Literary Bears

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A trip to the MET Museum

I can’t prove the following story, but either you will believe me..or you won’t. I have no control over your reaction, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s true.

In college, I had to take an Art course as part of the general requirements. I decided to take the Art History course because I’ve always liked history, and I know a trip to the MET was mandatory to pass the class. I’ve always wanted to go back to the MET and this would be the perfect excuse to make me go back. The course was very interesting, and I ended up making new friends in that class. When it was time to go to the museum, several of my friends and I decided we would go together.

As we approached the marble statue of Aphrodite, my friend commented on how much she loved the Goddess of Love, and I responded by asking her why. They all looked at me as if I were nuts. That’s when I came clean about hating love. It’s not that I don’t love anyone; I love my family. I just hate that we live in a society where we are forced to feel unfulfilled until we find someone to love. We live in a world where young girls are taught to look forward to Prince Charming’s rescue. This continues onto adulthood, with movies that depict women over their 20s as depressed because they have not found love. As if being single in any way reflected a woman’s value. They waved me off as a “bra-burning feminist” and as unromantic. Agree to disagree was my thought, but I stayed behind to hang out with Miss Aphrodite for a little longer.

As I turned to leave, I sensed some movement from the corner of my eye. There was no one there so I just turned to take one last look at the marble statue. She seemed to be smirking at me while giving me some side-eye. I blinked and figured I imagined it. I continued my trip through the museum, went home, and forgot all about the incident.

I suddenly found myself the center of attention everywhere I went. Men were suddenly and inexplicably drawn to me; it was extremely annoying. I couldn’t explain it, but I just KNEW Aphrodite had something to do with this. I opted to avoid people as much as possible, but it was hard. Women were now attracted to me as well. Aphrodite must have figured she would win if she covered all her bases. My life became impossible. I feared discussing my suspicions because people would think I was insane. The only person I could talk to was Aphrodite herself so I made plans to visit the MET the very next day.

Once in front of Aphrodite, I mentally asked her to please remove her curse. I told her I appreciated her as a goddess, but I was just not interested in spending my time with anyone, and to please take pity on me because she was making me miserable. I had a long conversation in my head with her and truly felt like she was listening. After some time, I left the MET feeling like a weight had been lifted off me. I looked around and noticed I had become invisible once again. Not one person looked at me, and I felt at home being the wallflower I was always meant to be.

On the train home, I sat down on the first empty seat I found, which happened to be next to a man immersed in a book. He did not look up and did not even seem to notice that I was there. I glanced at the book he was reading, Salem’s Lot. Oh yeah, I read it. Suddenly, he was startled and slammed the book shut and I smiled because I knew the part he had just read. I asked him if I was correct, and he seemed surprised either because he really did not know I was there or because I guessed correctly. He smiled and said I was correct and we talked about the book until we got to my stop. He actually got up to exit the train as well, and we laughed at the coincidence. As we were exiting the train, he asked if I would like to continue our conversation over coffee, and I smiled because Aphrodite won after all.


This is a story that I started over a year ago, and never finished because I just didn’t know where I was going with the story. When my husband asked for a story as part of his birthday gift, I decided to pick this one up again. His birthday was yesterday, but I finished the story today so Happy Belated Birthday to my love! This one’s for you… Actually, they’re all for you.

Jake and Leslie, Sitting in a Tree

Jake’s heart had never felt so empty. He sat across from his best friend, Leslie, and just stared blankly past her. Leslie sympathized with Jake’s heartbreak, and offered countless hours of therapy and a shoulder to cry on, but she was secretly happy the relationship with Christine had ended.

Christine was the type of girl who felt threatened by her friendship with Jake. Leslie was used to that type, and they never lasted. She would never understand why Jake thought otherwise. When they were younger, she would often pretend to be a lesbian just to help his friend get a girlfriend, but they quickly grew out of that phase. Christine was just the latest in a long string of girls that could not handle their friendship.

