• obsessedwallflower

O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2020 | Wrap Up

And, just like that, the O.W.L.s ended. This was such a brilliant thing that came into my life this year and I'm so happy I managed to finally participate! Not only did I read more that I've ever had in a single month, but also, the sense of community that I got from both Instagram and Twitter, the whole creative process I did for my Bookstagram photos (you can check them out here) and the sheer happiness this brought me each day was out of this world. Such a strong light in these times of darkness ♥︎


A week into the readathon I did change strategies though. As you saw from my TBR, I was aiming for the Auror career, with extra courses in Animagus Training and Merpeople Linguistics. However, after I got the gist of things I realised that, better than doubling up on the classes that repeated across the different qualifications, I should instead try to make my way through as many different classes as I could, seen as there's the N.E.W.T.s later this year.


That led me to pass a total of 10 subjects, plus finish the book I was listening to when the month started. So let's get onto the whopping amount of books I finished!


1) Charms: Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys


Historical Fiction is a genre that I say I love but I have only actually read a few of. That said, when I think about historical fictions I'd like to read, they're all WWII related, as that is because 1) it's what there's most of out there and 2) it's my favourite time in History to study. This was my first Ruta Sepetys book and I absolutely loved her writing. I was gripped from the get-go and will definitely read more of her books in the future. As about the story, I think this was such an amazing and heartbreaking way of talking about a part of the War we know nearly nothing about. However, I wish we'd gotten a bigger idea of how the ending happened. The story was so detailed throughout, I'd hoped it to tell us more about the workings of that specific part. But all in all, I really adored this. 3.5/5 ⭐️


2) Potions: The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


I think all of all the Sherlock Holmes stories I've read so far, this one has been my favourite. I don't have much to say about any of them, but I love reading about the inner workings of the most brilliant mind that there is. The writing is also incredible and I'm loving listening to this audiobook before bed. Highly recommend. 4/5 ⭐️


3) Transfiguration: Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare


Okay, I loved this. I absolutely and utterly loved this. I FINALLY LIKE CASSIE CLARE'S BOOKS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. My journey with her books has been a rollercoaster to say the least, and even though I liked Clockwork Angel a lot more than any of the Mortal Instruments books, this is what did it for me. The angst, the romance, the consistent plot (more consistent and believable than any of her other books I've read so far) and the characters, I loved everything about this. I have to say, I'm regretting reading the rest of TMI because I know it won't compare to this, but I can't WAIT to finish the Infernal Devices. 4.5/5 ⭐️ LOVED


4) Herbology: Minimal, Madeleine Olivia


I've read a few of sustainability/minimalism books but I think this was my favourite, as it's such a comprehensive guide. The way it's divided, both all the areas it covers as well as the way the areas themselves are separated, the practical tips, the drawings/schemes, the proper explanation, the recipes. As with any books about these subjects not set in Brazil, there's definitely some things not applicable to me (like seasonal foods and certain ingredients) but I do see myself going back to this time and time again. The one criticism I have to make, and this could be because I'm got an Advertisement degree and worked in the Creative Direction area of that, but the graphic design of this got on my nerves. The wacky margins and the fact that the text wasn't justified was a major thing for me but the content is so good I managed. 4.5/5 ⭐️


5) DADA: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Mackenzi Lee


Like the previous book in this series, I went the audiobook route and I was not at all disappointed. I didn't enjoy the story as much, simply because Monty and Percy weren't present for most of this and my love for their relationship is out of this world, but I love Felicity as a character, loved the new characters we got introduced to and the bunch of women empowering each other was incredible. Such a fun read that will fill your heart. 4/5 ⭐️


