2019 · Readathons · TBR

Gothtober – Wrap-up

Gothtober readathon wrap-up

This readathon was a monthlong readathon which was brand new. I’m finally finding British booktubers and their content. It’s been a struggle over the years! But here I am supporting another one 🙂 yay!

I decided not to pick up all the scary books but just read what I wanted based on the prompts and maybe get a few books off my physical TBR shelf. All that, I managed 🙂

This wrap-up is massively delayed, I’m sorry about that. Stuff happened and I wasn’t ready. So TWO weeks after the end of the readathon my wrap-up is finally ready to go! lol. It’s bad.

Announcement video by main host and creator LadetteM!

Reading Challenges

In my defence I couldn’t find a retelling and I completely forgot about the vampire movie prompt…

Books Read

The Heartforger (Bone Witch #2) by Rin Cupeco

Prompt: Bones on cover, BIPOC rep, Female protagonist, Morally grey, red on the cover, undead characters.

Opinion:

I loved this instalment so much! I love the first book and I was really excited to read this second book as the first book kind of ends on a cliff hanger. This continues from the ending of the first book. There is a time gap but not massively. I do love how dark it is and how morally grey it is. Also the story format is right up my alley; the mix of past story with the present. Its a story within a story and I love it. I keeps me on my toes and constantly questioning what will happen next 🙂 cant wait to read the final instalment 🙂

Synopsis of book 1 “The Bone Witch”:

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Prompt: Undead character, foreign country

Opinion:

This was not what I expected. I didn’t expect it to resemble a ghost story as if Frankenstein’s creation may or may not be a part of his imagination, but I guess that just creates a talking point and room for discussion. I fully understand why people have changed the story when making the movie. there is hardly anything thrilling about it from a modern perspective. I’m glad I’ve read it, but I’m also glad its over.

Synopsis:

Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Byron’s villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Prompt: Dark academia, grey morality, female protagonist, undead characters, MC liar, foreign country.

Opinion:

I wasn’t sure what I got myself into picking up this book, but I loved it! I knew other people loved it and I heard a lot of good things about it, but I didn’t know it was as dark as it was. Also I knew it was adult but I still expected some YA elements for some reason, not sure why. It was dark and heavy on some topics which were uncomfortable but I’m glad those topics got raised. I loved who the world was. Even though a lot of the world was based on real life (Leigh Bardugo herself went to Yale and was part of one of these societies) but I loved the rules of magic and how Alex doesn’t really fit into it. I am very excited to see what happens in the next book and if they find their friend.

Synopsis

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. 

Nod by Adrian Barnes

Prompt: Oldest purchased, red cover, foreign country.

Opinion:

A pandemic book during pandemic was too close for comfort I have to say. It felt too real and I kept confusing reality with the book. So yeah I didn’t like it. I wonder how it would have been if I read this before COVID. I’m glad this book is over. The concept is slightly interesting and talk a lot about the world of Nod and other less used words which I had no understanding off. I felt I was a bit left behind with some of these references as I had no clue what they were. This could be a fun book for a linguist maybe.

Synopsis

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream. 

After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead. 

Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.

Archangel by Robert Harris

Prompt: red on the cover (yes I already know most of the books on my TBR have red on the cover and this book isn’t necessary… I know), oldest purchased (same time as Nod), foreign country.

Opinion:

Well I’m glad this book is over.

Synopsis

Fluke Kelso was once a scholar of promise, but like so many in the highly competitive world of academia, he’s never delivered. But one night, at a symposium in Moscow concerning the release of secret Soviet archives, he is approached by Papu Rapava, a former Kremlin bodyguard with a story to tell. No one but the desperate Kelso would believe the tale, for what Rapava describes is a sort of Holy Grail among researchers: an actual diary left by Joseph Stalin himself. Such an artifact, if it’s genuine — and if Kelso can survive the fascist Vladimir Mamantov, who wants it for his own agenda — would be the coup of a lifetime for the discredited researcher.

Before Kelso can learn the location of the diary, Rapava disappears, and Kelso’s search for the former bodyguard leads him to the man’s daughter, a whore selling herself in the new Moscow of drugs, corruption, and the Russian mafia. With an unscrupulous American journalist hot on their heels, a major of the new KGB close behind, and the shadowy Mamantov following them all, the two follow a trail that leads from Moscow’s seedy underbelly to the industrial city of Archangel, where Russia once built her fleets of submarines, to a remote camp on the edge of the Siberian nothingness, and finally to a shocking conclusion that bites like the wind blowing off the tundra. What Kelso sees as the coup of his career might turn out to be the catalyst for an actual coup in Russia. There is a legacy behind the diary, a legacy of evil and death, and Fluke Kelso is unwittingly about to unleash it on the world.

Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Prompts: set in a foreign country, BIPOQ rep, female protagonist,

Opinion:

So much fun! but quite serious too. And I really like the blend of those tow in these books. It’s not just “everything will be fine”, but “we might all die, but let’s die fighting and then we’ll eat cake”. It’s fun with a serious edge. I do wonder if only adults reader will see the serious side? Maybe. However, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book at all. Its a wild adventure! My favourite thing about this series is how Sunny earns money when she learns something new, and the harder it is to learn the more money she gets. So cool! I would like to have an income like that too please?!

Synopsis

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound. 

Sex and Lies by Leila Slimani

Prompt: “lie” in the title, foreign country, BIPOQ rep.

Opinion:

It was very refreshing to read a non fiction book in a readathon. And this book was super fascinating! I learned a lot about Islam an women, but also about Islam and their dislike for western which in turn have turned them very strict. Did you know the ideal of a virgin is not from Islam but originates in pagan Mediterranean views? No? Neither did I. The value of non fiction books like these is in all the well-educated people who voice their opinion in here. Both men and women express their thoughts on sex, media, porn, religion, laws, etc. It was super fascinating and I highly recommend this to anyone who might think this sounds interesting.

Synopsis

In these essays, Leila Slimani gives voice to young Moroccan women who are grappling with a conservative Arab culture that at once condemns and commodifies sex. In a country where the law punishes and outlaws all forms of sex outside marriage, as well as homosexuality and prostitution, women have only two options for their sexual identities: virgin or wife. Sex and Lies is an essential confrontation with Morocco’s intimate demons and a vibrant appeal for the universal freedom to be, to love and to desire.

Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

Prompt: Disability rep, does Santa count as an undead character? Asking for a friend…

Opinion:

This was a fun ride with weird words and rhymes in between a great story of a Christmas dinosaur and his friend. I very mush enjoyed this ride and read it in a day. It’s the perfect Christmas read amongst many Christmas reads out there.

Synopsis

The Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur, the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible.

The London of Us (London Romance #4) by Claire Lydon

Prompt: LGBT+ rep, female protagonist.

Opinion:

As my first ever queer romance this was a pretty good start. I did read this right after a Muslim rom-com book so this unfortunately fell into its shadow. It felt a bit easy to be honest. But I loved the setting (London) with plenty of queer side characters and the discussion (yeah it was small but it was there) about bi-erasure and not having to put a label on yourself unless you want to. Loved that!

Synopsis

Alice Di Santo has it all – everyone says so. Perfect boyfriend, great job, settled home life. But when she meets Rachel Cramer, all that changes. Because Rachel is everything Alice has never considered – and now cannot stop thinking about.

This charming tale of coming out in your 30s sees Alice risk everything to go after what she wants, soon discovering she’s deserving of love – and especially this love, which takes her breath away.

The fourth book in the London Romance Series features favourite characters from the previous three novels, and proves that falling in love is never scripted.

Based on my TBR there was only one book I never managed to finish and that was Vicious by V. E. Schwab. But I still managed to get all the prompts and I consider his a successful readathon!

Future notes to self: Don’t do a readathon in October if you are doing NaNoWriMo…! Bad idea.

Anyone else participating in this readathon?

3 thoughts on “Gothtober – Wrap-up

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