Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Length: 416 Pages

Date(s) Read: May 1, 2019 – May 9, 2019

Date Published: April 9, 2019

Goodreads Synopsis:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Review:

Knowing that this was a YA Debut, I went into this with some reservations, but I was completely pleasantly surprised by this book.

The writing style is absolutely wonderful. Honestly I wouldn’t have guessed that this was a debut if I had just happened to pick it up without hearing about it. The writing style itself shows that author has put in a lot of work and practice into the craft. It’s great to read writing like this, especially after the last YA Fantasy Debut let me way down in terms of writing, and frankly if I were to recommend this book for one thing, it would be the writing itself.

The plot was intriguing, and it’s not an idea I’ve seen done that often in YA fantasy. The idea of soothsayers not just being able to tell the future but to manipulate time using their magic is such a cool magic system, and the Chinese inspiration throughout the plot, the worldbuilding, and the magic was beautifully executed.

However I felt like the pacing of it wasn’t quite right. Some places I was bored and ended up skimming, and other places I wasn’t sure I was actually keeping up with what was going on. There needed to be a little more balance in the execution, but otherwise I really enjoyed the plot of a young queen trying to fill her father’s shoes, while also attempting to solve the mystery of his death.

The setting was just brilliant. I don’t have anything bad to say about it. The world felt so vivid and I just really enjoyed learning about the world. It wasn’t an intense exercise in worldbuilding by any means, but I’m hoping we’ll get more of that if she decides to write a second book.

The characters, in my opinion, were the weakest link for me. It’s been less than a week since I’ve read this book and I forget pretty much all of their names already. None of the characters feel all that developed, except for Hesina, and I think more could have been done to develop them on the page. What’s strange is that I definitely didn’t feel this way when reading the book, but now that I’ve had a week to digest it, I’m definitely seeing that.

That said, there were moments while reading that I felt the emotions that the author was trying to convey. I teared up twice while reading it. Even though some of the character’s didn’t feel developed, Hesina cared about them enough that when something happened to them I felt for her more than for them.

I’d definitely recommend this, for the writing style, the unique and diverse setting, and just for a good time.

Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Subgenre: Retellings

Publisher: Little, Brown

Length: 393 pages

Date(s) Read: April 28, 2019 – April 30, 2019

Date Published: April 10, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. 


My Rating: ★★★★★

My Review:

This is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read so far in 2019. I’m calling it now, I think this is it. If not my favorite book of 2019, it’s gonna be close.

Madeline Miller’s writing style has done it again. Even though there were parts of this book that I was bored enough to skim, I found myself so emotional at the end that I couldn’t give this less than 5-stars. It’s rare that I find an author whose writing style I both love and envy and am confused in the best way by (Like, how does she do that?) The Song of Achilles was by far my favorite book that I read in 2018, and now this. Now Circe.

Circe is portrayed in a way that makes her feel so real. She’s a goddess who hates her own divinity, and has been exiled by the other gods to live on Aeaea for the rest of eternity. I loved how it began with her compassion for Prometheus during his trial before the gods. I loved all the mythology intertwined throughout the novel. Madeline Miller’s love for Greek mythology really comes across in her writing, only an expert in the field could do it so well, of course. There were glimpses of this in The Song of Achilles, but she honestly shows this off much more in Circe.

She also has a way of writing emotions that makes me feel like I am the character. In Circe, I feel her heart aching for Glaucus, her jealousy of Scylla, her hopeless admiration for her brother, her anger at the men who come to Aeaea and try to take advantage of her, her fierce love and protectiveness for Telegonus, her quiet love for Telemachus. It’s all there on the page and, yet, the way that Madeline Miller shows Circe’s feelings through words brings the same feelings in me. This isn’t something most authors are capable of, and I cherish that she is.

The other characters come and go throughout the book, but none of them feel undeveloped. Odysseus feels like a fully formed character, not something untouchable. Penelope and Telemachus feel equally developed. The same can be said of Aeëtes, Pasiphaë, Hermes, and all the others.

I won’t spoil anything, but the ending of this book had me teared up, and it’s probably the perfect ending for this book. I can’t think of anyway it could have been done better. If you haven’t read Circe, please, do yourself a favor and read the heck out of it.

Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary

Subgenre: LGBT, Romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Length: 407 pages

Date Published: September, 2017

Date(s) Read: May 9, 2019 – May 11, 2019

Goodreads Synopsis:

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him. 


