Hello! This April, I was participating in the OWLs portion of the Magical Readathon. I made my announcement post about it towards the end of the March, where I decided I was going to go after the career of Magizoologist and complete the Dragon Tamer training.
Well, in both of those I succeeded. So what I’m gonna do is go over my OWLs books first, then I will go over the rest of what I read in April. So if you’re only interested in the first bit, there will be a nice bold header to let you know you’ve made it to the end of the good bit.
Care of Magical Creatures: Hippogriffs – creature with a beak on the cover
Charms: Lumos Maxima – white cover
Herbology: Mimbulus Mimbletonia – title starts with M
Potions: Shrinking Solution – book under 150 pages
Dragon Tamer Training: A book containing dragons
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – Care of Magical Creatures – This book went the same way for me that a lot of young adult fantasy romance books do: That I liked it well enough for what it was, but I didn’t love it. Now, this isn’t me knocking ya: there are a ton of books that I do love, but recently this has been the pattern. What I did love though was the whimsical way that the author wrote. I definitely wanna pick up her newer book because of this. 3.75 stars
Pandora Hearts vol 1 by Jun Mochizuki – Charms – This one really through me for a loop. For some reason – whether by the name or the cover – I thought it was a romance. It was not a romance. Honestly it’s more of a fantasy horror. That surprising genre aside, I did end up really liking this one. It deals with a realm that’s… almost like an underworld but not quite. It’s really cool, and I definitely plan on continuing this one as soon as I can get a hold of more issues. 4 stars
Model vol 1 by Lee So-Young – Herbology – This was technically a re-read for me, but the last time I read it was about 2006, so it was basically brand new. This follows a young woman when her friend brings someone from a bar to her house, passed out drunk, and leaves him there in her care. While he’s sleeping, she notices his beauty and decides to paint his portrait. Well, turns out he’s a vampire. I gotta tell ya, this came out in the height of the vampire romance genre trope and it falls pretty heavily into it. It was still enjoyable enough though for what it was, and with a dose of nostalgia added in, I found myself liking it. 3 stars
I Hate Fairyland vol 1 by Skottie Young – Potions – This one unfortunately was a bit of a let down. I picked this up due to the hype, which was mistake number one. It’s about a young girl who gets trapped in Fairy Land… and then never gets out. Forty years later, she has the mind of a grumpy adult and the body of an eight year old. This is supposed to be a comedy – brutal, gory, and full of bubble gum and rainbows. But personally I found it kinda too boring. But hey, I could see why someone would like it. Just not for me. I didn’t hate it though, I was rather neutral. 3 stars
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan – Dragon Tamer Training – This was definitely a favorite of the month. I think I like it even more now in retrospect than I did while reading it, and I really, really enjoyed reading it. This book is a fictional memoir of a woman in the fantasy-equivalent of Victorian England who sets off on a journey to research dragons in a far away land. Honestly it felt like Elizabeth Bennet was climbing into caves and exploring ruins. It had a smart sense of humor and the narrator at the time of writing her memoir is in her 70s, so the story she’s telling from when she’s 19 is full of witticisms and retrospect. It was really well written and really entertaining, and I’m definitely gonna pick up the second one. 4.5 stars
And that’s it for OWLs! I succeeded in completing all the prompts, and so I’ll continue with Magizoologist in August for the NEWTs. Lemme know how you did!
April Wrap Up
So in addition to the five books and manga mentioned above, I read thirty-five more things! 33 were manga, 2 were books. Can you tell I’m still deep into my manga kick? Can you?
