#24in48 Readathon: Day 2 + Lessons

Hello everyone!

So it’s possible you can tell by the fact that I’m not triumphantly (or desperately) squeaking in an update by midnight that I’ve had to throw in the towel on this challenge.

Sorry, y’all! But I’ve definitely learned some lessons from this experience, which I’ll get to in a minute. For now, a little on the other two books I finished! (I can break my promises to myself, but not to you folks. Y’ALL ARE SPECIAL TO ME.)

As I Decended by Robin Talley: As I Descended

This was…a thing. I don’t know. I might change my mind about this one.

I don’t have a tl;dr for this. How’s this: The retelling framework was neat. There were definitely some spooky moments, but that was really undercut by how inconsistent the logic of the haunting(s) turned out to be. (The later explanations felt like they didn’t quite cover it/were retcons in a sense.)

The connections between the characters, even the main couple, felt more told than shown; the characters themselves were sympathetic enough, but they felt completely untethered to one another so it was still hard to care?

Basically, there were some good ideas and pieces of writing strung together with not the best connective tissue. And it made me extra sad because I was excited for this novel.

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick: Midwinterblood

Tl;dr: This is a quick, atmospheric book about two lovers who meet across seven lifetimes on a mysterious northern island where a strange flower grows.

The tagline on this cover honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense, so ignore it if it seems overwrought. This book starts in the future and travels back through time to the origin of the two main characters, and their love and the tale of it take on many forms.

This book makes good use of repetition and storytelling and setting and I didn’t feel it was deeply profound in terms of my connection to the characters or anything, but I enjoyed it much as you would enjoy watching The Witch. Truth and reality can be questionable. It’s a lot about atmosphere and imagery. The story unfolds slowly, showing us its sharp teeth and then reeling back to the relative (but now haunted) safety of the everyday. Midwinterblood is perhaps not explicitly horror, but it’s definitely spooky.

Readathon lessons

So. I thought this would be a breeze because I really do enjoy reading for long stretches of time (I like reading a book all at once, or else I kind of lose the vibe), but actually, because I read quite quickly, this challenge just felt a little relentless.

Like I just finished one book and picked up another and by the time I finished the fourth at 15 hours I knew I’d be reading at least two to three more and that’s just too much for one brain to take in one weekend. (Maybe especially since I started later than I would’ve liked Saturday, which made it hard to take breaks.) I’m not sure why I didn’t anticipate that being an issue? I usually read faster than I did in this challenge.

(When one is creatively looping a book around with one arm while trying to water the plants and make tea and bake cinnamon rolls, it can slow one down! Also one’s lack of sleep comes into play. And by one, I mean me.)

My next reading challenge will probably not be timed! Or if so, I’ll pick something a little different in terms of time, or in terms of reading. (I think if I had a hold of one long, good series, it might be easier to read six or so books all at once.)

But I got a good four books knocked off my TBR in a weekend, so that’s not bad!

I’ll see you all again Tuesday with a special guest post, which I’m very excited about. And then, back to your regularly scheduled programming!

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