June 25, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by me and my sister, Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post. ***And please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided. We really appreciate it!***

For those of you who are new to WUW, here are the headings we are using:

WHAT I'M READING
WHAT I'M WRITING

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Welcome, and thank you for joining us! 



WHAT I'M READING
I finished up THE PROMISE OF AMAZING by Robin Constantine this week, and while I wouldn't say it was amazing exactly, I definitely enjoyed it. I've read complaints that the MC was too quiet/boring and the LI too cocky/arrogant, but I wholeheartedly disagree. I could completely relate to Wren and while Grayson was cocky to begin with, he changed believably over the course of the story. It's called character growth, you know? It's also worth mentioning that the author nails teen guy voice and dual POV.

Speaking of characters named Wren... I picked up THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle and was...sort of irritated by it. Let me preface this by saying I loved SHINE, so you could say I'm a disappointed fan. Without going into detail, I will say I felt like the steaminess crossed into facepalm-inducing, 'this reads like a racy bodice-ripper' territory, and Wren (the MC) came off as seriously manipulative. Which, given certain key plot points, was a little bit infuriating. So, yeah. Not really a favourite. *

I'm about to start reading CAMELOT BURNING, a YA Steampunk by Kathryn Rose. It will be nice to switch gears for a bit.

WHAT I'M WRITING
Last week was another great week on the writing front, which feels fantastic! I added 4000 new words to my YA contemporary WiP and revised two chapters of my YA sci-fi WiP. I'm gaining momentum, folks! Here's a more detailed update on my progress.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Still sharing stuff that I love (and what inspires me) about YA...

Beautifully written stories that move me to tears, worm their way into my mind, 
and leave me thinking about my own life long after the last page is turned.
(Or, as in the specific case below, after the final credits roll).

Warning: If you haven't read TFIOS beware of spoilers.

I have watched this video and listened to the song an obscene amount of times over the past few days. What really stands out? Four little words that pack a whole lot of punch, that I absolutely can't stop thinking about: DO MORE THAN EXIST.

{A little HAM and CHEESE.}
WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
As I alluded to already, I finally saw THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in the theatre, and holy wow. There was a point in the movie with an important landmark, stairs, and sound bites... I was a goner from then on. I didn't stop crying until I walked through my front door. After walking all the way home. Eek. Like I said, I've been thinking about it ever since. Well done, Gus and Hazel. Actually, well done, Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley. You absolutely blew my mind.

In other news of the less ugly crying variety, yesterday my husband Todd and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. (Hey, look. If you tip the 8 over on its side, it's a "little infinity"--»  Gah!) Anyway, Todd doesn't get home until tomorrow, so the celebrations have been postponed. I'm so looking forward to seeing him (it's been 6 weeks) and going on a long overdue date!


After the fact add-on because my brain is total mush:
I totally forgot to mention that I whipped up a #YAPhotoADay challenge for the month of July. If you love YA and love taking pics of your favourite reads, you should totally jump in. On Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, your blog...wherever! Here's the graphic with the topics:


Well, that's it for me.
What's new with you?


* Disclaimer: I try not to post negative reviews of books, but this one got so badly under my skin, I felt I had to say something.






59 comments:

  1. I saw TFiOS this again weekend. I cried more the second time. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. I wasn't sure how I felt about sitting in a theatre and bawling my eyes out, but I went for it anyway. There were only about 5-6 other people there and they were all bawling too, so it wasn't that bad. Such an amazing movie, though. They captured the book perfectly. Have a wonderful week, Leslie! :D

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  2. Happy Anniversary! Hope you guys have a lovely celebration :D

    I try not to leave negative reviews, but sometimes aaaaargh, I just want to rant about how much I didn't like a book.

