TBR & Goals · Weekly

T5W: Books You’ve Removed From Your TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a goodreads group created by Lainey (gingerreadslainey) and now hosted by Sam (thoughtsontomes). This week’s topic is Books You’ve Removed From Your TBR.

Discuss the books that you wanted to read at one point, but don’t anymore.

A Disclaimer: Just because I removed a book from my TBR, it doesn’t mean I hate it – I don’t hate books I haven’t read, and if you think I’m making the biggest mistake of my life, you can always tell me!

Five Books I Removed

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson: I’m just… never going to read this? The writing in the preview was good, but it’s not something I’m excited to read, and there are so many other books I’d rather get to.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne: Sometimes you can tell a book isn’t for you from the first chapter. I tried the preview and decided I wasn’t going to read it – I’m really picky with YA sci-fi because I usually don’t like it, and the worldbuilding wasn’t working for me from the beginning.

Bright Smoke Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge: I tried to get into this a few days ago and it just didn’t work. I don’t feel like forcing myself to read a book I’m not enjoying, so it’s not on my TBR anymore. I’m kind of sad this happened because the prologue was intriguing, but the rest was not.

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu: this is so long, and I have finally realized that I was never going to get to it. It just doesn’t seem my kind of high fantasy and it looks so heavy and intimidating. Maybe I’ll change my mind someday, I don’t know, but I keep a book on my TBR only if I actually want to read it.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera: I loved They Both Die at the End and I love Adam Silvera’s writing, but this seems to be a very polarizing one and sad queer books are just not what I want now. I may change my mind and read it at some point but it’s not a priority.

Six Books I’m on the Fence About

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I have read a book by Becky Albertalli, The Upside of Unrequited, and hated it. I think Albertalli’s writing just isn’t for me and I had never read a book that was so obsessed with romance before (it’s not that the message of TUoU was meant to be “single people are sad”, but it kind of was).
But I’ve heard so many good things about Simon Vs. Is it very different from TUoU? Should I try it even though there’s a chance I’m going to hate it because of the writing?

Black Iris by Elliot Wake: I know that I’ll either love this book or really, really hate it. I’ve heard confusing things about it and I don’t know if I would find it deeply upsetting? Homophobia can kill a book for me, even if it’s not condoned.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty: For a Hugo nominee, I hardly ever hear anyone talk about it. Is it any good? I’m not sure how a mystery in space about clones would work but it could be either really interesting or incredibly messy.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst: I keep hearing mixed things about this and I don’t know if I actually want to read it – I’ve heard the romance is good, but some people say that the characters are stereotypical and that the worldbuilding is bad. I don’t know if I should try it or not.

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig: this mystery got so many mixed reviews. There are people who loved the dynamic between the two main characters and people who thought the bi representation was terrible, the relationship toxic. I don’t know what to think, should I read this?

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert: I’ve heard it’s great on twitter, but I actually have no idea what it’s about and not one of my goodread friends reviewed it. I know it’s really diverse (I think the main character is gay, Chinese-American, and probably also has a mental illness – reviews are vague), but is this worth it?

Have you read these? Should I give a chance to any of them?


19 thoughts on “T5W: Books You’ve Removed From Your TBR

  1. I don’t know about the books that you’ve taken off… but for the “on the fence” ones I can give some opinions. I loved Picture Us in the Light (I wrote a review on my blog if you want to read a bit more about my thoughts). I didn’t interpret the MC as someone with a mental illness — there is a character who is important to the story who does, but it’s not a super featured thing. It’s mostly about family/immigration. As for none of your GR friends reviewing it… I wish Kelly Loy Gilbert had a bigger audience because she is so talented and I love her mind and writing, but I guess this is only her second book so she hasn’t built a huge following yet.

    Also, Simon vs. is very different from Upside. (I wrote a review about Albertalli’s newest, Leah on the Offbeat, that kind of talks about this as well, but) I think the author is really good at writing for teens and not 100% for older folks who still read YA. I’m in my 30s and found Leah and Upside to be a little less relatable than Simon, which is a much happier book. Simon as a narrator is more positive than the other MCs of her other books, and it’s got more plot? It’s not just about the crush object and how the MC feels about love, it’s about Simon trying to dodge being blackmailed by a fellow student, and how Simon has to manipulate his friends to keep his secret. All that said, I was meh about Upside and Leah, but really liked Simon.

    Maybe that helps you make a decision? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Every time I’ve heard of Picture Us In the Light – …which didn’t happen many times – someone referred to it as a hidden gem/a book that needed more hype, and I don’t want to miss out on it then!
      I didn’t love Albertalli’s portrayal of teens in Upside, but it’s also true that I’m not American, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t relate. Anyway, I’ll probably give a chance to Simon, I feel like many people who didn’t like Upside really liked this one.
      Thank you for this comment, it was very helpful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I still want to read Midnight at the Electric, cause I adore Tiger Lily so much, but for some reason I keep putting it on my TBR’s and not reading it. The only one of these I’ve read is Simon vs. and I liked it, it was cute and fun, but not an all time favorite. I’m kind of curious about Six Wakes, I think you’re right – it’ll either be amazing or a total mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the same thing with Midnight at the Electric (and also The Grace of Kings), I’ve done it for almost a year – it was time for me to accept that I wasn’t actually interested in it anymore.
      I want to try Simon but I’ll try to go into it with low expectations – the hype was one of the many things that ruined Upside for me – and I still don’t know about Six Wakes, but it does look intriguing!


  3. Black Iris was one of my faves of the year, but it is VERY weird, and there’s a decent amount of homophobic bullying [and an outing] from other characters. it also features a kind of Wicker King level fucked up f/f relationship. it’s really good, but i don’t know if it would be your thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know either. I had the same doubts with The Wicker King and I ended up liking that one, so maybe? I love weird and I don’t think I will ever have a problem with a book because it’s too weird, but the homophobia, that could be a problem.
      Then again, I don’t think I can ignore a book that is both very weird and gay, so I think I will try it at some point. If it doesn’t work, I’ll DNF.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually really enjoyed Of Fire and Stars! The reason behind it was mostly for the characters and the romance itself, which was great. I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it was a F/F romance in a fantasy novel, something that I hadn’t read yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought Simon VS was…cute but not amazing. And I feel like Becky’s writing style is suited for early-teenagers, which is great but not really my thing. It’s a super quick read though!
    And I have no idea why Six Wakes isn’t talked about more either. It’s not perfect but I had a lot of fun with it and I think the clone aspect was handled really well! And I really liked all the chapter titles. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Cute but not amazing” is more or less what I expect too, especially after reading Upside.
      I would have never heard of Six Wakes if it hadn’t been for the Hugo Awards, which is… odd? I either knew or had read all the other nominees in the novel category. But fun stories set in space are something I look for, so this will stay on my TBR!


  6. The only book I’ve read that you mentioned in this post is Simon VS and I..absolutely loved it! I’m a huge fan of Albertalli’s writing but I understand if it’s not your cup of tea. I think there’s always a chance you might like Simon VS more but it’s up to you of course! 🙂 The rest of the books are still on my tbr. I’m the kind of person who likes leaving books on my tbr just in case I might suddenly feel like reading them later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to try Simon Vs at some point, since most people seem to really like it – even some of those who didn’t love Upside.
      I like to keep my TBR under 200 books, so I remove everything that isn’t interesting to me anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad to see that you gave Simon Vs. a chance after all and ended up liking it! I really didn’t like the Upside of Unrequited as well, but Simon Vs. is one of my favorite contemporaries! 🙂 I still have Brightly Burning on my list, but I think it’s always good if you have a preview available and can decide if this would be a book for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost can’t believe Simon and Upside were written by the same person (and that’s one of the reasons I don’t know if I want to read Leah).
      I always read previews on google play before buying – there’s usually one or two chapters one can read for free, so I can decide whether or not I actually want to buy that book.

      Liked by 1 person

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