Posted in Discussion, Feature, Path Or Pantheon

Path or Pantheon: I thought this was in June.

So I thought the Path or Pantheon readathon was in June because I wasn’t paying attention. I did get some books to read that met the prompts but I wanted to try this again. I’m doing the Path of Home again and adding the Norse Pantheon to give myself a challenge. I’m going to do a new TBR for the Path of Home ASAP. And luckily for the Norse Pantheon, I don’t have to set one but I’m going to do a kind of setup for what books I might do just to sort of have an idea of what I’m doing.

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Posted in Feature

Pride Month Readathon

Happy Pride Month! I try to read diverse books and as I’ve said before I’m not the hugest fan of Pride for various reasons, however, I do enjoy books with LGBTQIA+ characters especially with a happy ending.

This year I’m doing the Read Your Gay Challenges: Their theme this year is Queer Scouts. Which is ironic because I work at a camp for Queer Youth in July.

Prompts include: Camping Badge A book that takes place in the woods

Art badge: A book will an illustrated cover.

Bird watching badge: A Book with a Bird on the cover

Emergency preparedness badge: A dystopian or survival story

Nature Badge: A book that takes place in nature.

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 Feature

Top 5 Book Covers

  1. Amina’s Song
The book cover shows a Pakistani teen girl wearing a yellow top with her dark hair flowing freely. She has tan skin and dark eyes and she's on a blue background with white mofits such as elaborate circles and floral designs on the top of the book cover in white it says Amina's Song.

This is one of my favorite book covers because it most reflects the spirit of the book. On the cover of Amina’s Voice, Amina’s is curled uptight. Amina won’t open up to anyone about her talent. However, on this cover this one she’s thrown her arms open to the world. She is a happier and more confident person than she was in book one. This really helps shape the whole plotline of the book.

Also, I don’t know if Khan made this choice intentionally but I think the lighter coloring also reflects’ Amina’s growth. But that could just be me reading into color choices.

You can find my review here

2. Soulswift

On the book cover a bird with with blue wings and a blue head and yellow chest is breaking out of being incased stone carving around it there is lots of scroll work and fancy three tipped imprints. In gold reads "within the stone lies a deadly secret" The title Soulswift is also written across the top in the same color of gold writing above the bird.

Perhaps my favorite cover out of all these because it proves a plot point I’d spoil by telling you. Other than the fact that it is super important plot-wise, the bird is spiritually very important to the characters in the book and I think a perfect choice for the cover.

Honestly the cover made me pick this book up at first and I wasn’t disappointed. I also love all the stone work on the cover it give a hint of the role that religion will play in the book. Overall this one was just pretty message wise and visually.

You can find my review here

3) On The Edge of Gone

A lone person stand on broken up cement and among empety broken down buildings as rockets lauch off into a red sky. On the cover the title "The Edge of Gone" is printed in translusent text.

This is another cover where it matched the content so clearly it had to be included. The whole book is about who deserves to get to go to another planet on space ships after an asteroid hits the Earth. It also deals with things like disability, racism, homophobia and transphobia.

The image of our protagonist being stuck on the ground with all the ships leaving is very powerful, and the cover gives you an empty feeling like the book does at first, things may turn around but this cover shows the stakes at first.

You can find my review here

4) Once Upon an Eid

This cover shows two tan buildings with open windows people lean out from most of either shouting, celebrating, making decorations or talking to one another. There is a large cresent moon between the two building that is white on a purple background that says the title in purple text "Once Upon an Eid".

I picked the book because the cover was simply beautiful and also it reflected the joy of the stories inside. On the cover, you could see the spirit of celebration that was present inside the book.

You can find my review here.

5) A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

A blonde girl and a yellow dog meet foreheads on the bottom of a snowy hill The title "A Home for Goddesses and Dogs" takes up the rest of the hill. Two outlined figures and another dog stand at the top of the hill with another dog and a house. Evergreen trees surround the hill and in a purple sky the moon goes through its phases.

I picked this one because it made me think of family. It’s a sweet book about a girl and a dog learning to fit into a family. I think the cover reflects that. I just love the color scheme. My favorite detail is the moon going through its phases on the cover. It’s very important to the plot and it looks beautiful on the cover.

You can find my review here.

Posted in Author Recommendations, Feature, Recommendations

Character Team Ups

1)Awkward

Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School Book 1) by [Svetlana Chmakova]

Peppi and Jamie are able to team up despite their differences and not only become friends but save both of their clubs from being disbanded. While they had their ups and downs which was realistic for the age group. Eventually they find that both art and science really aren’t that different all along.

The reason I chose this book is because Peppi and Jamie are able to see through the artifical divides of middle school cliques and and make a true friendships.

You can find my review here.

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

2) A Thousand Questions

A Thousand Questions by [Saadia Faruqi]

These two are an unsual team up considering Sakina thinks Mimi is stuck up at first but eventually the two bond over Mimi teaching Sakina English and Mimi learning about her home culture, they don’t realize they are the answer to each others problems but they slowly become friends and help change as problems come up throughout the book.

The reason I chose this book is because while they may be different eventually they push each other to solve each other’s biggest issues which is what makes them a good team.

You can find my review here

You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

3) To Nightowl From Dogfish

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Avery and Bett are another pair that hate each other at first, the only reason they come together is to keep their dads apart. But they start working together and realize they make a great team, even if they don’t want to admit it for like a good half of the book.

The reason I chose this book is I also love how their relationship forms natrally, they go from hating each other to being best friends but not in a way that feels forced.

My review can be found here

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

4) Séance Tea Party

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When her circle of friends suddenly shrinks as growing up happens Lora is determined to have fun on her own and not bow to the social pressures and be like everyone else. So one day Lora has a tea party with a supernatural twist that leads to her rediscovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house and her old imaginary friend!

I picked this book to show that a team up can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) last forever. These two make a wonderful pair but their goodbye is as poienient as their hello.

You can find my review here.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

5) Stargazing

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Even though Moon and Christine are nothing alike when Moon moves in next door the girls become fast friends. Christine appricates Moons confident and impulsive personality, she’s unlike any person Christine has ever known. The two have fun sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails: something Christine’s strict parents don’t allow.

But Moon shares a secret with Christine , she has visions sometimes, of the the celestial beings who speak to her from who reassure her that earth isn’t where where she really belongs.

Can Christine be the Moon needs when her visions turn out to have an all to earthly root and Moon is soon in the hospital fighting for her life?

You can find my review here

You can purchase the book on Amazon here

Image by Dev Ashish from Pixabay