Summerween Readathon 2022: Try A Chapter & My Progress So Far

Summerween the readathon:

Summerween is a readathon hosted by Oliviareadsalatte and Gabbyreads on Youtube and it runs from Friday 15th July to Friday 21st July 2022. Its designed as an excuse to read those spooky, Halloween-esque books during the Northern Hemisphere’s summertime. Although there is a list of five prompts and a series of Instagram challenges, I think this year I’m just going to focus on reading some books outside of my comfort zone.

I haven’t set a TBR for this readathon, as I thought it’s probably best to ‘wing’ it when it comes to the more spooky of books. While I love psychological thrillers, suspense, and crime mystery books, I’ve never quite ventured into horror as a genre, so what better time to test the waters of the genre than during this particular readathon.

The Challenge = Try A Chapter:

After loaning a stack of books from my local library for Summerween, I decided to play it safe and ease myself into the zone by reading The Devil’s Daughter by Katee Robert (a suspense/thriller/romantic suspense novel by an author who is quickly becoming an all-time favourite author) that I really enjoyed.

However, after finishing this on Sunday night I was left with the terrifying decision as to what book do I pick up next? So I decided to try reading the first chapter (or equivalent) of five different books and to rank them on what appealed to me the most at the time. The book with the best hook, and the one that most terrified me, was going to be my next read.

The Books:

The five books I choose to try a chapter from were: Misery by Stephen King; The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendricks; Survive the Night by Riley Sager; Jaws by Peter Benchley and One by One by Ruth Ware.

My Thoughts:

If I was ever going to read one of Stephen King’s novels, it was going to be this one. My first introduction to this book was via the viral social media post from years ago about the customer pretending to be Annie Wilk’s and demanding a copy of Paul Sheldon’s next book. That’s all I knew going into this one.

I was surprised to find how short King’s chapters were; the first chapter is legit three lines. In the space of four pages, I think I read four chapters.

King’s writing style is clunky and overly wordy which surprises me. I’ve read his Book On Writing, and he advocates for the exact opposite there.

I’m semi-hooked by the concept, but not as much as I would have hoped to have been.

I picked this book up simply because I had heard a lot about this author and the book itself. The book community love it, and while the cover does nothing for me, I preferred this to Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism. I tried to get a copy of The Final Girl Support Group, but my reservation didn’t arrive in time, so this book it was.

From the first line of the prologue, I was utterly hooked by this book. Seriously, what a first line! I liked the inclusion of the author’s note before the prologue and it helped me understand the characters and Hendrix’s motivation with this story as a whole as I was largely going in blind. After reading the prologue and chapter one, I seriously want to keep going with this one. The writing, the characters and the story vibe has me captivated.

I know a lot of people HATE this book, but much like Hendrix’s pick above, this was the only Sager reservation that arrived on time.

As a whole, I’m intrigued by the premise, but nowhere near as captivated as I was by Hendrix’s novel. The writing as a whole seems much easier and less complicated than King’s writing, but at the same time, not a lot of information was given in the chapters that I read.

I adored The Turn of the Key, the only other Ruth Ware book that I’ve read, and thus had high expectations that this would be the winner and best book of this selection.

However, after reading the first two ‘chapters’, I’m bored, got a slight hangover from the info dump, and just perplexed by the choices already made.

This is meant to be a retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but I haven’t read any of Christie’s work, so I don’t know how this could, or should, stack up against that.

Not sure how keen I am for the swapping of character POV’s in this one.

I love the Jaws movie, so this book was kind of a no-brainer to include when I realised A) shark movies are the definition of horror movies and B) there was a book … and I hadn’t read it yet.

This was the first and only book out of all five readers that gave me a jolt of fear and panic … and I only read the first chapter!

Internally, I was screaming at the man and woman not to go into the water because that’s feeding time and I’ve clearly seen the movie a few thousand times, so I know what is about to happen.

Being in the shark’s head was an unexpected twist and just heightened the fear and panic I felt whilst reading the first chapter. The third-person omniscient perspective is chilling and so much more creepy than I was expecting.

The Result:

After reading all five first chapters, I’ve ranked the books on my enjoyment, thrill/fear level and what I desperately want to continue with most.

  1. Jaws by Peter Benchley
  2. The Southern Bookclub’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
  3. Survive the Night by Riley Sager
  4. Misery by Stephen King
  5. One by One by Ruth Ware.

So I’m diving into Jaws at the moment and will hopefully be able to fit another one or two books into this readathon before Friday rolls around.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any recommendations on spooky books I NEED to read next?

2 thoughts on “Summerween Readathon 2022: Try A Chapter & My Progress So Far

    • Jess says:

      It is written in the 70s so its a bit problematic in parts, but it was creepy being in the sharks head and knowing what was coming!

      I really wanted to read Jaws and the Jurrassic Park novels this year.

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