TBR Lows & Highs #18

December 16, 2018

The WINNER of last week’s “lows” vote was… *drumroll*

TRULY DEVIOUS by Maureen Johnson!

As promised, I’ll now add this book to my “top-TBR” shelf on Goodreads to remind me to read it within the next 18 months.


  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
    • ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Find 5+ titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

This week’s participants:


(books that are LOW on my TBR—vote in the comments for which one I should move UP on my list and I’ll read it within 18 months!)

1. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns — Julie C. Dao
2. An Ember in the Ashes — Sabaa Tahir
3. Words on Bathroom Walls — Julia Walton
4. House of Furies — Madeleine Roux
5. Enclave — Ann Aguirre

1) I added too many books again this week.

2) I’m doing a new thing: since I add so many books from friends’ and booktubers’ recs, I’ll start mentioning whose review influenced me to add a book whenever applicable!


1. Love Looks Pretty on You — Lang Leav (owned, ARC; releasing january 2019)
Adult feminist poetry from one of my all-time faves ♥
2. Look Straight Ahead — Elaine M. Will
Adult/NA graphic novel about mental health and art
3. Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined — Danielle Younge-Ullman
YA realistic fic/contemp about mental health; 5* by BooksAndLala
4. My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 — Kazune Kawahara
YA shojo/romance manga, cute AF art; 5* from Sylwia
5. How to Make Friends with the Dark — Kathleen Glasgow (releasing april 2019)
YA contemporary about grief (MC’s mother passing away)
6. Verity — Colleen Hoover (kindle unlimited)
Adult romance/thriller, rave reviews (at a 4.65 avg with 1,500 reviews and it released A WEEK AGO)
7. The Dark Game — Jonathan Janz (releasing april 2019)
Adult horror, ten authors go on a writing retreat without realizing they’re entering a terrifying contest with their lives and sanity at stake
8. Exorcist Falls — Jonathan Janz
Adult horror, serial killer mystery, demon-possessed child
9. Wolf Land — Jonathan Janz (re-releasing march 2019)
Adult horror, werewolves; previously out of print
10. Castle of Sorrows — Jonathan Janz (re-releasing july 2019)
Adult horror, sequel to The Sorrows, “haunted” castle controlled by demonic beast; previously out of print
11. House of Skin — Jonathan Janz (re-releasing may 2019)
Adult horror/paranormal, haunted house; previously out of print
12. The Darkest Lullaby — Jonathan Janz (re-releasing august 2019)
Adult horror, vampires, demons; previously out of print
13. Dust Devils — Jonathan Janz (re-releasing june 2019) — LAST ONE I SWEAR ?
Adult horror/western, demons(?); previously out of print
14. Goodbye, Perfect — Sara Barnard (owned, ARC; releasing january 2019 in US)
YA contemporary, MC’s best friend runs away with a teacher; already released in UK
15. rock — Anyta Sunday (kindle unlimited)
NA m/m romance between step-brothers (?); 5* from Chandler
16. Born, Darkly — Trisha Wolfe
NA/Adult dark romance/suspense, rec’d by Riley (4*) as “Saw meets the Joker/Harley Quinn”
17. If it Makes You Happy — Claire Kann (releasing june 2019)
YA contemporary with a fat queer black MC (!!!!! screaming!!!!!)
18. Dollars — Pepper Winters
Adult romance, very dark, book 1 messed me UP but was so good so I’m def continuing this!
19. Transcendance — Shay Savage
Adult hist-fic romance, prehistoric setting, the book I keep adding/removing because I swear I’m not interested but EVERYONE is hyping it lately??
20. Swing, Vol. 1 — Jenni Cheung & Matt Hawkins
Adult romance GN, couple beginning a journey of polyamory
21. Don’t Date Rosa Santos — Nina Moreno (releasing may 2019)
YA contemporary, MC forced to choose between college and Cuban culture/what her family wants for her
22. Cruel Works of Nature — Gemma Amor (kindle unlimited)
Adult illustrated horror anthology, author is a NoSleep Podcast contributor (yes please)
23. The Snow Child — Eowyn Ivey
Adult hist-fic/magical realism, Alaska in 1920 setting, childless couple finds a little fairytale girl and takes her in
24. Chain of Gold — Cassandra Clare (releasing november 2019)
YA fantasy, still haven’t finished TMI book 6 or started TDA series buuuut adding it anyways
25. Missing, Presumed Dead — Emma Berquist (owned, ARC; releasing may 2019)
YA paranormal/mystery, girl sees visions of deaths and predicts a murder before the victim’s ghost asks her for help in seeking revenge, confirmed f/f rep
26. Let’s Call it a Doomsday — Katie Henry (owned, ARC; releasing august 2019)
YA contemporary, girl A obsesses over doomsday prepping, girl B predicts end of world—girls must save the world? (also I just really loved Heretics Anonymous)
27. Like a Love Story — Abdi Nazemian (releasing june 2019)
YA hist-fic (1980s), own-voice queer rep, AIDS epidemic in NYC
28. Priestdaddy — Patricia Lockwood
Adult nonfic/memoir; daughter of religious extremist forced to move back home and relearn living with her strange family
29. Dead of Winter — Kealan Patrick Burke (owned)
Adult horror anthology, short stories set in wintry settings
30. Out Behind the Barn — John Boden & Chad Lutzke (owned)
Adult horror novella, family of murderers??? (not sure, I just really like Chad’s writing)
31. The Visible Filth — Nathan Ballingrud (owned)
Adult horror novelette, man discovers something terrible in a phone he’s just found (I really really loved this author’s North American Lake Monsters collection)
32. Fear the Drowning Deep — Sarah Glenn Marsh (owned)
YA hist-fic/paranormal, 1913 setting, witches and sirens/mermaids? (I didn’t know until this week that SGM had written a book before Reign of the Fallen!)
33. Tomie — Junji Ito
Adult horror manga, MC/villain is a succubus who drives men to murder, usually choosing her as their victim
34. Fragments of Horror — Junji Ito
Adult horror manga, collection of short stories
35. Worst Holiday Ever: A Family Drama Romance Anthology
Adult contemporary romance anthology, holiday-themed, multiple diverse stories (fat rep, queer rep, POC rep, and more), recommended by author Talia Hibbert ♥