6) Arithmancy: Us, David Nicholls


This was surely the most surprising read of the month for me. As the prompt for this subject suggests, we were supposed to pick a book opposite from our favourite genre, so I picked a romance (my favourite genre being Fantasy). This was the first book by David Nicholls I read and it left me dying to read One Day (and yes, I've watched the film and loved it but was also destroyed – isn't everyone?). His writing feels effortless and, even though at times I felt the story a bit tedious, I couldn't help but keep reading. A brilliant tale of the beginning and the end of a love story as well as about family in general, very raw and real and honest. I keep thinking about this and how much I wanna read One Day so I guess this indicates how much I liked this. 4.25/5 ⭐️ (I'm getting VERY specific)


7) Astronomy: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


This on the other hand was my least favourite of the Sherlock Holmes books. From what I've gathered this was the collection of everyday cases but, besides A Scandal in Bohemia which I loved (Irene Adler, duh) I simply enjoyed the others. I still see Sherlock as one of the most interesting characters out there and this didn't at all take anything from my love of him. Also, after I finish this a re-watch of BBC's Sherlock is definitely overdue, I'll forever imagine him as Benedict Cumberbatch. 3/5 ⭐️


8) Muggle Studies: The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot


This wasn't the book I'd planned to read for this but I kept seeing this series on my sister's shelves and was like "You know, I might finally read this". For reference, I ADORE the Disney films, they're probably my favourite films Disney's ever made that's not an animation (right up there with High School Musical) and I was also dying to watch them, so wanted to read these before. I loved it. I was surprised by how current it is, even though it was published 20 years ago. Mia is a vegetarian, fights for animal rights, Lilly (albeit very annoying in my opinion) is an activist for every cause ever, there's plenty of talks about feminism, even if just to point out some of Mia's own non-feminist thoughts. This is also a breeze to read (I am currently marathoning the rest of the series) and leaves the biggest smile on my face. 3/5 ⭐️


9) Care of Magical Creatures: All the Crooked Saints, Maggie Stiefvater


I have been putting off reading this book for the longest time because I had either seen people be underwhelmed or people buying it only because it's a Maggie Stiefvater book (I'm one of those) and unhauling it later for lack of interest. I refused to let go of this before I read it, so decided to listen to the audiobook. I had started reading this before and found it incredibly confusing and this time around it still was. I gathered what was going on and understood everything but nothing made much sense and it was all incredibly alright. Kind of tedious, not good but also didn't regret reading it, it was just meh. 2.5/5 ⭐️


10) Ancient Runes: Our Stop, Laura Jane Williams


By the last two weeks of April my mental health took a bit of a toll and so did my reading (which is why I didn't manage to pass all the O.W.L.s) therefore I was only managing to do audiobooks. This was the only one I had saved that had a heart on the cover, so this was the one I chose for this class and I really enjoyed it. First of all, this book is dual perspective and the woman's parts were narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, one of my favourite people ever. I also loved the narrator for the guy (Felix Scott) and the story is one of those absolutely ridiculous-would-never-happen-in-real-life but absolutely adorable-can't-stop-reading-this. Highly entertaining, you can't help but root for these two characters to finally get together (it's quite frustrating in that sense) and by the end I was all smiles. 3.5/5 ⭐️


11) A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


And finally, the first book I finished this month. I wanted to finish this before carrying on with the other Sherlock Holmes books so this didn't count for any classes (it couldn't really, seen as I had already started it before the month began). I really enjoyed this, although it's so similar to the BBC series (props to them really) that I knew exactly everything that was going to go on (don't know why this episode stands out in my mind) so couldn't really have many surprises. But this did send me into a love for Sherlock, so I can't at all complain. 3.5/5 ⭐️


As I said in the beginning, since I already had read books for both Transfiguration and Potions, as well as Herbology, I did not read the extra books I'd planned only because these classes were repeats (I thought I needed to at the beginning but I didn't, the only thing you couldn't do was pick one book for multiple different classes). Even though I wish I could've read books for all the classes, I'm so proud of how much I managed to read this month! It's the most I've ever read, and May has already proven to be a month just as good, if not better.


Love,

N.


Xx

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