Finding an Old Friend

The title may be misleading. This is very metaphorical. Having been an English ed major, general book worm, and readaholic, an old friend to me is usually a good book. Though I’ve graduated I’ve been subbing everywhere and anywhere I can. Monday, I had the joy of being a librarian for the day. Sitting in a very nice middle school library, I got the itch to walk around and stretch my legs.

As I made my promenade through the shelves and around the room, I came across a dear friend. A friend that helped lead me to where I am today. A friend that I hadn’t seen in a number of years; that brought back all of the memories of the first time I saw it, all of the feelings of wonder and questions that I had.

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It’s part of the Royal Diaries series, the same people who do the Dear America books. Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor. I was fortunate enough to grow up 2 blocks away from the library. I read through the entire Princess Diaries series and the Dear America books. I’ve also read all of the Magic Treehouse books. Though I love them dearly, none of them compared to this. Something about this book struck a chord. Sitting on the front porch of our little house, in the sunshine of summer, I was infatuated.

Fast forward 16 years and now I’m teaching. I’ve taught freshmen about Queen Elizabeth I twice during pre-reading for Shakespeare. I’m preparing to take the history praxis. I am encouraging students to read, hoping that one of them will find “the book.” The one that turns their life upside down. The book that years after they have me, they’ll see on a shelf, or their own child will bring home, and they’ll remember. I hope they will think “I remember you, hello my dear, old, friend.”

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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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Queen Of Someday-Sherry D Ficklin

I can add this to my list of historical fictions. I have a serious problem. And this book is good. It is a great disservice to be such a history nerd. I feel like sometimes it ruins reading historical fiction works. I know too much about the realities of the lives of these people to get too attached to their fictitious representations.

There are a number of things I really liked about this book and a few that I didn’t. Obviously I loved the fact that it’s historical. Catherine the Great is somebody whom I have only more recently taken an interest in. However, being the great ruler that she was, this is not the first time she has come across my radar. Ficklin used great, graphic wording to describe the world of Empress Elizabeth of Russia. There is the perfect swirl of romance, danger, fun, passion, fire and ambition. So much is known about the Great Empress, but it is her youth, and beginnings in the strange courts of Russia that Ficklin has chosen to zero in on.

Other than the ebook version being a bit wonky with its layout and just not very good, the flow of the book itself was great. It kept pace. At no point did I feel the need to put the book down or take a break. I didn’t necessarily find myself tearing through it to find out what would happen next either. It was a leisurely read that was perfect for lounging on our porch swing this evening.

Over all, I wish the characters had shown a bit more dimension and dynamic growth. It is obvious that this is a first book in a series and I get that. The scene and the foundation must be laid for all involved. I could tell that Ficklin really wanted to show a change and growth in Sophie (Catherine), but I felt that it fell just a bit short of her goal. Granted, most of the characters aren’t supposed to have much dimension, that IS the point. As the rest of them stay stagnant, it is Catherine who is to rise to the occasion. I found myself unable to quite connect to Sophie/Catherine in my usual immersive way. I am hoping in the next book, her transformation from naive, young woman will more fully blossom to her full potential.

I am certainly looking forward to Sherry Ficklin’s next installment in Catherine’s story. I would recommend this to my students being that is it “clean” as far as sexual and lexicon content are concerned. It was an entertaining read and enjoyable as far as summer reads go.

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The Revealed- Jessica Hickam

I didn’t mean to read this book in one solid sitting. I trudged into bed at 12:30am and thought “I’ll just read a few pages.” I checked the clock at 1:30 and kept on, I checked the clock again at 2:15. I checked the clock after I finished the book and it was 4:30.

I recognized relatively early on that this was going to be a series, or at least more than one book. Which, in this case was a good thing. It gave me time as a reader to build a relationship. At first, I thought this book was just going to be Lily being a temperamental young adult falling in love with the bad boy the entire book. Throw in some “new world order” and you’ve got what you THINK is something like The Selection Series. You’re wrong.

Lily was a completely relatable, endearing character. Struggling under house arrest, dealing with being in the spot light and the constant threat of life combusting around her, she handles it all like a real teenager would. Screaming, crying and kicking the whole way. But she is strong and destined for greater things.

Kai is the bad boy you want to love. You want to love Kai just as much as Lily does. You want to trust him, you want to believe he will be the prince charming and good guy. He is a surprise at every turn and by the end of it I was absolutely in love with him. It happened.

The Revealed are this big scary monster the entire book. When they show up the first time, you can’t breathe. You hold your breath and tell everyone to run. When they show up the second time, you’re a bit more prepared. But not really.

