The Best Ways to Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day ♡

A/N~I’ve got a small announcement to make. Today is the last day of me posting every single day on my blog–as I mentioned that I would do in my 1 year blogiversary post. From now on, I will be posting every two days, meaning I post today, skip tomorrow, post Thursday, and the cycle goes on. Besides that, there will be no other changes to my blog or content. Okay–you are free to read the actual post now!

Happy Tuesday, y’all! This is Q’Zion and welcome back to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. To all my fellow bookworms and bibliophiles, we all know that there are few–if any–gifts that we can get in life that are better than a good book. After all, literature is like the foundation for learning just about anything. A world without books would be like a world without color. Just plan boring.

So in celebration of books and all the people around the world who love them, July 9th is proclaimed as Book Lover’s Day. And I’m going to share a few creative ideas for how we bookworms can celebrate to the fullest. Let’s get this show on the road!

Reorganize Your Book Shelf

Almost every bookworm has a shelf that’s just about filled with books. And as we constantly read and add to our vast collection, it can be easy for our books to get mixed and matched. If your bookshelf needs a little tender love and care, today is the perfect opportunity to make it look as neat as a display in a bookstore.

Make a Book Mark

I remember doing a craft a couple years ago where I made my own colorful bookmark, and I had so much fun with it that I had to make an entire series of custom-made bookmarks afterwards. The more books we get, the more bookmarks we need. That means that there’s no such thing as having too many bookmarks. So getting a little crafty and personalizing bookmarks of your own–especially while using colors that match with a particular book–would be an awesome way to celebrate being a bookworm.

Visit your Local Library

Honestly, this one is like muscle memory to anyone who loves books. However, going to the library to borrow a few books–and maybe even sit down and read for a couple hours–will likely give any bookworm some entertainment.

Recommend Some of Your Favorite Books to Someone Else

There aren’t many things that I love to do more than I love reading. But I have to admit that it always puts a smile on my face when I’m able to share some of the novels that I love the most with family and friends. Reading is a gift from God, and it is truly a great experience to be able to see others embracing it. So try showing some of your favorite books to a friend of yours–you never know; they might just turn them into a bookworm, too.

Try an eBook

If you’re like me, you have a huge preference for physical books. You know, the ones that you can feel, smell and hold. But if there’s anything that many of my books have taught me, it’s that sometimes it can be good to try new things. Whether you are used to reading books in the physical or digital world, it can be a great experience to try buying an eBook or purchasing a physical book from a bookstore for a change. Even if you end up switching to your preference afterwards, it’s always good to explore the different ways to read.

Create an Account on Goodreads

Are you looking for a digital platform where you can discover new books, write reviews for books you’ve read, and connect with other bookworms? Well then you might want to check out Goodreads. While I’ve never actually made an account of my own, I often look to Goodreads when I am looking for ratings and opinions on books that catch my interest. So Goodreads is a good option if you are someone who likes eBooks and/or you are on a mission to read more books.

Replace Your Screen Time for Reading Time

I know, I know. For most teenagers, our phones are like an extension of our arms. But every now and again, it’s really healthy to take a break and do something that doesn’t involve a screen. Instead of playing video games all Friday night when you finish your homework after school, reading could be a really productive way to wind down before bedtime–or any time, for that matter!

Join a Book Club

I’ve participated in a handful of clubs over the last couple years, and I’ve got to say that Book Club is one of my favorites. Not only is this a wonderful option for those who need an extra push to read more novels this year, but it’s also a great way to connect and interact with people who love books just as much as you do. And as a bookworm, that’s almost always a bonus!


I hope you all enjoyed these tips for making the most of National Book Lover’s Day–which if you think about it, is everyday. I thank God for books and how much He has taught me through them. Hopefully, you all found a great way to celebrate.

Have a happy rest of your day or night, everyone! Peace in! ♡

My TBR List for the Second Half of 2022

What’s up, y’all! Happy Tuesday! ♡

The first half of this year has already went by so fast, and my goal to read a total of 12 books before next January still stands. Lately, I’ve been reading many of the books in my own collection, and speeding through them within a few day’s time. But as a bookworm, I always feel the need to add more novels to my shelves.

Today I will be sharing a few of the most-anticipated books on my TBR (aka to be read) list for the second half of 2022. Let’s get started!

As some of you all know, one of my older cousin’s happens to be deaf. That has inspired me to take American Sign Language as one of my electives for my upcoming freshman year. And aside from the gorgeous cover art, I couldn’t help but love that the protagonist of this book is a deaf girl who is trying to navigate in a school with all-hearing kids. She also has a goal to make a song for a whale. Let’s admit it: cute animals are always a bonus.

