Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read Before 2019

It seems like every time I make a TBR for the year (however large or small), I fall short of that goal. After all, I made one of these posts in January and failed miserably in following through. I’ve read a total of one (1) book on that list. Whoops. Hopefully I can do better this time though, since I’m actually itching to get to these books. What five books am I (most likely) prioritizing during the next month and a half? Let’s drop the parentheticals and get to it!

  1. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

As a long-time fan of Picoult, I was excited to see this book on my most recent trip to Walmart. Her most recent work, this book is her second novel to tackle a shooting. However, unlike Nineteen Minutes which discusses bullying and follows the shooter from childhood through his trial, A Spark of Light sounds like it’s both higher stakes and more feminist. The entirety of the novel takes place in a women’s reproductive health services center before and during the shooting. As Hugh McElroy, police hostage negotiator, tries to deescalate the situation, the victims inside are forced to face their beliefs and fight for their lives. Among the hostages are a doctor who helps women because of his religion, not in spite of it; a pro-lifer undercover as a patient; a nurse who must overcome her own panic to help her patients; a young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy; an Officer McElroy’s own daughter. This high-stakes narrative is told in reverse, and we follow these characters back to where they began— back to how they wound up in this horrifying situation in the first place.

Picoult’s novels are especially fascinating to me because she always offers multiple points-of-view and arguments for the heavy topics she confronts. Even though it’s usually clear what side she stands on, it means a lot to see the amount of thought and research that goes into these novels. It says that Picoult genuinely cares about what she’s writing, which makes for an enthralling read. I’m really eager to get to this one and plan on reading it as soon as I finish my current read.

2. Wildcard by Marie Lu

Thank god for the mute function on Twitter, otherwise this book may’ve been spoiled for me before I even got the chance to crack the spine. But soon those worries will come to an end, as I plan on reading this book sooner rather than later. As the second book of the series, I don’t want to say too much about the plot. Just know that it picks up shortly after the events of Warcross, and Emika and the Phoenix Riders are fighting for more than just the Warcross Championship title.

I fell head over heels for Warcross, so I can’t imagine how much I’ll (hopefully) love this book. Lu really set up an interesting conflict at the end of the first book, one with no definitive right answer. I am absolutely stoked to see how this plays out. Whether or not this is the end, I know I’m in for a wild ride.

3. The Fifth Knight by Jesikah Sundin and Claire Luana

I recently requested a bunch of ARCs from NetGalley and, somehow, got approved for most of them! However, this is the one I’m most excited to try. The first book in the Knights of Caerleon series, it follows warrior princess Fionna on a mission to save her sisters. In exchange for her sisters, she must steal a sword from a king. But it isn’t just any sword or any king— she must steal Excalibur from Arthur Pendragon himself. To do so, she disguises herself as a boy and enters a tournament in order to join his legendary knights. Arthur and his knights believe her to not only be the long-foretold Fifth Knight, but the prophesied White Fey. Little does Fionna know, she may be setting Arthur’s kingdom down a path of sure destruction.

I’m a sucker for the Chosen One narrative. I’m also a sucker for stories in which a woman is said Chosen One, when everyone was expecting a man. Between that and the potential for a morally gray heroine, I knew I had to request this book. According to some reviews I skimmed, Fionna may be a bit of a Mary Sue. I’ve had some bad experiences with that in the past, but I’m still willing to give this book a chance. The worst that could happen is a don’t like it. Besides, how bad can a book be?

4. Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey

This collection of poetry has been on my ‘Want to Read’ list on Goodreads since May 2017. Evidently, I added this book and then promptly forgot about it. But when I perused that list for this post, I discovered it again. The concept sounds so cool, I know I have to read it soon.

Basically, Hall Gailey uses characters from Greek mythology, fairy tales, and modern media to help share her message. That’s awesome as hell. Plus, I mean, it’s called Becoming the Villainess. That’s my jam. I’ll be purchasing this poetry collection as soon as I walk through my front door.

5. The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith (Reread)

Remember earlier this year when I started a new meme called In Retrospect? Remember how I then kept teasing a Vampire Diaries reread? And how I was then going to write a post about them for In Retrospect, determining whether or not they hold up? I think it’s about time I finally do that, don’t you?

Facetiousness aside, I’m actually planning on doing this in December. Right now, I plan on only rereading the first three in the series. The fourth book sucks and doesn’t add anything to the story and I’m pretty sure every book after wasn’t even written by the real L.J. Smith (When she signed her contract with the publishing company, it was on a book-by-book basis and they were legally allowed to replace her at any time. After the popularity of Twilight, they decided to continue the series. They didn’t like her ideas, so they replaced her. She has stated publicly that she hates the direction the story took and actually wrote her own fanfiction for a period, in order to tell her story her way. Moral of the story: do not agree to this kind of contract with a publishing company. You’ll get screwed over.). Even though I read the series all the way through book six in high school, I don’t know that I want to for my reread. If you ask me, the first three books tell a full story.

The series follows Elena Gilbert as she begins her junior year of high school. A mysterious new student named Stefan Salvatore joins her class and she just has to have him. But as he spurns her advances, Elena is pursued by another dark stranger— Stefan’s brother, Damon. As Elena becomes entwined with the feuding brothers, she becomes central to a battle that is centuries in the making.

I’m both nervous and excited to read this series for the first time in nearly ten years. I’ve changed so much as a reader and a person, I have no idea how I’m going to feel about it. Whether I enjoy myself or not, that reread and In Retrospect post is finally happening. Brace yourselves.

What books are you planning on reading before 2018 is through? Tell me about them in the comments!

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