When We Collided

Another check on my reading challenge, this one for “a book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author”.

I wasn’t sure exactly to know if an author fit this category as the challenge creator meant it to, but when I browsed the #diversebooks website, under the resource section there is a “where to find diverse books” tab. One of the items on that list is the ‘Schneider Family Book Award‘ that is award each year to an author/illustrator that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

When We Collided is the 2017 winner in the Teen category, so it is my book of choice. Below is my review of the book, as posted to Goodreads…


When We CollidedWhen We Collided by Emery Lord

“I don’t appreciate how often people hide their scars and doubts. Really, it’s not fair to people who are struggling, to go on believing that everyone else just has it totally together and never has one bad thought in their lives. Like, I know you people sometimes lie awake at night torturing yourself over the atrocities in this world and morality and meaning. I know you’re not just dreaming about riding a pink pony to your job as a cupcake taster.” – page 232

This main characters are either struggling with depression/bipolar or live with someone that does. But they find refuge in each other, just for the summer.

I like how the book was written where every other chapter changes the point of view so you see how both characters see the world.

Jonah and his older siblings have to take on more responsibility after their dad passes away and their mom goes into a depression. Vivi I feel is his chance to find a new normal after his father passed and the one who tells him its okay to live beyond his father’s death.

Vivi is a free-spirited girl who wants to live every moment to the fullest, but she doesn’t let the dark side of her life show, instead wanting to forget about it herself and pretend it isn’t there. In the end though, I think she realizes that it is a part of her, but that doesn’t have to mean she has to stop being her free-spirited self.

I admit, I cried by the end of the book, because I see myself and my husband in this book so much. I’m Vivi’s free-spirit and my husband is Jonah’s logical self, but at the same time, my husband is the one battling a mental health war in his body, trying to learn how to continue through live with it as Vivi was, while I’m Jonah who has to be the parent and take care of both of us it seems.

Definitely a book anyone should read, to help enforce the idea that mental health does not define the person, it is only one part of them.


March: Book Three

Another tic on my challenge list with the book March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. This one is for “Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner”. Specifically, it won the “National Book Award-Young People’s Literature” for 2016. As well, it won the “Coretta Scott King (Author) Award”, the “Michael L Printz Award”, the “Robert F Sibert Informational Book Award”, the “YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction”, and the “Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature-Young Adult”.

John Lewis, a congressman from Georgia, was a civil rights leader in the 60s and onward,  and became inspired to do so after reading a comic book about Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Book Three continues after the bombing in 1963 of the church in Birmingham and includes the Selma to Montgomery marches and his trip to Africa.

Here is my review of the book, as posted on Goodreads.com:

March: Book Three (March, #3)March: Book Three by John Lewis

This book was on my list as it won or was nominated for quite a few awards. I had not read the first two books, but I feel that was okay – I was still able to follow the book.

I must admit, I didn’t know much of John Lewis before reading this graphic novel and after reading it, learned more of one of the lead people in the desegregation movement in the south. The first two books are also on my list now of “to read” to learn even more of his involvement in helping end segregation and help black folks gain the ability to vote.

If I Was Your Girl

One of my goals this year is to complete a reading challenge. Click here to see the details of the challenge.

Below is my review from Goodreads for the book If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This book falls under the “book nominated for an award in 2017” as it is one of the Stonewall winners in the Children’s and Young Adult Literature category.


If I Was Your GirlIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A YA novel about a transgender girl, written by a transgender girl, but still a message anyone can relate to, about realizing that everyone is hiding something, and we all deserve the chance to love, and be loved, both by ourselves, and by others.

I liked how every few chapters the author would go back in time in Amanda’s life. Our past may hurt, but the good and bad things help shape our future self. I don’t think Amanda would have been as strong her senior year in her new town if she had an easy process.

Here’s some quotes/passages I liked in the book that I think are universal to anyone …
1) “Everyone around me, I realized, was living some kind of lie…Maybe secrets and lies were a part of life; maybe everyone had something they were lying to themselves about, or something they were hiding.” -pg 89
2) “You can have anything…once you admit you deserve it.” – pg 180
3) “For as long as I could remember, I had been apologizing for existing, for trying to be who I was, to live the life I was meant to lead. … I realized, I wasn’t sorry I existed anymore. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now-I believed, now-that I deserved to be loved.” – pg 273

View all my reviews