Lately, I’ve been more interested in reading books with black protagonists, especially those that address racism and discrimination in a way that is appropriate for younger audiences, like myself. This middle-grade book starring the 12-year-old protagonist, Shayla, seems like a really good place to start. I’ve heard lots of good feedback regarding The Good Kind of Trouble, including how it address the issue of racism, but it also contains much diversity in the characters and a message of finding yourself, friendship, and standing up for what’s right. I can’t wait to test this book out for myself!

Fish in a Tree

You all know how much I loved the novel Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now, and it seems to have a pretty similar plotline. What really attracts me to this novel is that it seems to focus on the subject of belonging, speaking up when you need help and coming to a point of loving yourself and the things that make you different. The protagonist is a girl with dyslexia, and although I’ve heard of the condition, I think this book will give me a better look on what it is and how it can effect a person.

Honestly, just by looking at the cover you can tell that this is a super cute book. Magic Poindexter is the daughter of an incredibly famous NBA player, and her dream is to become an athlete and join her school’s cheer squad, the HoneyBees. The overall plot of the book seems pretty promising, and, once again, I love the diversity of the characters. Oh, and did I mention the book takes place at a summer camp? For obvious reasons, I’ve been in the mood to read summer stories, lately.

Yep, I still haven’t read it. During my visit to Barnes and Nobles last month, I looked for the most-anticipated novel on my list–the sequel to Out of My Mind–but I didn’t see it anywhere. Still, my excitement to read the next adventure of Melody in this novel has not faltered. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!


Hopefully, you had fun seeing the books on my TBR list as much as I enjoyed writing about them. You all know that my bookish posts are always my favorites, lol.

LET’S CHAT!~Tell me, do you have any highly anticipated books on your TBR list and/or any books that you recommend for me? Let me know in the comments. (P.S. middle grade and lower YA are highly preferred)

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everybody! Peace in, y’all! ♡

Fun in the Sun Book Tag ☀️

I don’t know why, but today I just felt like writing about something book related–I just didn’t know what. That’s when I saw some of the summer book tags on WordPress Reader–and I really loved some of the prompts. But instead of doing a book tag that’s already been created, I decided to make my own: The Fun in the Sun Book Tag.

I find these types of posts super interesting to read, so I’m excited to share another one of my own. To check out my first book tag, you can click HERE. Otherwise, let’s get started!

Rules:

  • Provide a link to the original creator Princess Q’Zion @ajoyfulchristianteen
  • Reiterate this list of rules before your responses.
  • Answer each question with one of your favorite books.
  • Nominate some of your blogger friends.
  • Have fun!

1. Ice Cream: A Sweet Book

Although I haven’t read this one in a while–probably about 2 years–I remember really enjoying it. This short, lower middle grade novel is about a girl named Taylor who has recently moved to Roxbury Park. She decides to join a local Dog Club, which begins to face competition with a luxury dog groomer right across town. Meanwhile, she faces the struggles of being the “new girl” as she experiences bullying at school. Overall the plot is really simple and straight to the point. But the adorable dogs and long-lasting friendships make for a really short and sweet read.

2. Hydrangea: A Book with lots of Character Development

An intriguing trait of the Smile series is that it is based on the teenage years of the author, Raina Telgemeier. I think that automatically adds a lot of originality to this graphic novel. After she gets braces due to a sudden trip, she struggles with learning to love herself, becoming comfortable in her own skin, and identifying who her real friends are. In the end, she develops to be more confident in herself, and smile bigger than ever before. This is definitely a book that I would recommend for all tweens and teens; it’s one of my favorites to this day.

3. Starfish: A Book with a Unique Concept

Twintuition is a series authored by actress twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry about twin sisters–Cassie and Caitlyn. As the two city girls–who’ve lost their closeness over the years–move to a small town in the large state of Texas, they soon discover their newfound power to see the future when they touch another person. This is a really cute read that has diverse representations with a unique concept and a sweet delivery of the theme of sisterhood.

4. Airplane: A Book that Started off Slow but Rose Beyond Your Expectations

Recently, I wrote a book review of Witchlings, one of the newest additions to my bookshelf. After the initial introduction of the main characters, the plot seemed to lack in action for a little while. However, once the gears finally started spinning, and the pieces of the puzzle began to connect, this has easily become one of my favorite fantasy novels.

