Posted in Monthly Reads, Pondathon, Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

Monthly Review

So January just flew by, but I managed to get a good bit done despite my mental health not being the greatest.

Books

I managed to finish three books this month, which puts me right near my goal. I wanted to finish 4 but I’ll take 3. I finished a lot of books I wanted to finish last year so I’m happy with that.

I loved this book even if I didn’t think it was as spooky as the first. My review of it will be up early next month.

A sweet retelling of Little Women by Hena Khan. This was the first book I finished this year and I loved it. I hope to see more like this from Hena Khan. You can find my review here.

More to The Story Review

A great middle-grade story about a girl with OCD. I gave my #ownvoices review and you can find it below. Overall I thought it was good, and approachable for the age group it was targeted at.

Finding Perfect Review

Readathons

I signed up for two readathons this month.

yarc header

I attempted this Readathon in 2019, but it just kind of fell by the wayside. So I’m happy to give it another shot in 2020.

As CW at The Quiet Pond explains it “The aim of this challenge is to read as many books written by Asian authors as you can! These books can be backlist titles (i.e. released in 2019 or earlier), new releases, and ARCs. We welcome books of any genre, any format, and any length.”

You can find more information about it and how to join at the link below.

YARC Signup Post

Also by the Quiet Pond, I signed up for The Pondathon, a very cute story-driven readathon where you create a character, mine is below. You sign up for a team, I’m Team Xiaolong, and gain points in various ways such as simply reading, posting about diverse books, or buddy reading.

pondathon_banner

Here is my character for the readathon:

Pondathon Character

You can find the signup for the Pondathon here. Please consider supporting CW (@artfromafriend). they are doing a LOT of work for this readathon.

The Quiet Pond: Pondathon

Gaming

I’m still playing Pokemon Shield and I just beat Opal’s gym after like three times. Now I’m headed for the ice gym.

a Dynamax Eevee in an arena in Pokemon Sword/Shield

I’m also really looking forward to Animal Crossing for the Switch coming out in a couple of months. Do you play any games? If so what system? I’ve also got a PS4 but I don’t use it as often.

Mental Health

I haven’t been feeling great mentally, so any pictures of kittens and adorable floofs are much appreciated. However, blogging and reading help. I hope you all are doing well mentally and that if you aren’t things improve for you.

I also became a Patreon for The Latest Kate, if you don’t know the name you might recognize her art. Her art always helps me feel better so I wanted to support her. Below is an example of some of her art, please consider supporting via the link below.

The Latest Kate: Patreon

Overall

Overall January was a productive month for reading, gaming, and life in general. Even if my mental health wasn’t the greatest I had some good days, and I’m hoping to work from there. I can’t wait to read more in February and hope to read more books next month and help with both my readathons.

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

 

 

 

 

Posted in Monthly Reads, Recommendations, TBR, Uncategorized

February New Releases

Can you believe it’s February already? We’ve got some cool new releases coming up throughout the month. Any releases you are looking forward to?

1)The Wish and the Peacock

Paige’s family has had their farm for generations, and they’ve seen hard times before, but losing Paige’s dad is just too much to take and without him, Paige’s mom doesn’t have the money to keep the farm up. Paige is heartbroken at the thought of selling and tries in several different ways to avert the sale of the farm from happening.

But once she realizes the sale is going to happen she starts to explore the farm, trying to remember every detail of the place she grew up. While exploring their old barn she finds an injured peacock, the bird sets in motion a series of events that will make Paige question the true meaning of home.

Released February 4th.

Amazon: The Wish and The Peacock

2) Yes No Maybe So

Normally I’m not a fan of books where romance is a central element, but since its Aisha Saeed, I’m going to give this one a chance. Jamie is shy, he likes political canvasing as long as he doesn’t actually have to deal with people. He knows he’s not up to knocking on doors to ask for votes until Maya comes into the picture.

Maya is having a horrible Ramadan, her summer vacation is canceled, her parents are splitting up and her mom’s answer to her problems is to get her to go canvassing for votes with some guy she hardly knows.

But it turns out going door to door together isn’t the worse thing in the world. Especially with the polls coming up soon, Jamie and Maya soon realize there is something between them, but while they can navigate local activism, a cross-cultural crush seems like another challenge entirely.

Especially if you are more of a fan of romance than me, give it a chance because it’s Aisha Saeed!

