Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Debut Novel Review

I got a copy of this book from work as an advanced reader, and I was pretty excited about the concept. I was also excited about reading something from a brand new author. Without further ado, the review.

Reconstructing Amelia
3 out of 5 (if I’m feeling giving)

It's been a little while since I read this, but I’m honestly still not sure how I feel about it. It was a good for a first novel, but I’m surprised at the hype it’s gotten. I guess I’ll just give my likes/dislikes so you can make up your own mind.

Things I liked:
This novel brings the bullying issue (that does lead to real suicides) to light. It’s an important piece of our society that needs to be brought up in more than just teen series.
It had a compelling storyline. For the most part, I wanted to know what happened to Amelia.
Some of the relationships were portrayed well. I liked Dylan and Amelia’s most of the time. And I liked Sylvia and Amelia’s relationship, it was a pretty realistic portrayal of teenage friends.
The entire book was fast paced.
The book goes back and forth between Kate and Amelia’s perspectives, which I liked, and it was done well, for the most part.

Things I did not like:
I really didn’t like the text message parts. Or some of the other social media type chapters. I think these could have been done much better. It felt like it was written from a mom’s point of view on how they think a teenager types/texts, not how they actually do. This may not be true of all teenagers, but for someone who is very book oriented and smart, it seems silly to me that they would actually text “u r” for your/you’re.
There were a few things that seemed a little ridiculous. Several of these were twists so I don’t want to say what they are and ruin them, but let it suffice to say the twists got to be unnecessary and unbelievable.
As for the ending, it was very anticlimactic and there were far too many loose ends. I think this was due to the vast amounts of twists thrown in.

I would still recommend this book, probably to people who like Jodi Picoult. Picoult is a much more seasoned author and writes on an entirely different level, but McCreight has done a decent job for her debut novel. She is an author that I look forward to reading more from as she builds up experience and perhaps develops her writing a little further.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kansas has ridiculous laws

So I wanted to update this last night, but passed out. So here's a recap of both yesterday and today all in one.
Yesterday morning, we got up at 5:30 am because we were not done packing still. My dad and aunt got to my hotel at 7:30 (we were still not finished packing). My dad and I went to get the Uhaul trailer (which was scheduled to be ready at 7 (because I called when they sent a confirmation of noon). Well, they forgot about it so it took about an hour to get it. We went home with the trailer, loaded up a ton of stuff for Goodwill and J and my dad went to drop it off. They came back. I took my dad to the bank and Walmart. It is now 10:30. We start packing inside again and also loading up the truck. And keep this up until about 1. Then we start rearranging things because there's not enough room, somehow. Then we start throwing things out because well, it's just not important. (As a side note, this hurt my environmental side a lot to be throwing things out.)
My dad and aunt leave at 3 with the trailer to get a head start. J and I clean up and turn in the keys and leave at 4. 
We drove the first 450 miles yesterday, and I was bored by the end of the first hour. I was violently woken awake, though, when an 18-wheeler decided to be an ass and speed up to pass me, but then got stuck behind another 18-wheeler. Oh, no problem, he'd just come back into my lane anyway. So he started to. I swerved to the left a little to miss it and honked of course. He did not seem phased. And of course there was no "how's my driving" number on the back of the truck.
We only made one stop before the hotel in Missouri, which is probably why me made good time. It was a Motel 6 so those are pretty hit or miss. This one was a miss. I prepared pasta salad and salads before the trip since I can't eat most fast food unless they have vegetarian options (these are few and far between). There wasn't a microfridge, which was both strange and also a little frustrating, but not a huge deal. The people were a little questionable around there, but we did survive. I may have had a hard time sleeping worrying about my car being broken into or something except that it was now 11:30 pm (12:30 am, but my body thought it was 12:30 am because it didn't understand the time difference), and I was out almost as soon as we were cuddled up in the (questionable) bed. 
So fast forward to this morning. I set my alarm for 9, but forgot to change which day it was supposed to go off from Monday to Tuesday. It didn't go off. The puppy *always* wakes up to go out between 9 and 9:30. It's so regular that we often don't set an alarm unless it has to be earlier than this. Of course this morning, she didn't wake us up. She let us sleep in until 10. Probably would have been okay with longer except that some noise woke me up luckily. I took the world's fastest shower and we checked out just in time. 
Today we drove the longer stretch. 615 miles. I was so restless from riding in the car by hour number 3 today. Fortunately both Miss Kitty and the puppy slept almost the entire time. We stopped twice today, the first time for about 45 minutes. We just wandered the gas station. The second time probably wouldn't have been necessary except that I only get about 350 miles for a tank of gas and we'd filled up too early. 
We also stopped when the police in lovely Kansas pulled J over. He was behind me so I knew he hadn't been speeding. The speed limit is 75 through here so there's really no reason to go any faster. I pulled over, too, when I saw him stopped. This meant the other police came to see me. 
Apparently, it's illegal to stop on the side of the interstate in Kansas. Well, I wouldn't be stopped if you hadn't pulled my boyfriend for nothing. 
It is also evidently illegal to drive in the left lane unless you are passing someone. Really?? What kind of law is this? When driving long distances, I stay in the left lane because I know I'm going faster than most and don't want to switch lanes constantly. J is *obviously* from out of state, though, so they gave him a warning. Also, why was I not pulled when I was right in front of him in the left lane?
I figured out that the law is probably to keep traffic from getting backed up if two people are both going under the speed limit in opposite lanes. I figured this out minutes before I watched a trailer passing but not passing another trailer. They were both going about 60 (so 15 miles under the speed limit) and this went on for about 5 miles. If there's a law, this would be the time to enforce it. 
But we have now made it to the second hotel, which is just 2 hours (including time change) from the new apartment! It is a lot nicer and has a very comfy bed so we will be crashing now. I'm also worried that the internet will cut out since it's not actually Motel 6's. Their password doesn't work so I'm on Arby's or something. 
The next time I update will be from land of the snow instead of land of the pollen!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am fully aware that I should be packing.

I have been told that already, but well I don't like it. I move once a year, sometimes more and ahhhhhh! I'm so tired of packing. I literally just pulled the last things out of the last boxes in February. That being said, we do have a lot already done. Though, a lot needs to be done yet. We have decided what furniture goes to Goodwill and what we are taking. We have almost all the books and DVDs and vinyl packed. Well, J has all of his stuff packed, I had to purchase my holds at work so those are not packed. Also, we went to spend the last of our credit at the used bookstore up the road, and I haven't packed that stuff either. Tonight is the night to do it though because tomorrow we head to SC before the move.
But I feel like I should update this before I'm not able to!
So we found a place to live which is awesome, of course. It's still a one bedroom because, well there are 4 of us including pets and we just don't need that much space. It has a washer and dryer though which is AMAZING because I hate laundry mats and I'm tired of dragging everything so far away. Although, I do fold clothes when I go. It also has a "sunroom." This is apparently like an enclosed balcony. We've already decided it will the book/plants room. Lots of sun and still blocked from the cold.
I always say I'll post pictures when I move, but that usually doesn't happen. So this time I'll say, maybe I'll post pictures when we move.
The trip is planned as far as stops (for overnight, even though I wanted to go straight through) and planning how far we'll drive each day. We have small coolers for each car so we don't have to make stops for food and also because it's difficult to find vegetarian options at fast food places.
We've also been told that we need to drink a lot of water in order to adjust to the altitude better so we've been doing that and have reusable water bottles for the trip. Thankfully it's been hot here this week so we've been craving water. But it would appear that today was 5 degrees where we will be going. Hmm. That's really cold.
But anyway, for your patience dealing with me not updating, here are pictures of what's going on in our house.
So this is me, not packing.
J packing things from the walls, including stickers!
The kennel we got for Miss Kitty's car ride. It's bigger than the dog kennel...
My adorable puppy (when she was still tiny). She's now 35 pounds of pure fluff, but you're welcome for the picture.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Big Things Happening!

So I was going to get on here last week and write a "graduation speech" because as of last Monday I'm finished with my Bachelor's in English! I'm just waiting on the physical paper to get to me so I'll probably write it when I get it so I can post a picture to go with it.
Last Tuesday night, though, I got a phone call for my second interview for a huge job move I've been trying to get. I was on edge the next couple days, waiting to hear something back. Fortunately, I was at work so I was distracted, mostly. Friday night, I got the news that I will be going to Denver, CO! I will be a manager at a store out there, and I really don't think words can even convey how excited I am. This will be a huge adventure and will get me out of the Southeast, which has been a somewhat secret/somewhat not-so-secret dream of mine. Not that I don't love it here, but I've lived in SC, NC, VA, GA, and worked in TN so I feel like I've seen enough of this part of the country. I've dealt with the hot and humid summers long enough and I'm just ready for something new.
The best part of this is that J will also have a job. He already moved to GA for me and this time, he won't have to job hunt so I won't be stressed about that.
Instead, I will be able to stress about how this move will go. It will go like this. We have 2 weeks to pack because we will head out on April 15th. We have 2 weeks to find somewhere to find somewhere that takes dogs and someone with pretty terrible credit. And I have 2 days off before my last day at my current store. I'll have 3 days off after my last day and before we need to move, but we'll be headed home to see my family before we head out. And I need to figure out how to take my cat on a 3 day journey. I think I'm getting a smallish dog kennel that has enough room for a litter box. I'm hoping that she proves once more just how amazing she is. She is really good in the car usually and tries so hard to be adaptable so maybe, just maybe, it'll be okay.
So since today is one of my two days off, I guess I should get packing. But when I'm not updating much, just know this is why. For once, I have a legit reason!