Monday, February 8
Friday, February 5
I'm a big fan of finding excuses to treat yourself (and yes, that is a link to a Parks and Recreation clip). We all do a lot. We go to work or school (or both), we spend time with family and friends, we volunteer, we do things we truly enjoy, and we somehow find time to sleep. I certainly need to remind myself to take a step back and enjoy the little things, like tea or walks, and to slow down.
Valentine's Day has always been a bit of an r 'n' r day for me. It's two days after my birthday and I've never had someone to celebrate it with (except for my Galentines, but of course Galentines Day is February 13th). It's a great excuse to get myself a birthday gift and a Valentine's gift. This year, I do have someone romantic to share the day with, but we both decided to do without anything fancy. Treating myself to something--whether it's a new accessory like this Jord Wood Watch, taking the entire day to read, or watching a movie with Matt--is just as important as chocolate, wine, and flowers.
Monday, January 25
In Julie Buxbaum's first YA novel, sixteen-year-old Jessie moves from Chicago to California after her father remarries. She has no friends and is often bullied by the popular girls, all the while grieving for her mother, who died two years ago. Then a classmate messages her under the moniker "Somebody Nobody," and Jessie comes to rely on this stranger she has never met.
One of the main strengths of this book lies in the characters. Even in a first person narration, with a rather self-centered protagonist, Buxbaum brings all of the characters to life. With people from both Jessie's new and old life making appearances, this could be a tall order, but Buxbaum delivers. Despite having next to nothing in common with Jessie, I come to care for her and the people around her.
This is also a romance in the best sense. Jessie's budding relationship with SN takes place over text, and there is no physical romance until the final scene. It is a relationship that is all at once brutally honest and more confused, in both cases because these characters have never met in person. The story is truly driven by Jessie and her thoughts.
For me, the only detractions were minor. First, I don't love extremely modern pop culture references, because apps and celebrities and news change so fast, and this book has many. However, I know this doesn't bother most readers--it will just date the book. Second, I did guess who SN was kind of early on. But spoilers have never bothered me, and I still enjoyed the story. My concerns can't take away the fact that this book is smart and doesn't hold back. On top of everything else, Tell Me Three Things has cursing, blunt & truthful discussions of sex & grief & alcohol, and a Gertrude Stein motif ("Jessie is Jessie is Jessie"--"a rose is a rose is a rose").
Despite being a YA book, Tell Me Three Things felt very adult--a grown up YA book. And through it all, Jessie's strong narrative voice carries the reader along the ups and downs of all of her relationships.
Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy from the publisher because I am a member of Young to Publishing. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.
Sunday, January 24
Wednesday, January 20
This past week, during our family ski trip to Jay Peak, there wasn't much need or reason to worry about looking presentable. Our ski coats and snow pants were all that anyone would see, and when we weren't at the ski mountain we were doing yoga and reading and eating and watching TV at the rented condo. But on Friday, after hitting up the crazy indoor water park at the mountain, we ate out at one of the few restaurants not on the resort campus--Jay Village Inn. With a cozy fire, close-set tables, and hot food, I knew my Goodwill thrifted sweater would leave me overheated. Luckily, I had packed this casual but light denim shirt I got on a New York & Company Black Friday sale.