Released on February 4th.

Amazon: Yes, No, Maybe So

3) I’m Gonna Push Through!

Based on a mantra she made for her students Jasmyn Wright’s book is all about teaching children to lift themselves up and to announce their own power and to recognize and reaffirm that of others, regardless of setbacks.

Jasmyn, a globally-recognized educator, was born in Philadelphia, PA much of her teaching experience focused on underserved and marginalized children. Her Push Through movement started a viral video but has grown into a larger organization.

Released February 18th

Amazon: I’m Gonna Push Through

These are just a few of the great releases coming in February? Are you going to read any new releases in February?

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

 

 

 

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews, Uncategorized

Finding Perfect Review

So this year I’m looking into more books about mental health. Especially the conditions that I have since I want to do some #ownvoices reviews.

This is an #OwnVoices review.

Finding Perfect is about a middle schooler with OCD. Molly Nathans’s life is changing, her mother has left the country for a job and Molly feels like her world is spiraling out of control. She finds peace in her rituals. There are things to her that are perfect:

―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines

These things give her a sense of control in a world where she’s not sure if her mom is coming back from leaving the country. Molly hatches a plan to bring her mother back by winning a slam poetry contest at her school. There will be a banquet for the winner’s whole family and her mother can’t miss that. Right?

But soon Molly’s rituals start to take over, things that used to be enough to calm her anxiety about something bad happening to her brother simply don’t work anymore. She finds her rituals encroaching on friends and school, and soon her slam poetry.

Molly knows there is something wrong with her, but doesn’t know what. But she’s starting to worry her friends and family will notice her rituals and figure out her secret, she’s crazy.

Will Molly be able to keep it all together or will she not be able to find perfect after all?

Review:

As someone with OCD, it’s not often I find myself represented in pieces of fiction in ways that are realistic. Molly’s story is very much on point with at least my experience of OCD. Swartz perfectly (pun intended) captures the worry of someone with OCD when things don’t go right or along with their rituals.

Things I especially liked:

  1. The portrayal of Molly’s feelings of knowing she’s doing something that doesn’t make sense but NEEDING to do it anyway.
  2. The portrayal of the spiral when rituals stop working was very realistic but still portrayed in a way that the average reader could connect with.
  3. Molly’s rituals were realistic, as is her level of obsession with doing things over and over again. The author captured the feeling of having to get something just right.
  4. Molly’s fear of discovery but yet at the same time wanting help.
  5. Molly’s view of the world in general, especially when she tries to tell someone and she feels like the universe is trying to stop her and she shouldn’t tell anyone because of it.

I can’t find online if Swartz herself has OCD but if not her research into it was impeccable. She notes her sources and a psychiatrist she worked with at the end of the book, but either way, she really got inside someone with OCD’s head.

At the end, when Molly goes to therapy, her psychiatrist has a sign that basically says. “I’m a person who happens to have OCD”. While I feel the need for person-first language especially in a book targeted towards young adults the whole book feels like my preference which is condition first language.

For example, I say I’m an autistic person, not a person with autism because autism so defines my experiences as a person I don’t think they can be separated. I don’t think that’s bad I think it simply acknowledges, that recovered or not my condition is interwoven with my personality.

Molly’s experience seems to be she has OCD and it’s a big part of her whether she’s in recovery or not. It’s the thread that goes through her defeats and triumphs and while I get that people don’t like to be defined by their condition, I think taking the condition out of the person is impossible so that’s my only real issue with the book.

But this is a debate within the disability community so I’m not surprised it didn’t get mentioned.

Otherwise, the book is five stars for a good portrayal of the OCD experience.

Amazon: Finding Perfect

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Posted in Recommendations

Happy Chinese New Year!

I thought I’d do a post featuring books by Chinese authors and with Chinese characters since Chinese New Year is tomorrow. Happy New Year to everyone who celebrates! A little bit about Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is also celebrated in other countries  Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

This year is the Year of the Rat, the first in the 12-year cycle of animals, the date of Chinese New Year varies on the Gregorian calendar because it’s date is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar.

People born in the Year of the Rat are seen as being quick-witted and intelligent.  Celebrations vary but usually include fireworks, red paper lantern decorations, and dinners with the family. In fact, the migration of people in China coming home for Chinese New Year is one of the biggest yearly migrations in the modern world.