LDK vols 1-9 by Ayu Watanabe – I picked this series up on Kindle Unlimited (I have a free trial version for now, so I’m taking advantage of it) and honestly it was pretty entertaining for a while, but I kinda just… lost interest. By the time volume nine rolled around, this manga was neck-deep in your standard tropes and dramas. And I’m not saying that was bad necessarily, because I definitely get into the mood for manga like that, but at my time of reading it really just wasn’t doing it for me. It was fun while it last though. I might continue it again in the future, who knows. 3-3.5 stars each
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – I picked this up on audio originally to be a Fantasy Bingo 2019-2020 book, but I didn’t finish it in time. So now it’s gonna be a Fantasy Bingo 2020-2021 book. I ended up rather liking this. The characterization was really neat and while nothing really happened lots of things were happening. This book really was a lot of small plot points instead of a big goal overarching. It was pleasant and nice, but I gotta tell ya, I have about zero motivation to pick up the next one. Why? Who knows. 4 stars
Mars vols 1-4 by Fuyumi Soryo – This one went the same way as LDK did. I kinda just got bored with it. I remember picking up the first volume in high school and liking it, but I couldn’t remember what it was about. So I plucked the first handful of volumes off Kindle and gave them a try. Well, turned out to be a dramatic romance. And I must reiterate: I do like those normally. I don’t know what it was about this, but by volume four I really didn’t care to pick up volume five. It was alright while it lasted though. 3-4 stars each
Waiting for Spring vol 1 by Anashin – I realize I just complained about two romances right before this, but this is a romance and I really liked it. So much so that I’ve ordered the first four volumes physically and they’re on their way here now! They’ll be part of next month’s haul. This manga follows a girl who ends up becoming friends with the members of the basketball team at her school. Awkward teenage feels ensue, yada yada. But I liked this one and am gonna keep going. Maybe it was the execution that made this one different? Who knows. 4 stars
The Heroic Legend of Arslan vols 1-2 by Hiromu Arakawa – Do you recognize the author name? This is the same person who wrote the all-mighty Fullmetal Alchemist! This is a fantasy following a prince to a kingdom on the brink of war. While his father is ruthless and loves the glory of battle, Arslan is gentle and thoughtful and doesn’t like to fight. This series had a slow, but solid beginning, but volume two really picked up and made me want to continue, so I will! 3.5 and 4 stars
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I think I was in a weird reading mood this month. This one’s a bit outside my norm, but the hype made me pick it up when I saw it on Scribd, so. This book is a story about a woman who had seven husbands, her rise to fame, and what happened to get her there. It was alright. I knew going into it that I likely wasn’t going to super love it, but I did end up enjoying it for the most part. So for someone who doesn’t typically read this genre, I thought the book was pretty solid, and I can see how someone who does read this genre would be bonkers for this book. 3.75 stars
Black Butler vols 12-28 by Yana Toboso – So last month I read vols 1-11 and I basically raved about how much I was loving it. Well, this month I caught up to where the series is currently at (vol 29 comes out in August) and guys, I am smitten.
The manga is set in 1889 England, and, well, here’s the goodreads synopsis because I’m crap at this:
In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.
And honestly that synopsis doesn’t do it justice. It’s so much more than that. Black Butler has quickly become one of my all-time favorite manga. Like, I’m talking in my top 3 ever. Ever. It’s just so good. It’s well written, it’s funny, it’s suspenseful, it’s mysterious, it’s action-packed, it’s occasionally absurd, and it’s everything I want in a manga.
The currently plot arch around the last few volumes has me absolutely reeling and I am pining for volume 29 so much. Honestly I might even reread the entire series to keep the edge off in the meantime. Augh I can’t get over this series. And as of yesterday, I lent all twenty eight volumes to my sister so she can read it so I have someone to talk to about it. I need to talk about the plot twist, augh. And nobody I know has caught up yet. So I’m forcing my sister to commiserate with me. She’s gonna send me live-reactions as she reads and I’m so ready for it. I do have to say though, while the manga is fantastic, I don’t think the anime is on the same caliber. For some reason the anime is mostly filler. It’s not bad, it’s good, but if you watch the anime and go ‘why in the world does she love this so much’ it’s because you’re missing the point. Most of the manga plot doesn’t actually show up in the anime. Just. Sayin’.
Anyways, I love this series. The last I think four volumes were all five stars, and leading up to it, there were a few more dotted in there. I’m so ready for volume 29.
4-5 stars each
- I’ve jumped on the baking bandwagon. Cooking, too. This month, I made coffee cake, loaded potato soup, a million tacos, and today I’m gonna take a crack at a slow-cooker brownie cookie. I even bought yeast, dammit.
- I started playing Breath of the Wild again, and man am I loving it.
- Read 50 books – 94/100
- Maintain a consistent posting schedule
January – Fail
February – Pass
March – Pass
April – Pass
- Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
- Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 236
And that’s it! April was a tiring month despite me not really doing anything. It was weird. If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know! Happy reading!