Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Road Trip and Some Progress

I'm doing my first ever post for Road Trip Wednesday this week! It's hosted by YA Highway, which I totally recommend if you haven't checked it out yet. The question for this week is: What is the best book you read in August?

Let me preface this answer by saying that the majority of August was spent rereading the Song of Ice and Fire series (think Game of Thrones) by George RR Martin, so that I could then read Dance with Dragons (which was my birthday present from my future in-laws). I was not too pleased with Dance, so I feel like I wasted a lot of time with it. That being said, I think my pick for my favorite book from August is:

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

When I first started Kody Keplinger's debut novel, I'll admit that I was lukewarm. I wasn't really a fan of the fact that every other word was a curse word, and after reading so much fantasy, it was a bit of a shock to plunge head-first into a completely contemporary novel. By the time I got to the end, I was completely in love. Bianca's struggle is one that a lot of young women go to. I can totally relate to feeling like the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend), since I was tall and stocky (and still am) and the majority of my friends are tiny and bird-like. Since high school, I've lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of confidence, but this was a book that I could relate to on several different levels.

I enjoyed the fact that not everything was as it seemed for the main characters. Wesley was a total jerk, but we got a peek into his life and realized that there was more to him than his womanizing exterior. Overall, I thought The Duff was a great read, and I look forward to reading Shut Out. As soon as it's in paperback and doesn't cost me twenty dollars. :P

As far as my own writing goes, I'm sad to say that I didn't get any done yesterday. We had quite a morning at the children's museum, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the time we got home. I ended up taking a nap myself as soon as the kiddos had fallen asleep. I'm sure by now you're all staring at your computer screens, thinking "Well, what happened?" Scoot closer, and I'll tell you a story. :)

I take care of these two adorable munchkins:

The little girl is affectionately known as Bean, and her brother is Bug. Anyway, the three of us had a coupon to go to the children's museum. Yesterday was the last day to use it, so we met up with a friend and her two kids to tackle the place together. It was a MADHOUSE. There were children everywhere, and the parking lot ended up being completely full within 20 minutes of us arriving. I think parents pulled their children out of school to take advantage of this deal (free admission for a fmaily of 5, which is a $55 value at this place).

We were originally going to leave, but I decided that we should just do it, since it was the last day of the coupon and my friend's last playdate with us (she's moving to Washington DC tomorrow T_T). We stayed for an hour, but it quickly got to be too much and we decided to call it a day. I spent the whole time worrying I was going to lose one of the kids, and it was just horrendously busy. While we were waiting in line for the elevator, my friend's two-year-old ran into one of the elevators alone, and the doors started to close on him. We both flew forward to stop the door and wedged our way inside, since we couldn't get him out, and ended up in the car with a mom and her double stroller.

We were talking about getting separated from your kids, and the mom said, "Yeah, I know how you feel. My daughter's in the other elevator (there are two right next to each other). I hope she's ok." My friend and I gave each other horrified looks, and she said, "Wait, how old is your daughter?"

The mom replied, "She's 8, so she'll be fine. She knows we're leaving, so I'm sure she'll be waiting for us when we get to the lobby." But we arrived at the lobby, and the woman's daughter wasn't there. She went into full-on panic mode, and I volunteered to go look for this lost little girl. I was the only one who didn't have a stroller or a baby strapped to my chest, so it made the most sense for me to go. I dropped my diaper bag, told the kids to stay with my friend, and ran up the stairs to look. Luckily, she was just getting off the elevator on the second level, crying hysterically for her mom. I called her name and told her I knew where her mom was, then took her by the hand and led her down the stairs. Mom and daughter were reunited, but I was a complete mess by the time we got to our own car.

I cannot imagine what it would feel like to lose your child anywhere, much less a place that crowded. I was sobbing when I tried to tell my mom about it ten minutes afterward. It was such a scary feeling, and she wasn't even my child, or one of the children I take care of! Needless to say, even though the end result was a happy one, it was stressful for everyone involved.

I would have written last night, but I went to a book signing instead. Lisa McMann was in town (she lives in my city!) and was signing her new book, The Unwanteds, which I am super excited to read. Hopefully I'll be more productive today. I'll have to get back to you on to write!



  1. Wow, what a story. My daughter is at the age where she's going to the mall by herself. Totally freaks me out.

    And LOVED THE DUFF!!! I got to read an ARC of SHUT OUT - even better. :)

  2. Thought I haven't read The DUFF, I'm very happy it's out and that it's so popular. The author is only 17, and being 14 myself, it gives me hope that my age will not be a huge factor in my career.

  3. Absolute insanity! Those pics are adorable, by the way. And now I want to read THE DUFF. :)

  4. You should all go read The DUFF! :D Also, @Julie, I totally took those photos of them. Their parents asked me to print them, because their professional photos didn't turn out as well. :P

  5. I haven't read The Duff, but have heard very good things about it. Losing sight of a child even momentarily is stressful, it was good of you to find the girl quickly.

  6. I lost my daughter once when she was small. She was only missing for about five minutes but I never ever want to feel that way again.

  7. I loved The Duff. It was one of my favorite reads last year. Glad you found it :-)


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