    Great job with all that writing. Hope it's another fantastic week for you ^_^

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    1. Thanks, Cole! :D

      As a writer, I find it really frustrating that you aren't supposed to write negative reviews. The thing is, I'm also a reader and was a reader long before I was ever a writer. I want to know whether a book is something I want to read, but how do I get a clear picture of that when you get opposite extremes in reviews: gushing or bashing. Honest reviews are so important, in my opinion.

      Hope you have a fantastic week, too! :D

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  3. Since we had a lengthy text discussion about it, you already know my feelings on THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US were exactly the same as yours. Way too many negatives about the main relationship and a few things that were just over the top, in my opinion. I'll definitely give Lauren Myracle's writing another chance though.

    Also proving how similar we are, I started to lose it at the exact same point in TFIOS as you did. That part just opened the floodgates, and I was a bawling mess for the rest of the movie. After seeing it, I think it was perfectly directed and cast.

    I'm glad you're gaining momentum with your writing! You've really been trucking along lately, and I hope it keeps up! I can't wait to read the finished versions of all the writing projects you've been working on!

    Happy belated anniversary, by the way! Yesterday was kind of crazy for me (will explain later), and I didn't realize what day it was until it was too late to send you a celebratory text. Enjoy your time with Todd when he gets back! :)

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    1. I really do like Lauren Myracle's writing, I just feel like she dropped the ball on this particular story. Judging from some of the other reviews I've seen, I know I'm not alone in thinking this. Really, my biggest grievance was with the whole manipulation thing. Well, and the dirt road car sex... O_o

      As for TFIOS, I was teetering on the edge for a while before Anne Frank Huis, but gah! They absolutely nailed that scene, and in such a creative and perfect way. I'll be visiting Anne Frank Huis this summer, and I know I'm going to be bawling for a whole crap ton of reasons now. O_o Honestly, I feel like I'm in this post-TFIOS haze right now. I can't stop thinking about it. You are so right about how well it was cast and directed. So stinking spot on.

      So last week's momentum is dwindling a bit this week. With Todd coming home tomorrow, I have a pile of stuff to get done. I think I might be aiming for that overall weekly word goal instead of writing five days this week. We'll see, I guess. I just really hope I can keep it all up when Todd's home. I usually get up earlier than he does, so maybe that will be my writing time.

      Talk to you soon! :D

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  4. Our tolerance for cheesy love scenes must be vastly different because those in THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US didn't bother me much.Wren's manipulation did, but there was no facepalming while I read. :-) I definitely agree that SHINE is a much stronger, more nuanced book, though. Way to go on all you accomplished on the writing front this week, Jaime! You're definitely flying, and I hope your momentum only builds. Have a great week, lady!

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    1. It wasn't so much cheesy as kind of too much information in parts. It felt like an Adult romance novel at times. I like a whole lot of steam in the books I read, but I just didn't love the way those scenes were written. Given both Charlie's and Wren's backgrounds and experiences, the manipulation thing *really* bothered me. I should probably have written a full review so I could explain myself better lol. Ah well. I like Lauren Myracle's writing, so this won't keep me from reading more of her stuff. :-)

      I'm hoping I can keep up the writing momentum, but I'm worried with my husband coming tomorrow I'm going to drop the ball. I guess I'll just have to find time to sneak in some writing and revisions, right? Have a wonderful week, Katy!

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  5. I'm so happy to be back for WUW-- and I have to say, after not seeing blogs for months-- Jaime your banner is so fantastic! I love it. I can't seem to settle on one I like... but that's neither here nor there. I haven't seen TFIOS yet but I had a long ugly cry at the end of that book and I'm sure I will at the movie, too. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and your fella. After six weeks apart I'm sure you'll have a fantastic reunion/anniversary celebration. Cheers!

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    1. I'm happy you're back too, Kat! :D Thanks for the compliment about my banner! I love blue butterflies (specifically blue morphos--they factor into one of my WiPs), so I thought I'd include one. I kind of wish I'd made my name a bit smaller, but oh well.

