meg says read this, Read This

Read This: Once and For All

Is it really summer if you don’t read a Sarah Dessen book? YOu may recall that Dessen’s latest Once and For All was on my list of anticipated reads for this year. Now that I’ve read it, I just want to be immersed in the story again. As you know, I’m not a fan of formulaic writing (exactly why you don’t want to get me started on Nicholas Sparks books.) Although some may think that Dessen’s novels are predictable, I on the other hand am pleasantly surprised by her plot twists. There was a gut punch in Once and For All that I wasn’t expecting, (which is sometimes a delicious surprise, but here I was biting my lip, and trying not to cry.) Okay, okay I’m getting ahead of myself. Once and For All chronicles the summer before Louna goes off to college. Her mom owns a wedding planning business with her best friend William. Louna is used to not getting caught up in the “magic” of weddings, constantly seeing the bridezillas or the behind the scenes meltdowns, but you have to wonder how a teenager got so jaded. What happened that makes her question if true love is real? Well, you’ll find out. I love that in this story, we’re introduced to Louna’s best friend Jilly, and the trouble maker ADD son of a client Ambrose – both of their personalities balance out Louna’s serious nature. Ambrose is completely unpredictable, and Jilly is all about “living your best life” (however you do that!) As the story unravels we learn about Louna’s past, maybe what makes her skeptical or hesitant, and we’re also reminded that people aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface. It’s a great summer read, as Dessen finds a way to take us back to her favorite endless possibility beach town, Colby, and even teenagers working hard in the summer have to let lose once in a while. I read this entry on Sarah Dessen’s website where she wrote about some of the things that inspired Once and For All (two babysitters simultaneously planning their own very different weddings.) Then I stumbled across this passage, which not only sums up the heart of Once and For All, but it’s also pretty accurate about life:

As I started to think about all this, I began taking it wider, to the idea of how many “perfect” things we want, or are allowed. I’d had everything I wanted with SAINT ANYTHING: maybe I’d never get that again. Louna, my narrator, has this amazing first love and thinks that’s her only chance, her once and for all. But life goes on, even after those walking into the sunset moments. We can’t always have a perfect day, or a perfect experience. We need to take those great moments, though, and appreciate them. It’s tough for us perfectionists, but it’s true. The best stories, I have learned, often come when things don’t go as you planned. (source)

I definitely recommend this book for some summer reading, but I’ll warn you maybe I’m just a sap, or maybe the content really does go straight to your heat – I found myself tearing up a few times. Even still the imagery will make you laugh a few times, as you imagine Loud Cell Phone Lady in the coffee shop, or Ambrose and his antics, or Jilly’s siblings running all over the house. Dessen did it again with a little world to get lost in, and remind yourself of a few of life’s most important lessons.
Listen, turn it up tuesday

Turn It Up Tuesday, Listen to This: “Mine Would Be You”

You know how some girls have their weddings planned to a T by the time they’re seventeen and they haven’t even started dating yet? I’m kind of the opposite of that, (though I miiight have a Pinterest board aptly named “Wedding Related Stuff For No Reason.”) Anyway, even still because I love music so much when I hear a really sweet song I tend to think “ohh man that’d make for a good first dance song!” Yeah, I can be pretty sappy like that. The first time I heard Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” (on the new Based On a True Storyalbum) that’s exactly what I thought. Maybe some of the lines aren’t perfectly suitable for a family gathering, but whatever the sentiment is there. And if I’m perfectly honest, I might indulge in the idea that a piece of me might like to imagine that someday when I hear these lyrics, I’ll have one person in mind and hopefully they’re sitting on the other side of the car from me but not yet – for now, I’ll just enjoy the sweet simplicity and belt it out like I know what that’s like.

“What’s your double dare, your go all in?
The craziest thing you ever did?
Plain as your name in this tattoo
Look on my arm, mine would be you
Mine would be you
Sun keeps shining, back road flying
Singing like crazy fools
Making up our own words
Laughing ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you?”

I’ll admit I got pretty excited on the drive-in to work this morning when I realized it’s Tuesday and I could share this as my “Turn It Up Tuesday” post for the week. I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, safe & fun times had by all – I know I did! So if you don’t know it yet, I’m telling you – you should. Listen here:


maybe wtach this

Watch This (Maybe): The Romantics

As I posted last week, I recently finished reading Something Borrowed. Of course when I remembered there was a film version of the book, I went straight to Netflix to see if they had it available for instant streaming. Unfortunately, they don’t right now, but the search did prompt the appearance of the 2010 film The Romantics, in the results. The film features an all star cast (Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Adam Brody, Elijah Wood, Dianna Agron, Candice Bergen etc.) and was based off and directed by the author of the novel, Galt Niederhoffer.

As you may have noticed in the title of this entry, I’m not necessarily urging you to go watch this movie. It’s a maybe one. I read the book a few years ago, (actually I think it was summer 2010 when I was living at home after college graduation.) I was intrigued by the idea that it might have some kind of similarities to The Big Chill since it’s basically about a group of tight knit friends from college with an incestuous dating history. They’ve reunited for the wedding of Tom (Duhamel) and Lyla (Paquin), though everyone is painfully aware of how awkward the event is for the maid of honor Laura (Holmes,) who’s never gotten over her own relationship with Tom.

I of course love any opportunity to see Brody grace the big-screen, and it’s impossibly hard for me to separate Paquin from my memories of watching her in Fly Away Home. Tripler (played by Malin Akerman) is just as crazy on screen, as I imagined her character in the book. (She may have been my favorite part!) The landscape and scenery of the film is outrageously gorgeous, and the music was a welcomed addition of brilliance. Since the film was directed by the author, I can’t really dispute that the translation wasn’t done properly. I will say, reading the novel left an awkward taste in my mouth. I was anxious wondering if the movie would leave that same feeling, but somehow it didn’t? Maybe it’s because so much time has passed between the reading and the watching. The story takes place over a period of about twenty-four hours as the friends arrive at the family house the night before the wedding. If you haven’t read the book, and don’t really know what to expect than I could see how the film would be majorly disappointing. At least with the book you get a lot more of the back story, and insight into the (somewhat twisted) nature of the characters. The bourgeois air about Lyla’s family and her mother’s ridiculously smothering control tendencies.

I’m actually kind of indifferent to this film. It wasn’t one I’d jump to say I didn’t like, but I didn’t exactly “enjoy” it either. Also, my curiosity to see how it unfolded, and whether or not the ending was super ambiguous would win over any hesitation I might have had to turn it off. I’m curious if any of you out there read the book and then watched this movie, and what your take on the two are? Share with me in the comments, please!

Also, for your viewing pleasure here’s a trailer of the film: