Yes, I know, this readathon happened earlier this month… by now, you should know that I struggle to finish up my posts on time – but I’m working on it!
Out of all of the readathons I participated in this month, this was the shortest – but also the most spontaneous!
The way this readathon works is that every 12 hours, Becca@Becca’s Bookopoly would use her monopoly boards to select a prompt and you had to find a book that works for that prompt. This meant that you couldn’t really plan your TBR ahead of time, but it was also exciting to see what would come up next. I thoroughly enjoyed participating and got the chance to read 4 great books.
Here is a quick summary of my reads:
Chance Card (Random Book): The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska [ARC]
The Dark Tide
Published July 4, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
Series: The Dark Tide
Data from Goodreads
Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.
Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen’s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.
Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.
When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas’s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.
I wanted to love this novel so badly, especially since it was compared to The Wicked Deep, which is one of my all-time favourite novels! However, it just didn’t work for me. I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style; it was very jerky. I also had a problem with the pacing: at times, it was moving too slowly, and then it would suddenly speed up. The story was definitely more plot-driven but there were too many plot holes for me to feel satisfied. I also only liked one of the main characters, as she just felt more developed and relatable. The story had a lot of potential but there was just something about the way it was written and presented that didn’t work for me.
Viewer’s Recommendation + Diverse Read: Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhatena
Hunted by the Sky
Published June 23rd 2020by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Series: The Wrath of Ambar
Data from Goodreads
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl–Gul–in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance–and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own.
Rep: South Asian representation
After reading Krisha @ Bookathon Blog’s review of this novel, I knew I had to try it! The worldbuilding was absolute perfection – the author had really thought about every detail and I loved the connection to medieval India. The plot was intriguing and the book did not shy away from serious themes involving divisions of class and caste. I thought there were many interesting characters in the story but I did wish they were more fleshed out. For example, I liked Gul’s strength and determination but she was also too hotheaded and I wanted more from her personality. I also thought Cavas’s reluctance and recycling of the same arguments to justify his actions could have been improved. The romance between the two main characters was also something that I think could be better developed – but this might happen in the next book! Overall, I enjoyed reading this South Asian fantasy novel and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Mystery/Thriller: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda [ARC]
The Girl From Widow Hills
Published June 23rd 2020by Simon & Schuster
Data from Goodreads
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Unlike other thrillers I read, this one was a bit more of a slow-burn; I really took my time reading it. I liked the way the author paced the story and gave the reader time to connect with the main character. There was no action or behaviour that was illogical – everything was well thought out and I appreciated that. As the story kept continuing, I was intrigued by how things would finally be resolved. There were some elements that I was able to guess but just as many that I had no clue on. I did find the ending to be a bit rushed but I enjoyed the story nevertheless.
Contemporary: The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert [ARC]
The Voting Booth
Published July 7th 2020by Disney-Hyperion
Data from Goodreads
Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?
Duke Crenshaw is do done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.
Only problem? Duke can’t vote.
When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system and find Marva’s missing cat, it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.
Rep: Black representation, interracial dating, social justice
TW: death of a sibling, police brutality, voter suppression
This was such a cute book – but with such serious themes! I loved how the author was able to take a cute YA romance and turn it into so much more. I loved both main characters and felt their personalities balanced out well. So much happens in the span of a day but it doesn’t feel rushed. I’m so glad that the author talked about the importance of voting in this story and made a point to address common thoughts people have about voting. The author also allowed us to really understand the characters through flashbacks and their conversations with each other. Although this is a romance, the novel first focused on building a friendship and bond between the two main characters, making their connection more realistic and nuanced. I would definitely recommend this novel for people who enjoy YA contemporary with social justice themes.
I’m still in shock that I managed to get through 4 books in such a short period of time, especially since the readathon was happening in a timezone 5 hours ahead of me! I hope that this readathon will happen again, and maybe for a longer period of time because it was so much fun!
Did you participate in Becca’s Bookoplathon? What did you read?
Have you read any of the books I read? Are they on your TBR?
Let me know in the comments!