Friday, July 27, 2012

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins *Updated*

What it's about
Once Anna's parents left her alone in her dorm room she realized that this was final. She was stuck in a foreign country with no friends or family. Nothing familiar...not even the language. And to make matters worse, she was the new kid.
For most teenagers it would be a dream come true to move away from home to live independently from their parents. A fresh start away from all of life's current troubles...but not for Anna. 
She was looking forward to her last year of high school with her friends and then going to college to study film. So when her parents made the announcement that she was going to be sent away to France to finish her last year of High School at the exclusive School of America Paris, with out even giving her a choice. She was devastated. 
She was happy with her life.She lived with her mom and little brother. She had a best friend and a potentially new boyfriend named Toph that she's secretly liked for as long as she can remember. Her last night before leaving home he even kissed her, confirming that he liked her back.What was she going to do? How is she going to survive the whole school year alone?
She is in utter despair until she meets a group of friends including Étienne St. Clair... the most beautiful boy she's ever seen ...and the best friend a girl could ask for. He helps her order her food. He's takes her out exploring and best of all he takes her to the movies...the only down side is he has a girl friend. So he is completely off limits in the romantic department, and it's clear he only wants to be friends. Which is ok, because she has Toph, right? Who knows, with her new friends maybe this year won't be quite as horrible as she imagined.

And Scene

(Side Note:  Last November I reviewed the book "Lola and the boy next door" I really enjoyed that book but thought it was a stand alone novel. I was wrong...if I had known that it was the second out of two books, Anna and the French Kiss (AFK) coming first, I would have read it in order...Now, after reading AFK, I need to go back and reread Lola...and pay a lot  more attention to the secondary characters!)

This is the type of book that contains what I like to call a Seed story. It starts out small and plain, nothing really special. But once you finish it's grown so much that it's ingrained in your head and it is the only thing you can think about allll day. You can't help but go over your favorite bits over and over again. It's so encompassing you get into snippy arguments with you husband due to lack of sleep........ all because of this I like this book!

Since the beginning of May I've read about 16 books (11 from a specific series) but even though I really got into them, I never really wanted to purchase the books. *UPDATE(ok not really true.I think I was talking about just from the series because I actually do own 4 out of those 16)END UPDATE* (once I finish the next book in the series,I  might review it too...there's plenty to rant about, so don't get me started)  But out of all those other books AFK is the only one I've seriously considered buying. Which is odd but true. It's a book I want on my shelf so that I can pick it up when ever I want to shut out the screaming kids and just reminisce.
I really can't say what exactly made me like this one over the others. Maybe because unlike the majority of the other stories I read, that are based more on the supernatural, these events are possible. This could be someones true story...and if I had to think of one word that comes to mind when I think of the story it would be "Sweet." This is just a Sweet story. I know that sounds really girly of me but hey, New's flash, I'm a girl....And even though I wouldn't have minded an extra chapter at the end.... (there is an extra scene on Stephanie Perkins blog ,which is nice)....When I finished reading it I was all warm and tingly. It just made me feel good. And that my friends is a sign of a good book!

Side Note 2: If your are anything like my Mom, don't get thrown off by the title....She called me the other day and I told her what I was reading. I think all she heard was the words " French Kiss" because I could hear shock and horror that I might be reading smut. "WHAATT?!!! What's it called again?!" Then she kept making me repeat the title in the hopes that she heard wrong....

  1. 1st. Breath easy's called "Anna and the French Kiss" not "Anna and the Orgy of French Kisses"
  2. 2nd Like I would admit to you that I was really reading smut.... But I wasn't so please refer to #1. 

With all that said though, I personally would only really recommend this book for teens around age 16ish. There are some bad words here and there and a few more grown up themes discussed, pretty much like in any study hall in High school ...Middle school or,not so much. But, hey if you'er not in that last category....I say go read it and share the warm and tingly feelings!!!! :D

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I did on my Summer Vacation....

Oh wow, fancy meeting you have you been? Really that's great. Oh what have I been doing? Well, I kinda took a bit of a break. I went home to visit my family in Pennsylvania for about a month and then just kind of slacked for the last couple weeks.
What? You really want me to tell you about my trip? No, you don't want to hear all about it.
Really? *sigh* WELL Ok, if you insist!