      TFIOS is one of the first books I remember crying over. I knew I was going to be a wreck at the movie, and I wasn't wrong. So many things triggered the feels. So many things. And, if I'm being perfectly honest, I was probably overly emotional with my husband gone for so long too. ;-) I'm thrilled he's coming home tomorrow! Have a great week, Kat! :D

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  6. And can I add-- I'm glad you said what you did/didn't like about a book in a mature and thoughtful way. I know people avoid that on blogs, but I really wish there was more of it. I come from academia, where CONSTRUCTIVE and thoughtful criticism makes your work stronger. I wish more writers would share what they do and don't like about the books they're reading. We all know that reading is subjective, so no opinion is "right" or "wrong".

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    1. Thank you so much for saying so. I honestly hemmed and hawed over the decision to say or not to say what I thought about this book. I probably should have written a full review so I could get across my points a little more clearly, but oh well. I agree that constructive and thoughtful criticism is important--for reader and for writers. If all we get for reviews is gushing or bashing--two opposite extremes--we don't really get a clear picture of a story's faults and merits. Reading is subjective for sure, but if you stay away from outright shredding a story, it should be okay to share an opinion. That's what I think, anyway. I think writers have been taught to think that writing negative reviews will have a negative impact on their writing careers. While that may be true (sad, isn't it?), I don't think that should make us shy away from doing it completely.

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  7. Congratulations on 8 years! That is an adorable picture. Also, it's awesome to see how much writing you are getting done! Have a fantastic and productive week!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! :D We took that picture in Central Park in New York when we were there last year. Such a great time! I'm thrilled with how much writing I'm getting done, especially after way too many months away. I'm just worried that I'm going to lose momentum with my husband finally coming home. Hope not! Have a great week! :D

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  8. Congratulations on eight years! I totally forgot to mention it in my post today but my husband and I celebrated 19 years yesterday! Time flies. We went to a new restaurant to celebrate and it was so yummy! I hope you do something fun to celebrate when your husband gets home! Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. Thanks, Kitty! Congrats on 19 years! That's fantastic! We've been together for 13, but only married for 8, so I always feel like we should be celebrating more years, you know? Your anniversary date sounds great. :-) Have a wonderful week! :D

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  9. Happy eight years!

    My husband and I watched TFiOS over the weekend and I wasn't sure if he'd be into it because it's YA but he enjoyed it. He really loved Gus. The stairs scene was amazing, loved the way it was edited together.

    Yay for gaining momentum - hope you have another great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer!

      I think whether or not you like YA, it's hard not to be moved by Gus and Hazel's story. I think my husband would have enjoyed it too, though--and he'd kill me for publicly stating this--I think he'd probably get just as weepy as I did lol. (He always gets really choked up when Boo says goodbye to Sulley in Monsters Inc....bahaha. Love that guy!) As for TFIOS, that stairs scene was so amazingly captured. The sound bites lined up so well with the situation. Overall, I was just so, so impressed with this adaptation.

      I'm hoping I don't completely lose momentum with Todd coming home tomorrow. I'll have to get creative with squeezing in some writing time. Have a great week! :D

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  10. Awww, I love that pic of you and your hubby! Congrats again!
    And yay that he's coming back tomorrow!

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    1. Thanks, Elodie! I'm so very excited about him coming home! :D

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  11. I finally saw TFiOS as well! Loved Ansel as Gus; he was just perfect.

    Camelot Burning sounds interesting. I'm always on the lookout for YA Steampunk, so I think I might give it a try!

    Congrats on 8 years!!

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    1. Wasn't he the perfect Gus? I'll admit, I wasn't sure before seeing it whether he was right for the part. Man, was I wrong. The two of them truly captured the emotional depth of the characters. I was just so, so blown away by this movie.

      I haven't read a lot of YA Steampunk, but after all of the contemporary I've been reading lately, it will be a nice change. Hope it's good! Have a wonderful week, Steph! :D

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  12. Congrats, Jaime and Todd! I love that you mentioned 8 looks like the infinity sign. To many more!

    It's awesome to see how much progress you're having on your WIPs. Keep going!

    To be honest, I haven't seen TFioS mostly because I am afraid it will destroy me (and I'll cry in public). I'm probably going to wait for this one to come out On Demand.

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    1. Thanks, Valerie! :D That whole "little infinity" was a reference to TFIOS. ;-) I'm such a sap lol.

      I really hope I can keep up this momentum with my husband coming home. I'll have to get creative about squeezing in some writing time, I think. It helps that I actually want to be writing lately. You know, after months of kind of dreading it and all.

      I was kind of hesitant about seeing TFIOS in the theatre for the reason you mention, but since there were only 5-6 other people there and ALL of them were bawling, I didn't feel so embarrassed lol. What an amazing adaptation, though. They absolutely nailed it. THIS is how book-to-movie adaptations are done, folks! Have a wonderful week, Valerie! :D

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  13. Congrats on 8 (sideways infinity--that is seriously cool) years!
    And also on your WIP progress. Have a great rest of the week!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! The "little infinity" thing was a reference to TFIOS too. ;-)
      As for my WIP progress, I really hope I can keep it up with Todd coming home tomorrow. I guess this will be a test of my willpower and discipline. Have a wonderful week! :D

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  14. Love that Ed Sheeran song! I saw the movie on the weekend too and bawled for a lot of it.
    Congrats on 8 years and way to go on gaining momentum!

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    1. Are you a serial song wearer outer too, Melanie??? LOL I love this song so, so much. And the video just gets me every time. It's definitely a new favourite! I can't even believe how well they captured the book in the TFIOS movie. Honestly, it's the best book-to-movie adaptation I think I've ever seen. And yeah, I was a wreck during and after it.

      Have a wonderful week! :D

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  15. I know exactly what part in the movie you're talking about and UGH! I remember trying not to sob out loud. That is one of the best book to movies I've ever seen. Gives me chills thinking about it.
    Congrats on the 8 years! I saw your post the other day, 15 years together though. AWESOME! And that picture of you two is ADORABLE! Enjoy your date night once he's back.
    Great job on all those words! Good luck this week.

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    1. The whole movie was spot on, but that particular scene...whoa. It's like all the feels just came crashing down on me. Like you, I still get chills thinking about it. Crazy thing is, I'm going to be visiting that landmark in August. I know I'll be a wreck for more than one reason. Like you say, this is one of the best--maybe even THE best--book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen.

      I'm always staggered when I stop and think about how long Todd and I have actually been together. Crazy! Honestly, it just gets better and better, despite how cliché that sounds lol. Can't wait for him to get home tomorrow! I'm hoping that all of this writing momentum doesn't disappear with him home, though. I'll have to get super creative about squeezing in writing time. Have a wonderful week, Mandie! :D

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  16. I was also very very very disappointed with Lauren Myracle's latest. It felt so cheesy and unrealistic to me. I LOVED Shine and grew up with her ttyl series so I know what she is capable of. I just wish this one had been tackled with equal grace as Shine. sigh. Oh well. I will still read her books! :)

    I saw TFIOS the night before it released and I went with a friend who was very emotional, so I kept making jokes to her whispering funny things because I knew she needed it. It was a little distracting to go the night before w. all the teen fan girls who kept woo-ing whenever Ansel was on screen or crying loudly…but I had a good time and met new people. I stayed a bit for the live Q&A with JG and the actors but it was such boring questions…stuff you could google like…"when are you writing your new book" GAAAAH.

    I actually participated this week in WUW. Pretty impressed with myself lol

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    1. Somehow I missed responding to your comment. Weird. I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt this way about Lauren Myracle's latest book. SHINE was so good, so I'll definitely be checking out her other stuff.

