For a while I wasn’t sure if I was going to be making this post after everything that has happened with She Who Must Not Be Named and the readathon being changed. However, after much thinking and discussion with the communities affected, I’ve decided I am going to go ahead and do the NEWTs readathon. I want to finish what I started, enjoy my first and now final chance at participating with this readathon and just generally reclaim Harry Potter in my own mind. I know some people may disagree with this, but just know that even though I will always adore Harry Potter, I do not support Her in anyway shape or form.
I don’t want to dwell on that too much though, so let’s move onto the exciting parts!
If you didn’t read my O.W.Ls posts, then I’d suggest you go back and read them and you can also check out my O.W.Ls Readathon vlogs on my YouTube, but long story short, I managed to complete all of the prompts, so I have every OWL available. This means that I have free pick of what career I want to choose because I qualify for everything!
The N.E.W.Ts are slightly more complicated than the O.W.Ls because there are actually 3 books you have to read for each subject depending on what pass grade you want. 1 book (per subject) is an A (Acceptable), 2 books is an E (Exceeds Expectations) and 3 books is O (Outstanding). This means that there are an awful lot more books to read for the N.E.W.Ts and how many you read completely depends on what career you go for. I will leave the beautiful graphic that BookRoast made with all of this year’s prompts down below, but you can see that each subject has 3 individual prompts for each subject. Which ones you go for depend on which subjects you need for your chosen career and what pass grade you need in each subject. You’re also not allowed to double up on books and I believe you have to read the A book before you can move onto the E and the O. So in all in all…. quite complicated.
I am really looking forward to it, despite how much of a challenge it is going to be with my college summer project!
My Chosen Career:
I mentioned in my O.W.Ls post that I was thinking of either going with Alchemist or Hogwarts Professor. Both of these options are very ambitious and are probably two of the most difficult options because it is a huge amount of books. Under different circumstances, I may have chosen to go for an easier one on my first year participating, but since this is now my only chance to participate I decided I was going to go the whole hog and pick the difficult one!
So in the end I did decided to stick with Alchemist despite the fact that it requires me to read no less than 17 books in a month! And quite a few of them are large books too, so it is quite the challenge I’m setting myself. I’m determined to do it though since this is my first and last chance to join in, so I will be a fully qualified Alchemist by the end of August and that’s a promise!
As I’ve just mentioned, I have 17 books to read, which means this is going to be a very long TBR, so let’s not waste too much more time. I’m going to list the subjects that I’m required to take downplay, with the pass grade, prompt and book that I’ve chosen….
Ancient Runes – O
A – A book whose authors name starts with a ‘B’ (first or last name)
This was a pretty easy pick for me because I have several books by Holly Bourne that have come out in the last few years and I simply haven’t gotten around to reading, so I just picked the oldest ones that I haven’t read yet, which is ‘Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?’
E – Read a classic
By the time you get to the end of this TBR, you’ll start seeing a theme of me including books I was meant to read in July, but simply haven’t had time for because of circumstances outside of my control. This is the first book that features on that list, which is ‘The Secret Garden’ by Francis Hodgeson Burnett. I was originally going to be reading this during the Hogsmeade readathon, but in the end I didn’t end up doing that because of She Who Must Not Be Named, so I’m reading it for the N.E.W.Ts instead! It is also the only classic I own outside of a few of Charles Dickens books, which I had to study at school, so I still hold a bit of a grudge against him because of how much I hated school.
O – Read a Romance
This prompt was difficult because while I am all about romance between characters in a book, whether it be contemporary, fantasy or anything else, I have never read a just straight romance book to my knowledge. I’ve read books where the romance is a huge part of the story, but the book still technically falls into a different character, but straight romance isn’t my thing. I was worried I might not have one to fit this prompt, but after some searching I remembered I had ‘What If It’s Us?’ by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. I’m like 90% sure that this would be counted as a romance because it is meant to be a meet cute (and a gay one at that!), so I think it counts even though it still probably falls into the YA Contemporary category too.
Arithmancy – O
A – Read a non-fiction
I have a whole shelf full of unread non-fiction, but I wanted to go for something fairly short and not too heavy because I do have an awful lot of books to read, so I chose ‘Feminism is…’ by Alexandra Black, Laura Buller, Emily Hoyle and Dr Megan Todd. This is another one of those books that I bought like 3-4 years ago when I first discovered the book community and still haven’t gotten around the reading, but I’m reading it now! Better late than never right..?
E – Read a book that ends on an uneven number
If you followed me doing the O.W.Ls, then you’ll know that I read ‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab and loved it, so I ordered the second one, but haven’t gotten around to reading it since then because I’ve been too damn busy! I am going to get around to it now though because I HAVE to know what happens next and it’s also quite fitting that I read one in the O.W.Ls and one in the N.E.W.Ts, so I’m going to be reading ‘Tunnel of Bones’ for this prompt. I am also going to be reading it in broad daylight though and make sure I have some loud, happy things to do after because the first book spooked me out big time! ‘Tunnel of Bones’ does end on an uneven number though, which means I can use it for this prompt!
O – Read a book that has between 200 and 299 pages
This prompt was more difficult than you’d think because it seems that most books have either 300+ pages or about 150. My trusty poetry books came to the rescue, as they often do in readathons and I found that all of Atticus’s books are between 200-299 pages! I chose ‘The Dark Between Stars’ by Atticus because I had already chosen another one of his books for a different prompt.
