Unexpected Readathon Time is a group hosted on Goodreads by Destiny @ Howling Libraries where she gives us 1 day to 1 week’s notice of the start of a couple of days of intense reading with fun (optional!) challenges that generate a low-pressure and enjoyable reading opportunity. I’ve found these readathons to be incredibly helpful in helping give me that extra push I need when I’m in a bit of a slump or have too many unread books piling up around my apartment. No, really – there are stacks piled up everywhere. I really should invest in an actual bookcase one of these days.
This last weekend (March 30-31st) was the third Unexpected Readathon and my second time participating. I had a lot of fun and got through a sizable chunk of my reading list and was even able to accomplish the prompt provided.
Finish a current read!
Doesn’t matter if you’re 5% or 95% in, just try to finish something on your currently-reading shelf.
My first read was From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon!
I had previously read When Dimple Met Rishi and liked it quite a lot so I had felt pretty good going into this book. I started out the readathon about 40% of the way done with the book so this one counted for the prompt.
I’d been reading this book on and off all week, not because I wasn’t interested, but because I loved it so much I had to keep putting it down and sorta yell a bit about how I felt about how the story was progressing. I’m not typically one to go hard for a contemporary book but Twinkle stole my heart! She’s so passionate about film-making and you feel it in the letters she writes. Girl had a passion and a vision and she kept going for it and it made my heart sing. This paired with the fact that I could relate to a lot of the life issues Twinkle was trying to navigate and I was madly in love with her character, from friends changing friend groups to figuring out how the hell to do makeup and even being the ‘poor’ kid when surrounded by a wealth of affluent peers. Did I mention that the love interest, Sahil, is literally one of the most observant, empathetic love interests I’ve ever seen in a book and a total dream? Overall, Twinkle was great, Sahil was a total sweetheart, and the letter/diary format kept things fun. I’ve honestly been needing a reason to scream about it and this post has only scraped the surface. This was easily a five star read for me and I can’t wait for the author’s next book, There’s Something About Sweetie, which comes out next month (May) on the 14th!
My next read was The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf. Like everything to follow on this post, this book had been on my TBR for a quite a while now. It had released in early February and I finally got myself to the library and picked it up over the weekend. This book is pretty heavy and pretty dark – it even had a warning from the author before after the title page so readers knew what they were getting into, which I appreciated. This is a historical fiction novel about the race riots in Malaysia in 1969 and the author did not attempt to paint a rosy picture in telling the story. Right away the main character loses a loved one and she spends the rest of the book trying to reconnect with her mother. Melati was so strong throughout the book as she fought to keep afloat in a world that seemed intent on crushing her spirit while she also fought her djinn that my heart I was in awe – she kept going while my heart actually broke for her. There were so many things to appreciate about this book and I’d give it a solid 4.5 stars.
Mirage by Somaiya Daud was another TBR that I finally managed to get my hands on at the library. And let me just get this out of the way right off the bat – this was absolutely added to my list because of sheer cover lust. I mean, LOOK AT IT. Plus I’m always down to try a new sci-fi debut and I’m a sucker for a body double plot-point. The main character, Amani’s, planet has been colonized by the Vathek and while the main parts of the story are about her role as the Vathek princess’s body double, throughout the story we get a look at how the colonization has changed the lives of everyone – from the lay people to the nobility and even into the royalty itself. I especially appreciated the way that we came to care for Princess Maram as the book went on. I really like when a book makes you look inward and see parts of the villain within yourself and doesn’t make them entirely irredeemable. While I do have issues with the strength of the overall plot and the lack of any true resolution in this book, I’d give it a solid three and a half stars out of five and will definitely be getting my hands on the next book when it comes out next year.
And last but certainly not least, Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy. If any of you follow me on social media, you’ll probably have heard me scream about this book over a year now? For those not entirely familiar, let me enlighten you: this is a retelling of the well-known tale of King Arthur gender-bent, delightfully queerified, and set in space. Like, I don’t even have time to begin to tell you how many boxes on my list of ‘wants’ when I read that checks off but needless to say, it’s a lot. And while this has been on my list long before the cover reveal bruhhhhhh LOOK AT THAT COVER! Excalibur never looked so good. I’m almost positive I’m going to do a super in-depth review of this book later but needless to say, I loved this book. I adored this book. I devoured this book. I fully intend to reread this book very soon. I fully intended to read this book on release day but then all hell broke loose at work and in life so I had to set it on hold for a bit so I could be fully in the moment when I read it. The writing is engaging and entertaining – I mean, on page 19 the phrase ‘hamster wheel of tragedy’ is used to describe the Arthurian cycle. What’s not to love? I loved every single character though standouts include the cynical and musical Merlin and a Gwen who will absolutely have none of your nonsense. The LGBTQ+ rep was absolutely off the charts. Just casually thinking on it I can name gay, bi, asexual, and nonbinary characters and best of all, none of these things were points of conflict and were just casual facts of life for these characters and I lived for it. I’m so glad I got to set aside the time to read this. And I’m gonna read it again for a buddy read (so sorry I read without you, Em!). And this definitely isn’t that last you’ve heard of me with regards to this book.
Overall, I had a ton of fun with this readathon and read some great books. Thanks again to Destiny for hosting these!
Thanks for stopping by and reading my first real post on here!
Did I read any books you’ve read before? Are there any that you’re interested in? Do you know of any more readathons you think I should participate in? Did I do alright for my first book-ish post on this blog?(!)
Let me know in the comments below!