Spice Vox Box

I don’t remember where or when I heard of Influenster, but I saw that I could potentially get free stuff to test in exchange for honest reviews. Who doesn’t like free stuff? And, well, I like reviewing things. I was notified a few weeks ago that I had been picked to get one of 10,000 Spice Vox Boxes through Influenster. I got the free stuff, now it is my turn to do the reviews!

This is what I saw when I opened my very first Vox Box

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It contained:

2 Yogi tea samples- Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy and Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy

Sinful Colors Sinful Shine 2 Step Manicure

Foot Petals Killer Kushionz

Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Cream

Soapbox Shampoo and Conditioner

Veggie Sticks in Sea Salt

Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Styling Mousse

According to the list of products and the video that shares what is in the box, I was supposed to receive Foot Petal’s Give Em the Boot wool insoles, but those were NOT in my box, much to my disappointment.

The first products I tried were the shampoo and conditioner. I am one of those people that reads the label on the bottle. I am also a bit of a brand snob and have faithfully stuck to Organix hair products for over 2 years. Any time I forget my shampoo/conditioner or grab some “cheap stuff” in a pinch, I hate myself for it. I just love the way my hair feels using those products, so deviating is a big step for me. Thankfully I LOVED these products. They smell like coconut which is one of my most favorite smells. It’s clean, fresh and left my hair smelling the same! They are full sized bottles which is also super awesome. Having long hair right now, sample or travel sized bottles would not have allowed me to really use the product more than twice. I used it for 3 solid days before forming my opinion, and I definitely LOVE it. My hair was soft, shiny, and wonderful. On top of that,

“With [each] purchase [of SoapBox products] you are giving a month of clean water to someone in need. We work with Splash, an organization that comes alongside local governments and aid organizations to take the clean water infrastructure multinational food corporations use and apply it to orphanages and children’s hospitals. Splash’s goal is always to be out of the picture by a set date with a self-sustaining clean water infrastructure in place, sustained by their local partners. Of all water-filtration related disease cases, 90% are affecting minors. Check the special Hope Code on the back of your bottle to see where your donation will be made.”

Good hair AND helping the world! I like it even MORE! I give this product 5 stars and 2 thumbs up! Check out their bundles! You can get shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash, and hand soap for $19.19!

The next product I tried was the Not Your Mothers Whip It Up Mousse. It smells like sugar cookies. Really. It smells sooooo good. As the bottle promised, it did not leave my hair or my hands sticky or crunchy. DOUBLE WIN! Nobody likes crunchy hair or sticky hands. Though I’ve had no where fancy to have to have my hair “done,” I did use some before blow drying a few days. I liked the smell and little extra manipulation. I have fine hair but a lot of it. Even a basic pony tail can be annoying to whip up. It was just enough extra body and fullness to make working with my hair a bit easier. It’s not something I’ll use EVERY day, but definitely a product I’ll be keeping in my cabinet to use. My boyfriend liked the smell as well….but what boy doesn’t like to snuggle with a girl that smells like sugar cookies!?

Having just finished student teaching, I was a crazy person and wore heals on the regular. I have a pair of basic, black, pointed pumps from Target. I wore them at least twice a week. I managed quite well and never put in in-soles. Once I got this VoxBox I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try. I stuck my new Killer Kushionz in my pumps….and they didn’t even make it the 20 minute drive to school. They were SO thick that my feet were squished in my shoes and it was so uncomfortable I had to rip them out. They did not make it an hour. Maybe I didn’t give them enough of a chance. Maybe I didn’t have them in the “right kind of heels.” All I know is that I couldn’t wait to rip them out of my heels.

One of my more recent blog posts is a review on MaryKay’s botanic effects moisturizer. I 100% stand by my review. My box came with Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Cream. I used it twice before I gave it to my mom. It has a very strong rose smell, being that it’s made with rose hips. I’m not adverse to the smell, but it was VERY potent when you first apply it. I used it right after showering and exfoliating on nice clean and clear skin. I felt like it didn’t really absorb into my skin, but more sat on top. I feel like it left my skin a bit greasy. This may be because my skin is used to the MK moisturizer. Either way, I didn’t love or hate this, I just have a product that I like better. My mother, however, has enjoyed using it and has had no issue.

For my last day of student teaching, I wanted to look put together. A few weeks ago I had had to clip and file all of my nails down. Working at JoAnn fabrics and handling cottons and fabric so much had zapped the moisture and life out of my hands and nails. They had finally grown back enough for me to shape and paint them. The Sinful Shine 2 step manicure seemed promising. The color went on wonderfully. It wasn’t thick, gloppy or streaky. It went on very smooth and dried quickly. After 2 coats of color, I did 2 coats of the top coat, as instructed. Again, the top coat dried quickly. The next morning I woke up and was definitely in LOVE. The hot pink color was right up my ally, my nails were shiny and pretty. I went to school that day bragging to my co-op about how I had gotten this manicure set and loved it. By third period (about 9:20am) My 2 thumbs had chipped. By the time I went to bed that night, all 10 nails had peeled and chipped. I was SO BUMMED! This is not the first time I’ve had this issue. I used the Revelon 2 step gel manicure system and the same thing happened, they peeled right off. I don’t understand. I guess if you’re a princess and never have to use your hands for anything, this might be great for you. So, if you’re a princess, this set is definitely for you. For us humans, well, good luck.

I hate vegetables. I eat corn and potatoes and green beans. I think that’s the extent of my vegetable eating. you’ll also notice that 2 of those 3 listed are actually starches, not veggies. I was hesitant to try the veggie sticks. Some of the teachers at my school eat these things. My mom told me she has kid at school that eat them. They’re OK. I’m not in love. If I had a choice, I’d pick regular chips, but, I mean, for what they are, they’re pretty good. The different colors do have different flavors. I fed the greens ones to my dogs, the yellow were my favorite and the orange is ok. They’re sitting in our chip basket for when my health conscious boyfriend is in town, he’ll eat them. For those of you that care, they are organic as well.

Last but certainly not least are the teas! I love tea. So does my ma. We have a whole cabinet of it. I was SUPER excited to see these two samples in the box. I love them both. Tea is good for the soul. Tea is good at any time of day. Tea is good for any moment in life…except finals week. Coffee takes over at that point in time, but any other time in life is good for tea. Yogi tea is relatively popular and accepted in the tea community as pretty good as well. I would certainly recommend either the vanilla spice or sweet tangerine to any tea drinker. Vanilla spice would go well with a good comfy book while sweet tangerine would be great for a morning wake-up tea!

For my first VoxBox through Influenster, I must say that I am happy over-all. It’s fun getting stuff to test and review.

Mary Kay Botanical Effects

I have finished student teaching. Please, accept my apology for being the worst blogger in the world. I am decompressing from full teacher mode, holding my bladder for hours at a time and all! ANYWAY….

One of my bestest friends in the entire world has become a Mary Kay consultant. We are obsessed with Vikings, eat more cookie dough than we should, and do weird things like dress up as the witches from Macbeth…1560597_10202962879618080_378525325_n

And in a few months I’ll get to walk down the aisle and stand next to her as she gets hitched!

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WOO HOO!

On top of all of this, Liv and her fiancé have been called to be missionaries in Russia. Yeah, my friends are pretty darn cool. In order to help finance this calling, Liv has joined the Mary Kay world. As a child, my mom was a MK addict. I was too young to enjoy the spoils and have never really used MK products. I love to review things, but I don’t really review “makeup stuff.” Honestly, I don’t wear or use enough of it any more to be any sort of voice of reason. I’ve been a coconut oil addict for years, and that’s about the extent of my beauty regime.

Bi-yearly, my skin goes through this weird phase. With the changing of the seasons comes a changing of my skin. My cheeks get dry and flakey, while my forehead looks shiny and greasy enough to fry an egg. Exfoliating, coconut oil, vinegar…honestly, I haven’t been able to find a “natural” remedy to fix this issue. I have (thankfully, praise Jesus) grown out of acne for the most part. I just have this ghastly dry/oily skin issue. Science tells us that our faces get super oily because our face is so dry and in order to keep up with our dry skin it makes tons of oil to try to combat it, hence, my shiny forehead and flakey cheeks.

Liv told me to check out the website, and let her know if there was anything I was interested in, she was making an order. I’m not one of those crazy “health nuts,” per say, but I do try to use relatively natural stuff. The Botanicals Effects line caught my eye. They have a line of products, but I was really only interested in he moisturizer…for now. A few weeks ago I visited Liv and she gave me my order. I’ve been using Botanical Effects hydrate, dry/sensitive skin for about two months and I AM IN LOVE! Really, I know I already told you I have little credibility and authority on this subject, but as someone who suffered from skin problems ALL throughout high school and has struggled with this dry/oily thing for years, I got this one.

It does not leave my face feeling greasy or dry. I can put it on right after my shower in the morning, get dress, blow dry my hair, and put makeup right on. I don’t have to wipe off grease or apply my makeup any differently. I wash my face and put it on at night before I go to bed as well. In just the first week I noticed a serious change in how my skin looked and felt. My forehead oil production was already SO much better and improving every day. My cheeks do not feel dry, flakey or itchy! I have cut down to exfoliating every other day or so, which I’m sure my skin appreciates as well.

I have never been able to so gracefully go through the skin adjustment period. I think it is safe to say that she now has a loyal customer…at least for the moisturizer! I am looking forward to trying the Cleanse Formula, Mask Formula and Freshen Formula in the future!

To visit her Mary Kay consultant website and shop MK products, click HERE! Follow her on Facebook to find out about new releases, discounts and specials!

*I was not paid to post this. Really, I just love this product and enjoy helping out a friend!*

Paddy Eger Author Interview

Summer has become synonymous with reading and author interviews it seems. I am so excited to finally be interviewing and including West Coast author Paddy Eger to the group!

PE– Paddy Eger AS– ME

AS- I am so excited to finally be interviewing you! Your book 84 Ribbons was one of my first books to read and review last summer. You set the bar quite high for the rest of my summer reading. I am thrilled to say, you have once again set that bar! You are also now my farthest author interview/guest blogger all of the way out on the West Coast! Thank you for taking the time to chat.

AS Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any thing in particular you like to have with you? Tea, specific music, candles, outside etc…

PE I’m one of those people who sits at a desktop to work. I have my cup of tea nearby and sip it when I’m   thinking about little problems or celebrating a well-written paragraph. Usually I prefer a quiet space,            except when I’m writing about ballets my dancers are preparing to perform. Then I play the music and often find professional ballet companies YouTube videos to watch. That really inspires me!

AS You are a Washington native. How do you think the environment influenced your writing?

PE Since I live in rain country, it’s easy to spend my time writing. I like including weather and our                landscape as part of my setting since I love the salt water, the mountains and our forests. For my ballet trilogy, I’ve based in here where I grew up.

AS In 84 Ribbons, book one of the ballet trilogy, I wanted Marta to step away from her comfort zone so I        sent her to Billings, Montana. Of course, I had to explore that area so my geography was accurate. I             even stayed on an older B&B to get the feel of living in a boarding house setting. I also drove around town and spotted a large house that could become Marta’s residence. I had fun drawing the floor plans of the various locations Marta visited.

PE In When the Music Stops, book two in my trilogy, I take Marta and her mom to my favorite ocean                 beach, Kalaloch. They share an important conversation there and I’m able to introduce readers to               that stretch of Washington beach as well.

AS Writing was not your first career, teaching was! How do you think that has impacted your writing? Was it a difficult transition?

PE I’ve always loved words: their sounds, the way they feel on my tongue and how writers use those same 26 letters in such creative ways. Among my ‘wordy’ past times are reading, word searches and writing my impressions of the world around me. I was one of those test-takers who loves essays and groaned at being put into selecting True-False boxes.

I taught primary grades most of my career. Reading with kids, playing word games and also reading aloud to the class made me happy. I still work in classrooms helping students with writing so you see, I didn’t completely leave teaching.

AS You do have educational work published. When did you realize that you might actually have a knack for writing fiction and go for it?

PE For several years I lead training for classroom volunteers so I needed to create my curriculum. That       was my first attempt to write a book. I enjoyed crafting the book so I went on to create accompanying          materials. About that same time, I friend of mine, who is a well-known author, invited me to take her    writing class. I needed a piece of fiction. Since I’d danced and still had interest in ballet, I decided to       write about a young dancer who wanted to become a professional.

My writing was adequate, but I knew little about writing fiction so I slaved through the class. When a   book agent met with me, she said she saw potential in my writing. That’s when I felt I might be able to create a short book. I was wrong. Turns out with over three hundred pages in my first book, I wasn’t done with my story. Once I realized I had more to say, I knew the writing bug had bitten me.

AS What steps did you take to make it happen? Education, workshops, networking etc.

PE My friend’s workshop got me started writing, but I knew I needed to learn more so I attended a local conference, Write On The Sound, joined a critique group and read articles and books on the craft of writing. I continue working to better my writing by attending classes and have added a second critique group. I write and read blogs and articles, network with writers and follow several writing information sources looking for ways to improve myself. It’s a full-time job!

AS How much of Marta, Lynne, Bartley and the others, come from your own experiences in the dance world?

PE– I tried to give my female leads my love of classical music and ballet. Since I danced for seventeen years, I know many of the basics of ballet; class warm up sequencing, performance issues and understanding the late 1950s when I also danced. I never had the opportunity to dance professionally, but I knew the types of issues dancers’ faced then (and now) from people I spoke with and biographies I read. Professional dancers assure me I’m correct in addressing the issues I’ve taken on in my ballet stories.

AS I just finished reading When the Music Stops but also read 84 Ribbons, which I LOVED. I know how hard it is to write a review on a sequel, but how difficult was it writing a sequel?

PE Writing a sequel was easy since I wasn’t done telling Marta’s story when book one ended. I always knew my story’s arc; I just didn’t know all the details when I started book one. Marta’s story came to me as a title with a rough outline in one day. Characters started popping up (some uninvited) and wanted to be part of my story, so I let them in. I feel they added depth to Marta’s life.

AS *SPOILER* Marta has a few love interests between the two books. How did you decide whom she ended up with? I really, really, liked Sam. I couldn’t tell you why, but I was disappointed that she doesn’t pick him! haha

PE I liked Steve. He fell in love with Marta almost from the moment he met her. I know he was a pain at      times, but I wanted him to end up with Marta. I liked their opposites: she barely finished high school                   while he was completing college when they met, he was spontaneous while she was guarded and        cautious.

When I started book two, I didn’t know what other guys would step into her life. I had great fun              writing Dennis (the jerk!) but knew that was not going to work! Then Sam appeared and I liked him a          lot. The more time he appeared, the harder it was to dump him, but I promised Steve he’d prevail.

AS The next installment follows Lynne across Europe. Have you ever had the chance to travel to some of her stops?

PE Lynne story is totally based on places I visited on trips to Europe. Actually it was on one trip while I was writing 84 Ribbons that I decided Lynne needed a book and I started writing notes to myself about what I enjoyed in the small villages especially. As Marta’s brash sidekick, I wanted to share here story. She seems so upbeat and together when she’s in books one and two. In Letters to Follow-A Dancer’s Adventure, book three, we’ll open the curtain on her life and also tie up loose ends for Marta.

AS What is the best advice you have been given as a writer thus far?

PE Write, write, write. Sit down every day and write. Like all skills, you need to practice, practice, practice. Most of what you write will be questionable; some will be worth keeping. For now, save it all. Tidbits of ideas often lead to inspiration later on.

ALSO: Anna, I want to thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my books and main characters. After spending so much time together they feel real to me. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Thank you for writing reviews for both 84 Ribbons and When the Music Stops. Hearing what readers think of our stories help us develop our craft.

To learn more about Paddy and her writings, visit her website http://www.paddyeger.com. You can also find her on Pinterest, Good Reads, and Twitter.

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When the Music Stops- Paddy Eger

84 Ribbons was my first read and book review for NetGalley. You can find that review HERE.

I have waited ALMOST an entire year for the sequel When the Music Stops by Paddy Eger. It was well worth the wait. I read the entire book in one sitting today…my Kindle app says that it took me about 3 hours. I am obviously off my game reading that slow. haha.

Since it had been a while between books, it took me a little bit to re-acquaint myself with the characters, but it was not really much of an issue. Being a sequel, it is REALLY hard to talk about the book and what choices are made and how Marta continues on her journey without giving anything away. I mean, I can’t tell you about her relationship with Steve, I can’t tell you about her professional dance career choices, I can’t tell you about teaching- I CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT ANYTHING! It is insanely hard to write a review on a sequel. They don’t teach you how to do this in college.

In typical Anna Reading Fashion, I had at least 3 mini-meltdowns where I shook my iPad in my hand going “GAHHHH DON’T DO THAT! PICK THIS NOT THAT!!!!” Eger easily kept me on my toes throughout the book. I actually thought I had guessed the ending, told my mom, got to the ending and was pleasantly surprised that I was WRONG! This is a very important fact because reading has been dry for me of late. You can read about THAT soap box HERE. So kudos and thank you Paddy for throwing me off of my book predicting game!

There are a few tweaks I would have done, had I written the book. There is a build up with her addiction to diet pills. I was expecting a different outcome with the issue. It was such a huge part of the first book and even in the second, it was a steady line in the plot. I was just disappointed for some reason.

I got kind of annoyed with Steve. I mean, he was a nice guy and everything, but I felt like her relationship with him had way too many issues for it to all end the way that it did. I’ll say it, I am 100% team Sam all of the way. 

