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 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 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

Posted in Discussion

Sick Bloggers Recovery Guide

Now if you haven’t been reading my weekly post you might not know I’m laid up for another month with a broken ankle. I had surgery, internal fixators, nurses commeting on how bad my injury was. THE DOCTOR commenting on how bad my injury was the works.

1)A Large TBR Pile

And while I really hope none of you end up on the sofa for two and half months with a broken ankle. I do know we all have times when we aren’t feeling our best. So I thought I’d share what worked for me to keep from going a little tired and annoyed from sitting in one place.

I’ve been reading since I came off the painkillers and I think it’s help distract me from any lingering pain, plus perfectionist that I am, even with a broken ankle I’m still worried about my reading goal for the year so I’ve managed to keep up pace with my goal. You however shouldn’t worry about your reading goals and heal instead, I’m just stubborn.

2)Subscriptions

If you don’t have Kindle Unlimted or Comixology, or Scribd consider the often off free trials. I payed $5 to try Kindle for two months, by then I should at least be off the couch and the same for the Comixology plan, I’m not sure about Scribd’s free trial as I recieved it as a gift for this year for Christmas but I’m sure they have something similar.

This way you’ll be able to explore new content and keep yourself interested in reading.

3) Consider less days a week

I’m not doing this but it might the right choice for you. The personal reason I’m keeping my blog daily is it makes me feel productive especially when I don’t feel productive doing anything else. But if you are having a rough recovery you may want to back off to post once or only a couple times a week.

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

Posted in Discussion, Uncategorized

How has the Pandemic affected your blogging?

I’m going to start by saying I know this is a very privileged question, with so many people in the hospital and or way behind on their rent, or out of a job, being able to worry about something like blogging is a luxury. But I wanted to talk about how the pandemic has affected my processes as a blogger and wondering if it has affected you all similarly.

First off, the pandemic has limited my acesss to books, not completly, I do have acesss to two libraries and a book subsciption service. However I feel like my content was more varied and diverse, and of course and got to grab new releases faster when I had a brick and mortar library on hand.

As a blogger with limited fiances this has hit me fiancially as I’ve had to buy some of the books that I otherwise would have just checked out. I know that’s not a problem for everyone but it’s been an issue for me.

I also feel like I’ve had to give up most of my work with Bookstagram, due to the lack of having a library with non-digital copies of books. I’ve tried shooting with my iPad, and maybe it’s just me that hasn’t caught the trick but I can get my iPad and props to look right together. The glare is its own issue, maybe I just need to spend more time working on photography?

On a high note though I feel like things have slowed down to the point where I’m able to post on the blog every day, and I’m able to read more, which is good because I want to hit my 100 book this year goal and keep posting every day.

So maybe I’ve lost some things from my blogging routine but I’ve also gained some things too.