      Oh, that's kind of cool that you got to see the live Q&A with John Green and the actors! It's too bad people didn't come up with better questions. I actually kind of want to see TFIOS in the theatres again. Maybe I'll convince my husband to go with me lol.

      I'm thrilled you did WUW today, Rachel! I'm very impressed too! :D

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  17. I haven't seen TFiOS yet, but I'm planning to go next week on one of my days off. After I stop by Costco for a crate of kleenex. And that Ed Sheeran song made me almost cry the first time I listened to it. I was on the bus, so I'm glad I was able to control myself...

    Happy anniversary!

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    1. Geez Louise, that video makes me teary. Especially the part with Shailene Woodley laying in the grass looking up at the stars. Gah! Such an amazing song/movie/book. Definitely make sure you bring loads of Kleenex with you! And if you're worried about bawling in a theatre, don't be. Everyone else will be too lol! :D

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  18. I need to watch TFIOS! I'm hearing only good tings, and I loved the book. Nice work on your WIP! And congratulations on 8 years. :) Have a great week!

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    1. Honestly, TFIOS was the best book-to-movie adaptation I have ever seen. So well done! Bring tissues for sure, though. As for my WiP, I'm really hoping the momentum doesn't slow to a screeching halt this week with my husband coming home. I'll have to get creative about squeezing in some writing time. Have a wonderful week, Emma! :D

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  19. That photo challenge looks like so much fun - I'd take part if the majority of my books weren't at home while I'm at uni! Sounds like you're making great progress on the writing front, well done!

    Congratulations on eight years of marriage. :) Have a lovely week!

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    1. Oh, that's too bad. I would have loved to see what you came up with for each of the topics. :-) Things are going well on the writing front, though I am worried they'll slow somewhat with my husband coming home. I'll have to make a point of squeezing in writing time for a bit each day. Hope you're having a great week, Jess! :D

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  20. Happy Anniversary! I can't wait to see The Fault in Our Stars. I'm still working on begging my mum to come with me - she doesn't like watching sad films at the cinema, but I need to see it!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! If you need help convincing your mum to go to TFIOS, just tell her that the whole theatre will be bawling lol. Wish I was joking... There's sort of something comforting about the fact that everyone is collectively moved by the same story. It's so worth seeing! Hope you have a wonderful week, Laura! :D

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  21. Love that pic of the two of you. Happy Anniversary! I know what you mean about trying not to leave negative reviews. I used to feel more free about sharing about books that I didn't enjoy. But now that I am trying to write one, I have infinite respect for anyone who actually finishes a novel and gets it published. Far be it for me to criticize it. On the other hand, sometimes a book just doesn't work for me, and it's hard to break the habit of saying so. I always figure I must not be in the sweet spot of the target market. I thought you were very gracious and honest in your remarks. Have a great week, Jaime.

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    1. Thanks, Laurel! :D

      I know what you mean about criticizing something that someone poured so much of their time and energy into. I agree with that for sure. In this case, I felt like there were some unhealthy messages being put forward and wanted to point that out. I actually kind of want to write a whole review with the good and the bad just so I can explain myself a little better. Thanks for saying I was gracious and honest. I was trying to be, but it's always hard to tell how you're coming across, you know? Hope you're having a wonderful week! :-)

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  22. Happy Anniversary!! Some infinities are bigger than others and 8 years is a nice little slice of infinity. :)

    Okay, on the topic of TFIOS!!!!!!...I had to wait until this weekend too! (because I had to wait for Boy Chris to finish the book) (which was HARD) But we went to see it together, and I brought kleenex and he said he didn't need kleenex... and then stole all of mine halfway through the movie. Hah! But he bought me a mango waffle cone, which made up for it. :)

    You are going to have to take/make/bribe Todd go see it with you again.

    And congrats on having yet another amazing writing week!! You are inspiring me to do better.

    p.s. I'm with you on the "bodice ripping" either make it believable or leave it out.

