Category: Diversathon 2021

#Diverseathon2021: September’s Prompt and Host

Hello SEPTEMBER!  It is September 1st and it is time to talk about this month’s prompt and host for #Diverseathon2021:

For September the prompt is: A book set in Jamaica

September’s Host is Laura @ A Book Circus
She will host at You Tube

**She will also be having a giveaway: She will be giving away a $15 Amazon gift card. See her You Tube Channel for all the information on the giveaway!

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 September for #Diverseathon2021?

Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall

Book Description:

American Street meets Long Way Down in this searing and gritty debut novel that takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family.

Things can change in a second:

The second Frankie Green gets that scholarship letter, he has his ticket out of Jamaica.
The second his longtime crush, Leah, asks him on a date, he’s in trouble.
The second his father gets shot, suddenly nothing else matters.
And the second Frankie joins his uncle’s gang in exchange for paying for his father’s medical bills, there’s no going back…or is there?

As Frankie does things he never thought he’d be capable of, he’s forced to confront the truth of the family and future he was born into—and the ones he wants to build for himself.

What are YOU reading for #Diverseathon2021 in September?

Book Review: The Hiding Girl by Dorian Box

The Hiding Girl
Series: Emily Calby Book 1
Author:  Dorian Box

Published: June 15, 2020
334 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 6-18, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Twelve-year-old Emily Calby was a good girl from a religious family in rural Georgia. She loved softball, her little sister and looking up words to get her allowance. Then two men came and murdered her family. Only the killers know she survived.

On the run, surviving by wits and animal instinct, she makes an unlikely ally in an ex-gang member who lost his own family to violence. He takes her in and trains her in “self-defense” before more tragedy launches her on a terrifying journey for justice. Nothing will stop her—not cops or creeps, not even her own splintering mind. Through it all, Emily fights to hold onto hope and the girl she once knew, kept buried deep inside.

Dark and gritty, but filled with heart and hope, The Hiding Girl is a twisty, fast-paced thriller and a testament to the boundless limits of human love, sacrifice and the will to survive.

Jessica’s Review:

What else can I say about The Hiding Girl by Dorian Box other than wow!  It is a fast-paced novel that packs all the punches: Literally and figuratively!  The Hiding Girl is dark and gritty with very graphic violence that also gives us characters to root for and become very attached to.

Twelve-year-old Emily Calby survives the graphic attack on her family and is on the run. Emily is definitely not the typical twelve-year-old.  Experiencing what she did already ages her and over the course of the novel you have to keep reminding yourself of her young age!  She meets Lucas who is a former gang member who helps her and these two definitely make quite the unique pair that form a special relationship. We also have Kiona, who is Lucas’ significant other who isn’t quite sure what to make of Emily.  They teach her self defense and more as Emily is determined to find the men who killed her mother and sister.

Emily is one you cannot help but be on her side and get attached to. She is in for a long ‘adventure’ with many obstacles that keep coming up.   At one point I found myself thinking “What else is Box going to have Emily go through!?!?” It is one thing after another, but our brave little fireball of a main character Emily can pull through!

And let me say this: I love Lucas! He is not what you expected and you really grow to care for him.  As I was reading, I pictured Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) as Lucas, but then I saw the premiere of The Walking Dead’s final season where we meet Mercer played by Michael James Shaw and despite the age difference, he would be a perfect Lucas! 

This novel will not be for everyone with the graphic violence, but it also has a lot of heart and emotion to it.  What made me read The Hiding Girl was that I was granted an arc copy of the second in the series The Girl in Cell 49B.  I realized when I read the description for book two that I should read The Hiding Girl first. Though not needed as the second book touches on Emily’s back story, if you don’t read The Hiding Girl you will be missing so much!  I am currently reading the second and still rooting for Emily! 

The Hiding Girl actually fits for the prompt for #Diverseathon for this month, which is a main character in an interracial relationship.  The relationship between Emily and Lucas starts as a mentor/mentee relationship that grows into so much more. August’s host is Mary @booksbymary1 and she will host at Instagram.

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.

I really enjoyed The Hiding Girl  and recommend it and cannot wait to see where Box goes next with the series.  He is working on book three and I will be highly anticipating it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


#Diverseathon2021: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Published: May 5, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 2-4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Jessica’s Review: 

Clap When You Land is inspired from what can be called the ‘Forgotten Flight’: American Airlines Flight 587 from JFK to Santo Domingo just a couple of months after 9/11.  Flight AA587 crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK on 11/12/01 with 260 persons on board.  Once terrorism was ruled out, it did in fact become the forgotten flight. The title comes from the tradition of applauding once a plane safely touches down upon landing.  This novel written in verse focuses on grief, forgiveness, and sisterhood. 

Camino and Yahaira both face the untimely death of their father via a plane crash. Their lives are changed forever, and it is just the beginning as they did not know of each other as their father, Papi, had a great many secrets. They are now having to deal with the memory of a man who was not who they thought he was (including two wives) and more. 

What will the two girls do? They are from very different backgrounds as Camino lives in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira lives in New York. Can two girls from very different lifestyles with only a father in common meet and get along?  Do they even want to?  Both girls are sixteen but seemed older due to their life circumstances aside from the loss of Papi. There are many heavy themes dealt with over the course of the novel. And the reader also gets to learn of the Dominican culture through Camino. Both girls are our narrators and are likeable.

I listened to the audiobook version of Clap When You Land and I think that did help me with this novel as I am not a poetry reader and it is written in verse.  This is the second novel in verse I have ‘read’ and both were audiobooks.  Acevedo is one of the audiobook narrators herself!  Listening to Clap When You Land you are fully pulled into the story and root for the girls and hope they find peace in their forever changed lives. 

I listened to Clap When You Land as a part of #Diverseathon2021. The prompt for August is main characters in an interracial relationship (romantic/ friends/family). August’s host is Mary @booksbymary1 and she will host at Instagram.

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.

Clap When You Land is recommended!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK