Review | Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

Hi everyone!

When Dana from Wednesday Books reached out to me about Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger (which is going to be released in September 2019), I was honestly thrilled! Before I go on further, I want to share with you all the trigger warnings that were showcased at the start of the arc in an author’s note: mental illness is the main aspect of this story the author highlights in wanting her readers to take caution in before diving in to the book. Some of these mental illnesses include social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like with picking up a copy of Six Goodbyes We Never Said when the novel is released, please put your well-being first before reading this review.

Synopsis:

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her. 

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects. 

Candace Ganger’s Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.

I truly appreciated the message this novel gave. Naima and Dew as characters reminded me of myself in different ways and I found them (and really all the characters throughout the book!) to be dynamic and interesting to learn more about as the story unfolded. What ultimately drew me to wanting to give Six Goodbyes We Never Said a read was to see how the mental illness representation was done; as someone who has experienced anxiety and panic attacks, this is a subject matter I hold close to my heart and really enjoy seeing how it’s something being showcased in YA for readers to hopefully find comfort in if they’re having similar experiences. Though I personally can’t speak for how the other mental illnesses were written (which from my understanding, this novel is own voices for all the mental illnesses written in the trigger warning!), I related to the author’s depiction and appreciated how it was okay to be discussing therapy (which both main characters have taken part in for their mental health issues!) and medication to help (Naima in particular) with her mental well-being. I’m sure if this book had been around when I was in high school, I would’ve been over the moon to see that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling (for at that time in my life, I had little to no understanding of what anxiety or panic attacks were and how they could come about).

I also value the discussion of grief throughout this book. This is something everyone can relate to in some form (myself definitely included!) and I personally found how Naima and Dew both react to it to be well done. As I was reading Six Goodbyes We Never Said, I was reminded of a time where I had a tough time with my mental health due to a death in my family and reading this gave me a much needed reminder that I’m not alone in how I reacted (my anxiety had gotten bad at this point) and it was absolutely okay.

In terms of issues I had with this novel, I had three things come to mind:

  • I realize this could be changed come the time final copies of the novel are released, but I really didn’t like how repetitive Naima uses god damn in her dialogue (which is abbreviated by simply having GD any time the word is used). I found the abbreviation to be a bit off putting for me personally and I don’t know how well it would come across to readers in the future.
  • The format in which Naima and Dew’s perspectives are split up confused me when I first starting reading the book. However, this was completely a me thing. Naima’s name is simply put above where her chapters begin, while Dew’s chapters are showcased in a format you’d see from a voice recording (showing a play button, fast forward, the time in which Dew would record himself speaking, etc.) and my eyes had completely skipped over where Dew’s perspective was introduced after I read the first chapter and I ended up reading two pages from his perspective (without realizing the point of view had changed!) and had to go back and see why things weren’t adding up all of a sudden! (When I finally figured out why things weren’t making sense, I definitely had laughed at myself!) I actually found this method of dividing the characters’ perspective to be quite creative and I enjoyed it a lot!
  • This could completely be something that’s just my personal opinion, but I really enjoyed Dew and Violet’s friendship (Violet is a co-worker of Dew’s at the town’s local coffee shop) and would’ve liked to see more of that within the book. However, I understand that there can only be so much covered within a story. (Slight Spoiler: I didn’t really like how Dew and Violet end up becoming a couple; their relationship doesn’t seem to be talked about very much and they decide to break up towards the end anyway? Sure their break up is mutual and they end up staying friends, but I personally didn’t see the romantic spark between them.)

Another aspect of this book I found enjoyable was how the family dynamics were done. You can tell that each member of the Rodriguez and Brickman families are trying to comfort the main characters through their grief (while some are trying to process their own as well) and I appreciated how you can see everyone is simply trying their best, are by no means perfect, and you can see their growth as people occur gradually in this story.

Overall, I’m really glad I was given the opportunity to read this novel before it’s officially released because I found my reading experience to be quite an enjoyable one. If this sounds like a book that’s up your alley, I can’t recommend picking up a copy when you get the chance once it’s out in September!

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July 2019 Wrap-Up

Hi everybody!

For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with a bit of a reading slump. While I’ve enjoyed the books I read, I haven’t had the same motivation to actually pick up books and read them that I had at the start of 2019. In hopes of changing that, I decided to challenge myself by setting a TBR (because I’m typically a mood reader!) and seeing what happened. Now that July is coming to an end, it’s time I let you all know how things went!

