Posted in Uncategorized

Witchy Book Releases This Week

Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls

Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by [Kaela Rivera]

Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.

When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.

With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

Amazon: Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls

The Last Windwindwitch

The Last Windwitch by [Jennifer Adam]

Many years ago, in the kingdom of Fenwood Reach, there was a powerful Windwitch who wove the seasons, keeping the land bountiful and the people happy. But then a dark magic drove her from the realm, and the world fell into chaos.

Brida is content in her small village of Oak Hollow. There, she’s plenty occupied trying to convince her fickle magic to actually do what it’s meant to in her work as a hedgewitch’s apprentice—until she accidentally catches the attention of the wicked queen.

On the run from the queen’s huntsman and her all-seeing Crow spies, Brida discovers the truth about her family, her magic, and who she is destined to be—and that she may hold the power to defeating the wicked queen and setting the kingdom right again.

Amazon: The Last Windwitch

Victories Greater than Death

Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable Book 1) by [Charlie Jane Anders]

Just please, remember what I told you. Run. Don’t stop running for anything.”

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’–she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic–she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed–and everyone in the galaxy is expecting her to actually be the brilliant tactician and legendary savior Captain Thaoh Argentian, but Tina….is just Tina. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her own kind of magic and she can’t help the Royal Fleet who is badly losing the war, badly–the starship that found her is on the run and they barely manage to escape Earth with the planet still intact, They barely manage to escape Earth with the planet still intact.

But Tina needs to trust herself she’s surrounded by a crew she can trust and her best friend Rachel and she’s determined to save the worlds, even if that means she has to save herself first.

Amazon: Victories Greater than Death.

Posted in Reviews

Sweet and Bitter Magic Review

Sweet & Bitter Magic

Commentary

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation but that doesn’t mean a thing as since she committed the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. Now she makes her way the only way she can she’s set herself up in a small town where she’s both a loner and an outsider. The villagers come for her for cures but they pay a steep price. The only way Tamsin can feel love again is to take it from others and that is the price for her work.

Tamsin’s problem is using too much magic then Wren a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Then Wren is giving up her magic entirely out of a sense of misplaced love. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..

Review

Okay I’m going to put a spoiler here because I nee do rant happily and loudly about this book

SPOLER

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Okay have I given you time to look away IT’S LESBIAN WITCHS, and they get a happy ending and it’s wonderful and I thought they were just going to get a cabin in the woods but one of the characters wanted more for the other the novel is a gem so sweet.

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Back to the no spoilerly part I love Wren, she knows absolutely nothing about the outside world, and yet she’s not a shrinking violet she’s also Tamsin’s moral compass many times throughout the book. Some of my other favorite things in the book include the world of Within and how the magic system works. I also really love Vera. The villain in the book is even very interesting and not exactly a traditional villain at all. This is such a great read I’ll definitely read it again 5/5 stars.

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Update

Sorry for the delay on the weekly update, today I was just tired and throw in some stretches for my ankle I was pretty exhausted most of the day. It’s been a pretty quiet week, I spent the beginning of the week doing the Easter Readathon. That was super successful as I finished three out of the 4 books and will work on the other after I finish books I have reviews due for.

Right now I’m working on two very special reviews one for a MAJOR publishing company I can’t believe asked me to work for them on this, and another for a great tour company I’m very excited to review a book for. And finally my ever-building NetGalley list lol. I’m also changing up the look of the website, check out my artist Ryl‘s work. They have already helped me with work for my Pateron the art is still a work in progress but if are interested in having some input into the site or getting your cards read. One comes with the other so why not enjoy the fun. Also at the highest tier you will get to see me in person talking about books in being goofy, which I promise you’ll see no where else.

Anyway hope your week went well and expect to see reviews and fun from me this week. Oh an a final note YallWest is coming up so don’t forget to sign up for panels.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Finished Books: Easter Readathon Day 3

Finished Books

Starfish

Finished this one, it was a great read.

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules–like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.”

