This July, I took part in the Olympic Games Readathon & I was competing for Team Apollo. I had 9 books in my TBR, and I was able to complete 8, which I think is a good enough result. Here are all the books I read and my ratings for them:
Music to my ear: Listen to an audiobook.
I am happy to report the Ace of Spades audiobook is actually amazing – and so is the novel. The hype around this one was big, but it for sure lived up to it. While I started the book liking Chiamaka the most – she’s the perfect queen bee and has major Blair Waldorf vibes -, Devon quickly grew on me. Both of these characters have very different backgrounds and perspectives, but I loved the development of their friendship. This book tackles a lot of significant issues of white supremacy and instutionalized racism, and both characters are also queer. I did think some things towards the end felt a bit too convenient and rushed, though, and I would’ve liked a proper conclusion to some plotlines.
Read a graphic novel.
I picked up the third volume of Fence and I have to say, this is probably my least-favorite so far. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still good, but I feel like some things were just wayyy too convenient and they could’ve been dealt with better. Like, I don’t mind watching some characters lose if it makes sense for the plot, and I feel like in an attempt to make everyone happy, they ended up sacrificing realism. I still am invested and I hope to see the Harvard/Aiden ship sail soon!
As the god of the prophecy, Apollo can predict the future. Read a 5-star prediction.
I was very excited to read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, but unfortunately, it didn’t end up being a 5 star read. I think the book had an interesting concept, but I was far more interested in the sci-fi elements and learning the history behind Carl, than April May’s endeavours with fame. I also didn’t think the cast of side characters was that interesting and I didn’t care much for them. I’d still consider reading the sequel, though, especially because there really aren’t that many answers by the end of this one.
Apollo is considered one of the most beautiful gods. Read a book with a beautiful cover.
Winterwood has a beautiful cover and is such a good wintery read. I went into this one with the right expectations and found myself satisfied at the end. The journey is a bit predictable and the characters are quite surface-level, but nonetheless, it was a great story to read during winter. Shea Earnshaw’s writing is atmospheric and beautiful, and I really enjoyed the earth-witch powers she incorporates throughout the story.
Read a well known and well-liked book.
I ended up re-reading The Bromance Book Club, by Lyssa Kay Adams. I realized in this re-read this book has a lot more issues than I remembered. Like, the miscommunication is off the roof, there’s *a lot* of childish walking-out-of-the-room-to-avoid-a-conversation and for a book that is trying to be feminist, it seems to have missed the first class of Feminism 101: all women are in fact, NOT, the same. Yet, the book is impossible to put down. The writing is so good, the dialogues are fantastic, I love both the protagonists and the side characters and I found that the author dealt with the conflict in a way that was realistic, and still romantic and exciting to read about. It’s not one I’d recommend to everyone, but I still enjoy it.
CANOEING: a book that takes place on or near a body of water
Shipped is the perfect combination of The Unhoneymooners and The Hating Game and I did enjoy the romance for the most part. I wouldn’t say it’s as much hate to love, but more like mild-annoyance-to-love. I liked the backdrop of the cruise and the personal journey the protagonist goes through, in terms of being able to set work boundaries and standing up for herself. However, around the 80% mark, the author adds a subplot related to a side character being in an abusive relationship that was just so disconnected from the rest of the plot, as well as the tone from the book, that had been so fun and lighthearted. I didn’t think that was dealt with appropriately, which is why I ultimately settled for the 3 star rating.
CLIMBING WALL: the next book in a series
I absolutely did not expect to cry with Tower of Nero as much as I did. This book is fantastic: it was a satisfying conclusion to the series and had all the high stakes and good action sequences that Rick Riordan writes so well. I was so impressed by Apollo’s development and I do think that, along with his and Meg’s friendship, it is what makes the series worth reading. I also loved seeing how the other characters are doing and it made me very emotional to think this is the last novel I have to read from the Percy Jackson universe. I miss all of them already.
CAPTURE THE FLAG: one of your most anticipated releases
While I was highly anticipating the conclusion to the Simon Snow trilogy, Any Way the Wind Blows turned out to be a disappointment. I loved reading about Simon and Baz and their relationship brings me life, it’s true. But so much happened in this book that just didn’t feel necessary at all. I hate how the author kept adding more characters and more plotlines instead of resolving the one thing that should’ve been resolved since the ending of book 1. And even when she does *that*, it feels half-assed and incomplete. It was so frustrating to waste time between books 2 and 3, with all these plotlines that don’t feel relevant and don’t really accomplish much, for the one plotline I actually wanted to read about be so rushed. As much as I like Simon and Baz as character, I’m very sad with what the series has become and would’ve honestly preferred had it never been a follow-up to Carry On.
Have you participated in the readathon? What books have you read recently that you really loved? And what is your latest book disappointment? Let’s chat in the comments!