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text 2018-07-01 16:46
June Re-Cap
Gunslinger Girl - Lyndsay Ely,James Patterson
The Opposite of You - Rachel Higginson
Every Single Secret - Clara Emily Carpenter
Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent
Shine Not Burn - Elle Casey
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz
The Surviving Trace - Calia Read
Wake of Vultures - Lila Bowen
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes





So many books this month, probably won't have as many next month, though. Unfortunately, I have to go back to work sometime this coming month.  June has been a fairly mediocre reading month for me.  I'm pretty sure my average is around 3 stars...maybe I'm just getting more discerning.  I did end the month with a couple 5 Star reads and added two books to my favorites.




 (Audiobook) Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Finish Date:  06/05

 ☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-


(Kindle eBook) The Opposite Of You by Rachel Higginson

Finish Date:  06/06



(Audiobook) Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  06/08



(Netgalley eArc) Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

Finish Date:  06/10



(Audiobook) Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

Finish Date:  06/11



(Audiobook) X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon

Finish Date:  06/14



(Kindle eBook) The Surviving Trace by Calia Read

Finish Date:  06/17



(Audiobook) Wake Of Vultures by Lila Bowen

Finish Date:  06/19



(Audiobook) Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Finish Date:  06/20



(Novellas KU) by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  06/21



(Audiobook) Disturbed by Jennifer Jaynes

Finish Date:  06/21



(Netgalley eARC) The Mermaid by Christina Henry (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/24



(Audiobook) Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Finish Date:  06/25



(Audiobook) In Her Skin by Kim Savage

Finish Date:  06/26



(Audiobook) Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Finish Date:  06/28



(Netgalley eARC) The Simple Wild by KA Tucker (a new fav)

Finish Date:  06/29



10 Audiobooks, 2 Novellas, 2 Kindle eBooks, and 3 Netgalley eARC's, 17 books total.

4,910 pages (including Audio) 


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review 2018-06-19 02:34
4.5 Out Of 5 "The Pathway to X" STARS
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz






Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon



A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book 

Co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.


Malcolm Little’s parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that’s a pack of lies—after all, his father’s been murdered, his mother’s been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There’s no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm’s efforts to leave the past behind lead him into an increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he’s found is only an illusion—and that he can’t run forever.

follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.






A somewhat harsh, albeit enlightening, fictionalized history about Malcolm X.  Centering on his informative childhood to young adult years.  I learned some things and had some things laid bare for me.  The audio by Dion Graham lends a very authentic voice and is well done.


At the end of the story, his daughter speaks about her dad and then there is a couple chapter's telling all about what they (Shabazz and Magoon) kept true to his story and what they embellished on.  Plus an additional timeline of his life.  I read this for a reading challenge (X title) and this is one of those instances where I'm content a reading challenge compelled me to choose something I wouldn't have normally had on my radar.











Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 3.8/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5


Book Cover~ Awesome!

Narration~ ☆4.5☆ by Dion Graham with Ilyasah Shabazz

Setting~ Lansing, MI, Boston, MA, and Harlem, NY

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)



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review 2017-10-07 06:31
Shadows of Sherwood
Shadows of Sherwood (Robyn Hoodlum) - Kekla Magoon


The sing on the fence said BEWARE OF DOGS.

- first sentence


Robyn was the sort of girl who knew not only how many teeth a bulldog had, but also exactly what to do to get a bulldog on her good side.

Chapter 2


Robyn had always been the sort of girl who enjoyed breaking the rules. She was almost never where she was supposed to be.

- Chapter 4


When Robyn's parents are taken, she is thrust into a world she didn't even know existed. People are suffering and the government is corrupt. Robyn tries to find ways to help people and to thwart the government when she can. She is a strong girl and yet terrified of what happened to her parents. She finds friends, learns how to trust people, and tries to make a difference.


