I dropped the ball toward the tail end of the readathon, but this is the most amount of time I’ve been able to spend with my mom in a couple of months, so I’m totally okay with that. I ended up only getting through half of my TBR, but I knew going in that it was a tentative one and that there were going to be times that I needed to change up my reading (aka realizing that I had books due back to the library). I would say that this was still a successful readathon, especially since it’s my first one to ever participate in.
Total Books Read: 7
Total Tomes Read: 4
Total Pages Read: 3038
1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages): Check (New Moon, City of Glass, Impulse, and Illuminae)
2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!): Check (started reading From Hell)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series: Check (New Moon, City of Glass, Impulse, and Illuminae are all a part of a series)
4. Read over 500 pages in one week: Check (3038 pages in 14 days)
5. Read an adult novel: Partially check (started A Storm of Swords, which is part of an adult fantasy novel)
As I said in my Day 1 recap, I’ll be reviewing New Moon, City of Glass, and Cinder in separate posts with their completed series. The following are reviews of the books that I completed during the 2 weeks of #TomeTopple
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins – 5 stars
I’ve owned Impulse for so long, but I never picked it up. I think it was the fact that it’s a book of verse, and I’m not the hugest fan of poetry. And I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. I’m not quite sure how to review it. Because it just hit me in my feels. And I felt the pain that Vanessa, Tony, and Conner felt. It was interesting to read this so soon after I read Thirteen Reasons Why because I felt like Hopkins knew how to handle the subject matter of depression/bipolar disorder/suicide much better than Asher did. And while I have not been suicidal, I have had bouts of depression where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I stopped going to classes, only barely made it to work, and would barely eat enough to make it through the day. So it was interesting to see how depression manifested in the three main characters and compare it to what I’ve experienced. I loved that we discovered the secrets of our three protagonists almost as if we were the therapists who were trying to peel away the layers. I don’t know what else to say other than my heart felt heavy when I finished this book and I will gladly read other books by Ellen Hopkins.
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – 5 stars
I wasn’t sure how I would like the format of Illuminae, but it worked. It worked so well. And just. Ugh (in the best way). I fell in love with Kades and Ezra, and even Aidan. I loved that I couldn’t quite figure out what was going to happen. I love where the book ended. I just. This was damn near perfect. I need Gemina in my life like now.
Exit, Pursued By A Bear by E.K. Johnston – 4 stars
So full disclosure, I had zero idea what this book was about. I literally picked it up because of the title and the cover. I was thoroughly surprised with what the story ended up being.
*TRIGGER WARNING* Rape, date rape, lost time, abortion
I’m not really sure how to review this book. I know I’ve said that a couple of times on here, but it’s true. I honestly can’t even tell you why I rated it 4 stars and not higher. It was just missing something for me. And for the life of me, I can’t put my finger on it.
Here are the basics: During her last cheer camp, one where she is on top of the world as co-captain with her best friend, Hermione Winters is drugged and then raped after going to a party at camp and then left in a lake. When she wakes up, she can’t remember any of this. And as a result of this, the concept of lost time plays a significant role in her PTSD. Along with this, she discovers that her rapist impregnated her. She suffers physical reactions to pine and the song that was playing as part of her PTSD. But the whole novel is mainly about her courage to not let her rape define her. She is a survivor. And she shows it. This novel is an important read for people of all ages and genders.
However, I do know what I loved about this book:
1. The friendship between Hermione and Polly is #friendshipgoals. Yes, it wasn’t perfect at times, like how Polly was coming to terms with her relationship with Amy and wanted to tell Hermione, but obviously Hermione was coming to terms with what had happened to her. However, Polly understood where Hermione was emotionally and once Hermione found out, she was nothing but supportive and felt horrible for not being there for Polly when she needed her. Also, I aspire to be the Polly to my friends. Everyone deserves a Polly in their lives.
2. Hermione’s parents are incredible. They are there for their daughter throughout the entire process of dealing with her rape. They let her make her own decisions of what was right for her and completely supported her.
3. Hermione’s squad are amazing. They rallied behind their captain in ways that are rare in today’s rape culture.
4. Speaking of today’s rape culture, Officer Plummer actually cared about Hermione and also supported her throughout the entire process. Even when hope was lost, Plummer was there. Even when she was told to follow a cold procedure, Plummer showed emotion. It was just fantastic.
5. It’s a YA that actually talked about abortion and had Hermione go through with it because it was her choice, whereas her rape was not. Hermione was taking her life back into her hands. And, when all hope was lost about the fact that the lake washed away the physical remains, the fetal tissue would end up coming handy, even if at first the rapist managed to be sneaky.
6. The pastor was refreshing. He was kind and non-judgmental of Hermione, especially with her decision to get an abortion.
7. The book treated PTSD with respect. When Hermione was ready, she readily sought out a psychologist, who helped her remember what had happened to her as well as how to process it, even if he was a bit of a jerk at times.
Here are some things that I did not quite care for:
1. Leo is a down-right asshole. He is the epitome of being “friend-zoned” as well as rape culture. He goes around saying that Hermione was flirting with every guy at camp (and basically insinuating that she asked to be raped) just because she did not spend as much time with him. Yes, they were dating, but she also made it clear to him before camp that they were there to cheer and not to be a couple. Also, his almost 180 at the end was weird.
2. The pacing seemed a little off. There were times where I couldn’t quite figure out how we got from point A to point B.
Civil War Companion by John Rhett Thomas – 2 stars
I finally finished this after a month and a half. I’m not sure what I was expecting in a graphic novel companion, but I know that this is not that. I guess I was hoping for some more background on the actual events of the Civil War since so far I’ve only read the tradeback with the seven main issues. What I got was interviews with the creators, character profiles, some in-world documents from The Daily Bugle, and so many typos. I mean, really, it was embarrassing how many typos I found in this thing. So yeah. I was disappointed in this and now know that if I ever see a graphic novel companion to not buy it.