Month: June 2021

#Diverseathon2021: July’s Prompt and Host

OMG, How are we halfway through 2021?!?!? Tomorrow is July 1st and it is time to talk about July’s prompt and host for #Diverseathon2021:

For July the prompt is: A Main Character With a Physical or Cognitive Disability

July’s Host: Kesare @Reads with Kesare
She will host at You Tube.

She will be hosting a giveaway!   Be sure to check out her You Tube channel for full details which will come later this week.

For full details on this year long read-a-thon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

What am I reading during June for #Diverseathon2021? For this month I am  reading two: One physical book and one audiobook!

Physical Book:

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

Book Description:

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Book Description:

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.


What are YOU reading for #Diverseathon2021 in July?

#Diverseathon2021: The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

The Book of Essie
Author:  Meghan MacLean Weir

Published: June 12, 2018
338 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 18-23, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Esther Ann Hicks—Essie—is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage—and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media—through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell—Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Jessica’s Review:

I don’t watch too much television, but yes in the past I have been a fan of ‘Reality TV’. And yes, I know reality tv actually isn’t real- It just finds a way to pull you in and keeps you watching, even more so when it is a train wreck! 

The Book of Essie is about an extreme right wing Christian family that has been on television for many years, in fact for longer than Essie’s seventeen years.  Essie is the youngest child of the Hicks family and to her mother Celia’s shock Essie is pregnant.  Mom and production have a meeting (without Essie being present) to decide what to do with this situation.  Several suggestions are made on what to do with Essie’s condition and it is decided that Essie will marry.  This will be a ratings blockbuster to the show! Of course, when the baby comes earlier than it should the show will pay doctors to say that yes, the due date was actually X date after the marriage occurred.  But who will Essie marry?

We have three narrators: Essie herself, Roarke who is the boy that Celia decides Essie will marry, and Liberty is the one who interviews the ‘couple’. This is a novel that quickly takes place over the course of a few weeks, because time is of the essence.  The show has to come up with a fake backstory of Essie and Roarke falling in love months before.  And of course, the viewers take everything in and adore this newly famous and in love couple.   But there is so much going on behind the scenes that is unknown, including Essie’s older sister who disappeared from the cameras after she graduated high school. So we have a little bit of a mystery as well!

I really liked Essie.  Growing up in a unique situation and then finding herself in yet another situation, she may come off that she is not in control, as her mother Celia is all but in charge of everything, but Essie knows what she wants and will do what she needs to do to get it! 

We also get backstories to Roarke and Liberty, who both have not had easy lives and have secrets.  I did not find myself interested in these two backstories, I was 1000% into reading what was going to happen with Essie and this ‘wedding’. The story goes in a partially guessed/expected direction, but I found myself highly surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel.  There are conclusions at the end and everything does get wrapped up nicely. 

The Book of Essie ended up working for this month’s prompt for Diverseathon: An LGBTQ+ main character, which I did not know about when I started reading it. And I’m getting this review in just at the end of the month, go me! 

I think part of the reason I really enjoyed this novel is that in some ways we get to see how reality television shows are made.  If you enjoy reality tv at all and read YA, then you need to read this book!   I can not wait to see what Weir writes next. 


For full details on this year long readathon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

June’s host is Danyel at dany.alvey over at Instagram. She is having a giveaway of $15 to Book Depository (or Amazon for a US winner) for your choice of a book. This is an international giveaway! Be sure to check out her Instagram for full details on that giveaway.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

Published: October 1, 1988
232 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.

Kim’s Review:

What a cute book! Obviously, it’s not based in common reality, but it’s told from a kid’s perspective that other imaginative kids would appreciate. It’s a book filled with extremes but done in such a great way. Good always defeats evil, kids are smart and adults are dumb, Miss Trunchbull hates all kids yet runs an elementary school. They all work without being overbearing or annoying. Matilda manages to outsmart most of the adults in her life without being an obnoxious kid. Miss Trunchbull is terrifying! I think this fits in with the Ramona books as being the perfect one for any and all kids. I really loved reading it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK