O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Wrap-Up
I set out to read six books for the O.W.L.s, three for my career and three extra, but I ended up picking too many long books for how my online schooling would go. I started online classes with my university a week into this readathon, and boy was that an eye opener.
Not only due to my classes being more reading heavy and time consuming, but also because I fell into a deep reading slump on week two of O.W.L.s and got sick inthe last week, I had to make the decision to change two of my book selections.
If you saw my TBR, then you know which books I had initially chosen. I have crossed out the ones I replaced below. Enjoy!
Aurologist Career Reviews
Astronomy: The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Night Classes: read a majority of this book when it’s dark outside.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
I did actually only read this book while it was dark (I include rainy days, if I have to turn a light on to read). I loved the experience of this book, and I am so glad that my fiance chose this book for my dark read. The dark atmosphere of this book and the more introspective tone/themes worked really well for this requirement.
I almost gave this book 4 on Goodreads (can’t do half stars) and a 4.5 stars here, but I rounded up because I enjoyed it as much as I did.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book along with the world. The messages about death and love are really touching. The fantasy element of it is dark but also cute at times (you know if you know).
About halfway through this book I was feeling 4.5 stars, because I felt like the main characters’ relationship wasn’t really justified, but once I got to the end of the book I didn’t feel that way anymore.
My only gripe would be that this book seems a bit lacking. I wanted more from the characters and more impactful moments to really solidify the relationships for the reader. I think it is a really good book the way it is, but the nerd in me wants more. I felt like this book could be twice as long as it is to really give the characters the time they deserve.
Also, if you have read any of Lloyd Alexander’s books, then the fairy tale foundation of this story will be very familiar to you, which could take away some of the impact for you or make it better with nostalgia. I think this book’s effect on the reader depends heavily on the individual.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a dark YA fantasy, and it does read like YA.
The only content warning I have is lots of death, fighting, and corpses getting torn apart.
This is definitely a great Fall/Winter read for me, but can also bring those vibes to other seasons if you want to be transported.
History of Magic: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Witch Hunts: Books featuring witches/wizards.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
This is the first book in a new Cassandra Clare trilogy, that follows the events of The Infernal Devices (TID). I love our main characters and the side characters in this series. I think Cordelia is my favorite female heroin in Clare’s books and James is my new favorite Herondale (not just because my hubby’s name is James).
I was skeptical going into this series, because I wasn’t a huge fan of Lady Midnight… but this book might be my new favorite shadowhunter book to date… might. I have to sit on it some more.
This book is a thick boy, so it did take me quite a bit to get through. I ended up switching to the audiobook around chapter 11, just to help speed the process up.
I loved seeing the main characters from TID, but I also loved their children’s unique relationships. There is a lot of queer representation in this book, but, as always, Clare’s books are full of drama and intrigue. This book as a whole is very enjoyable and had me gasping and smiling the whole way through. I don’t know how Clare keeps coming up with new stories in this world and new ways to make me cry, but she does.
I do have to say that I may be a bit too old for these kinds of books now, because I found the plot twists to be a bit predictable and the love incredibly juvenile. As someone who doesn’t mess around and is marrying their soulmate, the end of this book is so incredibly frustrating. I won’t spoil anything, but just know that I can’t wait for the second book to come out, so that my frustration will hopefully be relieved, because this is not a great feeling. I do not like the romantic tropes at play here, but they are beautifully crafted. Like I said, I may just be too old for this book; I know teenager Dre would have died for this story.
With that said, Clare has done it again with an amazing story and characters. I will continue to devour her books and continue to be overly invested in her fictional characters.
If you have enjoyed or just not hated any of Clare’s other books, then you will probably love this one. I would probably recommend this for late Summer into Fall.
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
Third Eye: Assign Numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick this book.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊
Crier’s War was supposed to be a book chosen by fate for me, which I had my partner do instead of a number generator. I went to pick up Crier’s War in the last week of O.W.L.s and knew it just wasn’t going to happen on top of my studies, so I opted for one of my assigned readings for school that seemingly by divine doing ended up being a book I really enjoyed: The Yellow Wall-Paper.
This story really surprised me. I am not a fan of older American Literature, but this book moved me.
