New Year, New(ish) NovelKnight, and Let’s Beat the Backlist!

Booked for the Weekend Chapter 1.1

POSTED ON January 6, 2019 BY Austine IN Weekly/Monthly

Hello friends. I’m finally doing it. That thing that I’ve been telling myself to do for YEARS and never stuck with.

Weekly round-up posts.

Why weekly? Because I need that much structure in my reading life dammit 😂 Trust me when I say it’s better I stay accountable to myself and my reading than not this year. I have a lot to get through if I want to finish this year with no review backlog.

Oh yeah, that’s the goal.

And I want to make these posts worth it, so not just linking back to my blog posts for the week. There’s going to be STUFF. Yeah. Stuff. I’m not 100% sure what stuff that will be each week, but it’ll be there!

General Announcements

With the new year comes all sorts of goals and resolutions and attempts to do things that I failed at in previous years. 2019 is no different, unfortunately (for me). At the year’s start I posted about some of the things coming to NovelKnight this year but the short version:

New theme (actually started at the end of November 2018) but encompasses more than fantasy books (FINALLY) because I don’t just talk fantasy anymore!

More backlist book reviews because 1) I host a backlist book reading challenge so. . . yeah, and 2) I want to stop scheduling my reading based on release dates with ARCs.

New weekly blog features! Not counting the weekly wrap-ups, I’ll be sharing a Thursday BackLIST each week highlighting backlist books around a certain theme, and on Saturdays I have Shelf Sequels which talks about previous releases from authors with upcoming releases!

Beat the Backlist 2019 sign-ups are open! This reading challenge is back for its third year of helping you show your TBR who’s boss! Anything published in 2018 or earlier, and read in 2019, counts! And the Hogwarts House Mini Challenge has returned, along with a new BINGO card and other weekly features! See the challenge page for details.


All Booked Up

Lots of books this week, both reading and getting excited about! I feel like it’s always exciting at the beginning of the year when you’re trying to meet your goals before you finally give up (I’m determined not to give up this year. . . we shall see how well that works)

Currently Reading


The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. This one’s a re-read as a part of the #ArtemisFowlReadathon I’m hosting. I love these books and it’s been great to revisit the series!


Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen. I really loved Reign the Earth and was super excited to start the sequel. I hadn’t realized it was from the perspective of a different character but I’m already a fan!


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. So until yesterday I hated audiobooks. Seriously. I don’t like being read to. And I’ve avoided them for years (even though I like podcasts and there isn’t THAT much of a difference so I never understood by aversion to audiobooks). But I decided to try one out yesterday and when I made it the whole way through without hating it, I decided to keep trying and now I’m on my second! New year, new reader me?

Recently Finished

The Disasters by M.K. England (audiobook). This book is SO FREAKING DIVERSE I LOVED IT. Seriously though. The story itself didn’t WOW me but was entertaining and I’d recommend it. And the narrator was great!

Slayer by Kiersten White (ARC). Ugh LOVED this one! It’s a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sequel and if you love Buffy, I think you’ll love this. And if you never watched Buffy, you’ll still totally love it!

Lady in Disguise by Wendy Vella (full eBook review)

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (full (re-read) review)

Upcoming TBR

I’m not really planning out my backlist TBR much right now, just relying on my mood (though I do have a couple I want to read this month but that may or may not happen). But I have some ARCs I need to read this month so next up are. . .

The Cold is In Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh

New Books on the Block

A couple books arrived in the mail this week, along with a new NetGalley title!


The Similars by Rebecca Hanover. Thank you Big Honcho Media and Sourcebooks Fire for the copy of The Similars and the gift box!

The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack. Thank you to Picador for the early review copy!

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter. SO so excited to read this book!! I’m a huge fan of all things fairy! Thank you Tor Teen for the NetGalley approval!


The NovelKnight News

New reviews

Other blog posts

The #ArtemisFowlReadathon kicked off last Sunday and is now a week in! Join in at your own pace and don’t forget to enter the giveaways each week!!

I also talked about what NovelKnight will look like in 2019, including upcoming blog features, an upcoming change to the rating system here on the blog, and more!

This week I celebrated by 8th blogoversary! 8 years of blogging, can’t believe it! Here are some lessons I learned from 2018 and an EPIC ARC GIVEAWAY!

One of my new blog features includes a Thursday BackLIST. This week’s theme is favorite books of 2018 and I have 20!

Another feature started Saturday, Shelf Sequels, highlighting an author’s backlist before their new book releases! This week I talked about Holly Black’s faerie books and The Wicked King.

And earlier today, I shared a quick Q&A with author Kara Barbieri!


Challenger Progress

I’m participating in a few reading challenges this year, both formally and informally, so I’ll be updating my progress here to keep myself accountable!

Full List of 2019 Challenges

Beat the Backlist  /  challenge info
Goal Progress: 3/50
  1. Lady in Disguise by Wendy Vella (Jan. 1)
  2. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Jan. 5, re-read)
  3. The Disasters by M.K. England (Jan. 6)

Fox & Wit
Goal Progress: 2 of 6 for January, 2/72 
  • A book with 2 words in the title
  • A book about a prince
  • A book inspired by Russian myth or lore
  • A debut novel
    • The Disasters by M.K. England
  • A book with sword(s) on the cover
  • A book about an empire

A to Z
Goal Progress: 4/26

Goal Progress: 4/100



Pre-order Incentives

For the full list of pre-order incentives, make sure to check out the blog page! It may not include every incentive going on right now so if you know of one, let me know and I’ll add it!

Newly Added Incentives

Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Release Date: January 29, 2019
Location Restrictions: INTERNATIONAL

Teenage socialite Margo Manning leads a dangerous double life. By day, she dodges the paparazzi while soaking up California sunshine. By night, however, she dodges security cameras and armed guards, pulling off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. In and out of disguise, she’s in all the headlines.

But then Margo’s personal life takes a sudden, dark turn, and a job to end all jobs lands her crew in deadly peril. Overnight, everything she’s ever counted on is put at risk. Backs against the wall, the resourceful thieves must draw on their special skills to survive. But can one rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens withstand the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune? Or will a mounting sea of troubles end them — for good?


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: Yes

All pre-orders will receive:
  • bookmark
  • art card
  • signed bookplate
  • original digital short story

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery


Incentives Ending Soon

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Location Restrictions: United States

The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: None

All pre-orders will receive:
  • enamel pin
  • bookmark

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery


The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Location Restrictions: United States

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: None

All pre-orders will receive:
  • signed bookplate

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery


Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Location Restrictions: INTERNATIONAL*

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: YES
Submit proof of request instead of proof of order. See details for more information.

All pre-orders will receive:
  • bookmark
  • signed bookplate
  • cloud charm necklace with quote card* (US only)
  • digital copy of the original flash fiction that inspired Even If I Fall

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery


When the Truth Unravels by RuthAnne Snow

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Location Restrictions: United States

Last month, Elin tried to kill herself.

She knows she’s lucky that her parents found her in time. Lucky to be going to prom with her three best friends, like any other teen. Like it never happened. And if she has anything to say about it, no one but her best friends will ever know it did.

Jenna, Rosie, and Ket will do anything to keep Elin’s secret–and to make sure it never happens again. That’s why they’re determined to make prom the perfect night. The night that convinces Elin that life is worth living.

Except, at prom, Elin goes missing.

Now it’s up to her friends to find her. But each of the girls has her own demons to face. Ket is being blackmailed by an ex. Rosie is falling in love for the first time. And Jenna . . .

Jenna is falling apart.

And no one, not even her best friends, knows why.

Heart-wrenching and utterly impossible to put down, When the Truth Unravels follows four friends as they confront their greatest hopes and darkest secrets during one life-changing night.


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: Yes

Postcard Option: Yes

All pre-orders will receive:
  • signed bookplate (first 50)
  • art print (first 50)

Prize Packs (4 total)

Only unlocked if 200 people enter the incentive

  • Jenna Sinclair’s prize pack
    • notebook
    • pack of TUL pens
    • “Nasty Woman” bracelet
  • Rosie Winchester’s prize pack
    • Sandman by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)
    • $15 Barnes & Noble gift card
  • Ket West-Beauchamp’s prize pack
    • pair of satin pillowcases
    • selection of glittery nail polishes
    • pair of unicorn slippers
  • Elin Angstrom’s prize pack
    • first season of Golden Girls (DVD)
    • lip balm
    • “Nevertheless, She Persisted” bracelet

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery


Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Location Restrictions: United States

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


Click here for full incentive details

Library Option: No

All pre-orders will receive:
  • exclusive One of Us Is Lying short story

Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery



Personal Goals

I set myself a lot of goals for this year and I figured it’d be a good idea to update on those once a month. Since it’s just the beginning of the year, here’s what I’m starting the year off with!

Post to the blog 3X a week. So far I’ve posted EVERY DAY which I know won’t stick but not too bad to kick off the new year.

Review books within 1 week of finishing. I’ve also stuck to that at this point. My 2 recently finished titles will be reviewed sometime this coming week.

Get my NetGalley feedback ratio to 100%. It’s currently at 83% which is pretty good but I REALLY want to get through my backlog and start 2020 with a completely clean slate.

Get 5 approvals on Edelweiss. It’s only the first week of the new year and I haven’t requested anything on Edelweiss yet. Honestly, I’m hesitant to request until later in the year and I can make more progress on my backlog ARCs.

Reach 6,000 bookstagram followers. This is a year-long goal but I’m currently at 4,940+ which is already really great progress. I was only a little over 4K when I wrote my original goal post which still amazes me. It tells me I’m doing something good with my photos!

Post 3X a day on bookstagram. I’m keeping with it so far! I post to both the @NovelKnight account as well as daily to the @BeatTheBacklist page so between the two, I’m sharing at least 3 times a day, sometimes 4!


And that’s it from me!

I hope y’all had a lovely week!

Never miss another book recommendation!

Book dragons love comments!

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5 responses to “New Year, New(ish) NovelKnight, and Let’s Beat the Backlist!

  1. I also feel a bit plagued by reading ARCs in order of publication date. It seems like the logical thing to do, but it totally disregards what I’m in the mood to read, and sometimes stalls me out a bit.

  2. I came across your blog through a friend’s recommendation, and I am glad I did. Beat the Backlist sounds like a fun challenge, and something I already plan to do this year. I’ll go check out the challenge, and enroll if it’s still open!