Jake and Leslie met in 5th grade, at an age where girls and boys hate each other. Their unlikely friendship started during a game of Tag, when Jake made a comment about how he was “uncatchable” and “no stinky girls” would ever be able to tag him. Leslie took that as a challenge. He allowed Jake to believe the lies he spoke, but knew that he would regret those words. When Leslie tagged Jake, he seemed genuinely shocked to see that he was outrun by a girl. Instead of being a sore sport, he smiled at Leslie and they have been friends ever since. Making fun of a boy/girl friendship got old pretty fast, and they quickly became a staple at school. When thinking of Jake, your mind would always go to Leslie. They became inseparable and that friendship only grew stronger as the years went by. They went to every dance together, and it was a shock to no one when they went to Prom together.

But here they were… Leslie consoling Jake once again over a girl that she had immediately known was not worth his time. She had gone through this enough times to know that there was nothing she could do to speed up the process. She just had to be there for him, confidently knowing he would snap back soon enough regardless of what she did. She stopped trying to cheer him up, and she definitely learned not to set him up with her friends; that always resulted in one less friend once the relationship inevitably went sour. It was always the same reason too: they felt insecure with how highly he talked about Leslie.

Jake suddenly snapped into life and looked at Leslie with a huge smile on his face. Leslie smiled back relieved that he had snapped out of his sorrow so suddenly.

“What’s up?” Leslie asked.

“You know who I was just thinking of?” Jake asked.

Leslie braced herself for hearing Christine’s name. She would have to humor him while reminding him that Christine had made it clear that she did not want to see him again. So she casually asked, “who?”

“The girl that rung up our coffee this morning. She was really pretty. Let’s go by tomorrow so I can ask her out.” he answered.

Leslie smiled and said “If you loved the first, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.”

He smiled back and said “you and that stupid Johnny Depp quote”

“But was he lying?! Welcome back sir. I was beginning to worry about you.”

“I was drowning in my misery when I remembered if it ain’t the kind of love you and Adam have, I don’t want it.”

Adam and Leslie met in college, and both Leslie and Jake knew he was the one almost immediately. Adam and Jake became instant best friends, and that made Jake believe that he would keep trying until he met the female equivalent of Jake; someone who did not try to separate them, but instead became a part of the group. So far, all the girls focused on Leslie, but he would not lose hope. Maybe the girl at the coffee shop will be the one. In the meantime, there was only one thing he knew for sure, if he loved the first, he wouldn’t have fallen for the second. Goodbye Christine.


Book Review for My Rad Life


Are you a kick-ass feminist? Do you know a kick-ass feminist? If you answered yes to either question, then you NEED this journal. If you answered “no” this post is not for you, and you can probably stop reading this and save yourself some time… just kidding 🙂 READ IT ANYWAY!!!

“Journaling” is really underrated. I think everyone should write down thoughts, if at least just to kill some time. It doesn’t have to win awards, and no one has to read it, but writing things down is definitely something we should all do a little more. It will make us all better people. At the end of the day, I’m all about becoming a better person. THIS journal will definitely get you there.

My Rad Life offers inspirational quotes from strong, fierce women. I love the quotes. They are very inspirational without the “oh-my-god-look-how-wonderful-I-am” douchiness. I think that at any point in your day, you can pick up this journal and find something that speaks to you.

But is that all? Not only do you get inspirational quotes to help you meditate on your day, it also offers great questions to get you started on your writing. If you have nothing to write down, i’m sure you can find a question to help you get started and bring out the creative side in you.

Gifting-Season will be here before you know it! Please put this journal on your list for any feminists in your life. It is sure to be a hit! I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, but that is NOT why I am raving about it. I truly did love this journal!

For more info, please use the links below!