I felt that the ending was a bit rushed. She could have easily continued on a bit longer and I would have been completely satisfied. After having invested so much into these characters, I didn’t want the book to end. One minute Marta is dancing; the next she is sending a wedding announcement. I needed an in-between, an epilogue….SOMETHING to feed my curiosity!

Reading these two books has made me wish I’d never left dancing. I also rarely have the itch to find an adult class and sign back up the way I have with these books. It was like I was able to live vicariously through Marta with the barre exercises and pirouettes. I loved this book for the same reasons that I did the first, the ballet, the time period component and the ability to so easily relate to the characters. I played field hockey for 10 years. After walking off of the field my senior year of high school, I really had not had the opportunity to play since. Last summer I had the chance to play on my mission trip in Northern Ireland and the feeling was remarkable. I understood Marta in a way that so many others can easily identify with as well. For a time, it was like the music had stopped in my own life. I was unsure of how to fill my time and space. But, as Marta, I learned how to adapt.

I have already recommended both books to a few of my dancer friends since finishing the second installment just a few short hours ago. Though I am sad that the third installment will not focus on Marta and her adventures, I am super excited to follow Lynne through her next steps in life in Letters to Follow (Coming Soon). Both 84 Ribbons and When the Music Stops would be perfect additions to any summer reading list, for girls of (almost) any age!

To learn more about Paddy, her other works, upcoming pieces etc, visit her website at http://www.paddyeger.com.

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Appaloosa Summer- Tudor Robins

Appaloosa Summer is book one of the Island Trilogy by Tudor Robins. It was a cute little summer read. I read it on the plane over to Northern Ireland a few weeks ago.

Meg, the main female character goes through the tragic loss of her horse. In an attempt to have a change of scenery, pace, and peace from what has happened she find solace at her parents vacation house along the St. Lawrence river working at the local bed and breakfast.

Jared, the main male character is the classic, attractive hurting cowboy. Twist of fate and tragedy in his own life have left him distance and withdrawn.

The two of them find each other that summer and bond over their grief, their fears and a scruffy appaloosa mare.

It was obviously a young adult book. I do look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy as they are available. I found the characters absolutely endearing and charming. I hope that as the series continues that the characters themselves continue to grow and really come into their own. Though Meg and Jared are in their mid-late teens, they have a lot to learn and growing up to do. Hopefully, they will continue to do both of these things together. Because they are so freaking adorable in that totally mushy gushy perfect way. I would definitely recommend this book to my younger high schoolers, or even middle schoolers.

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Elly In Love-Colleen Oakes

I’ve got a bone to pick before I actually get into the review. There are two “trends” I guess I could say, that I have noticed with any kind of chick lit I’ve read recently. Or ever.

1. The man is always loaded. Legitimately, you think for once, she’s falling for an average Joe in an average house, average job, average life. Something to give us average people hope. NOPE. SURPRISE! He is A. The CEO of his own company and loaded. B. An heir to a very LARGE fortune. C. A combination of the two. Oh yeah, and they’re never just kind of well off. They’re like, “I have millions in the bank” kind of loaded.

2. Florists. I read 4 books this month where the main female character owned a flower shop. And they all were kind of bah-humbug about the whole love thing because they’re in a “romantic business” and love has screwed them over somehow. Seriously, I know 1 florist. Out of all of our friends, family, kids I went to school with, I know 1.

This has nothing to do with the above two, but I LOVE TLC “Friday Bride Day.” I am a total sucker for all things wedding related. It must have something to do with the rock I get to rock on my left hand. I like how Oaks threw in a fictional TV show that would fit in PERFECTLY with that line up.

These two things being said, Elly In Love had both, but in a good way.

Elly was charming and endearing. She’s the underdog you cheered for throughout the entire book. Regardless of what happened, who came into her life or left, she was awesome. I loved how real she was. When she was sad, she ate ice cream and watched TV. When she was uncomfortable in social situations, she just wanted to read a book in her jammies. Story of my life. I enjoyed the breath of fresh air having a more “normal” female lead.

Keith was good. An absolute sweet heart. The right kind of cheese ball+tough guy= adorable. The kind of quirky prince charming we all hope for at some point in our lives. I was empathetic to his own little hidden plight in life. He was protective, he was understanding, and he was human.

I wish Snarky Teenager had a name. Honestly, she was such a huge part of the story. It got kind of annoying. Give the poor girl a real name. By the end of the book, she’s not so much Snarky Teenager anymore.

