O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Wrap-Up

In April, I participated in my first ever readathon! I am sure most (if not all) of you already know what the Magical Readathon is. If not, the Magical Readathon is a readathon themed around the Harry Potter series and is hosted by Book Roast on YouTube. For this event, you chose the wizarding career you would like to become certified in and complete the required O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s (fictional tests that students take at Hogwarts) to achieve this goal. The challenges for the O.W.L.s are completed in April while the N.E.W.T.s take place in August.

I chose to pursue a career in Care of Magical Children. In real life, I am working towards a degree in Social Work so this felt like a good fit for me. For this career, I had to complete 8 O.W.L.s/read 8 books. For this post, I am going to write out each prompt and tell you which books I chose and give my thoughts on each (and link my review if I have one). Throughout this readathon I had to change my TBR a few times because I wasn’t enjoying what I was reading and falling into a book slump. For future readathons, I will probably choose goals requiring fewer books so I have time to read unrelated books as well. I don’t know if others feel this way but at some points, reading certain books felt like a chore or something to get through so I could check off a box. I definitely would want to avoid this feeling in the future. But, I am so excited to let you know how I did so let’s jump into it!

Arithmancy – Read a book the opposite from your favorite genre.

I chose Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane for this prompt. My favorite genre is fantasy, so this contemporary seemed like a good example of the opposite of that. This is an adult fiction novel that details the lives of two families across four decades. I had heard good things about this book and the description gave me Little Fires Everywhere vibes. I love how this book deals with the complexities of human relationships and forgiveness. – 4 Stars

Potions – Read a book under 150 pages

Next, I read The Lost Sisters by Holly Black. This novella is something I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to read if I hadn’t done this readathon. I loved the Folk of the Air trilogy, as many in the book community seem to, but a novella from Taryn’s perspective did not interest me at all. I know A LOT of readers hate Taryn. While I don’t feel that strongly about her, I didn’t particularly care to hear her side of things. I ended up picking it up because I couldn’t find another book in my TBR with less than 150 pages. I enjoyed getting back into the world of this series and actually was interested in Taryn’s version of events. While I don’t necessarily agree with Taryn’s decisions, it was a nice change to not perceive everything through Jude’s perspective. – 4 Stars

Muggle Studies – Read a book from the perspective of a Muggle (a contemporary)

My next read was Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. I LOVED this book. I picked this up from Book Outlet, and I am SO glad I did. This book is a courtroom drama/mystery but is driven more by the complex characters and relationships. If you want to hear me rave more about this book, read my full review here. – 5 Stars

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Read a book set at sea or on the coast

For this prompt, I chose House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. This book is a retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses with a dark twist: the sisters keep dying, one by one. I found some aspects of this book to be disappointing but loved the creepy atmosphere. You can read more about what I liked and disliked about this book in my review here. – 3 Stars

Transfiguration – Read a book that includes shapeshifting

Before I started my next readathon pick, Nocturna by Maya Montayne, I listened to a long and ultimately disappointing audiobook, putting me in a little bit of a slump. Sadly, Nocturna did not help with this. At first, this book just didn’t hold my attention. Once it started picking up, I began to enjoy it and the characters more but noticed some unsettling similarities to the Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab. It has been a while since I have read Schwab’s trilogy, so I gave this book the benefit of the doubt. But after I finished reading, I went to Goodreads and saw review after review pointing out the similarities. Unfortunately, these two main issues cut down my enjoyment of this book significantly. – 2.5 Stars

Herbology – Read a book with a title that starts with an M

I have owned The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton for over two years now. After I read Burton’s novel, The Muse, I knew I had to buy her more famous work, The Miniaturist. Two years later, it was still sitting on my shelf. As soon as I saw the prompt for Herbology, I knew my pick had to be this book. I expected a lot from it… I thought “Please let this be the book take me out of my book slump.” (Spoiler: This book did not take me out of my book slump). I don’t know how to communicate my feelings about this story. I have been having trouble even doing so in my own head. Mainly, I found it strange and sad and unfulfilling. One thing I did love was to watch the main character, Nella, grow from a scared, unsure teenager to a strong, confident woman. – 3 Stars

Charms – Read a book with a white cover.

Next, I listened to the audiobook of Sadie by Courtney Summers. Finally, I found the book to save me from my slump. This audiobook has a full cast and is SO well made. The way the book is written is set up perfectly to be read by a full cast. In production value, this is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. I love how this story was written, going between Sadie’s actual experience and the podcast trying to track her movements some time late. And that ending! I am still reeling. Please feel free to message me if you have read this book because I NEED someone to talk about it with. – 4.5 Stars

History of Magic – Read a book featuring witches/wizards

My final book was Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I had originally tried to read The Near Witch by VE Schwab for this prompt but DNFed it for two reasons: 1. I was bored and 2. I didn’t like the audiobook narrator and didn’t want to buy a copy to finish it. So with only two days left in April, I started Truthwitch. I did like this book, but it wasn’t anything special to me. I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t felt like I had to read it right then and get through it as soon as possible. I know everyone says this, but the strongest part for me was the friendship between the two main female characters. I feel like the focus relationship in books is often romantic. It was nice to see more development go into this friendship rather than any romantic relationship. Overall, I am interested in the continuation of the story and will most likely read more of this series. – 3.5 Stars

I am so relieved to have passed all of my O.W.L.s! It was a little stressful, but I am still looking forward to the N.E.W.T.s in August! I’d love to hear about your Magical Readathon experience if you participated. Let me know what wizarding career you chose or what your favorite book you read for the readathon was!


10 thoughts on “O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Wrap-Up

  1. Congrats on passing all your OWLs! Omg, 8 books is a lot for a readathon. I think that was partly why I didn’t choose to be an Auror? (If I’m not wrong it had 7 prompts)
    I’m veeeery intrigued by House of Salt and Sorrows. I need to read that one real soon!
    It’s great that you enjoyed most of the books on the readathon💖 i also can’t wait for N.E.W.T.s!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a cool readathon, and I’m so sad that I didn’t participate! I’m glad that you enjoyed the majority of books you chose, and it was so smart of you to change books, to prevent yourself from reading books you didn’t enjoy (and would cause you to go into a book slump).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should definitely join in for the NEWTs portion of the readathon in August if you think you’d enjoy it! It’s a lot of fun and you can tell the creator puts a ton of work into it!


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