Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books I liked but can’t remember

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! It’s time for another post already! Today’s theme is ten books I really liked but can’t remember much of anything about. So, this is actually my everyday life and I had a lot of fun with this topic!

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Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark: ♬ Coming out of my cage and I’ve been doing just fine but I don’t think that’s what this book is about ♬
❔ The Deal by Elle Kennedy: I know I loved it. I remember Garrett and a smart girl and I know I want to read the rest of the series, but that’s it.
❔ Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise: You can see where my priorities are in life because all I remember is that either the famous guy or the personal assistant had a dog. I think?

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❔ The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre: I think the boy lived in a trailer park and that was some sort of issue? I think I also cried.
❔ My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan: Yeah, I literally remember nothing.

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❔ Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison: I think she gets possessed? Or someone pays to possess her? There’s something with possession. I think?
❔ The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: Honestly, all I remember is that it was a hassle to get the protected ARC file to open in my Nook.
❔ The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed: All I remember is that this was one of the very first ARCs I ever got and I think it takes place in the 1700s.

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❔ The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg: Literally all I can remember is that she can bewitch paper and I’m pretty sure I shipped her with the professor.
❔ The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma: The girls were in some kind of prison, right?

What books did you love that you can’t remember anything about? Did my memory deceive me here? Are the bits and pieces I remember about these books totally wrong? Let me know!

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At an indeterminate point in our future, all teenagers must undergo an exam to decide whether they’ll be sent away to work for the Guild, a mysterious collection of rich and powerful people. Tate Sullivan and her cousin Zoe aren’t too worried – as they’re reminded right before they go in, no Sullivan has ever passed. But of course, as luck would have it, both Tate and Zoe pass and are immediately sent away without so much as a chance to say goodbye to their families. They’re given private quarters, fancy clothes, and more food than they’ve ever seen in their lives. Everything is great… until they’re split up and forced to fight for their lives against a system that wants control of their minds and bodies.

The plot of Under My Skin is intriguing. It’s something I haven’t seen done before, which was surprising and much appreciated. At a time when it seems like everything in dystopia has been overdone, it was really nice to find something completely new.

The main problem, for me at least, was that I was thrown into the middle of this world without much idea of what was going on. Who is the Guild? What are they all about? Clearly they’re evil, but what exactly do they do? What is a Water Bearer? Are these girls being auctioned off? What’s going on?! For most of the book, I felt like I’d missed something, because Tate wasn’t questioning what was happening to her like I was. I kind of slogged through the first half or so before everything started becoming clearer. Of course, once I finally understood what was going on, everything started coming together. 

As for the characters, they were very well developed. Tate is strong, stubborn, and smart. At first, Zoe seems like she’ll fall into the background, but she ends up being more than capable of holding her own. Even the secondary characters like Quinn, Des, Rebecca, and the various Guild members are well written. They all have their own voices and distinct personalities.

All in all, very well done. I just wish I hadn’t felt so lost at the beginning.

Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the free copy.

Final rating: 3.5/5, rounded to ★