Top 10 Tuesday: Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read (But Didn’t!)


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.

My TBR is always bigger than my stomach, so to speak and of course there were way more releases in 2016 than I had time to read. My initial Goodreads challenge goal was to read 150 books which probably would have only scratched the surface if I had completed it, but I only read about 120.

This year I’ve got quite a few readathons and reading challenges lined up, but I hope to read some of last year’s releases as well, even with all of the great 2017 releases barreling toward me!


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I haven’t gotten to the Lunar Chronicles either, so those books are on my TBR pile as well, but Heartless at least is a standalone so there’s no series lurking behind it. Apparently there’s a lot of baking involved in the story as well, which is always a plus.


Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I love books with inventors in them, especially when those inventors handle clockwork and little gadgets. This went on my TBR primarily because of that, but I also learned recently that there’s a M/M romance in it as well. That’s awesome! I need to read more of those and I can’t wait to get to Timekeeper.


The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

I read Nicola Yoon’s debut novel Everything, Everything, when it first came out and was largely satisfied with it (except for one kind of big thing at the end). When I saw she had another book coming out I was interested in giving her another chance to see if maybe the first time around was rough just because of me. It’s got an interesting topic to deal with too (immigration) and I think it’ll be a really good book to read this read.


Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Books that have magic usually pique my interest based on the fact that magic is awesome, but this one sounds cool for more reasons: it takes place at a club run by a gangster (magical speakeasy?), it takes place in the early 20th century, and it sounds like there’s a strong female friendship at the front and center. It sounds like there’s intrigue a plenty for the main characters.


When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

I have two of McLemore’s novels on my TBR but this one is at the top of the list because it sounds the most like a fairy tale that will engulf me. Roses that grow from a girl’s skin? A mysterious boy that paints moonscapes? I’m curious about these people and want to find out what their story is.


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

What does committing a crime do to you even when the victim deserved it? What kind of person does it turn you into? These are questions that I’m sure Alex Craft has to answer when she gets revenge for her murdered sister and unleashes her own dark nature. I want to find out what this does to both her nature and her interactions with those around her.

Something I thought that was cool about the cover that I’ll admit I didn’t realize at first was that all the characters on the front and back are, in fact, labeled as the females of their species. You learn something before you even open the book.


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

I wanted to read this before I even found out that it was the book of the month in an OwlCrate box (10 points to OwlCrate for their excellent selection!). It’s a story based on a Russian folk tale and it takes place in Brooklyn, both points that make it an auto-read for me. I’m a sucker for books sets in New York and I’ve become fascinated by Russian fairy tales and folk lore in the past year.


The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

Who doesn’t love a good cat video? Apparently Rick, the main character or self styled Cat King, is a whiz at making them. While this leads to being dumped by his girlfriend, his sudden interest in salsa dancing might lead to a new love interest, or at least a very funny time.


Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins

I loved 90% of the stories in the prior short story collection that Stephanie Perkins edited, My True Love Gave to Me. I got this around the time it came out in May 2016, but that turned out to be not a great idea because reading stories about summer while sweltering in the heat of my own summer wasn’t fun. Now that we’re in the middle of winter, I’m thinking this is going to be a lot more fun. I can visualize the sand and sun while ignoring the snow and ice outside.


The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

I loved The Wrath & the Dawn when I read it. Shahrzad was a badass character and watching her deal with Khalid, not to mention some of the side characters, was fun. Since this is only a duology I think I put this book off because I didn’t want the story to be over. I really should get to it though so I can see if these two get their happy ending (PLEASE let them!).




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Hello again!

Hello everyone! My name is Heather. I’ve been blogging at The Hermit Librarian for a little over a year now. I used to have a blog over at Blogspot but I made the decision to move over to WordPress.

I have to say, I’m liking the move so far. The formatting seems easier, the website hasn’t given me any trouble yet. I’m going to have to work on customization with headers and graphics, etc., but for now I’m going to focus on continuing to provide the same great blogging experience that I have been up til now.

This means a ton of reviews, Top 10 Tuesdays, Harry Potter Thursday memes, unboxings of the different subscription services I have (OwlCrate, FairyLoot, etc.), and more!

I want to thank everyone that encouraged me to make the move and to all my readers that will hopefully join me and continue to let me know what they think of my reviews and recommendations.

Review: If I Were Your Girl by Meredith Russo


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble 

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Rating: 4 Stars

I was very happy to finally pick this book up. The writing style was pleasing, the story had me from the beginning, and the ending had me questioning things in a satisfactory way.

Meredith Russo states in her author’s note that while Amanda’s story in this novel has realistic aspects, it was highly stylized so that it would be more accessible to cishet readers. I appreciated that she wrote the book keeping in mind that a lot of cishet readers might not understand the transgender experience so made the effort to make the story more accessible. It also made me a little sad  that it was necessary, but it’s a stepping point, so I can accept that.

While Amanda may have been able to access medical care and certain other things more easily that someone of her situation would in real life, it didn’t diminish the power of her story. The author was able to convey a lot of her story and information about her case without being explicit. I was pleased with this because I had questions pop up that might have been awkward to state outright, but she anticipated that and found a way to give me as a reader the answers.

There were a lot of moments in the story that made my stomach feel as though it were in knots. Knowing what Amanda had been through and anticipating what was going to happen, either because of her own actions or those of the new friends she was making, had me on edge. I wanted to read more and more until I got to the end because I cared about these characters, about Amanda and her mother and father; about Grant, Virginia, and even Bee, angry as I got with her at one point.

Ordinarily I dislike standalone novels that don’t have clear endings because I feel like if this is the only chance I’m going to have to meet and understand these characters, then the story should wrap up so that I won’t be left wondering what is happening to them at the end. If I Was Your Girl might be the book that starts the change in my mind about that. There was a clear climax in the story and declining action, but the the decline never really hit a plateau. Amanda’s story doesn’t end here, there isn’t a clear plan for where it’s going to go from here, and while that might have frustrated me in the past, I think it fits for her.

She learned a great many things while living in Lambertville with her father. She met Grant, she made friends with Layla, Anna, and Chloe, and she even found the strength within herself to return to school after certain events. She learns that she deserves love, that it is alright for her to love. This is a beginning for her and while I am going to think from time to time where Amanda might be, whether she gets into and attends NYU or some other college, I think the wondering, the possibility, speaks to the enormity of the future she has before her.




All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.