January 01, 2020

It's That Time of the Year Again...A.K.A. The Big Annual Book Haul 2019-20

 Hello sweeties!

Today I'm doing that thing I usually do in January...that is, showcasing my big annual book haul.
Some of you might remember that my birthday is close to Christmas - just 11 days before it. So, as per my usual birthday/Christmas tradition, every year I order a bunch of books from this Italian site that sports a wide selection of books in English as well. And I post the list on here for the world to admire (...HEY, LOTS OF 2019 BOOKS IN HERE! I'm only marginally late LOL). Here you'll find a few authors I've enjoyed in the past (Seanan McGuire, Kali Wallace, A.S. King) and a bunch of new-to-me ones. Please note: I used to write my own thoughts about each book, but with such huge hauls, it was too much of a chore, so I opted for their blurbs (abridged when possible) instead. Here goes my list, broken down by genres/Reading Rooms...(P.S.: all the books are YA unless otherwise stated).

Afterlife Room: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day (2017) by Seanan McGuire
(I think this one is technically NA?)

Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.
But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.


Supernatural Room: Middlegame (2019) by Seanan McGuire | Reverie by Ryan La Sala (2019) | Lucid by Jay Bonansinga (2015) | Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Look! They match! 😉

Meet Roger. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.
Meet Dodger, his twin. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.
Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.
Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.
Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere, Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

Lori Blaine is not your average seventeen-year-old high school student. Cool and iconoclastic in her dread-locks and natty thrift shop garb, with an IQ that’s off the charts, she is the ersatz leader of a pack of Goth kids. 
But Lori Blaine has one problem: The door.
Lori’s dreams are haunted by this strange, recurring symbol. The door is always there on the periphery…beckoning to her, daring her to see what might be waiting for her on the other side. Finally, at the urging of an overzealous school psychologist, Lori Blaine goes through the dream door…and immediately plunges into a shattered looking glass world in which nothing is as it seems and evil awaits around every corner.

Come Tumbling Down
When Jack left Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister - whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice - back to their home on the Moors.
But death in their adopted world isn't always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.
Eleanor West's "No Quests" rule is about to be broken.

Note No.1: of course I've already read Reverie (you can find my ARC review here), but I want a copy for my collection (and for future rereads)!
 Note No.2: last year the site I buy my books from (the only one that accepts cash on delivery) wasn't able to locate a copy of Lucid. I doubt they'll be this year, but just in case. Also, I had to place my order before Dec. 31st to get a discount, so I chose Lucid because the site says it should be "available in 4-5 weeks". While they try to find a copy, Jan. 7th will come, and I'll be able to add Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5), that drops on that very day, to my order. Top-class strategy haha. The bonkers part, though, is that they don't have In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4), so my only chance to get a copy hinges on winning a giveaway...


Sci-Fi Room: Before I Disappear (2019) by Danielle Stinson

Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie.
But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air - including Charlie.
Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill.
To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon - or he'll be gone forever.


Contemporary Room: Kaleidoscope Song (2017) by Fox Benwell | (Contemporary with a Twist section): The Memory Trees (2017) by Kali Wallace | Dig (2019) by A.S. King

Kaleidoscope Song
Fifteen year old Neo loves music, it punctuates her life and shapes the way she views the world. A life in radio is all she’s ever wanted.
When Umzi Radio broadcasts live in a nearby bar Neo can’t resist. She sneaks out to see them, and she falls in love, with music, and the night, but also with a girl: Tale.
It isn’t normal. Isn’t right. Neo knows that she’s supposed to go to school and get a real job and find a nice young boy to settle down with. But Tale and music are underneath her skin, and try as she might, she can’t stop thinking about them.

The Memory Trees
Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople - but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.
Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami.
Now sixteen, Sorrow returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

Five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family's maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being simple Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-figure bank account, wealth they've declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grand children.
As the rot just beneath the surface of the Hemmings precious white suburban respectability begins to spread, the far flung grand children gradually find their ways back to each other, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name.


Thriller Room: What We Buried (2019) by Kate A. Boorman

Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting one another. Liv - former pageant queen and reality-TV star - was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.
Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he’s telling...which is true.
As the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.


Unwalled Room: We Speak in Storms (2019) by Natalie Lund

(Note, March 25th 2020: after reading it, I decided it fitted more in the Contemporary with a Twist room)

It's been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. The teens' paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward - if only they work together.


Adult Room: Salvation Day (2019) by Kali Wallace

Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya - the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.
But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship - a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.
And then they woke it up.


Have you read any of these books? or do you plan to? Are you already familiar with any of these authors? or are you going to read any of their books in the future?


  1. King always leaved me floored. Her books are amazing. I like The Memory Trees too. I read that back in 2017 (?), and I remember it being really beautifully written, and well, it was a grief story, and you know I like those. I have We Speak in Storms, but haven't read it yet. It sounds interesting, but heavier, which is why I probably haven't read it yet.

    1. I don't think I was already following you when you reviewed TMT...I'm going to see if I can find your review. I hope you decide to read WSIS. It's one of the books in this haul I'm looking forward the most!

  2. It's sad to say I have not read any of these authors. They sound interesting but somehow a bit dark for me. I don't read much thrillers. Maybe I need to try out some of them. We'll see. I hope you'll enjoy reading them all.

    Have a lovely new year!

    1. I wouldn't say they are thrillers, but I do like me some dark books, and those have all a small or not-so-small dose of darkness in them. Maybe I can convince you to try some of them if you read my future reviews! 😉

  3. Happy late birthday, and happy new year! This list looks great. I wasn't familiar with any of the authors or titles initially, but from your descriptions, "The Memory Trees" and "Dig" sound like books I would enjoy (I also love the cover of "The Memory Trees"). I am a sucker for mysteries, thrillers, and adventures-- adding these to the TBR!

    claire @ clairefy

    1. LOL, I sort of specialise in less-heard-of books, but I do hope I was able to interest you in a few of these!

      Thank you, and happy new year as well!

  4. I'm super-interested in Salvation Day, so I'm looking forward to your review of it - I've heard pretty good things about that one. Also, the fact that you brought Reverie after reading it from Netgalley is a pretty strong recommendation - I'll need to buy that one. :) Hope you'll love all these novels! :)

    1. I loved Wallace's debut (that Shallow Graves I keep pushing at you 😂 😉), so I expect her other books to be awesome as well! And how could I not buy Reverie. Also, it's another debut book, and La Sala deserves a great start!

    2. My dumb ass didn't even realize those are by the same author. 😂

    3. Blame it on studying too hard 😆.

  5. I'm loving all the Seanan McGuire on this list! She's an automatic read for me, so I'm hoping to get to all of those this year. Reverie is for sure on my TBR too, but I'll probably wait for the paperback, and the same for We Speak in Storms. I found a cheap copy of What We Buried for potential buddy reads though! (No pressure on ANY of them, of course. <3)

    1. Yay! I'm excited to read a thriller with you! We can regroup once the books come. If you only have WWB by then, we can start with it. The first book from this haul I mean to read is Middlegame. It sounds so different and ambitious and up my alley 😃.

  6. I have What We Buried and still need to read it. McGuire is really hit or miss for me (I didn't like Middlegame but like her Wayward Children series) but that first one sounds super interesting!! I also want to read Reverie.

    I hope you love them ALL Roberta because I know this is your yearly haul!

    Karen @ For What It's worth

    1. I'm very curious about WWB, and I hope to read your review - once you decide you're in the mood for it, that is 😉. Apparently, Middlegame is a bit experimental, and anyway, McGuire does switch style and genre so easily, it's very possible that one can like only part of what she writes.

      Thank you! It's a big deal for me indeed.

  7. Yay for all these new books! Reverie sounds interesting, and I've heard it has a lot of LGBT+ rep! The cover for Dig is cool.

    1. Reverie was awesome in that department - gay protagonist, magnificent drag-queen villain 😁. 100% recommended!

  8. McGuire kills me with th wide variety of stuff she writes. which is a good thing, of course! Looking forward to seeing what you think of these!

    Before I Disappear is on my list too.

    1. Ah, yes, McGuire has a REALLY wide range LOL. She's pretty unique.

      I hope we can compare our thoughts about that one soon!

  9. You got a lot of Seanan McGuire! I need to read more by her, I've read a few of her Newsflesh books (under Mira Grant).

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    1. I haven't read her Mira Grant books...they sound a bit off my reading path...but sometimes I'm tempted to. Maybe one day! On the other hand, her Ghost Roads series (duology so far) is excellent!

  10. What a brilliant haul!! I've heard nothing but good things about middle game as well! :D

    1. I can't wait to read it! To be honest, McGuire never disappoints.


Welcome to Offbeat YA! I love hearing from you and always - I mean always - acknowledge your comments. This used to be a full democracy place, because anyone could comment, regardless of being a registered member of any community. Unfortunately, I had to turn off the Anonymous comment option, because I was getting too much spam that didn't get filtered. So, you’ll need to have a Google account (Gmail will suffice) in order to comment. Sorry about that. Anyway, jump right in! Come on, you know you want to...😉 And be sure to leave a link!
BTW...I don't care if a post is a million months old - you comment, I respond. And you make my day 😃.
Note: this is an award/tag free blog. Sorry I can't accept nominations due to lack of time.

As per the GDPR guidelines, here's the link to my Privacy Policy.