This is about a woman who is experiencing postpartum depression. Her husband and doctor has prescribed the “rest cure” which was common back then. The woman is not very happy with motherhood and has to hide her growing insanity around this yellow wallpaper on the walls of the mansion they are temporarily staying in.
I felt her pain and suffering in this story and could really feel how stuck she was in this society where women can only reproduce and do nothing. I felt like I was going crazy with her by the end, and my head was spinning the rest of the day.
This is usually not my kind of story, but it will stick with me for a long time.
The only content warning would be that a woman goes crazy and her husband is very bossy and controlling. There is talk of depression and anxiety, so be aware of that.
My only gripe is that the ending is very open and unclear. Like who is Jane? and what actually happened? Maybe I am just not bright enough to get it…
Overall, glad I got the chance to read this book.
Animagus Training Reviews
Weathering With You by Makoto Shinkai
Gift of the Goddess by Denise Rossetti
Magical Qualities of number 2: read something outside of your favorite genre.
My Rating: ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
I was planning to read Weathering With You for this requirement, but it just didn’t end up working out. I am reading Weathering With You with my partner, so we are not going through it very quickly (because we talk about it after each chapter).
I read this at the start of the month, because I have been trying to expand my reach into other genres and I typically find these spicy fantasy stories to be funny and at least a bit entertaining. Buuuuuuuut, that was not the case for this one.
I HATE this book, and I do not recommend it to anyone.
- it is less than consensual (or not at all)
- the characters are garbage
- the plot is garbage
- the world is not interesting or vast
- the writing is terrible
- all of it is cringey (characters, dialogue, plot, world, etc)
- it has the exact same ending as “Dragon’s Fire” (which is better than this book, in my opinion)
That’s it. this book is trash. I will never suggest this to anyone and even feel wrong for including it here, because I don’t want people to endorse this sort of thing.
I gave this 1 star on Goodreads, because 0 isn’t an option. But I can do what I want here, so I will give it 0 stars.
Potions: The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV
Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊ ◊
I didn’t know anything about this graphic novel going into it, so I didn’t really have any expectations.
With that said, I was pretty disappointed with this book. I feel kind of “meh” about it.
The plot is very jumpy, and the way the reader is told important plot points seems off. Naturally, those two things cause the characters’ decisions and motivations to seem fairly random. Additionally, there are some parts that seem unnecessarily violent with unclear motivations. Like one character randomly becomes super violent while a more antagonistic character suddenly becomes genuine…
Not only are there massive holes in the plot and characters’ motivations, but the concept doesn’t seem very original to me and the characters are all stereotypical teenagers/teachers.
Needless to say, I didn’t connect with any of the characters and will probably not continue with the series.
I didn’t hate this book, but it was definitely not for me.
I have to admit, the art is gorgeous though! This would make a better TV show if it had more interesting characters…
Transfiguration: Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge
Animagus Lecture: book/series that include shapeshifting.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
This is a longer graphic novel for kids about fae, changelings, and magic. To give you an idea of how much I liked this book: I am so sad that there are only two in the series, because I want 15 of these. Also, I am going to order both of these books in hardback from Amazon, because I liked it that much (my copy is a library loan).
The main characters of this story are super relatable and their relationship is so interesting. We follow a human boy, who was raised in the fae world and is only ever referred to as “it” and “the human child” by his adoptive parents, and his changeling, Edmund, who was raised by the human boy’s family.
The world these characters live in is so vivid, magical, and interesting. I love the main and side characters, and the humor is great. The villain is kind of typical, but the rest of the world and characters dismiss that fact entirely.
I usually feel like graphic novels need more to make them a full reading experience, but I did not feel that way about this book. The narration in tandem with the gorgeous art style works perfectly, in my opinion. I was not left wanting more, like I usually do with graphic novels in general.
I highly recommend this book if you like fantasy, fae, magic, and/or graphic novels in general. This story is full of adventure and heartwarming family moments. I think anyone of any age can enjoy this story, so long as you enjoy fantasy.
[All book covers are from Goodreads.]
Thank you for following me through the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon!
Please share what you read during O.W.L.s or just the month of April!
Don’t forget to check out my April Wrap-Up next Monday for the rest of the books I read this month!
-Knight of Cups ❤
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