Rory and Skylar are probably my two favorite characters in the book. Both are supportive characters and Skylar doesn’t even show up until the last quarter or so of the book. I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the following book(s?). Rory is Lily’s spitfire friend that becomes an increasingly more important player in this twisted game of life. Skylar is the….other male character? He’s not quite a love interest, but I have a sneaking suspicion that in later books he could be. He’s definitely a friend, almost a mentor and an all around nice guy. It doesn’t help that he’s super attractive.

This was just an all around solid book. The characters have dimension, there are twists and turns, but it’s not overwhelming. I don’t have an obnoxious book-hangover. I am excited and can’t wait for the next book to be released but it hasn’t overwhelmed my life. Hickam has left just enough to the imagination, just enough questions, just enough things left open to have drawn me in. I am totally ready for the second book. I feel like if I didn’t get to read the second book that I would be ok. BUT I fully intend on reading the second book. I am super excited to see how Lily’s life continues!

The Revealed would be a great book for my students. Not too much, not too little. Not too long or too short. Just enough action, romance, and drama to keep you interested. It is easy to get enamored with these characters and long to know what happens next. But I guess we’ll just have to wait for that to be revealed. 😉

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The Beginning of Everything-Robyn Schneider

The pace in which I am reading is scaring even me. I don’t think I’ve read with such ferocity, purpose, pleasure and just downright passion since middle school. Before life got more complicated than hoping you didn’t have food stuck in your braces talking to your crush.

The Beginning of Everything was part of my library binge Part I. I finished a real book, then a Net Galley book. I figured I would read another real book. Space them out a bit. I laid out the 6 remaining books I have from the library and just kind of picked it. Yellow is one of my favorite colors so that may have been why I subconsciously picked it. I read the back of the book which jogged my memory as to why I had picked the book to begin with- it was young adult.

Having felt as though I skipped that genre when I was in high school, the time period most of those books are aimed towards, I am going backwards so that when I am back in a lovely high school classroom I can give good, well thought out, competent recommendations for my students. Let’s face it, not everyone thinks Much Ado About Nothing is “fun” or “hilarious” they way I do.

It started out simply enough. I read this awful book in middle school called “Izzy Willy Nilly” about a girl who is in a drunk driving accident and looses her leg. The beginning of this book kinda goes along the same way, but not near as dramatic. Probably because the main character is a boy, Ezra; NOT a whiny, hopeless teenaged girl.

I don’t quite know how to explain the connection. There’s romance in a way that’s not over the top cheesy or gross. More like “falling asleep, slowly then all at once.” There’s just enough mystery to keep you guessing without getting annoyed that the answers aren’t happening as you demand them. There’s a vulnerability that is so spot on. Where do you sit at lunch? Who do you talk to in class? Who is going to be your partner? It’s raw and it’s real. I feel like everyone went to high school with at least one kid that was a super star athlete, popular the works and they are injured in a game or something and suddenly the status quo of the world seems to shift as we all sit and wait to see if they recover, if they bounce back, how everyone else reacts. Ezra, was that kid.

The book opens with two quotes that really set the tone of the book.

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The Great Gatsby is one of my all time FAVORITE books. Schneider references Fitzgerald brilliantly. Most of my giggling was in tandem with the references. Ezra has a Standard Poodle named Cooper. He’s and older dog and Ezra has assigned Cooper the personality of Jay Gatsby. Schneider had me giggling to myself and my poor dog. Until the end. Then I bawled like a baby. It would be remiss of me to leave out the Doctor Who references, THE MONTY PYTHON REFERENCE and so many others that made my little nerd heart oh so dearly happy!

Hilariously enough, in the UK the book was released with the title “Severed Heads and Broken Hearts.” Once you read the book you’ll laugh way harder at that than you really should.

I can’t wait to recommend this to my high schoolers. This was an easy and quick read. I read it in about 3 hours. To do that math, that’s about 111-112 pages an hour. I believe that regardless of whether or not you are a “jock,” “a nerd,” “the ‘not out of the closet but pretty sure you’re going to be’ kid,” or the kid that ends up “crippled,” there is something in this book to be taken away for everyone.

I liked that this didn’t have the classical “happy ending” like a Disney movie, and yet, I feel happy. Like the book ended exactly as it should have. I’m not even mad. 🙂

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Adulting- Kelly Williams Brown

I am the baby of the group. Eric is 3.5 years older almost to the day, Jake the roommate and his girlfriend/my best friend Emily aren’t far behind him. And then there’s me. Still in school. Still living with my parents. At a lovely 21 years of age I look at my friends, who are older than me and want to just have it together. What did they figure out that I haven’t? I saw this book floating around and figured WHAT THE HECK LETS DO IT! What could it hurt? So I put it in my library order along with 24 other books. I received my first installment today.

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It really is a sickness-the whole book thing. Since Adulting happened to be on top of the pile- that’s what I started with.

