People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

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O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

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However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

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And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

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So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a  Swedish family of seven who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

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Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

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After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

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It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

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But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

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PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

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Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

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The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

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Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

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Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

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I want them to get together!!!!!

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Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

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They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

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Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

MysteryMenDon'tMessWithMe

Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

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She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

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PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

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PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

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Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

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Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

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When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

OMG gasp

Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

TimingWrong

Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

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Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

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Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

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Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

Strange Sad Have My Pity Toy Story

But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

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I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

CantWork_emotions

But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

bookhumor

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

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For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

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I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

Day 14) N is for Name: Choose a book with a character that shares your first or last Name

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Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

So I know I discussed this book back when I talked about being a fan of Sarah Dessen, but I am bringing it back as it contains one of my names. Yes, one of these characters has my first, middle, or last name. Which one? I’m not saying.

princess-leia-i-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about

Another reason why I picked this book was because the main character, Auden, took a long time to like her name. She is named after the poet W. H. Auden, and not only do most not know who she is named after, it isn’t really a girl’s name. I know what it is like to not like your name, but at least she was named after a poet; my namesake created lots of teasing growing up. And her name means “old friend”, mine is not pretty.

I don't like it 11

I started reading Sarah Dessen back in middle school. This was the last book I read while in my teendom, and I think it is one of her best books and the last truly great one. I didn’t really care for Whatever Happened to Good-bye or The Moon and More, and didn’t even bother to read the next one she came out with. I don’t know if I am too old or if her work isn’t as good as it used to be.

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So Auden West never had a real childhood. Her parents are professors, and her brother Hollis (meaning holly tree) had colic as a baby.

Not good

After him, they expected Auden to be a mini adult, no longer wanting to be “parents”. Hollis had fun and charmed his way through life, going abroad and mooching off his family as he continues to play.

Favorite Lydia Bennet

Auden had to be the serious child: no fun, no play, nothing but academics. This caused her to grow to be a little anti-social as she just couldn’t relate to others.

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She also moved around a lot as no school was seen as right for her parents. This caused her to also make no real connections, as how can you become friends when you are only there for a second.

no friendsneverleavehouse

 Auden also has insomnia.

the-ring-she-never-sleeps

After Hollis left, things got ugly in the house. Her mom came and won awards, great articles, a chair, etc; while her husband went down. They never liked fighting around Auden, so they would wait until she went to sleep. Auden stopped going to sleep, hoping that would keep them from fighting.

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This worked for a while, but eventually they just started fighting again.

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They divorced, her father remarried, and immediately got his new wife pregnant. Auden feels replaced in one life and nothing in her mother’s who spends all her time working or with her graduate students.

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Mostly Auden spends all her free time at an all night diner and reads, drinking coffee.

SofaBkCoffee

Or booth in this case.

She will be heading off to a top college in the summer and has been studying the classes her mother picked out for her.

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Her stepmother, Heidi (meaning noble and kind), recently had their baby, Thisbe (meaning lover of Pyramus) Caroline West, and invites Auden to come out to the beach where they live and spend time there this summer. Heidi always invites Auden and Auden always makes an excuse…

uh-no-gifuhno

but this time things change. She just can’t stand another summer of not living.

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Auden decides to take up Heidi’s offer and heads out to the beach in hopes to spend time with her dad and not sure what will happen.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

What she finds is nothing she would have expected. The perfectly coiffed Heidi is a mess, the baby always cries from colic, and while she loves her dad, his selfishness makes her not like him most of the time as all he can do is focus on is his book.

Men?

