Books I recently removed from my TBR

Hi friends, happy Friday!

Today, I’m talking about some books I recently removed from my Goodreads TBR. Every so often, I like to go through some of the books I’ve had on my TBR for a while and make sure I’m still interested in them. A lot of the books I’ve had on my TBR since 2017, for example, are classics or modern classics or books that are important to the people that are important to me. But there are also a lot of books I added because of hype or some other reason that I’m just not interested in reading anymore.

So today, I thought I’d talk about some of those!

Show Stopper by Hayley Barker, on TBR since 2017: this book is about a near future where poor people sell their children to the circus. I’m not sure how it ended up on my TBR (none of my friends have read it), and it has fairly low ratings and a few prominent one-star ratings. I’ve had it on my “read soon or remove” shelf on Goodreads for a while, and I think it’s just time to remove it.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, on TBR since 2016: as everyone knows, this book follows two gay teenagers, navigating love and friendship and their sexualities. I had always planned to read this because it was so popular and well-loved. But if I’m being honest with myself, I just don’t think I’ll ever read it, and I’m not sure I’d enjoy it if I did read it.

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango, on TBR since 2012: this one is kind of sad because it sounds like something I would have loved had I read it at the right time. This is a YA historical fiction about a young Ecuadorian girl who is taken to be a servant to a white couple. I just know I would have enjoyed it had I read it in middle school or early high school, but unfortunately, as a 26-year-old, YA historical fiction is just not my thing. It’s been 10 years and I’ve just never picked this one up so I think it’s time to go.

The Painter From Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein, on TBR since 2017: this actually sounds fascinating; it’s a fictionalized story of the Chinese painter Pan Yuliang and sounds like something I’d really enjoy. However, the reviews are very middling and highlight a couple things I think I’d have issue with, namely that it’s very similar to Memoirs of a Geisha, it’s written by a white woman, and it skips large parts of Yuliang’s life. So I’m taking this one off as I’d rather focus on own voices authors and more accurate stories.

Aquarium by David Vann, on TBR since 2017: this follows 12-year-old Caitlin, who lives with her single mom and goes to the aquarium everyday, where she meets an old man and unlocks some family drama. While this book sounds really good and has great reviews from a couple of my friends, I just can’t realistically see myself picking it up any time soon. I am very intrigued, though, so if anyone wants to, I could easily be convinced otherwise.

The Address by Fiona Davis, on TBR since 2017: this follows Sara, a servant who is hired to work as the manager of a new, fancy apartment building in New York. I admit that the synopsis sounds like something I would love; I love stories of poor women being thrust into high society, and this book sounds like it’ll do just that. But it has fairly middling reviews, and I’m just not super drawn to it anymore.

And I thought I’d end this post with a list of YA novels I removed simply because they’re YA and I’ve been moving on from YA recently: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall; Warcross by Marie Lu (this one kind of pains me because I loved Legend back in the day, but I have not enjoyed a YA SFF in a long time); Dear Martin by Nic Stone; The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas; Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles; The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven; Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. If you’ve read any of these and think I should reconsider, let me know!

So there are some books I recently decided not to read! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Should I change my mind? Let me know!

Ally xx


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10 thoughts on “Books I recently removed from my TBR

  1. I’m over forty years older than you are and, trust me, YA is not my usual thing either. Nonetheless, I recently enjoyed The Queen of Water. I read it because of an interest in society in Ecuador, about which I seldom see an own voice Indigenous author, You could probably extrapolate Virginia’s experiences to any South American country that was colonized by the Spanish.

    I grapple with the class structure every time I visit Ecuador and want to do what I can to avoid being part of it. Reading that expands my worldview helps me to be a better visitor (as opposed to tourist) when I travel. I think, that for that reason alone, it’s worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read a couple of these books, Ari and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe and The Exact Opposite of Okay, and although I enjoyed them at the time, you are probably right for removing them from your tbr. I know if they were new to me now, I wouldn’t fancy reading them either. In fact, I have the sequel to Exact Opposite of Okay and I’ve realised it is something I don’t want to read, particularly as I’m not a YA Contemporary fan anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Warcross and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe are the only ones on your list today that I’ve heard of. I read Warcross (and you’re just fine removing it from your TBR) but Aristotle and Dante is still on my TBR—though I want to listen to the audiobook version, since it’s narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Cleaning books off the TBR can be a great feeling!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. omg Aquarium made me SO emotional but it is kind of slow and literary so if you don’t feel like it’s something you’d prioritize, I fully understand. I think I actually just picked it up on a whim and loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I actually read your review when I was deciding whether to keep it or not, and it was very convincing! I think it’s one of those books that if I had a copy or easy access to one, I’d still read it, but I don’t want to go through the trouble of finding a copy so 🤷🏼‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

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