BOOK REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I read this book at the recommendation of a young lady, Angie, who visited my author table at the Kennebunk Community Market one Saturday.
everything-everythingShe told me that Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was her favorite book. This book says it’s recommended for readers aged 12-17, but I object to narrowing the audience for this book. Anyone of any age could enjoy reading this.

The main character, Maddy, is physically isolated in a way few teenagers are. She is a prisoner on so many levels. This book is not predictable, however. There are surprises to keep your interest.

I had a problem with the nurse, Carla, whom I loved, but she compromised her professional ethics, therefore (in my opinion as a nurse) she deserved what she got.

But it still made me sad. I also didn’t like how the author portrays the other nurse in the book. Don’t even get me started. People! Don’t believe most of the characterizations of nurses you read in books!

Maddy is very lovable until she starts lying to everyone (including herself?) which made me like her much less. Is it acceptable to lie when you believe you are running for your life? I’m not sure. Read it and make up your own mind.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“I am in the world and, too, the world is in me.” -Maddy

“Empty tummy, empty head.” -Carla.

“Be brave. Remember, life is a gift. Live it.” Carla the nurse to Maddy, Disc 3 track 13 on the audio book.

Bottom line: worth reading.

Perspective Part 1

I have never bought People magazine before, but I picked up a copy last week, just for something different to read.

dempsey-people-magOkay, I bought it because Patrick Dempsey was on the cover. I’m volunteering at The Dempsey Challenge again this year and so I was interested in the article.

Anyway, there was another article about the children of parents who died during the 911 attacks, children who were in utero then and never got to meet their parent. Reading these stories was heartbreaking, but it also made me think about how insignificant what I had been worrying about before I began reading really was.

 

I caved

Okay, fine; so I caved.

rosesWhen I first published my book, I was cocky. I did it! I wrote it! I put it out there and let other people read it!

Guess what? Other people have opinions. Some of which I don’t like.

Especially about the F word. Does an F word by any other name smell as sweet? Apparently not. Some people didn’t like it that I used poetic license and my self-proclaimed abilities as a wordsmith to come up with a spelling that I liked best for one particular F word. One person, of note because (s)he was the only negative review I received for my book on Amazon, decided to review it without actually reading it because of this.

That was back in March.

Fast forward to now, September. Another person declined to read my book because I used another F word. After consulting with the great literary minds in my household, I made the executive decision to change the spelling of one of the F words under dispute to the one in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (full disclosure: the online one) instead of the one in the Urban Dictionary.

So, now if someone doesn’t like it, they can bitch to them.

The other F word though, that’s trickier. I don’t think there is more than one way to spell f*&k.

So f*&k it.

 

Tech support

I had a heart stopping moment (I know– it’s embarrassing) this morning when I tried to turn my iPhone on and it (gasp) would not turn on. I tried and tried and tried (“I said not to panic!”) to no avail.

iphoneI allowed myself to briefly fast forward to how difficult my life would be until i was able to get it fixed. Or replaced. Would my contacts be able to be retrieved? That cloud thing has been full for weeks! I know this, because I have been ignoring my iPhone’s pleas to upgrade for only $5 a month (or whatever) because (gosh darn it!), I just don’t want to start paying for one more monthly thing that I was getting for free.

My teenage daughter: Mom! What’s the matter?

Me: My phone won’t turn on! To myself: How did she know something was wrong?

Teenage daughter: Give it to me. I can fix it.

I started to argue with her, but honestly , I didn’t have time, so I gave it to her. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to fix it.
She fixed it.

Me: How did you fix it?
Teenage daughter: When it happened to my phone, I googled how to turn it on and it told me what to do.

It bears mentioning here that she took advice that I give her whenever she says she doesn’t know how to do something. Happy dance!

The quote above comes from the movie, Couples Retreat. Here’s the ‘I said not to panic’ scene:

BOOK REVIEW: A Couple by Peter Raymond UPDATED

There are so many wonderful books that have come into my life as a result of my book, One Brave Thing.

a couple

This book, a couple by Peter Raymond, I discovered at the Kennebunk Community Market. I brought it home and stood it up on my kitchen table. I then began emptying my car of all the flotsam and jetsam from my author table at the market (note to self: streamline this author table deconstruction process already).

My daughter came in and right away she made a bee-line for the book. “What’s this?” she said, and then plopped herself down in a chair and began reading it. “It’s a picture book,” I said.

“It’s a nice book,” she said.

I stopped what I was doing and sat down to read it with her.
There is a picture that includes the word “GRACE“, which is ‘my one word’ this year. That got my attention right away. It felt like a sign that I was supposed to be reading this book, at this time, with my daughter. Next, I saw a picture of a heron. Hello? I have been seeing the heron everywhere lately. When you see a symbol of any kind repeatedly, that means there is a message there for you.

I’ll stop there, because I don’t want to tell you the entire book before you get to read it yourself! Come to the Kennebunk Community Market and get your own copy!

UPDATE: Peter’s work is also available at his online shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/peterraymondimages

Dancing keeps you young

I went to a local concert last weekend with my daughter, part of the Wells Harbor Concert Series. Every Saturday evening in the summer, rain or shine, there is a free concert (rain venue is the junior high school).

Party Starters

The band for the second concert of the season was a new one for us, The Party Starters.  They were SO MUCH FUN! One thing they did which I’d never seen before was they asked everyone in the room to form a circle, join hands, and sing “I’m Proud to be an American”, followed by The Pledge of Allegiance. They then asked us each to hug the person next to us. I know, right? Hug a stranger?

But we did.

This is a family friendly event! And did I mention, FREE? There will also be a food truck there this year every week, I believe, which is a new and welcome addition to the festivities. There is often a table with baked goods being sold by local teenagers raising money for something important. So buy their stuff.

On good weather days, the show is at the Wells Harbor Pavillion. If you are local, come this Saturday! The Bel Airs will be playing. Bring your dancing shoes!  Lots of people will be dancing…why not you?

If you’re not local, check out your own town website and see what free events are being hosted in your own town!

 

Cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen: A Sensational Supper with Jane St Pierre

My daughter and I went to a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School.  We’ve been there before, and it’s always a treat. This was the first class taught by Jane St Pierre that we’ve been to, but hopefully not the last. She is a wonderful teacher, warm and funny, but most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about. In addition to treating us to her delicious original recipes, she shares lots of cooking tips and tricks, and also welcomes them from the audience.

How do I know? Because I offered one! I got a little jam for my trouble.

The only challenging aspect of attending classes here is the seating. The seats are high aluminum (I think) chairs that are hard to pull up to the tables and very cold on bare legs. Leave the flip-flops at home; it’s work to keep them on when sitting on the tall chair.  You can request handicapped seating, which will get you regular size chairs that are lower to the floor, hence easier to get in and out of  (but still that cold aluminum).  Also, the front row fills up early. We got there almost an hour ahead of time and the front row was already taken.

Coffee, tea, and water were free. Wine and beer were available by the glass, but cost extra.

Our class cost $60, and was three courses, and the recipes for all were given to us in a handout.

I loved everything she made.

Bottom line: Go, at least once. They are so much fun!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: