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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Woods

TBR January-February 2022

We're already 3/4 of the way through the month and I'm only just now sitting down and sorting out my TBR (To Be Read) pile! While I have a much longer list of titles I want to read this year, I've managed to pare down the list to what I'm most excited to finish in the next six weeks or so.

First up is Star Eater by Kerstin Hall, A futuristic dystopia held together by the power women carry deep inside of them - a power fed by what sounds like light cannibalism. Elfreda Raughn is a member of the Sisterhood of Aytrium, and it is her duty to help keep the people safe from the monsters that lurk everywhere now. Plagued by visions and split by her loyalties, can Elfreda keep her world from falling? Second is a book I picked up from the free bin at my library, Into The Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. I mainly picked this book up because it had many d20s and a renaissance dress on the front, and it mentioned Dungeons and Dragons on the flap. It follows Jessie, a high school sophomore trying to find her footing as the daughter of two professors and the younger sibling of the lead singer in a punk band. As Jessie and her friends grow apart, and her brother revamps his image before he heads off for college, Jessie finds her world turning upside down and tries to come to terms with the idea that she might be much more of a nerd than she ever thought.

Third is Fable by Adrienne Young, which I know very little about but keeps popping up all over my online feeds. Fable is the daughter of a powerful trader but is abandoned on a dangerous island by her father after her mother's death. In order to make her way back to her father and demand her rightful place at his side, she must first get off the island and then cross the Narrows, waters populated by strange weather patterns and dangerous rivals to her father's enterprise.

Fourth is The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. This rom-com has been marketed to me as basically a Reylo AU fanfiction, and I am not mad about it. Olive is a Ph.D. student who doesn't believe in love, but in an effort to convince her hopeless romantic best friend that she's perfectly fine and totally dating, kisses the first man she sees, who happens to be a young professor known for being an asshole. Shockingly, he agrees to be her fake boyfriend, and things pin out of control from there.

Fifth is She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, marketed as Mulan meets Song of Achilles. In a small village in 1345 China, two children are given opposite fates. After a bandit attack leaves them orphaned, and the child bound for greatness succumbs to despair, his sister takes up his name and his fate.

Sixth is The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, which a friend highly recommended I check out. Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered, and only Aiden Bishop can stop it from happening. Every day, Aiden wakes up in a new body, reliving the day Evelyn dies over and over again unless he can find the killer and stop the worst groundhog day ever.

Seventh, I'm looking forward to finishing my re-read of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I really enjoyed the TV show on Amazon that came out last month, and I haven't had the chance to reread any of the books since I first read them in 7th grade. This book is the one that made me want to be a writer myself, and I'm hoping it'll help me climb out of the absolutely terrible reading slump I've been in for going on two years.

I'm also in the middle of reading Jen Turano's entire catalog, which all feature delightfully strong female leads and their counterparts, who all eventually come around to the heroine's way of thinking. So far this year I've read her Ladies of Distinction quartet (reading the prequel just now), and I very much enjoyed the American Heiresses trilogy, as well as the books that are out so far in The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series over the past three months or so. While all of Turano's works would probably be shelved under Christian Lit/Christian Romance, I would argue that are more romances with a heavy dose of faith. Every character, at some point, deals with their relationship with God, and also the spice level is nil, which makes them a nice break from the sexier romances that tend to populate the shelves in the Romance department in bookstores lately. For the record, my stance on the spice/no spice is that both are good, it just depends on what I'm in the mood for. Turano's plots are delightfully intriguing, so the lack of spice and extra dose of faith are really just for flavor.

And that's what I'm hoping to read by the end of February! What are you most excited to read this year?


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