Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.
I challenged myself to read 7 books in 7 days. Why?
Well, first of all, it’s something to do! I am not working currently and, because of the UK “lockdown” situation, all my usual activities and commitments are currently cancelled anyway. Secondly, after weeks of feeling unmotivated and being stuck in a little bit of a “reading slump”, it gives me a goal to work towards. At the same time, it tackles the books on my bookshelves and my Goodreads ‘to be read’ list, and gives me blog content to produce!
Some people may look at this challenge and think it’s incredibly easy, incredibly difficult, or incredibly pointless. All opinions are valid.
Personally, this challenge shouldn’t be too difficult for me – I’m generally a quick reader, and, due to my time at university, I’m used to reading lots of books in a short space of time anyway. That being said, I still want to be able to enjoy all the books I read. I’m certainly not just doing this challenge for the sake of it – and I wouldn’t recommend others trying it for the sake of it either. If I fail, I fail. There are no consequences and it doesn’t matter.
So, how did I do?
I read the first half of The Surrogate by Louise Jensen, a thriller about Kat and Nick, a married couple who long to become parents. When Lisa, an old childhood friend of Kat’s, offers to be their surrogate, they barely think twice before accepting – not realising Lisa has approached them for a reason, and is keeping secrets from them. I bought The Surrogate in Whitby in a charity shop a few months ago, and I have been meaning to read it ever since.
I read the other half of The Surrogate. It was a quick first read, and I generally liked it.
I also started my next book, Truth or Die, by Katerina Diamond. It’s the fourth in her crime / thriller series following DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles as the pair investigate a string of grisly murders. I reviewed the first book in this series, The Teacher, a while ago on my blog.
I read the other half of Truth or Die. I enjoyed it; it was fun and quick-paced, although there were parts that frustrated me (in a sort of love / hate way), as certain characters often blur the lines between their own sense of morality and the law!
Then, I started Wonder by R.J. Palacio, a children’s novel about a boy named August with a facial disfigurement and how he adapts to a new school. This wasn’t on my official ‘to be read’ list but I’ve heard passing recommendations every now and again, and I noticed it was available to read from my library via Libby as both an audiobook and an e-book; I read it as an e-book. I thought it was quite remarkable, but also quite upsetting, to read.
I read the other half of Wonder, and then began Woman in the Water by Katerina Diamond, the newest crime / thriller in her series. I bought this when it first came out from my local supermarket. If I’m honest, despite the things that “frustrate” me, they’re probably still my favourite crime series to read; the characters are really familiar and the murder mysteries are … entertaining, if that’s the right word to use. Diamond’s imagination is incredibly disturbing though – I’m still freaked out by certain scenes…
Funnily enough, although I’m reading more regularly than I would usually, I still don’t spend my whole day glued to a book! I suppose being a naturally quicker reader probably helps with this. At the moment, I’m reading like I normally would: a little in the mornings, but mostly in the evenings. So far, the only difference in my reading habits I’ve noticed is that, after finishing one book, I immediately reach for the next, whereas normally, I would have a bit of a rest before choosing a new book to read.
On Day 5, I spent the bulk of the day reading. I finished Woman in the Water. Then, I read the first half of The Hunger by Alma Katsu, a historical fiction / horror novel about American pioneers travelling West. The travellers begin to sense danger around them, and suspect they are being followed – or hunted – by someone, or something, which infects them with an all-consuming hunger. I think I was given The Hunger for Christmas and, again, I’d been meaning to get around to reading it!
I also read the first half of Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar, an upcoming thriller I obtained via NetGalley. I’ll be posting my review soon.
I am starting to feel my resolve fading, though, and I’m growing tiring of reading. My brain is also aware I need to think of other things to read after I’ve finished these books, and it’s struggling. I’m a big “mood reader”, so it can be hard to think of new things to read on the spot.
I finished the other half of The Hunger, and I loved it. I actually read Katsu’s second novel, The Deep, earlier this year. I liked The Deep, but I much preferred The Hunger. It was a brilliant combination of interesting historical events and supernatural horror (which draws on vampirism, cannibalism, zombies, and the Wendigo legends), and I really enjoyed reading it.
By this point in the challenge, I wasn’t really in the mood to read anything long or heavy, so I chose to read Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. It’s a children’s fantasy / adventure story about a boy who discovers a secret garden that appears outside his flat when the clock in the hall strikes midnight. This was an easy, light-hearted, and enjoyable read. It was a nice book to end the challenge with.
I did it – I read 7 books in 7 days!
It started out fun, but it did gradually wear me down. I don’t think I’ll be attempting this again for a long time!
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Would you ever attempt to read 7 books in 7 days? Have you read any of the books I chose?