Try A Chapter: Library Edition, Take Two

Y’all, I have too many books out from the library right now because all of my holds came through at the same time because I wanted to read all the new releases! So, we’re going to do the try a chapter tag again and see which ones I like and which ones I can take back to the library so someone else can enjoy them right now.

First up we have Wild Beauty!

1. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

If you haven’t heard about Wild Beauty yet, I’m impressed because I have been hearing about it nonstop. It’s got a beautiful cover, but you can’t appreciate it in full if it’s not in front of you so you can feel it. It’s embossed and just absolutely stunning. McLemore’s writing feels fantastical enough to live up to the premise of the book, which is basically that when a Nomeolvides woman falls in love with someone, that person eventually disappears. Then one day, suddenly out of the blue, a boy appears.

The first sentence is, “Later, they would blame what happened on the little wooden horses.” I feel like this is a good first sentence and sucked me into the story. You learn that the five Nomeolvides women in the youngest generation are all in love with the same girl and they are worried that she will disappear. It’s such an intriguing premise and I’m wishing I was in more of a mood for fantasy right now than I am…


2. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

I adored Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway and so I was very excited when I found out she had a new book coming out. This book is about three teenage siblings who all knew that they were adopted (one is a foster kid, two were actually adopted), but did not know about each other. Each character is struggling in some way. Grace just had a baby she gave up for adoption. Maya is kind of angry all the time and her parents won’t stop fighting. And Joaquin is convinced that he makes everyone’s life worse around him and struggles to let himself want things.

And… you know how this is the Try a CHAPTER tag? Well, it’s like I forgot because I just read the entire book. It is SO GOOD, y’all! I loved it so much and I definitely understand why it was nominated for the National Book Award. I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you in my Wrap Up.


3. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

I was and am super excited about this book, which is a National Book Award finalist for 2017 and the first chapter did not disappoint. The second chapter, however, is where things start to get really interesting. Have I mentioned that I’m really bad at only reading a chapter? Do I need to? Well, anyway, I’m liking this so much right now and can’t wait to continue. I’m in a contemporary mood, I think.

The book is about Julia, whose sister Olga just died, and while Julia was the perfect daughter, Julia is… well, not. She’s not okay with the sexism in her family or the Church, which means she argues with her amá quite a lot. However, while sleeping in Olga’s room one night, Julia discovers something that doesn’t add up with Olga’s perfection. And then she finds some other things. And now she needs to know who her sister was when she wasn’t being the perfect Mexican daughter.


4. That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

Holy cow. I was not expecting to love this book as much as I do? I really adored Exit, Pursued by a Bear, but That Inevitable Victorian Thing is quite different, premise wise. I was intrigued by the idea of a descendant of Queen Victoria and an alternative universe sort of timeline, which is why I picked this up from the library. And, y’all, it is so good! I read four chapters because Nacho was sleeping on my lap and I really could have kept going forever because it was so good. I refrained though and when Nacho hopped off my lap I picked up the next book.

Also, can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is? I love it so much.


5. Invictus by Ryan Graudin

I’ve been intrigued by the premise of this book and the description that always features Doctor Who x Firefly x Guardians of the Galaxy? Yes. Just yes.

The first few chapters are incredibly fascinating and I’m excited to continue, but I’m not feeling fantasy at the moment. Also, I really want to know more about Farway’s parents because they sound fascinating. Anyway, for those of you who do not know, this book from what I’ve gathered so far is about Farway, whose mother was a time traveler who had a very unsanctioned relationship with a gladiator in Ancient Rome and due to some events, gave birth to Farway outside of time, which is difficult. Anyways, so Farway is studying to be a time traveler and has his last test. He’s the first in his class, but then he fails his last simulation and is very convinced that someone set him up. That’s where I stopped! So definitely paused at a part that has me excited to pick it back up when I’m more in the mood for fantasy.


6. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Lol, you know how I just finished saying I’m not in the mood for fantasy? Yeah, I just read so many chapters of this book and I’m so intrigued? I still don’t exactly understand what’s happening, but it’s giving me good vibes so I’m definitely going to continue. But I’m just going to leave the blurb here because I don’t really know how to explain it. TW for child abuse though at the beginning!

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


Alright, that concludes this tag. I mean, technically I tried twice to read the first chapter of 27 Hours but why on earth did they make the font so cramped on the page? I can’t do it as a physical copy. I’m hoping that the ebook version will be better and I’ll try it instead. I also have Nevernight out, but it’s too high fantasy for me at the moment. I read the first chapter and am still very confused. I mean, I understand that she’s an assassin, but there are these italicized sections and I just don’t get it? Anyway, I know adult fantasy takes longer to set up the back story and the plot and all that, but my brain is tired, okay? So I’m going to save that for when I want an epic fantasy book and am really craving it. Okay, anyway, what do you have out from the library right now?

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