Men

Auden is asked out by a local boy and heads down to a beach party, a huge mistake as he was a total jerk.

jerk

Auden still has issues sleeping, so she spends her time driving, at a horrible diner, or reading at home. But Thisbe won’t stop crying, so one night she ends up taking her to the boardwalk, walking her up and down.

walking-down-the-street

There she sees a boy on his bike, doing all kinds of jumps and such, hypnotized by his movements. He spots her watching and approaches her, looking at the baby. Auden explains that it has been a long night, and he agrees with aren’t they all.

irongiantreallyhmmokayyeahright

Auden ends up helping Heidi out when there isn’t enough money to cover the UPS delivery at her shop, Clementine’s. The main girl is Maggie (meaning pearl) who turns out to be the girlfriend of the guy she hooked up with the night before.

big mistake

Maggie and her friends are upset when they realize that Auden is the girl, but they do come to the conclusion that Auden didn’t know anything, and that Maggie is better off without her loser boyfriend who is cheating on her.

HeartHurtsDon'tKnowCanDoAgainHeartbroken

Things are not very happy in the new West family. Auden’s father and Heidi are fighting constantly, just trade a few words out and it is like living back with mom and dad.

spockstartrekidon'tknowokayiguesmovingongo

They are supposed to be having a family dinner, but that is a wash. Thisbe starts crying and Auden takes her out of there. As she is trying to get her to stop she is approached by the same boy from the other night, and he is able to calm the baby.

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Heidi knows him, and introduces him to Auden. He is Eli (most common meaning, my God is Yahweh), who has a younger brother, Jake (supplanter). That Jake was the same guy that was dating Maggie and messing with Auden. Of all the people to mess with.

Just My Luck!

Just My Luck!

Later that night Auden overhears Heidi and her father arguing. Heidi wants him to help her out more around the house, while her father thinks that Auden should just do free babysitting.

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Hurt that Heidi defends her while her father wants to use her, Auden needs something to do and spots Heidi’s accounts she was trying to balance. Auden stays up all night using her anger to work out the issue.

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Heidi is amazed at Auden’s work and instantly offers her a job working the books. Her father tries a power play chastising Heidi for using Auden, but as Auden heard their conversation the night before, she becomes angry and takes the employment, even though it means working with the girl who’s boyfriend she was with.

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Auden grows to really like working at the store. She doesn’t spend a lot of time with Maggie or her friends (the other workers), so that that isn’t as awkward as she thought it would be. One night she becomes bored and heads over to the skate park where everyone hangs out.

Say What

There she runs into Eli, who asks her about riding a bike. Auden is concrete that she knows how to ride a bike, but does she really? She didn’t really have a childhood.

Thinking Hmm

One day her mother visits and just rips on everything; Heidi, her dad, the clothes Auden is wearing, the store, the beach, the restaurants, etc. When Auden defends Heidi as not being a ditz but a pretty astute businesswoman, her mother is rather cruel to Auden, putting her in her dumb category because she no longer is in one hundred percent agreement with her.

ouch Hermione

After work, Auden still hurt, goes off to get a coffee from the nearby shop. Maggie goes after her as she knows what it is like having a difficult mother. She sits with Auden and just helps by being there.

Friendjustbethere

She ends up going out with the girls, not really expecting anything but just wanting some company.

Girls night!

Girls night!

They head to the Gas/Gro where they pick up some snacks, just in case. After all you never know what the night will hold.

Chocolate makes everything better

Afterwards they head to a party at Belissa’s (lovely one) house, the daughter of the local bakers. They send Auden to get beers, but as she has never partied before she cannot get the keg to work.

I don't know what to do

Eli comes up behind her and tries to help her out. They joke around having fun, but Maggie quickly comes in and tries to get her Auden of there.

Run Away

Before they can get free they run into Belissa and almost get their butts kicked as she is Eli’s ex, yet still thinks they are together. Auden has never dealt with angry exes so she doesn’t have the sane reaction.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

The girls interrogate her about Eli, when they started hanging out, and Auden shares that they talked ever since she saw him on his bike.

OMG gasp

The girls are shocked and reveal Eli’s sad backstory.

Eli and Abel (breath) were the very best of friends, doing everything together. They did competitive biking and were extremely good, so good they had sponsors and everything. Eli was given a scholarship for it to the University and deferred to keep riding. Then one day they were coming back from a competition and the two were in an accident. A drunk driver went through a four way stop and Abel was killed.

