Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gossip Time...Looking for Alaska

After enjoying WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS I simply had to find more books written by John Green. So I decided to start with his debut, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, which won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award.

Synopsis (from John Green's website):

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words–and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

First Sentence:
"The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party." This sentence says so much about Miles Halter and how his life is irrevocably changing. Miles goes to seek the Great Perhaps at Culver Creek Preparatory School. And the fact that a teenager would uproot his life to search for something like this immediately hooked me. Miles is cerebral, but at the same time just a teen navigating his way through life.

Things I Loved:

Culver Creek Preparatory school is literally down the street from where I live and the civic complex where I ice skate. John Green describes the area in a way that only Alabamians would know. He understands the stifling summer humidity, and the Southerners affliction with all things fried. Even though there isn't a Culver Creek Preparatory that I know of (I've been trying to research this on the internet...there is an Indian Springs School close to where Green places Culver Creek), his fictitious school is placed realistically along Highway 119, not to far from I-65. The author understands the differences between kids that grew up in Mountain Brook versus Vine Station.

There is a countdown. After Mile's going-away party there is a periodic countdown in the book. It starts with one hundred and twenty eight days before. The whole time I'm reading, I'm like before what?!? And as the days randomly decrease and Miles, soon to be known as Pudge (because he is the absolute opposite of fat), grows closer to THE DAY, I found myself on the edge of my seat like I was watching an action/adventure movie and not reading young adult contemporary fiction.

Things to Consider When Deciding to Read:
John Green's fiction is realistic. What comes with that realistic teenage territory is language and sex. It is not gratuitous but just part of Miles's journey as he seeks The Great Perhaps. If you have apprehensions or a teenager that you do not want to expose to these themes, then perhaps LOOKING FOR ALASKA isn't the book for you.

Friday, July 13, 2012


It was almost 21 months after ACL reconstruction that I was able to do double jumps again. Jorge Bonnet and PURmotion were an integral part of helping me get to that point.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Indie Found Me

On the Fourth of July my family and I decided to take a walk by the Tennessee River. My Dad chose to walk along a path that I felt was to dense with mosquitoes and my Mom and I chose to walk by the marina. I don't know how much walking we actually got done as we were sidetracked by some baby ducks and then ran into one of Mom's co-workers who proceeded to tell us a gripping tale of a baby turtle she rescued, lost, and then found again.

After that my Mom and I headed for some swings beside the campgrounds. It was still early morning and the cool air rushing past our faces was exhilarating as we swooshed back and forth. As we were swinging I mentioned to my Mom that when I was a kid I would always sing Mary Poppin's songs whenever I was on a swing set. So to keep to tradition I belted out my own off key rendition of Let's Go Fly A Kite.

Just as I finish the last chorus a little grey kitten comes running out of nowhere meowing her tiny heart out. The scrawny thing was thirsty and she lapped up water from my Mom's thermos for a whole minute. I checked with the campers to see if she belonged to anyone. After a unanimous no, I picked her up and headed for the car. When my Dad returns from his walk, his eyes laser beam on the cat (he is NOT a cat lover) and he says, "What is that?"

I tell him it's a baby and we have to feed it. So of we go to Wal-Mart in search of kitten food.
The initial plan was to feed her and find her home. But she is honestly the sweetest kitty I have ever met (and she literally found me), so after much deliberation, and much to the dismay of my two other cats, I have decided to adopt the rambunctious fur ball.

Say hello to Indie! (She's named after Independence Day of course).