And she’s found her safe space–her swimming pool–where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life–by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

Commentary

It is one of the two books I actually finished for this readathon. This was a great fat positive for middle grades which is something I’ve never seen before. We need more books like Starfish for middle grade, and if you have any recommendations that are like this for YA please shoot them my way.

I thought I wouldn’t like it and it would be tough to finish because it is written in verse, but I’m reading more books written in verse, so either I like it more than I thought or the authors I’m reading are just good at it. Ellie is a wonderful heroine especially considering all the things she has to go to, her sessions with her therapists are really hit hard especially if you have any size issues yourself. Glad I got this one read it was really good.

Amazon: Starfish

Lumberjanes Vol. 16

Mal tries to prove her bravery…but ends up stranded in the Land of Lost Things!

DINOSAURS, DANGER & DIMENSION-HOPPING AND …OH MY!

Mal wants to learn to be braver, but when she recruits Ripley to help her face her fears, she ends up somewhere she really should be afraid of–the Land of Lost Things, a pocket universe where dinosaurs still roam the earth, and time doesn’t work the way it should. Stranded on her own in an alternate dimension, will Mal be able to find her way back home to camp? And back on the other side of the portal, will Molly, April, Jo, and Ripley be able to find Mal again and save her? Or are they about to get stuck, too?

Writers Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh (Super Cakes) and artist AnneMarie Rogers present the newest collection of stories from the New York Times bestseller and multiple Eisner Award and GLAAD Award-winning series where you’re never lost as long as you hold onto the ones you love most!

Collects Lumberjanes #61-64.

Commentary

I fell behind on reading Lumberjanes for awhile, due to borrowing restrictions and such. I’m glad to get pulled back to the crazy world of the ‘Janes. I can’t wait to read the next volume, especially with series ending soon.

Ama:zonLumberjanes Volume 16

Almost Finished Books

Sweet and Bitter Magic

I wish I would have been able to finish this one but I got to about 88% and it was like 11pm.

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two h,ave a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first.

Commentary

I finished this Tuesday afternoon. Okay, so no spoilers but all I’m going to say the final battle with dark witch was so much more interesting than you first assume, also Tamsin and Wren get an ending much closer and maybe even better than a cottage in the forest together. This book is phenomenal I can’t wait to read more from the author. I can’t wait to talk more about in my review, the characters, the magic system, everything!

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Unfished Books

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by [Robin Talley]

Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything.

What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.

Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.

Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.

Commentary

I got about 100 page into this book on Sunday night, I really like it so far and can’t wait to read more after I tackle some required reading on my TBR.

Amazon: The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Starfish Review

When I read the blurb for Starfish I knew I had to buy it. After being a fat kid and a fat adult finding a body-positive middle grade book was honestly surprising.

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Summary

Starfish is Ellie’s story. Ever since she wore Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party. Since then she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules–like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.” And she’s found her safe space–her swimming pool–where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world.

In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life–by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

Review

This book deals with fat self hate in a way I’ve never seen any other book do. It wasn’t till the writer mentioned she had gone through all the things that Ellie had gone through that it made sense to me. This had to be an #OwnVoices book. Some of the scenes with the therapists are intense especially if you’ve got some of that same fat hate left over yourself. However my favorite scenes are the therapy scenes with her mom, oh man why did I not realize I needed to do this. Ellie is very sweet and she made me love this novel in verse she I also loved that they showed Ellie having friends who didn’t care about her weight.

The world needs more books like this 5/5 I’d read it again in a heartbeat.

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Posted in ARCs

Review: The Chance to Fly

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an advance chance to read The Chance to fly.

Summary

Beacon loves a lot of things: Her dog Warbucks her best friend Chole and competing with her wheelchair racing team the Zoomers to name a few. But she’s absolutely drawn in by and OBSESSED with MUSICALS. From Hamilton to Les Mis, she memorized all the cast albums and can belt them out with the best of them, She’s never actually SEEN a musical though, or seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on the stage.

As much as she loves musicals would someone like her even get cast? However, when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, a moves she’s not excited about at first. Nat stumbles on upon auditions for a kid’s production of Wicked of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! She also makes friends with the other cast members who are super cool and inclusive, well most of them at least.