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    1. Thanks, Kris!! I love that line from TFIOS about being thankful for their little infinity. Gets me every time. What a fantastic movie, hey? I think I'll definitely have to drag Todd to see it. He'll probably blubber worse than I did lol! How can you *not* be moved by a story like that? That's too funny about Boy Chris and the Kleenex. At least he made up for it with a mango waffle cone, right? ;-) As for writing, I'm not doing as well this week, but I have a good excuse. With Todd coming home tomorrow, I have a lot of stuff to get done beforehand. Ah well. Hopefully, I'll come back swinging next week. Have a wonderful week, Kris! :D

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  23. 4,000 new words on your WIP. That's awesome! Keep up the good work. And happy anniversary.

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I felt pretty good about how last week went. This week hasn't been *quite* as productive, but that's all right. That happens sometimes. Hope you have a great week! :D

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  24. Congrats on 8 years, and hope you and your hubs have a great time celebrating when he gets back!

    As for TFiOS, I totally agree with you. What a beautifully done film and adaptation. I'm finally starting to see why there's so much hype about Shailene. She was great as Hazel. My waterworks happened more towards the end of the movie, but that scene was powerful (though it happening in the Anne Frank House still weirds me out - like I get the set-up and why it's significant, but it's still weird).

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    1. Thanks, Alice! He gets home tomorrow night and I can't wait to see him!

      I can't rave enough about TFIOS. So, so well done. I was blown away by Shailene as Hazel. I mean, I figured she had the acting chops to do the part justice, but I feel like she did more than that. She nailed it! Same with Ansel Elgort as Gus. Loved them! As for Anne Frank House, it did kind of seem weird for a second, but I was too moved by the whole scene to really think much about it. The way they paired the sound bites and Hazel's stair climbing was so, so good. I think I need to go see it again! Have a great week! :D

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  25. Ahhh TFIOS! It really was perfect, wasn't it? Shailene and Ansel did such a brilliant job, and I also loved Nat as Isaac. The entire cast, really, was amazing. <3 I get emotional on the author's behalf when a book is adapted well, and I'm so happy for John that the movie turned out so well!

    Bummer about THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US. I've picked it up in the store a few time but never bought it, so thanks for posting your opinion. I loved SHINE, though!

    Happy anniversary! <3 Hope you have a great week Jaime!

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    1. It was fantastic! I've never seen such a spot on book-to-movie adaptation. That makes me so happy! I can't even imagine how awesome that must have been for John Green. I think I might have to go see it a second time. :-)

      There are lots of people who loved THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US, but I have a lot of concerns about some of the messages put forth by this book. Messages that I felt were actually kind of unhealthy. So, yeah, I felt like I needed to say something about it. I don't usually do that a whole lot, but this time I made an exception. SHINE, however, was an excellent book. Have a great week, Kaitlin! :D

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  26. Congrats on your anniversary and the awesome writing progress!

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  27. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! So so sweet :-)

    And I am really wanting to see The Fault in our Stars. It's getting such great buzz.

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    1. Thank you!
      You really should see TFIOS. It was so amazingly well done. I'm very impressed with how they got this story so right. I've been gushing about it since I saw it. :D

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  28. Happy anniversary! That picture of the two of you is very sweet!

    I love the idea of the YA Photo a Day challenge. I might have to participate in that. :)

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  29. Happy Anniversary!!

    I still need to watch TFIOS. I loved the book and I know I'll love the movie but I wanted to wait until the theaters cleared a little so I could have have some space to cry it out! Ha. Hope to see it within the next week or so.

    I love that you created the YA Photo a Day challenge. I'm going to try my best to participate!

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  30. Hi! I want to participate to your July photo challenge but I have a few one I don't really understand, can you explain "Reluctant YA Reader Rec", "Spine show & Tell", "Mug+Book" and "Great Dedication" to me? Thank you!

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