Dear Teen-aged Me


Dear Teenagers,

Here’s a list of things I learned along the way:

  1. You’re very likely to not have your shit together straight out of college, and that’s ok
  2. You’ll know when you find your one true love. Don’t waste your time on bullshit.
  3. You will fuck up, don’t beat yourself up. That’s what your early 20s are for
  4. Know the difference between a true friend and a “friend”  Choose wisely.
  5. Surround yourself with nothing but positive people; negativity will drag you down
  6. Cherish all the genuine people you come across, they are hard to come by
  7. It is NEVER okay to envy anyone. Work harder.
  8. Self-analyze. Know your own strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Strive to be a better person
  10. Do not change for anyone. Change for yourself.
  11. Thank-you notes are mandatory.
  12. Read the news
  13. Mind your own business, but stand up to injustices
  14. Never stop learning
  15. Be honest, especially to yourself

I realize I’m too young to write an advice post, and I realize I sound pretentious. That was not my intention, so I figured a list of things I wish I had known instead of an actual letter would be a compromise. As the kids in my life start graduating high school, or getting really close to it, I felt this post call to me. It got me thinking of what I want to tell them and what I wish I knew. I’m sure there are many things I have forgotten or have not experienced yet. The list will only grow with age. It’s a very interesting topic and one I enjoyed reflecting on.

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Review for Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Where to begin…

This was the most suspenseful book I’ve read since ‘Salems Lot by Stephen King. I absolutely loved every moment, and I am devastated it’s over.

This book has so much to offer: a great story line, unlikely heroes, and great characters in general. I was completely hooked the moment I opened the book.

The story starts with Audra driving somewhere with her children. Who is she and why does it look like she’s fleeing from something? Before you have time to wrap your head around the situation, a revelation is made that just shook my world so violently I feared my heart had stopped. My husband can verify I was so shaken up by this I even had trouble sleeping that night.

Then we meet Danny Lee, my absolute favorite character in a very long time. Danny is a young man that has seen his share of evil, and has taken part of it as well. He’s by no means someone you would want to bring home to mom. He’s a product of his environment, but he is so much more than a common thug. He is an angel. What kind is to be determined by the reader. I love him, and I really hope to see him again in the future.

Audra has also seen her share of evil, in a different format, but nonetheless evil. Through flashbacks, we see where she came from and watch her growth. As a woman, I could feel her fears and weaknesses, but I also felt the fight in her. I felt the refusal to accept her fate, and I loved her for it. She was such a kick-ass woman, and I loved her even more for everything she endured in her earlier life. She used all that negativity to rebuild herself.

I really did love the book, but I am devastated it’s over. I cannot accept the fact that I won’t know what Audra’s future holds, and over all, I cannot accept that I won’t know more about Danny Lee. How am I supposed to get over this?!

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Please click below if you want more info.

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Book Review on Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Troubled youth have a very special place in my heart. As an “urban school” student, I know first-hand that many of the teachers there have no faith in the children, and they set them up for failure. Not all, but most of the teachers think of these kids as criminals, and assume they will never get to college. With recent “reforms” in the education system, it has only continued to get worse. This is why, reading a book like Hag-Seed is so entirely refreshing and even though it is a novel, it can be truly inspiring.

Hag-Seed is the retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I have never read The Tempest, so I looked it up to read up on it before really getting into the story, but there was no need. Atwood does a wonderful job at really hashing the two stories together.

Hag-Seed tells the story of Felix, a victim of treachery, who is fired from his job as the Artistic Director of the theater. At first, I wasn’t sure whether he was sane or not, and blamed him for construing the so-called treachery in his head. After some time, Felix accepts a job as a literacy teacher at a prison under a false name. He teaches the convicts through Shakespeare and has them perform elaborate shows that gained so much recognition that it was brought up to the attention of the officials who had destroyed his life. Felix stews in his ideas of revenge for 12 years, before he is given the opportunity to act on them. As the story unravels, you begin to see the parallels in the characters, and are taken through a retelling of the story, through modern times.

