Try a Chapter Tag

I have no idea where this concept came from, honestly, but I have a lot of books that I really want to read and a lot of books that I really need to be reading, so I thought I would do a try a chapter tag of… almost exclusively books that I want to, but don’t have to, read. I’m not going to go through what each book is about because that would be obnoxiously long. I’m just going to tell you really whether the book has a first chapter that has gripped me, the first line of the book, and I’ll tell you what book I wind up picking to read at the end.

Try a Chapter || firewhiskey reader

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno

Why I Picked this Book Up: I believe it was Suzanne’s talking about the book that made me intrigued and I’ve been okay with the heavier topics, blend with literary fiction lately.

First Line: “The Heidelberg jams again on Thursday, so Fiona is standing on her tiptoes with her fingers twisted deep inside its mechanical bowels when the bell above the door of the print shop chimes its echoey hello.”

My Initial Impression: I am already certain this book is going to break my heart and also that I will love it while it does. It may be a little too heavy for me at the moment, but I really did find myself wanting to continue. So it’s a strong contender. (That first line though? Definitely wouldn’t pick it based on that.)

Business Not as Usual by Sharon C. Cooper

Why I Picked this Book Up: I’ve really enjoyed Sharon C. Cooper’s writing in the past and I wanted to support her newest release. I do wish the spine was green rather than yellow for my rainbow shelf, but what can you do?

First Line: “One, two, three… Dreamy Daniels closed her eyes and counted to keep from exploding as Gordon Mathison, her helicopter boss, paced the narrow space behind her desk.”

My Initial Impression: The contrast in tone between this book and Birds of California was like whiplash. Business Not as Usual has a very light-hearted, funny tone to it, even as we meet Dreamy who is sort of experiencing a low self-esteem moment. This is not the vibe I’m currently looking for in a read, but I definitely think there are people for whom it will work for!

Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams

Why I Picked This Book Up: I’ve enjoyed some of the books in this series in the past and I wanted to pick up the next installment.

First Line: “It’s all fun and games until someone shits their pants.”

My Initial Impression: I like this introduction to Vlad by directly addressing the fact that Adams had set him up as this comic relief character who had digestive issues. And while I’m intrigued by the concept of this book, it’s not pulling me in so much that I want to keep going at the moment.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Why I Picked This Book Up: Well, it’s my sister’s and she told me to read it. This is the Indie version that I bought her for Christmas. I’m not sure Sarah loved it, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of discussion about it so we’ll see what I think.

First Line: “Perhaps it was a tired thing, all the references the world had already made to the Ptolemaic Royal Library of Alexandria.”

My Initial Impression: I am so intrigued! I think the pretentiousness of the writing is not off-putting, which is a pleasant surprise. It’s definitely up there for the book I’m going to continue!

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera

Why I Picked This Up: Mostly because I’m desperate for more historicals not set in Regency England and that include people of color as leading love interests.

First Line: “Life in the Caribbean had taught Luz Alana Heith-Benzan a few vital lessons.”

My Initial Impression: Definitely a book I want to read, but equally definitely, not a book I want to read right now. Or at least, not with my eyeballs.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

Why I Picked This Up: Well, for one, Nick told me to. And for another, I’ve heard really wonderful things about it.

First Line: “The trees have to be tied down by sunset.”

My Initial Impression: I don’t know that I have enough of a grasp yet to be all the way intrigued, but I am curious to know what comes next.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Why I Picked This Up: Curiosity and also Kim really seemed to enjoy it.

First Line: “In the back-left corner of the Days Gone Funeral Home, underneath a loose floorboard, there was a metal box with a bunch of old journals inside.”

My Initial Impression: Since there’s a short one page thing before the first chapter, I went ahead and read the first chapter as well and the writing definitely pulled me in. I wanted to turn the page and keep right on reading. I’m already engaged and want to know why Florence is struggling to write.

The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker

Why I Picked This Book Up: The hype. I’ve been wanting to read it for ages and I tried the audiobook a few years ago and bounced off the narration hard. I’m hoping it’s just the narration because so many people love this book.

First Line: “That calculator’s not mine.”

My Initial Impression: It’s hard because I’ve read this first chapter before and so I still have the audiobook narration of a few more chapters in my head and I don’t really care for the main character at this point. But I am really curious about the book overall so I’ll hopefully get to it soon.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Why I Picked This Book Up: Ages ago, Leigh recommended it to me and I checked it out from the library, but I didn’t get to it. So now I have the physical book and can read it whenever I feel like it!

First Line: “The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper.”

My Initial Impression: So the intrigue is high. I’m really excited to continue in this story. The writing is very… serious? Literary? I’m not sure how to describe it. But that’s my only hesitancy. I’m not sure I’m ready for the writing for 600 pages.

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

Why I Picked Up This Book: So I have an ARC of this book. Did I read it? No. But I love the cover and I’m definitely interested in the concept. Here’s hoping I like the book itself!

First Line: “Donovan Dell was a professional football player who loved to bake.”

My Initial Impression: I liked the first chapter fine, but it didn’t really do anything for me in terms of making me desperate to continue. I am excited for the audiobook now though. (Yes, I bought myself a physical and audio copy of a book I have an e-ARC for. See, publishers can benefit from giving me an e-ARC even if I don’t read and review it before release. Lol)

Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman

Why I Picked Up This Book: Once again, my sister gave it to me and told me to read it. She also sent me the article about Chris Evans that apparently inspired it so I will admit to being very intrigued.

First Line: “He requested you,” Alexandria says.

My Initial Impression: Um, yes. I’m very interested in this one after just the prologue. I’m trying to figure out how many books I can read this weekend at this point! I want to keep going with too many of them.

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Why I Picked Up This Book: I’d heard such good things about this writing duo’s YA books and so I was definitely intrigued to try their adult romance debut.

First Line: “The bookstore is nothing like I remember.”

My Initial Impression: I think I must be really in the mood for angst because I’m like, “Excuse me, so what happened between you two?” I need to know why they aren’t writing together any more!

The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin

Why I Picked Up This Book: I’ve been told over and over again that I will love this book. By Dani, by Nick, and by Aarya. And I’m confident they’re right! I just haven’t picked it up yet.

First Line: “At night, the imperial capital became a place of lanterns and shadows.”

My Initial Impression: I definitely want to continue this. I’m curious to see how Wei-Wei gets involved in the investigation into this murder. And I’m really excited for the romance to develop.

So what book am I continuing?

I’m cheating and picking two because I have one on audio and I’ll read one with my eyeballs. So the winners are…. The Roughest Draft (audio) and Funny You Should Ask. I chose Funny You Should Ask because I want to be able to give it back to Sarah the next time I see her. And at the end of the month, I guess you’ll see what I thought about these two!


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