The other supporting characters were great. All of the big characters had dynamic, layers and growth. The book kept pace, and it was a good summer read. It was a great “clean,” romantic comedy really. It was refreshing to read a romance that wasn’t necessarily a Christian romance, but wasn’t like the author threw in a porn scene either. Seeing where life takes Elly, Keith and the rest of the gang would be an absolute delight.

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Bridge Street Chocolates-New Treats

I fell in love with chocolate at an early age. I fell in love with Bridge Street Chocolates just a few short years ago. It is a beautiful love affair. I am constantly telling people about it, this tiny little shop in downtown Phoenixville, PA. I wrote an article on Gail, the owner, last Spring for a school assignment. That can be found here at “Ministry of Chocolate.

I was downtown meeting a friend for lunch and found out she had NEVER been there! WHAT!? NO WAY!? So in we trekked. Gail is usually off Mondays and Tuesdays and happened to have stopped in to grab some work to take home. Being that she is one of my favorite people, of course it was a treat alone to see her! As I introduced my friend to my favorite little chocolate friends, I came across a new addition to the case- French Chocolate Macaroons. Wait, let me say that again. French. Chocolate. Macaroons. If you thought it couldn’t get better than that, oh, it does.

Smooshed in between two perfect chocolate macaroons is a chocolate, espresso filling. I am usually a sucker for the truffles. I get some combination of them every time I go in. Except that day. After eating one, I knew that that was what I was getting that day. 3 more French Chocolate Macaroons were put in my favorite little box. I ate two and brought one home for my mommy. I, mean, chocolate is only as good as the company you share it with right?

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I couldn’t help myself though. I had to get another honey stirrer. The lavender is my absolute favorite of them!

The Fault In Our Stars

Cancer sucks. No, really. It does. I grow my hair for the specific purpose of donating it every other year or so, it’s my little contribution. Each time I am about to do the big chop I donate my hair in honor or in memory of someone in my life that has been affected my cancer. The last time I donated, I had 4 different people in my life either currently fighting or just ending their fight with cancer I could decide to do it in honor of.

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Shelly is like my second mom. She is a breast cancer survivor with a genetic mutation in which her body will always have cancer. She is in the process of having a mass removed from her shoulder and underwent brain surgery to remove cancer that had spread to her brain. The last time I donated was in honor of her.

It sucks.

And John Green in no uncertain terms lets you into that little world to remind you of that.

John Green also reminds you that life isn’t fair. With the turn of almost every page.

John Green reminds you that life and love are beautiful. Every year. Every month. Every week. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every second. It is beautiful. It is terrifying. It isn’t fair. It is emotional. It is a gift.

Through the unique relationship of Gus, Hazel Grace, and their friend Isaac, John Green opens the box of what living and fighting cancer is like. He puts life into perspective. The characters reference great pieces of literature, even going as far as visiting the author of Hazel’s favorite book. There is a depth and emotional connection to this book that is precious in young adult literature. Cancer only seems to happen to little cute children and adults. Sometimes it seems like the invincible teenagers can’t be touched by the disease. But Green reminds us that they are. I read this book in about a day. I cried like a big ole baby and I’m not even a little ashamed. I couldn’t stop reading. I rushed through meals. I had to know how it ended. And I hated when it did. Every last word that wasn’t said- I HATED IT. Yet somehow, I sit here, looking back at my reading experience and know that I loved every single moment. It was beautiful. Even if it didn’t have a happily ever after with wedding bells and a cute little ending wrapped up in a pretty bow.

Hazel taught us that sometimes you can’t stop love. It happens like falling asleep. That sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep from being hurt and hurting people, hurt happens anyway. That sometimes, books need a bit more to be truly finished.

August taught us that life is beautiful. That promises are worth making. Even if that means standing by the mean girl with a horrible brain tumor. Even if that means falling helplessly in love with a girl and sharing your last wish with her. Even when that means you hope she goes first so that she doesn’t have to live through the pain of you leaving her.

Isaac taught us that life isn’t fair. Sometimes people don’t always mean “Always” when they say it. Sometimes, just because you can’t see doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. Isaac is a true friend. August stood by him when he needed it most and when August needed someone in return, Isaac was that person to the best of his abilities.

The Fault In Our Stars reminds us that life is a beautiful, precious mess. It reminds us that sometimes, the best word to express your feelings is “Okay.”

This was a relatively quick read because I couldn’t put it down. Definitely one of those books that middle schoolers or adults could learn and get something out of. I hate seeing movies before I read the books so I knew I had to read this and I am glad that I did. I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone.

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