My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

My Review:

This was fun and entertaining, but other than that it wasn’t very good.

One of my biggest pet peeves was the writing style. It felt very amateur to me, even though I was listening to it instead of reading it physically (which generally helps me to not notice writing style as much.) For example, Instead of saying what a character did or felt the authors were constantly writing things like “seemed to” or “practically.” Every time I noticed the narrator saying things phrases like the side of my brain that edits my own writing just couldn’t help but notice it and that took me out of the story because it felt overwritten. I don’t know what someone’s hands ‘practically shaking’ means, are their hands shaking or aren’t they?

Another thing I didn’t like was the insta-love aspect of Tanner and Sebastian’s relationship. I feel like it’s one thing to look at your classroom TA the first day and be like “Damn they fine” and another to be like “I would jump off a cliff right this second if they asked.” Unfortunately, Tanner’s thoughts are closer to the latter but it sure does set the tone for how much unnecessary drama ensues throughout the next 400 pages.

The side characters don’t really matter at all. I’m not sure what I was supposed to feel for Tan’s BFF Autumn, but whatever it is, I didn’t. Speaking of Autumn, the whole thing that happens with them later in the book is just ??? I have no other reaction to it besides “what the fuck” and it never really gets resolved? It gets pseudo-resolved, and then we just move on and it never gets touched on again. I still don’t know what the fuck to make of it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration of the intersection of religion and identity, and what happens when those two things maybe don’t fit together as nicely as we’d like. I’m a sucker for that shit, and it makes me wish that this book had been written entirely from Sebastian’s perspective. It would have even been nice to have alternating perspectives throughout the book, but the sections from Sebastian’s point of view at the end of the book felt a little like an afterthought, like the authors decided “Oh, maybe we should give some of Sebastian’s thoughts?” After…. not doing that for the first 85% of the book.

What I didn’t really enjoy was that the resolution to the religion problem was a fade-to-black scene of Sebastian having a conversation with his parents— which I think the reader should have been privy to, and because of that I suspect maybe the authors just didn’t know how to write it— and then a “Happily-Ever-After”-esque ending for Tanner and Sebastian. I almost wish the epilogue had been cut, because the ending where Tanner went to college and Sebastian finally decided that Mormonism wasn’t right for him was the perfect place to end it. I cared more about whether Sebastian’s family would eventually come around and accept him for who he was than I did about him showing up at UCLA to make out with Tanner.

Other than the insta-love and the less-than-impressive ending, I did fully enjoy the rest of the journey of Tanner and Sebastian’s journey. I liked Tanner as a character, even though he sucks at writing fiction (but still gets an A for some reason,) I really enjoyed Sebastian, even though I wish we’d had his point-of-view more consistently. There wasn’t much room for me to care about the other characters one way or another (there are a bunch of characters that have names, but literally don’t do anything that matters) but, with the exception of Autumn, I was fine with that.

The book was just entertaining, and I enjoyed reading it a lot despite that it maybe had more flaws than not. That said, because of it’s flaws, I can’t really justify giving it a higher rating than 2-stars.

Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Poetry

Subgenre: Contemporary

Publisher: HarperTeen

Length: 357 pages

Date(s) Read: April 26, 2019 – May 2, 2019

Date Published: March 6, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆ + ½

First of all, I highly recommend listening to this on audio. The narrator did a wonderful job with the narration, and for that I’m giving this book the extra half star.

Unfortunately, I didn’t love this as much as I hoped I would. I think I hyped it up a little too much for myself, especially as I listened to it immediately after listening to Jason Reynold’s Long Way Down which I gave a full 5-stars. I was so ready to read more poignant and hard-hitting poetry and then… I was left somewhat unimpressed with this.

Overall, though, it’s still a worthwhile read.

I was really able to relate to Xiomara’s struggles with faith, as I was raised Catholic myself and stopped practicing for many of the reasons that Elizabeth Acevedo dives into through Xiomara’s eyes in this story. Like Xiomara, I have a very devout Catholic parent, but luckily I was always encouraged to ask questions and while I was required to attend church until I was 18, I was never forced point-blank to pretend to believe things I didn’t. I regularly brought up and still bring up my struggles with how the Church sees and views women’s ‘gifts’, how it treats female sexuality as a taboo, etc., etc. and I don’t think my family loves me any less for it. But I know that’s not the typical response. I have a friend who grew up going to the same Catholic schools that I went to, and her experience when she questioned religion was largely different from mine.

