Other Bookishness, Reading Challenges, Tree

READING CHALLENGE: Taylor Swift Readathon – Wrap Up

This has been a month of TAYLOR SWIFT which is my favorite type of month. November? More like November (Taylor’s Version). 

This is my wrap up for the Taylor Swift Readathn Mariareadsbooksalot (on Instagram) hosted. See my TBR for this readathon here

I DID NOT stick to my TBR (is anyone surprised bc I sure am not). But, I managed to complete all the prompts and only double counted one book which was pretty cool. 

As a reminder, here are the prompts & my thoughts/reviews are in the order that I read the books, not the order of the albums! Also, I picked a quote from the album that matches the ~vibe~ of the book because I had to. 

TS – a YA contemporary 
Fearless – a modern retelling
Speak Now – a romance with an illustrated cover
Red – a book that intimidate you 
1989 – a book set in NYC
reputation – a book with a bad ass main characters
Lover – a book with a pink cover
folklore – a comfort book
evermore – a thriller or murder mystery


 

evermore – a thriller or murder mystery

“They think she did it but they just can’t prove it
She thinks I did it but she just can’t prove it” – no body, no crime

Verity

My first read was Verity for evermore because I had to read it for book club by 11/6. I was a tad worried about finishing it on time, but it is such a fast read that I read it very quick and honestly could’ve read it quicker if I needed to. 

I’m going to preface this by saying, this is totally not my type of read. It was too dark in content for me and just unsettled me (bc of content, not just bc it’s a bit creepy). 

I did like how fast this read. The story pulls you in from the start and I’ve talked with so many of you on how you finished it in one sitting which makes total sense. I also really liked the alternating chapters between Lowen’s POV and Verity’s manuscript. 

I read this with book club and really enjoyed our discussion. There is a lot of parts that are open ended and up to interpretation which makes this a good book club read. 

I’m not sure if I’ll read another one of Colleen Hoover’s thrillers, but I’m glad I finally read this one since I picked it up at a used bookstore a while ago and had yet to pick it up. 
Also, I didn’t know this was originally self published (now picked up by a pub) but that’s pretty cool that she went this route!

Also, lots of trigger warnings for this one and I did my best to list the ones I remember, but please read with care. 

TW: death of a child, massive child abuse, death of a parent, cancer, car accident, cheating, attempted abortion

Speak Now – a romance with an illustrated cover

“Cause I see, sparks fly, whenever you smile” – Sparks Fly

Twice Shy

I randomly picked up Twice Shy at the library and started it rather than any of the books on the TBR for this readathon (mood reader, hi). I did not like Sarah Hogle’s first book, but I saw this one recommended for those who like the grumpy/sunshine trope so I figured I would give it a go. 

Honestly this book in one word is SOFT. This was a very sweet romance, but it won’t be for everyone. The writing is flowery at times and Maybell has these extensive daydreams that can be hard to separate from what it happening IRL. I just had a bit of a hard time following some parts of the novel because of these two things. 

But, Maybell and Wesley’s relationship was adorable and fun to read about. There is an old house to restore, treasure to find, grump/sunshine dynamic, and figuring yourself out.

I saw a review that said Maybell let people walk all over her and like that is technically true? But, because of her past it really makes sense and I don’t think it’s a far critique per se.

Lowkey feel like Maybell and Wesley could be my parents since I have things in common with both of them LOL

TW: death of a family member, social anxiety 

Taylor Swift – a YA contemporary 

“Oh, I’m just a girl
Trying to find a place in this world” – A Place in This World

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms

Cheer Up! was another library pick that I did not plan on reading. This graphic novel was adorable and I read it in one sitting. The art was gorgeous and it is an easy graphic to follow.

I loved the trans and lesbian representation and how this novel shows that the best meaning people are not always helping. Beatrice’s team is trying SO HARD, but they don’t stop and think if their actions are actually helping her. I loved seeing her figuring out how to stand up for herself and become her own advocate.

This definately could have been longer, but if you’re a fan of Check, Please (see my review) this would be another one to add to your TBR and it’s also shorter than Check Please.

TW: transphobia, sexual harassment

folklore – a comfort read & reputation – a book with badass main characters

“And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Invisible string
Tying you to me?” – invisible string

“And all at once, you are the one I have been waiting for – king of my heart”

The Scorpio Races

Okay writing any sort of review for The Scorpio Races is weird since this was my sixth time reading this.  I’m going to try to write a full review eventually, but I need to. But, I reread this every November hence COMFORT BOOK and I just love it a bit more each time.

