I finally concluded the Olympic Games readathon, which was a Percy Jackson inspired readathon organized by Ishi @ Ishi Time. I was competing for Cabin 3 – Poseidon – and I’m happy to say I accomplished all challenges – the five mandatory + four advanced ones!
GAIN FAVOUR OF THE SEA GOD
Read book set at sea or at coast
Trigger warnings: character death, grief, depression, abandonment
I actually enjoyed Summer Bird Blue so much! As I’d mentioned in my TBR, I was a bit aprehensive going into this one, because of my high expectations as well as my initial not-so-good experience. But it was actually really great! Our main character is certainly unlikeable and I didn’t love reading about her, but the discussions on grief were very well done. This is definitely a heart-wrenching novel, but I loved how the relationships with the side characters – mostly Mr. Watanabe (my favorite) and Kai – added some lightness to the story.
PERCY IS A TALENTED SWORDSMAN
Read a book in which the main character uses a sword.
I initially thought An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason was going to be my one non-queer read of the month, but one of our main characters is actually bisexual! We didn’t have as much swordsfight in this one as I thought, but I liked the theater setting and following how the Shakespearean plays were organized back in the 1600s. I found both perspectives to be equally interesting, but I didn’t love how the female character sounds badass from the premise – a girl who’s determined to kill the Queen of England -, but she’s not as strong or as smart as you would expect and the ending was a bit lackluster too. Still, I liked the romance a lot and was super rooting for them.
HUMANS ARE NOT COMMON IN POSEIDON’S UNDERWATER PALACE
Read a book with a non-human main character
I finally carried on with the Trials of Apolo series, by picking up The Burning Maze. I love how Rick Riordan crafted Apolo’s character arc and I am even more invested in him and his story now, because you can actually watch his growth but he still keeps so much of his hilarious, over-the-top personality. It’s also nice seeing cameos from other characters in the Riordanverse, but Meg and Apolo will forever be my ride or die. I love their unlikely friendship and they continue to make me feel all the things.
Finish a book in 3 days
Her Royal Highness really was the perfect read for this prompt, as it was incredibly fast-paced. While I felt like more could’ve been given to the side characters – more personality, more time on page, more development – and I loved Perry and Sakshi’s banter so much I could read an entire novella about them
(tall girl/short guy is my aesthetic), I still enjoyed the book for what it was: very cute, sweet and entertaining. I also felt like things were resolved a bit too quickly, but I feel like I needed a mindless read for a moment and this served me well.
THE OCEAN IS VAST AND UNEXPLORED
Read a book you have not heard much about before
I am so glad I picked up Camp, even without many reviews or buzz over it. This book was AMAZING. When I started it, I thought it was going to be a cliché rom-com-like story of this boy who wants to “change” for a more masculine version in order to impress his crush, and then realizes it’s not worth it and he’s great like he is. But Camp is SO much more complex than that. In the midst of all theater things and camp shenenigans, the author actually created phenomenal, three-dimensional characters who send a positive and super powerful message: you can be whoever you *want* to be. It’s not about boxes, femme or masc, but it’s about making queer-ness whatever it is to you.
A book published within the last 5 years
Trigger warnings: character death, grief, depictions of AIDs, police violence, homophobia, bullying.
I picked up Like a Love Story, by Adib Nazemian and had a lot of thoughts. I have a full review up on my blog about it, but in short: I felt like this book had both very good layers, and others not so much. I liked how real and raw the characters felt and I do think it’s a very empowering read to educate others on what the AIDS crisis was in the US during the 80s. However, there were also some problematic elements and the pacing was not my favorite. I’d still recommend it, though, because I do feel like it discusses a very important theme that more people should be aware of.
A book with a blue cover
Trigger warnings: bullying, homophobic slurs, abandonment
Kings, Queens and in-Betweens is definitely a book that deserves more attention! It stars a lesbian MC, a bunch of drag queens and kings, and a questioning jock as a sidekick. I really liked Nima’s character: she was absolutely chaotic lesbian and fell in love with every cute girl that showed up in front of her (
but like, can you blame her?), had a very intense family dynamic that I felt a lot for and was just the kindest, sweetest soul, which didn’t stop her from making mistakes at all, but still. However, I did not vibe with the writing style, as it was a lot more descriptive and detailed than I typically like for my contemporaries.
CAPTURE THE FLAG
One of your most anticipated releases
You Should See Me in a Crown came out in June, only a few days before I decided to read it. And I am so glad I did it. I’d absolutely love for this book to be turned into a movie, as it offered a lot of your “teenage rom-com” tropes, but with amazing twists that added even more to the story. I loved the side characters and felt like the author handled all of the themes so well: disability, sexuality, being a person of color, friends break-ups and make-ups, romantic relationships, anxiety… I’m in love and urging everyone to read this already.
If you have read any of these books, what are your thoughts? Did you participate in Olympic Games? If so, how did you do? Let’s chat in the comments!