September Young Adult A Study In Drowning Cover

"A Study In Drowning" Book Club Readalong Day 1

Amber and I are BACK this October for a fun new readalong! We're about to start our monthly discussion for our September YA book "A Study In Drowning" by Ava Reid!

Remember! Our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest!

As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest! Go check out Amber's discussion that will be full of fun extras like bookish charades, shelf scavenger hunts and coloring pages!

On each day we'll read a section of A Study In Drowning both on the blog and in The Nest's group, and then discuss in the comments our theories and predictions. This means there will be spoilers for each section! Beware! 

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for chapters 1-3 of A Study In Drowning, so make sure you read or are finished this section before continuing.

Adult Fantasy August Theme Follow The Breadcrumbs
photo by : @megankreads

A Study In Drowning Readalong

Before we get to the book, A Study In Drowning was chosen by curation back in the spring, and I had the opportunity to read the manuscript. I hope you like it as much as I did the first time and you feel the personified moodiness of the sea as a character as much as the humans and human adjacent folks within.


So, without further adieu…

Chapter One

We meet our protagonist, Effy, the only female student at the Architecture College of Llyr. She finds a poster soliciting college students to compete for a chance to rebuild Hiraeth Manor, the home of national author Emrys Myydrin. Effy carefully copies the poster's details so that she can submit her proposal on her hand in ink, much to the chagrin of an impatient boy waiting for her to finish. 


She goes to class and muses about the manor, distracted. Afterward, she goes to the library, worried about submitting subpar work for class. While Effy wishes to do better at the more difficult architecture college, she'd prefer to attend the literature college. 


We learn that Llyr is in the middle of a war with a neighbouring country, Argent and that author Emrys Myrddin has passed very recently and has been given the title of Storyteller, much like a saint or holy person and was laid to rest in a museum close to the college.


Effy asks at the library for non-fiction books about Myrrdin, and the boy who had interrupted her earlier is there looking for the same thing. He tells her she's gorgeous and suggests they team up on the proposal, but she declines. 


The librarian finds that the books have been recently checked out by P. Heloury, someone with an Argantian name. The librarian says she'll let Effy know when they come back in. 


Effy leaves upset and offended that someone from Argant has checked out Llyr's most prominent author's work. 


She goes down to the lakefront to consider the growing tensions between Argant and Llyr, absent-mindedly rubbing her finger that has had the tip cut off after the third knuckle. She thinks about the Sleepers before returning to her dormitory. 


Effy meets up with her roommates and tells them about the poster and her failing classes. They commiserate, and she goes to bed to read Angharad, Myrddin's most famous book about the Fairy King; she considers taking a sleeping pill but sketches into the dawn instead.

Chapter Two

Effy receives a letter congratulating her on being the chosen architecture student who will redesign Hiraeth Manor.

Effy will need to travel to the very far south, to a village on the sea called Saltney, in the "Bottom Hundred," an unforgiving area full of sharp cliffs and the raging sea.

Her roommates are concerned, but she's determined to go.

Effy heads back to the library. P. Heloury still needs to return Myrrdin's books, but she's there for a different purpose. She's looking at maps of Llyr, noting the border with Argant covered in barbed wire, the verdant north and down the map to the Bottom Hundred—an area of crumbling cliffs and fishing villages.

Suddenly, she's interrupted by an Argantian boy who studies literature. She is about to ask him about P. Heloury, but the boy is vulgar regarding her enjoyment of Myrrdin's work, implying only girls enjoy them.

Effy is insulted and leaves to pack for Saltney and get signed off on her journey by her academic advisor, a creep named Corbenic, who has assaulted her in the past…and seems to have gotten away with it.

He disparages her ambitions, calling her a silly girl and telling her she'd have failed out already if she wasn't so pretty - seriously, gag me now.

Effy leaves with her eyes stinging and sees her name on a posted paper with her last name, Sayre crossed out, and in its place, a slur I won't write on the OC blog. Effy tears the paper off the wall and tosses it into Lake Bala.

Seriously, why are men?

Chapter Three

Effy packs, remembering the pink pills that help her sleep and calm her. Her roommate Rhia sees her off at the train station, and Effy is on her way south.

Effy means to work on the train but is distracted by the task ahead of her and by thoughts of Myrrdin.

She arrives in Saltney looking for the man who is to meet her. She does not see anyone among the dingy buildings and panics. She finds a phone and calls her mother, who is less than helpful and mean to Effy, asking if she's having "one of her episodes." She takes one of her pills and remembers her doctor warning her about taking too many only when she sees things that aren't real.

Except for Effy, they are genuine.

Eventually, Effy is found by Thomas Weatherall, barrister for the Myrrdin estate, and he takes her up the cliffs to Hiraeth in his car.

On their way up the flooded road, Effy sees a figure with antlers dart across their path with a crown of bone. She asks Weatherall if he'd seen it, but his answer that the thing was a deer is absolutely sus.

Weatherall finally shows her to a stout cottage about a ten-minute walk from the estate where Effy is to stay. It has no electricity and is damp but has running water and a thick door bolstered with iron.

Effy eventually falls asleep with her copy of Angharad under her pillow. 

Book Imagery Fun!

Just for fun here's my original graphic from curation's notes for “A Study In Drowning”. 

Let me know as you read if you agree with my book imagery. Also let me know if you like this new style of readalong and if you'd like me to include more behind the scenes curation content!

Book Imagery A Study In Drowning



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