It’s not a topic I see explored in Young Adult fiction all too often, but it is one that I really enjoyed hearing about.

Outside of that, I didn’t really care much for Xiomara’s relationship with Aman. Not that it wasn’t well-done, I just found it such a stark contrast in tone from the dealings with Xiomara’s mother that it was hard to want to care about. I’ve been a teenage girl, frankly I find thinking about my dealings with teenage boys either downright embarrassing or so unnecessarily drama-filled that I’m glad it’s not something I ever have to go through again. Here, though, it was just portrayed as an “Oh, by the way, there’s a boy” and it is, in some ways, tangentially related to her struggles with her relationship with her mother and with religion.

I don’t think we really got enough of any of the side characters to really care about what happened to any of them, which may be a limitation of a novel written in the style of SLAM poetry. I don’t really feel like I know Xavier or Aman or Xiomara’s best friend— whose name I actually forget, I know so little about her— by the end of the story.

It’s like the story tried to have the same general structure of a novel, even though it was written in verse and should have had a different, probably more simple, structure to make up for that fact. It’s like it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be poetry or prose at times.

For the narration and the exploration of a young woman’s struggle to accept Catholicism, this book is well worth a read (or listen, which I highly suggest.)

Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods

Genre:  Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: William Morrow

Length: 635 pages

Date(s) Read: April 16-April 26, 2019

Date Published: July 2001

Goodreads Synopsis:

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.


My rating: ★★★☆☆

My Review:

This is a tough book for me to discuss, because as I was reading it I was constantly comparing to the TV show, which I love. So I feel like I can’t write this review without talking about the show since my rating and overall opinion of the book is all jumbled up in my opinions about the TV show.

This is probably a blasphemous position, but I actually enjoy the show better than the book and I’m telling you this upfront so that you can stop reading now if you know you vehemently disagree with that position.

That said. I enjoyed this book. Before anyone throat punches me, in my personal rating system, a 3-star rating is not a bad rating. It means I liked a book, but I’m left feeling like it’s not going to have a lasting impact on me. For American Gods, that’s because I couldn’t stop thinking about what it wasn’t. That’s part of the problem with adaptations. This probably would have been at least a 4-star read for me if I hadn’t already finished season 1 of the show and just starting season 2.

Shadow Moon is an amazing main character. I love him with my whole entire heart and that the book solely focuses on his journey (with the few cuts to the ‘Somewhere in America’/’Coming to America’ vignettes) makes the book a lot more streamlined and tidy than the TV show— though the book does occasionally meander, which I normally don’t mind in a book, but even I was skimming through some of the stuff in this one— and it’s gritty and weird (which is only expected from Neil Gaiman, I think) and the all the while it makes you think.

The idea that each god exists in multiple places at once, that they die without worship, that America’s New Gods are the gods of technology. All that shit about the plot and message is amazing, and it’s the reason I loved the show so damn much.

I’m a fan of Gaiman’s writing style. I’ve known this since I read my first book by him back in 2015. I know he’s considered “low-brow” by some more pretentious members of the community, but I consider that a good thing. His writing doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It’s proof that intelligence isn’t about impressing people by using big words, it’s the depth and the meaning behind the words we use every day. I think this translates to how I feel in real life about intelligence and how I, personally, am very unimpressed by and disillusioned with the performative, condescending intelligence that’s so common in academia. (Thank GOD I’m done school.)

By everything I’ve said so far, this should have been a 5 star book for me. Right? Right.

Except I couldn’t stop thinking about the TV show. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted more Mad Sweeney and more Laura Moon. Part of that is how they’re portrayed in the show— Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning both give amazing performances respectively— I couldn’t stop thinking about Ricky Whittle as Shadow, even though Book Shadow has a lot of differences from Show Shadow. Everything about the book just made me wish I was spending my time catching up on season 2 of the show instead of reading it, and I had to force myself to finish it because of that (because I kept telling myself I wouldn’t start the new season until I finished the book.)

I think the lesson we learned here is, if you’re thinking about reading this book and then watching the show? Do it in that order. Do NOT watch the show first. Heed my advice. Learn from my mistakes. This book would have been so much more enjoyable for me if I wasn’t so focused on what I liked better about the show. That said, I’d still highly recommend it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Page to Screen

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, she comes up with the topics, and we pick the books.