5. Blazing Sun: A Book that Takes Place in the Summer

Soon after I finished reading the first addition to this series, All Four Stars, I knew that I had to get the sequel. Although I’ve just began to continue reading The Stars of Summer after a long break, I’m loving it so far. Considering that it takes place on a summer camp, with the 12-year-old protagonist (Gladys) being a food critic for the New York Standard newspaper on a mission to find the most delicious hotdog in New York, I feel as though it’s the perfect story for the summer.

6. Roller Coaster: A Book that Gave You the Giggles

DOAWK is one of my favorite series from my early childhood, mainly because the author Jeff Kinney never holds back with all of the humor. In this book, Greg learns what it’s like not to have electronics (like in the olden days), when he goes to Hardscrabble Farms for a week, where everything is old-fashioned. Although this book doesn’t take place in the summer, it gives me summer camp vibes. Plus, it’s a great option if you want to read something that’ll keep you laughing.

7. Sandcastle: A Book that Feels like a Fairytale

Grimmtastic Girls is a series set in Grimmlandia, the residence of a large scale of modernized fairy tale characters, including Cinderella (who prefers to go by Cinda), Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Rapunzel, Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, etc. While this is a book that I read years ago–therefore I recommend it for elementary schoolers–it was still a fairy tale with many modern twists that I really enjoyed.


I hope you all liked this Book Tag just as much as I did. But to be fair, any post relating to books is one of my favorites.

As for my nominees for my Fun in the Sun Book Tag, I choose EVERYONE who is has read this post to give this new tag a try. If you post these questions on your blog, please provide a link to the post in the comments. I would absolutely love to see all of your responses.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a beautiful and blessed day, and I’ll see you next time! ✨

Book Review #4: Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

BOOK INFORMATION

Published Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

Age Category: Middle Grade (MG), roughly for kids between 10 to 14 years old

Pages: 352

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

SYNOPSIS

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings―and will lose their magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…

MY TAKEAWAYS

The purchase of this middle grade novel during a long-awaited visit to my favorite book store (see that post HERE) was very impulsive and based on three factors; I loved the cover art, I loved the synopsis, and I saw the stellar reviews. But it was a quick decision that I’m very grateful I made.

I honestly loved Witchlings a lot more than I expected to. A story filled with important lessons, tons of funny moments to keep readers laughing, and wholesome, well-developed characters, I think many more bookworms of all ages will find this a very rewarding read.

While I loved so much about this book, I have to admit that after the character introduction and Seven, Thorn, and Valley (the Spare coven) were assigned with their impossible task, the plot was a little uneventful and flat for a while–maybe the first 100 pages or so. Even so, I really wanted to keep going to see if the plot would enfold. And I wasn’t disappointed, as the fantasy adventure soon got off the ground.

There are a few epic magic duels, but I like how the author kept them family appropriate and fairly brief—even while using them to keep the novel action-packed and exciting.

After Seven and Valley–who was once her bully–decided to put their differences aside and work together, the entire story seemed to take flight through its many surprises, cliffhangers, and plot twists that kept me at the edge of my seat. Literally though, I was unable to put it down towards the end and read the final 150 pages—if not a little more—in one sitting. At this point in the journey I really came to an understanding of the meaning of each noted character and event–everything begins to click to create an impactful (yet heartfelt) ending.

The amount of character development among each of the main characters was a really great element of the story. As Seven’s bond with Thorn and Valley gets stronger, she seems to drift away from her former best friend Poppy, who stopped talking to her since she got into House Hyacinth, the coven of Seven’s dreams. It really proved that we can form the strongest bonds with the most unlikely (or different) people, and other times, friends go onto different paths. And that’s okay! If and when that happens, we should move on in love.

Me and the characters alike learned the importance of selflessness, never giving up (even through fear), facing intolerance head-on, forgiving and learning to love those who have hurt you, speaking up when you see someone you love being mistreated, and to cherish every moment as if its your last. I would agree that the protagonist, her friends, and her family serve as great role models to kids.

As my conclusion, Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega is a humorous, exciting, and magical adventure that kids and adults alike can enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am praying that a sequel will come out in the next couple years. If you are a fan of the show The Owl House, the Harry Potter series or other teen prodigy magic-filled adventures, this one is for you.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5, 5 being the best of the best)

Recommended Age: for readers 10 or 11+

Thank you so much for reading, my fellow bookish friends! God bless you all, and peace in! ♡

A day at the bookstore + book haul | Go Out With Me #4

Hey, everybody! Happy wonderful Wednesday! ♡

You guys probably already know that I’ve been wanting to go to a bookstore for the LONGEST of time. However, on most days Goodmommy had to work, I was too tired, or we just felt like staying at home (since we’re major homebodies lol.)

