My Spring Break 2024 TBR

This whole blog started with a trip to my local library to get a pile of books to fill time over spring break. That was my first trip to the YA section of the library, and it changed my life when the first book I read on that vacation inspired me to start the blog. This time, the library trip was less life changing but fun nonetheless. My mom had picked up a few books I'd put on hold ahead of time, but on the day we got into town, she dropped me by the library to check out the new releases shelf. My hometown library gets all the brand new books people are buzzing about, and there's never a wait (perks of a small town?), so I always take advantage of trying to read books that have months long waits on Libby when I'm home. I didn't want to leave her waiting too long, so I felt a bit like a contestant on a cooking show gathering ingredients from the pantry while the timer ticked down. I was overwhelmed by all the books I wanted to read. So, here's what I managed to gather in my arms, securing the top book to the stack with my chin, before hurling myself back into the truck. Maybe I'm too optimistic on how much I'll get through, but I'm giving it my best shot.

Here's a look at all the books on my TBR that I'm hoping to read either this week or very soon...

Holiday Country 

by Inci Atreus

From Goodreads: A seductive and lyrical debut following a young woman’s dangerous summer romance during an idyllic vacation on the Aegean coast
Ada adores spending every summer in a Turkish seaside town with her mother and grandmother at the family villa. The glittering waters, endless olive groves, and her spirited friends make it easy to leave her idle life in California behind. But no matter how much Ada feels she belongs to the country where her mother grew up, deep down, her connection to the culture feels as fleeting as the seasons.
When Levent, a mysterious man from her mother’s past, shows up in their town, Ada can’t help but imagine a different future for her mother―one that promises a return to home, to love, to happiness. But while playing matchmaker, Ada has to come to terms with her own intensifying attraction to Levent. Does the future she’s fighting for belong to her mother―or to her alone?
Lush and evocative, İnci Atrek’s Holiday Country is a rapturous meditation about what it means to experience being of two worlds, the limitations and freedom of a life in translation, and the intricacies of a love triangle that stretches across generations and continents.

A Nearby Country Called Love 

by Salar Abdoh

From Goodreads: A sweeping, propulsive novel about the families we are born into and the families we make for ourselves, in which a man struggles to find his place in an Iran on the brink of combusting

Amid the alleyways of the Zamzam neighborhood of Tehran, a woman lights herself on fire in a desperate act of defiance, setting off a chain reaction of violence and protest. Haunted by the woman’s death, Issa is forced to confront the contradictions of his own family history, throughout which his late brother Hashem, a prominent queer artist in Tehran’s underground, had defied their father, a skilled martial artist bound to traditional notions of honor and masculinity.

Issa soon finds himself thrown into a circle of people living on the margins of society, negotiating a razor-like code of conduct that rewards loyalty and encourages aggression and intolerance in equal measure. As the city explodes around him, Issa realizes that it is the little acts of kindness that matter most, the everyday humanity of individuals finding love and doing right by one another.

Vibrant and evocative, intimate and intelligent, A Nearby Country Called Love is both a captivating window into contemporary Iran and a portrait of the parallel fates of a man and his country—a man who acknowledges the sullen and rumbling baggage of history but then chooses to step past its violent inheritance.

Ellipses 

by Vanessa Lawerence 

From Goodreads: Set in the glossy world of New York City media, this sharp and witty debut novel follows a young woman caught in a toxic mentorship with an older, powerful executive as she grapples with career, belonging, and the complexity of modern relationships in the digital age.

When cosmetics mogul Billie rolls down her town car window and offers Lily a ride home from a glitzy Manhattan gala, Lily figures there could be a useful professional connection to broker. She’s heard the legends of Billie’s rise as a business titan, the product of white New England privilege and one of the few queer women in a corner suite. Lily feels stalled in a magazine industry threatened by social media, and in her relationship with her girlfriend, Alison. Mixed-race and bisexual, Lily’s spent her life negotiating other people’s sliding perceptions of her identity at the expense of her individual selfhood.

Billie is charming and hyperconfident, and she seems invested in mentoring Lily out of her slump—from the screen of her phone. But their text exchanges—and Billie’s relentless worldview—quickly begin to consume Lily’s life. Eager to impress her powerful guide, Lily is perpetually suspended in an ellipsis, waiting for those three gray dots to bloom into a new message from Billie.

As she navigates influencer interviews, cocktail lounge rendezvous, and staff meetings rife with microaggressions, all with one eye on her phone, Lily must ultimately work out not only what it is she really wants—but also how to make it a reality.

The Other Valley 

by Scott Alexander Howard 

From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town--except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present. Edme––who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile––is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate, yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.

The Breakup Tour 

by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegmund-Broka 

From Goodreads: A rising-star musician has a second chance at love with an old flame she remembers all too well in this swoony romance from the acclaimed authors of The Roughest Draft .

