Try a Chapter: October ARCs

As we’ve discussed, I have a problem with requesting ARCs. As in, I love scrolling Netgalley a little too much. In October, I have ten ARCs, but I’m also going to include The Empress in this post because, tbh, I really truly thought that The Empress came out in October, but then it turns out that actually it has already released. Oops. So anyway, here comes my reaction to eleven first chapters! I hope you enjoy!

Try a Chapter || Tag, You’re It

The Empress by Gigi Griffis

First Line: “Elizabeth’s mother was panic and fury, a windstorm of skirts and schnapps, rampaging through the house loud enough to wake the dead.”

What the Book is About: “The Empress is a dazzling reimagining of the courtship between one of history’s most iconic and beloved couples: Sisi and Franz of Austria.”

Why I Requested It: Honestly, this was incredibly impulsive. I loved the cover and that alone pretty much did it. Then there was the fact that it wasn’t set in England and I liked the idea of that too. I also know literally nothing about this historical couple, so that seemed like a good idea too.

My First Impression: Elizabeth seems a little young to be the female romantic interest, but I liked the last line of chapter one a lot.

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

First Line: “Lumpy snowflakes tumble from above, “Blue Christmas” dancing out of the speakers of Mary Had a Little Boutique.”

What the Book is About: Hot mess Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the Holiday Spirit and he’s like… a genie? Or something? And they fall in love. At least I assume.

Why I Requested It: Well, you see, Sarah Hogle wrote it.

My First Impression: This is wildly ridiculous, but since it’s Sarah Hogle, I’m intrigued and have every intention of continuing shortly!

Bad Girl Reputation
by Elle Kennedy

First Line: “Everyone even vaguely related to me is in this house.”

What the Book is About: So Genevieve abruptly disappeared from Avalon Bay about a year ago, but she’s back in town because her mom has passed away. Gen has revamped herself, trying to shed her Bad Girl reputation, but resisting the allure of Evan is… Well, rather difficult. But does Gen need to lose herself just to be a “good” girl?

Why I Requested It: I was very intrigued by the sequel bait in the first book that I didn’t actually enjoy. Like at all.

My First Impression: Let me put it this way, I turned on the audiobook and then I finished it. You know? Sometimes it just works that way.

A Turn of the Tide
by Kelley Armstrong

First Line: “Imagine that a locked door stands between you and the greatest adventure imaginable.”

What the Book is About: Essentially, Miranda travels back in time to the 1700s and saves Nico from being murdered. Then they have to solve a murder, as one does, and try to bring down a super corrupt Lord. You know, just chill things.

Why I Requested It: I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series and am excited and very much looking forward to continuing.

My First Impression: Okay, I finished chapter one and literally said, “What?” out loud and it was a good sign. I am so excited to keep going with this book! (For the record, I typed this paragraph and then said, okay, now I can keep going and now I’ve nearly finished it.)

A Curse of Queens
by Amanda Bouchet

First Line: “It was not a day like any other. It was Jocasta’s eighteenth birthday, and if the man she’d loved since she was six years old didn’t already know he had her heart, he would know it in the next few minutes.”

What the Book is About (the Blurb): The queen has been cursed, and no one knows who’s behind the plot to threaten the realm’s fragile peace. Desperate to help, Jocasta hatches a plan to find Circe’s Garden, a fabled island where she hopes to discover an antidote. But she can’t do it alone. She needs the strong arm and unflinching bravery of the warrior she’s loved since childhood—her brother’s right-hand-man and captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta.
Together they can do the impossible. Yet with treachery brewing on Mount Olympus, one thing is clear: Thalyria and its new royals are still pawns in an epic game of power—one that might end in a War of Gods.

Why I Requested It: Because I need more fantasy romance in my life and I enjoyed at least book one in the last trilogy and I’m hoping switching up the perspective will bring me back into this world.

My First Impression: I read the equivalent of three chapters, I think, because there was a prologue, a random scene from Persephone’s perspective, and then finally Chapter One. I still enjoy Bouchet’s writing and I’m looking forward to getting into the story proper.

When Life Gives You Vampires
by Gloria Dukes

First Line: “Thirst nudges at me, rousing me out of a sound sleep. Only it’s not a dehydrated thirst.”

What the Book is About: Essentially Lily finds herself surprised to wake up as a vampire. And there’s the vampire who turned her even though it’s against vampire law.

Why I Requested It: Honestly, impulse again. That and I keep trying these modern paranormal romantic comedy type books regardless of the actual plot.

My First Impression: I have no idea what else I’ve listened to Meg Sylvan narrate, but I love her narration. I’m also intrigued to know where this book is going. I’m looking forward to the journey of finding out!

