Category: Diversathon 2021

#Diverseathon2021: November’s Host and Prompt

This post is a couple of days early, but it’s time to talk about November’s host and prompt for Diversathon: The host is ME!!!  It’s finally my turn! At the beginning of the year when Diverseathon was announced November seemed so far away, and now it is almost here…

For November the prompt is: A book set in Iran.
November’s host: Me: I will host here and also on my Facebook page and Instagram.

**I will be having a giveaway: A $20 e-gift card to the bookstore of your choice. All you have to do is read a book set in Iran and share what you thought about it on social media. **Be sure to tag me in some way so I see it!**  Previous Diverseathon hosts are welcome to join in on this giveaway.  This giveaway will last for the entire month of November with the winner being announced on my Instagram.

What am I reading for November for #Diverseathon2021? It will be two very different type of books:

-The Stoning of Soraya M: A True Story by Freidoune Sahebjam
-Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt

Book Description:

Soraya M.’s husband, Ghorban-Ali, couldn’t afford to marry another woman. Rather than returning Soraya’s dowry, as custom required before taking a second wife, he plotted with four friends and a counterfeit mullah to dispose of her. Together, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her only crime was cooking for a friend’s widowed husband. Exhausted by a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Soraya said nothing, and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to death by stoning: a punishment prohibited by Islam but widely practiced. Day by day sometimes minute by minute Sahebjam deftly recounts these horrendous events, tracing Soraya’s life with searing immediacy, from her arranged marriage and the births of her nine children to her husband’s increasing cruelty and her horrifying execution, where, by tradition, her father, husband, and sons hurled the first stones.

This is one woman’s story, but it stands for the stories of thousands of women who suffered and continue to suffer the same fate. It is a story that must be told.

**This is one I read years ago.  The book itself is banned in Iran and there is also a film based off this true story.**

Book Description:

It’s 1982, and twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country.

War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence—they act upon it.

Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to?


What are YOU reading for #Diverseathon2021 in November?

#Diverseathon2021: Book Review: A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen

A Breath Too Late
Author: Rocky Callen
Published: April 28, 2020
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 2-9, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

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.

Jessica’s Review:

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.

I read this book as a part of #Diverseathon and for October the prompt is a main character who lives/lived with abuse. October’s Host is Yami @ A Bookworm’s Thoughts.  She is hosting at Facebook and Instagram and having a 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.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall

Your Corner Dark
Author: Desmond Hall
ublished: January 19, 2021

384 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 12-29, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

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.

Jessica’s Review:

Your Corner Dark is the debut novel by Jamaican native Desmond Hall who gives the reader a whole different perspective of how difficult life on the island can be: Jamaica isn’t just pretty sand and beaches, it has a whole rough side of life to it dealing with the harsh social, political, and economic realities of many who live there.

Frankie is our main character who has just received a full ride to college in the USA! He is ready for this to better himself and then something unexpected happened:  Frankie’s father is shot and hospitalized. And the bills are going to be very costly. 

Frankie is given an option from his uncle: He will pay Frankie’s father’s medical bills if Frankie joins his gang, which would mean giving up his scholarship and the way he thought his future was going to go. And Frankie’s father would be furious if he joined the gang….

Hall shows us another side of Jamaica with what the natives go through– a very difficult life– and we experience most of that with Frankie and the choices he makes and the repercussions from those choices.  This was a hard novel to put down as I had no idea how it was going to end or what was going to happen with Frankie next!

There is a small potential romance that comes in the last portion of the book, but with everything else going on, it was not really necessary for me.  There is a lot of violence, and yes, death along with political leanings and poverty in this novel, but you can’t help but to root for Frankie to pull through everything.  And I really liked Aunt Jenny as well! 

The conversations in the novel are written as how the natives would speak.  I did have to get used to it, but it also added to the novel for me. 

This book would not have come to my attention if I was not taking part in #Diverseathon2021 this year. I read this for September’s prompt which was a book set in Jamaica. I am glad I came across and read it.  I did get Your Corner Dark finished in September, but was just not able to get the review written. 

Now since we are in a new month: For October the prompt is: A main character who lives/lived with abuse.

October’s Host is Yami @ A Bookworm’s Thoughts.  She will host at Facebook and Instagram.

**She will also be having a giveaway: See her Facebook and Instagram pages for 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.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK