Review: Extra(Ordinary)Women: Ten Inspirational Stories by Kristin Bartzokis

About the Book: 

Extra)Ordinary Women Ten Inspirational Stories Camille. Lynn. Monique. Becky and Margaret. Jamie. Olga. Christina. Rasheera. Odalys. Danielle. These are the seemingly “everyday” women whose stories inspired (Extra)Ordinary Women—and whose resilience and strength will inspire women around the world. These women have defeated breast cancer, addiction, and homelessness. They have lived through the Boston Marathon bombing and hundreds of surgeries. They have traveled from foreign lands to create a better life. They have endured brain cancer, abuse, and poverty. They have given a home to dozens of special-needs children. They have known loss, pain, and fear. They are survivors. And they share their stories to empower other women who need something—and someone—to believe in. (Extra)Ordinary Women reminds us of the amazing stories that we find all around us when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds. And these extraordinary women remind us to never give up, never quit, and never underestimate the power of a woman. Highlights Gripping, captivating stories from all walks of life appeal to a broad range of readers. True tales of resilience are positive and uplifting. “Good news” focus is the antidote to today’s headlines. Follows up the successful first two installments of the (Extra)Ordinary series.

About the Author:

Kristin Bartzokis is herself an extraordinary woman. Born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a craniofacial abnormality, Kristin experienced a childhood marked by surgeries and medical procedures, all while she became a champion gymnast. As an adult, Kristin has proudly accepted the challenge to stand out. A marathoner, designer, author, and advocate, Kristin has been featured by Cosmopolitan and is a contributor for The Mighty. She released her memoir, Diary of a Beautiful Disaster, in 2017 and blogs at Published by KiCam Projects

If a poor, uneducated shepherd girl like me can make it, anyone can. All it takes is hard work and sacrifice, and the willingness to take a chance.”

Olga Gatzoyiannis, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Having permanent chronic injuries forces you to make choices about what is most important to you, all day, every day. On the bright side, you learn to live very much in the moment and appreciate the little pleasures of life so much more.”

Lynn Julian Crisci, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“I’m totally in awe seeing how far I’ve come and knowing how far I will go. … Through confidence and empowerment, I can see that I am somebody and my story is worth sharing with the world.”

Rasheera Dopson, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“I speak out because addiction is happening everywhere. … I want to show people that addiction does not discriminate and that it can happen to anyone at any time. I also wanted to show those struggling that there is a way out and that they can get better.”

Jaime Smith, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“It was never a choice for me to care for the children no one else wanted; it was just something I always felt called to do.”

Camille Geraldi, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Strength is a choice. You can choose to be strong or you can choose to buckle. Being anything other than strong was never an option for me.”

Odalys Reyna, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Life is so precious. Don’t take things for granted. As long as you are the best person you can be and follow your heart, your life can be anything you want it to be, even after a traumatic event.”

Danielle McCarthy, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Fostering (children) changes you. It makes you more thoughtful and grateful, more willing to

help others and see your own blessings. You may be changing the lives of these kids, but they’re also changing yours.”

Margaret Smith, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“No matter what, I claimed each day to be a good day, and typically it was, no matter what I was going through. I noticed the power I had by controlling my thoughts, and while I may not have been in control of the world around me, I could control how I reacted in it.”

Monique Gilliam, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Yes, I struggled, and yes, I had been terrified, insecure, anxious, and afraid. … No fear is worth losing your dreams over. Nothing is impossible when you believe, and that I do. I believe.”

Christina Anston, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

My Review:

As soon as I heard the title of this, I thought it would be a must for me. I’ve overcome my own challenges of being borm at 29 weeks one of twins. I live with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus as well as. severe eyesight conditions which mean I am classified as severely sight impaired (blind). I’m also an electric wheelchair user. I’m in the process of writing my own memoir using voice dictation computer software. 
Camille. Lynn. Monique. Becky and Margaret. Jaime. Olga. Christina. Rasheera. Odalys. Danielle. Women who have a story to tell and tell it they do, in an engaging, honest and thought-provoking way. 
Extra(Ordinary) Women: Ten Inspirational Stories is written by Kristin Bartzokis who herself has a story to tell. This, I think, is what makes this book even more poignant. The fact that everyone in this book has some kind of disability or health condition or helps those in need in some way and also does their best to educate society about their realities and who they are despite them shows that there are so many interesting strong people out there whose stories need to be heard. I was so caught up in this that I listened to it in a few hours and it’s well worth staying up late for. Each story is different yet expertly told and completely absorbing.
 I came away with an enhanced knowledge of some disabilities/conditions and situations and new knowledge of others. I really enjoy stories I can learn something from and this is truly a brilliant work of nonfiction. I highly recommend it. 
Thanks to Kristin Bartzokis and KiCam Projects for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 5 stars. 


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