The Reading Rush was SO. MUCH. FUN.
I am definitely on board to do this readathon again next year. When I built my TBR for Reading Rush, I thought only of hardcopy books off my shelf, and as such this was the first time in ages I feel like I’ve been reading off my shelf. Yes, I did throw War Girls in there because I felt like I still needed to follow my actual TBR a little, but otherwise? It was just so nice to read some different books and to check off challenges and I loved it.
So what did I read?
Well, surprisingly, I followed a lot of my TBR? On Wednesday, the first day I struggled to finish a book in a day, I really didn’t think I would make it in hard copy, but I pushed through and I’m just really proud and excited? So lets go through and I’ll give you the TL;DR of all the books I read. These are like… mini reviews for all the reviews. I’m so sorry for the review spam at the end of July, guys. But hopefully you discovered some new books?
#1. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Daughter of the Burning City is one of those books I read a couple years ago, and have been wanting to revisit. I’ve read a couple of Amanda’s books since, and I wanted to re-asses her debut because I really liked it. Retrospectively, I think I was captivated by the world building. I still love the world building, but this dropped to a 4-star read for me. Some of my plot and tension issues from Ace of Shades and King of Fools are definitely present in her debut.
>> Read: Day 1.
>> Challenges: Read a Book With Purple on the Cover & Read an Author’s First Book
#2. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Has anyone else read bits and pieces of Pratchett’s Discwold? I’ve been meaning to dive back into the universe for almost a decade, particularly Rincewind’s storyline! Fantasy is at the forefront of the YA world – this sci-fi/fantasy humor universe really needs to be reintroduced. It’s light and quirky and I was absolutely delighted coming back into it. The Light Fantastic won a five-star review from me… I think largely because it was different and made me happy. I got up one morning at 3am and read it before work. Because I’m crazy, and it was that good.
>> Read: Day 2.
>> Challenges: Read a Book with a Non-Human MC, Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year, & Read a Five-Star Book.
#3. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
I didn’t mean to binge this one – I had just started it when one of my holds came in and I wanted to finish it just in case my hardcopy reading didn’t go well and I needed a different book to fulfill the Read and Watch a Book to Movie Adaptation challenge. Generally… not as good as I remembered? I didn’t like the way it was written. I do remember preferring Lestat’s books when I was younger, so even though I’ve had two Anne Rice duds in a row, I’m not quite ready to give up on her yet. I do think the audiobook version may have given this a few negative points as well – Simon Vance narrates so many older books, and I’m just not crazy about him.
>> Read: Day 2.
>> Challenges: Read a Book with a Non-Human MC, Read
and Watch a Book to Movie Adaption, Read an Author’s First Book, Read Over 1000 Pages.
#4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cathrynne M. Valente
This book was so utterly delightful and I am so happy to have finally read it? It’s the only series (well, author actually) I can say I discovered through music, and the title of the book is deliciously long as well. This has been on my TBR since late 2016, and it was such a small, easy book! It was an easy one-day read, and September is so adorable. I know I’m not the demographic for the Fairyland series, but I’ll definitely be reading more of it. I’m just utterly delighted, really. The characters were wonderful. There was an Alice in Wonderland feel to the whole thing, and y’all know that’s my jam.
>> Read: Day 3.
>> Challenges: Read a Book With More Than Five Words in the Title & Read a Five-Star Book.
#5. Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene
This book wasn’t even on my radar until it came in the 2018 OwlCrate. It was one I strongly considered pushing into at the end of 2018, since Lyra Selene was a 2018 debut author and last year I participated in that challenge. Ultimately, I decided to let it go, and it’s haunted me ever since. Reading it now… I don’t think I was really missing out on anything. It’s a beautiful-looking book, but it’s dull and unoriginal and not well-developed. I felt the writing was pretty clunky. Its saving grace is that it was a really quick and easy book to read.
>> Read: Day 4.
>> Challenges: Read a Book With Purple on the Cover, Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year, & Read an Author’s First Book.
#6. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Wow this book was so good.
Rebecca was a 2018 book club pick for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club and while I didn’t read it at the time… I added it to my TBR. I’m so glad I did, because it was excellent and I never would have found it without that book club. Honestly, it was just that it totally smashed all my expectations. I really thought this was going to be one of those sappy gothic romances with a photocopied Mr. Darcy-esque character and it was not. It was so much darker than I was expecting and I loved it for that.
>> Read: Day 4.
>> Challenges: Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year.
#7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I actually don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was a bit dull and a bit slow, and ultimately, I gave it the same star-rating that I gave it in high school.
While I appreciate the discussion value that Of Mice and Men has, I also need to acknowledge how generally un-entertaining it was for me. I don’t read a lot of literary fiction, or even straight-up fiction. The fact that this book, despite being a classic (which I’m always down to try) wasn’t a fit for me didn’t come as a surprise. And, at any rate, I often like to re-read books I didn’t like when I was younger because my views change. Not this time, though.
>> Read: Day 5.
>> Challenges: Read a Book in the Same Spot & Read Seven Books.
#8. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
Despite my worries that I wouldn’t get deep enough in my TBR to reach the book-to-movie challenge qualifier… I definitely reached Girl, Interrupted and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As was expected – I really liked it the last time I read it as well. Now that I’m a little older and a little smarter, I appreciated it a lot more. I think I spent a lot of my first read comparing it to the movie. Now that I’ve read it more than once, I feel I can better let it stand on its own and appreciate it as a separate entity.
Also, since this was a challenge, look for a Book Vs. Movie post about Girl, Interrupted in the next few weeks!
>> Read: Day 5.
>> Challenges: Read and Watch a Book to Movie Adaptation & Read a Five-Star Book.
#9. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
I have some mixed feelings on this one, if I’m being honest. At the beginning, I really loved it! I thought it was a fresh take on a genre that has sort of stagnated in recent years, and that was nice. I also liked the girls in the beginning. But the further into the book I got, the more chaotic things became, and it lost me. I wasn’t feeling anything for the characters anymore, and the action was so all over the place and endless… I was a bit numb. There were some things that were given a lot of screen time that never seemed to come to importance, and overall, it didn’t follow through for me. I still hope others enjoy it, however. I really think my issues may have been driven by taste.
Additionally, War Girls is the last book from my BookCon haul, and I’m really excited to be out of physical ARCs! I’m getting so much closer to my TBR jar. <3
>> Read: Day 6.
>> Challenges: Read a Book in the Same Spot, Read a Book With Purple on the Cover, & Read a Book With a Non-Human MC.
#10. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
This is such an indulgent re-read for me, but at the same time, I’ve been wanting to re-read it and try again to give it a little push in the community. It’s such a beautifully written novel, with wonderful characters and good stakes. The aesthetics are perfectly rendered and there’s conversation about racism and it’s just… it’s so good. I really like it a lot and I can’t think of anyone in the community who has read it before.
I also can’t think of a better book to go out from the readathon with. As the last book, it left me with that warm fuzzy feeling of revisiting a book I really enjoyed.
>> Read: Day 7.
>> Challenges: Read a Book With a Non-Human MC & Read a Book With More Than Five Words in the Title.
I was able to pick away at other books here and there throughout the readathon as well – I finished 11/22/63 near the beginning of the readathon and listened to a little of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue at the end. Additionally, I’ve been plugging away with a chapter here and there of Gravemaidens and The Late Middle Ages. I think I’m just anxious to get a full reset on my Currently Reading and Priority TBR.
This readathon was super awesome for me, though, because I was able to cheat my TBR jar a little (I’m sorry!) and revisit a couple of books I wanted to re-read and it pushed me to get hardcopies of a couple books I’d been wanted to read, but couldn’t borrow audiobooks for! I don’t think under normal circumstances I could read seven hardcopy books in a week – honestly, I feel a bit exhausted and definitely crashed at the end. But… I completed my entire TBR and then some when you include audiobooks.
So now that this is done, I’m definitely on board for other more complicated readathons. Getting those challenge badges is so rewarding. I know there are NEWTs coming up in August, and then there’s ARC August and I’m actually thinking about low-key participating in Avid August? It’s over on Goodreads and is about ARCs and TBR books you’ve never read. I really want to kill out my ARCs, so I think I’m going to start there! But I haven’t decided.
I’ll be keeping an eye out, but if you guys come across any readathons that are super cool, especially ones with graphics and fun challenges…. 🙂 Let me know! Particularly in September, I’m keen to jump on another one like this!
Did you participate in the Reading Rush? If so, how did you do? Leave me your wrap up posts in the comments! And if not, tell me all about your favorite readathons.