Soooo… I made it! I still can’t believe I managed to complete all challenges in those seven days. It was my second time participating, and my first time accomplishing those goals.
I’m writing this post to thank Ariel Bisset for making this readathon happen, and to everyone who logged onto the booktube-a-thon account to run sprints and motivate us to read more. This was such a fun event and I can’t wait until I participate again next year. In this post I also wanted to do a little wrap-up, do seven mini-reviews (because apparently reading for seven days non-stop wasn’t enough of a challenge!) and tell you a little about my experience.
If you’re interested in my rambles and want to share your experience, keep on reading and leave a comment down below!
Unfortunately I didn’t stick to my TBR (which I had announced in this post) because I felt that if I pushed myself to read those books I would fall into a massive reading slump (basically a readathon nightmare). Instead I ended up reading these books:
As you can see, I still ended up reading mostly contemporaries, as they’re the easiest to get through and my favorite genre to read during the summer (and in every other season — who am I trying to fool here?!).
I kept a spreadsheet during the readathon where I tracked what and when I read, which challenges I completed and with which books, the average number of pages of each book, and the total number of pages read. Yes, I know, it’s lame. But numbers are coOoOoooOooOol!
In the end, I read 1611 pages, which means that on average each book had 230 pages. I think that I could have pushed myself a little more and reached the 2000 pages goal, so I’ll try doing that the next time around. All in all, this was a productive reading week!
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han was the first book I read for the readathon, and a fantastic start to an awesome week. The characters were well-developed, they still were the characters we loved from the two previous books but they grew as individuals, which is always amazing to read! I went into it expecting the book to suck (cough Han’s Summer trilogy) but it was the best yet, or at the very least as good as the first one!
It was fascinating to read about the choices Lara Jean had to make about her future, and how to manage academics and her love life.
As always the family element was present and oh my god was it amazing! So many things happen and the family dynamics felt familiar, but at the same time refreshingly new. Oh, and Lara Jean bakes a lot of chocolate chip cookies, what else can you ask for?!?
4 s t a r s
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is a lovely book. All the main characters are Indian American and complete dorks. I really liked both Dimple and Rishi, I think they were well-developed and were absolute cuties. The romance was adorable, the setting of San Francisco had so many magical and mysterious elements to it — I was in love.
I loved how geeky the tech summer camp was made out to be, and how much of her heart Dimple had put on it. It was lovely to see her pursue her dreams. It was also amazing to read about the art Rishi creates and his art process.
5 s t a r s
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia didn’t start out on a brilliant note for me. The concept was very interesting — a girl who was secretly the author of a popular webcomic. However, I couldn’t care for the characters, especially not for the main male one (let alone for the romance). It did eventually improve in the second half, which was what got me through these three-hundred and something pages, but not enough to get me very invested in the storyline. I will, however, say that I was a fan of the ending. It felt natural and the most rational thing to happen.
3 s t a r s
The Vegetarian by Han Kang was the letdown of the readathon for me. I was expecting to love it because I had heard so many good things about it, and because I had read the first half in a bookshop — the Portuguese translation from the Korean. Basically I could put up with the first part, even though reading the English translation wasn’t as good as the Portuguese one. But the second and third parts lost me completely. They were weird, pervy and uninteresting — all in a bad way. I couldn’t empathise with any of the characters or care for anything that happened in their lives. I still don’t understand the underlying meaning behind this novel, other than the theme of madness and downward spirals.
1 s t a r
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon was a pleasant surprise! I went into it expecting the insta love aspect of the novel to irk me out and kill its chances with me, but I was wrong. While it is still insta love (aka something I will never be into), the author did a good job of not turning the whole novel into a love story. I liked how the characters grew, and how realistic the plot seemed to be. However, my favorite part of the novel were the little backstories and flashforward moments the author chose to include. They gave the story a magical and fairytale like atmosphere, and I haven’t seen this in a lot of books.
3 s t a r s
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier is a sweet adorable book. Seriously, it’s one of the most adorable and heart warming books I’ve read in a long time. I picked this up on my way back home at the end of my vacation at a shopping mall and I instantly knew I was going to adore this. Raina Telgemeier is the author of Smile, a book I love to bits and pieces after reading it in one sitting at the end of last year. It’s a biographical graphic novel about the author’s relationship with her younger sister, and what it was like growing up together.
I have a younger brother and I love how relatable this graphic novel was. It captures perfectly what it’s like growing up with an annoying addition to the family you’re supposed to be a role model for. Amidst all the fighting and bickering there’s still room for love. I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a cute, short and easy read!
4 s t a r s
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli was the other letdown of the week. So many people have raved on booktube about her other book, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens’ Agenda, and this one that I was expecting to love it. unfortunately this was not the case. While there is a lot of diversity in this book, be it racial or sexual orientation, the characters lack substance. Reading it I felt like the author was trying so hard to include diversity that she failed to make the characters human, they are just diversity puppets. The main character didn’t have any qualities whatsoever, I feel like I don’t know her one bit. All I know about her is that she likes to bakes cookies, has an unhealthy obsession with kissing boys just because, and likes Pinterest (and who doesn’t?!?!). That was my main issue with the novel, because plot wise it’s a regular contemporary. Oh, and the main character’s family dynamics were adorable, as well as the house they all lived in.
2 s t a r s
To finish off this already very long post I wanted to share my personal experience with the readathon. I loved taking part in the twitter sprints and interacting with the person running the account. Sharing how much I read, as well as doing the little challenges and games the hosts came up with was very exciting. I also got to interact with some other bookworms and have some really nice chats with them. It made the experience incredible because the sense of community was palpable, and it only made me love the bookish online community even more!