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April Wrap Up: O.W.L.S. Readathon and Reading The YA Book Prize

So it is safe to say that I have put off writing this wrap up for basically the whole of May because I read 36 books and I didn't want to write about them all. I did OK with reading The YA Book Prize, completing 8 of the 10 books, not reading Furious Thing and Knife Edge but I might get to Furious Thing soon. I also did well in the O. W. L. S. Readathon completing most of the challenges. At least I've learnt sometimes and I wouldn't expect another Wrap Up soon... Let's get started...

Reading The YA Book Prize 

I did say that I was going to take part in the Twitter chats that they host although I didn't get a chance to. Here are the nominees:

A Good Girl's Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson 
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge 
Furious Thing by Jenny Downham 
Meat Market by Juno Dawson 
The Deathless Girls by Karen Milwood Hargrave 
The Gifted, The Talented and Me by William Sutcliffe 
The Places I've Cried In Public by Holly Bourne 
Crossfire by Malorie Blackman 
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta 
The Quiet At The End Of The Universe by Lauren James

As I previously mentioned, I have already read The Black Flamingo and The Quiet At The End Of The Universe which meant that I read another 6 of the nominees. Here is what I thought of them: 

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge 

I have wanted to read a Frances Hardinge book for the longest time and I wasn't disappointed with Deeplight. I think that the world that Frances is so intoxicating and believable. I read the book super quickly and can't wait to read more from her. 

The Deathless Girls by Karen Milwood Hargrave

I had seen some really mixed reviews for this one and I think that is because it is marketed as a Brides Of Dracula story but this is only really evident at the end of the story. I think that this was probably misleading and if you go in knowing that this is not the case, then you may like it more. I enjoyed myself, again it was a short read and I liked the characters and enjoyed their journeys. It is also queer so...

Meat Market by Juno Dawson 

I haven't read a Juno Dawson book for years even though I have a lot of her books and I was so glad that I was able to read Meat Market because it was so good but I should warn about trigger warnings including eating disorders, transphobia, sexual assault, sexual harassment, body shaming, coercion and drug use as well as general mental health awareness. Meat Market offers a vital insight into the modelling world and the #MeToo era which should be read by everyone. 

The Gifted, The Talented and Me by William Sutcliffe

This was okay. I think that compared to the other books that I have read for the YA Book Prize this one does not fit the trend. I know I'm not the target audience and I know that this could work well for the people who it is aimed at. Also, boys need YA especially aimed at them. Of course, much of YA is genderless but I think that this is a clear signpost for them. I just think that I have read other things that are similar to this but I did like the writing and some characters so it is was not all bad.


The ending of this was really emotional but that basically describes what it was like reading the whole thing. I have loved Holly Bourne's for the longest time and while I thought that was growing out of her books I still liked this one. It was not a favourite read though but I can't question how important this is as a book and I think that the concept was well executed. It was obviously really important for abusive relationships to be covered in YA and this was definitely well done.

A Good Girl's Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson 

I think firstly it is good to say that I am not a typical thriller reader as I find them really predictable to not engaging. This was not the case with this book. I really did enjoy it. I think that once I got into I was invested and it had really great (and dislikable) characters and I loved a lot of the dialogue in the book. The mystery is also well done and the red herring definitely got the best of me and I didn't work out what was going to happen. I will definitely read the sequel!

O. W. L. S. Readathon 

Set up by Book Roast on Youtube, it was designed to replicate the exams at Hogwarts that take place in April. There are 12 prompts and although you can do as little or as many as you want these can also lead to career projection which is what I did. 

I took the easy route which is a Journalist/Writer which meant that I had to complete three prompts but I completed a lot more. 

For this I completed the following prompts and books:

History Of Magic- Witch hunts: a book with witches/wizards

I was planning on The Witch's Kiss, I read the first Bane Chronicle short story, What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare. While I enjoyed the humour and the characters, this short story was just OK but I will carry on with the other stories too. 


Muggles Studies- Book from a perspective of a muggle (contemporary)

Rebel With A Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring

While I enjoyed the book, I did think that it was dated in some places. I still think that it holds important messages about body positivity and makes it a worthy read for YA readers. I also liked the key family in the book and how they were developed. Jess also goes on a big journey in the book which I liked and it was good. 

Herbology- Mimbulus Mimbletonia - A Book Starting With A M

Meat Market by Juno Dawson (See above)

So those are the definite three but I also do the read these books some of which have been mentioned above:

Arithmancy - Magical Qualities of The Number Two: Balances & Opposites: Read Something Outside Your Favourite Genre 

The Good Girl's Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson (See above)


Charms - Lumos Maximus: Read A Book With A White Cover

The Places I've Cried In Public by Holly Bourne (See above)


Defence Against The Dark Arts - Grindylows: A Book Set At Sea/Coast  

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (See above)

Ancient Runes - Heart Rune: Heart in the Title or on Cover

The Witch's Kiss by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

I have followed the Corrs sisters for years and I finally read their debut and I really liked it. I loved all the characters and I read the whole thing in a day. I can't wait to read the rest of the series to see what happens to Merry!

