Welcome all – how are we on this lovely Sunday afternoon? It’s July. Ju-ly. Can you believe it? I can’t. If it wasn’t for the strangely seasonal and sunny weather we’ve been enjoying in the UK for the first time in as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t believe it was July. However, the fact it’s now 1st July means we say goodbye to the month-long Marvel-A-Thon readathon which has been running all throughout June.
(If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, please pop over to my Sign Up & TBR post first because I explain about the readathon and its challenges over there.)
I did surprisingly well during the Marvel-A-Thon – I even kept up to date using my tried and tested method of the Twitter updates thread. More importantly, I was smart about saving my “skips” in the earlier rounds, utilising the buddy read system, and taking tactical “buddy give/gain” opportunities when they came round. So I’m REALLY pleased with the challenges I managed to read for during the readathon and I LOVED the entire concept of the readathon so I really hope Jami runs more (or similar) readathons in the future too. For now, though, let’s look at how I did in more detail…
PHASE ONE – COMPLETED
✓ Iron Man: first book in a series: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My forever favourite. 5/5 stars A++++ would recommend.
✓ Hulk: book with a green cover: The Witches by Roald Dahl *BUDDY READ*
This was a buddy read with my good friend and housemate, Liz, and we both took this as an opportunity to revisit what is considered a childhood classic for some. I can’t remember whether I’ve even ever read it before (or whether I just knew the storyline) but I enjoyed it – oddly dark and creepy, as Roald Dahl’s children’s books often are.
✓ Iron Man 2: an unpopular book: Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart
Of the E. Lockhart books I’ve ever seen reviewed, this is the one that didn’t seem to garner that much praise. I don’t understand why, I thought this was incredible, and I found this so very deliciously compelling in the way that the other books of hers I’ve read (We Were Liars and The Disreputable History) also are.
✓ Thor: a book with myths/mythology: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (audiobook) *GIVE TO BUDDY*
I’ve been meaning to re-read this one for a while on audiobook since I read it first time round… and I love Neil Gaiman’s voice (it’s like butter) so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. I also needed a quick audiobook to listen to in the background at work. And, since I’d done a buddy read with Liz, I was able to “give” her a freebie book to help her along in her own challenge – she said she wanted this one!
✓ Captain America: book set/written in World War 2 *SKIP*
I didn’t have anything set/written during World War 2 lined up to read, and I didn’t want to seek out a book I wasn’t 100% interested in just to fulfil a reading challenge in a readathon, so I decided to use the skip option and move onto the next challenges instead.
✓ Avengers: book with multiple POVs *GET FROM BUDDY*
Remember that buddy read I mentioned? Well, as well as giving your buddy a “freebie”, you can also ask them for one, so I asked Liz for this one and I think she read Prodigy by Marie Lu.
PHASE TWO – COMPLETED
✓ Iron Man 3: book that will challenge you: Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh
The aesthetics and design of this were A+, very cute cartoons. I loved Ruby on Great British Bake Off and I already knew I liked her style of “fuck it, eat what you want to eat”, an opinion that is contrary to a lot of diet and nutrition information nowadays (hence this is a “challenging” book). This ended up being part-memoir too, as Ruby shared many of her memories associated with certain foods, and it’s for that reason that I enjoyed the book as much as I did.
✓ Dark World: book with siblings: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Since this one is HUGE I decided to listen to it on audiobook and I’m glad I did because the narrator was very good and kept me engaged probably more than the print version would have done. There are a LOT of descriptions of nature in this, and I felt myself beginning to drift off and only half-listen at times because it started to meander. I felt it could have been a MUCH shorter book if these instances had been edited down, and it wouldn’t have detracted for the overall effect of the story. That being said, I did REALLY enjoy this book, it’s fantasy-ish and based on King Lear, of course I was going to enjoy it.
✓ Winter Soldier: main character is a villain/anti-hero: Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer *BUDDY READ*
This one was a buddy read between me and Liz, and I’m glad she chose to read the Artemis Fowl book along with me because I’ve recently been wanting to re-read this series to see if I still love it as much as I did when I first read it when I was younger. So far, so good.
✓ Guardians: set/written in the 80s: The Sandman Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman *GIVE TO BUDDY*
Since Liz and I have done the aforementioned buddy read in this phase, I’m also going to give this one to her so she can use it for her readathon challenge. What did I think of it? It was weird and freaky and I’m not sure I really understood it, to be honest. I’m glad I read it because I enjoy Neil Gaiman’s work and I always felt like a bit of a fraud for never having even seen The Sandman comics before now – however, I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to read the next volume since the art style just isn’t really my cup of tea.
