Posted in Owls Readathon 2020

Owls Readathon 2020: The Results

The Owls readathon had already started when I first learned of its existence at the beginning of the month, which resulted in some panicking as I tried to pick books which fitted the prompts.

In the end, I chose the wizarding career of Magizoologist, and completed all 4 on the required exams in good time, and even managed to get in a few extra.

Required Owls:

Care Of Magical Creatures.
Hippogriffs: Creature with a beak on the cover

Completed

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I could have found something else to read for this subject, but how could I pass up an opportunity to reread Prisoner of Azkaban for the gazillionth time?

Charms.
Lumos Maxima: A book with a white cover

Completed

The Guest List

I had The Guest List preordered, and it arrived a few days before the starts of the Owls, so in perfect time to fill the prompt for Charms.

Herbology.
Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title starts with an ‘M’

Completed

A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4)

Potions.
Shrinking Solution: Book under 150 pages

Completed

The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hogwarts Library)

Extras:

Divination
Third Eye: Assign numbers to your TBR & use a random number generator to pick your read

Completed

The Adventure of the Norwood Builder (The Return of Sherlock Holmes, #2)

Transfiguration.
Animagus Lecture: A book featuring shapeshifting

Completed

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Astronomy
Night Classes: Read mostly when it’s dark

Completed

Quidditch Through the Ages

Muggle Studies
A book from the perspective of a Muggle (contemporary)

Completed

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

#Murdertrending (MurderTrending, #1)

I just managed to get #Murdertrending finished before the end of April, but by doing so, this brought my total reads up to 9.

The Results

9 exams (books) means I finished was an Outstanding in my first Owls, and that was way better than I expected to do.

This many books in one month is insane, considering I’d read 11 between January and March, but I’ll take the win.

Posted in Owls Readathon 2020, Reads Rated

Reads Rated: The Guest List by Lucy Foley (& quick OWLS update)

I’m back with another review, this time of Lucy Foley’s The Guest List.

I picked it for my Charms read, as part of the OWLS Readathon, and I finished it in 4 days, which is a first for me in a long time.

Finishing this means I’ve completed 3 of the 4 exams (Charms, Herbology & Potions), and I only have Care Of Magical Creatures (the prompt for which is a book that features something with a beak on the cover) left.

I’m really happy with the progress I’m making, not just with the readathon, but with my tbr in general. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up for the rest of the month.


The Guest List

Synopsis

EACH HAS A SECRET, EACH HAS A MOTIVE.

Off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year.

Old friends
Past grudges

Happy families
Hidden jealousies

Thirteen guests
One body

ONE GUEST WON’T LEAVE THIS WEDDING ALIVE…

GUESTS ARE INVITED TO CORMORANT ISLAND.

The stag is set for the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. The setting is spectacular, the planning meticulous, the atmosphere alive with nostalgia as the guests toast the most golden of couples.

Yet under the cloak of happniess, dark secrets begin to spill and old grudges surface. And the wedding cake has barely been cut when someone is found dead.

As a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped – and the killer circulates amongst the guests.

IT STARTS WITH A PARTY.

IT’LL END IN MURDER.


//What I Liked//

The plot > Over the first couple of chapters we’re introduced to the wedding’s main characters- the ones who will eventually become part of the mystery of who’s found dead and who is pushed to murder- and each is as likely as the others in their possibility of being candidate for victim or killer.

There’s a ton of secrets and lying and drama at what Jules wants to be the wedding of the year, and I loved the whole soap-opera vibes as shiny images and reputations cracked the longer the guests were on the island.

The characters > There are 5 main narrators throughout the novel: Hannah, the plus one; Olivia, the bridesmaid; Johnno, the best man; Aoife, the wedding planner; and Jules, the bride.

Each change in perspective was clearly stated at the beginning of each chapter, but the characters themselves had their own personalities and histories, so it never felt like the same person just with a different name.

In the story itself, it wasn’t obvious who could be trusted, as slowly everyone started to reveal parts of themselves they usually worked so hard to conceal, and found themselves thinking more and more on the secrets they didn’t want anybody to know.

The slow burn > Lucy Foley does this thing in The Guest List where the story alternates between before and after the murder, and it’s perfect not only for keeping you wanting to read on, but it adds to the overall mystery, because during the ‘after’ scenes, you’re given clues that might tell you the identity of the victim, but might also be red herrings, and you won’t know until you get to the end.

There were consequences for what everybody did > It’s a small thing in comparison to the story living up to the promised drama of the synopsis, but when the characters argued or did something to upset somebody else, whoever was on the receiving side of things didn’t just shrug it off and go on with their day as if they weren’t bothered.

And, yeah, you want that in a murder mystery, but even the smaller incidents that didn’t have bearing on the crime itself had consequences, and there’s a particular conversation near the end of the book that I loved because it’s not something that I’ve seen a lot of.

//Not So Much…//

The abandoned hints > I know. It’s a mystery novel. There’s supposed to be teasers and clues and things about something that happened before the book starts, but there was one too many of the abandoned thoughts for my liking, including Jules and the note, and her history with Charlie.

I’ll admit those hints did make me want to find out the full story, but they didn’t have any great impact that couldn’t have been delivered another way.

Rating

4.5/5

I thought I had the who and the why all figured out, but got proven wrong at the last minute, and that’s what earned The Guest List the extra half point.

It follows a layout in how the story is told, but there are plenty of twists and surprises to keep you guessing.


Goodreads

Amazon/ Book Depository/ Waterstones

Posted in Owls Readathon 2020

Owls Readathon 2020: The Subjects

I’m three years late to the party, but what else is a lockdown good for if not taking part in a Harry Potter-themed readathon?

There have been a ton of posts today on my timeline about the Owls Readthon being back for its third year, and after watching some of The Book Roast’s videos on how to take part, I decided to give it a go because it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

I’ve never taken part in a readathon before, but I love the Harry Potter books and I’m always looking for an excuse to read more, so the combination of both was too much to pass on.

You can find out more about the Owls Readathon here.


Wizarding Career: Magizoologist

I’ve decided to take the exams to become a Magizoologist, like Newt Scamander. I was tempted by Trader of Magical Tomes, because being a seller of books about magic would be amazing, but I liked the subjects more for Magizoology.

Owls Required:

Care Of Magical Creatures.
Hippogriffs: Creature with a beak on the cover

I have a few possibilities for this one- Prisoner of Azkaban, The Hunger Games, or one of the Miss Peregrine novels. I’m going to make the decision when I get there.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

Charms.
Lumos Maxima: A book with a white cover

This one was easy, though The Guest List was at the bottom of my tbr.

The Guest List

Herbology.
Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title starts with an ‘M’

I struggled with this one for a while until I checked out the list of suggestions on the Magical Readathon website.

A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4)

Potions.
Shrinking Solution: Book under 150 pages

This was another recommendation from the Magical Readathon recommendations page, but I might also read Quidditch Through The Ages or Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hogwarts Library)

Extra Credit:
Courses, Seminars & Training

New to the Owls Readathon is the opportunity to pick even more books. I’ve chosen to take part in the Legal Defence of Fantastic Beasts Seminar if I have the chance.

Required Owls are Care of Magical Creatures & History of Magic (a book which features witches/ wizards.)


The Grades for the Owls are below:

Acceptable = 2 exams complete 

Exceeded Expectations = 6 exams complete

Outstanding = 9 exams complete

Good luck!