Visiting the Cutthroat Circus in Escape the Readathon

The second week of Escape the Readathon is over and this past week I focused on the Cutthroat Circus which has readers matching books to Youtube thumbnails. I only got to read 2 books for this building because my team is way too fast! I am racing to read books for these themed weekly recaps at this point. I did read 4 other books for prompts so I read 6 books in total. I'm kind of getting tired of reading so much so I am not going to be reading graphic novels just to submit more for prompts. I rather just focus on the books that I am interested in. I might have two posts up next week though since I am sure we will be getting to two buildings. This plan will also help me not feel so rushed. At least this means we are doing great as a team!

The thumbnails I matched with books were based on color. The first was for The Dawn of Yangchen and the second for The Shadow of Kyoshi.

A scientist attempts to bring her younger sister back to life with unexpected results in this Frankenstein-inspired graphic novel about ghosts, identity, and family.

When Doctor Frances Ai's younger sister Maura died in a tragic accident six months ago, Frances swore she would bring her back to life. However, the creature that rises from the slab is clearly not Maura. This girl, who chooses the name "M," doesn't remember anything about Maura's life and just wants to be her own person. However, Frances expects M to pursue the same path that Maura had been on—applying to college to become a scientist—and continue the plans she and Maura shared. Hoping to trigger Maura's memories, Frances surrounds M with the trappings of Maura's past, but M wants nothing to do with Frances' attempts to change her into something she's not.

In order to face the future, both Frances and M need to learn to listen and let go of Maura once and for all. Talia Dutton's debut graphic novel, M Is for Monster, takes a hard look at what it means to live up to other people's expectations—as well as our own.

I loved this retelling of Frankenstein! M is such a great character with such a softness to her personality which is the complete opposite to what the true Maura was like. The relationship between M and Maura was so kind because Maura didn't have to help M pretend but she did. The feat of M being ripped apart until she was right worried me because I didn't know if this would be wholesome or downright scary. I enjoyed seeing M come into her own, especially seeing her interest in sewing. I would love a cozy sequel where I could see M grow up and maybe fall in love. Would love to read more books by Dutton. Her vintage-looking art made me happy and M's design was amazing.

Learning to become a witch is hella difficult! Luckily, Gwen can always count on her two best friends in the whole world for help. Except Sloane and Miles aren’t exactly from this world. They’re from the Hallowlands, a monstrous realm, which they can only leave as the year creeps toward Halloween. This year, Gwen is determined to flex her magical skills. Armed with her first-ever grimoire, she’s hoping her friends will finally see that she has what it takes to leave boring suburbia behind and join them in the Hallowlands.

Except Gwen hadn’t counted on Hiro, a local kid obsessed with hunting the supernatural. When he and his reluctant sidekick start making trouble for them, the monster squad will have to fight to avoid having their secrets exposed—or worse. But when Gwen’s quest to prove herself leads to a string of unintended consequences, the five of them may just have to band together to take on something even more nightmarish than being a teen.
Chaotic energy to the max. Hellaween reminded me of shows from the 90s and early 2000s. It's got a nostalgic feel. I mean this was fun. All the characters were interesting. I particularly liked Sloan who was tired of Halloween but at the same time had a supernatural-obsessed best friend and watched horror movies. I have a feeling the rivalry in the story will be turned into friendship. I'm curious about how Gwen is a witch and who her parents are. I don't think I could recommend this with the language at the end. I wish it didn't have that because this is marketed towards kids. And it lacked a backstory for the characters themselves. Lots of action but needed its slow moments.

Yangchen’s inexperience may prove to be her greatest asset . . .

Plagued by the voices of Avatars before her for as long as she can remember, Yangchen has not yet earned the respect felt for Avatar Szeto, her predecessor. In an era where loyalty is bought rather than earned, she has little reason to trust her counsel. When Yangchen travels to Bin-Er in the Earth Kingdom on political business, a chance encounter with an informant named Kavik leads to a wary partnership. Bin-Er is a city ruled by corrupt shang merchants who have become resentful of the mercurial Earth King and his whims. To extract themselves from his influence, the shangs have one solution in mind: a mysterious weapon of mass destruction that would place power squarely in their hands. As Yangchen and Kavik seek to thwart the shangs’ plan, their unlikely friendship deepens. But for Yangchen to chart her course as a singularly powerful Avatar, she must learn to rely on her own wisdom above all else.
I loved getting to know Yangchen. She's a lot more strategic than Kyoshi, but they both still have the same personality where they head straight into danger. I never really cared about Yangvhen before but really like her now. I wish that she had a much cooler storyline. She needed a rivalry big enough that she used her skills more than a handful of times. I think there was too much focus on Kavik who had a very interesting storyline but this is Yangchen's story. The focus should be on her. It would have been interesting to go into the spirit world or read about how she experienced past avatars live. There were some cool moments and she sure displayed her power at the end. I liked the personality change compared to the other avatars. I hope to see why she is so revered so much in the sequel. Also, I need a cool boss battle!

