Wrapping up #TomeTopple | August 2020 πŸ“šβœ¨

From August 8th to August 21st, I participated in the twelfth round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and I had a lot of fun! The goal of this readathon is to read books that are over 500 pages, which I love. It was my second time participating, and I’m now planning to participate each time if I can.

As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so here is some sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks. For this round of Tome Topple, I put a little bit of a challenge on myself, not with the books that I was reading, but with the fact that my family moved houses on August 12th, so I’ve had a lot to do during those two weeks… but I was still really motivated!

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Les Travailleurs de la Mer by Victor Hugo

So, here are the books I managed to read for Tome Topple:

🌊 Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea) by Victor Hugo

> I started the readathon with this French classic, which is set on the island of Guernsey, and mainly follows Gilliatt, who tries to save a ship from a wreckage. I liked this book overall, but I have a bit of a mixed opinion: it was separated in three parts, and they all were so different that they felt a bit disjointed.

I really enjoyed the first part, which established the setting and who was who in society on the island. The second part focused on the man vs. nature theme, as Gilliatt tried to save the ship, I found it interesting and the descriptions well-written, but it was a bit too long for me. The third part of the book was about what happened on Guernsey after Gilliatt came back, and it was fine, but my main problem with it was that all the developments needed to move the plot forward happened off-page, while Gilliatt wasn’t there, so I didn’t feel much for the characters (though I did, in the first part). I liked the drama of it all, but it was a shame I didn’t connect with the characters. In the end, I’m giving this 2.5-3 stars.

πŸ‰ The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

> I then moved on to The Dragon Republic, and without any surprise, I adored it so much! The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year, and this sequel really delivered.

R.F. Kuang wrote amazingly how each character dealt with what happened at the end of the first book, it made perfect sense considering what they had had to deal with. These characters are all so gray and flawed, but I love them so much! The Dragon Republic also explored a lot more of the world, and expanded on the world-building, which was great. By the way, I 100% would love a spin-off on Moag! Once again, this book was very military-based, and the author managed to keep me interested throughout. Now, the ending was a lot and I need a million days to recover, but wow it was everything. I gave it 5/5 stars, it’s my favourite book of the readathon, and I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy, The Burning God!

πŸ’‘πŸΏ Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

> I listened to Americanah on audiobook throughout the readathon, and this book was such an important read! This novel follows Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love when they leave military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Ifemelu heads for America, while Obinze, unable to join her post 9/11, plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they then reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria.

This novel was so many things: it explored immigration, being a Black person in western countries, coming of age, coming back to your country after leaving it for years, and also love. Ifemelu is a blogger who discusses race on her blog and in her real life, and I really enjoyed how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie brought up very much needed conversations. Reading Ifemelu’s and Obinze’s stories made me so angry, yet really hopeful for them. It was a hard book to read for many reasons, but it was definitely a needed read. That being said, I would have loved to see more of Obinze, as there were some gaps in his point of view, and I’m bit on the fence about the last 10% of the novel, but it remained an excellent read! I gave it 4/5 stars.

In the end, I read exactly what I had been planning to during the readathon, which I’m really happy about, considering that I moved houses in the middle of it! I can’t wait to take part into Tome Topple next time!

Did you take part in any readathons this month? How has your reading been in August so far?


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