I’ve read a total of five books (which is the most I’ve read in a month’s time since February!) and out of the three I set myself the goal of picking up in July, I finished two of them.

The first book I finished reading was actually an anthology that I’d been wanting to check out for what seems like forever. When I found it on sale for $1.99 on Kindle, (this was during Pride Month, I’m not sure if it’s still being sold for that price!) I considered it fate and bought All Out: The No-Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages which is edited by Saundra Mitchell.

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories and if you’re curious as to what some of my favorite ones were in particular, here is my Goodreads review where I share my top four.

Next was probably my favorite book I read in July, On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (which was one of the three books I set on my TBR for this month).

Angie Thomas’s way of depicting her characters to where you can see how truly human they are really shines in this story. I remembered just how much I enjoyed her writing style in The Hate U Give as I was reading this and I truly can’t wait to see what she is going to release next.

It’s Not Like it’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura was another book I decided to read during July and while I enjoyed the story, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Going in, I assumed this was going to be more of a fluffy, contemporary story and that just wasn’t quite the case. Misa discusses racism (which as I’m white it’s not my place to discuss it; if you could please let me know of some own voices reviews, I’d love to share them in this blog post!), cheating, and coming out. I found this book to be well written and I’m curious to see what she’ll release in the future.

The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Straythorn is a book I bought earlier this year because the title and cover caught my eye and by the time I finished reading this, I couldn’t help but feeling like I wanted more. You only get to see the story unfold from one character’s point of view (Lo) and I couldn’t help but wish I could’ve seen the situation this group of characters were going through from multiple perspectives. Without giving spoilers, the beginning of this story is very confusing and once I reached the point where I understood the intention for the start of the book, I found it made the overall reading experience less impactful.

The last book I finished reading in July was an e-arc I received from NetGalley for There You Are by Mathea Morais, which is set to be released in October of this year. This story hit me in ways I honestly wasn’t expecting. There were discussions of race, anxiety (which I, as someone with anxiety, really appreciated!), grief, and so much more. I found the characters to be written in such an honest way that I ended up having to reread some parts to ensure that what was being said truly sunk in; they’re flawed, real, and I really appreciated getting to see them grow as people while mistakes were made along the way. I also loved how music was incorporated into this story. By the end of my reading experience, I realized just how much power music has in bringing people together.

Overall, I had a great reading month with books I genuinely enjoyed and I’m excited to see how much reading I’ll accomplish come August.

How many books did you read in July? Let me know if you found any new favorite reads or if there’s a particular book I should add to my endless TBR pile!

5 Books I Loved at Age 21

Hi everybody!

In honor of my 22nd birthday tomorrow, (which is on July 18th in case you are reading this after it’s past) I thought I’d reflect on some of the books I’ve read in the past year that I’ve loved. In terms of how I composed this list, I wanted to touch on books that I’ve found myself thinking about long after I finished reading them (not necessarily on star rating!). There’s no particular order for the books I chose and while it wasn’t easy for me to narrow down my list to five (because there’s quite a few books I’ve enjoyed immensely while I’ve been 21), it was really fun to put this blog post together.

  1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

While this wasn’t the first story by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read, I think it’s safe to say it’s the one I think about the most often. There was something so interesting in my reading experience with this book; the characters are complex and it’s done in a way that you’re unsure of what is going to be revealed next (seeing as they’re morally gray) and I was wondering throughout the story what I would’ve done if I was in a similar situation.

2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ve noticed that in some of stories I’ve particularly really enjoyed is that if there’s some kind of sibling dynamic involved, I become really invested in seeing them grow not only as individuals, but in their relationship with one another as well. This absolutely shines through in my reading experience with I’ll Give You the Sun. Jude and Noah are two characters I adored as I was reading their story, and honestly, typing this is making me really want to reread this book!

3. The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

Shaun David Hutchinson is one of my all time favorite authors so when I came up with the idea for this blog post, I kind of figured this book was going to be included. I actually listened to the audiobook for this story, and I remember how honest and real it felt to me as I was listening. Two things that particularly stood out to me (because I related to them quite a bit) were how complicated the friendship between Dino and July is (which I personally found to be really well done!) as well as how Dino isn’t sure what exactly he wants to do with his life. I just love Shaun’s writing style and how he creates characters that feel so authentic blows me away every time!

4. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This book stands out to me because it made me realize that quiet stories can be told and Nina LaCour does a phenomenal job with achieving this. I don’t think I’ve read another story that shines such a light on the simple things in life and I found this to be very eye opening. I’m eager to read more from Nina and see what I think of her other works, because I also appreciated her attention to her characters and her writing style as a whole.

5. Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

I’ve discussed this book on my blog before (in a review you can read here) but I couldn’t not include Our Year of Maybe on this list! This was my first time reading a story written by Rachel Lynn Solomon and I’m positive it won’t be my last because my experience in reading this book took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. Rachel’s writing style is wonderful and it was how honest and raw this story felt as I was reading that made the experience particularly stand out in my eyes.

Honestly, I don’t feel like today is my last day being 21. I’ve realized it’s been quite the year as I’ve been reflecting on things these past few days and I’m excited to see what being 22 has in store for me!

Updates with Kimberly & My July 2019 TBR

Hello everybody!

You may have noticed I took a break from this blog and my bookstagram during the month of June. This was because I ended up getting sick and wanted to focus on feeling like myself again before I jumped back into sharing content with you all; I’m happy to say that I’m doing better now and am eager to get some reading done as well as write more blog posts for you all to enjoy!

I thought that July would be a fun month to set a TBR because I have my birthday on the 18th (I’ll be turning 22 in case anyone was curious!) and I wanted to give myself a challenge because I’ve been in a bit of a funk these past two months (I’ve read books I’ve enjoyed, but my motivation to read as a whole has been low compared to earlier this year!) and maybe pushing myself to pick up books I’m really excited for could be the thing to break that cycle.

Without further ado, let’s get to my July TBR!

  1. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

I’m not going to lie, I’ve owned this book for months and still haven’t read a single page because it never seems like the “right time” to. I really enjoyed Angie’s first book, The Hate U Give, when I read it last year and I’m going to go along with the saying that there’s no perfect time like the present and just finally read it and see what I think!

2. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

I’ve been eager to read more by Anna-Marie ever since I finished Blanca y Roja last year. Her writing style is absolutely beautiful and I’m curious to see how these characters will compare to those in the last book I read of hers (what I mean by this is that I really appreciated how real the characters in the story felt to me as I was reading and wonder if that feeling occur in my reading experience with Wild Beauty as well).

3. It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura

If I’m honest, I can’t quite remember how I happened to receive an e-copy of this book (I think I received it for completing a book related survey or something of that sort?) and because it’s not on my Kindle app but a different one (it’s called BookShout!), I’ve forgotten about the fact that I have had this book available to me to read. Upon looking the story up on Goodreads, I’m intrigued to see how the book as a whole will unfold.

Overall, I’m really excited to get into these stories and share with you all my thoughts come the end of July. If you feel comfortable doing so, let me know a book you’re hoping to read during this month and how you heard about it!

Review | The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds

Hi everyone!

I’m beyond excited to share my thoughts and feelings about The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds with you all. This middle grade novel is own voices for anxiety, so as soon as I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. (In case you didn’t know, I have anxiety as well!) You can probably imagine how eager I was to have this story in my hands when the opportunity came from the author to receive an arc in exchange for a honest review. Here is the synopsis for the Spinner of Dreams (which will be released in August 2019!):

Annalise Meriwether–though kind, smart, and curious–is terribly lonely. Cursed at birth by the devious Fate Spinner, Annalise has always lived a solitary life with her loving parents. She does her best to ignore the cruel townsfolk of her desolate town–but the black mark on her hand won’t be ignored. Not when the monster living within it, which seems to have an agenda of its own, grows more unpredictable by the day. There’s only one way for Annalise to rid herself of her curse: to enter the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner. So despite her anxiety, Annalise sets out to undo the curse that’s defined her–and to show the world, and herself, exactly who she is inside.

This book has such a whimsical and atmospheric touch that I couldn’t possibly do describing it justice. With the author’s writing style, I truly felt as I was right by Annalise’s side through each and every step of her story as I was reading.

There were so many aspects of this book that I absolutely loved, but for this review I’d like to particularly touch on three.


  1. Annalise’s anxiety

As I mentioned before, The Spinner of Dreams is an own voices novel for anxiety. Annalise reminded me of myself on many occasions and I give the author so much praise for showcasing this mental illness such an honest way. (From my reading experience, I didn’t find the story to be triggering towards my anxiety. However, everyone’s reading experience is different and I wanted to include this for anyone with anxiety who may be interested in this book; please put your well-being first if you’re unsure about how a story could impact you!)

