Truly, I understand that I am probably the only one amused by reading challenges based on titles. But I get a strange sense of accomplishment whenever I set one for myself and then subsequently work my way through it. This Awakening Challenge was no different. I even got a few extra thrills out of it. I completed it significantly faster than I expected I would (yay me), I completed it 1.5 times over, and some of the books have been rattling around in my Kindle Cloud for a long time (2 of them since 2013, which has to be about the time I got my first Kindle). So, it was a plus to get to mark them off of the TBR list.
I wasn’t going to do a wrap-up post for this challenge, since I went back and linked all the reviews to the initial post. However, I find that I need it. I keeping seeing Awakening books and thinking, “Well, I could just add that one in real quick.” So, I find that I need this concluding post to tell myself, “No, Sadie, we’re done with that challenge. No need to read another book with that title.” I already ended up reading 12 books called Awakening or The Awakening (with one Fury: The Awakening, which I admit is a bit of a stretch. But it’s close enough that I’m calling it ‘on theme’ and including it) instead of the original 8. (I called the extra 4 book bonus Awakenings and joked I actually did an Awakening challenge and a half.) Here they are:
And here are links to the reviews themselves, along with the star rating I used when I cross posted them to Goodreads. I don’t usually bother with stars here on the blog. (I think people pay too much attention to the numerical scale and not enough to what the reviewer actually has to say.) But for comparison’s sake I’ll give the stars.
☆ Awakening (The Luriel Cycle, #1), by Melanie Nilles
☆ The Awakening (Guardian of Spirits, #1), by Kaylee Johnston
☆ Fury: The Awakening (The Scorned, #1), by R.E. Sargent
☆☆ Awakening (Covenant College, #1), by Amanda M. Lee
☆☆ Awakening (Demon Gate Chronicles, #1), by S.C. Mitchell
☆☆ Awakening (Promiscus Guardians, #1), by Brianna West
☆☆☆ Awakening (The Shard Cycle, #)1, by Ono Northey
☆☆☆ Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano
☆☆☆ The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
☆☆☆ Awakening (Talentborn, #1) by C.S. Churton
☆☆☆ The Awakening (Leopard People, #.5), by Christine Feehan
☆☆☆☆ Awakening (Triorion, #1), by L.J. Hachmeister
As you can see, not a lot of them were real winners for me. The overall challenge average star rating was a 2.33333. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not reader who gives a lot of 5-stars, but I don’t give that many 1-stars either. I feel like most books are pretty middle of the road, neither hated nor loved. And I think this list shows that.
But I also have a theory about books with the same common title, which I’ve shared before but will again. I’ve done this a couple times—found I accidentally have multiple books with the same title and read them all together. And the results usually look a bit like this (though I can think of one particular Blood Lust challenge that was even worse, I mean spectacularly bad).
I anecdotally find that if a book has a title that is so common that I can accidentally collect multiple of them, then the lack of creativity in the title is a precursor to the lack of creativity of the writing. Obviously, there are exceptions. I quite enjoyed Hachmeister’s Awakening, for example, and Chopin’s predates the others by a 100 years. So it can hardly be counted as among the masses of books subsequently called The Awakening. But it has so far held true that if I have multiple books with the same title, most of them aren’t very good. I don’t think this will surprise anyone, honestly, but it’s also why all the other ways I enjoy such reading challenges come into play and are important.
Either way, that’s it folks. The March 2021 Awakening Challenge has officially come to it’s close. I am free to read a book by any other title, preferably a paperback. That was my second goal for March, to chip away at my physical book stack.
Edit Nov. 4: I somehow ended up with two more books called Awakening after I closed this challenge out. So, of course, I had to read them as what my husband called my Second Awakening. The first was by G. Clatworthy and the second by Poppy Williams. I also finally gave in and borrowed The Awakening, by Nora Roberts from the library.