Which book from my “lows” do you think I should add to my “top-TBR” shelf?

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  • Reply Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) December 16, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Yes, My Love Story!!! I watched the anime and loved it. Probably one of my all time fave shoujo anime.
    I hadn’t heard of Worst Holiday before but I’m definitely adding it to my TBR now, thanks!!
    And wow that is a ton of adds O.O’ Good luck 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Awww, yay! Now I’m double excited for it. I’ll have to see if my library has it and if not I’ll throw it on my WL to remind myself to order it in the new year (trying not to buy anything else this month haha!). And yeah, I added WAAAAY TOO MUCH this week. It’s funny how this meme is slowly actually making me add less just because I don’t want to make my lists any longer than they already are. ?

      • Reply Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) December 17, 2018 at 6:06 pm

        Hahaha whatever keeps us more accountable on our adds, right??? I will say, I do like looking over what I’ve added over the week. Sometimes I even remove books that I can’t remember or now have different feelings for. So, it is helping 🙂

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 11:13 pm

          Oooh same, I frequently remove things while doing the post because I’m like, “Wait, why did I add this? I mean I know it was just yesterday but WHY” ??

  • Reply Mandy R December 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

    The Snow Child is very good. You certainly added a lot this week!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Oooh, good, I’m glad to hear it! I’d never even heard of it before this past week but I’m hearing good things now. 🙂 Haha yes, too many new additions!

