Category: Site News

Mental Health Awareness Week

Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and I am helping to bring awareness to it.

Approximately one in four people in the world suffer from mental health problems each year. Mental Health Awareness Week aims to get people talking about their mental health and reduce the stigma that stops people from asking for help.

There are many types of mental illnesses:  Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias; depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders; eating disorders; personality disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; and psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

I am also re-sharing about a book I read last year that made my Top 10 list and deals with mental illness:  A Breath too Late by Rocky Callen. I will also be sharing my review again.

Book Description:

For fans of Girl in Pieces, All the Bright Places, and Girl, Interrupted comes a haunting and breathtaking YA contemporary debut novel that packs a powerful message: hope can be found in the darkness.

Seventeen-year-old Ellie had no hope left. Yet the day after she dies by suicide, she finds herself in the midst of an out-of-body experience. She is a spectator, swaying between past and present, retracing the events that unfolded prior to her death.

But there are gaps in her memory, fractured pieces Ellie is desperate to re-assemble. There’s her mother, a songbird who wanted to break free from her oppressive cage. The boy made of brushstrokes and goofy smiles who brought color into a gray world. Her brooding father, with his sad puppy eyes and clenched fists. Told in epistolary-like style, this deeply moving novel sensitively examines the beautiful and terrible moments that make up a life and the possibilities that live in even the darkest of places. Perfect for fans of the critically-acclaimed Speak, I’ll Give You the Sun, and If I Stay.

My review originally posted on October 22, 2021:

A Breath Too Late begins with a trigger warning dealing with physical abuse, suicide, and depression. And it fully deals with these issues. After the trigger warning there is an author’s note and the novel ends with ways to reach out for help. Yes, when you read A Breath Too Late, you are in for a full-on emotional story with Ellie. This novel does not deal with a happy ending, and has a tragic story, but the reader is actually left with hope.

The novel is written in letters from Ellie to her mother, father, a very important boy, life, depression, and more. It is too late for Ellie, but it might not be for potential readers who Callen wrote this novel for: For those who have kept their pain and emotions a secret to all.

As the novel progresses, things become clear to Ellie that she could not see through her painful life. Through death, she did find peace as she saw how the two most important people to her actually felt about her.

This novel will bring so many thoughts and emotions to those who read it. It is a powerful one that I will stick on my shelf next to Just a Normal Tuesday, which also deals with suicide and greatly affected me. At the end of the novel the author gives contact information for those that may need some kind of assistance.


For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, please click this link.
You can buy A Breath too Late here.
If you need help, please get it. You are worth it!

Happy New Year!!/ Kim’s December 2021 Reads


Happy New Year everyone!  Bring on 2022 and let’s see where it goes (hopefully in a good way!)

$1 in a Jar:

Since we are in a new year, don’t forget to start a new $1 in a Jar: For every book you read, put $1 (or more) in the jar and come next year, you’ll have some ‘play money’! I’m starting the new year with $92 ‘play money’ for me!

Goodreads/Storygraph Challenge:

Do you Goodreads or Storygraph??  If so, have you set your challenge for this year? I have a set a big one, but that is due to my longer commute to work. So my goal for 2022 is…

WOW: 111 books! If I get moved to another office closer to home I will have to change it.  This is a big jump for me as 2021 my goal was 81 books and I read 92. I could have just gone with 100, but I want to have a number I think I can reach, and for me I think that number is 111. Let’s see what happens in my 2022 year of reading!

Beccie has a You Tube:

If you follow our Facebook Page/ Instagram(s), you know that Bookies is gone.  Beccie has left Facebook, BUT she is still on Instagram and has a You Tube channel!  Here is her video for today. See what she is planning on reading, she’s trying to be a TBR reader and doing her own version of $1 in a jar monthly!

The ABC Challenge:
Don’t forget about the ABC Challenge I am doing this year. I do have a few ARCs I need to get in, so this won’t start right away, I’m thinking it will start in March.  Moer info on the ABC Challenge is here.

Now it’s time for Kim’s December 2021 reads:

What are you planning for your year in reading for 2022?


Jessica’s Top 10 of 2021


Well guys, it is December 31st and WE MADE IT!  We have just hours until 2021 is over!!!  Let’s hope 2022 will be much better than the last two years…   Today we are ending the year with Jessica’s Top 10 of 2021. And four of my top 10 were Diverseathon reads (though more of my top 10 would match those prompts)! Needless to say that Diverseathon was successful for me! Looking at this list, it is definitely a mix of genres that I read in 2021!  

**I even had a book make an honorable mention as it deserves a place all by itself! 

10.  A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen
This one was a read for Diverseathon and a birthday gift from my friend Yami.  This is another novel that greatly affected me and it is one that everyone should read when they are losing hope.  My review is here.

9.  That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
This is one that I did a double review with Kim.  Taking place three years after a school shooting, what actually happened? This powerful YA novel is written via letters from the survivors.  My review is here.

8. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Whoa, whoa whoa!  This is my favorite by Sager and solidified him as a ‘must read’ author for me!  This novel went in a direction that I would have never guessed! You can’t say too much without giving things away, but it does leave you thinking! My review is here.

7.  Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
This one was another read for Diverseathon and I never would have thought that it would affect me like it did.  I  love the characters and need more of Aven’s story! My review is here.

6. The Hiding Girl by Dorian Box
Box is a ‘new to me’ author this year with his Emily Calby series. The third novel was just released this month, so I need to read it!  This one was unintentionally a Diverseathon read as it fit the monthly prompt when I was reading it.  This one won’t be for everyone with it’s violent content, but you grow to love these characters in so many ways!  This one means a lot to me! My review is here.

5. The Chain by Adrian McKinty
This is another novel that will leave you thinking! If you are a parent then it is every parent’s worst nightmare.  If you enjoy thrillers at all pick this one up and read it NOW!!!  My review is here.

4. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Full so so much emotion and it ends up going in a direction you don’t think it will.  It will make you want to pick up your phone and give a certain someone a call.  Tears may ensue with reading this novel!  My review is here. 

3.  Ground Zero by Alan Gratz
With this year being the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this was a book I had to read.  It still evoked those emotions from that day  and through the character of Brandon the reader actually experiences that day from before the towers were hit to the falling of the towers.  This is one that everyone must read.  My review is here.

2.  The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
For a while I thought this one was going to be my top read, but it got beat out because my number one actually made me cry, but Addie came very close to doing that.  Just read this one, it is one you will not forget!   It made both Kim and I’s top 10 list for this year and we actually did a double review.  Our double review is here.

And my Top Read for 2021 is…………

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

100 Days is a novel I had been meaning to pick up and it fit a prompt for Diverseathon, so I knew 2021 would be the year I read it.  I had no idea how much I would grow to love it and Tessa and Weston, and it made me cry!!   Then in November, Emmons surprised us with the sequel!!!   This is a sweet YA romance that had me face so many emotions!  And I love the cover!!   My review is here.

***This year I have to give an honorable mention to a middle grades novel that is a banned book. I actually found out about it during banned books week and had to read it for myself.  That novel is George now being published as Melissa by Alex Gino. This is a novel of differences, acceptance, and coming together.  This is a novel that shows how being different can make one person feel among other ‘normal’ people. My review is here.



Have you read any of these books? If so what did you think? Have you added any of these to your TBR?  Let us know!