I will begin with my problem with this book, according to the author- I am an adult. Like a 40 year old mom apparently.  Though the knowledge in this book is really REALLY good, I was thankfully brought up with awesome parents who taught me how to cook chicken, take care of my car, clean and communicate professionally. So at 21 I’m old. I’m completely ok with this. With that being said, not EVERYONE is that fortunate, OR their parents tried and they just need a refresher course.

The book contains 468 tips, tricks and steps to help you make the leap from kid/young adult to an actual adult. These are then broken down into categories like “Cooking” “Get A Job” “Family” “Domesticity,” you get the idea. It was a super easy and quick read which was nice as well.

I can’t remember any very specific steps that I did not agree with or outright oppose. What I liked was that with each step she gives a brief explanation, story and justifies why wearing holey jeans and a sweatshirt is not appropriate. It is here in the explanations that the real advice is given. Instead of reacting like this, try doing this instead.  It’s simple stuff that makes you go “Oh yeah, that sounds good.”

Not everyone knows to check the water pressure when look at an apartment/house. Not everyone realizes that it’s not appropriate to NOT RSVP, regardless of whether it is an acceptance or declining of an invitation. Throughout the book she has these great little drawings to help break up the lists. Mostly flow charts. But the shark was a personal favorite.

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I am partial to the “Is this outfit office appropriate” flow chart. I was in observations at a high school and was appalled at what some of the teachers were wearing. You are supposed to be an example and are working with both young women AND young men. Those partially see-through leggings with a shirt that just barely covers you butt is NOT APPROPRIATE. You are not crawling around on the floor with pre-schoolers, even then it’s not ok. I’ll hop off that soap box now….Bottom line- every woman should have this next to her mirror as a check list every morning.

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As a commuter for school I really liked her list of things to keep handy in your car as well as how to take care of it. I can not tell you how many times an extra deodorant, car charger, box of granola bars and extra sweatshirts and shoes have saved me in my years of commuting. The emphasis on oil changes is so important and people so often put it off. My father graciously taught me how to change the oil in a car in case need ever arose for me to have to do so, but I have reached the point of paying really nice guys to just do it for me.

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Things I would have added:

469- WASH YOUR FACE! No matter how tired you are, or how much makeup you do or don’t wear; give your face a good scrub.

470- Moisturize. Everywhere. Your scalp to your feet should be shown love. All year round. Coconut oil your whole body once a month. Your body will THANK YOU.

471- Shave at least once a week all year round. You never know who you might run into at the gym, if you’ll have nothing but a dress clean, or heaven forbid you find yourself in a position where someone is touching or touches a furry leg. :O

472-480 Teacher stuff. All of her job advice is focused on business or office jobs. Which, the majority of the population fulfill. But I’m a teacher. It’s a whole different world and ball game.

This book would be FANTASTIC for high school seniors and college students who aren’t freaks like me. It would be great for people like me who just need a refresher or encouragement to hold steady on the path to actual adulthood. It’s nice to know not everyone has it together no matter HOW together they look or portray themselves to be. It’s nice to know that being an adult is not the easiest thing in the world, but in 468 Easy(ish) steps you can certainly get yourself pointed in the right direction.

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Book Hangover

Reading is not for the faint of heart. If you have never had a book hangover you have never really read. FACT. Book Hangovers happen when you read a book so good, so stimulating, so emotionally involved, you can’t read for a while. Side effects of a book hangover include but are not limited too:
-Raised blood pressure/heart rate
-General brief periods of depression
-Unable to choose the next book to read
-Picking a new book and still not being able to start it
-Crying
-Getting emotional just talking about the book
-Unable to eat, do laundry, complete basic-need tasks because you are so engrossed reading or recovering from said book.
-When people ask “What’s wrong” you just can’t answer. They didn’t read the book. They wouldn’t understand.

Because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I asked some of my reader friends to weigh in on this potentially emotional topic. The first, is one of my best friends Faith! She is also super adventurous-like move to Ohio from PA
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This is her book hangover blanket….it’s really just her favorite crazy cat lady blanket. Also classic Faith. As you can probably assume from this absurd picture, she’s hilarious. She is my spaghetti friend.

“Dude. let me just tell you that my book hangover happened over The Hunger Games right after I saw the second [movie], Catching Fire. It all began because I figured “Oh, these movies have been pretty awesome, I bet the books are better.” As per my experience with every Nicholas Sparks book evvvver. After FOUR days of finally getting through the whole series, I close my Nook and scream NO. NO. NO. NO. I was seriously disturbed for a good month or two until I came out of my coma of “OH MY GOD I HATE PEETA.” The second time I had a hangover, speaking of Nicholas Sparks, was over his book “Safe Haven”. . . I won’t spoil the ending, but something pretty unexpected happens (one of the characters turns out being a FREAKING GHOST) and you DO NOT even THINK of that until you read the ending chapters. Blew. My. Mind. I was so distraught that it legitimately affected my work life, my home life, and I just stayed in bed trying to grasp what life was. Oh and THEN I found out they were turning it into a movie. Less of a mind blower, but still awesome.”

