Tour the World in 30 Books: Brace Yourself by S E Smart

This is a different kind of blog tour, focused on different books with one common goal. Thank you to Sammie from The Bookwyrm’s Den for creating this book tour in support of her local library! Check out her post introducing the blog tour.

About Tour the World in 30 Books

This is a blog tour hosted by Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den in support of her local public library’s Diverse Book Drive. The CCPL—a small, rural library in an area with a high poverty rate and a very homogeneous population, where people rarely have the means to travel or experience new perspectives. However, the library doesn’t believe that should stop people from learning more about the world around them, so they’re running a Diverse Book Drive through the month of September in an attempt to bring the rest of the world to the county instead. With a focus on MG and YA books, the CCPL aims to expose especially its young patrons to new and diverse perspectives and cultures.

Brace Yourself by S E Smart

Tour the World in 30 Books: Brace Yourself by S E SmartBrace Yourself by S.E. Smart

Brace Yourself is a light-hearted look at the atypical life of ‘nice’ Lizzy, who doesn’t understand why her body and her men always let her down. Looking to regain control of her life in this rom-com with a twist, will Lizzy’s bright-side attitude finally attract the perfect partner?

This isn’t a self-help book, but if you’ve lived with chronic illness you’ll identify with Lizzy’s struggles to stay upright in a world that knocks her down.

We join Lizzy on her humorous journey through a series of painful disasters. But with bad choices, bad men and bad Doctors behind her, Lizzy finally braces herself for a comfortable life.

My pick for this tour is Brace Yourself by S E Smart. While it’s mostly for an adult audience it’s still a book that will make you think. Lizzy is the leading lady and we follow her through a few phases in her life. She’s a single mom in the UK and dealing with various chronic illnesses. The zebra pattern on the cover refers to the ‘zebras of medicine’, the cases doctors don’t see often. They’re told to look for horses because zebras are rare. Lizzy is a zebra. I’m a zebra.

Brace Yourself made me feel understood. While we might share some syndromes and illnesses, there are some aspects of Lizzy’s life that I don’t experience as often. But I saw so much of myself in her. Just the morning routine of getting up, showering, getting dressed, it’s so draining. There is also the misunderstanding of others about our disabilities, especially since we can do some things one day but not the other. It can even change throughout the day depending on what happens.

It’s an #ownvoices book, written out of the desire to read about a character like herself. Sarah also has chronic illnesses and she knows Lizzy’s difficulties intimately. I always recommend it to people who have chronic illnesses of any kind or who want to read more books about disability. It’s not to show how horrible life is as a person with chronic illness but that it can be beautiful too. We life for the beautiful moments.

I hope books on disability can teach people more understanding for those with physical and mental illnesses. When we talk about our boundaries, respect them. When we talk about our pain, we’re not looking for pity or unsolicited medical advice. We want to be heard, to be able to life our lives without bureaucracy trying to keep us down. We’re not less, we’re more. We’re resilient, sympathetic, creative, flexible. We’re used to looking for solutions. We’ve got way more to offer if only the world would let us.

This is why diversity in books and the #ownvoices hashtag is so important. It’s a good way to connect readers with books and it allows others to read about authentic experiences from other people. In my experience the books are more sensitive too. They don’t uphold bad stereotypes and are more sensitive about other rep that might not be their own.

How to donate books

If you have some spare funds and would love to support Sammie and her library, it’s greatly appreciated. She has created wishlists with various retailers to make things easier if you’re looking to donate. Don’t feel obligated to donate a book if you can’t. Sharing the blog posts and create awareness for the cause also helps. All donations will be used at the library’s discretion.

Blog tour book wishlists:
Book Depository
(if you orders a wish list book from Bookshop, please send a message to so the book can be removed to avoid duplicate purchases)

Other ways to donate:

Amazon book idea wish list
Monetary donations: PayPal to
Gently used or other new book donations mailed to:
Sammie Betler
Casey County Public Library
238 Middleburg St.
Liberty, KY 42539

Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to check out all the other posts!

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