Felix treats the convicts as actors, not as criminals. He earns their respect and transforms the barely-literate into Shakespeare-performing actors. The outcome is a very inspiring. It got me thinking of all that urban kids are capable of, if they have the trust of an adult who truly believes in them. Some kids never find that adult, and these convicts found their light while they were already in jail. Is Hag-Seed falsely optimistic? I don’t think so, but then again, I guess I can be an optimistic person as well.

I took a verrrryyyyy long time to read it, but I’m not sure why. It was well-written, engaging, and I really loved the retelling. 5/5

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

On recent world news…

When I heard about our new president’s immigration ban over the weekend, I cried. Not immediately, because I was on a train full of people, but I did take a moment once I was home. As stated on an earlier essay, I am a child of immigrants. I love this country more than anything in the world because it was able to give us the opportunity we would not have had anywhere else. This country gave my dad, a Salvadoran war vet, a chance to start a new life away from the horrors of war. It gave my mom a chance to restart a life in a country that was not torn and impoverished by a horrifying civil war. Where would they be if our borders had been closed then? I don’t know. It’s a thought I never had because we were always the country to help those in need.

As a person, I am not friendly. I am never the ray of sunshine in a room. I am rough around the edges, and one that most people never get to know personally. Some people try really hard to be liked, but I don’t try at all. Despite my size, I can be intimidating because I give off what I call a “fuck you vibe” I know what I am, and I can list off all my flaws; I am very aware of them. But underneath my bad attitude, I am always among the first to offer you my help when you need it. Know who taught me that? This country. I always look out for the little guy because I can. I was taught to help those truly in need. We will get through it together. If you don’t want my help, that’s cool too. More power to you, but my offer will always stand.

My father is a great man, even though we used to fight like cats and dogs. Now is the time where I would usually flatter myself and say that the reason for this is that we’re similar, but I’ve grown to realize I am nowhere near as brave and awesome as he is. He went to war at the wee age of 18. War is a terrible thing. It brings forth unspeakable horrors, it has been well documented throughout time. This particular war was especially brutal from what I understand. My dad never talks about it, I never did any research on it. I would honestly rather not know. I don’t want to know what children were forced to do for a war they did not truly understand. I would rather not know the horrors witnessed by all involved. I told you, I’m not as brave as my dad.

My dad had a childhood friend on the opposing side of the war, just like in so many war novels and movies, except that this was real. He was a part of my early childhood, and he was always so proud of us. He truly was one of the smartest people I knew. I remember he would tell me fascinating stories that would have me at the edge of my seat. Little did I know, he was teaching me History. He knew all about world history and he also knew about literature. He was truly an intellect, but he was also a homeless alcoholic who had fought against my dad in a horrific war.

I love my dad for being the bigger person. Meanwhile, I can hold a grudge for the rest of my life. I will really nurse that grudge and it will be nearly impossible for me to put it aside. (You broke my Cerulean crayon in 4th grade Manny Sivas!!! It was my favorite color, and you broke it and then tried to hide it! I remember, you bastard! This really happened by the way and I recently told someone about it [Brit] see? I’m not lying.)

Anyway… back to the topic at hand, my dad being the bigger person… he remained friends with him, and not only that, but repeatedly tried to help him. Every time he said he was ready to sober up, my dad was there to help in any way he could. After many years, his sisters got involved and moved him far away where they could keep an eye on him. He did sober up, and he called my dad to thank him for being a true friend, and never giving up on him. He died not too long after. It was a sucker punch to us, really. Wherever he is now, I hope he knows he is remembered by me as an intellect, for his laugh, for his story-telling abilities, and not by his vices.

Moral of the story: if two people who were so fundamentally different helped one another, why can’t we? I understand some people will take this story as a reason why we shouldn’t bring in more people, but guess what? Had there been PTSD help available, his story may have turned out a little differently.

When I heard of the ban, so many thoughts came to mind, and I cried knowing that so many refugees would be turned away from a country they would grow to love more than their own. My family is my world. The thought that families will be separated breaks my heart. I could never imagine having to go through the pain and trauma. I am not a religious person, but I pray for the hate to end. I pray for the ignorance to end. I pray for our country to heal. I pray for the human race to come together and look out for one another.

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Your wish is my command… or is it?



My name is Frank, and I’m a genie. I wasn’t born a genie, but when I was about 40 I started hearing wishes. At first, I had no idea what these voices were, but soon I started hearing “I wish..” even though no one was speaking. I know from popular culture that everyone seems to think they’re entitled to three wishes when they encounter me. This is why I never announce myself. No one knows I’m a genie… well, no one until now.

The first time I granted a wish was shortly after the voices started. I noticed an adorable little girl of about 3 or 4 running away from her father. They were playing and he was making monster noises and walking funny to make her laugh. The little girl was shrieking with laughter and running at the same time. It was quite a charming scene, when out of nowhere a car came zooming and swerving down the two lanes. The little girl was still running straight towards the car, but the dad started running full speed to stop her and at that exact moment I heard his desperate pleas “Please god. Don’t let the car hit her” I’m not god, but that sounded like a wish to me, so I imagined the car suddenly turning towards the opposite side, and noticed that what I had imagined actually happened. The little girl started crying because she picked up on her dad’s fear, but they were both okay, and I was safe to keep on walking unnoticed.

A couple of minutes after the first incident, I heard a small voice say “man, I wish I had some ice cream.” I looked around to see who said that. I noticed a little boy sitting on a bench with what appeared to be his big sister. The teenage girl was on the phone making plans with someone, and was completely ignoring the bored little boy. When I heard his sad little voice, I thought about it, and suddenly his sister looked down at him and smiled. She hung up the phone and said “Ready to go? How about some ice cream before we go home?” I smiled and kept walking. This was by no means a life-altering incident, but I saw the little boy’s face light up with happiness. I was two for two.

I felt good, so I kept walking around to see if I heard another voice. It wasn’t long before I heard “I wish I had come alone today. I’ll be back tomorrow for her number.” as I saw a middle aged father looking at the young waitress who was bringing the bill to his table. I love my family above anything else, so this really angered me. To see a man who seemingly had it all covet that young woman, in front of his family nonetheless, made me furious. That is when I realized I didn’t have to grant the wishes I heard. In retrospect, I know I could have made them stay behind as he followed the young woman to “pay the bill” but I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

Every day since has been pretty much the same. I have heard countless wishes, and I have learned to listen carefully to the voices. When you actually listen to the person, you can hear the intention in the plea. I have learned to differentiate the greedy people from the truly needy. Pleas for a millions of dollars have gone ignored, while a plea for a dollar or spare change have always been granted. It’s the little things in life,  I have learned, that truly make a difference in someone’s quality of life.

I have never before revealed who I am, because I was afraid of being taken advantage of. As I lay on my deathbed, I feel I owe my family and loved ones an apology. I was witness to so many prayers and wishes that I’m sure would not have been made if they knew I could hear them. I’m sorry I invaded your privacy, but as I hope you’ve realized, it was completely out of my control. I suppose you want answers, but I’m not sure I can give that. All I have to offer is my best guess as to why I became a genie.

I have often thought of my early life while my wife is out, and the grandchildren are out playing in the yard. I never imagined my life would turn out the way it did, but I have never taken it for granted. All the hard work has paid off. At any given moment, I can still vividly remember the hunger pains, and the shame of having to beg. I remember the cruelty behind people who would spit at me, and throw garbage in my cup when I asked for change. I was given a second chance when I found a scratch off in the pocket of a coat that was donated to me. I have always been thankful, and have always found myself wishing there was a way I could repay the kindness that was done to me. I guess my wish was granted.


….and I’m back!! I hope you know who Frank is, but if you need a refresher, you can re-read Pockets It has been a while so it’s okay. It feels good to be back!

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A Little Bit of Magic

There were three of them. Of that, I was certain. Was I certain of my sanity? Not so much.