But since Goodmommy didn’t have to work today and we were already out of the house so that I could complete my last end of the year test, Goodmommy figured that it would be the perfect day to stop by–and I completely agreed.

As soon as we stepped inside, I was absolutely in awe…it felt like I was in a book paradise. What I really like about Barnes and Nobles is their variety in the selections. They have all genres that vary from classic Fiction to Romance, Sci-Fi, Manga, Autobiographies, Graphic Novels and more! Seriously though, you name a genre, I’m 98.5% sure that they’ve got it!

I really loved how much they had to accommodate all types of readers, regardless of their preferred genre or age. At some point, it can be hard to choose the actual book that you want with so many choices. But hey, I’m not complaining.

What made me even more excited is that they had so much more inventory than just books. There were also a wide collection of board games and jigsaw puzzles. Since I absolutely adore solving puzzles, I was extremely tempted to get one for myself. But I held off from it…for today, at least.

Pretty close by was this section called “Book Annex” which seemed to be a lot of notebooks, journals, or “daily devotion” books about prayer, sermons, or self care. Me and Goodmommy both really liked this section, and I ended up purchasing one for each of us, since I was able to afford it with my gift card. I’ll show you which two those were at the end.

And get this, they even had a buttload of art supplies, from pencils, to pens–both for calligraphy and basic notetaking–to paints. As an artist, seeing all the beautiful supplies on the shelves got me really excited.

Eventually we went into the “Young Readers Section” just to see what they had in that decent-sized section of the bookstore. I was pleasantly surprised to be met with many of the books that had a substantial part in shaping my love for reading, including Junie B. Jones, Amelia Bedelia, Magic Treehouse, Nancy Clancy, etc. Overall, I got a lot of elementary school nostalgia.

Although I really enjoyed seeing some of my favorite childhood characters, I eventually went into the more age-appropriate section of chapter books and graphic novels. Overall, I found so many great reads–some of which I already have in my collection.

I honestly think that there were so many great books that I didn’t look at today, but this was an absolutely stellar–and very well anticipated–trip to Barnes and Nobles, and I am so thankful to God, and to Goodmommy, for allowing us to look around and have some fun together. Hopefully we’ll be able to come again once or twice throughout summer break.

Oh, and you know that I had to take a picture of my outfit, one we got home. Selfies are always mandatory.

Okay, so I obviously didn’t want to leave you guys hanging. It’s time to show you what I actually bought. Considering that it’s been a little while since I added some more literature to my large collection, I am extremely blessed to be able to purchase these for me and my Goodmommy to enjoy. Let’s get into the haul!

I don’t know if I ever gave you all an update, but I read Little Women in December, and I absolutely loved it! Therefore, as soon as I saw the names Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy on the cover of this graphic novel, I knew that I had to have it. I really appreciated the added diversity. It’s basically a modernized version of the original novel, and so far it looks really awesome!
You guys know that I’m a huge lover of MG (middle grade) fantasy novels. The beautiful art on this cover (and the description) both looked really promising. Right after I checked the online reviews–which were filled with positive feedback–I decided to give this chapter book a try. And I’m super glad I did. From the short excerpt I read, it seems like such a fun adventure that I can’t wait to dive into! Get ready for some upcoming book reviews.
I’m a very huge fan of writing, both digitally and on paper. So, I ended up choosing this simple purple journal with this minimalistic–but super cute–cover art. I did say that I wanted to begin journaling, this summer, so I’m quite sure this will help me check that off of my bucket list.
Finally, here is the journal that I got for Goodmommy. And I’m super glad that I was able to, since not only does she do so much for me, but this book has her name all over it! Each two pages have different sections for notetaking during church sermons. It has a section to list the speaker, the main points of the teaching, your takeaways, a prayer, and what you are grateful for, with several Bible verses sprinkled in between. If there was more than one of these at the bookstore, I may have gotten one for myself. But, I know that this one was meant for Goodmommy.

As you can tell by this post, me and Goodmommy had such an awesome time, today. I’m super excited to make many more everlasting memories with my family over the next couple months; I know that much fun is up ahead. I truly am very blessed.