Kyoshi’s place as the true Avatar has finally been cemented—but at a heavy cost. With her mentors gone, Kyoshi voyages across the Four Nations, struggling to keep the peace. But while her reputation grows, a mysterious threat emerges from the Spirit World. To stop it, Kyoshi, Rangi, and their reluctant allies must join forces before the Four Nations are destroyed irreparably. This thrilling follow-up continues Kyoshi’s journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice still feared and admired centuries after becoming the Avatar.
I mean Kyoshi is simply amazing. I loved getting to know her and seeing her journey. Her adversary taking the form of a friend who looked to the past instead of the future like she did was perfect. I liked the addition of Jinpa, the air nomad. I also liked learning about Kuruk. He is seen as an avatar who didn't do much but he was secretly righting the wrongs of his predecessor who was supposedly one of the best avatars. But all avatars make mistakes. It was interesting to see the court dynamics of the fire nation. It was not what I expected but it left a seed of what will come in Aang's time. I wish I could read more about Kyoshi. I want to read her whole life story. I'm so glad I decided to give this duology a chance.

Ice-skater Mina is on a one-track path to Olympic gold and glory—that is, until she totally wipes out at her biggest competition, and is kinda-sorta-kidnapped by undead kids on roller skates. Sucked into the high stakes world of Paranormal Roller Derby, she finds herself "recruited" by a squad of vampires who need a human player to complete their team—just in time to save the league from losing it all.

Between learning to play derby well enough to kick butt on the track, crushing hard on the dreamy team captain, and navigating the spooky rules of the supernatural, how can Mina go from striving to be a ten alone, to becoming one of nine chaotic bodies forming a perfectly-imperfect team? Forget being the best. Will she be enough to help her new friends survive the season?
I was excited to read a story about roller derby. I've read a comic series about it before and it was lots of fun. But this unique concept with vampires might have hindered my enjoyment. There are vampires in a roller derby team trying to win a tournament in order not to lose protection against outside forces that would hunt and kill them. They have to have a human in a certain position so they kidnap our main character to help them win. The suspension of disbelief is not happening. I mean I liked learning more about roller derby but my connection to the characters was missing. I learned the backstory of one human and one vampire. There was nothing really tying me to this book to make me love it. I just wish it was a roller derby battle of humans vs. vampires because then the stakes (no pun intended) would be that much more interesting. It was good, I just thought it could be better.

Four adorable dogs are tail-waggingly excited to play their favorite role-playing game in Get the Party Started , the middle grade graphic novel debut from online comic creator Scout Underhill.

They've picked their characters and favorite dice, and are ready to set off on the adventure their game master Magnus has created for them.

Pickles, a rough and tumble fighter; Tonka, a playful and fun-loving bard; and Zoey, a wise and caring cleric, are given a quest to fetch a magical dog collar from a nearby swamp. But when they triumphantly return, they soon find that the collar isn't the only thing that has gone missing from Tail's Bend. All the squeaky toys in town have disappeared and Squish, the mayor's young son, has set off on his own to find them.

It's up to the Doggos to rescue Squish, track down the missing toys, and save the day!
Very cute! Dogs playing DnD is about as adorable as you can expect. There are distinct personalities for each character. We've got goofy, lovable Tonka and worried, kind Zoey, and Pickles the excitable fighter who is money-hungry. I liked how there were miniatures of bosses and lots of snack breaks. The DM Magnus could be a little devious with their obstacles but you knew everything was going to work out. This is perfect for young fans of DnD or would even help get kids interested in the game. A wholesome, friendship story that mimics a DnD session very closely.

I've already finished The Legacy of Yangchen for the new building I am theming the week (most likely half the week) of reading around. I am currently loving Dragonfruit. And I am hoping to get to two more books that reached the top of my tbr - Under This Red Rock and The Witch in the Woods. I've been wanting to read more horror and the McGinnis book arrived earlier than expected from my Libby holds. And I also have been wanting to get lost in a fairy tale world. What books are you looking forward to getting lost in this week?