Believe me. I tried doing everything I could think of to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. I closed my eyes, pinched myself, and then quickly opened them again to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Nope, I was awake, but this couldn’t be real. Unicorns don’t exist. I know that. Everyone knows that, yet they were right here. Although the pinch hurt, I wasn’t entirely sure that I was awake. That’s when I got the wonderful idea to call my friend Brittany. I hatched a plan, and this was it: I would call her to come over and watch a movie with me. I would not reference the unicorn wandering my apartment, and I would then know whether I was hallucinating or not. Either she would see them or she wouldn’t. Either way, I would have my answer.

Brit came over right away and the purple unicorn passed right by her, but Brit made no mention of it. So that was it. I had lost my shit. I could not have been drugged because I live alone and I never go to parties, or other public places. All signs point to me having a nervous breakdown, but why? I wasn’t stressed out about anything. I guess it just happens like that sometimes: You just lose your mind one day.

Midway through the movie, I sat there contemplating my next steps. I would have to be admitted into a psychiatric ward. As I sat there making a mental note of everything I had to give away before I was taken away, Brit turns to me and says “so we’re really not going to discuss the unicorns walking around?” I froze momentarily before relief swept over me. “So you CAN see them?” Ever the smartass, Brit replies “what am I? Blind? Of course I can see them. I was waiting for an explanation as to why you have mythical creatures just casually wandering around your apartment. I thought I was in that new Pokemon game, where I was supposed to catch them as I saw them, but figured that wasn’t it when you made no attempt to catch them.”

No, this isn’t a Pokemon game gone wrong, but why are they here? “Can we pet them?” she asked. “I guess so. They seem harmless enough. If they wanted to kill me, they had plenty of time to do it, so it doesn’t look like they’re after human blood.” I slowly inched toward where the pink and blue one were hanging out and offered out my hand so they could sniff me. “What are they dogs?” Brit snarked. I snarked back “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were a fucking unicorn expert.” That shut her up briefly. I pet both the pink and blue ones lightly so that they wouldn’t freak out, as she pet the purple one. They were the softest little animals you ever felt! They really liked to be pet, and they seemed to blush when you pet them; their fur turned a richer color, and they seemed to almost purr.

After playing with them for a while, Brit and I decided that we should probably look for help getting them into a safer environment. I searched cryptozoologists in our area, and hired one named Ryan solely because of his looks. What? I’m a shallow person. I never claimed to be any different.

Ryan tried his best not to show his skepticism over the phone, but agreed to come over. He was armed with pepper spray and would use it if I was the unstable lunatic he suspected me to be, but curiosity killed the cat, right? Ryan came right over and he must have lived nearby because he was knocking on my door within an hour. I answered the door alone in case he fainted when he saw Muffy (that’s what I named the pink one that took a liking to me). So I walked him into the living room where Brit was playing with Muffy, Mudgy, and Nugget. We named the blue one Nugget because he ate Brit’s chicken nuggets, and Brit named the purple one Curmudgeon, which I hated so we called her Mudgy for short.

I’m glad Muffy didn’t answer the door with me, because Ryan almost fainted when he saw them. After his initial shock, he asked if he could pet them. I said sure. He walked over to them with hands outstretched so they could sniff him. I smiled in an “I-told-you-so” way at Brit and she just stuck out her tongue at me. As he approached them, they all walked over to him and their fur immediately turned red. I thought he hurt them, but noticed they were just in love with him. How annoying. They spent all day with us, but they were as shallow as I was, I guess.

Ryan built a fort from our couch pillows and they all immediately followed him in. They played for what seemed like hours, as Brit and I both sulked outside the fort. When Ryan finally came out, he asked if he could sleep over. I told him strangers weren’t allowed to sleep over, and he was sad when he asked “and I guess you wouldn’t let me borrow them so they could sleep over with me” I didn’t want to seem rude so I said “You know. That doesn’t sound like a good idea. I really don’t want to attract attention, and how the hell would you even hide them when you transport them to your house?” Just then, all three of them shrank to miniatures so that they could easily fit in a little tupperware. I couldn’t believe those little fuckers. They chose him over me!!

