I saw this on #bookstagram earlier in the year and didn’t sign up. My mate Jay signed up for the catch-up month this week and I said, “No, I have too many reading challenges on”.
I took a look at my July TBR, and the challenge prompts, and they mostly fit so here I am.
Based on the Harry Potter classes for the Ordinary Wizarding Level Exams this is a reading challenge to sit and pass your OWLs. There are 12 categories. You can only move onto NEWTs in August for categories whose OWL you have passed. You only need to pass 5 for an outstanding grade. I’ve done one already. 😋
Here’s the video by booktuber @Book_Roast announcing the original challenge.
I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and even bought her Nevernight Mia and Mr Kindly candle duo from her Etsy shop Burning Fiction. They smell divine.
Here’s what I’ve chosen – and they are all proper print books so you can have some pictures too 😘.
Book with a symbol on the cover – Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanna Fletcher (Also a YALC read)
I’ve really enjoyed Tom’s other books and am looking forward to seeing what the Fletchers can do together other than create gorgeous small humans and adorable YouTube videos.
Book with a number on the cover or in the title – The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
I’m reading this one for … reasons. 🤫
A Science Fiction novel – The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Also a YALC read)
This has been on my TBR for ages. I’ve heard fantastic things about it. Becky is at YALC and the third book comes out the end of the month. What a perfect time to read it.
Care of Magical Creatures
Book including magical creatures or featuring one on the cover – White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (Also a YALC read)
Now officially I have an ARC with ‘This Story is a Lie’ written on the front but the actual cover features a white rabbit which often pops out of a magician’s hat and wolves are pretty magical so although this is a contemporary read it totally fits the prompt. Ok 👌 This one features bingeing which may be a little triggering for me but it has had amazing reviews.
A fantasy book – The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (Also a YALC book).
Received a stunning purple sprayed edged ARC in an illumicrate and I feel bad that I haven’t read Sally’s other series yet so I’m going to start with this as currently there’s only one out.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Book featuring secret societies or clubs – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Also a YALC read)
Jay had this for this category on her list so I’m going with the fact that there are clans and secret magic doings, Dumbledore’s Army style. This has also been chosen for Jimmy Fallon’s book club for the summer.
Book featuring prophecies – The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross.
I have been urged my one of my groups of booky friends to read this and they confirmed it fits the prophecy trope so yay.
Book with a nature related word in the title – Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton (Also a YALC read).
Sunflowers are very naturey and my friend Cath read and loved this. I believe tissues will be required.
History of Magic
Historical Fiction – Arabella of Mars by David D Levine.
I started reading this for book group and am halfway through. This is Historical/Steampunk Fantasy and I’m enjoying the Victorian era-ness of it.
A muggle non-fiction Book – How to be a Craftivist by Sarah Corbett.
This is on my list for this weekend and I’ll be sharing a blog post on my YALC craftivist activity next week so that those who are only coming on Sunday can join in. Then I’ll be taking a visit to my local Scrapstore and making packs up.
Book about or with Alchemy – Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffen (Also a YALC read).
I’m using this definition of alchemy – A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination. In this book main character Nell aims to build her own companion.
Book that deals with transfiguration/shapeshifting or a similar theme or has a cat on the cover – Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt.
This is the one I’ve already read and adored. It’s set in a theatre and there are some acting scenes described that totally epitomise transfiguring from one being into another.
Which of the 5 OWLs categories are you most likely to complete successfully this month?
What a jacket synopsis! Intrigued? You should be. Now this is one of the first books that’s been compared to Harry Potter that I feel lives up to the expectations. I loved it.
And just pause again to look at this stunning hardback – as gorgeous naked as with the dust jacket.
Now I received a review copy through Netgalley but I was enjoying it so much and I spotted the beauty that was this edition, and I knew I would regret not owning it, so I bought it and switched to reading from real paper.
Now. Because of the comparisons to Harry Potter there will inevitably be some comparisons made but in my view they are all positive.
Child gets whisked away to a wonderous world from a not particularly pleasant life. Check. Although, unlike the muggle world the world that Morrigan leaves is just as intriguing as the world she moves to. Cursed Children? The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow?
Genial magical man to guide our young protégée. Harry had Dumbledore. Mog, as he decides to call her despite her protestations, has Jupiter North. Is he as conflicted as Dumbledore, only time will tell.
Fierce friendships and fantastical foes. One main friend Hawthorne and some allies who may or may not become closer as the series progresses.
He who must not be named. The Wundersmith has a whole creepy parade float dedicated to him. Take that Voldemort.
The Hotel Deucalion becomes Mog’s Hogwarts with fun rooms to discover. Far too much smoking and lots of whacky residents to engage with.
And what are the trials of which the title speaks? Think of it as the Triwizard Tournament with a Talent Show at the end. All to get INTO the Wundrous society. If she doesn’t the Hunt may come for her yet.
This is a brilliant book full of magical world building, very very colourful characters and a form of transportation previously popularised in Mary Poppins, The Life and Death Brigade (Gilmore Girls) and Practical Magic. Move over broomsticks umbrellas are making a comeback.
Joking aside Harry Potter will Always remain in my heart (I know you see what I did there). But there is room in readers hearts for plenty of books. This one is going to snuggle alongside it. The one thing this book did that the Philosopher’s Stone didn’t was grab me from the first sentence. It took the introduction of the Wizarding World to draw me in. Once I was there I loved it. I loved this from : ‘The journalists arrived before the coffin did.’
So as Jupiter North does I invite you to Step Boldy into Nevermoor.
I see below
people squint and shade their eyes,
I’m not hidden,
refuse to be bid
The noise behind,
a train comes rushing
the thrill of the chase
but I can’t keep running
It rushes by,
Battered and bruised
by a whomping tree
I still rock up
Millions against one
that’s damn not fair.
let’s get out of there.
I’ve been dangling,
but I’m not angling
for your pity,