After that Eli gave up everything and doesn’t do much as he is grieving.

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Maggie takes Auden back to the shop, and Auden grabs a coffee before she decides to head out. But then she changes her mind as she sees a light on in the bike shop and takes a chance.

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Eli is there and realizes they told her everything. He tells her he used to like hanging out with her because she never felt sorry for him or gave him a pity look.

Stop stop it now!

Auden bypasses that and says she is angry because he left her alone to fight his ex. As Eli doesn’t like to sleep either, they end up spending the night together as they visit the laundromat/coffee shop, the Park Mart warehouse store, etc.

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Eli discover that therre are a lot of of things she missed out on her childhood and decides they need to go on a quest to help her. Food fights, “high school” parties, delivering newspapers, going to a club, kickball, etc.

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Auden finds herself finally allowing her to open up to another person, something she hasn’t been able to do since the dissolution of her parents’ marriage.

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But will this work out or just be a summer romance? Will Auden finally let someone into her heart, or become too afraid she lets it go?

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I loved this book so much!

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First of all Maggie is such an amazing character. She shows how you don’t have to label yourself but be whatever you want. Sporty? Pretty? Intelligent? You can be it all.

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She’s fun, sweet, and the best friend you could ever have.

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And Eli. Eli has gone through so much and is such a strong character. He teaches Auden it is okay to grow up and still have childish parts to her, no matter how old you are.

He makes her Rice Krispie treats when she is sad and crying.

How sweet!

How sweet!

When she freaks out and tries to break it off, he just takes it and when she overcomes her commitment-phobia, he is there waiting.

swoon dreamy

He is smart, talented, compassionate, sweet, adorable- and I wish he was real as he is just perfect.

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December 2014

The only flaw I would say this book has is that Eli never really deals with his grief, but buries it in another relationship which is not the right way to do. After working with grieving people, Dessen didn’t quite handle that issue correctly.

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But the rest of the book was fantastic and it is something I read over and over again.

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Now each Sarah Dessen novel connects to all the others, and I’ve listed said connections with Along for the Ride, AFTR.

That Summer:
Haven’s family spends a whole summer at a beach just like Auden does.

Someone Like You:
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.

Keeping the Moon
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. In Keeping the Moon, Colby is where Colie visited for the entire summer.
Auden eats at Last Chance where Colie worked at in Keeping the Moon.
The cashier that takes Auden’s order at Last Chance is a dark haired girl with a lip ring. Colie is dark-haired girl with a lip ring.
Heidi, Auden’s stepmom, two best friends are Morgan and Isabelle. Morgan and Isabelle are Colie’s next door neighbors in Keeping the Moon.
Auden passes a women with long hair in an orange jumpsuit on a bicycle. This is Mira, Colie’s aunt.

Dreamland:
Caitlin went to Jackson High. Auden goes to Jackson High for a bit in AFTR.
Rogerson Biscoe goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit as well.
In Dreamland, Caitlan’s Dad,Boo, and Stewart teach at U. That is the same university where Auden mom teaches as well.
Cass starts reading about Buddhism. In AFTR, Auden is reading about it too.

This Lullaby:
Auden’s mom teaches at the U, the same university where Lissa is going to college.

The Truth About Forever:
Macy went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.
Macy’s ex-boyfriend Jason Talbot was supposed to be Auden’s date for the prom, but he cancels last minute. He is also her date in the prom boardwalk party Heidi throws, but cancels last minute once again.
Macy and Wes are always going to World of Waffles. In AFTR, that is where Maggie, Leah, and Esther go when Esther’s car breaks down.
Jason’s parents are professors just like Auden’s parents.

Just Listen:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while inAFTR.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes her to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings.

