A few weeks ago, the Booktube-A-Thon went down. The seven days of reading challenges, reading sprints, and feeling connected to people across to globe as they participate as well. I’ve participated on the side several years in a row, though the video challenges aren’t quite my thing, and I absolutely love it. I tend to be the first of our group to be willing to participate in such things. However, I’m also not the most likely to succeed.
But even though I don’t typically meet my goals with these events, I will continue to participate in them, and some people might ask why. And the reason is because of the excitement around it, the feeling connected with people that aren’t just local, and the reading challenges. I love reading challenges. They help pull me out of funks and give me something to work towards. Last tome-topple I finished off Assassin’s Quest after working on that book for months. The fact that other people join in just makes it better and seeing everyone’s twitter posts, instagram pics, and videos keeps the enthusiasm up for the whole time and helps keep me from being distracted (not that distraction doesn’t happen, but it’s less likely to sway me). For me, its not winning that matters (though I certainly try to make an effort), I have a full time job that can be pretty stressful as it involves a lot of travel and lot of weird hours. And as I’m taking a legit vacation in a month, I can’t take time off to focus on reading. But it encourages me that instead of pulling out the iPad and watching Drop Dead Diva or Criminal Minds, I pull out a book and see how many pages I can get for a time period. My flights are my twitter sprints.
So with the #booktubeathon, what were my goals?
Well, as it has seven challenges and I just told you that I loved challenges, I decided to try to meet them all. Which with traveling was interesting. I’ve also had two very long travel days that I could fill up with reading once my paperwork is done, but I had a lot of work to do in both states and province (But look I stayed in a castle-like hotel!). So I have the books I planned on, why, and wrap ups. (B: And don’t ask about the rating system. Chelsea doesn’t know either. It’s like Schrute Bucks and Stanley Nickels.)
Anyway… the books:
- A Book with the Person on the Cover: Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever by Molly Harper (audiobook format)
- Why: This was an audiobook I had barely started before booktube-a-thon. I had massive amounts of driving time and decided to listen to it to my drives and use that time to advance my goals!
- Review: I really enjoy this series. They aren’t quite five stars for me but are full of fun, laughter and small town feels which are all things I love. I can’t spoil a lot, but if you liked the other books in this series you will seriously enjoy this one. If you aren’t sure what the series is about, its about a young woman from a small town in Kentucky who gets turned into a vampire and hilarity ensues. Its somewhere between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, and the audiobooks are absolutely fantastic. Highly recommend if that’s your thing.
- A Hyped Book: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Why: This one, was going to be used for seven books, but I had to eliminate another book of my list due to time, and this was an easy thing to move to hyped because its hyped everywhere!
- Review: This book is slooooow. I really wasn’t expecting the volume of slice of life. I enjoyed it a lot, but if you think this is going to be an action packed book, you are wrong. There are moments of it, but most of it is just Kvothe living life at the university and some important but not super action packed events that happen there (at least I am assuming they are important). Its kind of like How I Met Your Mother in that its about how he gets to who he is when you meet him as an renowned adult, but that’s not always the big things. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference. 4/5 stars I enjoyed it, but was underwhelmed.
- Finish a Book in One Day: Dark Whispers by Krista D. Ball (Book 2 of Spirit Callers)
- Why: This is a shorter book (novella probably), part of a series that I really enjoyed the first book of. Quite a fun urban fantasy with clever and enjoyable characters, so I know it will be a quick read. Will be read the day I travel from US to Canada, which is very fitting as the author is Canadian and the books take place on Newfoundland.
- Review: This book followed Rachel, a spirit caller, who is rejecting her calling. After the battle in the first book, she’s trying to take a break, and she also can’t feel spirits like she used to so she is panicking. However she still interacts when some of them. Her crush and his girlfriend are living with her so her emotions are in turmoil the entire time. Then someone from her past shows up bringing danger. It gets really intense in a short amount of time and the resolution answers some questions but leaves a lot open. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book. Of course the highlight is the 93 year old neighbor who is sweet and sassy and keeps everyone on their toes. This seriously is funny, clever and interesting, introducing parts of Canada we don’t typically see in fantasy, a fairly realistic female protagonist who isn’t perfect, and still deals with serious topics like suicide in a short amount of time. Highly recommend.
- Read about a Character Very Different than You: Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (Book 2 of Old Man’s War)
- Why: I’m pretty sure the exact opposite of a young woman on earth is a very old man in space!
- Review: Wow, I was not expecting this book to not deal with the main character of the last novel. However it still works for this prompt because its about a scientist in space who is a traitor to his nation and flees to help an alien race. They have a clone of his consciousness so they decide to use it to try to recreate him and learn what why he made the decisions he made and what his plans are. However the clone doesn’t instantly remember everything and starts to live his own life. It really deals with the morality behind clones and if they are to be valued as their own people and if they are given a choice on how to live life or if they are enslaved. If Old Mans War wasn’t your favorite I would definitely recommend this if you wanted something more serious. 3.5 out of 4. I enjoyed OMW a lot more, but I’ll definitely continue with the series and see where it goes.
- Read a Book Completely Outdoors: Chew Vol. 2 by John Layman (Vol 2 of Chew Graphic Novels)
- Why: Because graphic novels are short, and as I won’t be traveling with this one, it will be read at home where it is insanely hot outside so its either a short fast graphic novel or die of heat stroke.
- Review: 4/5. I really enjoyed this, it’s a great continuation of the series. If you don’t like gore and things like dead bodies creep you out don’t read. Tony the main character learns the history of things he eats and he uses this to help solve murders and mysteries so he tastes a lot of really gross things. But it doesn’t bother me, and I really enjoy the artwork and plot. The world has banned chicken because of avian flu, but you get the feeling that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes and Tony slowly gets pulled into it. I like the short mysteries in each novel and how things are building up. I definitely plan on continuing.
- Read a Book you Bought Because of the Cover: Winterwood by Jacey Benford (Book 1 of Rowankind)
- Why: So this was a cover buy because there was a wolf and a female pirate on the cover and I love both of those things. I’ve eyed it for months, but finally bought it in April. Every time I saw it on shelves I was automatically drawn to the cover.
- Review: This was sadly only a 3 out of 5 for me. I was really hoping for more, though the description on the back on the books is absolutely cheesy. It was fun, but not very fast paced, and it struggled to keep my attention at times. It also didn’t hit the romance marks with me, and there was a scene that made me very uncomfortable early on in the book where the character lets herself get seduced even though she knows it’s a bad idea, simply because she hadn’t had sex in a while. I felt it was unnecessary and could have been handled differently. Her love interest is the strong and silent type and I typically enjoy more banter to my romances then they had. I enjoyed the mystery aspects and the fae interaction and will continue reading because I want to see how it goes forward.
- Read Seven Books: Ouran High School Host Club Vol. 1
- Why: Because I needed a short book, that’s why. And as manga it was a very speedy read, enabling me to finish the book before the end of the read-a-thon and completely all the challenges
- Review: Pending. I plan on reading the whole series and than watching the anime and doing a review/comparison of both later on this year.
Overall, I’m really happy with my completing all seven challenges which is a first for me, even if I did have to shift around my books to make it work. I had a blast and really enjoyed this week. Keep an eye out on our twitter for updates as I complete the #TomeTopple 4 this month!