Readathon Wrap Up!

Hey all!  How did your readathon go? I'm a mixed bag with my feelings this year. I stopped updating at hour 16, but made it to sometime during hour 19 when I fell asleep with my book on my face... so I'm gonna call it as making it 19 out of the 24 hours. I think knowing I had plans today hindered my effort to rock the full 24.

So, my totals as they stand:
Pages: 756
Time reading: 11hr 23min
Books completed: 3
Books started by not finished: 1
Coffees consumed: 6
Snacking: smart pop & chocolate
IG posts: 10

I said earlier I was conflicted on my emotions for this year... I spent a lot more time off task this year and I'm a bit disappointed in that,  but at the same time I didn't feel pressure and I enjoyed myself. I really did have fun though! I love this readathon and always have a splendid time. Hope you all had fun as well!

Until next time,

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Readathon Update #8

Update #8
Hours 15 & 16: 10pm - 12am

Currently reading: Red Hot Chili Cook Off (still!)

Where I'm reading: couch, floor, comfy chair

Instagram posts : 2 (follow me @ papajm25)

Snacks devoured: late night dinner (leftover pasta) and Oj

Coffee consumed: 1

Breaks: 15 on the phone,  30 browsing IG and blogs

Current mood: worn down

Total pages read thus far: 544
Total time spent reading thus far: 6hr 3m
Books finished thus far: 2
Challenges completed thus far: 4

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #7

Update #7
Hours 13 & 14: 8pm - 10pm

Currently reading: Red Hot Chili Cook Off

Where I'm reading: bed

Instagram posts : 0 (follow me @ papajm25)

Snacks devoured: 0

Coffee consumed: 1

Breaks: this whole block!

Current mood: rejuvenated

Total pages read thus far: 498
Total time spent reading thus far: 4hr 48m
Books finished thus far: 2
Challenges completed thus far: 4

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #6

Update #6
Hours 11 & 12: 6pm - 8pm

Currently reading: Red Hot Chili Cook Off

Where I'm reading: couch

Instagram posts : 2 (follow me @ papajm25)

Snacks devoured: wine & more white cheddar Smart Pop

Coffee consumed: 0

Breaks: 30m to write & hop, 30m to play w dogs, 10m on phone

Current mood: sluggish

Total pages read thus far: 498
Total time spent reading thus far: 4hr 48m
Books finished thus far: 2
Challenges completed thus far: 4

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Hour 12 Survery

It's hour 12! Half way through and time for the mid Readathon survey! 

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
• Still working on the Red Hot Chili Cook Off

2. How many books have you read so far?
• Finished 2, working on my 3rd

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
• Summer on the Short Bus

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
• Not this year, Barrett is working a double ( 6a to 10p ) with an 1.5hr commute, & he is planning to go watch the UFC fight too, so I've had a quiet house all day and will have a quiet house most of the night too.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
• My best friend called and when I ignored it he showed up and let himself in... he forgot about the readathon.  We hung out for about a half hour, then he went out. I've had calls and texts throughout the day too. I actually like these little interruptions because it keeps me from getting into a slump.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
• I'm updating a lot more this year,  and while it's cutting out my reading time, I really enjoy it.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
• more hours in a day?

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
• Plan my update posts better so I don't take as much time to complete them... Also hope to have a new laptop by then so I'm not updating via my cell.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
• a bit... getting coffee in a few

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered
• Take lots of mini breaks and change your reading positions A LOT!!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #5

Update #5
Hours 9 & 10: 4pm - 6pm

Currently reading: Red Hot Chili Cook Off

Where I'm reading: moved around a lot these two hours... outside,  back porch,  kitchen table,  & comfy chair

Instagram posts : 2 (follow me @ papajm25)

Snacks devoured: dinner of broccoli & pasta in garlic oil followed by wine (homemade green apple riesling) & Lindt sea salt dark chocolate
Coffee consumed: 0

Breaks: 30m blog hopping

Current mood: pleased

Total pages read thus far: 461
Total time spent reading thus far: 4hr 10min
Books finished thus far: 2
Challenges completed thus far: 2

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #4

Update #4
Hours 7 & 8: 2pm - 4pm

Currently reading: Red Hot Chili Cook Off by Carolyn Brown

Where I'm reading: back porch listening to rain

Instagram posts : 1 (follow me @ papajm25)

Snacks devoured: 0

Coffee consumed: 0

Breaks: most of this block was a break: I took a nap! 

