I found this tag while bouncing around different booktube videos and stumbled across this video by the wonderful BooksandLala. It’s a pretty old tag by now, but I like the idea of it so I’m doing it. I have so many books I’ve been wanting to read but I have a hard time choosing, I’m so indecisive. This tag will help me decide.
The original creator is BookParadise on YouTube.
- Pick 5 (or more) books from your tbr
- Read the first chapter of all of them (including the prologue if there is one)
- Tell your readers if you’re sold on the book and what you thought of the first chapter. Are you going to finish the book this month?
What I decided to do was pick five books that have been on my tbr for too long, because what is happening now is that the books I bought a long time ago are just being forgotten because there are so many new books I’m excited about. Then I’m going to do what Lala did in her video and pick one “winner”, i.e. finish the book I think seems the most interesting based on the first chapter. I’ll finally read one of the books I’ve had sitting around for ages, maybe years. Yay!
Here are the books I’ll read the first chapter of. As I’m writing this I still haven’t started reading them.
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I bought this one forever ago because I stumbled across the hardcover in a bookstore, which is so rare with English books here, but it’s just been gathering dust on my bookshelf ever since. I don’t know the details of what it’s about, but something about a fantasy version of ancient Rome? Slaves? I think it’s a dystopian series? Maybe?
- Unwind by Neal Shusterman
This was originally on my “will read in 2016” list. Well… That didn’t happen. I’ll read the first chapter and see if I’m going to finish it this month or nah. The premise seems really dark and a bit hard for me to explain, so I recommend just reading the Goodreads synopsis.
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I’ve been wanting to get on this series forever, you guys. I desperately want to read Six of Crows but I feel like I can’t because I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy.
- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Adam Silvera is an author I really want to read, he seems to write really beautiful and heartbreaking books which is just right up my alley. And this has been on my kindle for ages, I just need to kick myself and get to it.
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I know there’s something about twins in this, and them finding back to each other after having fallen out or lost touch or something like that. Apparently the writing style is very different as well, which can be a hit or a miss…
Here we only have 6 pages to work with, so it’s not much. So, this is clearly a dystopian society where “The Martials” have total control over “The Scholars” and it’s been like this for the last 500 years. The narrator, Laia, is a scholar. In this opening chapter she finds out that her brother possibly works for the empire and feels incredibly betrayed until he assures her he isn’t, but he’s been drawing something he shouldn’t at the Martials’ forges and now people are after him or something?? Apparently the Martials have severely superior steel to the Scholars, which is how they took control in the first place, they just whipped through them with their blades. I think the chapter ended with some soldiers breaking into their home or something like that.
I’m not sure about this one. I mean yeah, it’s intriguing, and it ends on a cliffhanger, but it’s been a couple hours since I read the chapter and it didn’t leave a giant impression. But we have to remember that the chapter was pretty short. I probably won’t end up picking this one to finish this month though, but we’ll see.
We go straight to the point talking about the Leteo institute where people can go to have their memories erased. The narrator has just found out it’s a legit thing and not promo for a science-fiction movie. We find out that the narrator’s tried to commit suicide before and not too long ago his father was found dead in the bathtub, suicide as well. His mother is depressed. The narrator mentions that if he ever were to get the procedure done it would have to do with “living in a post-Dad world.”
This was around 8 pages on my kindle. I can feel the feels already, you guys. I just know this is going to be emotional. Is this sci-fi?? I mean, it seems like sci-fi with the memory altering institute. I thought it was contemporary drama/romance/tragedy but surprise surprise! we have some Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shit up in here. But then again, no one on Goodreads has tagged it as sci-fi so maybe I’m being fooled and the memory thing isn’t an actual thing… I don’t know if that makes me more intrigued or not?? Probably more. What’s going on? I want to find out.
Cue me scrolling through Goodreads reviews for five minutes… Aha! I found one person who shelved it as sci-fi. I have hope.
This was the longest chapter (plus prologue) this far, 26 pages according to my kindle. In the prologue we are introduced to two children living in an orphanage, Alina and Mal. We learn a little bit about what the Grisha are (they protect the land using “Small Science”) and we find out that Alina and Mal will go into military training (where they find out if people are Grisha?).
