I am so late putting this post together! Thankfully I took notes on my phone so I know what I read when last Saturday because I would have been totally lost trying to put this post together a week later. The Dewey’s Readathon started at 5am my time last Saturday (April 29) and I started off by not waking up until 8. Which is fine and still left me a whole day of reading (minus the nap I took almost immediately upon waking). However, when I woke up I knew that I wasn’t feeling that great and something weird was going on with the left side of my jaw. My youngest was born with a head of steel (obviously not but it seriously feels like it!) and he has inadvertently dislocated my jaw twice in his six years of life (and also given me a few bloody noses as well). In his defense they were just freak accidents due to the angle of his strong head and my weak jaw. The first time he was holding on to my fingers as a one year old and jumping up and down and I was bending down to kiss him and we were both laughing when bam his head hit my jaw and it was instant pain. But anyways, because of having my jaw dislocated twice I do sometimes have some annoying issues with my jaw. This time felt different but I just tried to ignore it and keep reading. By the end of the night I knew something was wrong because the left side of my cheek started swelling. Fast forward to the swelling getting worse with the addition of a lot of pain. So I went to the ER on Monday morning because I didn’t think that it was a tooth thing since I had no pain in my mouth. Well lo and behold it turns out you can get an infection in your saliva glands which can be caused by a few different things but it turns out for me it was probably just a immunocompromised thing. Thankfully, the antibiotics and other things have helped so much! It’s now been a week since everything started and the swelling and pain are minimal.
Anyways, now that I have explained why this wrap up is so late let’s finally get into the wrap up. Most of what I read is horror novellas so I won’t talk too much about the synopsis since the stories are so short.
The Promised Neverland Vol. 10 (8am-10:15)
I was surprised that this book wrapped up a current arc in the storyline so I decided to avoid manga for the rest of the day since I took a 90 minute nap in the middle of reading this one. I enjoyed it but it also did a few things that annoyed me. I am excited to pick up some more volumes of this soon to see where the series is going to go next.
Murder Your Employer (10:20-11:30)
I had some stuff I needed to do so I popped in the audiobook of this one for about an hour .This is a fun book that is written like a handbook for a school that trains you in the art of murder set in the late 1940’s. I had a good time with this book and the audiobook is fabulous since one of the characters is narrated by Neil Patrick Harris. I also loved the book since it had beautiful illustrations throughout of the different buildings on the school grounds.
Jack and Jill (11:30-1:30)
As with most books, I went into this one not knowing what it was about and it was a total mind f*ck. It is a horror so massive content warnings for all sorts of things but I was not expecting the way the ending would leave me feeling. The author played around with a few different themes and I would love to talk to someone who has read this to get their perspective on the ending.
*After this I read 20 more minutes of Murder Your Employer. The book follows three different people who are all at the school and I enjoyed their backstories and how everything unraveled for each of them.
Horror Hotel (2-5:20)
The only thing this book has going for it is that it is very engaging and with the short chapters it is easy to fly through. Other than this story being a total ripoff of the infamous Cecil Hotel and Elisa Lam’s story the romance in this book was so unnecessary and over the top. I understand in YA that there is going to be some romance but it was with all the characters and it was ridiculous. Also, I think I would have had more grace for the authors if they had mentioned the Cecil hotel, Elisa Lam, or season 5 of American Horror Story in their acknowledgments or in an author’s note. It is one of my bookish pet peeves when authors seem to take credit for ideas that aren’t theirs. Especially when the bulk of the story is based on a real person’s murder like Elisa Lam. I gave this book two stars but I might lower it to one star.
I also put on another ten minutes of Murder Your Employer while I decided what I should pick up next.
Follow Me to Ground (5:30-8)
I loved this! It’s exactly the kind of weird and creepy story that I can’t get enough of. This a magical realism literary horror where nothing is really explained which I love because it allows the reader to connect the dots. I know that not everyone loves that though. If you enjoyed Comfort Me with Apples and Stephen Graham Jones novellas then this may be one for you.
I also decided to finish the last of Murder Your Employer. I gave it four stars and is one that I wouldn’t mind rereading again in the distant future.
Blanky/ Episode Thirteen (8-9:30)
Blanky is another deeply unsettling horror novella by the same author of Jack and Jill. And just like Jack and Jill, this had an ending that I won’t forget. Also, if you are pregnant or a new parent then please stay far away from this book. I can’t wait to read this author’s most well known work, Sour Candy, soon.
I also decided to finish the other book I was reading from my TBR before this 24 readathon started since I was so close and that was Episode Thirteen. I loved this book and I highly recommend the audiobook. It is full cast with sound effects that felt so real. House of Leaves is one of my favorite books and this book combined elements of that with one of my favorite tropes which is a podcast or documentary narrative. This was outstanding and I dragged this book out as long as I could because I didn’t want it to end. Although, the first 120 pages were a bit slow but once the story starts going it doesn’t let up.
Mapping the Interior (10-11)
I am obsessed with pretty much everything Stephen Graham Jones writes and this was no exception. He is the master of literary horror and Mapping the Interior might be my favorite novella of his yet. Jones mixes horror with heart so well and he had my emotions all over the place. The ideas and themes in this one are so good and I feel like I could write a whole dissertation of the metaphors and topics that Jones introduces in this 130 page book.
A Spindle Splintered (11-?)
I originally planned on listening to this on audio but for the first time ever, Scribd locked me out. I have heard so much through the years of it happening to other people but it had never happened to me before. Luckily I found a copy on Libby but because I was reading it late at night I ended up falling asleep at some point. However, I finished it almost immediately upon waking because 1) I was close to the end and 2) I love this retelling. I’m not a big retelling lover but everything about this one worked for me. I loved the different versions of Sleeping Beauty there were in this one novella but also how it called out the misogyny and darkness of the past stories. There was also great chronic illness rep that I connected with. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Ten Thousand Doors of January but this was an incredible five star read for me.
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