✓ Ultron: book involving AI *SKIP*
I’m not all that into robot/AI narratives as a rule and the only one I can even immediately think of that’s already on my TBR is the second Wayfarers book by Becky Chambers. Unfortunately, I don’t really feel in the mood to read sci-fi so I’m just going to skip over this challenge.
✓ Ant Man: book involving a heist/thieves *GET FROM BUDDY*
Since we’ve done a buddy read in this phase too, I’m getting this one from Liz – she read the first Artemis Fowl book to fulfil this challenge so thank you very much for donating it to the cause, Liz.
PHASE THREE – COMPLETED
✓ Civil War: book about enemies/rivalry: Vicious by V.E. Schwab *GET FROM BUDDY*
If I’d had more time during this readathon, I likely would have read this myself too. But I didn’t so Liz just borrowed my copy and read it instead for her Civil War challenge. She really enjoyed it (phew!) and one of these days I myself will actually finally read it and get further than page 100ish.
✓ Dr Strange: involves medicine: Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby *SKIP*
I started this on audiobook but wasn’t hugely into it after the first 20-or so percent, so I think I’ll set it aside for now and just skip the challenge until I’m more in the mood for this kind of memoir.
✓ Guardians 2: set in/involves space: Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples *BUDDY READ*
Ok, so originally I was going to read Red Rising by Pierce Brown for this, and I started it on audiobook and got about 20% of the way into it before I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason. So I set it aside, because I want to read this story when I’m in the proper mood for it. Saga is an easy re-read in order to fulfil a challenge, not gonna lie, but Liz was reading it too so I figured we could buddy read it together! She really enjoyed it too, thank god, and for me it was as weird and wonderful as ever. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading (and rereading!) this series.
✓ Spider-Man: YA book involving secrets: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I love everything about this book – the characters, the writing style, the plot, the Roman influence, it’s all excellently done and this was a re-read so that I could finally move onto the subsequent book(s) in the series. I cannot wait to pick up A Torch Against the Night and Reaper at the Gates even if I’m pretty sure even seeing just the cover of the third book has kind of ruined the previous books?
✓ Ragnarok: a popular book: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I’m not sure I get the hype with this book. Admittedly, it did wrong-foot me so kudos on the “plot twist” but I’m just not sure I “get” the fae/faerie thing and I’ve heard Holly Black is the queen of faeries so, if I don’t get it with her books, am I ever going to “get it”?
✓ Infinity War: book that fulfils multiple challenges: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Since I was re-reading the first book for another challenge, it seemed only right to read the sequel, A Torch Against the Night for this challenge since it’s multiple POV, book with siblings, one of the main characters is probably considered an anti-hero of sorts, involves a heist (of sorts) via a prison break, and there’s sure a lot of secrets in this YA. So, this book was perfect for fulfiling multiple challenges. And I really enjoyed it, it was BRUTAL, and a lot more so than the first book (which I didn’t originally think was even possible), but the pacing was a bit odd so it was a 4-star rather than 5-star read from me. LOTS of character development though, A+++ on that, and I loved what Sabaa Tahir did with Helene in this book.
✓ Black Panther: own voices with black main character: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi *SKIP*
I kept going back and forth on whether I wanted to read The Hate U Give or Children of BL=lood and Bone for this challenge, and I settled on the latter finally, but then I completely run out of time to even attempt to complete this challenge. Both books are still on my TBR though, and I’m sincerely hoping to get to them soon.
✓ Captain Marvel: book with a female main character: State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury *SKIP*
I received State of Sorrow in a recent Fairyloot box and it sounded super intriguing. I’ve never read anything by Melinda Salisbury though I do frequently see her pop up on Twitter and I saw her on the Behind the magic panel at YALC in 2016 along with Sally Green, Taran Matharu, and V.E. Schwab. I’m sure that one of these days I will get to her books, I just ran out of time to get to this particular one during this readathon.
✓ Avengers 4: a book you don’t know anything about: The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse
It was fine. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it only took me a few hours of fluffy escapism to get through it. Characters weren’t quite fleshed out enough for me, but there was some attempt at diversity and LQBTQIA+ rep which was mildly refreshing for such an easy, summer read. This book mainly succeeded in making me want to take lots of European city breaks though.
I did it. I completed Marvel-A-Thon.
Did you take part in the Marvel-A-Thon? How did you do? Or have you read (or want to read) any of the books I read in the readathon? Or what was your favourite thing you read in the month of June?