Current mood: foggy

Total pages read thus far: 406
Total time spent reading thus far: 3hr 46m
Books finished thus far: 2
Challenges completed thus far: 1

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #3

Update #3
Hours 5 & 6: 12pm - 2pm

Currently reading: Anthem by Ayn Rand
Where I'm reading: my favorite chair in the living room
Instagram posts : 0 (follow me @ papajm25)
Snacks devoured: white cheddar Smart Pop
Coffee consumed: 1 (4 total)
Breaks: over an hour- my friends stopped by to say hello, I browsed Pinterest, & talked to Bear on the phone
Current mood: annoyed (at the lack of sunshine!)

Total pages read thus far: 380
Total time spent reading thus far: 3hr 14m
Books finished thus far: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Challenges completed thus far: 1

I was an hour 5 door prize winner!  Yay!  Thanks!!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #2

Update #2
Hours 3 & 4: 10am - 12pm

Currently reading: Anthem by Ayn Rand
Where I'm reading: back porch
Instagram posts: 1 (follow me @ papajm25)
Snacks devoured: none
Coffee consumed: 1
Breaks: about 30m gardening... got the seed starts out into the sun & watered, raked over the raised beds, watered the onion starts in their bed
Current mood: proud

Total pages read thus far: 301
Total time spent reading thus far: 2hr 25m
Books finished thus far: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Challenges completed thus far: 1

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Readathon Update #1

Readathon Update #1
Hours 1 & 2: 8am* - 10am
*(started late at 8:30)

Currently reading: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Where I'm reading: outside 
Instagram posts: 2 (follow me @ papajm25) 
Snacks devoured: I had an everything bagel for breakfast... Yummmm! 
Coffee consumed: 2 cups
Current mood: peaceful
Breaks: about 30m for a kitchen cleaning

Total pages read thus far: 81
Total time spent reading thus far: 66m
Books finished thus far: 0
Challenges completed thus far: 1 (hour zero mini)

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Hour 0 Readathon Kick Off

Good morning Readathoners!!! I'm in the same spot as I was when I wrote last night's post: my comfy bed.
Trying to wake up and get in gear so I'm going to start off by joining in the Hour Zero Kick Off Meme!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
• I am reading from central (or upstate as many call us) New York

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
• Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandall

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
• White cheddar Smart Pop! Mmmmm

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
• I just got engaged (in Feb) & and am dreaming (and planning) of a vintage wedding with a spin. 
I'm also a ridiculous Potterhead... I'm currently rereading the series now for the 10th time (#1 it was my 12th read and #2 was my 11th time)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
• I've joined in a few times and this year's biggest difference is that Barrett is working a double (6a to 10p) so I'm not going to be taking as many breaks as before. I also won't be spoiled- I'm going to have to get my own snacks and coffee and water. Lol.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Readathon Eve

Happy 24 Hour Readathon Eve! It's about 9:30pm here in Ny and I'm in bed about ready to get lots of shut eye so I can be in top firm tomorrow. What I'm doing now is making a template post for my update posts tomorrow and browsing the prize list over at 24hourreadathon.com << seriously go check it out if you haven't already- it's amazing!
So, before I drift off,  I want to wish all the readers a peaceful sleep and can't wait to catch up with you guys on the blogs, instagram, and Twitter!

I *tried* to get a Readathon stack picture, but Lily kept sneaking her little nose in there!

My book stack:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Red Hot Chili Cook Off
Countdown City
Summers on the Short Bus
Various books on my Kindle that I have yet to narrow down

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Princesses Behaving Badly Mini Review

I was pretty excited when I opened up Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie - another cool book from Quirk and I was thrilled! However, I promptly forgot about it. Non-fiction tends to go to the bottom of my TBR in general, so that is where this gem sat. A few weeks ago, I was spring cleaning my bookshelves and came across it. Princesses Behaving Badly is a collection of true tales - and not the happily ever after kind. These princesses are real... as are their stories of power, lust, and cruelty. We all know the stories of gender inequality- well, these princesses had to overcome those barriers. Some did it through cunning mind play, while others did it through straight brutality. Whichever way it happened, many of these princesses needed to fight for their rights. These women (and sometimes girls!) are tough as nails and willing to do whatever it takes to get whatever it is they want. Interesting stories are found on every page. It really gives another light to the idea of "princess". After all, real princesses don't have carriages that turn into pumpkins, sing to the animals, live with a bunch of dwarfs, or sleep in the woods only to be woken by a kiss from a worthy prince. I think this should be required reading for all teenage girls- the Disney Princess concept is way to prevalent in our society... let them grow up to be whatever they want- let's remind them that women don't need to be saved and we can run our own lives! Yea feminism! {real feminism... not that man bashing crap that calls itself feminism... but that post is for another day folks}

A bit more about the book:
Quirk Books // Nov 2013
You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty were graceful and benevolent leaders, but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power—and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that's perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Image from Goodreads.com, book information from Amazon.com


Quickie Review: The Empire Striketh Back

Ian Doescher has done it again, folks! William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back is a phenomenal installment in his William Shakespeare's Star Wars series.
Exactly as it sounds- this is the retelling of The Empire Strikes Back- in Shakespeare's voice. Written as if you were reading Shakespeare himself, Doescher puts on a great act to make Star Wars and Shakespeare mash-up to become a geek thrilling tale.
I read the first in this series and was kind of underwhelmed- but I am chalking it up to over hyping the book. Now that I knew what to expect, I was ready and I enjoyed The Empire Striketh Back much more than I did William Shakespeare's Star Wars.
Once again, I'm recommending this to my geek lovers out there- trust me, you will love this just as much! A third installment comes out soon and I can't wait... I'm giving Star Wars Part The Fifth 4 stars!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


3 stars for Dark Eden

Depth and the unknown keep this story moving. Dark Eden by Chris Beckett is an intriguing science fiction novel that readers will enjoy- once you adjust your mind to think outside the box!

About the book:
Broadway Books // 4.1.14
On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family take shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark...and discover the truth about their world.

If that piqued your interest, just wait until you read an excerpt! Use this link to head over to Scribd to find the first two chapters of Dark Eden.

My thoughts:
I'm not quite sure where to start with this one- which is fitting, because that it hows I felt in the beginning of the novel... I wasn't sure what I thought of the novel. It did draw me in quickly, but as I kept on reading, I couldn't pin my feelings down. Dark Eden is strange, but I like strange and I think Beckett did strange well in this novel.
Set in another world called Eden, we meet a cast of characters who all quickly demonstrate their purpose- not only within the book, but their purpose for being written. Each character pulls at a part of the human psyche or at a part of our social consciousness. They all serve a purpose- and while Beckett made some a bit more obvious than others, it was still quite clear that each character was a part of the collective whole of a human consciousness. Does that make sense? It does in my head, but- like the book- it may take a bit to wrap your head around when seeing it put to paper.
Dark Eden is a beautifully built world- I have to say that I was astounded at how well Beckett crafted an alien world. Creating the images that he described was thought provoking and used my full imagination. I really had to think about a few of the creatures and a few of the landscaping components while reading. As you read on, you start to connect that all the pieces of Eden are evolved from pieces of Earth and you can start to spot the likeness between certain things. Here is where I normally would connect a piece or two... but I don't even want to match up any small connections, because I want you to read it and do it- it really is quite fun to see your own light bulb go off and make those evolutionary connections between ours world and Eden.
Aside from character and setting development, the themes that come out in this novel are plentiful. We see gender roles, disabilities, social norms, free thinking, sexuality, and faith (among others) all brought to the surface while still meshing into the novel. I could see some heavy debates coming if a book group took on this novel. Some are challenged while others are just there. All the issues that come to a head would be fabulous to discuss- especially when put firmly into the setting of Eden and then contrasted against the realities of Earth. Again, I would throw some examples out there, but I seriously enjoyed the thought that went into reading this, so I'm saving that for you readers to enjoy on your own.
Overall, this novel was intriguing. It held my attention and it was well thought out. You can tell that every move and every twist was well planned by Beckett- like chess- an analogy he often uses in the book itself. There were some parts that tripped me up, which held me back from giving this 4 stars. The language was a bit much to get used to- the repetition of words and the puzzling names for things- and while I understand it is part of the setting being in Eden, I still think it went a bit overboard at times. It was a bit of a stretch and felt forced. In an interview (you can find the Amazon author review here) Beckett defends his use of double adjectives and changes in language. I agree with him- to a point. As a reader, it just seemed to go a bit beyond what I felt was necessary to highlight the changes. Another thing that I struggled with was the science- I know this is science fiction but some of it seemed a bit far-fetched and didn't have any basis or background. I crave that when reading sci-fi, even if it is just a smidgen of real science.. and if there isn't any hard science added, I at least want some fake science tossed in to make it seem a bit more plausible. I'd say I was annoyed with the ending, but a sequel will be released, so I am retracting my ending-hate on the basis of a sequel which will tie those loose ends together!
Those things aside, I did enjoy the novel. I think science fiction fans will like this one, but it would be a stretch for those who aren't into that genre- it feels like it would be a bit too far out of the comfort zone for some.

About the author:
Chris Beckett was born in Oxford, England in 1955, and now lives in Cambridge, England. He has published three novels - Dark Eden, The Holy Machine and Marcher - and two short story collections: The Turing Test and The Peacock Cloak. He has been publishing short stories in the UK and the US, since 1990.
The Turing Test, won the Edge Hill Short Fiction Award in 2009, the UK's only national prize for single-author short-story collections. Dark Eden won the Arthur C. Clarke award in 2013.
More information about his writing can be found at www.chris-beckett.com
Chris Beckett's background is in social work and he has also written several text books on social work.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Image from Scribd page. Book synopsis, author information, and author image from Amazon.com


The beautiful beautiful Moon sisters

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh  is a captivating and beautiful story about grief and growing up. This novel delivered and left me craving more.

About the novel:
Crown // March 4, 2014
After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights—is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.
Already resentful of Olivia’s foolish quest and her family’s insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn't be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

My thoughts:
How to put my thoughts on  page- that is the question. The Moon Sisters was mesmerizing, as promised. It pulled me in quickly, then held on for the duration. Not typically a novel I would be drawn too, I was surprised that it had such a strong grip on me. Jazz and Olivia are bold and multifaceted characters. Walsh created two beautiful souls with those two girls. It has been ages since I read a book with such gorgeously strong female characters. The stunning character work didn't end there- Hobbs, a train hopper that helps the girls on their journey, was also a complex character. Rough and scary exterior with a soft heart and a deep history.
The central part of this story is their mother, but it expands to family as the tale moves forward. Family dynamics, responsibilities, and loyalty all spring up throughout this novel. Each is enhanced by the depth of character in the novel. The five stages of grief are the section headings in The Moon Sisters- they are the only times that they are so pointedly brought up, however each stage is woven in the stories the characters tell. The subtle shifts in the way they share their stories and move through the days that this novel takes place, move them through the stages of grief and through the story.
The adventure that the girls find themselves on- looking for hope and guidance- is remarkable. It brings out so much in their character and you can feel the girls growing as the story ebbs and flows. It makes Olivia grow up and it softens Jazz. Hobbs finds answers to his own unasked questions as well.
I was amazed at how lyrical this novel was as well. It was magical. The novel deals with grief. I have had a very small share of grief, thankfully, at this point in my life, so I was unsure as to whether or not I would find a connection with this novel. Somewhere, I did. I'm not sure if it was Jazz and her softening, or Olivia and her growing up, but within those pages I did see a bit of myself in years past. Therese Walsh wrote a book that speaks to you- whether or not you've experienced monumental grief. I highly recommend this novel.