Book Suggestions

The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao is a lovely middle-grade book with magic, and humor that discusses identity and belonging. The main character Faryn Liu has trained in secret to honor her family and the gods with the hopes of becoming a warrior. But Faryn is shunned by the main organization that does that kind of work called The Jade Society. She and her brother have been shunned by the Jade Society ever since their father disappeared years ago. But something draws Faryn into the world of being a warrior and leads her on a journey that could change her life and the world.

It’s important to note the Faryn is multi-racial she is Chinese as well as Egyptian, Turkish, and Greek.

Author Katie Zhao is a Chinese #ownvoices author as well as a young adult author.

Another one of my favorite books about Chinese characters is Front Desk by Kelly Yang. Based on Yang’s experience coming to America and running a motel with her parents. Front Desk is about Mia Tang.

She’s just trying to be a typical American girl, but she’s keeping a lot of secrets, like the fact that she doesn’t live in a big house and instead lives in a motel where her parents clean the rooms and manage the motel for the cruel Mr. Yao. Her parents are also hiding immigrants in their empty motel rooms, something they’d be doomed for if Mr. Yao finds out.

Finally, Mia wants to be a writer but faces criticism from her mother who wants her to stick to math since English isn’t her first language.

Yang artfully mixes her real-life experiences with fiction to create a beautiful book. It was one of my favorites in 2018.

Kelly Yang is a Chinese immigrant, she is a winner of the 2018 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature and founder of The Kelly Yang Project (kellyyang.edu.hk), a leading writing and debating program for kids in Asia.

Amazon: Front Desk

Beautiful book about a disabled girl and her family. A collection of short stories, it explores the neighborhoods in Bejing and what makes them special.

Nie Jun lives in Bejing teaching drawing to college students. He began drawing as a child by copying lianhuanhua (Chinese sequential art).

Amazon: My Beijing

I hope everyone enjoys the Chinese New Year, and a special shout out to all the international book bloggers who are celebrating!

Sources

The Independent: Year of the Rat

Photo by Sindhu wijaya from Pexels

Posted in Challenges, Pondathon, TBR, Uncategorized

Pondathon Readathon

I’m taking part in another challenge, one that is super unique and fun. It’s by the lovely CW @ artfromafriend and their fellow bloggers at The Quiet Pond.

Pondathon is a story-driven readathon. Now you might be asking how a story-driven readathon works.  Basically, your reading books give you points for the number of pages read or other conditions depending on which team you pick. Your reading helps certain characters in the story fight against a dark force that has invaded their home.

CW has lots of options for teams, for example, there are teams for blogging, reading, buddy reading and more. You also get to create your own character. It’s super amazing.

I decided to be on Team Xiaolong, where you earn points by reading  For every 10 pages/15 minutes (of the total time on the audiobook) that you read, you gain 1 point. You also get points for the books you finish.

team xiaolong full

Here is more information below.

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#Pondathon’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.

Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We’d love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

My Pond Character

Pondathon Character

Asna has dreamed since she was a little girl about becoming an archer. At first she was too shy to even try it, especially since some other creatures told her she needed hands to hold a bow.

She spent most of her childhood reading and playing games about archery, and she picked up on a lot of old stories and lore during her reading.

One day she decided to face her fears and tried to find a teacher to help her with her dream, but when no one would teach her she decided to teach herself. Now she an amazing archer who teaches little fish with big dreams. 

She never gave up on her love of reading through and can usually be found with a bow in one hand and a book in the other.


My Pondathon TBR


Frostfire

Frostfire by Jamie Smith

A story of a girl who must face a mountain.  Sabira is chosen to climb the mountain that’s important to her village and get a piece of a glacier that will supposedly grant her magical powers. But when an avalanche traps her on the glacier she must use her wits to face the mountain’s secrets. I loved this cover and wanted to read another book about winter. I’ve borrowed this from my local library.


The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis.

After drinking some enchanted hot chocolate a dragon becomes a girl who wants to learn about chocolate making. This book just sounded so cute I had to put it on my list. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while and decided this challenge would be a good time. I’ve borrowed this book from my local library.


