This past week I took part in Books and Lala’s readathon, the buzzwordathon. She’s done several rounds of this readathon, but they all have the basic requirements, read books that have the buzzword, ‘You’ in the title.
I decided to do this challenge with a watchathon element, because I thought that the readathon’s requirements paired nicely with dramas and was going to be pretty seamless. If you’ve never participated in a readathon, some can be super simple and others can be more complex with a number of prompts on how you pick the books. Since the only prompt for this one was the buzzword, I knew that it was the best time to do it.
Since I had planned on choosing three books to complete during the week, I figured that three dramas would also be a nice even number. I knew that I probably wouldn’t end up watching three full dramas (I mean, I could have tried), so I gave myself three rules:
Watch one full drama
Watch a drama from my currently watching/on-hold list
Watch a short drama/mini series or movie
For the books I selected I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. For the dramas I selected a jdrama Your Home is My Business, the Taiwanese drama I started last year but hadn’t picked up in months, Love Myself or You, and finally the KBS drama special Your Noir.
In the past I’ve never fully participated in a readathon. I’ve used elements to base what book I was going to pick up, but never read more than one and never continuously for the entire span of dates. This one is a little different in that there aren’t other challenges aligned with it. Some readathons can have several challenges such as doing a specific photo for instagram, or an assignment for twitter. While those are all fun, it’s harder to juggle when you are trying to read the books AND keep up with life. They are also mostly designed for the younger crowd, and I just end up hitting likes on everyone’s posts and moving on.
The buzzwordathon is chill, so it was an easy readathon focused purely on reading. I ended up vlogging my week how it progressed:
All-in-all I had a really good week. I was able to get through the books and dramas relatively easy. None of them were outright flops, and I was able to really get a grasp of trying out some different ways of planning my day in preparation for when I go back to work.
Non-Spoiler Wrap Up
The first book I read was I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. This is an adult suspense/thriller/mystery and it was the perfect kick of to the week. It was intriguing and entertaining and I couldn’t put it down easily. The book also had some really nice surprise twists that I was genuinely surprised by. It also was written in different tenses, alternating between the chapters. I always enjoy when writers do those fun elements. 5/5
The second book I chose was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I had heard a lot of really great things about the author and the book, but for the most part I didn’t focus too much on it. I try to bypass reviews and never read the synopsis just in case it kind of spoils the book, so I had no clue what the book was about, other than family with an emphasis on racial issues. I was surprised from the first line because of this, but it kept me intrigued. The book was incredible. It showed the perspectives of all of the family and how they deal, and went deeper into the characters and how their status in society helped shape (or hurt) who they were. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written. 5/5
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo was my final book. I had purposefully picked this book for the end because I felt having a YA was the best bet for me if I wasn’t as good at planning my week and needed to go through a book fast. I talked about this in my wrap up, but I realized after reading both the other books that it gave this book an extreme disadvantage. It was just not going to compare to the works before, and it shouldn’t. It was a cute, but predictable story. The standard teenage romcom. There was nothing wrong with it, but it was just ok for me. It’s not written for me, so I can’t fault it. I will say that what I do like that this book did was that it took a normal easy story and added an Asian-American as the main character. I think there is something to be said at not only books having main characters as own voices, but also doing it in a way that is not grand. Taking a normal story and allowing that voice to be heard as normal is extremely important. 3/5
Your Home is My Business was a drama I really had no interest in, nor did I know anything about it, but it fit the the challenge and I was being strategic about picking a jdrama because I knew that they were shorter in both the length and number of episodes. While the drama was overall just an okay drama for me, and didn’t necessarily enjoy every bit of it, I did like some aspects of it. It follows the standard jdrama over the top almost not real character of Machi, who is an amazing realtor. She can sell any house. The way she sells the houses seem strange from the outside, but you soon realize they make sense. There were a lot of great endearing moments dealing with the idea that a home should be the best home for that person, regardless of their position in life. 3/5
The Taiwanese drama, Love Myself or You, was a drama I had started back last year around November. While I enjoyed it then, I had fallen out of making it a priority to finish it and put it aside. The problem with the story is that it started dragging, and some of the storylines were unnecessary. It also just happened to be in the part that I had left at, so for this challenge it was a little harder to get through and the first half was so much more enjoyable for me. I probably would have been more tolerant of it if I had watched it while it aired. Still, it was cute. If you like the found family trope and a light drama, this one might be for you. 3/5
While I epically failed at this, but June was supposed to be my Chansung month. I was able to add one of his dramas into this challenge with the KBS drama special Your Noir. I find I enjoy drama specials a lot. Sometimes they are different, they are short, and more often than not they are subbed in English by the broadcasting company. This one didn’t fail. While the subject matter was dark (it dealt with domestic abuse) I liked it. Good way to end the challenge on the watching side with a drama that really interested me. 4/5
I will be doing more readathons in the future (I have two scheduled for July). I find that I can deal with my anxiety and the feelings of being overwhelmed when I have a specific challenge that I can focus on, and can use that to remind my brain that I can in fact do all of the things that I want, and not give into the will to just give it up.