Brit and I both glared at them. They really didn’t care. They happily followed Ryan around and did not object to being put in a tupperware. Finally, I said he could sleep over instead of risking them getting hurt during the transport. Once I said that, they all immediately grew back to their original heights. I gave Ryan a new toothbrush and a pillow so he could  sleep on the couch. He thanked me and laid down on the couch where they all immediately snuggled up to him. Brit said she was leaving and they just looked up at her and then snuggled back to Ryan. She left without another word, but I thought I heard her heart breaking when Mudgy did not offer to shrink so that she could go home with her.

The next morning, Ryan asked if it would be okay if he came back after showering and freshening up. I said I had a lot of work to do around the house, but would call him as soon as I freed up. I just wanted the three unicorns to myself so that I could build a fort and we could all play for hours. He was sad, but respected my decision. He told them he would see them soon, and as soon as he was gone, they all turned blue. Not the bright blue Nugget was, but a very solemn blue so that it was clear they were sad. I knew a fort would cheer them up, but they all remained blue and wandered near the door clearly waiting for him, effectively ignoring my fort.

AND that my dear friends, is the story of how Ryan and I moved in together. The unicorns made us do it, but then we fell in love and got married. Our pet unicorns couldn’t be more thrilled!


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Book Review on June by Beverly Miranda Whittemore

wp-1467417968055.jpgMy intentions were to finish this book before the end of June. Alas, that shipped sailed, and I just finished the last chapter. I am usually a speedy reader, but this was definitely a slow read for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it for many reasons, but I took a very long time to read it. I think it’s one of those books that just demands your undivided attention.

June by Miranda Beverly Whittemore is a tale told through both past and present, and sometimes narrated by the house itself. Sounds strange I know, but it works and at some point you start thinking of the house itself as just another character.

The house is called Two Oaks, and it shares the story of June. Because it is told in past AND present, we know June as a young woman and as a recently deceased grandma. The two accounts are vastly different. The young June account is told along with the story of her childhood friend, Lindie. The two girls live in a small town named St.Jude, Ohio. Their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of a Hollywood crew set to film their newest blockbuster, Erie Canal right in their hometown. Lindie scores a job on set thanks to some connections, and June manages to catch the eye of the star of the movie, Jack Montgomery. Jack and June fall in love, and their love story would be perfect were it not for Diane DeSoto. Diane is the co-star of Erie Canal,  Jack’s girlfriend, and just a real hateful bitch. Drama ensues.

Grandma June’s story is told through Cassie’s perspective, her granddaughter. Cassie is a pathetic 25 year old child (I refuse to call her a woman!). She inherits Two Oaks once June dies. She moves in and does absolutely nothing until the day Jack Montgomery dies and makes her the sole heir to his fortune. This infuriates Jack’s movie star daughter, Tate Montgomery. Tate is forced to hide out in Two Oaks until she can convince Cassie to take a DNA test, which Cassie refuses to do unless Tate and her entourage help her investigate what really happened between June and Jack so many  decades ago. What they discover is not at all shocking, but I refuse to ruin anything.

I realize I am not selling this novel, but I really am trying to understand why I liked it as much as I did. The novel is very charming, and so richly detailed that it just transports the reader effortlessly between past and present. I really loathed the characters, especially Diane and Tate, which are one and the same as far as I’m concerned. I despised about 90% of the characters, but they were so genuine that I still managed to accept them into my stone heart. The last 100 pages were by far the best part of the book, which is really a tough thing for me to say. “Read this 400 page book. The first 300 are okay, but the last 100 will be great!” I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either. All I can say is this is the perfect example of a book so well written that the ending just did not matter. I really enjoyed the ride, and I did not at all care where I ended up. The end was satisfying, but not all that shocking. I am rating it 4/5.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. Please feel free to click the below links for more information: