Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Good Reads Says:
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
I Say:
Maggie gave me this book to read forever ago, and I've yet to give it back. I need to. I also need to buy my own copy. Because, seriously, guys? This book meets the title. It's totally epic.
I don't use the words 'delightful' or 'freshing' very often. They seem old to me. However, they both apply to this book in the best way. It's sad at times, but ultimately, uplifts the reader. It's fun and goofy and has great music suggestions. Also, I love that it starts in California and goes through Missouri. It talks about In-and-Out burger in California and Sonic in Missouri, and the weird way that some people call Missouri 'Mi-zur-a' and has cool tidbits about tons of states.
The characters are great. Seriously. They're people you could meet any day, anywhere. I am also kind of in love with Roger. I'm actually kind of in love with Amy, too; she's strong and funny and ultimately, the kind of person I want to be.
This is a perfect spring break read, or a perfect holy-crap-why-won't-my-chem-homework-die book. I highly suggest it.
More later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holly Schindler Guest post!

Guys, I know an author. Yeah. Be jealous. Her name is Holly Schindler. She's awesome and wrote an awesome book, AND she lives near me. Missouri is awesome like that.
Holly did an interview with me last year and wrote A Blue So Dark, which was reviewed here. Her new book is coming out March 8, and I am kind of insanely bouncy and hyper active waiting for it.
Seriously. You have no idea. One of my best friends read Blue and ended up calling me at 2 in the morning to inform me that she wanted to marry the novel. Playing Hurt is described below.
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took ahorrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea ’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort.  There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past.  As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home.  Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?
Seriously. Doesn't it sound good?
And, without further ado, Holly, talking about something very close to my own heart!


[HPIM3191.JPG]Did you ever try to study in a section of your school that’s really high traffic?  Say, maybe a student convocation center?  The kind of place where you feel completely self-conscious?  Or did you ever grab a chair in the library in order to catch up on those last few chapters of Bio reading, at the same time hoping you’d accidentally “bump into” your crush, who just happens to work in the library after school?  Ever try to do your math homework on the bus, while dreading the fact that you’re going home because you had a horrendous fight with your parents or sibling over breakfast that morning?

Yeah.  Doesn’t work, does it?  If your mind is occupied, the words in the textbook in front of you blur, don’t they? 

Let me ask you something else: Have you ever tried to write a term paper in a room without any heat?  Have you ever tried to read a novel for English sitting in the rain?  Have you ever tried doing a science experiment wearing a lab coat so small that it cinched you in like a corset, and you couldn’t breathe?

Now you’re shaking your head.  “That’s dumb,” you’re saying.  “I’d never try to do that.”

And the reason you’d never try it is because it’d be impossible.  Nobody can work when they’re uncomfortable.  Nobody.

Writing’s a lot like schoolwork, in that it takes an inordinate amount of mental alertness and focus.  And with any mental task, you have to be comfortable to be productive.  Period.

Comfort, in my book, can be either physical or mental.  The physical stuff’s fairly easy to remedy, most times.  Too cold?  Put on another pair of socks.  Hungry?  Grab a granola bar.  The mental comfort is a bit trickier to obtain.  Going back to my original examples, when your mindis elsewhere—on what others might think of you, or your crush, or a previous fight—you can’t focus on the task at hand.  If you’re plagued by chronic worries, you’re not comfortable—and worry really isn’t something you can just turn off. 

But for me, the Ozarks really are comfortable.  The Ozarks give me peace of mind and peace of being…Stuff you can’t easily obtain just anywhere.  Springfield ’s like that old pair of favorite jeans you always gravitate toward.  My mind is quiet here, so I get to work full-bore…and that’s why, for me, the Ozarks can be such a fantastic place to write in. 

--Sam again! I know. I'm boring. Sadness.
But anyway, Holly is so right. The Ozarks are amazing and beautiful--and comfortable. Holly put together a video about the Ozarks, which is below. So, basically, you can see what my home looks like.

And because Holly is increasingly awesome, she's holding a contest. Local Missouri bloggers are posting about Playing Hurt -- me, Maggie, Sarah, and Another Book Junkie --and whoever gets the most comments receives a copy of Playing Hurt. So comment away! The entry form thinger-ma-bob is here.
More later, guys. And go buy A Blue So Dark/pre-order Playing Hurt. You will not regret it. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where is it?

Monkeys and pandas and sparkles, oh my! This month has presented flowers and candy and books and way too much debate and not enough writing -- but also pretty trophies, which makes the world sparklier. Also, here. Have a monkey.
And now that I've shown off pictures of animals, let's talk about hunting. No, not the fluffy. Hunting for time.
Time management is something that, while imperative, doesn't just happen. My way of dealing? Avoid chemistry homework and go to the library -- go to the library, A LOT. More studying happens there. That said, I'm still not writing as much as I'd like to; I'm getting some, but too often this seems to happen.
Except, well, when I fall asleep outside, I end up covered in nasty ugly bug bites. And my messy hair isn't nearly that cute.
So what do you do for time? Any hints on hunting it down? Or perhaps some hair care advice? I would love either.
More later. Promise!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I was born in California. I was raised in the desert.
I was not made ready for a foot of snow.
I used to have a car.
Now I have a block of ice and snow.
I used to have -- well, no, I haven't had sanity in a long time. But I used to at least be able to keep myself amused for more than ten seconds. Snow has destroyed this. I just keep looking outside and thinking 'Oh, you suck.'
Though, actually, everything is sparkly, which is slightly awesome.
However, on the upside, I've been able to read. For instance, this book?
Dude. Very good. There's this weird, epic quality about it. And there was a moment at the end that totally gave me goosebumps. Also, they have snow. Lots of it. And they lived.
Well. Some of them.

Also, I am now obsessed by Big Bang Theory. 

Because, really. Smart is always sexy. Just ask my debate team.
...Oh, holy monkeys. Bad example. Let's look at this instead.
ZOMG, look, SNOW!
Meh. More later. If the snow hasn't swallowed me.