Mini-Review Monday: Catching Up

These last few weeks I have been a mix of rather busy and on holiday. As a result, I’ve fallen a little behind with these mini-reviews. To get back on track, I decided to write a very quick review for each book I read since my last reading update (of which, thankfully, there are only five). This includes the last book I read for the OWLs Readathon (Heir of Fire) and both the books I read while away on holiday (Something Rotten and Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race). I’m trying to be more varied with my reading lately as I found myself heading towards a reading slump caused, primarily, by the fact that I was reading some quite similar books, either in style, theme or genre. I have already started on this goal with the two books I read on holiday and so I shall endeavour to continue as it began.

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

 

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

A woman escapes to Essex with her young son following the death of her husband; while there she encounters the legend of the mysterious Essex Serpent and the town’s conviction that it had returned. Written with a strong hand, The Essex Serpent conjures atmosphere with only a few words and really captures the essence of each character. The book is let down by Will Ransome as a character and Martha’s main story-line – I found very little in either that I could particularly enjoy and both seemed a little out of place amongst the mysticism that the Essex Serpent created. That being said, Stella and Francis really shone and were the reason I kept reading, alongside the incredible scene-weaving skills that Perry has.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075861-the-essex-serpent

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Essex-Serpent-Sarah-Perry/9781781255452/?a_aid=rosienreads

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Lady Aileana is re-entering society following the death of her mother amidst rumours that she was the murderer herself; little do the upper class know that in her free time she builds weapons and hunts fae in the hopes of tracking down the faery who actually killed her mother. With a steampunk mix and a determined lead, The Falconer is different from its cousins – Aileana hunts of her own volition and she has very little intention of trying to balance her two lives. The book does, however, fall into some frustrating tropes (the only romance being one of them) and it ends on such an abrupt cliff-hanger that it feels like you’re expected to buy the next book (a pet peeve of mine – I like a good stand-alone feel to a series starter). I would happily read many books about Aileana, her best friend and the pixie which lives in her wardrobe, although I doubt that would ever happen; it’s also set in Scotland which was a delight to discover.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16046550-the-falconer

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Falconer-Elizabeth-May/9780575130425/?a_aid=rosienreads

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

A non-fiction book which holds no bars as Reni discusses race dynamics across a variety of angles (history, feminism, class) and why, as the title says, she decided to stop trying to have a conversation with White people about race. This book is honest, refreshing and tackles the issues in a clear and unafraid manner, spoken by someone whose voice should be heard above others (read: White people) in the discussion about race and racism. It is a short book and, as such, only goes into broad detail for each of the chapters, so providing a solid introduction to each of the issues and leaving it up to the reader to do further research. This book is eye-opening and really highlights how racism is still prevalent today, especially to those such as myself who don’t experience it in everyday life. While I feel like those who need to read a book like this are unlikely to give it a chance, I think this is a must-read for anyone interested in race relations and the impact that race still has.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36494117-why-i-m-no-longer-talking-to-white-people-about-race

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Why-I-m-No-Longer-Talking-to-White-People-About-Race/9781408870587/?a_aid=rosienreads

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

The fourth and final book in the Thursday Next series – Thursday must continue her adventures as she rushes to save the world, all with a cheese-smuggling scandal under her belt, a minotaur on the loose, and a disgruntled Hamlet eating her mother’s best Battenberg. This book was just the book I needed to read when I read it – after a stretch of relatively similar books, the weird and wonderful world of Thursday Next was a welcome change of scene and I think the book was easily my favourite of the series. It does suffer from being a bit slow in places and I could have done without the Landon story-line which just felt like a distraction from Thursday’s story. Despite that, this was the book that helped me escape an approaching reading slump and really helped me get excited about reading new books, particularly those which fall outside of my default types of book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/828395.Something_Rotten

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Something-Rotten/9780340825952/?a_aid=rosienreads

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (narrated by Elizabeth Evans)

Heir of Fire is the third book in the Throne of Glass series; it introduces a myriad of new characters and expands the world in a wide range of directions. The expansion of this series was well handled – I loved seeing the tendrils reach out into new areas and bring in new people to get to know (Manon in particular), not to mention getting to see the original characters in new situations without each other to rely on. I still do not like Chaol, still struggle to see how Celaena became such a feared assassin and still find it irritating that only pale women with fair hair (or dark hair if the skin is very pale) are described as beautiful in this series. For all its faults, I did find this to be my favourite of the Throne of Glass series so far. I’ve heard mixed things about the rest of the series so am hesitant to continue on, but from what I’ve seen I am happy with the direction the books appear to be heading in so may pick up the next on one day.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22914781-heir-of-fire

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Heir-Fire-Sarah-J-Maas/9781408839126/?a_aid=rosienreads

 

*I receive a small commission when purchases are made through the Book Depository links.

