Cutting Down My Young Adult TBR | goodbye books

Hey everyone !!

Do you ever look at your online TBR and begin to think about your own mortality because you will never manage to read them all.

Well, I definitely do. Therefore I thought I would reduce my TBR a little, specifically YA books. No hate on YA books as many of my favourite books are, in fact, YA. However, over the years, I have added a lot of YA books on my TBR, and now I want to be really picky about the ones I pick. This is (1) because my tastes have shifted more towards adult books, and (2) I say this with love, but YA fantasy (my main genre) can feel a bit repetitive at times.

Plus, having a smaller TBR number might feel more manageable for my mortal soul. probably not, but shush.

WARNING: I say ‘this sounds like a basic fantasy’ too much in this post, but I am moving away from YA fantasy. I am aware this isn’t my ‘age group’ anymore, and I’ve read a lot of them, so it is more likely for certain “formulas” to be tiring to me. As harsh as I sound, I don’t mean it in a bad way. I know it’s me, not them.
divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

Books To Take Off My TBR

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

the winner's curse by marie rutkoski

Throwing it all the way back to 2014 with a pretty classic fantasy premise. I’m not going to lie, there are still aspects of this book that would appeal to me, but it feels like a book I would only like, not love.

I think now it seems slightly clichรฉ. This may not have been the case at the time but the split world system, defying the order and a romance between people from different social groups. I may be being a bit harsh, but nothing is jumping out to me.

image of pink single line divider.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

royal bastards

I actually love the name and premise of this series. BUT… the reviews seem to be a bit ‘hit or miss’. I am worried it will once again feel like an average YA fantasy that is really predictable.

I am a bit on the fence about it, but I am certainly not rushing to get this book. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

image of red single line divider.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

the strange and beautiful life of ava lavender

I think what turns me away from this book is how I’ve read the synopsis and still feel like I have no idea what the book is about.

It sounds like a heavy story with magical realism. Whilst I like weird, emotional and lyrical reads, I just feel like this isn’t going to be my cup of tea. Plus, I generally don’t feel drawn to magical realism.

image of pink single line divider.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

the edge of everything

The idea of a bounty hunter sent to claim souls is very interesting, but the blurb makes it sound like a very romance led plot. Sadly, the romance sounds very clichรฉ and boring to me.

Therefore, it’s a no.

image of red single line divider.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

eon dragoneye reborn

The premise sounds like it has potential, but many reviews mentioned how it takes the protagonist ages to figure something obvious out. Granted, this does happen in some books. Sometimes I find it tolerable, whilst other times it is sooo frustrating. This book seems to run the risk of being the latter and seeing as it was never a high priority on the TBR, it is heading into the goodbye pile.

image of pink single line divider.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

long may she reign

Things I like the sound of…

  • scientist female lead
  • unexpected queen
  • political drama
  • it’s a standalone

but, just like my Starbucks order, I’m sensing more clichรฉ vibes than wow vibes.

image of red single line divider.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

the serpent king

Look, I like the words serpent and king as much as the next fantasy fan, but this is a contemporary story with a lad that actually handles snake rather than an aesthetic brooding king. I don’t know how to feel about that.

To be fair, it does actually sound like an interesting contemporary that deals with real themes. I don’t feel the urge to pick it up though. Maybe another one I’m actually on the fence about. I need your help.

image of pink single line divider.

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

a shadow bright and burning

I like the sound of the ‘wait, is the prophecy truly about me?’ plot and that she has three boys, each one to either challenge, fight or betray her. However, this small potential is ultimately overshadowed by the generic ‘basic girl saves world whilst balancing love’ plot, and I don’t want it.

image of red single line divider.

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

as you wish

This does have a unique plot about everyone in this town having one wish come true. I especially love the philosophical approach the book sounds like it will take… i.e. one wish coming true doesn’t equal happiness.

But apparently, I don’t love it enough to read it. Apparently, I only digest philosophical concepts through sitcoms… it’s the modern society effect.

image of pink single line divider.

Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson

truly devious

Look, I am tempted about a mystery at a boarding school. I love a good boarding school setting. However, I struggle with mysteries. I never find them twisty or gripping enough. Therefore, I want to try out really creepy ones going forward, which I believe this is not.

image of red single line divider.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

air awakens

I am very much willing to die on the hill of elemental magic being the best, but that is the only thing tempting me to read this book. Once again, I’m getting ‘basic’ vibes. The romance between different social groups, everyone was taught to fear magic, life-changing decisions etc. I have read it before.

image of pink single line divider.

Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman


I actually think this sounds like a really unique and powerful book. However, there is an unreasonable part of me that just feels like it would be a drag to readโ€ฆ in an emotionally draining and slow-paced way.

I’m not saying never for this book. I am slightly curious, but I can’t face it at the moment.

image of red single line divider.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

the kingdom

Whilst this book does promise an interesting mix of fairy-tale and sci-fi. I am neither overly interested in fairy tales or sci-fi. You see the problem here.

I can certainly see why I added this book to be my TBR. It sounds unique, dark and really fresh, but I know I won’t ever make this a priority to read. Hence, I’m just taking it off my TBR.

image of pink single line divider.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Again, this is one I could perhaps be tempted to read as mathematic dragons is a mix of two of my loves. Plus, the plot is by no means off-putting.

I just don’t have that urge to read it right now, and as I am being picky, it seems it may be time for it to go. Again, it feels like a remake of ‘girl with secret power joins royal court and solves the mystery with a boy’. It’s not that the book isn’t worth reading (or any of the books on this list), I just think it will be wasted on me in my current attitude to YA fantasies.

image of red single line divider.

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

I hope you get this message

People faced with imminent, aka 7 days til, doom through the destruction of the earth. It’s a curious situation. What would you do with 7 days to live? I’d probably go to the beach. But hopefully, these characters have more impressive answers.

I think the strength of his book really relies on the ending, and I don’t know if I want to go through it all just to be disappointed by the end. Does that make sense? But, hey, maybe one day.

divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

Thank you for joining me on this journey of being negative towards books with an acute bit of indecisiveness. I hope you enjoyed it.

Please feel free to say whether you think I’ve made the right or wrong choices by removing these books from my TBR. We can see if you can change my mind or not ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Do you sort through your digital TBR often?

What books have you taken off your TBR before?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think to them?

27 thoughts on “Cutting Down My Young Adult TBR | goodbye books

  1. 100% with you on the idea of removing ya fantasy from my tbr. It just no longer interests me! I do feel sad however that youโ€™ll never read Ava Lavender because itโ€™s a personal fav of mine but it is heavy on the magical realism, and is very slow and whimsical in style so 100% isnโ€™t gonna be everyoneโ€™s cup of tea; if you ainโ€™t feeling a book then you ainโ€™t feeling it ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will probably still read the odd ya fantasy, especially as I still have some on my physical shelf ๐Ÿ˜…, but it is a genre I feel like I have outgrown in some ways.
      Ahh… See I can always be tempted to give books a go when I hear how much people love them!! Maybe one day if I am feeling like a really whimsical book, I will have to remember this one. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So glad you loved it!!
      Thank you so much for stopping by ๐Ÿฅฐ


  2. Oooh this was a fun post to read ! I read dry by Neal shusterman a while ago and I really did enjoy it but it does have a bit of a slow pace so I understand why itโ€™s coming off the TBR ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Suhani ๐Ÿฅฐ I am so glad to hear you enjoyed Dry, like I mentioned I am kinda curious about it. Sometimes I can click with slow paced books but idk ๐Ÿ˜‚.. tysm for letting me know your thoughts on it though!! โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get downsizing the TBR a bit, as reading tastes are changing and it’s most important to keep the books that you’re actually excited for ๐Ÿ’• I read the first Truly Devious book and it was okay but didn’t really grip me ๐Ÿ˜… I Hope You Get This Message also used to be on my TBR but in the end, I just lost interest! I really liked Dry, though it’s a brutal and emotional book for sure ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely, tastes change and you just need a clear out sometimes !! Aw.. sorry to hear truly devious didn’t grip you. Although it does make me feel like I did the right thing removing it off my TBR. I don’t see myself reaching for IHYGTMS anymore either. Thank you for letting my know your thoughts on Dry– it sounds so intense. Maybe if my library gets it I will have to try it. Just to experience it, but when I’m in the right frame of mind. Thank you for stopping by Caro ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Feeling very similar at the moment! Feeling like Iโ€™m getting a bit old for YA now and like you say a lot of YA fantasy feels repetitive and Iโ€™m just not excited by it anymore. Iโ€™m in two minds about reading Dry, so itโ€™s interesting to see youโ€™ve taken it off your list. I think I will just read the odd YA fantasy by my favourite authors in future. But Iโ€™m struggling a little at finding adult fantasy to move on to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I just feel more distant from it and I’m not getting what I want from it. YA fantasy can definitely be repetitive at times.
      I am slightly indecisive about Dry as I think it is an unique premise but for now I won’t be picking it up. But never say never I guess ๐Ÿ˜…
      Yeah favourite authors I will definitely go back to, I trust them and they are comforting too.