Each time I get a little something different from the book. This time I was really into the small romantic moments between Puck and Sean and Maggie’s writing. I also found Gabe’s story arc even more touching and heartbreaking. Honestly my notes from reading this are all me screaming about things Sean and Puck say to each other so it is no surprise that the Taylor quotes I picked are all romantic. 

Anywho. I adore this novel. It’s a slow character driven novel and it’s really focused on place, family (or lack of family), and what makes you happy in a harsh world. Love it. The audio is great if you haven’t read it or listened to it.

Fearless – a modern retelling

“Well, you could write a book on
How to ruin someone’s perfect day” – Tell Me Why

Spies and Prejudice

For context I read Spies & Prejudice mainly because it was my second oldest book on my Goodreads TBR. I marked this baby as “Want to Read” in MARCH 2013. I was in high school friends. Anyways. I came across a (signed!) copy at a book swap I went to in September so it seemed like fate. All that to say, this is not the type of book I would pick up today. I am trash for P&P retellings (see this post), but 2013 YA one? Not really a priority when there are so many these days.

In the end this isn’t really much of a P&P retelling. If anything it’s more Veronica Mars-esque and rather than a Lizzie/Darcy vibes it’s just enemies to lovers vibes?

Anyways. I really wanted to DNF this, since the plot was boring and also confusing, but for this readathon I did not! And I did enjoy my time reading the middle 100 or so pages. But, really I don’t have much to say for this one. It was okay? I’m more excited that I was able to mark it as read on Goodreads.

TW: death of a parent, grief.

Lover – a book with a pink cover

“We can go drivin’ in, on my scooter
Uh, you know, just riding in London
Alright” – London Boy (the entire song works for this book tbh)

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

I read A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea & Tomorrow because I met the author and I had to prepare. I listened to most of it on audio and it was a great production.

This one was really good. I haven’t read a YA contemporary in a hot second that wasn’t a mystery so this was a nice change of pace. I really liked Namey’s writing and how she described everything from the characters to the setting to the food. 

Lila is Cuban and I loved the Latinx representation. Lila was taught to cook by her grandmother, and I loved seeing her marry the Cuban dishes with the British ones. Plus, I love books that discuss food and show food as love which is what this book does so well.

I am a sucker for the trope of “main characters visit new place and get adopted into a friend group”. Even though there is a super cute romance in this, the friendships in this are what make stood out to me.

TW: death of a loved one, grief, terminal illness

1989 – a book set in New York 

“Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress
Staring at the sunset, babe” – Wildest Dreams

The Lady Gets Lucky (The Fifth Avenue Rebels, #2)

The Lady Gets Lucky might take place in 1895 but it takes place in New York in 1895 so it counts. 

This is the second book in The Fifth Avenue Rebels series and lowkey probably should read the first book. I did not and was mostly fine. But, if you plan on reading book one, read it before this one. Book one does have some mixed reviews which is why I did not pick it up, but it would have provided some context. 

I really liked this one. It’s a “kissing lessons” book and Alice and Kit were just really adorable. I love the whole rogue falls in love with an overprotected quiet girl. It was a fun time and I read this really quickly. This is my fourth Joanna Shupe book and I’ve adored three of them so definitely need to read more of her backlist. 

I will be posting more of my thoughts in my historical mini review wrap up at some point.

Red – a book that intimidates you 

“We had a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair” – Sad Beautiful Tragic 

Exit West

I marked Exit West as “want to read” back in 2017 based on some positive reviews I read back then. I then forgot literally everything about this book. All I remembered was that it had something to do with refugees.

This was a book that at the beginning of 2021 I added to a list of books that I have to read in 2021 or else I will unhaul them and when I saw the audiobook was only 4 hours I gave it a go. The author also narrates the audiobook which was cool. 

This is a literary fiction book so right away I was a bit apprehensive (hence the use for this book for this prompt). I liked the beginning, but when the magic element was introduced, I wasn’t paying super close attention and I missed the first instance of magic and thus confused me.

I am not sure if I was just not smart enough to get this one or if it just was not for me. It was fine? I liked parts of the writing, but I just was left with a bit of “why?”. Which I’m sure if I took the time to analyze I would come to a conclusion, but my brain is too tired to analyze books like this. Glad I finally got to check it off my list though.


This was a long one so thanks for reading! 

xoxo, Tree 

Also, if you want to check out some of the Taylor Swift posts we have done, check them out below. 

The Lover Book Tag
The Taylor Swift Book Tag
The evermore book tag
The folklore book tag
The reputation book tag

 

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