I haven’t participated in one of these before, but since Tuesday is one of my regular updates days anyway I think I might start doing more of them here and there. This week’s topic is technically a freebie related to Page to Screen so I’m just going to talk about my 10 favorite shows and/or movies based on books.

10. The Magicians (TV Series)

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This is probably a divisive one. I know a lot of people aren’t big fans of The Magicians books or TV Show. A lot of the complaints I’ve seen are because people expected Harry Potter, going into the books and what they got was… The Magicians. I’ll never understand the mindset of people who fall victim to comparison marketing. That’s not what this post is about, though, so I digress.

I think I’m in the minority because I actually think the books are done a lot better than the show— especially the most recent season of the show— but the show is still a fun time. Plus Show Penny (who is far superior to Book Penny) and Marina make it worth it.

9. Preacher (TV Series)

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I’m actually a few seasons behind on Preacher and I never read the comics it’s based on (but I eventually might,) but I remember the summer I interned at a company hours away from my school and many many more hours away from my home so I didn’t know a single person in the area, and my coworkers were 2 middle-aged people with families and that was it (it was a very small start-up) so I, a 21-year-old college student with no friends for at least like 200 miles, spent the Fourth of July binging Preacher and getting day drunk on Jack Daniels, and frankly, it was a great day.

Also I’ve been thinking about it because I just renewed my Hulu subscription so I can actually watch season 2 if I want to. I have a few other things higher on my watch priority, but. Anyway.

8. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (TV Series)

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Making this list made me sad all over again about the fact that this show was cancelled. While it ran it was one of my absolute favorites. Season 1 is definitely a stand out season for me.

I never read the Douglas Adams book, but my mother who did said that she thought the story of the show (at least, in season 1) was better than the book, which should definitely sell this show for you if you haven’t already watched it. There’s so much to love about this series. I’m sad it didn’t have a big enough audience to continue past its second season, but it’s definitely worth watching what did come out of it.

7. Harry Potter (Film Series)

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So, technically, Goblet of Fire isn’t my favorite film, but it is my favorite of the books so that’s why I’m using that poster. I think the champions are criminally underrated— particularly within the fandom that’s mostly book-based— but I do think they largely weren’t cast well but then… I have a lot of issues with the casting of the HP movies overall. I’m not gonna get into the technicalities though.

I know this is a basic bitch move, especially when JKR ain’t deserve my praise with how she’s been largely ignoring her own canon lately, but I can’t ignore the nostalgia factor with these. And, TBH, if JKR had just pulled a Stephanie Meyer and fucked off with her money after the movies and let the franchise be what it is it’d probably be higher on my list, so I guess all those Twilight fans I rolled my eyes at when I was younger have won this round.

6. The Hunger Games (Film Series)

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I honestly didn’t ever watch the Mockingjay movies. But The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were pretty good. I remember showing up to The Hunger Games opening night with Peeta Mellark tee-shirts that my friend and I had hand-decorated together. We used fabric paint to make a sports team jersey-esque shirt that said MELLARK 12 on the back with a piece of bread. To this day I vividly remember the piece of bread on my shirt being described to me as another friend like “the ugly piece of bread everyone throws out,” and she wasn’t wrong. I have no artistic talent.

The movies and books don’t mean all that much to me, but my memories surrounding them are some of my favorite from my early high school years, so I guess they deserve a place on this list.

5. Series of Unfortunate Events (TV Series)

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This show is SO GOOD! If you haven’t watched it, then go do it. It consumed my life while I binge-watched it. The series definitely does the books great justice, and Neil Patrick Harris does a brilliant job of playing a Very Fabulous Dastard in the role of Count Olaf.

I haven’t read the books since I was a kid if I’m being totally honest, but from what I do remember of the books, the show does a good job at staying true to them while also finding places to add in enough small twists and nuance to make it its own wonderful story in its own right. There are differences, but overall I’d say this is one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen.

4. American Gods (TV Series)

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I still have to catch up and finish the second season (though, maybe by the time this posts I’ll be done since I’m scheduling this over a week early) but American Gods is probably one of my favorite TV series I’ve ever watched. As I’ve said before… I like it better than the book. (I’ve always been a fan of committing the sin of blasphemy though.)