This a reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Robyn lives in Nott City in her home, Loxley Manor. The counties that surround her home are Sherwood, Nottingham, Excelsior, and Block Six. Robyn and her friends form a band that steals medicine and food from the government and distributes it to the poor.


The story is fun, imaginative, and full of adventure. Even though Robyn is strong-willed and independent, she also has doubts about herself and the wisdom of what she is doing.  This a great book for middle readers. I am definitely going to read the sequels. :)


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review 2016-07-16 02:17
37 Things I Love (In No Particular Order) by Kekla Magoon
37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order) - Kekla Magoon

Ellis only has four days of her sophomore year left, and summer is so close that she can almost taste it. But even with vacation just within reach, Ellis isn't exactly relaxed. Her father has been in a coma for years, the result of a construction accident, and her already-fragile relationship with her mother is strained over whether or not to remove him from life support. Her best friend fails even to notice that anything is wrong and Ellis feels like her world is falling apart. But when all seems bleak, Ellis finds comfort in the most unexpected places. Life goes on, but in those four fleeting days friends are lost and found, promises are made, and Ellis realizes that nothing will ever quite be the same.





Ellis is a high school sophomore anticipating the start of summer but is still held back from being TOO excited about it, as every day still starts with her beloved father in a coma. It's been two years since her father's construction job accident, with little to no sign of improvement in his condition. Ellis' mom is thinking it might be time to turn off the machines finally say goodbye to him but Ellis certainly doesn't feel anywhere near ready for that. Added to that is the pain Ellis feels from her best friend, popular girl Abby, who seems to be oblivious to the strain and heartbreak Ellis and her family are experiencing. 


"Ow." I land hard on my side, falling off my brand-new two-wheeler for the dozenth time. 

"Try again.," Dad calls from the top of the driveway. "You almost had it."

I roll to my back and lie with limbs spread-eagled on the concrete, staring up at the sky. 

"Get up kiddo. One more time."

I'm stuck. Frozen. Scrapes on my knees and shins, the pads of my palms sore from catching myself over and over. 

My face cools as Dad steps between me and the sun. 

"Baldwins don't give up."

I look at him through his shadow. "I'm not giving up. I'm thinking."

"Thinking's allowed," he says. "But once you know what you want, then you have to get up and do it."


Along with Abby, Ellis' other close friend is nerdy-type Colin. He seems more understanding to Ellis' hard times, but is also consumed with his unrequited love for Abby, who is hardcore friend-zoning the poor guy.



The scenarios Ellis and her friends find themselves in do have a certain level of believability when it comes to high school situations, but the maturity level of some of the characters, as well as much of the dialogue throughout most of the novel, struck me as being more middle-grade / jr. high age (if you were to subtract the small bits of profanity). While I could empathize with Ellis' experiences for the most part, there was still something to her character that I felt a little distanced from. But when you think about it, that is kind of a realistic portrayal... don't people tend to distance themselves from everyone else as they work through the grieving process? All in all, a mostly realistic portrayal  of that stage in life, the confusion of feelings, etc. I liked that Magoon also incorporated one of Ellis's good friends struggling with their coming out and the conflicting emotions that surround that monumental moment in the life of a member of the LGBTQ community. 



* One small scene that minorly bugged me was the scene where Ellis gets a ride home from her dad's nurse and Ellis's inner thoughts reference how she likes this nurse "because she doesn't make me buckle up" in the car. Umm, especially for someone who is in the medical field who would've likely seen their share of car crash victims, that'd actually be pretty jacked for a nurse not to insist. {It's peeve of mine. I don't care if it's "cool" or not. You get in my car, you're wearing a belt.}


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review 2016-07-05 00:00
How It Went Down
How It Went Down - Kekla Magoon I got way more into this than I was expecting. It’s the story of a shooting in an inner city told from the point of view of different witnesses and people connected to the person who was shot. No one has exactly the same story or feels precisely the same. I tried to understand each perspective and feel what they felt. It’s not really the type of story that gives you any answers. It may change the way you think about things though.
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