Although we’re a little past the official spring-cleaning season, I recently decided to go through my bookshelves and do an official books I’m de-hauling donation. Why? Well, I’ve been spending way too much time at the bookstore and not near enough time cleaning my shelves.
Going through my collection was quite the task. I personally sort all of my books by color rather than which ones I’ve read, so that meant I had to go through all four (yes, four!) bookshelves full of novels. Now, some of these books I’ve already read, some of them are on my TBR list, and some of them have just been hanging out there because they’ve been given to me, or I just didn’t like them but didn’t know what to do with them.
Personally, I’ll be donating all of these books to my local library, which uses them for their book sales. They hold a book sale every two weeks, during the summer, and all the proceed benefit the library. It’s a great way to help them out and to make sure that my books are going to good homes, rather than ending up in a dumpster somewhere.
Yet, I thought I’d take a minute to write down the more popular books I’m de-hauling and why I’ve decided to let go of them. These are books that I didn’t enjoy, or that I didn’t connect with, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone else won’t. After all, you know what they say: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
Okay, so I know this one has been SO hyped up lately, but I honestly struggled to finish it. While this book has graced the content of many BookTok videos in the past year, let me tell you why The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is on my Book’s I’m De-hauling list. First off, the plotline is SO slow. While I loved the idea of this book, I felt like it was one of those novels that was 400 pages and could have been completed in 200. Plus, the narrator was a little dry and unreliable for me. Essentially, this book follows the story of Addie Larue, a young girl living in France who is supposed to be getting married. Yet, she doesn’t want to get married—she wants to live a life independently from being a wife and mother. So, she makes a deal with the devil—he’ll let her live, if she promises to give him her soul when she’s done. The only caveat? No one remembers Addie. Immediately after meeting her, they forget who she is. The premise of this book was a great idea, and I think that is why it frustrated me so much when I didn’t love how it was carried out. I know many readers love this book, but it just wasn’t for me.
2. In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Moving on, let’s talk about the next book I’m adding to my Book’s I’m De-hauling list: In A Holidaze. I picked up this book around Christmas from Book of the Month, thinking it would be a cute, easy romance. This was the first book of Christina Lauren’s that I had ever read, and I actually didn’t finish it. I think I made it maybe 40% through and I just couldn’t take it anymore. The premise of this book follows Mae, who is living with her parents when her family goes to their Christmas cabin Utah. They’ve spent every Christmas here, for as long as she can remember, with two other families, but this will be their last Christmas together—they are selling the cabin. Not knowing what to do, Mae feels lost so she throws out a prayer into the universe: Show me what will make me happy. Just then, her family’s car is thrown into an accident and she’s put back on the plane to Utah, ready to relive the last Christmas, again. I think part of my problem with this book is that I hate books that focus on a short window of time. I also really am not a fan of Christina Lauren’s writing style. Though I’ve read several books of hers, the only one I’ve enjoyed was The Unhoneymooners, and even that one was quite cheezy. Her books are certainly the type of mindless-reads that you pick up when you might be struggling to get into something, but for this book, I could barely get through it. I’m not sure if it had to do with the tone, or the particular storyline, but it just wasn’t for me. So, I’m going to donate it to the library and hope maybe it might be for someone else, instead.
3. Outlawed by Anna North
Now, this book I actually DID finish, but let me tell you why I’m adding it to my books I’m de-hauling list. While I enjoyed Outlawed, it wasn’t my favorite book. I’d rate it maybe a 2.5. I felt like the plotline was a little messy at times, which made it hard to follow. Outlawed follows the story of Ada in 1894. Ada is married and works as a midwife with her mother. Yet, after a year of marriage, she is still not pregnant, which was a pretty serious problem in that the 1800s. Ada’s town begins to suspect she’s a witch, because of her infertility, so she has no choice but to leave town and join the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang. The gang is a bunch of outlaws made up of outcast women with nowhere to go. The book has an old-western type feel to it, but there’s notes of LGTBQ relationships and feminism. I think my problem with this book was that the narrator just was too monotonous, maybe. I feel like the book had all of the right ingredients to be a success—there was action, adventure, and even a love story. But, even with all of these elements, it just felt….bleh. I didn’t love it, and I haven’t even remotely touched it since I finished it, so it will be going in the donation bag.
4. The Match by Sarah Adams
Okay, so hear me out. The Match is a book that features a service dog, and that is the whole reason why I picked it up. I’m a person with a disability and I actually HAVE a service dog. I never see books about service dogs and the process, or realistic disabled protagonists, either. When I came across this book, I was SO excited. The book is written in first-person point of view, where the protagonist, Evie, works at a service dog organization. She has a service dog of her own, as well. One day, she meets single dad, Jacob, who is trying to help his daughter match with a service dog. Evie and Jacob have a cute romance bonding over dogs and their shared experiences with disabilities. Now, my problem with this book was that I felt like it was unrealistic on both the romantic-level and the service dog-level. First off, service dog organizations cost 10,000 dollars or more per dog. Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Yet, Jacob just walks in one day with the cash and expects to get a dog—which he does. The problem here is that even with the cash, organizations have HUGE waitlists, and if often takes years to match with a dog. Besides the inconsistencies with service dogs, about halfway through the book, Evie and Jacob’s romance takes off, and the entire “service dog for his daughter” segment falls to the side, and is completely forgotten about until close to the end, when it’s revisited in the conclusion. I didn’t love this aspect. On top of this, I didn’t feel like the book was particularly well-written, either. First-person narratives can be difficult to accomplish and this one, I felt, just wasn’t done well. That being said, her new book, The Cheat Sheet, was just released a little bit ago and I’ve been thinking about giving Sarah Adams another shot. Yet, The Match just missed the mark for me.
While these are just a few of the books I’m adding to my list, I actually have two huge bags of books I’m de-hauling to donate to my local library. Though I’m sad to let some of my books go (I’m always a little sentimental when donating books), I know it’s for the best, since it makes room for my ever-growing TBR list.
Do you have any books you’re donating this year? Let me know which titles in the comments below!
If you’re looking for a new read that I do recommend, check out my book reviews page for a comprehensive list of all of the books I’ve read so far this year.