Riley Wynn went from a promising singer-songwriter to a superstar overnight, thanks to her breakup song concept album and its unforgettable lead single. When Riley’s ex-husband claims the hit song is about him, she does something she hasn’t in ten years and calls Max Harcourt, her college boyfriend and the real inspiration for the song of the summer.

Max hasn’t spoken to Riley since their relationship ended. He’s content with managing the retirement home his family owns, but it’s not the life he dreamed of filled with music. When Riley asks him to go public as her songwriting muse, he agrees on one he’ll join her in her band on tour.

As they perform across the country, Max and Riley start to realize that while they hit some wrong notes in the past, their future could hold incredible things. And their rekindled relationship will either last forever or go down in flames.


I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both 

by Mariah Stoval 

From Goodreads: Set in the suburbs of Los Angeles and New York City, I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both is an immersive journey into the life and mind of Khaki Oliver, who’s perennially trying to disappear into something: a codependent friendship, an ill-advised boyfriend, the punk scene, or simply, the ether. These days it’s a meaningless job and a comfortingly empty apartment. Then, after a decade of estrangement, she receives a letter from her former best friend. Fiona’s throwing a party for her newly adopted daughter and wants Khaki to join the celebration.

Khaki is equal parts terrified and tempted to reconnect. Their platonic love was confusing, all-consuming, and encouraged their worst impulses. While stalling her RSVP, Khaki starts crafting the perfect mixtape—revisiting memories of formative shows, failed romances, and the ups and downs of desire and denial—while weighing the risks and rewards of saying yes to Fiona again.

One song at a time, from 1980s hardcore to 2010s emo, the shared and separate contours of each woman’s mind come into focus. Will listening to the same old songs on repeat doom Khaki to a lonely life of arrested development? Or will hindsight help her regain her sense of self and pave a healthy path for the future, with or without Fiona?

Antia De Monte Laughs Last 

by Xochitl Gonzales 

From Goodreads: 1985. Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found dead in New York City; her tragic death is the talk of the town. Until it isn’t. By 1998 Anita’s name has been all but forgotten—certainly by the time Raquel, a third-year art history student is preparing her final thesis. On College Hill, surrounded by privileged students whose futures are already paved out for them, Raquel feels like an outsider. Students of color, like her, are the minority there, and the pressure to work twice as hard for the same opportunities is no secret.

But when Raquel becomes romantically involved with a well-connected older art student, she finds herself unexpectedly rising up the social ranks. As she attempts to straddle both worlds, she stumbles upon Anita’s story, raising questions about the dynamics of her own relationship, which eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.

Moving back and forth through time and told from the perspectives of both women, Anita de Monte Laughs Last is a propulsive, witty examination of power, love, and art, daring to ask who gets to be remembered and who is left behind in the rarefied world of the elite.

The Book of Ayn 

by Lexi Freiman

 After writing a satirical novel that The New York Times calls classist, Anna is shunned by the literary establishment and, in her hurt, radicalized by the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Determined to follow Rand’s theory of rational selfishness, Anna alienates herself from the scene and eventually her friends and family. Finally, in true Randian style, she abandons everyone for the boundless horizons of Los Angeles, hoping to make a TV show about her beloved muse. 

Things look better in Hollywood—until the money starts running out, and with it Anna’s faith in the virtue of selfishness. When a death in the family sends her running back to New York and then spiraling at her mother’s house, Anna is offered a different kind of opportunity. A chance to kill the ego causing her pain at a mysterious commune on the island of Lesbos. The second half of Anna’s odyssey finds her exploring a very different kind of freedom – communal love, communal toilets – and a new perspective on Ayn Rand that could bring Anna back home to herself. 

"A gimlet-eyed satirist of the cultural morasses and political impasses of our times" (Alexandra Kleeman), Lexi Freiman speaks in The Book of Ayn not only to a particular millennial loneliness, but also to a timeless existential predicament: the strangeness, absurdity, and hilarity of seeking meaning in the modern world.

Green Dot 

by Madeline Gray

From Goodreads: At 24, Hera is a clump of unmet potential. To her, the future is nothing but an exhausting thought exercise, one depressing hypothetical after another. She’s sharp in more ways than one, adrift in her own smug malaise, until her new job moderating the comments section of an online news outlet—a role even more mind-numbing than it sounds—introduces her to Arthur, a middle-aged journalist. Though she's preferred women to men for years now, she soon finds herself falling into an all-consuming affair with him. She is coming apart with want and loving every second of it! Well, except for the tiny hiccup of Arthur’s wife—and that said wife has no idea Hera exists.

With its daringly specific and intimate voice, Green Dot is a darkly hilarious and deeply felt examination of the joys and indignities of coming into adulthood against the pitfalls of the twenty-first century and the winding, tortuous, and often very funny journey we take in deciding who we are and who we want to be.

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