2. Annalise’s relationship with her family

I appreciated reading about how true and genuine Annalise is about her family and how much she cares about them, as well as how that love is absolutely reciprocated. Even with this curse Annalise has had her entire life, her parents are willing to go to the ends of the world to try and ensure that Annalise is able to (despite their struggles) have happiness and hope. They’re a very close family (which you get to see even further into the story with Annalise’s grandparents as well!) and as someone who’s close with my family as well, I found those parts in this book to be very heart warming.

3. How magical this story is as a whole

It’s in taking a minute to reflect as I’ve been writing this blog post that I’m able to recognize how magical the writing made the settings and entire atmosphere of this story feel. I’m reminded of the wonder some of my childhood favorite books held (such as the Magic Tree House series) in the memories I have of my younger self reading those books (and as The Spinner of Dreams is a middle grade novel, I feel this is very fitting given the intended audience). I truly can’t sing enough praise for this story!

Overall, it’s safe to say this is a novel I will hold close to my heart for years to come, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to read The Spinner of Dreams. I truly hope you all will pick up a copy of this book once it’s released in August of this year, because it’s absolutely wonderful!

Behind the Blogger Book Tag

Hello everyone!

I recently seen where Morrisa (MorrBooks) had a blog post where she answered these questions and I thought I’d join in on the fun! Here are the rules for the Behind the Blogger Book Tag:

  • Thank the person who nominated you (I technically wasn’t nominated but it’s okay!)
  • Answer all the questions below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn (Alloysythronraxx)
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about to do this tag

Question 1) Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

Honestly, I created this blog at first with no idea what I was going to do with it. I hadn’t joined bookstagram until a month later, and it was once I felt I was truly a part of that community (around two months) that I thought I could try sharing my love for books and storytelling on another platform. As for why I’ve continued to create content, it’s because I genuinely enjoy it. From writing book reviews for stories I absolutely loved to my Power in Words series, I look forward to writing posts that I’m excited for and can’t wait to share with you all.

Question 2) What is your favorite blog post to write?

That’s a tough one, but I think I have to go with the posts in my Power in Words series. If you’re new to my blog, this series is where I share quotes within some of the books I’ve read that I found impacted me in a strong way and I express what I’ve taken from them. I want to expand on this series to share writing of my own, but I haven’t found the right piece to start that just yet. If you’re interested, here is a link to the first post in my Power in Words series.

Question 3) What are your top three favorite blog posts?

These aren’t in a particular order, but I have to go with Ten of my Favorite Books in 2018, I’m Disabled and I’m Okay with That, and 2018 in Review: Rediscovering the Magic in Books.

Question 4) What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

I like to journal, watch YouTube videos (I probably watch way too much YouTube to be honest!), watch TV, and listening to music.

Question 5) What are three of your favorite things?

Since this isn’t asking for something in particular in terms of three of my favorite things, I’ll stick to something simple. My favorite holiday is Christmas, sunflowers are my favorite flower, and one of my favorite smells is the smell after it rains.

Question 6) What are your proudest blogging moments?

One that stands out to me is when I published my I’m Disabled and I’m Okay with That blog post. This was something I had on my mind that I wanted to share with you all for a while, but I hadn’t been sure how I was going to write it because the subject matter was so personal. However, once I read through what I’d written for the final time, I remember feeling absolute pride in the fact that I actually did it.

Question 7) What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

I enjoy journaling/writing (such as poetry, story ideas in general, or just documenting my thoughts on how my day was and things that happened), reading (while I do discuss books on this blog, reading is an activity entirely on its own that I enjoy so I felt it was only fair to include it as well!) and photography.

Question 8) Describe your personality in three words.

Easygoing, understanding, and shy.

Question 9) What are your top three pet peeves?

Bullying, being misunderstood, and slow internet (especially if you’re actively trying to finish/do something!).

Question 10) What is something your followers don’t know about you?

 I was a part of my school’s newspaper during my first two years in high school!

I’m going to tag a few bloggers I’d like to get to know better, but if this is a blog post you’re interested in doing, take this as me tagging you as well!

A Cosy Reader

Ace of Bens

Classy x Book Reviews

Sapphic Library

Thank you all so much for reading this post where you (hopefully) were able to learn more about me!

My First Experience with Camp NaNoWriMo

Hi everybody!

