I just read seven books in seven days for the Fantasy AdventureAThon, and I’m mentally exhausted. The team fantasy mermaid prompts were amazing and I had a ton of fun, but now I need a bit of a break from reading. The good news is, however, with only one exception, I enjoyed everything I read this week and even found one of my favorite books of the year! For more information on what I have been up to this week, check out the original introduction post from Novel Thoughts. Now, let’s get into what I finished each day!
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini was my choice for a book with a nature word in the title. It is a short, illustrated poem, and while its brevity makes it difficult to say a lot about it, I did enjoy the fifteen minutes it took me to read this. When I do readathons, I always try to pick at least one read that thoroughly pushes me out of my comfort zone, and this was a successful pick from this perspective. I own The Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseini and I hope to read it soon.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was my choice for a book with green on the cover, and what a book this was. I was afraid to pick this up because everyone kept telling me how this was the best book ever written and the hype gave me some really high expectations. Still, when I finally finished the book, I was just overwhelmed with emotion. This is such a beautiful title filled with realistic characters and a wonderful 1950’s aesthetic. I have no doubt at all that this is one of my favorite books of the year.
The main reason that I joined the Fantasy AdventureAThon in the first place was because A Darker Shade of Magic was the pick for the group book. I’ve owned this for almost two years and never found the opportunity to pick it up until now. While I am saving my more detailed thoughts for a full review given that V.E. Schwab is on my list of unread authors, I will just state that I enjoyed this, but it wasn’t perfect. The pacing was awkward and the action was repetitive, which prevented it from being a new favorite of mine. Regardless, it was a fun fantasy adventure and I do anticipate that I would like to pick up the sequel at some point.
Volume eight of Saga was my pick to read while having a drink. I picked up a mug of earl gray tea and finished the entire book in one sitting while I drank it. It has been a while since I last read Saga, but I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the direction that it’s going, particularly with the increased use of side stories featuring other characters. After volume four or five, I have been continuously less interested with each successive volume. While I still intend to finish off the volumes currently available by reading volume nine, I am not convinced that I enjoy this series enough to continue past this.
Give Me Your Hand was my one disappointment of the readathon. I read it as my book with a plot twist, and while I haven’t ever had a five-star read from Megan Abbott, I have enjoyed both of the previous two books from her. Unfortunately, this was just a disappointment on every level. A personal pet peeve of mine is when a book is motivated entirely by the stupidity of the protagonist, and this book is the perfect example of a terrible trope at its worst. While I don’t want to get into spoilers, I can honestly state that the entirety of this book’s plot would never have happened if the protagonist or someone surrounding her had ever taken the most common sense approach to their problems. This isn’t going to prevent me from trying Abbott’s books again in the future, but I’m going to take a break for now.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz was my pick for a book set in the past, and I mostly read this because my dad had recently finished it and I wanted to be able to discuss it with him. On the whole, I did find this interesting and I enjoyed it for as much as anyone can enjoy a book set during the Holocaust, but it was far from a perfect read. In particular, I found that there wasn’t a lot in the way of visual descriptions, with a large portion of the book being completely driven by long, unbroken chains of dialogue. Given that Heather Morris’ original intention for this book is that she wanted to make a screenplay, it does make sense that this is the format her book ultimately took, but it wasn’t necessarily to my tastes. Even still, Lale’s story is so fascinating that I couldn’t help but read most of it in one sitting, so the writing style clearly didn’t bother me that much.
Today, on the final day of the readathon, I finally finished reading Throne of Glass for the first time. This was picked for my challenge of reading the first book in a series and also because Sarah J. Maas is on my list of authors to read. While I will share more details about this book in a full review down the line, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Celaena, as a character, drove me crazy sometimes, but she did grow on me as time went on. There are the beginnings of a strong plot in this first entry to the series and a lot of crazy action scenes that kept me turning pages for hours at a time. I have book two on hold from the library, so hopefully I get to continue soon!
That concludes the Fantasy AdventureAThon! I had a great time reading these books, and I’m actually pleasantly surprised I read every title I put on my initial reading list and enjoyed all but one of them. Now, I am going to take a nice video game break…until tomorrow, when another readathon starts. I’m going to be getting a lot of reading done next month, too, so stay tuned! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these books before!