Top Ten: Books That Need a Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was standalone books that need a sequel.

I had a really hard time with this week’s topic, y’all. The books I thought of first were either already part of a series or were so terrible that, even if I didn’t like the ending, I didn’t particularly care to read more. 😂 So, do the following books need a sequel? No, not really—but I also wouldn’t complain if they got one!

I Went to Vassar for This? by Naomi Neale
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Miss You by Kate Eberlen
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

BONUS! The following books were standalone, but now they all have sequels!!

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Five Favorite: Books I Read in 2018

Instead of focusing on the less-than-stellar reads that made up my 2018, I wanted to highlight the five that made it great––which just so happen to all be written by women. (So freaking dope!!) I also thought that I wouldn’t have ten books to fill out a Top Ten Tuesday post but that was a huge miscalculation. Lol. Winnowing down this list was so hard.

Are any of my favorite 2018 reads your favorite, too? Let me know! To see previous topics, click here.

Top Ten: Friendships

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was platonic relationships, but I wanted to focus specifically on friendships – and the many different forms they take!

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell // A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // Lumberjanes, vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson // My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl // The Passage by Justin Cronin // The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory // The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby // Smart Girls like Me by Diane Vadino

Five Favorite: Atmospheric Thrillers

It’s taken me a full month to digest the seemingly innocuous Top Ten Tuesday prompt villains. (Please don’t ask why because I just don’t know.) Very few books I read have capital-V Villains, and I became bored scrolling through Goodreads trying to think of more than a handful or any one type. Since it’s so chilly/borderline cold in New England now AND it gets pitch black by four-thirty, I thought I’d explore creepy, chills-down-your-spine atmospheric thrillers instead – because sometimes a place itself can be the scariest thing.

Do you have your own favorite atmospheric thrillers? Let me know! To see previous topics, click here.

Round-Up: My Spring 2018 TBR

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for March 20th was “books on my spring TBR,” and I pledged to read the following:

So, what did I actually read?

On the list…

Not on the list…

What I missed…

All in all, I didn’t do a terrible job – I read eight books out of a planned ten, but I only read 50% of those I actually wanted to read. (Isn’t that life??) Did any of you have a spring TBR? Did you stick to it? Let me know!

Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Title: Neverworld Wake
Author: Marisha Pessl
Rating: ★★★★½
Summary: Once upon a time, Beatrice and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim changed everything. One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft hoping she’ll get to the bottom of Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and awkward silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened. Then a mysterious man knocks on the door and announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers . . . and at life. And so begins the Neverworld Wake.


The Prestige is one of my favorite, favorite films: a knot of a cipher that explicitly asks its audience to pay attention. Are you watching closely? a character asks. Because here are all the answers. But no one does the first time around; whether it’s the magic of the movies or the pull of a story, we want to be deceived.  It’s only looking back that we see all the clues laid bare. (Please go watch this film, y’all; it is so, so good.) For me, the beauty of Marisha Pessl’s latest, Neverworld Wake, is not the driving force of its protagonist, Beatrice, who wants to figure out what really happened to her late boyfriend, Jim. And it isn’t found in the novel’s core plot, either, when the main characters do everything (and then do it twice) to decipher and beat the Neverworld. It’s folded around the monotony of repetition. When faced with only hours and also eternity, how do individuals occupy their time? Whom or what do they prioritize? It’s tucked into memory and choice and the things we tell ourselves after the fact. What makes something real? Is it the act? What about the feeling of the act? Or the memory of the feeling of the act? Or the memory of the memory of the feeling of the act?

When Pessl finally explains what happened to Jim, it almost doesn’t even matter anymore. Both we and her characters have gone through so much that the act of uncovering has become more insightful than what we were waiting to uncover. In such a short book, she manages to beautifully flip everything around, recenter reality to explain how we weren’t watching closely at all. We wanted to be fooled and so we were. Neverworld Wake is so good at hiding things in plain sight that I want to read it again just to figure out how much I missed.