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The Books I Read in April 2018

April was the month of the OWLs readathon and, while I did aim for 12 books, I ended up only managing to read nine. This was mostly due to a mix of being ill and other things taking priority (Infinity War, for example), but I’m still pretty pleased with how much I read. The stand out books for me were those which were a little different or those I only picked as a result of the readathon, for instance The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré which I found fascinating. The main disappointments were books which followed a certain pattern and just did not live up to the hype or the story I was expecting.

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

Audiobook

The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré (narrated by John Le Carré) – 4.5/5

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (narrated by Elizabeth Evans) – 4/5

 

Hardback

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – 4.5/5

Paperback

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin – 4.5/5

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – 3.5/5

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind – 3.5/5

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – 3.5/5

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – 3/5

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry – 3.5/5

 

Going into May, I have already finished one book (The Falconer by Elizabeth May) and have just started Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde. I have decided to try and focus on books I wouldn’t normally pick out and read, at least for this month. After the OWLs Readathon of April, I realised how many YA fantasy books I read where the main character discovers they have magical powers and/or must save the world. As a result, some of the books I read which followed that trend were just not as enjoyable as I was expecting them to be, I mostly got a little bored reading them. So, in May, I’m going to try and spread my reading habits out a bit more and read the books on my TBR case which don’t conform to that style. It should be an interesting month.

Mini-Review Monday: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I went into last week with a mission; a mission to get ahead with my reading for the OWLs readathon. I come out of it having fallen slightly behind. I only managed to finish two books last week, both of which were YA and around 400-500 pages long. Both were books which have been on my reading list for a long time, probably well over a year (or two!). That being said, I felt like neither really stood out to me – they were both good stories with interesting concepts which were fun to read, but that was it. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for these books last week and the sequels may be the books to reel me in, but who knows?

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

This book fulfilled the challenge to read a book with a symbol on the cover and so earned me the Ancient Runes OWL.

The Bone Season is set in a world where people are born with the ability to connect to the aether, albeit in different ways, but where it is also against the law to do so. Those who have this ability must live in hiding, under the protection of the syndicate, to avoid being arrested and murdered. Paige is one such person, possessing the ability to dreamwalk: detach herself from her body and enter into other people’s dreamscapes. One day she gets caught, and her whole understanding of the world is turned upside down when she meets the ancient Rephaites – beings from the aether itself.

The world in The Bone Season is complex. From the first few pages, you are thrown into a world with a large number of rules for both the social structure and the magic system. That there are so many different types of abilities with different facets and strengths/limits to them is more then enough to get to grips with. As a result, it took me a while to fully absorb it all. That being said, I found the world to be the most interesting part of this book, particularly where the magic system was concerned. The main plot was not really anything new to me and I didn’t really care for the romance. The characters felt alive but those that I wanted to learn more about and spend more time with (Liss, Julian, the whole of the Seven Dials) felt side-lined to make way for Paige and the Warden. I did enjoy the book and found the writing to be quick-paced while still allowing time for character development. The world was an interesting concept and one I am curious to see more of as well.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18594512-the-bone-season

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Bone-Season-Samantha-Shannon/9781408836453/?a_aid=rosienreads

 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I read The 5th Wave to complete the Astronomy OWL – read a science-fiction novel.

Aliens have arrived, and they’re taking over the world one wave at a time. The 5th Wave is a science-fiction dystopian novel about the days after the aliens invade. It follows Cassie, a girl who made a promise to her little brother and is determined to keep it, and Zombie, a boy who broke his promise to his sister and wants to make amends. To do that, however, they must learn to fend for themselves and to shoot to kill in order to survive a world where the aliens could be anyone and anywhere.

I watched the film for this a while ago so I already knew before going in what the main twist of the book was and what all the other main plot points were (indeed, parts of the book had been pretty much taken scene for scene in the film). Unfortunately, this took out a fair amount of enjoyment for me as I did find myself lacking the excitement as to what was going to happen for the characters. That being said, I really enjoyed the writing style and the manner in which it allowed us to see into each characters’ head, particularly the way that the book revolved around Nugget who, despite having little to do, was very much the heart of the book. The concept of the aliens invading in stages was also interesting, although some of the logic to why certain methods were chosen did not make complete sense. I can see why people love this book and I do wish I had got around to reading it before watching the film as I do think the film did take an edge off my overall enjoyment.

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16101128-the-5th-wave

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/5th-Wave-Book-1-Rick-Yancey/9780141345833/?a_aid=rosienreads

Mini-Review Monday: Perfume – The Story of a Murderer, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and The Pigeon Tunnel

Last week was the second week of the OWLs readathon and the half-way point of the challenge has now been reached. I did not quite read all the books I was aiming to have read by this point but I am still very pleased with all those I did, especially since I was away for three days with very little reading time. I am now five books in and, last week, I read a book about a murderer, a book about an Evil Queen, and a book about a former spy. Each were very different, but on the whole I would say I enjoyed each one.

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

 

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

This book involved the mixing of perfumes and creating new scents in a manner similar to alchemy. As such, it fulfilled the Potions OWL which involved reading a book about or with alchemy in its pages.

Perfume is a peculiar book – I had never encountered a book which revolved around the sense of smell before. It is written in a manner which reminded me of Victor Hugo (something which could also be attributed to the setting in France) and follows the life of a man with no scent who has the most powerful sense of smell in the world. This gift gives him the ability to create the most amazing of perfumes and, in the quest to create the greatest of scents, drives him to learn how to take the scent from bodies.

I found this book very difficult to get into; I struggled to continue reading once I started and I didn’t have the urge to pick up the book again once I had stopped. It’s one of the few books I got close to DNFing. And then I hit about 50 pages in. Reading the rest of the book in nearly one sitting, I found myself been completely drawn in. While slow to start, it gradually got more and more intense and the main character gets dragged more and more into the grips of his obsession with scent. It was possible to see the author’s exploration of the relationship between obsession and desire and, merged with author’s take on scent and its influencing powers, made it quite a book to read. Unfortunately, the last few pages were similar to the start. If you do read this book, I don’t think reading it in multiple sitting works as you lose the sense of addiction that comes off the pages. It’s short enough to be read in one sitting, if you’re able to get past the first few pages and get into the writing style.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/343.Perfume

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Perfume-Patrick-Süskind/9780141041155/?a_aid=rosienreads

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

In order to complete the Divination OWL, I had to read a book which features a prophecy. This was one such book.

It is no secret that I enjoy a retelling, especially if that retelling has a twist to it. This book takes the Evil Queen from Snow White and places her in a fantasy world with heavy East Asian influences, then proceeds to tell the tale of her journey to power through her perspective. From her lowly origins, it follows Xifeng as her aunt Guma repeatedly tells of her destiny through the cards, of a future where she is Empress, and as she sets out to make that destiny her own.

Everything about the book worked for me. The world was richly developed and it was brilliant to see a well-loved fairy-tale told with another culture’s influences – it really highlights how books set in parts of the world that aren’t the US or Europe are under-represented in the mainstream market. Xifeng was an excellent lead and it made a great change from my usual reading to get to follow the path of the villain and experience the dilemmas she experienced regarding which path to take. I do feel like Wei’s part was a little understated given the role the prophecy said he would play (although this may be explored more in the next book) and the writing could have been a little stronger in places. That being said, however, I flew through this book and am very much looking forwarded to seeing how the rest of the Snow White fairy tale gets incorporated into this world.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33958230-forest-of-a-thousand-lanterns

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Forest-of-a-Thousand-Lanterns/9781524741686/?a_aid=rosienreads

The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré (narrated by John Le Carré)

This audiobook fulfilled the challenge for the Muggle Studies OWL – read a muggle non-fiction book. As far as I know, John Le Carré is a muggle and this is his autobiography.

If there was ever a book I was not expecting to enjoy it’s this one. I got this book as part of an Audible deal when all the TV adaptions of the author’s books were appearing, but I never got into the shows. As a result, it took a long time before I decided to pick up this book. I sincerely regret not listening to this book earlier. The Pigeon Tunnel is an autobiography, told through a series of episodic stories from John Le Carré’s life.