She has a special place in her heart for Malik-the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But Nat thinks Malik would never consider her, and another girl sees their chemistry and it leads to a frienemy for Nat.

When things go awry before opening night Nat finds herself more front and center than she expected, will she be able to cast away her fears fly “Defy Gravity” with the help of an old friend and new in every sense of the song title.

Review

Nat Beacon was made to fly! Only she doesn’t know it yet when she signs up for the local production of Wicked in her new town. She’s never seen anyone in a wheelchair be cast in any musical so she’s shy but ready to convince the producers that she will be the right fit for Nessarose a disabled character in the play.

At first, she only gets the ensemble, and then is put off by one of the theater coaches saying she can’t do the dancing parts, to which she and a musical theater friend learn how to dance in her wheelchair. The book has a lot of ups and a fire that almost shuts down the production. Female competition, But the best part to me is how they discuss miscasting and disability but not in a serious way, in a way that fits how teens/tweens would discuss it. This book rings true to its audience plus for at least one of its authors it’s an #OwnVoices piece. I just really enjoy the book

5/5 stars.

Authors

Stroker made history as the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway and win a Tony Award. Her experience is infused into Nat’s heartwarming and empowering journey into the spotlight in The Chance to Fly, cowritten with Davidowitz, an award-winning children’s book author and playwright.

Writing Nat’s story brought me back to my childhood, when auditioning made my stomach flip and opening nights gave me the butterfly-iest butterflies,” said Davidowtiz. “Something I held onto as a kid-and something Ali and I want our readers to take away from The Chance to Fly now-is that no matter who you are and what challenges you face, creativity is key. You can break boundaries. You can burst through boxes. YOU can find solutions.”

Author Article

Amazon: The Chance to Fly

Posted in Discussion, Feature, Uncategorized

Easter Readathon Day 2

Forgive me if this post is a bit late, I got my first COVID shot yesterday then slept off any of the tiredness for the rest of the evening and this following morning but other than that I’ve had no symptoms and oh I can now go UPSTAIRS to my room more on that in my weekend update but to say I had a few things distracting me from the readathon yesterday. But don’t worry today I’ve got some commentary on what I read yesterday for you all.

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules–like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.” And she’s found her safe space–her swimming pool–where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life–by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

Commentary

Oh, Ellie is getting an attitude and I LOVE it especially against her mother. I love her friendship with Catalina too, the way Ellie gets to see another family’s attitude towards food opens her eyes to what could be possible. I can’t wait to see what her life looks like when she truly faces her mother and finds who she truly is and able to be like in real life.

Amazon: Starfish

Sweet & Bitter Magic

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is if they don’t kill each other first..

Commentary

Oh no no, I see where this is going and it’s not going to end with Tamsin and Wren in a cottage in the woods happy together, is it? I loved the twist with Vera and I also loved the other big twist. So much emotion coming at Tamsin I mean for a woman who can’t feel you got a hell of a lot of emotional conflicts ahead of her. I also loved Wren’s conversations with Leya, and what she admits to her herself, I think it’s going to become super important as the novel progresses. Oh, man can’t wait to see where this goes and hope it doesn’t break my dang heart.

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by [Robin Talley]

Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything.

What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.

Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.

Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.

Commentary

Oh lord, I can already tell Melody has drama issues and I’m just in the beginning of the book. I’m interested to see what taking a break from love does for our heroine, and what happens when the new love interest shows up.

Amazon: The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Update

So the week went pretty well, currently I’m working on the Easter readathon which is going well I should have 4 books finished by the end of the weekend which is as many as I finished last month. I’m enjoying having all theses readathons they really direct my reading in a way I have a difficulty doing myself, plus I already have some readathons lined up for May and June. But perhaps most importantly I can FINALLY, go upstairs

My ankle is still weak and can’t be sprinting up and down with abandon, But I can get up and down which means I can sleep in my own bed for the first time since the middle of January. BEST THING EVER. Plus this means I can work from my big computer on the blog, I’ve been working on my small laptop screen and my eyes are ready for a big screen again.

