Monthly Archives: October 2016

I knew I wasn’t going to like this book…

“What would happen, Anna,” I ask my sister who works at the library, “if this book, hypothetically, happened to…disappear?” 

I motion to the book I have in my hands, the one I have been yelling about for the past few minutes. 

“We’d charge you for it and buy another copy,” says my unsympathetic listener. 

“Yes, but what if,” I try again, “I paid the library for it and you didn’t buy another copy of it. What if you happened to conveniently forget of its existence?” 

She didn’t even bother to answer that one. 

I knew I was going to hate this book. In fact, that is why I picked it up from the library. I just didn’t realize how much I was going to hate it. And what book is causing me such angst? 

Feminism: Reinventing the F-Word by Nadia Abushanab Higgins. 

I got it, even though I knew I was going to hate it, because I hoped to learn more about what teen girls are being taught about feminism these days. I only made it 10 pages. Here is the short version: women were victimized 50 years ago because white, privileged women were housewives. They are now victimized because of a wage gap. Oh, and real freedom and independence for women came about because of sexual freedom and the fact that they can now publicly be lesbian.

I didn’t make it any farther. I don’t even know where to begin. So how about instead, you just watch the Factual Feminist because she is awesome – Factual Feminist on YouTube


Nothing to readddd

I’m surrounded by all the books I’ve checked out from the library and not read over the past 9 weeks…yet this is how I feel tonight:

Just call me…BLT?

Today I walked into Jimmy John’s 10 minutes after it opened and announced I was there for the “BLT order.” The guy behind the desk chuckled until he went to get the box for me and realized it contained 12 BLTs. 

“That really is a BLT order!”

Fast forward two hours. It has been a great day and I have had more people than expected show up. I realize with dawning dread that I am going to run out of sandwiches. Jimmy John’s is right up the street from me and makes the most sense for getting more. (Did you realize Subway will only let you get 6 subs at a time? And that if you order more, it falls under catering and needs 24 hours advanced notice? Grrr) Anyway, I realized I needed to go pick up some more. For a moment, I play around with the idea of sending someone else to get the order. Then I think, why bother? It isn’t like they are going to remember me. Confidently, I stride in the front door, convinced I will get lost in the lunch rush. Only to be greeted with…

“BLT IS BACCCKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 

I then ordered 6 more BLTs. Let’s be real, though. There are worse foods to be known for. 

Just call me Mom

Today I took some of my staff and volunteers out for dinner, their ages range between 23 and 12. (Remember, I am also 23.) We stood in line for a while and then ordered. The lady behind the counter beamed at me. 

Her: “Are they your children?”

Me: “No.” 

Her: “Oh! Well they are so well behaved! I’m so impressed, I’m going to give you 10% off your meal.” 

Me: “Ahh…yes….thank you….”

Her: “SO well behaved. Children these days are just not taught to be respectful. I had a 2 year old cuss me out the other day. I certainly wasn’t raised that way. I’m giving you 10% off!” 

I hand her my card to pay and she asks for my ID. I give her my still vertical Driver’s License, issued before I turned 21. Now it is her turn to look mortified. We stand there for a moment in silence. 

Finally, she asks: “Can I get a name for that order?” 

I give her my name and turn away. As I leave, I can hear her turning to her co-worker and exclaiming how well behaved those children were! 

This turned out to be useful later on when everyone got a little too loud and I had to firmly remind them that they had a reputation as “well behaved children” to maintain. I am pretty sure my Mom told me the same thing when I was a kid. At any rate, they straightened up fast. This Mom-thing might come in handy! 


Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Remember how I read Scarlett Undercover  because I thought it was Velvet Undercover?  (You really should, I reviewed it only yesterday) Well, I managed to track down Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown and it turned out to be a fast, fun read. In fact, I finished it in a few hours. If Scarlett Undercover ranked 3 out of 5 stars, Velvet Undercover definitely pulls ahead with 4 out of 5.

Plot: It is WW1 and Samantha Donaldson is a 17-year-old British schoolgirl with a unique ability to master languages and understand codes. Because of her skills, she gets recruited to be an agent for the elite, female spy group known as La Dame Blanche. Her first mission? To infiltrate the court of Kaiser Wilhelm and find the missing spy known only as Velvet.

Thoughts: Sam is a cocky, spunky heroine and though I normally would be annoyed with a heroine who is talented at everything, she still came across as believable. I liked the mystery, action, and historical setting, though the plot twists were pretty obvious. Overall, though, the story stays tight and consistent. The romance could have used a lot more development and the writing is a tad dry, but this really was a good read for YA. I also *really* like the cover, even though the girl on the front looks nothing like the character in the book.


Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

I picked up Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham by accident. I remembered that I had a book on my to-read list that was something-Undercover (Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown, as it happens) but I had forgotten what so I decided to check Scarlett out. Even once I figured out my mistake, I was pleasantly intrigued by the premise of the story and decided to finish it. And it wasn’t bad. However, it never lived up to its potential. 

Plot: Scarlett is a smart, fifteen-year-old Muslim-American orphan who runs a detective business. When she gets hired to investigate the suicide of a local teenager, she assumes the case will be pretty open and closed. However, she quickly stumbles into something much larger and more dangerous, something that might even lead her to solve her Father’s murder. 

Thoughts: I’m a sucker for a good noir style detective story and I was drawn to Scarlet Undercover‘s promise of just that. I was excited for the unusual heroine and I was even down with the fantasy/mythical/chosen one style mystery that went along with her. The story does live up to some of its promise. However, as the book progressed, I grew more and more confused about what was going on. There is a magical ring that plays a large role in the last half and all I could think of was: 

But seriously. Rings…cults…magic…churches…Jewish boys…guardian angels…end of the world…this plot is everywhere. It is a lot to take in. Plus, there are too many characters. I kept forgetting people. The story starts out simply enough but blows up into something enormous. Yet even with this sprawling plot, I never felt the enormity of the situation. Perhaps the problem is with Scarlett, who never quite seems to believe it either. She takes everything in stride, follows flashes of intuition, and even during the climax is confident and sassy. She never seemed to believe the artifacts were magical and so I never felt it either.
However, I really did like Scarlett. She’s tough and sassy and fun to read. She doesn’t get bogged down in angst. The romance was unbelievable but there is basically no development of it so you don’t have to put up with more than an occasional paragraph. 

Overall, I didn’t dislike anything overly much about this story, I just felt ambivalent or confused about a lot. It is nice to see some cultural and ethnic diversity in a YA heroine. I’d read more by this author. I don’t necessarily recommend this one, though. 

Tuesday Teaser #TuesdayBookBlog

Tuesday teaser is a weekly bookish meme hosted by

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two or three *teaser* sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful not to include spoilers ~ make sure what you share doesn’t give to much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others.

Share the title and the author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teasers!


hehehe….current read? 

Image result for also known as book


“‘I’ll just go with her tomorrow. Look,’ I added when my parents didn’t say anything. ‘I know I’m not supposed to make friends. But if Roux starts to think that something’s up with our so-called friendship, then she’s going to be a nightmare to deal with and it’s going to mess up everything at school. Trust me, there are serious girl politics going on here.'”

New BFF: Jack Burden from All The King’s Men

Today I finished listening to All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren on audio book and I LOVED it. In fact, I knew even before I reached the end that it was going to go on my Favorites shelf. It was just that good. The writing is poetic, the characters are memorable, and book is chock full of interesting themes and contrasting ideas. Most of all, though, I love  Jack Burden.

This is the story of Willie Stark, an idealistic politician who slowly become becomes the very thing he fought against to get elected as he strives to amass power and make a difference. However, this is even more the story of his right hand man and the narrator of this book, Jack Burden. Jack comes across as a devil-may-care cynic, but deep inside he is an idealist. He is thoughtful, emotional, and struggles to find purpose for his actions. His character change in this book is remarkable and multilayered. He is truly an intriguing, relatable character. There wasn’t a single part where I genuinely got angry at him or didn’t understand where he was coming from. The author may take him dramatically in one direction…but never too far. He is never irredeemable. He is too self-aware for that. 

Anyway, Jack Burden has officially become one of my favorite literary characters and my new BFF. I really liked this book and there are many reasons, but I will wait to expound more on them in my end of the year 5 star book review post. For now, I’ll just say that this is one of my new favorites, but I hesitate to recommend it because there is language and some graphic scenes. Tread with care. If you do decide to take the plunge, enjoy this multilayered book with its stories within stories. It may be long but it is worth it. 

Another thing off ye ole bucket list…

Tonight the youth group where I volunteer held a costume party…which means for the past few days I have been last-minute costume shopping. It has not been easy. There are a lot of inappropriate costumes out there! I was flipping between the skanky nurse and slutty firefighter when I decided…might as well go as the Virgin Queen! 

I have always wanted to dress up as Queen Elizabeth I. This was so much fun! 


I was going to write a blog post about driving and how challenging it can be to be a passenger when you’re used to being in the driver seat, but tonight I am exhausted so maybe I’ll save that for another day. At my most conservative estimate, I have logged over a thousand miles of driving this past week. I am too tired to think beyond that fact or remember a clever story from today…I will try better tomorrow. Sleep well everyone! I am not setting an alarm clock and I’m very excited about this. 😁