Sunday, October 12, 2014

Read a Book- YA Serials

One of my goals for the year was to do more personal/pleasure reading.  I have been doing an okay job at that, surprisingly!  After I found out that borrowing library books from my local library on my kindle is the easiest thing in the world, I constantly have had 2-3 books on rotation.  One is usually a book for book club, and two for pleasure.  I have been mostly drawn to YA serials because they are quick, easy, fun reads, and who knows- maybe they will be making movies in the future (Hunger Games, Divergent, anyone?) and I will be ahead of the curve.  Here are two that I have read recently and enjoyed.

Gone by Michael Grant

I just finished this one yesterday.  There are a whole bunch of other books to this series, and I've only read the first one so far, so I can't say anything about the series as a whole.  But this one was pretty good!  When searching for the book cover, I read that they have signed on for a TV series for these books as well, so there's something to think about if you're wanting to read it.  

This book is if Lord of the Flies, Stephen King's Under the Dome, and the X-Men all got together in a blender... it you strained out all the adult content, you'd be left with this book.  It's a super fast read (I read it in a day).  A bit predictable, but fun.  The premise is: one day everyone over the age of 15 just vanishes.  And there's a barrier around the town.  And some of the kids have super powers.  Like I said... Lord of the Flies/Under the Dome/X-Men.  A few of my favorite things! And maybe if you can read that tiny print at the top of the book, you can see where I heard about these series- that's a blurb from Mr. Stephen King himself.  He recommended this series on twitter and I was reserving it on my kindle within ten minutes.  

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I am obsessed with this series.  I knew at the end of the first book (this one!) that it was something different and special and fantastic.  I'm going to be brief and bulleted while I list some of the (many) reasons why I think this is one of the best YA book series I have read*.  
  • Strong (in a different way!) female POC main character.  In fact, almost everyone in this series is a POC.  Elisa, the main character, is more book smart and strategic than physically strong (think Hermione here).  She's also not a skinny, pretty, white girl (movie Katniss, Tris, I'm looking at ya'll)- she's overweight (fat is a descriptor used often, by Elisa and others), and while it plays some into the plot in the beginning (people are HUGE JERKS to her, and her self-esteem, etc) it is not something that she feels needs to change- and for the most part, it doesn't.  And it doesn't need to.  And it shouldn't need to!  
  • The romance is not central to the story.  It's there, but it isn't central.  And Elisa don't depend on no mannnn to get her through her battles.  She does grow and change throughout the series- it's wonderful to watch.
  • This is YA, but it falls somewhere on the George R.R. Martin spectrum of plot development- there are a bunch of characters, and you'll get attached, but nobody is safe and you need to know that!  The reason I picked this book up in the first place was because someone somewhere said something along the lines of "Game of Thrones-y for YA," and it immediately went onto the "on hold" page of my kindle library.  Whoever that person was, they weren't lying.
Anyway, there's my bulleted points.  I can't get over how much I loved Elisa as a protagonist- and all the other characters too (seriously, they're all wonderfully crafted, even the jerks).  I zipped through this book in like a day, and then waiting (extremely impatiently) for the others (being waitlisted on the kindle is SO HARD to deal with)- to the point where I said "screw this" and actually left my house, drove to the library, and CHECKED OUT THE ACTUAL BOOK.  I never do this.  But I had to finish it.  Then, once I finished the series, I read allll the little short stories that are available as well.  I think there was three or four.  THAT is how into this series I was.  Go read it.  It's refreshing.

*I put the little star here because cruising through the goodreads page, you can see that some people apparently hated this book.  Whatever.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

The "I Peed on a Stick and Everyone Got Excited" Story

Here's the story of how I found out I was expecting an unholy terror of my very own.  And how we told the various people in our lives.

On July 12, Scott and I jetlagged our way back to Maryland from a long and awesome trip to Portland and Vegas.  We were in Portland for my friend's wedding, and to visit Scott's fam, and we stopped by Vegas with a couple friends for fun- because hey, why not?  It's practically on the way.  We hung out, we ate tons of food, I avoided the sun like the plague because I didn't have any sunscreen, blah blah blah you will have read all of this over here at this post.  So my parents picked us up from the airport, we finally got home, dumped our bags down, and immediately crawled into bed for a nap.  I woke up first, eventually, and thought "now would probably be the time to take one of those pregnancy tests in the bathroom."  My period had been due a day earlier, and I had sort-of convinced myself that it was late due to travel, etc... but I took the little cheap test (the one that's like a litmus test or something from 7th grade science class).  And that one came back with two lines.  So then I pulled out the expensive test (the traditional one that costs like 14 dollars and gave me a minor aneurysm when I bought it [I'm cheap] and I vowed never to use it UNLESS I WAS SURE because I would probably cry if I used it and it came back negative and I got my period the next day), the early response kind, and that one popped it's line up within the first 30 seconds of using it.  So then I was convinced.

Because if there weren't pics, you'd never believe I was telling the truth!

So then I told Scott in the most "me" way imaginable.  I climbed into bed, stared at his face, poked him until he woke up, and shoved the thing right into his eyes, basically.  Tres romantique.

Then he took the first of a series of photos, the Me Standing in Front of a Wall series.

This is my "starting" picture.  But there is a baby there.  
The food baby from 4 days of all you can eat Vegas buffets. 

Then we had to wait for like, an entire month or something to tell other people (family).  It was HORRIBLE.  Scott can't keep a secret to save his life, and was annoying the everloving crap out of me.  Sorry babe.  It's true.  But this gave me time to plan Cute Ways to Tell.  We ordered my parents some tshirts online (it's a long silly story but the cliffs is that my family likes to do special shirts for big events and it can be embarrassing but in the fun way that families are).  Dad's looked like the Godfather logo but said The Grandfather instead.  Mom's we had custom made at some custom made T-shirt website, and said "Momsy, because I'm too young to be called Grandmother."  We waited until we went to the OB and got our first ultrasound before we told anyone else.  So we took the shirts over to my parents, and they were delighted, of course, and then we showed off the ultrasound.  That same night, we FaceTime'd with Scott's family and told them the news and showed them the picture too.  We had to wait a few days to tell my brother and sister-in-law, but I copied one of the ultrasound photos and wrote "Future model for Peony Blossoms" on there (in case you didn't know, my BFF/SIL has a couple of great knit shops on etsy, and the one for babies is Peony Blossoms).

And that was how we told the fam.  You already saw how we told the rest of the world (aka Facebook).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BIG Life Things

Hey, Alissa, where exactly have you been?  What's new?  We miss you.  And your "weekly" (hahahahahahaha) updates.  Why are you standing in front of that wall?

Well friends, most of you probably know the news, but here it is anyway if you missed the super cute announcement.


So there's the news.  Stay tuned for stories and pictures and all kinds of babypalooza nonsense.