Top Ten Tuesday: On the “Hmm” Shelf

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read (books you may have bought but aren’t sure if you are into it anymore, books you wanted to read but heard mixed things about, hyped books you aren’t sure about — basically any book that has you going, “TO READ OR NOT TO READ?”


I actually have a shelf on Goodreads called “Hmm” so this should be easier for me to do than the others (I think). (I’m assuming)

  1. When My Heart Was Wicked – Tricia Stirling
    The synopsis sounds pretty decent but I usually like it when the heroine moves in the other direction because personally I am more interested in a character’s slipper slide into evilness than the other way around – of course, with a chance, slight or otherwise, of redemption. On the other hand, if it is dark, introverted and reflective instead of cringingly moralistic, I would love it. It’s all about the execution see, so I’d have to see what the reviews said before I made a decision either ways.
  2. Girl in Reverse – Barbara Stuber
    The book about an Asian girl who is adopted into a new family, it doesn’t say so explicitly but I believe the adopting family are white. It’s about her search for identity and her struggle to fight against the unacknowledged racism and discrimination she faces everywhere, even from her own self.  This book has pretty awesome things going for it. The historical portion of it sounds interesting, the POC on the cover, the delving into topics not commonly seen in children’s fiction. But it sounds sad and potentially heartbreaking and I don’t know if I can do that. Yes, I’m terrible. I want to read happy books. Also, the writer is not a POC, and that gives me a slight pause. I’ll end up reading this because I think it talks about too important things to not read but I’ll keep a box of tissues nearby.
  3. The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand
    I liked the first two of Cynthia Hand’s angel trilogy. So I know I like her writing style. On the other hand, this sounds like a sad book. It contains dead brothers who killed themselves and maybe came back as ghosts. Or maybe the idea of a ghost. But it’s a dead brother for once instead of a dead sister (who are so prolific in YA novels) and I’d like to see how the dynamics of that arrested relationship are. Another box of tissues to be claimed before reading this one.
  4. The Orphan Queen – Jodi Meadows
    This one is a high fantasy about an orphan princess who has designs on becoming an orphan queen. The main character’s name is Wilhelmina and there are things like wraiths and suspicious best friends present. Presumably a mysterious boy too who will make the protagonist’s heart tremble. But I liked the author’s previous book so I may read a chapter or so of this to decide whether I want to continue on with it.
  5. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
    Two words: suicide partners. Yep, this book is all about finding suicide partners and then committing suicide and I might need an entire pallet of tissue boxes because just two or five or a hundred won’t be enough.


  1. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty. I’ve had an ARC for this for over a year and haven’t read it yet. Even though Nafiza gave me an ARC for the sequel, The Cracks in the Kingdom. I’m hesitating for two reasons. One, I suspect there’s a lot of romance, and my teen romance quota is very small. (Except in short stories. Because they’re short.) Two, I loved Moriarty’s Feeling Sorry for Celia, but the sequels to that book were progressively less interesting and the characters less likeable, which makes me wary about this new series.
  2. Middlemarch by George Eliot. This is on my summer reading list. I will probably enjoy it once I get going. But I have a horrible feeling that everyone in it is going to be miserable, and that will make me miserable. I already know that the idealistic protagonist, Dorothea, marries a man, believing that she will help him in his noble work; she doesn’t realize that he is an arid, soulless shell of a man. Also, the story is long and will require concentration, and I haven’t time or spare energy at the moment.
  3. From the Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner. This has cropped up a number of times in my research and it looks exactly like the sort of book I will devour (with relish). But the problem remains: this is a thick book and I lack time and energy.


Having just moved across the country I already got rid of all those books on my hmmm shelf, let’s see if I can remember them.

  1. Kathy Reichs’ Virals was on my shelf for a while – and I was tempted to read it because I know of her fame with Bones but, for some reason, it just never made it into my to actually read pile and has, unfortunately, been left behind in Vancouver.
  2. Dualed by Elsie Chapman. I have had an ARC of this for over a year and as intriguing as it sounds, it too has been left by the wayside. I think I have over dystopia’d myself, in a way, and this one sounds very very similar to many that I have read. The teens fighting to the death to survive in a dystopic regime. Of course the teens will rebel, the MC will for sure become friends with her twin and together they will bring down the regime. *sighs* It sounds good! But I don’t feel like it.
  3. Wildwood by Colin Meloy has been on my shelf since I pilfered it from Yash. I chose it because of the cover and there it sits on my floor/bookshelf. I’ve not been drawn to it yet, but I want to read it, someday… Yash discarded it though… so will it really be worth it?
  4. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness! I know! Patrick Ness! But I haven’t read it yet! Still! I think because it’s a book meant for adults and I don’t know, I just haven’t made time to even get it on the list. I will read it one day, I think.
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I brought it from Vancouver to Ottawa and there it sits in no particular pile just creepily staring at me. I think, if I do end up reading it, it’ll be in October when I feel like getting a little chilled.


  1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Don’t know why I couldn’t get into it. I keep seeing so much love for this series. I think I just need to find a time where I am more patient- with myself and the book.
  2. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs: A present from dear Steph! And like her, I am going to wait for spookier weather.
  3. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake: Another present, this time from Nafiza. I keep passing over this one in favour of other books (often also from Nafiza). I think this will happen in October too, though.
  4. The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff: I begged this off Nafiza and then … it just sat there. I have the most petty of complaints for this book- the font. I am not kidding. I feel about 80% sure that with a different (larger) font I would have read it by now. Then again, that is not to say I won’t read it before I return it. I just won’t return it … soon.
  5. Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho: An ARC I had requested. I was going to read this first but then the note at the beginning of the book kinda put me off. I’m sure I will rant about it when I review it in late September.

8 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: On the “Hmm” Shelf

  1. I’m definitely in the minority about Shadow & Bone… pretty much everyone raves about it, and I just wasn’t that wowed. I found it difficult to get into (the beginning was kind of confusing) but I pushed through, and yet it still didn’t do much for me. I might pick up the next book in the series at some point to see if it improves, but I’m not running out to get it, lol.

    • So, I had spent the week reading from the POV of all these interesting female protagonists, and somehow Alina’s voice just did not grab me. Partially, it may be (as you say) the slow world-building. It could, however, also be that I am still hung up on Cashore’s Fire. I just can’t move on to another fantasy novel yet. Feels like a betrayal!

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