NEW SERIES: Monthly "Try a Chapter" Challenge!

December 28, 2018

This is the first post in a new series I’m starting inspired by the “Try a Chapter” tag—which I’ll be using each month to choose ONE book for the following month’s TBR!

If you’re not familiar with the Try a Chapter tag, it’s a tag common on booktube (and sometimes blogs) where the participant reads the first chapter of five books and chooses one of those books to read, based on the results!

For this series, I’ll be doing something a little different:

The five books I choose will be inspired by the following month’s “theme”—for example, since June is Pride Month, the 5 books I sample for June’s TBR will be own-voice queer books. You get the idea!

Since I’m hosting Late-a-thon in January, the 5 books I sample will fit the “overdue review copy” theme! Since the other theme for January is January Jam Jar, I chose these 5 randomly from my Late-a-thon jar, which includes overdue ARCs and January releases.

  1. Darkest Hours — Mike Thorn
  2. Song of Blood & Stone — L. Penelope
  3. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown — Seanan McGuire
  4. That Which Grows Wild — Eric J. Guignard
  5. An Anonymous Girl — Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

My thoughts on the first chapter of…

36309774Darkest Hours:

Darkest Hours is a collection of horror short stories, so I read the first story, and oh my gosh, it was one of the most disgusting, body-horror-inducing things I’ve ever read and I KIND OF LOVED IT? 5 stars to the first story!

36347830Song of Blood & Stone:

I read the prologue and first chapter. While the storyline intrigued me a little, I’m sad to say that I immediately hated the writing style and don’t want to continue this at all.

36579216The Girl in the Green Silk Gown:

This is the second book in the Ghost Roads series, the first of which I read a few months back. Most of the first chapter was rehashing prior events, so it didn’t give me the chance to really get drawn back in yet.

41018823That Which Grows Wild:

TWGW is another collection of horror shorts, so I read the first story, and gave it 4 stars on its own. It was intriguing, but didn’t necessarily make me desperate to dive into the rest of the book just yet.

39863515An Anonymous Girl:

This is my first time reading anything from this author duo, and WOW, I was immediately sucked in! The narrative voice is enjoying and quick-paced, and I’m super intrigued by this “questionnaire” Jessica’s signed herself up for.

And the winner is…


That first story was just so weird and gross and it’s exactly what I’m in the mood for right now! I’m also going to try to pick up An Anonymous Girl ASAP. As for the rest, The Girl in the Green Silk Gown and That Which Grows Wild will both go back on my “someday soon” shelf, and I officially DNFed Song of Blood & Stone.

What did you think of this new series? Is it something you might want to try out for your own TBR? If it is, please let me know so I can read or watch your tag, too! ♥


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

      1. It was so much fun to do!! I’m really excited about it being a new thing. 😀
        Aw yeah, that writing style was just NOT working for me! I tried to continue on a little past the end of chapter 1 and kept getting distracted by how weird the phrasing was so I just gave up.

    1. OOOH! I love this! I am thinking that it may help me get my TBR down a bit too since I can usually tell if I will like a book from the very start! I might have to try this myself. Thanks for being so creative!

    1. I’m glad you loved the start of Anonymous! I have an eARC I’ve been meaning to get to soon, so that makes me even more excited to read it!

    1. Your tbr challenges/ideas are amazing! Thank you for the inspiration, I’ll definitely try something similar. 🙂 It was also great reading your thoughts on each book.

    1. I love the Try a Chapter Tag! I did one the only time my TBR got longer than 200 books, and it was a quick and fun way to understand what I was actually interested in reading.
      The only book I’ve read of these is Song of Blood and Stone and it wasn’t good – I should have DNFed it too when I noticed that the writing wasn’t working for me, but I continued and it wasn’t worth it, that book didn’t seem to know whether it wanted to be a cute royalty romance or a gritty story about war with dieselpunk aspects (…and with graphic sexual assault in it). Both would have been fine, but together, they didn’t work for me.

      1. It was really fun! I’d never done it before and had meant to forever, so when this idea popped into my head to do it on a monthly basis, I couldn’t resist!
        Ouch, I’m really glad I DNFed Song of Blood & Stone, in that case! Like you, I think I’d be fine with one of those themes, but… not both?

    1. Yep, I do this sometimes too when I don’t know which book to pick up next but there are so many unread ones on my shelves and I want to read all of them! So I pick a few and read the first chapter and pick the one that I just don’t want to put down. 🙂

    1. Oooh this is such a great idea! And something I am in desperate need for, since I have a hard time commiting to my TBR! Sad to hear that about Song of Blood and Stone, I’ve heard good things about it. Can’t wait to see more of this series!

    1. This is so cool! I might have to test this out once I finish Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. I have a ton of non-fantasy books I want to read but I don’t know what I want to read right now

    1. Love this concept! But am very disappointed to see you hated Song of Blood and Stone so much haha. I have that on my overdue arcs list as well and now I don’t want to pick it up either haha

    1. I feel like I am going to really love these features from you! I loved Anonymous Girl, but not as much as Wife Between Us! Good luck this month :]

      1. Ooooh, please do! 😀 It was really fun. Oh, I’m definitely picking it up soon! It’s actually on my “hopeful” list for Late-a-thon next month, I’m just not committing it to being on my official TBR or anything. 🙂

    1. I’m scouring the blogosphere for New Year’s resolution ideas and this is a brilliant way to trim down a TBR. Will keep an eye for this series in your blog in the future, Destiny. And might consider on doing a version of this with a link back to you, of course. 🙂
      Jennilyn @ Rurouni Jenni Reads

    1. Another great idea! I have been toying with the idea of doing something similar – some sort of sampling – but with the aim of quickly reducing my TBR by deleting books from it rather than reading them, lol. I feel like there may be a lot of books on my TBR that aren’t really for me and I could remove them after just sampling a couple chapters…

      1. Thank you! <3 You totally should, it was really fun — and like you said, I'm also kind of hoping maybe I could even lower my TBR a little by doing this. In the same vein, I'm also thinking about making a new rule for myself that I have to go to the kindle store and read the free preview of every book I'm considering purchasing before I actually buy it. I bet I'd save myself some serious cash that way! ?

    1. I can actually see how this is a very good way to get through some ARC’s and decide up front whether or not you want to invest more time than “a couple of chapters” in them? Although maybe I’d go with two or three chapters, just to make sure you’re really not interested in the thing before DNF’ing it and erasing it from the TBR. :’)

      1. Oh yeah, for sure! The one I DNFed from this round, I went ahead and read a couple of chapters before removing — I don’t feel like just one chapter would be giving the book a fair shot, y’know? 🙁

        1. Exactly! Not all books succeed at drawing you in from the get-go, but if you’re not sure about a book it should at least take a maximum of two to three chapters, or maybe four – depending on the length of them.

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