      oohh.. well I would suggest The City of Brass (loved the sequel) and Jade City (took me a while to adjust to writing style but I think the plot is amazing). I actually just watched a video on YouTube with adult fantasy recs that aren’t too full on/dense etc. and I thought it was quite good if you want to check it out here it is . Also I like checking out Orbit books publishing house (they solely do adult fantasy and sci-fi), they have a lot of books and I like that you can find some under-the-radar recs too. Sorry about my rambling, just if you wanted to check any out. Thank you for stopping by !! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is such a great idea, honestly I should do it too, I have SO many books on my TBR and I know so many books probably don’t appeal to me, at all, anymore ๐Ÿ˜‚ I personally liked The Serpent King (that title is confusing though ahah it made me think of a fantasy story at first, too!), but it’s so emotional as well, I cried like a baby ahha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is nice to have a sort though and just get rid off those books you no longer have any interest in. You should definitely do it ๐Ÿ˜‚ I really enjoyed it !!
      I’m glad you liked The Serpent King (deffo has major fantasy vibes ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚). Ah… I do like an emotionally devastating read, ahha! Maybe I should read it after all ๐Ÿ˜… Thank you for reading Marie ๐Ÿ’•


  6. I’ve read two of these and enjoyed them but can’t remember over much about one of them. I am planning to re-read that one, Winners Curse, before picking up the other book set in its world though. The others Truly Devious which I really enjoyed but then I think I pick up mysteries more often than you. I also have physical copies of the others on my TBR…can’t believe I haven’t read them tbh.
    I could be wrong but I get the impression that Seraphina could be quite unique. I looked the first few pages up on Amazon with its First Look option once and it was quite interesting. Definitely a book I hope to read next year. I’ve also seen a lot of rave reviews about Beautiful Sorrows but I get what you mean about magical realism. I do plan to see why it’s so popular one day but, despite being less popular online, I plan to check out the authors other book first.
    I really need to sort through my TBR one day but it’s so daunting ๐Ÿ™ˆ atm I’m mostly ignoring it until I’ve read more from it and can shrink it that way. In theory the high priority reads should stick in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you enjoyed the ones you checked out. I do think I would like Winner’s Curse but not love so I’m trying to be pickier. Truly Devious does have good reviews and I’m so happy you really liked it. I hope you get to read the sequels soon. Yeah, I don’t pick up mysteries all too much, I think I’m hard to please in that area ๐Ÿ˜…
        Definitely parts of Seraphina sounds unique and you probably know more than me. If you end up loving it, I will have to pick it up though. Beautiful sorrows is very popular which does make me think twice but I’m certainly not picking it up any time soon. I actually didn’t even know about the author’s other book. Hope you end up enjoying it.
        It is daunting sorting through your TBR especially as I’m so indecisive. ๐Ÿ˜… haha best of luck with shrinking it !! True, I think when you really want to read them, you remember them !!
        hhaha ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can understand that. I’d say you could check out the authors adult novel instead when it comes out but that’s a thriller so probably not. Thank you, fingers crossed. And I will admit that I adore some but others in the genre have been major let downs. Still not over two of the ones that disappointed me most.
          I’ll let you know what I think of it when I get to it. Atm the plan is to get it out of the library next year, definitely not during the first quarter though as I want to focus on the high priority reads that I own first.
          Yeah it does seem wildly popular yet the other isn’t. That one sounded witchy though so how could I resist?
          I know right? So scary!! Plus mines all on paper ๐Ÿ™ˆ well besides the 2020 plus releases anyway. Thank you & so true.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If I do want to read more adult thriller, so definitely a good shout thank you ๐Ÿฅฐ
            Aww.. It is horrible when they disappoint you. I think thrillers need to have strong endings, so it’s a genre easier to disappoint in some ways but amazing when done right. Such a shame about those two.
            Oohh.. Thank you ๐Ÿฅฐ Hope your reading plans go well.
            Oohh witchy does sound so cool!!
            Wow all on paper, it must look intense but I love it!! Haha true ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah I imagine it’s hard to get right as it has to be both shocking but believable. You don’t want the answer to be obvious but it also can’t be one where you think really?
              Thank you.
              Its a nightmare ๐Ÿ˜‚ probably full of duplicates but I can’t face going through it ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
              Ooh before I forgot I have another 2022 adult fantasy book for you – The Final Strife. Look for the authors review on Goodreads too because it mentions some fantastic features.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Exactly, you need the perfect balance of emotions. I don’t think I will ever write one ๐Ÿคฃ
                It does sound a lot !! ๐Ÿ˜…
                Ahh… thank you SO much for telling me about it. It sounds amazing and the author’s review is GREAT. I am very curious about the blood magic !! thank youuuuu โค

                Liked by 1 person

  7. I highly recommend everyone comb through their TBRs, it’s really interesting to see what you’ve added and tastes change all the time – books I loved the sound of two years ago I wouldn’t bother with now. The Winner’s Series is one of my faves so I’m sad to see that go BUT, you made the right choice with Truly Devious. They drag the mystery out over THREE books, adding little to the story and then solve it with the most lack lustre explanation I’ve ever heard. It was really boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why, tastes really can change across the years and you need a clense of your TBR sometimes. Exactly, you just can’t be bothered with some premises now. ahh… I’m glad you loved The Winner’s series… if my library gets it, maybe !! Oh really, such a shame with the truly devious books but sounds like I made the right choice– mysteries need an edge and I hate lack lustre explanations!!


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