One of the reasons why I found myself enjoying this book so much is that, while the books discusses Le Carré’s life in politics, in the secret service and throughout the cold war, it is easily accessible to anyone and very difficult to turn away from – there were always more stories to hear. A large part of this could be attributed to Le Carré’s narration – his voice was clear and personable, not to mention that the fact he’s narrating his own stories meant that there was a certain emphasis and depth to the narration which could not have been achieved with another narrator. I found myself constantly thinking about this book and the life Le Carré led, as well as found myself learning things which I had no idea had occurred. While I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it so much if I read it in print rather than listened to the audiobook, I would still highly recommend it to anyone vaguely interested in the various number of topics covered in this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads:

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Pigeon-Tunnel/9780241976890/?a_aid=rosienreads

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Biographies-Memoirs/The-Pigeon-Tunnel-Audiobook/B016E8URPE

 

Mini-Review Monday: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin and The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

It is April and with April comes the OWLs magical readathon – a readathon which spans the majority of the month and is based off of the OWLs in Harry Potter (one book per subject/challenge). I decided to take part and so my reading in April will revolve around those challenges, although there won’t be any strict order to them. I have already completed two books and am over half-way through two others. While I did not enjoy one of the two books I have finished as much as I wanted to, I still found it an entertaining read. The other book, however, was just what I needed to kick the month off. As far as I’m concerned, the readathon is off to a good start and you can find reviews of the two books I have finished already below.

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

 

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

This book fulfilled the Arithmancy OWL challenge (read a book with a number in the title).

Reading this book was like returning to a well-loved place and discovering new corners and things to see. In A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the book follows a poor Hedge Knight as he tries to find his way in the world and, in the process, ends up with a future king as his squire. It is a book made up of three novellas, each one following a single one of the pair’s adventures. As a result, it has a much smaller, cosier feel to it compared to the grander-scaled A Song of Ice and Fire and I felt like I was getting a much closer look into what life is like in Westeros.

As one would expect from George R.R. Martin, the world-building was perfect – I went in not knowing anything about Hedge Knights and finished the book convinced I could become one. While the focus was on the two main characters (Dunk and Egg) and their adventures, we also got to see them take place within the context of the larger world, particularly around the Blackfyre rebellions which really helped root the stories in place. While the writing was as good as expected, the novellas did hold to a fairly strict structure which made the final one feel a little repetitive compared to the first.

The characters, from the main to the secondary to the extras, all felt present and realistic in the book. The two main characters were easily likeable and fun to follow. Their friendship, in particular, was a delight to read. That the titular character, Dunk, is no great hero and of no mean skill or intelligence was also refreshing; as was the fact that the future king and main source of knowledge between the two was a precocious ten-year-old.

I may be slightly biased due to my love of the A Song of Ice and Fire world, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was refreshing, engaging and very easy to step into. It adds greatly to the overall world that George R.R. Martin has created and I finished it with the urge to read up on the history of Westeros and re-read the original series.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34835283-a-knight-of-the-seven-kingdoms

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-George-R-R-Martin/9780008238094/?a_aid=rosienreads

 

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

This book fulfilled the Defence against the Dark Arts OWL challenge (read a book about/featuring a secret society/club)

I will admit, I do love books set in high society especially if there is a fantasy or supernatural spin. As such, I was very much looking forward to reading The Dark Days Club. Set in Regency England, it follows Lady Helen, the orphaned daughter of a perceived traitor, as she starts her first season. At the same time, however, she discovers another society and calling away from the balls, where demonic creatures walk amongst the people and a truly terrible evil is set to rise. What’s more, her blood may be the key to stopping it.

The villains of this book surprised me. Where I was expecting vampires, I got Deceivers, a fairly unique creature which disguises itself as a human and feeds off human souls. This, however, was the only part of the book which felt truly unique. For the most part, I felt like I had already read the book while I was reading it. This mostly came down to the roles of Lord Carlston and the Duke of Selbourn in the book, as they came across as rather cliché (including the love triangle). If their roles had been different, or even excluded, it would have been a very different reading experience. It also did not help that I found Lord Carlston incredibly dislikeable and spent most of the book rooting against him.

That being said, Lady Helen and her maid Darby were a delight to read and I would happily read more of their adventures. It was very easy to see the conflict in Lady Helen’s mind about which path she should take, yet she was also a very strong character – in her wit, body and mind. If she committed to something, she would not stray away from it even if she had her misgivings; something which I found quite endearing. This was also true of Darby, who stood by her mistress regardless of what Lady Helen got them into. They were an excellent pair and if the rest of the series was just focused on their exploits, with or without the titular Dark Days Club, I would likely buy it all.

The writing really captured the time period and, while the pacing was not the best, there were moments where I could not tear myself away from the book. It was a fun, enjoyable read and, even though Lord Carlston puts me off the rest of the series, I would be curious to see more of Lady Helen in the future.

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27074515-the-dark-days-club

The Book Depository*: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dark-Days-Club-Alison-Goodman/9781406358964/?a_aid=rosienreads

 

*I receive a small commission when purchases are made through the Book Depository links.

The Books I Read in March 2018

If I had to pick a favourite book I read this month, it would be difficult. There are so many to choose from, and each so different from the last. Do I take the utopian YA where death is in the hands of a select few that kept me listening hour after hour? Or do I choose the true crime novel about Italy’s own Jack the Ripper that kept me up at night? If I had to choose, it would probably be the former – Scythe by Neal Shusterman, a novel which reeled me in and had me hooked from the start. The most disappointing read was either Everland or Given to the Sea. While I didn’t dislike them, I found the former felt trapped in the fact it was a retelling and the latter was filled with distinctly unlikable male characters (the other characters came off a little better, however).

On the whole, I would say it was a successful reading month. While there were a couple of books which did not quite live up to my expectations, I did enjoy the majority of the books I read and I did manage to actually meet my goal of reading 10 books in the month. This was helped, no doubt, by the fact I participated in a week-long readathon during which I managed to read six books. For the full list of books I read in March, the list is below:

For reference, the way I rate is as follows:

1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved

Audiobook

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Narrated by Greg Tremblay) – 5/5

Dracula (abridged) by Bram Stoker (narrated by various, including Brian Cox and Heathcote Williams) – 3.5/5

Hardback

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis – 3/5

Everland by Wendy Spinale – 3.5/5

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – 4/5

 

Paperback

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve – 4/5

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – 4/5

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig – 4/5

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates – 4.5/5

The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi – 4.5/5

 

I am planning to read a similar number of books in April which will include a readathon nearly as long as the month itself, during which I’m aiming to read 12 books. While that may be over-reaching, I am hopeful I will succeed. I have already finished one book (A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin) and am in the process of listening to The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré and reading The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman.

Magical Readathon / April TBR

Today is 1st April. April Fool’s Day, Easter Sunday and the eve of the Magical Readathon. The Magical Readathon is a readathon which runs from the 2nd to the 29th April and was thought up by booktuber Book Roast (the readathon announcement video can be found here). It is inspired by the Harry Potter OWLs (a set of wizarding exams akin to the GCSEs held in most English schools) whereby each OWL subject is a reading challenge and, in order to pass the exam, one must read a book which aligns with that reading challenge. There can be no doubling up on challenges. A pass grade, or Acceptable, level OWL will be achieved when two books are read. To achieve the highest grade in OWLs (Outstanding) at least 5 books must be read. Being the Hermione I am, I’m going to attempt to read 12 books – one for every subject on the list:

OWLS:

Ancient Runes (read a book with a symbol on the cover) – The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Arithmancy (read a book with a number on the cover or in the title) – The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

Astronomy (read a science fiction novel) – The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Care of Magical Creatures (read a book with mythical creatures in or on the cover) – The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Charms (read a fantasy novel) – The Young Elites by Mary Lu

Defence against the Dark Arts (read a book about/featuring a secret society or club) – The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Divination (read a book featuring prophecies) – Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Herbology (read a book with a nature-related word in the title) – The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

History of Magic (read an historical fiction novel) – My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi meadows

Muggle Studies (read a muggle non-fiction book) – The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré (audiobook)

Potions (read a book about/with alchemy) – Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Transfiguration (read a book that deals with transfiguration/shape-shifting or similar, or a book with a cat on the cover) – Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (audiobook)

So those are the books I am going to be reading in April. It will be a challenge to read them all, but I am hopeful. I have a decent mix of hardbacks, paperbacks and audiobooks to get me through the month, with a wide range of genres and topics to cover. The readathon itself sounds like a lot of fun and is probably one of the more creative ones I have come across recently, so I am looking forward to getting stuck in and completing my OWLs this year.

For more information about the OWLs and the pass grades, you can read the Hogwarts info letter here.