Should It Stay or Should It Go- Try a Chapter Tag

I have done the Try a Chapter tag a few times to decide which book I should read next, but I thought it would be interesting to go through some of my TBR books that I am not sure about and read the first chapter. I can then decide whether it is a book I am interested in reading and whether or not I should keep it or donate it.

Book Cover

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

Thoughts Before Reading First Chapter

I was sent a unsolicited finished copy of The Farm from Penguin Canada when it first came out and I have gone back and forth on if it was something I want to read. I am always weary of books that are compared to The Handmaid’s Tale! I also really have to be in the mood to read books about pregnancy. I have heard mixed things about this one, but I am still curious enough about the premise to want to read the first chapter.

After Reading the First Chapter

I am so glad that I gave this a chance, even though I ultimately decided to pass it along to someone who I know is going to love it. I just cannot see myself enjoying the plot, but I was really into Joanna Ramos’ writing style! I will be keeping an eye out for if she ever releases something else because I would definitely be open to reading it.

Book Cover

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?

Thoughts Before Reading First Chapter

I actually have a signed copy of Bridge of Clay, so it would be difficult to give this one up! However, I heard so many mixed things when it first came out and no one talks about it anymore. I think it is difficult to write a follow up to a book that was such a sensation like The Book Thief was. I am going into this one with an open mind!

After Reading the First Chapter

I am so happy to report that I loved the first chapter! I read The Book Thief years ago and I forgot how much I loved Markus Zusak’s writing. I am confused about what is going on but I can’t wait to find out. Much like with The Book Thief, Bridge of Clay seems to be told from a unique perspective. I am definitely going to prioritize this one now!

Book Cover

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Thoughts Before Reading First Chapter

I have tried to read a book by Jenn Bennett in the past and could not get into it. I think there is a very specific kind of YA romance that I enjoy. That said, Alex, Approximately seems to be everyone’s favourite of hers and it has hate-to-love, so I may love it!

After Reading the First Chapter

Sadly, as predicted I just couldn’t get into this one. It took me way too long to read 15 pages! However, my neighbour is a huge reader and is in high school, so I am going to pass this along to her!

Book Cover

Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:

1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.

But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all…

We are all legends of our own making.

Thoughts Before Reading First Chapter

This was totally a cover buy for me! I remember seeing it around and the idea of Vikings intrigued me. I think this is way more contemporary than I was expecting, so I haven’t been compelled to pick it up!

After Reading the First Chapter

I am so surprised! That first chapter hooked me even though I am so confused by what is going on. I didn’t realize that we would be following a brother and a sister, which is a relationship I always enjoy reading about in fiction. I am thinking this will be a perfect book to read this summer.

Book Cover

Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For years, Stanley has claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. But the time is now coming when the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and Stanley’s family is nervous.

For his son Fred, the inheritance Stanley has long alluded to would soothe the pain caused by years of professional disappointment. By now, the Harvard Business School graduate had expected to be a financial tech god – not a minor investor at a middling corporate firm, where he isn’t even allowed to fly business class.

Stanley’s daughter, Kate, is a middle manager with one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious tech companies. She manages the capricious demands of her world-famous boss and the needs of her two young children all while supporting her would-be entrepreneur husband (just until his startup gets off the ground, which will surely be soon). But lately, Kate has been sensing something amiss; just because you say you have it all, it doesn’t mean that you actually do.

Stanley’s second wife, Mary Zhu, twenty-eight years his junior, has devoted herself to making her husband comfortable in every way—rubbing his feet, cooking his favorite dishes, massaging his ego. But lately, her commitment has waned; caring for a dying old man is far more difficult than she expected.

Linda Liang, Stanley’s first wife, knows her ex better than anyone. She worked hard for decades to ensure their financial security, and is determined to see her children get their due. Single for nearly a decade, she might finally be ready for some romantic companionship. But where does a seventy-two year old Chinese woman in California go to find an appropriate boyfriend?

As Stanley’s death approaches, the Huangs are faced with unexpected challenges that upend them and eventually lead them to discover what they most value. A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and our relationships with the people who know us best, Family Trust skewers the ambition and desires that drive Silicon Valley and draws a sharply loving portrait of modern American family life.

Thoughts Before Reading First Chapter

Another cover buy! This one was on the book table at Costco and it just called to me. The reviews on Goodreads are terrible, so I have never picked it up. I do like reading about rich families and their problems once in awhile, so I still think I could enjoy this one.

After Reading the First Chapter

Yup. I will be reading this by the pool this summer. I am already into the drama and read the first two chapters! There are a lot of characters to keep track of them and I am sure most of them will be unlikeable, but that is was I expect to find in a book like this one!

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9 thoughts on “Should It Stay or Should It Go- Try a Chapter Tag

  1. I read/reviewed Family Trust. I have The Farm on my kindle–I was excited when it came out, got it from the library at a bad time, gave it back, bought i on sale for Kindle and there it languishes still LOL

  2. I have read a few excellent reviews of Bridge….but it wasn’t for me. I don’t think it appeals to the target audience (YA)…..and a teacher couldn’t ever use it in the classroom because of the profanity. For me, it was too long and too depressing….and parts of it were confusing and obscure….I had to read some passages several times and I still couldn’t figure out what he meant. I think it was overwritten. The metaphor of the bridge is brilliant, the overall theme is heart wrenching, and I loved certain turns of phrases. I just couldn’t get through the reading of it which makes me feel terrible! It was my biggest disappoint of that year. I hope you are one that loves it! Sorry to be a wet blanket!

    1. I loved the Book Thief and pre-ordered Bridge of Clay the second it was announced – even spent extra for the signed copy! I have since tried to read it multiple times, but can never get past the seventh chapter. It’s just so dull and overwritten to an extreme. I even lent it to my sister and my mom and neither of them liked it, either (they’re both huge Book Thief fans as well). It was probably one of the biggest second-book disappointments I’ve ever experienced, second only to “Artemis” by Andy Weir.

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