About the author:
Therese's debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy (Random House), was named one of January Magazine's Best Books of 2009, was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book in 2010, and was a TARGET Breakout Book.
Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, will be published by Crown in March, 2014. Its working title, in case you're curious, was The Book That Tried to Kill Me. It had a few other titles as well, including The Foolish Fire of Olivia Moon.
Therese is the co-founder and manager of Writer Unboxed, an award-winning website and online writing community. Among other accolades, Writer Unboxed was named one of the top 101 sites for writers in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Writer's Digest.
Therese has a master's degree in psychology. She was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine before becoming a freelance writer and eventually turning to fiction.
Therese is an award-winning haiku'ist, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, Carlton Cuse, and LOST.
She hopes that you'll enjoy her novels, and invite her to Skype with your book clubs.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Book synopsis, author image, and author information from Amazon.com


24-Hour Readathon!

Yes folks, it is that time again- time to sign up and start your planning for Dewey's 24 Hour Readahon!
This year's readathon is held on Saturday April 26, 2014. (The start times are based on your region, and mine is 8am)

This is my favorite reading time of year. It is (hopefully) beautiful outside and I get to spend an entire day just reading and enjoying myself. Bear is always super supportive and brings me goodies, which is totally awesome. The Readathon always means lots of random snacking throughout the day.
Last year I didn't spend much time on the internet because I often get way too sucked in. This year I am hoping to find a happy medium and get online to check on the progress of my fellow readathoners and check out the readathon mini challenges. I plan to use a timer so I don't get sucked into the black hole of the internet.
I haven't looked through my books yet to pick a stack, but I will be soon! I like to have a lofty pile to pick through for the day. Last year I read 3 books (and started 2) but didn't blog. This year my goal is to read 4 books, participate in mini challenges, tweet more, and instagram my books and progress.

So if you haven't already, head over to 24readathon.com and sign up to spend a full day reading!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois was one of those books that I was anxiously awaiting to arrive on my Netgalley shelf. Then I forgot all about it. It got lost in the sea of books floating on my Kindle until I unearthed it last week.

About the book:
Random House // 9.24.13
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this novel and thought it was an intriguing read. The plot was interesting, and I feel it was my advantage that I only vaguely remember the news story which this is loosely inspired by.
I felt like duBois did a good job on developing the right types of characters to cast in this psychological thriller. Lily has just enough personality to like and hate at the same time (I mean really, she is pretty annoying) and Katy has just the right amount of personality to pay attention to her but not fall madly in love or find a deep seeded hate. This allowed the reader to think about the murder abstractly, instead of being tied to either girl and predicting (or hoping for) an outcome based on emotions. The other characters all play their part- the little sister whose hate is brewing, the boyfriend who is aloof, the host family who picks sides early on, and Lily's parents who come together for Lily. The other main character, Eduardo was cast in a way that illuminated Katy's story while also giving a glimpse into investigative work. The only thing I didn't care for was the way Eduardo's part of the story was told- I didn't like him as a narrator, especially when he brought his personal life in- I feel like this was just fluff added to fill in the story.
In general, Cartwheel did keep me guessing as to how it would all play out, which is essential to a thrilling read.  Like I mentioned before, without a real allegiance to Katy or Lily, duBois created a scenario that we can view from all angles and that is what kept things moving and kept me guessing. She did a masterful job with this.
I was quite bothered at times by how wordy this novel was. At times I felt like I was back in  high school studying SAT vocabulary. While I like a robust sentence, sometimes it just was over the top and felt forced.
Overall though, I would recommend this book to mystery and thriller fans, as well as crime buffs. For those who followed the Amanda Knox case, I think this book could go either way.. I enjoyed not really remembering what happened in that real-life case, but then again, there were times where I wish I did know the original case as well.

About the author:
Jennifer duBois was born in Northampton, MA in 1983. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, duBois' work has appeared in Playboy, the Wall Street Journal, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, Narrative and elsewhere. Her first novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was published by The Dial Press in 2012, and was honored by the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 program. In her spare time, duBois enjoys reading tales of disaster on Everest and smugly reminding everyone that she has a subscription to the Economist. 

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received this egalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Book synopsis, and author information from Amazon.com