. I find them so funny.

Liebster Blogger award Again

It has been a hot second since I last saw this going around. I can’t even remember how many times before I’ve done this. Maybe this is the 3rd? Or 4th. Anyway, I was tagged by The Crazy Reader. So thank you for tagging me.

Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

What about your blog are you the proudest of? (Content, graphics, consistency, etc.)

I don’t really know. I like some of the content I’ve made. But nothing stands out as something I’m particularly proud of.

What is your favourite drink?

Water probably. That’s what I drink the most.

What is the first book that you really like?

The first “favourite book” i remember having as a kid was White Fang by Jack London.

Do you own any bookish merch? If so, do you have a favourite?

Yeah, I have loads of stuff from subscription boxes. My favourite are probably the socks. All of them. I have several pairs of bookish socks.

Book blogs, bookstagrams, booktubes or book twitters?

In terms of what I consumme the most of, definitely booktube. In terms of what I enjoy doing, blogging, obviously.

How has blogging helped you in life?

By providing an outlet.

Who is your favourite author?

I don’t know. I have many favourite authors.

Do you have a favourite artist? (music or visual art)

No. I don’t really do favourites.

Can you play any sports?

Not any team sports. But I do martial arts, used to do archery as well.

Can you play any musical instruments?

Not really. I can play a few songs on the guitar, but not well and nothing too complicated.

What is the thing you love the most about yourself?

That I’m clever.

11 facts about me:

  1. I’m 23
  2. I’m stubborn
  3. I don’t like cooking meat. I like meat, but cooking it is annoying, so I tend to cook vegetarian a lot of the time
  4. I don’t like cooking in general actually (but especially dislike cooking meat)
  5. Seafood freaks me out
  6. I have a younger brother.
  7. I hate clubbing
  8. I love riding horses
  9. I’m a scientist
  10. I’ve never travelled outside of Europe
  11. I’ve never broken a bone

I’ll just tag whoever wants to do this because I can’t be bothered to do it properly. So if you’re reading this, and you want to do it, you’re tagged!

Questions:

  1. Favourite indoors activity?
  2. Favourite outdoors activity?
  3. Last country (other than the one you live in) you’ve been to?
  4. Book you’ve re-read the most?
  5. Orange juice or apple juice?
  6. Have you ever taken any dance lessons?
  7. What languages do you speak?
  8. Least favourite fruit?
  9. Too hot or too cold?
  10. Smoothies or milkshakes?
  11. Do you like playing videogames?

Most Anticipated Books of 2020

I was actually having a look on Goodreads to see what is coming out this year and quite frankly there aren’t a whole lot of books I’m excited about, but here are the ones I am excited about (in order of expected publication).


Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – 3 March

17699853._sy475_

Hesitantly excited about this. I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, but at the same time, I haven’t really read much Cassandra Clare lately. I still have to read Queen of Air and Darkness but I can’t because I’m emotionally sound enough to go through the emotional torture that are her books. Especially when talking about my boo, Will Herondale. I know the series follows their kids more than anything, but still.

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin – 26 March

I honestly know nothing about this book except that it takes place in NYC. But it’s N. K. Jemisin, so I will give it a go.

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence – 30 April

I am ready for more of this world. This is probably my second most anticipated release of the year. I love the Book of the Ancestor series and I still have a lot of questions that will hopefully be answered in this companion series.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – 19 May

I am cautiously optimistic about this. I really, really hope its great, because The Hunger Games is to this day one of my favourite series. But I’m always a bit wary when authors come up with random series continuations 5 years later. Technically, this is a prequel. But still. Fingers crossed it’s as good as THG though.

Stormlight Archive Book 4 by Brandon Sanderson – 17 November

My most anticipated book of the year by far and the one I have to wait the longest for 😥 We don’t even have a title or a cover yet, but Brandon said he finished it on time so we’re (almost) definitely getting it this year!