Bad Vibes Only
by Nora McInerny

First Line: “When my son was two years old, he would greet new children at the park by saying, “I’m Ralphie! My dad is dead!”

What the Book is About (from the blurb): In essays that revisit her cringey past and anticipate her rapidly approaching, early middle-aged future, McInerny lays bare her own chaos, inviting us to drop the facade of perfection and embrace the truth: that we are all—at best—slightly unhinged. Socrates claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Bad Vibes Only is for the people who have taken that dictum a bit too far—the overthinkers, the analyzers, the recovering Girl Bosses, and the burned-out personal brand—reminding us that a life worth living is about more than just “good vibes.”

Why I Requested It: Honestly, I have no idea. I am fairly certain this was a complete whim justified by the fact that I was having a day where toxic positivity and I were in a screaming match in my head. You know, just generalized anxiety things.

My First Impression: The epigraph is a line from Taylor Swift’s “Mirrorball” so I’m already so in and Nora McInerny is starting out leagues ahead of where any other unknown author does for me. And then I read the… prologue? I guess? And I am already in love. Like truly. This is a nonfiction book that I feel like I could sit down and devour. I’m really looking forward to fully getting into this book. And, since it’s nonfiction, that part is really the most important because it’s setting up the goal of the book. And essentially, the goal of the book appears to be acknowledging that we all suffer and “good vibes only” is actual harmful.

Mistakes Were Made
by Meryl Wilsner

First Line: “A stranger caught Cassie’s arm as she moved past him toward the bar.”

What the Book is About: Cassie and Erin have a one night stand and then it turns out Erin is Cassie’s friend, Parker’s, mom and so the morning after they have breakfast together! What fun. Oh and somehow this becomes a romance.

Why I Requested It: I liked Wilsner’s debut and I enjoy their presence on Twitter. This story isn’t my usual fare, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

My First Impression: Always nice to start a book off with a literal bang! I look forward to the mess that I’m anticipating coming from this.

On the Hustle
by Adriana Herrera

First Line: “Julia: You can do this amiga! Drop that motherfucker like a bad habit and break free from that eight-pack-addiction.”

What the Book is About: Essentially, Alba quits her job in NYC with her ridiculously hot and overbearing boss and travels to Dallas. Then her ex-boss surprise shows up. And romance ensues.

Why I Requested It: I really loved the first book in this series, Here to Stay (ARC Review). And so, when this book went up for request, I couldn’t quite manage to resist, though I did try!

My First Impression: I think I forgot how easy it is to sink into Herrera’s writing, but I am truly so excited to be back in this world. I’m keen to figure out how we’re getting from NYC to Texas, so I want to keep reading, but that is not the point of this particular post! Also, the idea of having a bedroom and reading nook designed to remind me of ACOMAF sounds… incredible. I would like that today, please.

Built to Last
by Erin Hahn

First Line: “I’ve never loved flying.”

What the Book is About: Essentially child stars who were also childhood sweethearts that are now estranged are reunited by the third of their trio, who happens to be Shelby’s ex-boyfriend, for some sort of home improvement show.

Why I Requested It: I’m not sure if Sil had read this book before I requested it, or if it’s just that her enthusiasm for this book has kept it from sinking from my awareness the way that books can sometimes do if they don’t release for a while after I request. Also, HGTV vibes is something that I can almost never resist.

My First Impression: I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that are in conversation with one another, about the toxicity of Hollywood and, perhaps, in particular, with the particular hell that we expose child stars to. I’m not sure exactly what has inspired all of these books to sprout up, but I’m certainly fortunate that I’m enjoying them. I am really intrigued by the initial chapter in Built to Last that is set five years prior to where the book then picks up.

Partners in Crime
by Alisha Rai

First Line: “Her matchmaker was going to fire her.”

What the Book is About: This book is about Mira and Naveen and some antics involving Mira’s deceased aunt’s estate? Something about Vegas and art heists. Listen, I’m a little confused, but I’m here for a good time.

Why I Requested It: Because I love Alisha Rai.

My First Impression: I really love Rai’s writing and that appears to be like something that will carry over in to this book. I’m a little nervous about the book as a whole, but for now, I’m enjoying myself!

Final Thoughts

I am really, really looking forward to getting these books read by the end of October! I’m super intrigued by all of them and I think I should manage to actually read them all. Please cross your fingers for me because I think I’ll need it! I’m also still trying to catch up on August releases. Still. Plus a couple of September ones. One day I will be fully caught up with my ARCs. Probably. Maybe. One can always hope! Anyway, what October releases are you looking forward to? Any that you’ve already read? Let me know!


2 responses to “Try a Chapter: October ARCs”

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