Crown of Coral and Pearl by [Rutherford, Mara]

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Stepping outside my middle-grade comfort zone and reading at least one YA for the challenge. May or may not get through it, depends on the content. But I’ve started reading it and like the premise so far, its about twin girls who are waiting to see who is going to be chosen for the next princess of the land that rules their island. But things get more complicated, lots of court intrigue, and plots I’m thinking.   I’ve borrowed this digitally from my local library.


Crown of Feathers

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Pheonix riders and fierce queens, this is a YA I’ve heard a lot of buzz about. Sisterhood seems to be another big theme in this one so that’s pretty interesting too. It looks like two sets of sisters come up in the plot, so I’m really interested to see how those connections play out and form the plot. I’ve borrowed this from my local library.

The sequel Heart of Flames is coming out coming February 11, 2020, from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster.


Give and Take by Elly Swartz

Maggie is a successful trapshooter, but when a family member dies, Maggie begins to fill the hole that has been left in her heart with things. After reading Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz and seeing what a good job she did with writing a character with OCD, I want to read her other work.

These aren’t all the books I’m looking forward to taking on for the Pondathon, this however is a good start. And thanks again to @artfromafriend for hosting this lovely readathon.

 

Posted in Challenges, Reviews, TBR

Backlog Reviews

Hope everyone is doing well, January is flying by. So I thought I’d get started on a little project I’ve been wanting to work on since early December. My mental health isn’t the best today so sorry for the late post. I have lots of cool content for this week, but it will just have to wait till tomorrow/Wednesday.

Now I started my Instagram about a year and a half before I started seriously working on this blog. So there are a lot of books that I read and took photos of that I didn’t get to properly review in a longer format.

So one of my projects this year will be going back and reviewing some of the books that I featured on my bookstagram and giving them proper reviews. I’m also going to try to up my NetGalley percentage through this. I’m also going to try and post my reviews on Amazon too.

Now, these backlog reviews will generally be posted on off days for the blog, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, days when I’m not doing regular posts.

So as a summary I’ll be

  1. Re-Reading/Reviewing books featured on my bookstagram starting that started around May/June 2018.
  2. Expanding on the reviews I gave on IG.
  3. Reading/Reviewing backlog of eARCs.
  4. Posting reviews on Netgalley and Amazon.
  5. Having a good time reviewing some old content.

 

 

Posted in Reviews

More to the Story Review

If you’ve read this blog for almost any time you know one of my favorite authors is Hena Khan. So when I heard she was doing another middle-grade book I was excited. More to the Story is billed as a retelling of Little Women.

While I haven’t read Little Women I know the basic plot outline. Don’t look at me like that it’s on my 2020 list! While I can definitely see elements in the story, the four sisters, the general story, Khan makes the story her own.

More to the Story

Set in a Pakistani American family, this retelling of Little Women keeps the charm of the original story. While also giving new life to the story. The book is told from the perspective of Jameela Mirza. The Jo equivalent to the original. Like Jo from the original, she is also a writer. She writes for her family and is a journalist for her school paper. When the story starts she has just found out she is going to be the features editor for her school newspaper, an important job for a seventh-grader.

But the lead editor is someone who has shot down her ideas in the past, so she knows she has to find a star story if she wants to be an award-winning journalist like a late family member.

But becoming features editor isn’t the recent change in Jameela’s life. Two big things have also happened, a British boy named Ali who is the nephew of a family friend has just moved to the states and the sisters befriend him.

But it turns out they will need Ali’s friendship as much as he needs theirs when their father has to accept an overseas job that lasts for six months.

Jameela doesn’t know what her family will do without him, but she promises herself she’ll write the best article she can to make her father proud. She finds herself writing about Ali. But how will she make this story engaging enough to win a national media contest? Things get complicated when Jameela makes the article something Ali didn’t agree to and the article gets sent out by accident. Jameela ignites the questions she wants and makes a thought-provoking article but will it be at the cost of Ali’s friendship?

But when her younger sister Bisma gets seriously ill, Jameela has to decide what is really important. Trying to process her sister’s illness Jameela learns of a way her writing can help her sister and as her community comes together to help Bisma, Jameela learns she might not have completely ruined things with Ali.

But with everything so up in the air will Jameela finally be able to make her own story come together?

Written by Pakistani-American writer Hena Khan.