Something I’ve shared a few times on this blog is how writing is something I remember wanting more than anything as a career when I was a kid. I did have a span of time where this wasn’t something I felt I was capable of achieving, however, (in the past year I’d say) I’ve gained that want for sharing stories back.

So, when I found out about NaNoWriMo this past November, to say I was intimidated would be an understatement. How in the world were you supposed to get 50,000 words written in a month’s time? Spoiler alert: I had no idea! Looking back, I really wasn’t ready for this type of goal; at the time I was quite out of practice in writing and NaNoWriMo wasn’t the encouragement I needed at the time to get back into the groove of things.

Around the end of March, I remembered that Camp NaNoWriMo was also a thing. I wasn’t sure if I would participate at first but after realizing that your overall goal was up to you (rather than the encouragement of having 50,000 words written by the end the month!) and thinking about what kind of story I would focus on, I decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo a try.

So, How Did Writing Go?

I’m going to admit something you may or may not believe: I didn’t start writing “officially” until the middle of April!

Yeah, so why was that you ask? Well, at the start of April I was unsure of how to start. I would try to just write something that somewhat lined up with what I pictured in my mind, but nothing was really matching that image I had. (which I know isn’t the goal in writing a first draft, but I couldn’t shake off feeling like what I was writing wasn’t good enough!)

I was able to find a solution that worked for me through the podcast Helping Writers become Authors by K.M Weiland. The particular episode I listened to was How to Use Your Outline When Writing Your First Draft, which helped me realize that I would feel more prepared for the first draft process if I had an outline in my back pocket to use to remind myself of how I wanted this story to play out. Rather than jumping straight into a first draft, I decided that I would use the remaining time in April to write an outline for my idea.

Slowly but surely I was able to find my footing in writing this outline and even if I didn’t get words down every day, it was through this process that I got to understand where my story was headed a little better. By midnight on April 30th, I had reached my goal of 2,500 words! Sure, it’s a little messy and I still have a ways to go before I think I’ll be ready to start my first draft, but I wanted to write this blog post to serve as a reminder to myself that I was able to do it!

I know everyone’s experience with writing is different, but I want this to be a reminder that no matter how challenging these stories you have in your mind seem to be in terms of execution, you are capable of writing your story.

Wait, What About Reading?

As much as I wanted to get some of the books on my tbr read during April, I really didn’t feel up to reading. I don’t know if I’d necessarily consider it a reading slump (because I did read two books and they were both 5 star reads!) but I was feeling like I needed a bit of a break and while it wasn’t without its moments of beating myself up a little over it, I’m happy with the books I did finish and isn’t that what should matter?

Overall, I would consider April a success in my book. Thank you all so much for reading about my first time taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo, and if you participated this year as well, I’d love to know how you did and what you learned from the experience!

Why Representation Matters

I’ve had cerebral palsy my entire life. In elementary school (when I would say I was the ultimate bookworm), I never would’ve imagined reading about a character that had the same disability as I did. When I heard about A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and how one of the main characters (Harper) has cerebral palsy, I honestly couldn’t believe it at first. I probably initially thought something along the lines of,

“There’s an author that knows about cerebral palsy and actually wrote about it?

I haven’t had the opportunity to pick up A Curse so Dark and Lonely for myself just yet, but I wanted to share with you all how much seeing this disability I’ve had my whole life actually be showcased in a story means to me. Growing up, I rarely told people around my age that I was disabled. While one reason for this was not wanting to be seen as different from my peers, another was that I never knew quite how to explain what exactly cerebral palsy was to them.

Throughout writing this blog post, I’ve been thinking about how helpful a story like A Curse so Dark and Lonely could’ve been in those situations (I can’t be sure if cerebral palsy is blatantly explained in the book since I haven’t read it yet, but I can hope it would be helpful in giving the reader a better understanding of the disability). I can only imagine what a story like this could’ve done for me when I was younger, but it’s really nice to think that it’s something out into the world now that can be a reason someone has a better understanding of cerebral palsy.

I’ve also really enjoyed being able to discover content creators that have connected with A Curse so Dark and Lonely in some way. When I watched this video by BlondeBooks on YouTube (I’m also going to share her Twitter because that’s how I initially found out about her!) where she discussed her feelings about the story and how important representation was, I got a little emotional because she’s the first BookTuber I’ve ever watched that had cerebral palsy. I don’t know if she’ll read this blog post but I have to say thank you so much to Angela for sharing her story and helping me feel less alone!

That’s about everything I wanted to share in terms of the importance of disability representation based on my own experience in having cerebral palsy. I want to sincerely thank you all for reading this blog post and if you’re interested in reading a bit more about cerebral palsy from my perspective, you can read a blog post where I previously discussed my disability here.

Review | The Voice in My Head by Dana L. Davis

Hi everyone!

I recently finished reading The Voice in My Head by Dana L. Davis (which I received an e-arc of from NetGalley and Harlequin Teen!) and oh my goodness, this book took me by surprise.

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

For Indigo Phillips, life has always been her and her identical twin—Violet. The perfectly dressed, gentle, popular sister. But now Violet is terminally ill and, in a few hours, plans to die on her own terms via medically assisted suicide. Even though she and Violet have drifted apart lately, Indigo doesn’t know how to face life without the only person who really understands her. Until suddenly she hears a mysterious voice claiming to be God, insisting that if she takes Violet to a remote rock formation in the Arizona desert, her sister will live.

Indigo is sure she’s losing it. But Violet agrees to go—if their incredibly dysfunctional family accompanies them on their trek from Seattle to Arizona. Indigo can barely be in the same zip code as her distant mother and controlling big sister, much less keep the peace on a road trip. Speaking her mind is the only way she can deal. But between facing senseless mishaps and strange lodgings, and meeting even stranger folks along the way, Indigo will learn shocking things about those she thought she knew too well. When a sequence of wrenching secrets detonates, Indigo must figure out how to come to terms with her sister, her family…and the voice in her head.

The main aspect that really made me enjoy this story was how real and honest the family dynamics felt as I was reading. Indigo feels like she simply doesn’t match up to her twin sister Violet; she does things (like photography, which is an interest they share) with ease and is able to be kind and gentle without even thinking about it. They’ve grown distant as Violet’s health has gotten worse, and it’s through this road trip their family goes on that the two of them get to understand why.

The Phillips family really did keep me on my toes. From Indigo’s relationship with her mother (I really appreciated the conversation that they had in terms of addressing it!) to how Michelle (Indigo and Violet’s older sister) as a character really challenges Indigo in terms of trying to understand things from her point of view when it comes to this trip and Violet’s condition in general (she’s a nurse who’s taken care of Violet since she’s gotten ill).

What ultimately made this a 4 star rated read for me is that I didn’t particularly like how some characters expressed their worry for Indigo in terms of her mental health. I understand that hearing the voice of God is something you would find hard to believe, but I found it unnecessary for a character to say (which they overheard another character say) to Indigo that they believe she should be in a straitjacket. This in particular just didn’t sit right with me and something to note is that as this was an arc, this could be changed come the finished story. Regardless, I felt that because this was something that was in the version I read that I had to share it so you all could be aware of it.

This was the kind of story that had me feeling every up and down as the Phillips were experiencing them. You really get to see this trip through Indigo’s eyes especially where all she wants is to save her sister’s life and believe in this voice in her head that is telling her that Violet will live, because she wants to have her by her side more than anything.

The Voice in My Head will be released on May 28th, 2019. I really enjoyed the characters in this story, and I hope you will consider giving this book a chance by picking it up once it’s out in the world.

A-Z Book Tag

Hello everybody!

I recently saw where Books in the Skye did the A-Z Book Tag and as I was reading their post, I thought it’d be fun to do myself!

A: Author You’ve Read the Most Books From

I’m pretty sure in elementary school I read most (if not all) of the Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, but I honestly can’t recall the exact number of books.

B: Best Sequel Ever

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while longer than probably necessary because (childhood self set aside) I feel like I haven’t read that many sequels.

However, a sequel that I have read that stood out to me after I decided that I’m not going with books I read growing up (because honestly, I don’t remember them to the greatest of detail and that just doesn’t seem fair!) is Vengeful by V.E. Schwab.

C: Currently Reading

The Voice in my Head by Dana L. Davis. I was recently approved for this arc on NetGalley and I haven’t read much of the story yet, but I’m enjoying it so far. (This book will be released on May 28th of this year, just in case you were curious!)

D: Drink of Choice while Reading

Sweet tea or water.

E: E-Reader or Physical Book?

I really enjoy both for a variety of reasons, but because I’ve had more time with reading physical books, that’s the one I’d pick if I could only have one.