Astronomy - Night Classes: Read majority of the book when it is dark outside

Invisible Kingdom Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson 

I was super excited for this one but while the art-style was good, I had no idea what was going on in the story so this was a definite miss from me. 

Divination - Third Eye: Assign Numbers To Your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your next read 

Paper Girls Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan 

I wasn't planning on doing this so I quickly did the random number on some graphic novels and was happy that it landed on this one. Paper Girls has been one of my favourite graphic novel series so I had been putting it off because I didn't want it to end. I think it was a nice end to the series but a little bitter-sweet.  

Potions - Shrinking Solution: A Book Under 150 Pages 

Avant Guards #1 by Carly Usdin

This was only 28 pages, it was a good start to the series and I can't wait to read more. It looks like a fun read, perfect for a summer pick. 

Transfiguration - Animagus Lecture: Book Series That Includes Shapeshifting 

A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin 

I read this for the readathon that was taking place. While it was not my favourite and the worldbuilding was too detailed for my taste, I did prefer the second book that I read in May. 

Anything Else

Daughter Of The Zel by Phoebe Ritter

I really enjoyed the world to this one and it often diverted away from stereotypical YA tropes which I liked. The main character was also enjoyable and I really want to read the next one to see where the series goes. 

Sweet Sorrow by David Nicolls 

I was really interested to read this because even though it is classed as Adult, the main character throughout most of the book is 16. I really loved this book and it was definitely a stand out for the month. The book tackles first loves and mental health so well and I liked it, a lot. 

Cosmoknights Vol. 1 by Hannah Templer

The synopsis literally describes this as a ragtag group of space gays. Need I say more. Yes. Please read this. It is really good. I want the next one like now. 

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I did like this and it's themes of feminism that are used throughout but it was definitely not a standout favourite. It's weird because BooksandLala read this in April as well and we had similar views. I do think that some views were better than others and I think that it just felt flat in some ways. I was smiling at the last line though and I think that the mix media in the book was a nice touch. 


These were quick, easy and fun reads. I was literally laughing out loud at some parts and they are obviously highly relatable. 


Jess provides a raw voice that needs to be more evident in poetry. The poems are honest and heart-wrenching and are definitely worth a read.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle 

So this was slightly unexpected. I thought I knew where it was going and was kinda right and wrong. I think I enjoyed it but I really don't understand why we had to know what the characters were always wearing? Like seriously why?  


I have liked Noelle Stevenson's work since I read Nimona and was excited to read this when it was announced. While it was an important read and I liked what was on the page. I mean Noelle's art style is so good and you can see how much they have grown as an artist. I just wanted more but what we got was still good.

Chew Vol. 3: Just Desserts by John Layman 

I really love the Chew graphic novels. I don't know why but every time that I have them I don't want to read them but when I start them, I get really obsessed. I love the characters and really want to continue the series. 

Y: The Last Man Vol. 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan 

Another series that I really love. I really like Yorrick and Ambersand and can't wait until this finally gets adapted because I think it will be a great TV show. The female characters are also great and I think that the stakes keep getting higher with each volume. 

The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J. K. Rowling

I decided to give this a reread as I had access to the new audiobook on Audible. It was great to hear a lot of the cast read the audiobook and I definitely recommend it. 

Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo 

So I went into this with quite low expectations due to the star rating but it wasn't as bad as everyone was saying. I think the similarities are to do with another YA series but I think that by the end they do become completely different books. The characters were likeable and I thought the plot was interesting and engaging. It was a good time.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You by Matthew Inman 

I think that while it was funny in parts, some of it just was not at all. I think this was probably my least favourite of the month. Some of the humour just went over my head but it might be your cup of tea. 

The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

So this was just a really cute and fluffy read! I was staring at this for weeks and it was falling out for me to read it and I don't regret it. Was it a little bit like To All The Boys? Yes. But I think that is what I needed right now. I just needed a quick and cosy romance and this is what it delivers. Now I just really want to try a Jelly Bells...

Once & Future #2-#7 by Kieron Gillen 

I love a lot of Kieron Gillen's work and this was a nice start to the graphic novel series and I already knew that I liked the first one. It is another take of Arthurian legend but I think that it does it differently and it is worth the read. 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 

So a lot of people love this book and I didn't. There are some good parts to the book but on the whole, I couldn't connect to the story. I had problems with the footnotes and the overall writing style but I do recommend the audiobook if you want to give it a read. 

Book Love by Debbie Tung 

I have wanted to read this for the longest time and I finally did this month obviously. It is a must for all book lovers and it is obviously highly relatable. 

Abbott #1 by Saladin Ahmed 

This was a really different issue from the others that I read this month and I would like to see where it goes. This one again is only 28 or so pages so I don't really have much to say but good so far. 

The Worrier's Guide To Life by Gemma Correll

This was another relatable and funny read that I picked up on Scribd. While there were some parts that I found funny, some I did not connect with but on the whole, it was good. 

So that is all the books I read. If you made it this far, I appreciate you so much! Thank you for reading. I know that I am lucky that I have had time to read and that these times have not affected my reading so just know that we will all hopefully get through this. 
  
What did you read in April? How many books did you read? Let me know in the comments below. 

See you soon, 

Amy

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