Thursday, December 30, 2021

TBR Challenge Summary

2021 is almost done!

This means I've completed another TBR Challenge, hosted by Wendy, the Super Librarian, and once again I had fun looking for titles to fit the themes of each month. It is true the themes are optional but to my personal enjoyment, the fun part is precisely to try to find books that will fit. 

As always, when it comes to multiple possibilities, some choices ended up being good ones, others not so much but I also think it's a "truer" experience - if one can say it like that - to commit to a choice and not write about anything that would fit just because it was a good read.

Here is a summary of the books I chose and what I thought about them:

January: Alpha Night - Nalini Singh (comfort read)
The books in Nalini Singh's series "Psy-Changeling" are wonderful scenes of a world I really like. I think that the author has created amazing characters in a well detailed and immersive world and they are a comfort to me. In this installment, an changeling alpha female and an arrow psy discover they are mates while facing adversaries and danger but with friends helping them too. 8/10

February: Lakeshire Park - Megan Walker (new to me author)
This first book I tried by author Megan Walker is an historical with a simple and unassuming plot but with characters I came to like. Amelia and Clara are close to a dire fate but they hope a house party will be the opportunity for a proposal, which will save them. However, someone at the party seems to always be on Amelia's nerves and ruining chances... but it turned out the HEA wasn't too far.... 8/10

March: Smoke Bitten - Patricia Briggs (favorite author)
I wouldn't say mrs Briggs is my absolute favorite author but she is one of them and it is true her style and "voice" is tremendously appealing and I love both series by her I'm following. This is another installment in the Mercy Thompson series and this time she has to face a clever and malicious fey who is causing problems for her family... 8/10

April: Falcon's Fire - Patricia Ryan (old school)
I picked a book written in 1995 which, although not old per se, is already practically 27 years ago, which can seem like a lifetime for some.  After three great picks in the previous months, this was a disappointment because this medieval story had plenty scenes I disliked, even seen through the eyes of a reader in 1995...I just found the plot to be miserable and the characters unappealing. 3/10

May: Den of Wolves - Juliet Marillier ( fairytale, folk tale)
I have enjoyed all the books by this author so far and some have been amazing ones. I count this one among them, for the final installment in the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy has everything to make this special. The tone and vibe of these books is pretty close to folk tales, for the author uses many as her inspiration and I was once again captivated by the adventures the characters faced. 9/10  

June: Heartsight - Kay Springsteen (one word title)
This was a random pick with a one word title and I imagined it would be a sweet, poignant story about a single mother and her child and the man that comes to love them both even though he isn't perfect and the child isn't what many would call "normal". Sadly for me, the writing style wasn't appealing, nor was the pace and I admit it was a chore to finish. 4/10 

July: The Perfect Husband - Lisa Gardner (secrets and lies)
A story where a woman wants to be able to defend herself from a liar of husband, who also has a deceiving behavior in front of others seemed a good way to go this month. I think the idea was great but the execution wasn't as wonderful, mostly because there's also a romantic content and that wasn't as easy to connect with, in my POV. 6/10

August: Wicked - Elisabeth Naughton (more than one book by an author)
This is a PNR series I've been following and I have other things by the author to read, so easy pick. The story might not be easy to enjoy for readers without having read the previous novels, so I would advice reading in order, especially since this one features children of the characters from earlier books. Since I like the series as a whole, this one worked out for me. 8/10

September: The Girls at 17 Swann Street - Yara Zgheib (unusual)
I've decided to go with a theme I'm interested enough but that isn't in any way something I deliberately look for. The main character suffers from anorexia and this is her attempt journey at healing at a clinic. I think the style was a bit difficulty to get into and the fact there's a lot going on is too distracting. I believe a non fiction might have been easier to appreciate then this fictionalized perspective. 5/10

October: Airs Above the Ground - Mary Stewart (gothic)
I chose a well known author for her Gothic novels and was delighted the setting was in Vienna, my dream destination to visit. The plot and writing were superb but the pace sometimes felt...slow.  The mystery was interesting but it's very easy to compare with more modern novels in the sense some behavior the characters show seems dated. 6/10

November: Take the Lead - Alexis Daria (competition)
In this novel, a dancer pairs up with a celebrity to win a dancing competition. This is very close to real life reality shows but I hoped the main coupel would have such a great journey from partners to friends and in love that it had to be the only choice for them. I liked most of the plot, the dance talk, the challenges they faced but the romance wasn't as amazing as I imagined it could have been. 6/10

December: The Christmas Bookshop - Jenny Colgan (festive)
What a great way to finish the TBR challenge, this was  acute and sweet read, with some low angst at times to make everything more special when a solution/happy ending is achieved. Carmen is a woman down on her luck and her sister finds her a job to do in a bookshop in Edinburgh. This had all the necessary elements to turn this into a very good Christmas read. 8/10

All in all, as it ever happens, I've liked some things more abut happily, there was a majority of reads I liked than the opposite.
My favorite was May and the one I liked the least was April. Most of my picks were contemporary settings, only two being set in historical periods. Five of these reads were in paperback format, all the others as ebooks. Interestingly, all were by female authors.
I'm very glad I was able to do the challenge and will certainly do it again next year.
Happy reading!


  1. This is a great recap and you found 6 really good reads in your TBR - that's amazing!

    1. Hello Wendy!
      Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. It's rue, some good picks, the holy grail of any reader with a big TBR!

      I hope this new year will be a positive one too!
      Happy reading for you!