#COLLABOREADS: Back to School

We're baaaaaaack! Did you miss us?! Every month, I just get so excited that Amber and I get to host this little link-up and share our books with you and hear all about what you're reading (and hopefully loving!) -- it's just the best.

If you've never heard about #COLLABOREADS, welcome to the fourth month of our fun little online book club! We pick a theme every month (so everyone's reading different books) and then all link up and share our thoughts (with a handy-dandy R.E.A.D.S. acronym usually) and link up and become BFFs. You can read more about this whole thing here.

This month's theme was a book about "back to school", and I chose I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Wow. What a book.


What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? Malala's story, from the very first page to the very last page, is powerful. I kept having to remind myself that she was YOUNG. She was a middle-schooler when most of the story took place. It's amazing to me how brave, mature, worldly, passionate, and dedicated she was to a cause and a life so much bigger than herself, even when her own life was in total chaos and confusion. I was blown away by her courage.


How did you relate to/care for the characters? I fell in love with sweet Malala from the beginning of this book and felt so much compassion for her and so much empathy for how challenging so many things in her life were because of where she lived and who was in power. I wanted to give her a huge hug and a high five and all the books and all the humble gratitude for the ways she opened my eyes to everything I take for granted as an American woman.

What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? This book, since it's the story of Malala's life, was less twisty and turny than some fiction books, but it was still gripping and engaging throughout. At times, there were passages that seemed dry or didn't hold my interest very well, but they still were necessary to set the stage of her circumstances growing up. The way she opened the book with the most dramatic (and well-known) tragedy of her life and then flashed back to give context was very smart in terms of plot line, I thought.


What other books are like this one? I remember reading a book called Princess by Jean Sasson in high school, and it struck me as similar as it was a story about a Saudi Arabian woman who chose to risk her life to speak out about the lives of women in her country. There were many parallels between Princess and I Am Malala in terms of both of the women choosing to secretly share their stories with authors/reporters/journalists despite the dangers of doing so, because they so desperately wanted to see women have more freedoms and lead better lives. I'm inspired and challenged by women like that.


What did you think of it? I think it was a powerful and simple but beautiful cover-- seeing Malala's face (with that Mona Lisa smirk and stare!) connected me with her even more. The colors are striking and bright, which I think stands in stark but good contrast with some of the darkness of her story and shows that she is truly radiant and a bright light in the world.


How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend? All five! Yep, I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet heard of Malala or read her book (because I know I was SO behind the times with this one!).


Share your post here, and go leave love in the comments for everyone else! You'll probably add a bunch of books to your to-read lists too, so get those ready.

Also, make sure you read Amber's review HERE! Because she's the other half of this whole operation and always talks about books so beautifully.

And finally, for NEXT MONTH:

The topic for October is "Thriller/Horror pre-2010" and we hope you'll find a book published before 2010 (just as a fun added challenge, and because we all know the popular thrillers of recent years... cough cough Gone Girl...), read it throughout October, and link up with us again on October 26!