Monday, 21 October 2019

Reading Record | Spookathon (My Lovely Wife + The Terror)

This past week I have been taking part in Spookathon, a week long readathon hosted by Kayla (of BooksandLala). I have taken part in Spookathon a couple of times now and it is such a fun event timed well, being so close to Halloween. 

Spookathon has been running for a good few years now, originally beginning to highlight & promote thriller books in the booktube community as they were not as widely read and recommended back then. Of course the book community has expanded greatly since then, however I love that Kayla keeps this event running as it is a great time to pick up some books that are slightly darker in nature. 

There are challenges in place, however this is quite a low pressure event, with reading a thriller being the overriding challenge. Going into the event I knew I would not meet all of the challenges outlined, however I did use them to form my TBR.

1. Read a thriller
2. Read a book with red on the cover
3. Read something with a spooky word in the title
4. Read something with a spooky setting
5. Read something you wouldn't normally read

Today I made a start in two books - My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing (102 pages read) and also The Terror by Dan Simmons (94 pages read). For now I am focusing on these two books as my TBR books, however I do have a third book I'd quite like to get to if possible... However, The Terror is nearly 950 pages, so we'll see how that goes!

My Lovely Wife is being counted towards the challenge of 'Read a thriller' and The Terror is being counted towards the challenge of 'Read something with a spooky word in the title'.

I focused solely on making progress in The Terror today and read to page 289, so nearly 200 pages read in total today. I think I could be further in this mammoth book by this point - even so early on in the readathon - however I'm happy to be reading at a steady pace with it, given I have been reading slower than usual for me lately. 

For those who may not be familiar with The Terror, it is historical fantasy horror fiction, focusing on the historical event of the failed 1845 Franklin Expedition to explore the Arctic, with a fictional spin. I chose this as my book with a spooky word in the title, but I would say the setting of trapped isolated ships & the polar regions, with it being unimaginably cold, is not only atmospheric but spine chilling & spooky too.

Wednesday is usually my busiest day of the week, so I anticipated getting little to no reading in today, however a number of things didn't quite go to plan today - just one of those days - which meant I actually got a really good amount of reading done.

I read over 100 pages in The Terror this morning, with my bookmark now sitting at the 400 page mark. I also picked up my thriller - My Lovely Wife - a couple of time throughout the day; I managed to read 136 pages on and off, now being on page 238 in the book.

I read a further 50 pages in The Terror & finished reading My Lovely Wife - book one of the readathon complete. YAY!

I feel quite conflicted in my thoughts of My Lovely Wife. 

The book follows a husband & wife who are murdered woman for pleasure, whilst continuing with their seemingly happy, normal life with a nice house, good jobs, and two teenage kids. Obviously I picked this book up because I was intrigued by the premise, but I had also heard a lot of positive feedback surrounding My Lovely Wife. 

I'm conflicted because I figured all the plot points (main points & sub plots) out along the way, quite a while before reveals, and I was also a tad unsure about the actual ending - I feel like elements were unrealistic/glossed over. However, I loved the writing of Samantha Downing - absolutely amazing for a debut novel - and did feel engrossed in the unfolding story. 

I am happy to have read this book though, and experienced it for myself.

Today I read just 20 pages of The Terror. I just wasn't in the reading mood, and I think it is so important to honour your feelings when it comes to reading - especially during a readathon!

Just two days left of the readathon and I have quite a big chunk of The Terror left to read. I did work out that I would need to read 233 pages each on both Saturday & Sunday to finish this book by the end of the readathon... Knowing that, I actually didn't end up reading my 233 pages for the day. I started on 470 and ended on 589. Bear in mind there are 936 pages in this book. I am a little worried about completing this solely tomorrow, but I am determined to finish The Terror during the readathon - whilst still giving it quality time - so I predict a BIG reading day tomorrow.

I did it! I finished The Terror - book two of the readathon complete! I had a couple of pretty intense chunks of reading time throughout the morning, and ended up finishing The Terror in early afternoon (much earlier than I would have anticipated).

Not only am I so happy to have finished this book during spookathon as I had hoped, but I feel a sense of achievement in general to have finished such a large book. I don't usually read chunksters - with this definitely being one of the longest books I've read - however I did find myself well invested in The Terror.

Despite the size of the book, the length of time in which passes throughout the book, the large cast of characters, and the varying POV that the story is told from, I did find The Terror to be an easy to follow read, with the plot holding me throughout. I didn't feel like any of the book was filler, with every chapter having its place and purpose. The multiple POV's really lent to a wider understanding within the book, and gave the plot great depth.

If you're someone who doesn't read horror books but is interested in starting, I think The Terror would be a good place to start.

(Goodreads links)

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