Have a beautiful and blessed day everybody! See you next time! ♡

My favorite childhood book series was… ♡

The truth is, we were all little kids at some point. When I reflect on how I was in elementary school, I realize that in a lot of ways, I’ve matured and changed. But in other ways, I haven’t changed at all; take my love for reading, as an example.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always spent long amounts of time with my face in a good book. And like most kids, there was one particular book series that I favored the most…Junie B. Jones!

Now, just in case you aren’t familiar with this series, it is starring an almost-five-year-old girl named Junie, who is in kindergarten. While the series began in the early 90s, it didn’t end until the very last book in 2012. What I think really sparked my interest with this series is the humor and relatability, especially considering that I loved these books when I was the same age as Junie; around 1st or 2nd grade.

The Junie B. Jones series were some of my first chapter books–despite the fact that they contained pictures, and I truly believe that they were a big part of what sparked my love for reading in the first place. Although I remember buying my first few from Goodwill, me and my great-grandmother–a.k.a. Goodmommy’s mother–found about 12 of them at a thrift store one day, and she bought every single one for me. Super sweet, right? You have no idea how truly happy I was, LOL.

The books that we read as children, when we are beginning to learn how to read, are a critical part of our development and our interests as we get older. Not to mention that our favorite bedtime stories make great early childhood memories.

I’ve kept a lot of the books that I read when I was little, and I’m glad that I did. Although I prefer reading more advanced books–as my reading level has naturally increased through the years–looking back at what used to be my favorite books is a great experience, even today.

Without the books that I cherished as a little girl, I might have never really embraced the wonderful gift of reading.


Overall, it was really fun to take a look back into the past with my favorite book series in first grade. I think a person’s favorite childhood story can tell you a lot about them and what they find interesting. What we familiarize ourselves with at a young age can make the most precious childhood memories that we cherish and remember for a lifetime. And thank God for it.

LET’S CHAT~What was your favorite childhood story? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you so much for reading! Have a beautiful and blessed day, y’all! ✨

World Book Day ♡

If you checked out my post from yesterday, you know that it was Earth Day. Coincidentally, I found out that today (April 23rd) is World Book Day. As soon as I heard the news, I knew that I (my book-loving self) had to take this opportunity to talk about books since, I mean…the day kind of calls for it, LOL.

As much as I love reading books, I must say that I also enjoy simply looking around in a library or bookstore–for me, seeing so many books just waiting to be read is incredibly exciting. Whenever I read a good book, I am invested in a new story filled with quirky characters, an unexpected plot, and a life lesson to take with me through everyday life.

Seriously, reading is an adventure that you don’t need to take a step out of your home to have. You can read anywhere and at anytime. You can even write your own book and make your own adventure. The possibilities are endless!

For my birthday last year, I received a Barnes and Noble gift card from a family member, and I was elated, considering that its a really nice book store and I’m OBSESSED with reading. Believe it or not, I haven’t even used it yet, LOL. That being said, I plan on posting a follow-up to this post by sharing some pics inside Barnes and Noble and the books that I purchased. Stay tuned for that coming soon!

In order to celebrate this special day for all book lovers out there, I made a quick Google Form survey with fun questions that you guys may answer about your favorite books, and many other bookish things in between! Just in case you aren’t comfortable with answering on the form, you may also answer the survey questions (listed below) in the comments.

  1. What’s your favorite book genre?
  2. What’s your favorite book and/or book series?
  3. Who’s your favorite book character?
  4. Who’s your favorite author?
  5. What’s a book you want to read in the future?

Otherwise, here is the link to the World Book Day Questionnaire–I’m excited to see all of your responses!

Thanks so much for stopping by my corner of the Internet, today! God bless you all! ♡

50 Blog Post Ideas that Your Followers will LOVE!

Writing is a fun, simple, and creative way to express yourself and inspire others. But let’s be real here: writer’s block is not very helpful, despite the fact that we can all get it, sometimes. If you are stuck on what to write, or you just want some extra inspiration, here are 50 blog post ideas (lifestyle, fashion, literature, Christianity, etc.) to say goodbye to your writer’s block!