Amazon: More to the Story

Review

I loved the book it was just the right length and Jameela was a relatable narrator. Khan notes at the end of the book how big of a fan she was of Little Women growing up, and you can feel her love for the story shining through on the pages. She also weaves in her culture beautifully as she does with all her stories. My favorite things were:

  1. The sisters’ interaction: even though some of the sisters got more page time than others you could really sense their distinct personalities. And those personalities were the most fun when they were together.
  2. The way Ali interacts with the sisters especially Jameela.
  3. The feeling of community throughout the story.
  4. Bisma, the Beth equivalent is literally so sweet she just deserves a mention.
  5. The conclusion of the story and how Khan changed it to fit a middle-grade book yet still made it feel right for the story.

Definitely a 4.5-star book. I only wish it was a little longer but I know since it’s a middle-grade book that the length was probably due to the target age range.

 

 

Posted in Monthly Reads, Recommendations, TBR, Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

January TBR

So it’s been January for a while now but finally here is my TBR post. It’s mostly some old books with a few new ones peppered in. I’m setting a modest goal for four ‘book’ books this month, and additional comics and graphic novels. I’m going to do another post on my comic and graphic novel TBR.

Tunnel of Bones (City of Ghosts #2)

Cassidy Blake’s and her corporally challenged best friend Jacob’s adventures pick up after their dangerous adventures in Scotland. Now they are in Paris, filming the next episode of Cassidy’s parents show The Inspecters. While Cassidy hopes Paris isn’t as haunted as Eninghburgh her hopes are dashed when she learns about the ghosts hiding beneath Paris in the Catacombs. 

And when Cassidy awakens a strong spirit from the Catacombs, she must rely on her growing skills as a ghost hunter, as well as new and old friends. Together they must solve a mystery before the spirit Cassidy unleashed becomes strong enough to be free to haunt Paris forever. 

Amazon: Tunnel of Bones

More to the Story

A retelling of Little Women set in a Pakistani American family. In this case, Jo is  Jameela Mirza who was just picked to be the feature editor in her middle school newspaper. Jameela wants to be an award-winning journalist like a late family member. The head editor keeps shooting down her ideas, and she finds herself writing about a new student, a boy with a British accent who keeps to himself. But how will she make this story engaging enough to win a national media contest?

But things get complicated when Jameela’s family is shaken up by her father taking an overseas job that takes him away from their Georgia home. Jameela, along with her three sisters aren’t sure what to do. Missing her father ignites a fire under Jameela, she’s going to write the best article ever and make her dad proud.

But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela has to decide what is really important. She has to make the same choice at school where her quest for fame might cost her a friend.

While trying to find out what matters most Jameela wonders whether she’s cut out to be a journalist after all.

Written by Pakistani-American writer Hena Khan.

Amazon: More to the Story

Lalani of the Distant Sea

I’ve really been enjoying this book because of its unique narrative structure. Lalani Sarita’s is just trying to get by Sanlagita where life is difficult and women aren’t valued. Whenever someone tries to leave the island they never come back, a fate that befell Lalani’s father. Lalani and her mother have to suffer from her stepfather and stepbrother. And deal with a drought that has hit the island.

When Lalani travels up the mountain the islanders think is evil, her wish is granted but not in the way she imagined. And when distress falls on the village, Lalani ends up shouldering the blame.

To help her mother who has fallen ill from an incurable disease, Lalani must leave the island to find the riches of the legendary Mount Isa, which towers on an island to the north. It holds what might be a cure for her mother and a way for Lalani to erase the mistakes she’s made in the village. But where generations of her people have failed to reach the island what chance does an ordinary girl have?

Amazon: Lalani of the Distant Sea

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Book 1)

A rural girl wants to win fame in the Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where they teach the art of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating. Peasprout Chen and her brother Cricket are the first from a rural country in the country of Shin, to go to the famous school.

They soon find themselves in intense competition with the other students for the top spot at the Academy. But when trouble brews at the Academy, outsider Peasprout is blamed and must get to the bottom of the mystery to clear her name.

I’m also excited to read this as part of the Year of the Asian Readathon.

Amazon: Peasprout Chen

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Posted in Recommendations, TBR, Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge TBR

Just a few of the books I’m looking forward to for my Year of the Asian Readathon. A lot of these are repeats from last year, but I’m making them a priority on my TBR this year.

1) The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. This book deals with a girl coming to a new school after she comes to the United States from Korea. She feels like she has to change her name to fit in because her Korean name is too ‘different’ and hard for her class to pronounce.

