HOWEVER, that list does not include interesting titles I scribble down on physical paper when I am out and about, because I like to keep those as hidden surprises for myself to stumble upon later. Case in point, I just found a list I wrote down in a notebook at a public library one year ago, which is conveniently 10 items long. It's not a county I'm registered in, so I couldn't check them out, and I promptly forgot about the list. But now it's back!
This was super fun to revisit, since I didn't recognize any of them. Almost like getting a letter from my future self going, "Psst, check these out."
1. A Horse Called Hero - Sam Angus (2013)
Well! Doesn't this just look like a double-length second-generation War Horse. A Goodreads friend with similar tastes rated it 2 stars, but she didn't explain why, so I'm going to take my own shot at it.
2. Semiprecious - D. Anne Love (2006)
I've read a YA novel by this author that I barely remember (Picture Perfect), but this cover is irresistible, as is the idea of two middle school age sisters being dropped at their aunt's house while their mother chases her stardom dreams. Also it's quite long for this age group, and between the physical setting and the time period (1960s), I am hyped.
3. Breathing Room - Marsha Hayles (2012)
"Evvy Hoffmeister is thirteen years old when her family brings her to Loon Lake Sanatorium to get cured of tuberculosis" = I am on board w/ this historical novel. It would be nice to read about a different widespread contagious disease for a while, and as this is set in 1940, it adds that "simultaneous other world crisis" flavor too.
4. A Walk in the Sun - Michelle Zink (2016)
I'm not sure what "Bridges of Madison County for teens" means, but in lieu of looking it up, I'll just say I'm kinda here for the working-farm-in-summer setting, especially this time of year, even if both characters want to get away from it ASAP. Also, I see "slow burn" in the reviews and now I'm doubly here for it.
5. Hope and Other Punchlines - Julie Buxbaum (2019)
I'm back and forth on this. I like the concept, but I've read one book by this author (3-star adult novel After You) and I've never wanted to read her other YA, and the longer I think about this, the more I feel like it might annoy me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, but would know if I read them.
6. In the Woods - Carrie Jones & Steven Wedel (2019)
Part of me is like, HECK YEAH FOREST HORROR W/ DISAPPEARING LIVESTOCK & PEOPLE and wants to bookmark it for October; the other part is very "..." about the supernatural-creature element. But then the Oklahoma setting and the father/daughter relationship brings me back around, and when you repackage "supernatural" as "cryptozoology," I get real HEY THERE, SEASON THREE OF ZOO ON CBS VIBES about it.
7. Happily and Madly - Alexis Bass (2019)
Hang on -- "told two things about her destiny"? Is there a prophecy element to this? Because I do not deal with that in my YA fiction and I do not know how this one slipped past my screening process; I have lost interest in it effective immediately.
[edit: after reading way too many reviews, it seems it's more of a realistic mystery and the destiny part is simply from a fortune teller as opposed to a family curse or something, but also none of those reviews much revived my interest. I don't care for messy stepfamilies either, especially at 350 pages. But that is a pretty gorgeous cover, so...maybe?]
8. Safe Haven - Patricia Macdonald (2019)
This thriller sounds wild. Whirlwind romance w/ a horse breeder? Fleeing his abuse to stay with an old friend? Finding out while heavily pregnant that he's MAYBE ALSO A SERIAL KILLER??
9. Practically Perfect - Katie Fforde (2006)
Now the opposite of that, a quaint British novel about a young interior designer determined to renovate a cottage. That is a plotline I always love, though I fear the romance might try my patience.
HOLY CRIPES. So this book SOUNDS super appealing -- "10 dogs and a 42-year marriage," says the cover, while the blurb describes family life that sounds reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's memoirs with more animals + antiques -- but the reviews tell an extremely different story which has me backpedaling away at top speed due to phrases like "this author gave up nearly ALL of her pets," and other tales of terrible dog ownership. Never mind!!
Your Turn: Have you read any of these? Despite the surprising number of 2019 titles, I don't recognize any of them, except maybe Buxbaum, from the YA/juvenile lit book bloggers on TTT, so I'm curious.
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