  • 10 things you wish you knew when you started blogging
  • How to maintain good mental health during the pandemic
  • How to spend more time with God
  • 5 ways to balance your school and social life
  • Write a book review
  • Your daily routine
  • Share some cute pictures of your pets (if you have any)
  • Best books for moms, teenagers, kids, young adults, etc.
  • Why is self care important?
  • What living for God has taught you
  • Your favorite books of all time
  • Your favorite YouTubers/YouTube channels
  • How to enhance your creativity
  • Blogging tips
  • List blog post ideas
  • Share some of your artwork and drawings
  • Give an update on your New Year’s Resolutions — how are they coming along?
  • 10 chic bedroom ideas for teenagers
  • My (insert item) collection
  • How to fashionably wear baggy clothing
  • Your favorite Netflix/Disney+/Hulu shows
  • 10 tips for focused photography
  • Winter or summer skin care tips
  • Give other bloggers some love by sharing your favorite blogs
  • Q&A post (ask your followers to ask you questions, and then write another post where you answer them!)
  • Your biggest pet peeves
  • Share your favorite reading spot
  • What inspires you?
  • How to make your relationships stronger
  • Write a tutorial
  • Do a video post–post it on YouTube and add it to a post
  • How to walk 10,000 steps a day
  • 10 ways to avoid negative peer pressure
  • Tips for being a better older sibling
  • What’s in your bag?
  • Your top 10 favorite apps on your phone (especially iPhone, Google, Samsung and Android)
  • Organization tips
  • Why did you start your blog? — explain who or what encouraged you to start your journey
  • Celebrate your blogging anniversary
  • How to find writing inspiration
  • How to learn to love yourself
  • Show pictures of your favorite outfits
  • Who is your idol?
  • What are you thankful to God for?
  • Best board games for family fun
  • Show your blog stats (views, likes, comments, etc.)
  • Monthly wrap up
  • 5 tips for how to read more
  • How to be/remain productive
  • Interview someone

I had a lot of fun brainstorming and creating this list, and I hope you now have a lot of inspiration for your blog. If you try any of these ideas, please feel free to comment down below so that I may check out your amazing writing! <33

See you later, beautiful people! God bless you all! ✨

Book Review #3 – The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

How are y’all doing, beautiful people? Fantabulous, I hope. Well, this might be old news to some of you, but a couple of weeks ago I listed a few books–both from my personal collection and borrowed from the library–that I’d started but just hadn’t finished yet. This story, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, happened to be one of them. But today, I was able to read the remaining 83 pages and finish it up. And WOW, I have a lot to talk about. So, let’s get started!

This book is all about 12-year-old Lucy Callahan, a girl who transferred to homeschooling when she was struck by lightning at the age of 8. The strike ended up destroying a small portion of her brain, then turning her into a total math genius. Despite her young age, she is a master of all things mathematics–so much so that she could already go to college. But, there’s one problem; her Nana, also her guardian, forces her to spend one year in middle school.

And all Nana asks is that Lucy does 1 year of public school, makes 1 friend, joins 1 activity, and reads 1 book. Ever since she was diagnosed with savant syndrome, she’s solved just about every problem that she’s faced with numbers. She was struck by lightning for goodness sakes! This should be nothing but a piece of cake, right? Wrong.

First of all, let me just say that this book is the epitome of a roller coaster. One minute, it has you laughing ’till your sides hurt and the next it has you on the verge of tears.

What really made this book almost impossible to put down was the realistic protagonist. Although Lucy is germaphobe with OCD who has to sit-stand 3 times every time she takes a seat–you’ll get it if you check out the book ;)–she is also a fantastic representation of how a lot of kids feel in school, whether elementary, middle or high. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. Like she’s out of step. When she first arrives to Hamlin Middle, she even purposefully gets test answers wrong so she can seem more “normal smart” rather than “genius smart.”

As Lucy faces her battles, or as the title implies, miscalculations, she goes on a journey of self-discovery and begins to find that life is more than numbers.

Self-confidence, peer pressure, bullying, animals in shelters who never get adopted, the power of friendship and family, as well as girl power are all topics hinted in the book, which I appreciate since a couple of those can seem a little bit overlooked in middle grade and YA literature.

In many ways, I saw myself in Lucy. We’re both super smart straight A students in middle school who have been homeschooled since 3rd grade and live with our grandmothers. To me, when a character is realistic and raw, not living in a fantasy world where trials and tribulations are nonexistent, I am automatically sucked into the story and I can connect with the protagonist much more.

Overall, if you are someone who loves animals and enjoys reading clean books with just enough humor to make you laugh but just enough emotion to pull your heartstrings, with a strong female lead, then this is definitely the book for you.

Age Recommendation: 9 or 10+

Overall Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

This is a great read that I recommend for readers of most ages. If you’ve read or would like to read The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl or you have some (family-friendly) book recommendations, please feel free to comment them down below.

Thank you so much for reading, book lovers! Peace in! <33