F: Fictional Character You Would’ve Dated in High School

I didn’t really read that much in high school so I don’t feel like it’d be accurate to pick a character I would’ve dated in that time in my life.

G: Glad You Gave this Book a Chance

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy which was edited by Ameriie. This was the first anthology I believe I’ve read and getting the perspective from multiple authors surrounding one core subject matter was really interesting.

H: Hidden Gem Book

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. This book in particular I found to be incredibly well written and I loved how the author was able to depict stillness, the importance in quiet moments, and how friendships are capable of changing when you don’t necessarily mean for them to.

I: Important Moment in Your Reading Life

Honestly, starting my bookstagram as well as this blog. I was in a place where I was just getting back into reading and having the sense of community from both of these social media platforms has meant the absolute world to me.

J: Just Finished

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. The characters in this book are so well written (especially with how much they appreciate and care for one another!) and complex it honestly kind of blew me away. If you’re on the look out for a story with queer as well as anxiety representation, I can’t recommend this book enough!

K: Kind of Books You Won’t Read

Erotica and heavy focused romance books. It’s just not something I’m interested in picking up.

L: Longest Book You’ve Read

From what I can recall, I believe the longest book I’ve read is The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (which has 557 pages).

M: Major Book Hangover because of…

Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles. I remember clearly how I had to give myself a few days to gather my thoughts together about the story to just write a Goodreads review because this was such an impactful read for me. I didn’t finish my next book until ten days after I did write my review and I still think about this book today (and it’s been months since I read it).

N: Number of Bookcases you Own

Zero.

O: One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I enjoyed this book so much; seeing Xiomara express herself and what she’s going through in her poetry (the format of this book is through poems in case you were unaware!) was honestly breathtaking. I couldn’t recommend picking this book up enough!

P: Preferred Place to Read

My bed.

Q: Quote that Inspires You/Gave You Major Feels

From Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone: “Last night, you said you didn’t want me to see your flaws…your broken places. Well, I didn’t want to let you see mine either…”

Just in case you haven’t read this book yourself, I’m not going to go into spoilers as to how this quote is quite impactful in terms of the story as a whole. I just think (even without context!) that this speaks a lot on its own. Reading this back for the sake of including it in this tag made me think of how hard it can be to open up to someone (no matter how close you are with a person!) and it was a nice reminder that this is something everyone can relate to in some way.

R: Reading Regret

I don’t know if I have any if I’m being honest. Sure, there have been books I’ve read that weren’t necessarily my favorite, but I think those stories helped me recognize what I do and what I don’t find the most enjoyable to read.

S: Series You’ve Started that You Need to Finish (and all of the books are currently out!)

The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I read A Darker Shade of Magic sometime last year and I really did enjoy the story, I just got caught up in reading other books rather than picking the next book in the series up. I would probably have to reread the first book before getting the next one, but it’s something I’m trying my best to keep in mind the next time I get the opportunity to go book shopping so I can get the other two books!

T: Three of your All Time Favorite Books

(In no particular order)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon

U: Unapologetic Fangirl for…

Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner. I’ve talked about this book in multiple posts because I just really appreciate the story as a whole.

V: Very Excited for This Release

There’s so many books in excited yet to be released, but there’s one in particular that I discovered recently that I’m really stoked to read once it’s out in 2020. We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding (which has an awesome cover by the way!) will focus on a childhood friendship that (as the title suggests) ends up falling apart. I’m interested to see this subject be explored in YA because I feel like it’s something that’s not often discussed.

W: Worst Bookish Habit

Maybe reading more than one book at a time? Sometimes I can get overwhelmed when I’m in the middle of more than one book, so that’s why this comes to mind in particular.

X: X Marks the Spot! Start at the Top Left of your Bookshelf and Pick the 27th Book

Paper Towns by John Green.

Y: Your Latest Book Purchase

I recently bought Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore and The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn.

Z: Zzz Snatcher – Last Book that Kept You Up Way too Late

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I can’t remember the exact time I finished reading it, but just know I was teary eyed by the end of the story and as much as I wanted to go to give my parents a hug, they were kind of asleep so that didn’t happen.

Alright, I think that’s all of the prompts accounted for. I’m going to tag a few people to answer these as well (but by all means don’t feel obligated to!) because I’m curious to see what their responses would be:

A Cosy Reader

Adrianna

Meltotheany

VickyWhoReads

Thank you all so much for reading!!