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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 2015-08-25 23:04
Book 73/100: X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz

I feel as if this book's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.

I love that this book presents teens with the early life of Malcolm X, a time he spent much the same as other Black youth of his generation, becoming a fixture of the jazz and blues music culture of both Boston and Harlem in the 1940s, smoking weed, and engaging in small-scale illegal activities from running gambling rings to selling drugs and performing other petty crimes. Although he tries not to let it affect him in his life of "ease," Malcolm cannot fully escape the racial reality of the day, and he confronts it in several harrowing sequences, such as the teacher who tells him a career as a lawyer is not a reasonable aspiration for a Black kid, and the thugs who attack when they see him taking his white girlfriend for a walk.

I think the strength of this book is in how ordinary it makes Malcolm X out to be, showing disenfranchised teens that humble beginnings can still lead to a life powerfully and impactfully lived. At the same time, I often felt frustrated by Malcolm's lack of motivation in his teen years, and in the increasingly poor choices he makes. Also, I found myself really wanting to know more about his life after he got out of prison, the life of the "public Malcolm X" that I still don't know nearly enough about (this is my own fault, not the book's). See what I mean about the book's strengths also being its weaknesses?

Still, the potential "weakness" is mitigated by the extensive historical notes at the end, which answered all the questions I would have gone to Google with were the note not present. Malcolm's fictional "voice" is smooth and conversational, occasionally betraying the fact that he is lying to himself about the impact of certain experiences. The writer very much captured the sense of a disillusioned Black youth who has not yet realized the greater potential within him. Also, the audio version is very good, and really makes the written voice come alive.

The book piqued my interest in learning more about Malcolm X, which I think is perhaps the highest compliment any piece of historical fiction can be paid.

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review 2015-03-19 00:00
X: A Novel
X: A Novel - Kekla Magoon,Ilyasah Shabazz One of the few YA titles from this year that I think everyone should read. A gut punch of a story, whether you know anything about the subject or not.
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