I also got the first half of my COVID shot which knocked me out part of yesterday and today.

As for my personal life, I’m actually starting to get stuff done with my disability and medical billing that is pretty much my life at this point so that’s good.

Therapy for my foot is also going pretty well so I’m getting back a little bit of range of motion every time I work out, they say the total time for full recovery will be a year but I’m already feeling pretty good at this point,

I’m also learning Chinese with Duolingo and really enjoying that.

So in totally this past week was pretty good. I posted most days, I read a lot of them, and I studied language all of them. And I did the stupid life paperwork. I’d give myself an A for this past week which shocks me as much as anyone.

Photo by Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Easter Readathon Day 1

TW: mention of child abuse

Hey guys, I read a ALOT today. Mostly from the books from my first two prompts, to remind you what those are I’ll put them up again here.

Easter Prompt Number 1: Spring-y Novel: Starfish

I often think of swimming in spring and summer. Especially since the ‘spring’ here is actually just two weeks where it’s kinda cool then the bugs come out from under the earth and it’s suddenly summer.

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules–like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.” And she’s found her safe space–her swimming pool–where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life–by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

Usually I’m not a huge fan of novels in verse, but I have found a few that I like and this novel is one is one of them, especially coming up as a fat kid myself. Ellie is relatable. Her mother, well my mother was never that bad, but I think most fat kids mothers faced some level of what Ellie is going through, and Ellie is a hyperbole of it all, because some of the stuff her mother is doing in the book to try to make her thinner are straight up child abuse.

I love the relationship between her and her therapist so I can’t wait to see where that goes, and how the family is going to address the abuse they are directing towards her. More tomorrow!

Amazon: Starfish

Easter Prompt 2: A novel about new beginning: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..

Oh these two! This novel is great. For Tamsin not being able to love her able to sass is surely very much intact. Wren may be innocent-ish but she calls Tamsin’s bluff on ALL of the things magical. And Tamsin HATES it and it’s hilarious. The book has me hooked though I’m interested in how Wren see’s magic as a source and I’m interested, what the hell Tamsin actually did wrong. The rapport though, totally reading for the fact that they are hilarious despite such a serious setting.

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Photo by Damon Lam on Unsplash

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Disability Readathon

Disability Readathon? I was on the fence about it because it puts me at 4 readathons this month. A great plan coming out of a slow month, well that remains to be seen but there are too many good readathons going on right now so it’s not all my fault. I’m also doing the Autism Readathon, am I going overboard honoring disability month, yes, probably, but I talk about it all year long so why not put my reading where my talking is.

I’ll go into more detail about the books in my TBR, I just wanted to show what I picked out here.

This readathon has categories so you can customize it as you wish.

For Category 1 the the choices are

Category 1

  • Read a children’s book (middle grade or younger)
  • Watch a video of a disabled person talking about ableism
  • Read a text about traveling while disabled 
  • Read a play by a disabled person

I’m reading a book middle grade or younger. For this one I picked out Song for A Whale

Song for a Whale by [Lynne Kelly]

Amazon: Song for A Whale

Category 2

  • Watch a movie with a disabled actor
  • Read a book set in space
  • Read a text by a disabled trans person 
  • Read a text about service animals
Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by [Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, Scott Magoon]

Amazon: Rescue and Jessica

Category 3

  • Read a book with green on the cover
  • Read a book from the library 
  • Watch a video about adaptive technology 
  • Read a text by someone with the same disability as you (OCD)
The Someday Birds by [Sally J. Pla, Julie McLaughlin]

Amazon: The Someday Birds

Category 4

  • Read a book written before you were born
  • Read and share three tweets by disabled people of color
  • Listen to a podcast/read its transcript
  • Read a book that’s been on your TBR for over a year
Out of My Mind by [Sharon M. Draper]

Amazon: Out of My Mind

Check out tomorrow to see my Disability Readathon TBR and join me as I take part in a reading sprint!

Photo by Fábio Hanashiro on Unsplash