The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World #1), by London Shah ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: October 29th, 2019

320 Pages

Synopsis: Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind waivers between fear and hope—fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.

When sixteen-year-old submersible racer, Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges.The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.

Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails do discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture—or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.

The Light at the Bottom of the Sea is a spectacular debut from author London Shah, and one that’s sure to be one of the most memorable YA novels of 2019!

Let’s begin with Leyla. She’s a British-Muslim teen who not only is deeply connected to her family, but to her faith as well. Reading about her devotion to her Afghan heritage and her religion was wonderful, especially in a science fiction setting. While naive, she’s also clever, brave, and resourceful, which drew me even more to her. I love the way she grows and develops throughout the course of the story, and I felt as though I was going on her journey right along with her. Her relationship with her family, friends, and her love interest, Ari, are tender and sweet. Leyla is someone who gives everything she has to protect the people she loves. This also includes her puppy JoJo, who completely had my heart melting. Which leads me to my one and only spoiler. There’s a fight scene where JoJo is hurt badly, but she does recover. It was tough for me to read though, so for anyone who has an especially difficult time with animal cruelty, you might want to skim this thankfully short section.

The imaginative world-building is simply phenomenal. Try to picture a submerged London in 2099, the victim of an asteroid and climate change. Underwater cities, without sun, under terrorist attacks by the Anthropoids, who look human but have the ability to breathe underwater, and whose citizens are now falling to a mysterious sickness on top of everything else. The way London Shah beautifully details this vast watery world, left me feeling as though I was there. Combining the majestic ocean scenery with the futuristic technology is a brilliant combination. Also included are images of how life was above the water, before the disaster.

The storyline itself is intriguing and exciting and Leyla’s and Ari’s quest to rescue her Papa absolutely captivated me. Adding to this are the real world social ills that plague us: government corruption, climate change, terrorism, and genocide. This all comes together in an entirely unique way which opens boundless opportunities for discussion with teens.

Overall, The Light at the Bottom of the World, is a brilliant introduction to a planned duology. The only reason I’m not giving it a full 5 stars is because as much as I love Leyla, Ari, and JoJo, I think the secondary characters, some of who play pretty important parts in the story, need to be fleshed out some more. But this is a relatively small complaint. I unhesitatingly recommend this to teens and adult fans of YA science fiction who are looking for a thrilling and mesmerizing adventure with fantastic main characters, an intriguing political conspiracy thriller, and beautiful imagery. I’m eagerly looking forward to not only the next book, but also any future books by London Shah.

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Book Lovers Day 2019

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Happy Book Lovers Day everyone! I’m deeply ensconced in two marvelous upcoming books that I’ll be reviewing next week: Full Throttle, by Joe Hill, and The Light at the Bottom of the World, by London Shah. I hope you’re all reading something spectacular!

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And thanks to Fraggle at https://fragglerocking.org here are some awesomely talented librarians from the Orange Public Library, sharing the Book Love!

 

 

 

 

El Paso Memorial Photos, Mural

Lisa is a wonderful blogger and writer who has always painted El Paso in such vivid detail through her posts. Sadly, this is a heartbreaking one, but seeing her photographs and reading her words will give you a more personal look at the tragedy that happened. EL PASO STRONG!

Life of an El Paso Woman

20190808_1508463335921568367172448.jpgHi everyone. I hope you’re doing well. Today we visited the memorial the community’s created over the last four days. This is located behind Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall on Gateway Blvd. West. You see news vans from around the country surrounding the area. There’s also been news crews from Europe, Mexico and possibly other countries worldwide. It hurt to be there but I felt like I had to be. This is the city where I was born and raised. The least I could do is show my respect for the 22 innocent lives that were taken on 8-3-19. There were so many kind souls there. People offered the public cold bottled water, snacks and even small Bibles. That was completely unexpected but appreciated on a hot and humid day. This is the El Paso I know and love. We’ve always been hospitable and friendly in this city. That’s the…

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After his death, a second amendment supporter, leaves a message on gun violence

Whatever your beliefs in regards to gun violence in America, please read this posthumous op-ed from a gun owner and 2nd Amendment supporter. Thank you Keith for sharing this!

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The following posthumous editorial appeared in The Charlotte Observer on August 6, 2019. It speaks for itself.

“Larry Swenberg died of ALS this spring, a few months before gunmen killed 29 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Swenberg, a retired doctor of veterinary medicine in Durham, was a gun owner and avid hunter, but he was horrified at mass shootings inflicted by assault-style weapons. His wife, Gwen, sent us this op-ed from her husband last week, before Dayton and El Paso. One of his last wishes, she said, was to leave a message for his fellow Second Amendment supporters — and all of us.:

I am a 73 year-old retired doctor of veterinary medicine and a political independent who is neither a politician nor a Washington insider, but a citizen pleading to stop the carnage of assault weapons. I am a former hunter, recreational shooter, current gun owner…

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Whimsical Wednesday ~ Back To School Edition

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It’s the most wonderful time, of the year! Well, for parents anyway.

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Here in the U.S. the new school year has already started for many districts. Several weeks ago my friend Fraggle from https://fragglerocking.org shared some great library-themed videos with me and I’ve been waiting for just the right time to share them. This particular one is inspired by my favorite Old Spice commercial EVER! Here’s the original:

Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Okay. Stop drooling! Now here’s the alternate version:

New Spice: Study Like A Scholar, Scholar

 

 

 

 

Supernova/Sampler(Renegades #3), by Marissa Meyer ~ 5.0 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends for providing an eARC sampler in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: November 5th, 2019

76 Pages

Synopsis: All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy, finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.

Argh! I requested this without realizing it was only a 76 page sampler, as a result all I can say is that November 5th cannot come soon enough! For fans of the first two books in the Renegades trilogy, you’re going to want to preorder this or get your name on your library’s hold list if you haven’t already done so. If you haven’t read the previous two books but you love superhero stories that leave you pondering the question of what exactly makes someone a hero, you have three months to catch up! I’ll be posting a much longer review in November once I’ve read the entire book.

 

El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy ~ Ways To Help

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I’ve been doing a lot of pontificating for the last 48 hours, but I’m climbing off my soapbox (temporarily). I know when tragedies occur, whether they’re man-made or not, we all feel so helpless. Here are a few ways to help victims and their families from this past weekend’s violence as well as last week’s Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

Townsquare Media of El Paso ~ https://www.klaq.com/donate-to-el-paso-081319-victims-fund/

El Paso Community Foundation ~ https://payments.epcf.org

Paso del Notre Community Foundation ~ https://pdnfoundation.org

Dayton Foundation ~ https://www.daytonfoundation.org/080419pr.html

Public Good ~ https://impact.publicgood.com/campaign/d974f44d-9d2d-4b13-86cc-04b4f140f14b

Gilroy Foundation ~ http://www.gilroyfoundation.org

American Red Cross ~ https://www.redcross.org.