( I feel like I should put on khaki shorts and a polo shirt. Maybe dig out my old Hershey Park name tag and get one of those little portable mics. Oh and don't forget the sunglasses, because otherwise tourist can tell when you roll your eyes at there stupid questions...they don't like that.)
Shall we begin our tour?
(Just think, if this was 1972 I'd be setting up a slide projector...just saying)

Let's start with the "the Road Trip"
 Because Ryan's arms are longer we have a sort of understanding that I drive most of the way and he beats...*cough cough*umm I mean handles the kids. Also despite having a perfectly decent sized kennel, George insisted on staying up front....where it was safer...

 Only home a few days and Willow is not happy...this is her "I can't believe you put me in time out!" face. Especially on Memorial Day while at the coolest park ever!! It had a "desert"(sand box) and everything.
And of course the first thing you do when coming home is go to Chocolate world "The Sweetest Place on Earth". Ride the free ride and get some free chocolate!

 Hello ladies...Every few years they add some sort of "improvement" to the tour ride...the singing cows are one of the latest....
 But what has never changed (and better not ever) although I swear they turned down the heat is the ROASTER!!! AAAHHHHHHH
 And speaking of roasting...what better way to end our evenings than with a fun camp fire in the yard..mmmmm.......

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine"
 I love my parents back yard...3 acres of Green awesomeness.... I really like this picture...See Mom! You can cut them down but they will come back!!


 Me posing in the "back forty" in front of my favorite Mulberry tree.... And speaking of Mulberries!!!!

THIS is what a real Mulberry looks like!!!! MMMMM  YUMMY!!!And this is why I LOVE coming home in June. Last September I found a mulberry tree in Idaho and I almost bought the land it was on just to get the tree....

These are my sister's hands...she didn't understand why I wanted to take of picture of she could make a camio in my blog, of course!
An this is what your fingers are supposed to look like after just a few minutes of picking/eating them....

Now, up next on our tour is a little town just east of my home called Annville.

 Every year they have an annual street fair they so aptly call. "Annville Days"...some years are better than others. But this year was pretty good....
It's not a deep fried Snickers, but hey deep fried Oreo's will do.

Making cards to send to the Troops

playing the drums for music therapy
And the BEST part of Annville Days....The Bag Pipes!! I'm serious, it's my favorite part.
 And now moving on....
Since moving to Idaho I've had to make do with not having certain things that I can only seem to get in PA.(And if I do find them here, they are not very authentic) And here are a few of those things.
Four Leaf Clovers...
Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake WITH the thin layer of icing on the top of the Vanilla
Real "OH MY GOSH" soft pretzels. Yes, it's over a foot wide and it only cost $4.

Decent tasting Whoopy Pies mmmmm
 The last two picture were taken after of my trips to an awesome farmers market called "Roots" (pronounced  "Ruts") located in Lancaster, PA. Going there is mandatory. The food alone is worth the trip and you can get the best deals on fruits and veggies. If you go there, take my mother. If she can't find you the best deal, than no one can. Not to mention that you if don't go home with a car full of flowers, enough fruits and veggies to can in mass quantities and a full belly, then you obviously did something wrong! Ok, moving on.

Our next stop was about 2 hours east, just outside of Allentown in Easton, PA.

The Crayola Factory!!! (aka the Crayon Chocolate factory)
The town square Easton, PA

Does this really need a caption?
 There are just rooms and rooms of FUN. It was totally worth the $12.50 for admission...And to think my mom tried to talk me out of going.....
The kids (and Ryan) had a blast!

Really mommy, I can just  cut and glue what ever I want?!
Yes, child...go to town.

 One of the last stops on the East Coast was a quick one day trip to Rahobeth Beach, DE. For some reason I always thought it was in Maryland, but no, I was wrong....Either way, it hasn't changed in decades! This was only the kids second time to the beach (that they can remember) so it took a while, but they started to realize the full potential of alll that sand!

It helped that Happy (Pappy) was there to show them the ropes

 All in all, it was a very fun trip. I had not been home in over two years so I wanted to make sure I got in all the fun things I remember from my childhood. So just to make sure I solidified those memories I made sure to make one more stop at the most important place.....again!

It's only 5lbs...but still it's the best thing in the whole shop!!
 And thus ends our tour....I hope you all enjoyed this little trip to the East Coast...

In some ways the trip ended too soon. But I was happy that I was given the opportunity to visit with all of my friends and family....
Driving home into the sunset through Wyoming....I'm sure it would have looked better without the smoke from the CO fires...not to mention a clean windshield.

MUSH GEORGE, MUSH!!! at a very windy "Little America" in Wyoming..

And now I will leave you with a small sampling of what I was treated to (subjected to)  during our down time at the house...Did I forget to mention that my sister was visiting there with her 4 kids too? Combined with my made for some interesting times.