On the eighteenth of this month, I said that I had decided to participate in #AuthorAThon – a week-long reading challenge cohosted by Joana Sousa and Thoughts on Tomes. Well, #AuthorAThon ended today, so I thought I’d tell you how it went.
There were two options: Either read as many books as possible from one author, or complete six challenges that were set for us. I chose to do the six challenges, since that seemed to be the more manageable option of the two.
And it was. Mostly.
But I digress. Here are the books I read to fulfill the challenges, along with some observations about each one.
Sooo… I said “mostly” earlier because I didn’t quite complete the challenge. I joined #AuthorAThon because I knew this week would be less busy than those that have come before it, but it was still fairly busy. Busier than I thought it would be.
Long story short, I didn’t have as much time to read as I thought, and actually ended up reading two of the following books yesterday and two today, in addition to starting Huntress by Malinda Lo, which I meant to read for this challenge. I’m really enjoying it so far – I love the beautiful descriptions and the girls’ adorable crushes on one another give me life – but pretty soon it was almost midnight on Sunday and I knew I couldn’t finish it today.
And that’s OK. I mean, I feel a little bad about not quite completing all of the challenges because I have a THING about completing anything I sign up for and achieving any goals I set for myself, but… meh, I’ll deal with it. I hope to finish Huntress sometime within the next week.
2. Read a new-to-you author
For this challenge, I read Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith! I cannot WAIT to read the other graphic novels in this series. I will have to make sure that I get the color editions of the next few books… I don’t mind black and white graphic novels or comics and have read quite a few of them, actually, but if there are versions that come in color than you can bet that I want to get my hands on those.
I really enjoyed this story. It’s super cute and I’m kind of worried that it’s going to break my heart in the end, because some of the themes and villains and stuff are fairly dark for something that is otherwise so silly and adorable.
3. Give an author a second chance
I read Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology by J.H. Williams III and I’m STILL having an emotion or two about it. It’s so gay and kickass and oh my godddd, the artwork is gorgeous. I love DC more and more with each new comic I read and TBH, I’ve begun to side-eye people who say they don’t like DC, or dislike DC with the exception of Batman, and I’m just like… you need Batwoman in your life. Trust me.
4. Read a debut author (2015 or 2016)
I read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh to fulfill this part of the challenge and I have really, really mixed feelings about it. I still can’t decide whether or not I liked the descriptions; at times, they seemed like purple prose. There wasn’t as much of a focus placed on the original tale(s) of One Thousand and One Nights as I had been led to believe, and I found myself confused or skeptical of some of the characters’ actions and motivations.
Like, I know that the whole point is that Shahrzad convinces the king to spare her for another night, and then another night, and so on and so forth. But I just didn’t buy the reasons given in this retelling. They seemed weak.
When Shahrzad and Khalid fell in love with each other after only a few weeks for… no reason at all, as far as I could tell, my gay little brain was just like, “That sounds fake, but OK.” (Sometimes I forget that some people aren’t even a little bit attracted to the same gender – “that sounds fake, but OK” – and then I stumble across something that is just the straightest thing ever and it momentarily puzzles me. THAT WAS THIS BOOK.) I don’t even know. The romance just didn’t make me feel anything?
I wouldn’t say it was a bad book – at least, not right now, but then I only recently finished it and may yet change my mind – but it was definitely an AVERAGE book. It didn’t really stand out to me from all the other YA novels on the shelves, except for the fact that it had diverse characters. I just feel kind of sad now because I had been looking forward to it SO much, more than almost any other non-LGBTQ+ diverse book from 2015. (Which I realize is a ridiculously specific category, but… yeah. Blehhh.)
5. Read a book written by more than one author
I read The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne and… ahhhh! This was one of the most reassuring books I’ve read in a while. It was so comforting to read about how other people made it not only as writers, but as LGBTQ+ writers in a world that still doesn’t really care much about stories by, about, and for LGBTQ+ people.
6. Read a book from an author who is from a different continent than you are
For the final challenge, I read Desolation by Derek Landy, the second book in the Demon Road trilogy. OH MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING. I do think I liked the first book better, but I loved the way the plot thickened and the cast of characters expanded, so that was nice.
ALSO. AMBER IS A #CONFIRMED LESBIAN OHH MY GOD AND SHE GETS A CUTE LIL ROMANTIC SUBPLOT AND IT’S THE BEST THING EVER IT MADE MY DAY AND GAVE ME LIFE AND AHHH I IDENTIFY WITH HER SO MUCH.
(I mean… not with the whole demon/my-parents-are-trying-eat-me thing, but I relate to the poor self-esteem and body image issues and GAY STUFF and oh my god it was so good you have to read it YOU HAVE TO.)
I’m so happy that I joined #AuthorAThon! I spent much of this weekend curled up in a chair, reading and listening to music and drinking hot chocolate. IT WAS WONDERFUL. I’ve been in a reading slump for so long and therefore haven’t made much progress on my 2016 Goodreads reading challenge goal of one hundred books, but reading books for #AuthorAThon helped me raise the total number of books I’ve read this year to eighteen. I’M ONLY THIRTEEN BOOKS BEHIND SCHEDULE, YOU GUYS. I CAN DO THIS.
Did you participate in #AuthorAThon? Whether or not you did… OMG TELL ME WHAT YOU READ THIS WEEK.
P.S. I will be reviewing each of these books eventually, some on their own and some as part of reviews of their entire respective series!