Time for another ARC update! For my 2020 #ARCApocalypse info and TBR, check here!
Sadly, July was much like June in that I hauled too many titles before getting ahead of them, and then had to play catch-up later in the month! Thankfully, though, most of my ARC hauls this month were super quick reads like manga.
I also decided to add a new “try a chapter challenge” section to this monthly post! Each month while writing up this post, I’ll try the first chapter of 5-10 review copies and determine which ones I want to continue, which ones I’m no longer interested in, and pick ONE to read before the next #ARCApocalypse update post!
If you’re participating in ARC Apocalypse, feel free to copy this post format if you like it! ?
✨ ARC ban rules ✨
1. I must read AT LEAST 1 more title than I haul every month
2. if a book wasn’t already an anticipated release, it goes on a “wishlist” for 7+ days first
3. I have to check kindle unlimited before hauling indie titles
✨ last month’s ARC hauls ✨
- Body Talk
- Kushiel’s Dart
- The Project
- Witchcraft Cocktails
- A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation, Vol. 1
- There Are Things I Can’t Tell You
- The Switch
- The Complete Grimoire
- Architects of Memory (UNSOLICITED)
- Daphne Byrne
- Remote Control
- Kingdom of the Wicked
- The Infinity Courts
- Wicked as Sin
- The Voting Booth
- Empire of Wild
- This is My America
- When No One is Watching
✨ last month’s ARC completions ✨
- Burn Our Bodies Down ★★★★★
- Girl, Serpent, Thorn ★★★★★ (REVIEW)
- Witchcraft Cocktails ★★★★★
- There Are Things I Can’t Tell You ★★★★★
- Beach Read ★★★★★ (REVIEW)
- A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation, Vol. 1 ★★★★☆
- Fangs ★★★★☆
- The Complete Grimoire ★★★★☆
- Crossroads ★★★★★ (REVIEW)
- Across the Green Grass Fields ★★★★★
- The Wives ★☆☆☆☆ (REVIEW)
- Llewellyn’s Little Book of Moon Spells ★★★★☆
- Daphne Byrne ★★☆☆☆
- The Green Witch’s Grimoire ★★★★★
- The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales ★★☆☆☆
- Guest ❌ (DNF)
- Wicked as Sin ❌ (DNF)
- The Voting Booth ★★★★★
- Perihelion Summer ❌ (DNF)
- Song for a Whale ❌ (DNF)
- Pet ★★★★★
- The List of Things That Will Not Change (no rating)
✨ ARC wishlist ✨
(These are the titles I’m considering requesting/accepting this month!)
- The Bone Shard Daughter
- Spoiler Alert
- Beyond the Ruby Veil
- The Fourth Island
- Plain Bad Heroines
- Instant Karma
- The Factory Witches of Lowell
- First, Become Ashes
2020 & 2021 ARC numbers:
57 unreleased + 99 released & unread = 156 to be read/reviewed
unread ARCs releasing this month:
- Court of Lions
- The Dark Tide
- Star Daughter
- It Will Just Be Us
- Drowned Country
- Body Talk
- The Switch
- Where Dreams Descend
- Harrow Lake
- Clown in a Cornfield
- Would I Lie to the Duke
- Architects of Memory
✨ ARC try a chapter challenge ✨
This month, I decided to sample 10 ARCs that all came out before 2020.
This has such a promising start! It alternates POVs between our main character (a deaf teenage girl named Ally) and Huw (her sometimes-absent but very committed and loving father), and it picks up right at the beginning of the action when the monsters of the story reveal themselves. I was instantly hooked.
I very quickly decided I did not enjoy the narrative voice in this story at all, plus it’s a plot that I had to look up because I had forgotten it entirely, and I don’t even remember why I requested the eARC because it sounds nothing like something I’d be into. I’m thinking maybe it was a cover splurge.
I’ve heard quite a few of my friends rave about this author and he has some very cool plots, including this one, which sold me because it’s horror with a “game” element, which I LOVE. Sadly, I wasn’t enjoying the characters or writing in the first couple of chapters. I went to Goodreads to look at some reviews because I was so torn on my verdict, but ended up accidentally spoiling myself for the ending and decided I wasn’t interested in how it would all play out, anyways.
I remember requesting this when I was in a mood for some good AI characters, but nothing about this storyline was catching me. The writing was fine, but I also took issue with two non-Black authors writing yet another Black MC who’s “edgy” and “a bad girl” and “from the bad part of town”. It’s tired.
** UNSOLICITED ** I didn’t request this, nor would I have, because it’s book 1 in a spin-off series and I like to start with the originals whenever possible. I decided to give it a try anyways, but quickly felt like this isn’t a good starting point for this multiverse. I may eventually check out the original series, but it isn’t high on my priority list.
** UNSOLICITED ** — Literally nothing about this book interested me, but I kept it on my list in case I wanted to try it eventually. I honestly only got 3 pages in before giving up because I reminded myself that, if a book just doesn’t sound appealing to me at all and I didn’t request it to begin with, I don’t owe the publisher a review. :/
** UNSOLICITED ** — I love books involving games/trials/etc. so I wanted to try this, but this book came about 10 years too late for me. The villains feel so instantaneously outlandish and mustache-twirling and the entire plot of why these kids are in this rehab/prison/whatever is so over-the-top and cliche that I didn’t even try going past the first chapter.
I was so excited for a queer romance story centering J-rock stars, and still feel like it should be everything I want… but this felt super meh and weird from the start, and also, who the hell follows some random stranger’s directions like this? I had a split second where I wondered if I was wrong and this was actually a horror or thriller story.
I would never have accepted this ARC when it was offered if I had known at the time that it would be written in 2nd-person present tense.
I was so excited when I got this ARC that I’ve been wondering why I hadn’t read it yet, and forgot until I picked it up earlier today that I had sampled the first few chapters of this once before and was immediately infuriated by the way one of the side characters is discussed. One of the MCs has a father who is severely disabled due to a failed suicide attempt, and the way it’s talked about in the beginning of the book honestly makes me queasy. Between how uncomfortable I was over it, the issues I had with another of her contemporary books, and how much I hated A Heart So Fierce and Broken, I think it’s officially time to call it quits on my relationship with this author.
VERDICT: BURN IT WITH FIRE
So, the bad news is that I kicked 9/10 of my picks off of my ARC TBR… or is it good news? ??♀️
I only have one book to choose from as my “read before next month’s ARC Apocalypse” update. Luckily, I was so hooked on the beginning of The Silence that I actually do want to read it ASAP!
— destiny ♥
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