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Hi friends.

It’s been quiet around here for a while these last several month, and especially this past week.  I’d like to tell you why.

I don’t share many personal things on the blog, as this is an outlet for stories—but there are many times in life when I am reminded why stories are powerful. One of those times, for me a least, is in moments of grief.

I feel as if this year has been nothing but moment upon moment of sadness. This Spring my family lost a wonderful woman, as my Grandmother lost her battle to cancer. I turned to stories to help: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson lifted my spirits.

Then just a few months ago I lost my trusty sidekick. Turns out Captain Nosy had bone cancer, and very unexpectedly, we had to put him down. Honestly, I’m still wrestling with my sadness as I struggle with days alone in my office working and no cold nose to greet me. But stories, such as Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities, and right now, Exile, have been comforting.

Just when the power of story was pulling me out of these dark moments, my Grandfather passed away last week. It was very sudden, and unexpected–but I think his broken heart at the loss of my Grandmother had much to do with it. I’ve been away with family, grieving and remembering—and now that I’m home again, I find myself constantly cleaning the house to stay busy and in a fog around classes. But books—they have been comforting. I’ve lost myself in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (partly because I’m writing a paper on them for school) but mostly because fantasy allows me to escape my sadness and grief. I’m in the midst of Exile as well–and Messenger’s words seem to speak to my moments.

I have a request for you, friends. I know I’m the one usually compiling the list of recommendations–but I was wondering if you would share some books with me that would perhaps lift my spirits? I don’t mind if they are books about grief or dealing with grief, sometimes a good cry is needed. They can be fantasy, or dystopian, or romance. Anything middle grade, young adult, or even picture books.

I just feel the need to surround myself with the power of story right now, especially since all I really want to do is escape and read.

Bear with me as I find the motivation to get blogging again. Next week is Teen Read Week, and I have a whole week of reviews lined up for you. It’ll be fabulous.

But until then, share with me the stories that comfort you.

Hopeful reading,