  • Reply thecritiquesofafangirl December 16, 2018 at 10:49 am

    This does sound like a pretty cool idea. I’ll try doing this once my exams are over ?
    Well I haven’t read any of the books in your lows but I have heard nothing but good things about An Ember in the Ashes

  • Reply malanielovesfiction December 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    sldkfjlskjfd your posts always look so amazing &&&& i just love you so muchhhhh <3 there are so many good books listed here!!!!!???????????
    two people have rec'd Verity to me so far, because I love romance, but i'm scared it's not going to have a fluffy ending? i don't think I can physically take a non-fluffy ending at this point in my life,,,,i'm literally a sad puddle of tears.
    +++ I have an ARC for Like a Love Story but i'm avoiding it at all costs because i feel like it will stab me in the heart?????? i'm such a mess lsdkjf *hides*

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Awww you’re so sweet Malanie ?? thank you!!
      Ooooh yeah, I don’t think Verity has a fluffy ending from the reviews I’m seeing because I keep people saying “this was the biggest mindfuck ever” and “this destroyed me” soooo I’m not sure. 🙁 If I read it before you I’ll try to remember to let you know??
      Oh noooo it does look so painful but SO GOOD ? why do good books do this to us

  • Reply acquadimore December 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    I didn’t know Sarah Glenn Marsh had written another book either, I thought Reign of the Fallen was a debut.
    I vote for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! It’s polarizing because it’s slow, but I really liked it anyway – it’s the only villain origin story I’ve read so far that convinced me, and I both loved and hated the main character. An Ember in the Ashes is also a solid first book. I hope you like them!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      I totally thought Reign was a debut for the longest time and when I saw this I was like, “Oh, how did I miss her revealing her next book—WAIT A SECOND” hahaha. And thank you for voting! I’ll just count both votes because they both sound good from what you said! 😀

  • Reply Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum December 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I’ve been hearing great things about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, especially since the sequel is out (or out soon, I’m not sure which), so the buzz has been high again. I’ve been curious about it too and thinking of bumping it up my tbr.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      I hear a lot of good buzz around it! I guess it takes place from the villain’s POV (I think?), which is honestly super intriguing to me.

  • Reply Kaya @ afictionalbookworm December 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    An Ember In The Ashes is AMAZING. And that Chain of Gold cover is ???

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you for voting!! When I was making this week’s ‘lows’ list I was kind of secretly like “I kind of hope ember wins because I really need to read it” ? So far it’s looking good for it. And yesss, the Chain of Gold cover KILLS ME

  • Reply CG @ Paper Fury December 16, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    I really liked Words on Bathroom Walls! It’s in a journal format, which sometimes I feel doesn’t work…but for this one I loved the MC’s voice so it was amazing. ? Also vERY emotional. Ahh! And I’m so excited for If It Makes You Happy and Let’s Call It Doomsday! *flails*

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      I didn’t know Words on Bathroom Walls was in a journal format and I LOVE JOURNAL FORMATTING IN BOOKS. You just hyped me SO HARD for this book. ? Thank you!! ♥

  • Reply MetalPhantasmReads December 17, 2018 at 12:06 am

    I vote for Ember in the Ashes! I think the audio book is spectacular 🙂 She isn’t afraid to get gritty and not let characters be happy. I also think I need to give Fear the Drowning Deep another chance; I think I read it too fast back in the day. Love this list!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you! Oooh, also thank you for the audio rec on Ember, I’m pretty sure my library has it in the app. 🙂

      • Reply MetalPhantasmReads December 18, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        You’re welcome 🙂 the male narrator can read the phone book or shopping lists and I would listen to him all day lol

  • Reply Sarah December 17, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I think you’ll enjoy Priestdaddy! It wasn’t something I would have picked up on my own, but I ready it for a book club last year and liked it. 🙂

  • Reply Nerd Narration December 17, 2018 at 11:10 am


  • Reply Laura Beth December 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I vote for Words on Bathroom Walls!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 17, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you! I actually can’t believe I haven’t read that one yet, I was so excited to buy it when I did!

  • Reply Kathy @ Books & Munches December 18, 2018 at 3:44 am

    I’m voting for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! I remember enjoying that one. Should totally read the sequel though.. But me and sequels – HA. HA. HA. :’)

  • Reply Kaleena @ Reader Voracious December 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    YAY FOR Truly Devious!!!!
    This week I am voting for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns… because it is on my owned TBR and I am a selfish binch

  • Reply TBR Lows and Highs – Panda Luvs Books December 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

    […] TBR Lows and Highs is a weekly meme hosted by Howling Libraries. […]

  • Reply TBR Lows and Highs January 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    […] TBR Lows and Highs is a weekly meme hosted by Howling Libraries. […]

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