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Next is my lovely friend Amanda. She just graduated with a degree in psychology. I should have asked her for an in-depth response on how the brain is stimulated while reading…yadda yadda. But, I did not. I allowed her to openly and freely answer without pretentious psychological lingo. Though she should make it her masters thesis or something. 😉

“Okay SO! I’ve experienced so many book hangovers, I should be attending book recovery twice a week! My most recent book hangover was when I finished The Selection Series. Now when I started this series I had NO interest in it and thought it was way too girly for my post apocalyptic, dystopian taste. I completely changed my opinion after reading the final installment “The One”. I tore through that book so fast and hard I felt dizzy at the last few pages! I was so sad when it ended I curled up on my bed (having not checked my phone in hours) and just sat. Thinking about every detail. I didn’t move for a solid hour. The next few days I had to go out of my way to not think about the book or the world it was set in. I eventually had to throw myself into another book to end the madness, which is what always happens. It’s my go-to strategy to end a hangover. Jumping into another book shimmy!! I’m still recovering from the Divergent Series book hangover… I’m not ready to talk about that yet. I’m talkin full on book comma! The struggle is alive and well.”

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Liv gets two pictures because I told her regardless of which one she prefer I use, I was going to use the picture of us dressed up as The Witches from Macbeth. We love literature so much, when ever we get the chance to dress up or make food to go with our presentations-we do. I’d also like to clarify, both of her parents are pastors. The girl has never had alcohol in her life! 😉

“I have had many book hangovers. I probably had my first hangover in 4th or 5th grade. I cannot for the life of me remember what book, but I remember it was about the Iditarod. I was sitting alone in a classroom being used as a storage room on top of a high stack of chairs. I bawled. I cried and whimpered, and died a little on the inside. And that is when I became a bookaholic. Not just an avid reader, but a full-blown bookaholic. I had to be drunk off of words, slurring the sentences, and tipsy while turning pages. I loved it. My most noteworthy hangover stupor was after “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak. The book was over 500 pages of hard reading, kind of like hard liquor, but worse. Because at the end of it you can’t breathe, you can’t think, you can’t pull yourself out of the pages. I am assuming that the ending of this book is like drinking liquor after beer…dreadful. I haven’t actually ever done that, but because the ending of this book was so miserable, I never will. I don’t drink, but I read. I am not sure which is worse.”

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Last but not least my friend Emily, the only one to not got o school with us. Her boyfriend Jake is Eric’s roommate. We’re best friends by association. It helps that she loves books just as much as I do.

“My first book hangover was after reading the Harry Potter series. When I was roughly 7 or 8, my mother read “The Sorcerer’s Stone” to me in a full British accent. I will never forget how she had perfected Hagrid’s Scottish drawl in every word. After that, I never had the drive to read the books on my own as a child. Maybe it was the nostalgia of my mom reading the first book to me, or my own lack of desire to continue the series, but when I was 20 I read the series again, after watching all of the movies. That was when I first experienced my first true “book hangover.” I could have been diagnosed clinically depressed when I shut the 7th book for the first time. Now, for anyone who is a die-hard HP fan, you’re not a true fan until you’ve read all of the books. The movies are brilliant, but they’re only a band-aid to what these books will do to you. This series has changed me. I have now consecutively read the books three times over, and will undoubtedly start them again later this year. When I read these books I become so engrossed in them that I feel as if I’m a third-person-viewer living at Hogwarts. Saying that I have an obsession with everything that is Harry Potter would be a grave understatement. When I finish the series I feel empty, as if all of my previous happiness has gone, and my only detox is to watch all of the movies. Harry Potter will always be a part of my life. ‘Always.'”

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And for my own.

My first book hangover was in 4th grade. I read “Tudor Rose” a book on Elizabeth I. It was part of the Royal Diary Series done by the same people who do the Dear America’s. At the end of each book is historical info on the princess portrayed in the book. As I read on about the life of Elizabeth I and her family I couldn’t contain myself. Not only did this give my a hangover that left me in an awe inspired stupor, it also gave me my passion. Unlike most of my book hangovers I dove head first into everything and anything I could find on the Tudors and Elizabeth I. I am now an English major with a concentration in English Literature. That book hangover set the course of my life and who I am today. Most of my hangovers are as I described in the very beginning of this post.

As you can see, Book Hangovers do exist. They happen all of the time. It is an affliction we all deal with in our own way. And, as many who have dependencies, addictions or are just straight up masochist, we continue to read. We search high and low in the hopes of finding books that rock our worlds. That leave us dazed, confused and hungry for more. We continue to torture ourselves with the pain, pleasure, depression and satisfaction of reading JUST. ONE. MORE. PAGE.

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