The Girl With the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (Review)

34448522DIVERSE READ: #Ownvoices Jewish MC* + Romani MC

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Summary: When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process. 

My thoughts: The Girl With the Red Balloon is officially one of my favorite novels of 2017. I didn’t realize how much it would impact me, but it managed to find a place in my heart through its powerful message and heartwarming characters that I never wanted to stop reading about. This fantastic story follows 3 POVs*, two taking place during 1988 in East Berlin, and the other taking place during 1942 in a ghetto in Poland. Majority of this novel focuses around Ellie, who accidentally time travels back to East Berlin with the help of a magical red balloon, but it also follows a character living in a ghetto in Poland during WWII. Both narratives are so well written and deliver a powerful story showcasing the horrors of WWII and the equally troublesome times that followed after the war ended. Read More »

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Journey to Bethlehem, PA

Travel Diary: Bethlehem, PA | December 28-29, 2017 

A few days after Christmas, in 2017, my family and I drove into Pennsylvania on another short trip. We spent two days in Bethlehem, PA, a quaint town only a few miles big that is bustling with adorable boutiques, a lovely book shop, and historical houses that have now turned into museums. 

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Down by Contact by Santino Hassell | Review

33637825DIVERSE READ: Interracial couple, Black gay MC, Latino bisexual MC

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, MM Romance, LGBTQIAP+

Synopsis: Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

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Rest, Relax, Recharge

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Simple Self-Care Tips For Bad Mental Health Days

Sometimes the weight of living gets so heavy that your mind gets overwhelmed and the thought of getting out of bed feels like an impossible task. I tend to feel this way whenever my anxiety spikes and it leaves me in bed all day, wasting hours on my phone, scrolling through social media to distract myself. 

In an effort to care more about my mental and physical health, I wanted to share some simple things to do during bad mental health days which will leave you feeling a bit better. These are things that don’t require a lot of energy and can be done at home because I know how the hard days can suck the energy right out of you and small tasks can feel daunting. Read More »

The Punisher| TV Show Talk

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The Punisher (2017)

IMDB Summary: After the murder of his family, Marine veteran Frank Castle became a vigilante known as “The Punisher” with only one goal in mind – to avenge them. With his revenge now complete, Frank’s war-time past comes back to haunt him.

Creator: Steve Lightfoot

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Amber Rose Revah, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes

Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime

Content Warning: Murder, guns, gore, bombs, knives, abuse.


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Who Tells Our Stories – Megan

IMG_0747.jpgHere’s another installment to my Who Tells Our Stories photo / interview series highlighting diverse readers and the diverse stories that represent their identities! Today I’m interviewing Megan about diverse literature and how she connected to the book she has chosen to be photographed with.

(A FULL EXPLANATION FOR THE PHOTO SERIES IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS INTERVIEW.)

Click here to see all the Who Tells Our Stories interviews!


Name: Megan

Book title: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

Social Media links: Twitter


Megan’s Interview

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Love on my Mind by Tracey Livesay | Review

29960337.jpgDIVERSE READ: Interracial couple, Black MC, Asperger’s rep.

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis: Successful PR executive Chelsea Grant is one assignment away from making partner at her firm and nothing will stand in her way. Her big break? Turn a reclusive computer genius into a media darling in time for his new product launch. He may have been dubbed the “sexiest geek alive” but he has no patience for the press—and it shows. Piece of cake, right? Only problem is… his company doesn’t want him to know they hired her.

After a disastrous product launch two years ago, tech CEO Adam Bennett knows the success of his new device depends on the media’s support. When a twist of fate brings the beautiful PR specialist to his door, Adam hires Chelsea to help turn his image around. Their attraction is undeniable and the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep things professional.

But when Adam discovers Chelsea’s deception, will she risk everything for her career or is love the real thing on her mind?

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