Another Try a Chapter Thing

Everyone keeps doing these and they’re actually useful. I once again find myself overwhelmed by my TBR and I want to get rid of some books. I have a bunch that are sitting on my shelves and I’m not very excited about, but I also don’t want to unhaul them. So I’ve decided on another try a chapter thing to decide whether they stay or no. I’m going to do 6 books today, because I feel like more than that would just be too much. Anyway, here we go.


A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

49004101._sy475_

I read the prologue and first chapter and didn’t really like it. It basically feels like a ripoff of Three Dark Crowns (which I’m currently reading) but with vampires and fae and shapeshifters added. It’s basically about this Princess who has a specific type of magic and she has a sister who she has to fight to the death for the throne and her sister has a different type of magic. Sound familiar? Not only that, but I also didn’t like the writing. It was super info dumpy in a super annoying way. Here, it’s easier to illustrate with a quote:

Glamour, the fey ability to to cast illusions over the world and themselves
made their glossy skin shine as bright as the moon. Beside them, groups of
human girls [...] passed around tiny cups of ouitza, dark liquor made from
the sugarcane that grew along the river.Three-story akelaes - Myrean homes 
built around a central courtyard [...]

And it just goes on and on and on like that for nearly a page. It’s like reading a dictionary. And then there’s a bunch of boring tropes that are in no way creatively implemented: gay best friend, best friend who’s kind of a goody two shoes and the wild and mischievous MC who gets them to loosen up, MC with super duper rare and powerful magical abilities unseen for generations. And this was just the first chapter. So yeah, this one’s going. I’m really enjoying Three Dark Crowns and I think I’ll stick to that for my fill of rival sibling queens. I realise that I just hauled this recently and now I’m unhauling it, but I have had it for a couple months. I just didn’t do a haul for a long time.

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

catwoman

I have had a bit of a falling out with Sarah J. Mass. Used to be a huge fan, but didn’t really like her last few books. Which is why this is on the list. I’ve had it for nearly two years now, or however long it’s been since it came out and I’m never tempted to pick it up. However, after reading the first chapter, I think I will keep it for at time when I’m the mood for some dark, gritty superhero trash. It’s definitely not high quality literature, but it does capture that DC grunge. Reading the first chapter kind of felt like watching an episode of Arrow (which is the last DC show I’ve watched because I don’t have a life) in terms of atmosphere. So I want to have something like that on hand if the mood strikes.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

turtles all the way down

I was never really going to unhaul this. I just wanted to see what it was like. I’ve been avoiding it because usually John Green = romance and I really haven’t been in the mood for romance in the past 2 years really. Which is how long this has been on my shelves. I read the first chapter and it’s very John Green, philosophical teenagers and all that. I know that it’s very personal for him and that it depicts his own struggles with OCD and anxiety and thought spirals. And it’s somewhat relatable for me. While I don’t have OCD, I do have anxiety and I understand how hard it is to stop the thought spirals. Anyway, I digress. I am definitely keeping this, but I’m giving myself permission to take it off my TBR for the time being because I cannot handle reading it in my current state of mind.

The Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

anothwicked fox

I’m a bit conflicted about this. I enjoyed the first chapter. But I know this is a romance. It’s marketed as one and I’ve heard people say that it focuses much more on the romance than it does on the Korean folklore. The folklore is really the reason I would like to read this and the reason I enjoyed the first chapter is because we haven’t met the love interest yet. So I think I’m going to let this go. But I will say that the book was decently well written and it’s probably worth reading if you’re looking for a YA fantasy romance. Of course this is just based on the first chapter, so it’s not a particularly reliable recommendation.

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

mark of the thief

This is another one that has been on my shelves for ages and I never reach for it. But I should because I really loved Nielsen’s Ascension trilogy and just reading the first chapter of this brought back all the things I really loved about her other series. I’m glad I did include it in this challenge because now I want to read it, so it renewed my interest in this book.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

crow girl

This is definitely staying as well. I can tell that it’s the type of thriller I will enjoy. You know, the kind that’s actually thrilling and keeps you on edge, not the boring type about a cop with a drinking problem, tortured past and toxic “relationships”.