Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen that for the past week I have been absent from social media. I have been on a skiing holiday, with no WiFi. Well, if I really needed it there was WiFi available, but it was ridiculously overpriced and so I opted to just go without it for a week. A terrifying idea, I know.
But to make the most of our time, Jess (bookendsandendings) and I decided to hold a small Readathon. It’s insane how much reading you can get done if you’re not checking Twitter every few minutes. I read 10 books in total, 3 of them just on the way to the resort! I had with me some books that’d been on my shelves for a while, newly bought books, library books, eBooks on my kindle, plus all the books Jess had bought.
I’m usually very busy with schoolwork and preparing for exams, and what remains of my spare time is often taken up by social media, so I haven’t made my time to just absorb lots of stories in a while. Last week, I felt that as a reader I changed significantly (cheesy as that may sound!).
- The Program by Suzanne Young – this is a dystopian novel about an epidemic of depression hitting the teenage population, and the drastic lengths society goes to to ‘fix’ them. I had mixed feelings about this novel: overall I enjoyed it, and I thought it was a really interesting concept, although I found a couple of characters and plot tangents very problematic.
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- When We Collided by Emery Lord – this book has been on my shelf for months, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to read it! This tells the story of Jonah and Vivi, two people in a small town with their own secret pasts and problems. I loved the family aspect in this, and thought Vivi’s gradually deterioration very moving. This was time well spent – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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- Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicola Doherty – this was another contemporary YA, about a girl with anxiety who goes on a ski holiday with her family and has to overcome some of her fears (with some romance thrown in too!). This was a great book, although probably not the greatest idea as I was on my way to my own skiing trip!
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At this point, I had a few more hours in which I could’ve probably squeezed another book in, but I was very keen to start The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury next, and unfortunately I had put that deep in my suitcase, sandwiched between clothes so I didn’t risk damaging it!
- The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury – PRAISE THE HEAVENS, I loved this book so so much! This is the final book in The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy, and it is being released later this month. I was lucky enough that my online order came as soon as I ordered it! Sorry to Jess, who hasn’t read this yet, but had to put up with me hitting her arm in excitement every twenty minutes. There are a million and one things I could say about this book, but I will save it for the review I am busy writing (if you want to hear my equally positive thought on The Sleeping Prince my review is here)!
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- Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider – this is another book I bought ages
ago, but never got around to reading. It was very cute, and I liked the message the book ended on, but apart from that, this book failed to grab me, and I found the protagonist quite boring at times (to be fair, my standards were set very high following Day 2’s reading).
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- An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde – very different to my previous reads, this was a play rather than a novel. I really enjoyed the satire in this; in fact, I found it so entertaining that I was able to finish it in around two hours. For anyone looking for a classic that isn’t super-heavy, I’d definitely recommend this!
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- Show Stopper by Hayley Barker – I was lucky enough to receive this ARC from
Scholastic in January, and I have been itching to read it ever since. This is a dystopian novel where people’s mistreatment of immigrants has been taken to the extreme, and young children are expected to perform in a savage circus to provide entertainment. Show Stopper was quite gruesome at times, but I really enjoyed reading it – again, I will be writing a review shortly and so do not want to go into my thought too much!
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On the fifth day all I did was finish Show Stopper, as I was going out with my family and so had no time to start another book. I did spend some time thinking about what I’d been reading (and basking a bit in the pride of having read so much); I even wrote down some of my thoughts. I realised that I have become far more critical of the books I read, especially the contemporary YA. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed these books, but I haven’t felt as . . . blind when reading them, if that makes sense. I’m looking forward to seeing how my next few reviews turn out.
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – this is another book I absolutely loved! I feel slightly guilty, because I never intended to read this book; I’d looked at it a while ago and decided I wouldn’t like it. But it was on my kindle, so I gave it a go, and it. Was. Stunning. Another fantasy, this one based on a society where your status is determined by whether your blood is red or silver. Aside from the fact that I feel there was a great lack of female friendships, I cannot fault this book, and I am so excited to read the rest of the trilogy!
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- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – finished.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I also read this on my kindle, as I’ve wanted to read this for a while. A couple of people I’ve spoken to about this book said that they did not like it, but I really did. I wasn’t rivoted by the plot the entire way through, but I thought it was interesting and very well written, and I’m glad that I have now read it!
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- Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen – I read this novel on the return journey home. I’d taken quite a long break from contemporary YA by this point, and this was definitely a great way to come back to it. This is the story of pessimist Petula and optimist Jacob, and how they help each other heal from the tragedies they have both faced. This book comes out next month in the UK, and I would 100% recommend it!
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I also began Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland, but I have since been reunited with WiFi and am still reading it (spoiler alert: I am liking it very much so far).
I won’t lie – I have felt far too much satisfaction at having read all these books this holiday. Not only has it made me feel like a better, more productive reader, but it has also helped a lot with my reading challenges (both my personal Goodreads goal and my Beat the Backlist Challenge)! I don’t know if I would voluntarily do another week without WiFi, but I would love to do more readathons like this!