So she has her class help her pick a new name but what will she decide to use for her name in the end?

2) Peasprout Chen Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien

I’m working on this book right now and it’s very cute. It combines ice skating and martial arts. A girl and her brother from a rural country head to a famous school and must make a name for themselves.

Amazon: Peasprout Chen

3) Front Desk by Kelly Yang

This book was one of my favorites of 2018. If not my very favorite and the chance to give it a re-read is one I’m not passing up. It’s about Mia Tang and her family who come from China with big dreams and end up running a motel for a corrupt boss. When a chance for Mia to make her family’s dreams come up in the form of a writing contest, will she be able to make their American Dream happen?

Amazon: Front Desk

4)The Way To Bea

I picked this up last year but just didn’t get around to reading it. Beatrix Lee is going through a lot of changes as 7th grade rolls around. Everything from becoming a big sister to losing friends. Bea finds solace in the written word and learns who she wants to be with the help of poetry and a new group of friends.

Amazon: Way to Bea

I’m also planning to read a few graphic novels by Asian authors the first of which is:

5)NewsPrints

An orphan girl disguises herself as a boy so she can deliver newspapers. Set in a fictional country with 1920’s esque technology. Blue finds herself in the middle of some important secrets and makes a new friend who isn’t what he seems. But when authorities come looking for her new friend, will Blue with the help of a renegade scientist and some of her friends from the paper be able to get them out of trouble before they are drawn up into a larger conflict.

This will be mostly a re-read as well, but I never got around to finishing it. I’m also hoping to read the second book, Endgames which came out last year.

Amazon: NewsPrints

Are you participating in any reading challenges this year?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Memes, Recommendations

Weekly Wrap Up

The first week of January has been pretty productive. Now that I’m not working 24/7 (holiday retail). I’ve done a lot of stuff for the blog, I’ve got all of the next weeks to post scheduled giving me room to work on the week after and socialize on other blogs more.

I finished my first book of the year and the review should be up next week. The first book was More to the Story by Hena Khan. Now those of you who have been reading the blog know I love pretty much everything Hena Khan puts out so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Reading

More to the Story

A retelling of Little Women set in a Pakistani American family. In this case, Jo is  Jameela Mirza who was just picked to be the feature editor in her middle school newspaper. Jameela wants to be an award-winning journalist like a late family member. The head editor keeps shooting down her ideas, and she finds herself writing about a new student, a boy with a British accent who keeps to himself. But how will she make this story engaging enough to win a national media contest?

But things get complicated when Jameela’s family is shaken up by her father taking an overseas job that takes him away from their Georgia home. Jameela, along with her three sisters aren’t sure what to do. Missing her father ignites a fire under Jameela, she’s going to write the best article ever and make her dad proud.

But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela has to decide what is really important. She has to make the same choice at school where her quest for fame might cost her a friend.

While trying to find out what matters most Jameela wonders whether she’s cut out to be a journalist after all.

Written by Pakistani-American writer Hena Khan.

Amazon: More to the Story

I’m also working on my second book of the year, Finding Perfect by Elly Schartz. As a blogger with mental health disorders (too many to list but the biggest ones being Schizophrenia and OCD.) I really like the way this book is portraying the condition. Expect a review maybe next week. 

Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of the words disorder or issue but I’m trying to find words to better communicate it. Especially as someone who also has cognitive issues, please bear with me. 🙂

Finding Perfect

To twelve-year-old Molly Nathans, perfect is:

―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines

What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are sometimes broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. The winner is honored at a fancy banquet with white tablecloths. Molly is sure her mother would never miss that. Right…?

But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly’s world from spinning out of control. In this fresh-voiced debut novel, one girl learns there is no such thing as perfect.

Amazon: Finding Perfect

Also written by Elly Swartz is the wonderful Give and Take which focuses on hoarding. 

Gaming

I’m still working on Pokemon Sheild and really enjoying it. I’ve gotten past the first three gyms now I’m exploring the next wild area. This game has really helped my mental health. I’m also looking forward to borrowing Luigi’s Mansion from a friend soon. 

Image result for pokemon sword and shield

Health

My mental health isn’t doing super awesome, so if posts take dive here then that’s why. Also, I hurt my hand making it tougher to type. So yay, lots of fun things that mess with my productivity. 

How have the first couple of weeks of the New Year been for you?