Herbology – O
A – Read a book with flowers on the cover
I will admit that this is possibly a slight stretch of the prompt because I chose ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J Maas for this prompt. Technically the cover has thorns all over it, so they aren’t flowers exactly, but the word Roses is in the title and there are thorns on rose stems, so I’m imagining that the flower part is simply off the cover and we only see the stems….. I know it is a slight cheat, but I didn’t have any other books that fit the prompt and I’ve used the other two books in this series for other prompts, which means I kind of need to make sure I’ve read the first one before moving onto book 2 and 3. I know it’s a bit cheaty, but it’s FINE! This is also another example of ‘books I wanted to read in June and July, but never got around to’.
E – Read a book that might be impactful
This was a super difficult prompt because you really don’t know how impactful a book is going to be until you read it and it would have been inconvenient to read a book that I know was impactful like HP, SoC or TID, so I turned back to my non-fiction shelf to see if I could find a book that fit the bill and I found one that is actually sort of perfect: ‘This Book Will (help you) Change the World’ by Sue Turton. Yet another book that I bought ages ago and haven’t gotten around to reading, but I thought it fit pretty damn well because not only is it likely to impact me, but it might impact the world if it turns out to be helpful and I do end up changing the world! You never know!
O – Read a book that is longer than your previous read
Here is one of the other SJM books I was talking about because I’m using ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ for this prompt because it is a very long book and I’ve checked it against all my other books on the TBR and it is the longest book on there. This means I can read it at pretty much any point and still have it be longer than the previous book!
Potions – O
A – Read a book with the word ‘sky’ in the title or on the cover
This prompt was time consuming because I couldn’t find any books with the word ‘Sky’ in the title, so I had to pull out books individually and look at the covers to see if they had the sky on them in some way. I did manage to find one though and that is ‘The Truth About Magic’ by Atticus. Another poetry book, which means it should be a quick read and why I chose the other Atticus book for the previous prompt. I do have one more book by him, but I just chose the first one on the shelf!
E – Read a book whose authors name starts with a ‘D’ (first or last name)
This one took me a damn long time to because apparently ‘D’ isn’t a very common initial, but I did find one, which is actually also quite fitting. I chose ‘The Trouble With Perfect’ by Helena Duggan. The reason this is quite fitting it because I read the first book in this middle grade series sometimes last year for a different readathon, so reading the second one in another readathon is quite cool. I also didn’t have much of a choice because I couldn’t find another author with ‘D’ in their initials.
O – Read a book with over 450 pages
Oh Look! Here is the final SJM book! For this prompt I’m reading ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’, which is over 450 pages, but still shorter than ACOWAR. Basically I just really want to read this trilogy and have been procrastinating it for like 5 years, so putting them in a readathon gives me no excuses!
Transfiguration – O
A – Read a book with animals on the cover or in the title
Finding a book with animals on the cover is super easy! I just had choose which one I wanted to go for, so I chose ‘The Beast Player’ by Nahoko Uehashi because it is a standalone, so it wouldn’t tie me to completing a series after the readathon. The cover is also gorgeous!
E – Read a book with dragons/fire on the cover or in the title
Just like in the O.W.Ls readathon, the N.E.W.Ts have highlighted to me a very serious gap in my book shelves because I do not have enough dragon books! I have HP and LotR, which both feature dragons and I have a trilogy, that I read a long time ago and was honestly kind of meh about dragons, but that’s it. I am both horrified and disgusted with myself because dragons are sick and also my username is literally ‘theoriginalbookdragon’ because my surname is ‘Drage’, which translates to Dragon in Norwegian. I’m sorry to have let you all down, but I will be filling that gap in my bookshelf ASAP! In the meantime though, I chose ‘Grace & Fury’ by Tracy Banghart for this prompt because it has fire on the cover.
O – Read a hardcover book or a book that you find hard to read
‘Calm the F**k Down’ by Sarah Knight is another book that I was meant to read in both June and July and never got around to, but since it is a hardcover I can use it for this prompt! I suppose it might also be hard to read in a way because Sarah Knight speaks nothing, but the cold hard truth!
Astronomy – E
A – Read a book with a star on the cover or in the title
Here is another book that I have had for over half a decade and still haven’t read: ‘The Signs’ by Carolyne Faulkner. It’s an astrology book that I bought when I was about 12 because like every 12 year old girl I was fascinated with stars and magic and being some sort of witch who summons demons and shit. That’s a normal phase right!? I did start reading it way back when, but I stopped about 30 pages in because I wanted to find my star chart using the associated website, except the website didn’t work, which pissed me off, so I put it down and have never picked it back up. Until today of course! It does have stars all over the cover though because it’s all about astrology, so it counts!
E – Read a Sci-Fi
And that brings me to the final prompt, which was one that I genuinely worried I wasn’t going to have a book for. Sci-Fi isn’t really my thing. I love Star Wars, but really that’s about as far a Sci-Fi goes in this house. I actually had to take to google in the end and chose some books off my shelf which I thought might class as Sci-Fi and googled them all! In the end though I chose ‘Warcross’ by Marie Lu, which I’m only about 3 years late to the party on, but that’s just sort of my thing!
WHEW! That was a long TBR; I hope you’re all still here! I’m not going to go on too much more because that was a lot of books to talk about, so this post is getting long.
Before I go though I wanted to remind you that I’m going to be vlogging the whole readathon for my YouTube channel, so if you want to actually see me reading the books, then you can go and follow me there: Samantha Drage. I will likely split the month into two reading vlogs, so you can see how I’m doing half way through the readathon rather than waiting for the wrap-up on here at the beginning of September!
Are you doing the N.E.W.Ts? If so what career are going for and how many books do you have to read?! Let me know down below or come and chat to me over on my Instagram: @theoriginalbookdragon
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out