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review 2018-08-14 22:42
New Release Review!
How to Breathe Underwater - Vicky Skinner

 

There's a lot to unravel here, so bear with me. I'm still in awe of the profound emotional roller coaster I just experienced with this heartfelt story. Skinner has a way with words that elicits your emotions and keeps you engaged page after page.  
 
Kate is a fairly average teenager, save for one big exception, she's the best swimmer in the state. With her dad as her coach constantly pushing her to do more, be better, work harder, etc. there's a lot of emotional baggage tied into her sport. When Kate's life turns upside down after her dad's affair becomes public, it's more than just a relocation. It is the first time Kate really questions whether she wants to keep swimming now that she's not striving for her father's attention.
 
I imagine switching schools after growing up with the same team is difficult in itself, then add the pressure of being "the best", any kid would have a hard time. Kate manages to navigate her new circumstances with less than stellar grace and a few bad choices to makes things more challenging. Crushing on the boy next door is adorable and sweet, but navigating through an existing girlfriend and trying to make new friends does not make it easy. 
 
Kate's struggles with her new family life are an integral part of the story. Divorce is a difficult topic to write about, but Skinner does an exceptional job keeping things just the right amount of heavy without feeling overwhelming. It was important that we see how the divorce is affecting Kate's mom and sister as well. The camaraderie of their shared heartache is a refreshingly honest look at the emotional toll divorce can have on a family. 
 
Michael and Kate's friendship is the bright light in an otherwise tumultuous world. There's one particular scene that stands out in my mind where they sit in the hallway across from each other in the middle of the night eating ice cream. That sweet moment of friendship made me wish I had a neighbor like that, especially as I suffered from insomnia in high school too. I found their story endearing and frustrating at the same time. It is a splendid story fraught with awkward moments, sweet gestures, and a fair amount of hardship. 
 
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a heartfelt look at what strengths lie in moving on and forgiveness. 
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review 2018-05-18 23:38
I'll never look at pickles the same way again
Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything - E. Lockhart

One of the drawbacks of reading so many books is that I have extremely high standards since I've read some truly excellent pieces of literature...and also some major duds. I say all of this because I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 2 years ago and so I know she has the capability to write amazing young adult fiction. I chose Fly on the Wall specifically because the review that I heard on BookTube led me to believe that it was a retelling of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and because I had enjoyed Lockhart's previous book. What I didn't expect was for it to be chock full of really explicit sexual content. Why on earth did she have to describe penises in such revealing detail? And why did she keep referring to them as gherkins?! (And if I ever hear someone call them that or  refer to breasts as biscuits I'm going to slap them across the face.) The main character and the person who we view the story from is named Gretchen Yee and she is the prototypical teenage girl filled with angst. She attends a high school that focuses on the arts and her specialty is drawing comic book style characters (hence the cover imagery). Her obsession with a boy in her school leads her to make a foolhardy wish to be a fly on the wall of the boys locker room so that she can find out how he really thinks about her. (And this is where she begins to ogle the boys as they undress for gym class.)  I guess the story is supposed to be a character study or a revelation that what we think we know about people can be turned on its head if we see them at their most vulnerable. However, for me it was a letdown and vaguely nauseating. This was a 0/10 for me and I'll have to give serious thought to reading anything else from this author in the future.

 

PS There were also a lot of plot holes in the storyline and the ending truly fell flat. 

 

Source: Amazon

 

What's Up Next: The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-04 19:26
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Dear Mr. Henshaw - Paul O. Zelinsky,Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr. Henshaw was one of the first chapter books that I remember reading. I was captivated by the story and re-read the book numerous times. The story dives into heavy situations, such as divorce, bullying, and moving to a new school. I loved that the main character would write to his favorite author. I think that I would have students do the same!  Because this book is for older readers, I would ask them to decipher the setting and draw or write about it. I would love to incorporate this book into a science or stem lesson. Just like in the story, I would ask students to design their own lunchbox alarm.