In chapter one we meet Alina and Mal when they’re older and still going through their training. Alina is hopelessly in love with Mal, who seems to have his eye on every other girl than her, at least according to Alina. We catch a glimpse of the Darkling, who rides past and into the camp (or through the camp, I don’t know). Tomorrow, Mal and Alina will be traveling to “the fold” as part of their military service, which is some sort of darkness full of monsters created by a previous Darkling.
All in all, this is promising and I want to know more about Grisha and the Darkling. I keep seeing people fawn over him, and I’m interested to find out what the deal with him is. I wish Alina and Mal were more like siblings instead of a romantic pairing, but you can’t have everything.
This first chapter was 17 pages in smaller than average print. Connor is 16 and has found out his parents have signed an “Unwind order” for him, meaning his organs and various bodyparts will be harvested. Connor doesn’t tell his parents he knows what they’re planning, instead he does things to make them feel bad, like buy his mother flowers and getting good grades in school. He plans to run away with his girlfriend Ariana, but at the last minute she backs out.
Disappointed, Connor catches a ride with a truck driver, hoping to get far away. However, he’s confronted the next day by a “Juvey cop” and… his father. Connor runs, dodging tranquilizers, and the chapter ends with Connor jumping into a random car with a scared looking teen driver. My guess is the mystery teen is another runaway Unwind.
This was so tense already in the first chapter! You know it’s good when you’ve read 17 pages and you were on the edge of your seat the whole time. It takes you straight into the action and I really want to read more. I really want to know how society came to be like this. I like how it’s set in regular America, it doesn’t have a new name like Panem (not that I mind that either but it makes what’s happening even creepier). This is going to be a tough decision.
The first chapter, or part or whatever, is about 29 pages long. The first sentence gave me a headache. I had to read it several times but I still don’t get it, it’s missing a verb. I’m already annoyed. Alright, moving on. We start with 13-year-old Noah getting kicked around by two older bullies, Zephyr and Fry. They’re taunting him for his drawings of naked guys (Michelangelo’s David). They wrestle, Noah pops a boner and freaks out. Zephyr feels it and jumps away, but strangely says nothing and just takes Fry with him and leaves (prediction: he’s gay too).
Then we turn to a family dinner where mom, dad, Noah, and his twin sister Jude discuss their dead grandma (who favored Jude) and how their mom wants to send them to a fine arts high school. Noah’s elated, Jude’s not. Then we gradually move to the twins and their mom at a cafè, where she’s going through their sketchbooks looking at their drawings. She’s stunned by Noah’s, Jude gets jealous and won’t show hers. Noah thinks maybe their mom favors him.
This book is the odd one out in the bunch. I should probably have gone with all sci-fi and fantasy but hey, I own this book and I should read it sometime so I included it.
First of all, I’m intrigued by how the pages look; there are various paint splatters and then random pages are all black with white font. I’m very visually pleased.
Some sentences are structured weirdly and some metaphors are a bit too much, but this far I do like the writing overall. I can excuse the metaphors up to a certain point, because most of them seem to be about color and Noah is an “art freak”. As long as it doesn’t go all Shatter Me later then I might live.
I really like the humor. Like when Noah mentions how he thinks his dad suspects he’s gay: “But sometimes I think Dad suspects. Sometimes I think the toaster suspects.” I don’t know, that’s the kind of thing I giggle at.
I actually like this a lot more than I’d thought. I officially have a dilemma.
At the end of the day (literally, it’s midnight by the time I write this), I landed on More Happy Than Not. Though I almost went with I’ll Give You the Sun, which I had not expected when I included it on the list. I think I just want to get these standalones off my tbr before starting another series (I’m so so bad at finishing series even though I love them, I think I’ve completed like… three in my life). But I’m definitely going to read Shadow and Bone soon though, I was just more in the mood for a stand-alone and the opening to this book really intrigued me. I really thought it was just a regular contemporary.
So I’ll be reading More Happy Than Not next! I’ll probably start reading it tomorrow.
Tag, you’re it!
- Trang @ Bookidote
- Sara @ Freadom Library
- Kelly @ Here’s to happy endings
- Kat @ Life and other disasters
- Britt @ Geronimo Reads
- Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads
- And YOU! Yes, you.
As always, feel free to not do the tag for whatever reason! ❤