Hello friends, it’s been a long time but welcome back to Cloud’s reads!! And what a perfect occasion for me to dive right back into book blogging than the official start of the Gilmore Girls readathon!!
You may or may not know this about me, but I grew up with Gilmore Girls. I used to watch it with my mom when it was still broadcast on TV, and since then I’ve probably rewatched the show more times than I can count. No other pair has brought me more comfort than Rory and Lorelai. I enjoyed every single minute of their unique relationship and dynamic, I cried, felt happy and smelled the snow with them, and I have never in my life felt more seen than when Rory picked up a book and exclaimed “Nothing, nothing smells like that!”
Now, we’re not here to gush about what an amazing show Gilmore Girls is
even if I could spend hours doing exactly that so let’s get to the main event of October – the readathon! Created by the lovely Olivia, Desi and Mackenzie, it’s the perfect way for me to challenge myself, kick-start my fall reading and also get into the perfect cozy mood that I’ve been waiting all year for. The readathon starts today, October 1st, and will be running all the way to October 15th, giving everyone plenty of time to get inspired to read! There are seven official challenges to complete as well as a group book that we will be reading, so without further ado, here are my picks:
Challenge 1: Read a book with a school setting, in honor of Yale and Chilton
For this one, I had to pick none other than “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell! Since I’ve only read (and absolutely loved) this book one time, I thought this challenge would be a good opportunity to pick it up again in anticipation for the sequel, “Wayward Son”. I’m pretty sure you guys already know what it’s about, but here’s a small refresher just in case – we follow Simon Snow, the worst chosen one in all of history, and his adventures as he goes back to the Watford School of Magicks and attempts to thwart his greatest enemy – the Insidious Humdrum – once and for all. It is filled with exciting spells, a lot of shenanigans, characters that you can’t not fall in love with, and, best of all, it is gay!!!! I can’t wait to dive right back in (and I also can’t wait to finally get my hands on “Wayward Son” as well!)
Challenge 2: Read a book featuring a mother/daughter relationship, in honor of Rory and Lorelai
My pick for this one is “The Astonishing Color of After” by Emily X.R. Pan! It will be my first time reading this, and I’ve heard nothing but incredible things from the community, so I’m very excited to finally pick it up. I don’t know very much about the story itself, but I do know it features a girl whose mother passed away, and who believes that her mother has been reincarnated into the form of a bird. It sounds like a wonderful exploration of not only grief, but also the power that a mother-daughter relationship can have and how the death of a loved one can impact a person even long after it happened, so I felt this book was a perfect fit for the challenge!
Challenge 3: Read any cozy book set during fall or winter, in honor of the beautiful Stars Hollow and Lorelai smelling the snow
A cozy graphic novel sounds like it would be a great fit for this challenge, so I chose “Pumpkinheads” by Faith Erin Hicks and Rainbow Rowell! It is, of course, set during fall, and it follows Deja and Josiah, seasonal best friends who have been working together at the local pumpkin patch for some time now. However, their time at the patch is about to end, and they’re looking for one last adventure together to commemorate the occasion and go out with a bang! I was immediately drawn by the beautiful cover art, and since pumpkin patches aren’t a very big thing where I live (I KNOW, I’m as sad as you are right now) I’m looking forward to learning more about the experience and getting into the autumnal mood!
Challenge 4: Read a book with complicated love interests, in honor of Rory, Dean and Jess
I feel like I hit the nail on the head with this one by picking “P.S.: I Still Love You” by Jenny Han! My love for this series has skyrocketed ever since I saw the movie, then proceeded to read the first book, and I’m SO incredibly excited to continue and see what happens next! Lara Jean has very quickly become one of my favorite characters of all time, and I’m very eager to read more about her and watch her continue to grow as a person! I can’t wait to learn more about her and see where life takes her next, and I can’t wait to experience the ~drama~ that everyone says happens in this second book (listen, I know you know that we all live for a little bit of angst, and that’s exactly what I’m expecting from this).
Challenge 5: Read a book by an Asian author or a book that has Asian representation, in honor of our favorite best friend, Lane Kim
Fall time is perfect for reading one of the most well-received contemporaries of the year, right? Of course! I’m talking about the very hyped, very praised “Frankly in Love” by David Yoon! When I first learned that Nicola Yoon’s husband was also an author and was making his debut, I was very excited, and that excitement only continued to grow as more and more positive reviews started coming in! People on BookTube are raving about it, and even though I’m definitely one of those people that listens to the hype and will check out a book if it’s generated a lot of buzz, that’s not the only reason I’m anxiously waiting for this one to arrive in the mail. I’m a big advocate for representation and more own-voices books, and with “Frankly in Love”, we get just that! Again, I don’t know that much about the story because I don’t like to spoil myself too too much. We follow Frank Lee, a Korean-American boy who is torn between following his heart (he falls in love with a white girl) or his family’s wishes (they want him to fall in love with and marry a suitable Korean girl). Honestly, it sounds like an absolute delight, and if all the reviews do it justice, I’m going to love this one!
Challenge 6: Read the next book in a series you haven’t finished yet, in honor of “A Year in the Life”
Keeping in theme with my previous picks, I’m choosing to read “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han to complete this challenge! It’s the third and final book in the series, and I haven’t been able to complete the series yet, so it totally counts! I literally have not heard anything about what happens in this book, and I’m very glad I’ll be going in completely blind and will experience the conclusion to Lara Jean’s story without having any hints as to how it will end. What I can say is that, for now, I’m totally Team Peter Kavinsky – but that is subject to change as soon as I finally finish the second book (although, to be honest, he’s stolen my heart as well as LJ’s so, really, there’s only a slim chance I’ll stray).
Challenge 7: Read a book with food on the cover or as a crucial part of the storyline, in honor of Luke’s
For this, I’m finally picking up my first book by Elizabeth Acevedo, “With the Fire on High”! I’ve been meaning to read this one for literal months now, ever since it came out and, again, it received glowing reviews from the book community. Elizabeth Acevedo is an author that I’ve been excited about ever since her debut, “The Poet X”, that I’ve unfortunately not been able to read yet but that I definitely have to get to soon! As for her second book and very first novel, we follow Emoni, a teen mother and aspiring chef, who loves to cook and loves to pour her all into her recipes. That short summary is pretty much all I know about this story, but what I can also tell you is that Emoni is an Afro-Latinx character, so we have an own-voices, diverse book again, which is always a great thing!
Extra challenge: The group book
The group book that our lovely hosts have chosen for us all to read together is written by none other than Lorelai Gilmore herself: “Talking as Fast as I Can” by Lauren Graham! This is a collection of personal essays written by Lauren that delve both into her time playing Lorelai on “Gilmore Girls” during the new Netflix revival, as well as into her personal life as a woman, a mother and an actress in Hollywood. Since she narrates the book herself, I’m probably going to go the audiobook route with this one – I’ve always adored Lauren’s voice, and I’m honestly shocked that this book has been just sitting there unread by me for so long, because Lauren is also one of the funniest, wittiest actresses that I know, and I’m very happy that I now have the opportunity to pick up her book!
And there you have it! These are my picks for the Gilmore Girls readathon! I can’t promise that they won’t change as the readathon progresses, but I will definitely keep you guys updated on my Twitter
where I’ll probably be yelling and gushing about each and every one of these books because that’s all I ever do on there anyway!
Do you think I chose well? Have you read any of these yourself? If you have, please let me know what you thought in the comments down below! I look forward to chatting about all these wonderful books, and if this is your first time hearing about the readathon, I hope this post inspired you to participate yourself! Check the official Gilmore Girls readathon Twitter for more info and fun times, and, as always, happy reading 💜