Welcome to my O.W.L’s Magical Readathon Wrap-Up! This Harry Potter themed readathon went for the entire month of April and it was so much fun. You can learn more about it and my TBR here. In this post, I’m going to be sharing with you all the books I read, what exams I completed and what I thought of all of them. I’m happy to report, I fulfilled all of my requirements to become a Magizoologist, plus I got to read a couple of extras. I’ve got quite a bit to get through so let’s get started!
HERBOLOGY EXAM – READ A BOOK WITH A PLANT ON THE COVER
I’m not going to go into any of the plot details as they were all originally outlined in my TBR (click link above), so you will just be getting my short, non-spoilery reviews. This book was the Books With Friends pick for the month of April and I absolutely loved it. I gave it 4.5/5 stars (stupid Goodreads won’t allow me to add the half star). I loved the characters, the story, the mystery, the world-building, the pacing and the humour. It lost a star purely because the ending was a tad underwhelming and rushed. Maureen Johnson does such a good job with the anxiety representation. It is probably the most accurate I’ve read so far in a young adult novel. I am very curious to read the sequel and see how this trilogy will end; hopefully book 3 comes out soon!
CHARMS EXAM – READ AN ADULT BOOK
Sigh!!! This book was a massive disappointment for me. I honestly thought it would be my favourite book of the year and sadly, it wasn’t. I can see why others liked it, but it just didn’t live up to the hype for me. The pacing was super slow. It dragged. I did not connect with a single character or the story. It’s only redeeming features were that it was well-written and that it tied together the six main characters in an interesting, clever way. Aside from that, I was severely underwhelmed. I gave it a 2/5 stars.
POTIONS EXAM – READ A SEQUEL
This is the 5th book in the Robert Langdon series and the only Dan Brown book I had not yet read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favourite of his but it was still entertaining, very intriguing and wrapped up nicely with a twist I didn’t see coming. I saw a lot of people complain that the Robert Langdon books are all the same. He’s always on the run with a beautiful woman by his side. Yes, this is true, but that’s the same with any James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. That is just what you get. I was really interested in the science vs. faith themes of this particular novel. I felt it was quite respectful on both sides. I ended up giving this book 4/5 stars.
CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES EXAM – READ A BOOK WITH A LAND ANIMAL ON THE COVER
Quick note: the library copy does not have the cover with the bear on it but the one on my Readathon TBR does, so it still counts! This book had been hyped by EVERYBODY on BookTube so naturally, I had high hopes for it. It definitely delivered. I ended up giving it 4.5/5 stars. As a parent, I really felt the pain of the other parents in the books that wanted so badly to protect their children but couldn’t. There is a trigger warning for rape in this book so be warned. I appreciated that a male author outlined how difficult it can be for females that have been raped/sexually assaulted. Immediately they are the ones questioned as though they deserved/provoked it rather than focusing on making the rapist accountable for his crimes. It was a highly emotional, gripping read and even if you don’t like hockey, I still think you can enjoy the deeper messages within.
After completing all of the exams required to become a Magizoologist (and with days to spare), I decided to tick some more off the list.
HISTORY OF MAGIC EXAM – READ A BOOK PUBLISHED AT LEAST 10 YEARS AGO
A girl I follow on BookTube absolutely raves about Chris Carter and his Robert Hunter series, so I decided to pick up the first book. It was published in 2009, making it exactly 10 years old. As this was not on my TBR, I will give you a quick summary. It follows Detective Robert Hunter and his partner Carlos Garcia, as they scour LA searching for the evil Crucifix Killer who tortures/murders the victims and leaves a crucifix marking on their corpses. From start to finish, I was hooked! I love a good thriller with a satisfying twist and this had it all. The chemistry between Robert and Carlos is so fantastic. They make such a great pair. I really love Chris Carter’s style of quick witted-writing and how he manages to keep you guessing. I am definitely going to be continuing on with this series. I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.
ARITHMANCY EXAM – READ A BOOK WRITTEN BY MORE THAN ONE AUTHOR
As you can see, this book was written by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu. It is a spin-off trilogy from the Shadowhunter series called The Eldest Curses. I have literally read every single book set in this world, so naturally, I jumped on this one the moment it was released. It follows my favourite literary couple: Alec and Magnus. The pair are on vacation in Paris when they encounter a demon-worshipping cult called The Crimson Hand. Together, they must track down the elusive leader and save humanity from evil; all whilst learning to trust each other.
What can I say? I loved this book! I literally couldn’t fault it. I gave it 5/5 stars. Alec and Magnus are so well-suited and they are such an important couple in the YA world because they are not only same sex, they are also bi-racial. We need more of this representation in the young adult category. From Paris, to Venice and finally Rome, this novel is action-packed, hilarious, heartfelt and so much fun. I cannot wait for the sequel.
MUGGLE STUDIES EXAM – READ A CONTEMPORARY NOVEL
I’ve raved about this beautiful book cover before on my blog but seriously, IT IS STUNNING! The author signed it for me at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival so it’s extra special. This is a contemporary YA novel about two very different teenagers. Sophia is ridiculously book-smart and Joshua is obssessed with magic tricks. He will do anything to win her heart but like all love stories, timing is everything…
I will keep this book forever because it is beautiful and signed but unfortunately I really didn’t like it. It was my first 1 star read of the year. I had so many issues with it but the biggest was the plot…or rather lack of. There was zero story-line. Nothing happened and when things did happen, they were all over the place. It was extremely messy. Characters and concepts were introduced but then never seen or heard from again. The parents had no involvement whatsoever. The characters felt like cheap knock-offs of what we’ve seen before and most of it didn’t make sense. For example, the lead character has been in love with Sophia for years despite never speaking to her. He decides it’s finally time to make his move but never explains why now. Sophia is clearly on the spectrum yet she is criticised by her best friend and brother for having no social skills. They have known her all her life but decide to confront her about it. Again, why now? They are quite harsh and try to change her into someone she isn’t. There is more but I don’t want to turn this into an essay. Ahhh I wish I had liked this book but I honestly hated it.
In total I completed 7 exams, giving me an overall grade of: EE (Exceeds Expectations). Yay! My favourite read had was definitely Bear Town and my least favourite was The Secret Science of Magic.
I hope you enjoyed my wrap-up! If you took part in this readathon, please let me know what you read and all of your thoughts. I am excited to partake in my N.E.W.T’s which will commence August 1st through to the 31st. Stay tuned for my TBR closer to the date. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo