Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March Books

So apparently I haven't been reading all that much, since I only read 3 books in all of March. Anyway, I can't wait to see what everyone has been reading lately! I have a few books on my waiting list on OverDrive, so hopefully I get to read those soon!

4 stars

From the author's website:

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

What I thought: Ok I know, this book sounds creepy. But it's somehow not. I think the last sentence of the description just makes it sound weird. I could barely put it down, I needed to know what happened next, and I kept putting myself in Anna's position and trying to imagine how it'd feel to know I may be stuck on a deserted island forever. It's a quick and easy read and I recommend it.

The Things We Keep
3 stars

From the publisher's website:

Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.

With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won’t forget this book.

What I thought: Well, another book with a main character named Anna, but it's completely different. I liked this book generally, but it was kind of confusing and the story just wasn't as good as I expected. Plus, I don't know what "humor" the description is talking about. ***I definitely think that the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a much better early dementia/early Alzheimer's read because it seemed more realistic, gave more character development and background, and was just better writing overall. So yea, I'd say skip this book and read Still Alice, since I'd give that 5 stars (I read it like a year ago before I started doing these posts).***

4 stars

From the author's website:

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re 16.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
“I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

What I thought: This book was really cute, about two teenagers with completely different home lives who fall in love under difficult circumstances. The only reason I took off a star was because the ending wasn't very clear/definite, and I like crystal clear endings to the books I read. #highmaintenance

Life According to Steph
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Five

One. I am getting so impatient for the Gilmore Girls: Seasons revival. I'm assuming it's going to come out sometime this year, and I keep debating having a viewing party when it comes on. I think I probably won't though since I want to be free to cry alone in my living room, because embarrassingly enough I know I will. I mean, I cried when it was first announced and teared up last night when I heard they FINALLY got Melissa McCarthy locked in to play Sookie, so obviously I will be an emotional wreck since I already am one.

Two. I may or may not be paying my younger sister to clean my bathrooms this weekend. Brian is currently away at the Frozen Four (college hockey finals) in Tampa. I hate when he is away, I don't enjoy being here all alone, and I also don't enjoy cleaning bathrooms, especially with bum ankles/feet, so I don't feel guilty paying my sister to do it!

Three. I am excited that it's supposed to snow all day tomorrow. Long live winter!

Four. I have developed an obsession with LulaRoe leggings. About two weeks ago at physical therapy, I saw this woman wearing really cute leggings and so naturally I asked her where she got them. She explained she had gone to a LulaRoe party and told me how soft they were, so I went home and found some LulaRoe seller groups on Facebook (they are sold like how Scentsy or Mary Kay are, through an independent consultant). I already bought two pairs of leggings and I just ordered a maxi skirt and a shirt. Some of the patterns are way too funky for me, but they are all so cute and comfortable! Now I need to hide my wallet though before I go broke.

Five. Miracles are real! Our family friends' daughter's dog ran away from her dog walker almost two weeks ago, and they did everything they could to find the dog, like Dogs Finding Dogs (I might have the name of the group wrong but you get the point), flyers, posts in Facebook groups, calls to all area shelters and vets, searching everywhere, and putting out food, toys, beds, etc. Well, early Thursday morning at 4:30am the dog randomly came home and was barking at her front door! After 12 days! I never met the dog and I haven't seen the girl in years, but I am always terrified of losing my dogs, so I was so happy to hear some good news!

Have a great weekend guys!
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Life Update

So I took a 2+ week break from this space. Honestly, I haven't had a ton going on, because when you don't leave the house very often, your life is pretty boring. Buuuut, good news, I can drive now! And walk! So pretty much I can do whatever I want now, with just some restrictions because of pain but that's about it. It's such a relief. Especially since Brian is going to the Frozen Four soon and that would have sucked to be stranded in the house alone for 5 days.

Also, I dyed my hair. It's strawberry blonde now. I don't have any pictures at the moment and I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it, but if we're snapchat friends you may eventually get a picture of it. Or mayyyybe one on Instagram if I actually put on some makeup one of these days. Oh, and this is not an April Fools joke, but I wish I had something funny to trick people with this year, unfortunately I'm not that creative!

I'm all caught up on Grey's Anatomy. I seriously love this show, no matter how unrealistic it is. Anybody else hooked? I know, I'm like 11 years late.

I can't believe Easter was 5 days ago already, spring is going to fly by! My nephew was adorable on Easter by the way. I mean, look at that bowtie, those suspenders, and the Sperrys! It's too much cute.

Alright, that's pretty much all I've got for today, I hope everyone has a great weekend!
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