 

Guided Reading - Q

Lexile - 910L

DRA - 40

AR - 4.9

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text 2017-12-19 06:04
Why it is important for Couples to consider Prenuptial Agreement

 

The best advice can be provided by Jag Virk Family Lawyers when you need a prenuptial agreement that will set the rights and responsibilities of each party in a relationship. Many couples understand the importance of prenuptial agreement because it can be the best protection for their individual interests. Jag Virk can provide the best advice and assistance in drawing up the agreement so that it will be tailored according to your specific situations.

Marriage is not only a romantic relationship; it can also be considered as a business relationship. There are instances when one spouse has inherited property from parents and grandparents. A premarital agreement will protect the inheritance rights of the children in case of divorce or dissolution of marriage. Jag Virk is your best guide to walk you through every step and section of the prenuptial agreement based on the individual circumstance that has to be considered.

A prenuptial agreement is essential if one of the spouses has his own business or a professional practice so that it will not be divided or subjected to control or involvement of a previous spouse after the divorce. If there is no prenuptial agreement, the other spouse will be entitled to a portion of the business or professional practice after a divorce. Under the laws of some states, any increase in value, continuing growth and success of the spouse’s business or profession would be considered as divisible material property.

Starting a relationship with a prenuptial agreement is usually perceived as lack of trust but Jag Virk can intercede so that the agreement will not be a reason for misunderstandings. It is difficult to predict the future and many potential issues may arise during the marriage. The premarital agreement will not only cover the financial aspect of the relationship but other details in the decision-making process. Without an agreement, both spouses share in responsibilities and decision-making. If one spouse accumulates debts due to an extravagant lifestyle, the debt-free spouse will be protected.

While most courts honor prenuptial agreements, there are situations where they can be challenged. When the prenuptial agreement is drawn by a professional lawyer, you have the peace of mind that you are properly protected.

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text 2017-11-25 06:35
Wringo Ink. Short Story for the Genre Play: Poindexters & Pinkies

 

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 25, 2017.

 

 

 

Scene 1

The scene opens in a laboratory, showing two bearded octogenarians in lab coats. One bespectacled scientist is tipping a conical flask full of frothy vomit green liquid into a beaker. The other one is sitting across from him and observing with one eye closed to make up for his misplaced glasses. None of them is a redhead and there is a complete lack of annoying sisters clad in pink, pirouetting all over the lab.

 

“Easy on the Sibling Rivalry, Maaz. You know what happened the last time!” he says, checking if looking through a beaker would help him see better.

 

“Those tentacles…” Maaz says and both brothers shudder as they remember.

 

“Ugh never mind the tentacles. Do you remember that cleavage?” Shehzad opens his palms wide enough to hold a grapefruit in each hand.

 

“Thanks, bro”, Maaz puts down the flask and gives his brother a disgusted look. “I’d only just managed to get it out of my mind.”

 

Shehzad replaces the seeing beaker with a magnifying glass and retorts with, “It is a good thing that you don’t have a brain then. Ain’t it?”

 

Used to his brother’s insults, Maaz ignores and starts searching for something, “Whatever. Where did I put the syrup of Running Away From Your Responsibilities?

 

“Too long, bro. We agreed we’d call it RAFYR. It’s by that beaker. Just a squirt, mind you” Shehzad reminds his brother with one of his eyes comically enlarged behind the magnifying lens.

 

“Stop lecturing me, Shehzad. I know how much of what goes where” Maaz manages to grab the RAFYR after dropping a beaker or two in his pursuit.

 

“Fine. Fine.” Shehzad gets up and starts pacing while trying to remember, “What are we missing? Ah yes”, he says spotting an amber bottle full of viscous liquid, “a dollop of Exam Fear” he goes to stand next to his brother and adds the last ingredient, “and we’re back in business!”

 

Meanwhile, Maaz tallies the number of ingredients on his fingers twice until satisfied, “All right! I’ll whip it up nicely while you get in the chamber. Mind your beard.”

 


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