Things I like better than the book: There’s so much more room in a TV Series to develop characters. One of my favorites in the TV adaptation is Mad Sweeney, but in the books he’s barely present at all. The Jinn and Salim get a lot more attention in the show, and seem (from where I am in season 2 as of writing this) like they may end up playing a more important role. Even Laura Moon gets a lot more attention and development. Slowing down the pacing gives a lot more room for things like that, and I love that shit.

3. Sharp Objects (TV Miniseries)

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Sharp Objects is probably my favorite Gillian Flynn book, and the show did such a great job adapting it! My only complaints were that they gave some of things that should have been done by Camille to Richard, which I felt took away a little bit about what I loved about her character in the book, but overall it was still very well-done.

Eliza Scanlen does a beautiful job as Amma, too. Her casting was a little older for the character than I would’ve liked, but she did a great job regardless. The show’s ending was also changed from the book, but it made sense to change it for the format and it’s definitely (and I cannot stress this enough) haunting.

2. Howl’s Moving Castle (Film)

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I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how I want to rewatch all the Ghibli movies since doing the I Should Have Read That tag, which I included the book for this on. I think it’s one of two movies based on novels directed by Miyazaki? (Too lazy to google that for correction.) My favorite Ghibli film of all time is Spirited Away, but Howl’s Moving Castle holds a special place in my heart as well.

It’s one of those rare movies that can stick with you for years after watching it, and even rewatching it a year or two ago as an adult still had me just as in love with the story as when I was a kid, which I think makes it something special.

1. Lord of the Rings (Film Series)

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I wouldn’t have guessed I’d include two separate posters on this list that have Elijah Wood on them, but here we are.

How could #1 be anything but the LOTR movies? I really need to rewatch them soon because it’s been a long ass time. I think these are some of the greatest films of all time (please don’t bring up The Hobbit movies though, thanks.) If you haven’t seen them, then you’re either a newborn baby or living under a very large rock. If you don’t like the LOTR movies… unfollow me immediately.

What are some of your favorite Page-to-Screen Films or Shows?

OWL’s Readathon 2019 Wrap-Up

I set out to read 9 books and I read 7. I’m just happy I managed to read my goal of completing the Metal Charmer career path. Here are the books I read:

Ancient Runes — A Retelling

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller

Page Count: 393

Dates Read: April 28-30

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

I want Madeline Miller to write my biography. Circe was more than I could have possibly hoped for.Full Review To Come

Arithmancy — A Book Written by More Than One Author

Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven (Monstress, #3)

Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu (story), Sana Takeda (illustration)

Page Count: 168 pages

Dates Read: April 1

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

I really enjoyed this. At the moment I don’t feel comfortable doing full reviews of graphic novels but if that ever changes perhaps I will write a full review for the books in this series.

Charms — Age Line: Read an Adult Work

American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Page Count: 541 pages

Dates Read: April 16 – April 27

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

Had a hard time not comparing this to the (in my honest opinion, superior) show adaptation, so the rating suffered because of that. Full Review to Come.

Defence Against the Dark Arts — Reducto: Title that Starts with an ‘R’

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Page Count: 469 Pages

Dates Read: April 2-9

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

Originally I gave this 3.5 stars, but I honestly keep forgetting I even read it so I’m glad I rounded down on that. Full Review Here.

Transfiguration — Sprayed Edges or Red Cover

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Page Count: 371 pages

Dates Read: April 9-12

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

A 3.5 that I rounded up to a 4. I somehow simultaneously really enjoyed this book while also feeling like maybe it’s a little overhyped. Full Review Here.

Herbology — Plant on the Cover

The Devouring Gray

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Page Count: 368 Pages

Dates Read: April 27-28

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒

How can I put this succinctly? This was uhh…. a giant disappointment. Full Review Here.

Potions — Next Ingredient: Sequel

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3) by Libba Bray

Page Count: 552 pages

Dates Read: April 1-16

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

These audiobooks, man. I’m already excited to listen to book 4 when it eventually comes out. Full Review Here.

That’s all the books I read for the OWLs Magical Readathon! I’m hoping to participate in the NEWT’s magical readathon in August, but it may depend on the prompts for the Metal Charmer subjects. I literally finished Circe the last day of the readathon, I was so scared I wasn’t going to finish on time, but Madeline Miller’s writing just makes me want not to put her books down.

Did you participate in OWLs 2019? What books did you read? Do you plan to participate in NEWTs as well?