decluttering my tbr stars
I used to participate in Down the TBR Hole, a bookish meme hosted by Lia @LostInAStory. Now
I’m continuing on but taking a bit of a different route. My goal is to reduce my current to be read shelf down to the books I think I could get to in the very near future. If I think it’s something I might read someday but not anytime soon, it’s going for now. The good thing about writing these posts is that I can always find them back in the future!

on the chopping block

anna and the swallow man  words on bathroom walls  a world without you  before i let go  the art of askingthe light between worlds  american street  between shades of grey  our chemical hearts  all that was

These are all the books we are looking at today. If you click on any of the book images above it will take you to their Goodreads page. Below I will share their synopsis and my thoughts on each book. If the synopsis is really long I will shorten it and will add a “More..” link.

the keepers

words on bathroom walls

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton || Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t. Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

I was fully ready to remove this one because I’m scared it will fall into the trope of love curing everything? I still have nightmares about All the Bright Places (I’m joking but that book really left me angry). However this has GREAT reviews, so I think I might try it? Please let me know if you think I should skip it though.

american street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi || On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

I’ve heard good things, it sounds like it could be very impactful and it’s available on my audiobook app. Why not give it a try.

letting go of

anna and the swallow manAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit || Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see. The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. More…

I don’t tend to enjoy historical fiction and the synopsis just doesn’t do it for me.

a world without youA World Without You by Beth Revis || What if finding her means losing himself? Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.” At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofía helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. More…

Again the mental illness and romance thing. Of course it can work out because people with mental illness in real-life date as well, but using it as a trope is something else and this one doesn’t have the best reviews. So I’m not risking it.

before i let go

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp || Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger. Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

It doesn’t sound very original, it has a low average rating on Goodreads and most people rate it 3 stars. Noooo thank you.

the art of askingThe Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer || Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter. More…

I think I’m too European to know who this woman is?😂 Either that or I have been living under a rock. Anyhow, this simply just does not interest me anymore.

the light between worldsThe Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Waymouth || Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. More…

Historical fiction… this one sounds more interesting but I just don’t think I would feel the urge to read it right away, even if I owned it.

between shades of grey Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys || Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. More…

I know everyone and their uncle loves Ruta Sepetys. I’m sure I’ll read something by her someday, but this just doesn’t sound like my kind of book. It would probably take me forever to read and put me in a reading slump.

our chemical heartsOur Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland ||Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him – at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl; she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. More…

I think I probably just added this because of the cover. This doesn’t sound appealing to me at ALL.

all that wasAll That Was by Karen Rivers || Piper and Sloane were best friends. They grew up together, from childhood to first love, and in spite of how different they were, their friendship was supposed to last forever. That is, until Piper caught Sloane kissing her boyfriend—and just days later, Piper was found dead, washed ashore on a beach. Sloane was torn with grief and guilt. How do you make amends for hurting someone you love, if that person is no longer around? And how can you ever move on and love again?

This book has some terrible reviews and a low average rating. I think I’m going to trust my bookish friends on this one.

That finishes up this round of decluttering. 8 books removed which brings my running total at 40 out of 60 removed. Not too shabby.

Have you read any of the books mentioned?
Am I missing out on any of the ones I’ve decided to remove?

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!

5 thoughts on “Decluttering my TBR #5 || American Street, Between Shades of Gray & More

  1. I personally enjoyed Between Shades Of Gray, although her newest The Fountains Of Silence is my personal favorite. I do get why you would remove it for now though. And I wasn’t really a fan of Anna And The Swallow Man though, so you might have made the right decision there. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That definitely makes sense! Out Of The Easy is probably the less historical fiction feel title of hers though… Set in the 1950s, but at least no ‘heavy’ war theme to deal with. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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