Lock and Key:
Ruby dates Nate Cross. Auden talks about awkwardly flirting with him in AFTR
Ruby’s brother-in-law created the website Ume.com. In AFTR Auden goes on it.
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Auden went there for a while in AFTR
Ruby goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
Ruby wears a necklace with a key on it. Harriet makes a ton of these to sell at her kiosk in the mall. In AFTR, Heidi sells the necklaces at her shop Clementine’s.
Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U. Cora and Jamie used to go to U. Auden’s mom is a professor at U.
Ruby applies for Defriese but doesn’t get in. Auden and Maggie attend Defriese.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach; she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located; and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Mclean
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Auden did before she transferred.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Auden spends the summer with her dad and stepmom.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is Jason Talbot, the guy who stood Auden up twice.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. She comes by with Thisbe and a bathing suit from Clementine’s.

The Moon and More:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing “hook up”.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Emmaline knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was the club where Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go.
Emmaline knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetine’s.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Adam and Wallace live down in the beach shacks. Wallace used to live in GULL’S CRY which is where Theo lives after he gets kicked out.

Liveinbooks

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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For more on Along for the Ride, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

For more on Anthony Trollope, go to Words to Live By

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So as this takes place on the beach I though none other than the perfect beach, Christmas Carol…the perfect California beach Christmas Carol. Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys.

Yes growing up a Californian, The Beach Boys are a group that whatever part you are from, you just grow up loving.

It was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Wilson said the idea came to him while on a date, he broke it off early, and rushed home to finish working on it. The song released in 1963.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

Day 9) I is for Island: Choose a book that takes place on an Island

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Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)  by L. M. Montgomery

I’m not quite sure when I first read this book. I just recall that one day my mom gave me her copy and told me she thought I should read it as she was pretty sure I would like it.

I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I decided to try it out. I started to read it and just couldn’t stop.

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I just loved the character of Anne as it was like looking into a soul gazing mirror. We might not look a lot alike on the outside: she has red hair, I have brown; she is tall, I’m short; she has grey eyes, I have green; she’s from Edwardian Canada, and I’m an American girl of the 21st century. But the soul of  our characters are exactly the same.

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Anne has an overactive imagination, gets into all kinds of “scrapes” from not thinking it through, gets lost in imagining, has a fiery temper, wants to excel in school, has rivalry with another student, has to work hard for a scholarship to school, comes from an agricultural community; but through this all grows up to be a level-headed, still dreamy, young woman.

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Seriously

I’ve read this book so many times, and went on to read the whole series. I liked the first three the best, but I just couldn’t enough of the story.

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I also loved the character Gilbert Blythe.

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I wish he was real because I would marry him in a heartbeat.

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You all know how much I love the Austen men; Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney, Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knightley, Colonel Brandon, and such; but all of them, besides Captain Wentworth, come from money. My family is more like Gilbert’s; grew up in agricultural community, they couldn’t send me to college so I had to work and pay for it myself, just like Gilbert had to do. There is a better understanding and similarity in how we were raised that would form a better connection with him over any of the others.

Gilbert also knows how to work with Anne. When to give into her daydreams and imaginings,

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and also when to help her come back into reality. Us imaginationaholics need that or else we will spend too much time in our heads.

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One of my relationship goals is to find a boyfriend or husband who will be willing to dress up as Anne and Gilbert. I don’t know if that will ever be possible and if I do manage to find such a guy, I’m not sure anyone will even know who we are.

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So I knew of course that my true literary self was Anne, but when I was a teenager one of my friends said to me one day.

“Hey Moreland, you remind me a lot of this character in a book I love. Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? Because you are just like her.”

Boom! Proof that we are one and the same.

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So the story is that two siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cutbert, past their prime, have decided that in order to continue running their farm, Green Gables, they need extra help. They decide to adopt an orphan boy, sending the message through the daughter of a friend. When Matthew goes to the station to pick him up, it turns out there was a serious miscommunication and they have a girl waiting.

Not good

Not good

Matthew takes her home, where Marilla is upset and determined to send her back. When she meets the woman who will take Anne instead, and sees how horrible she is, Marilla decides she will do her best to raise her.

NO ONE

Anne has had a hard life, her parents dying at a young age in poverty, then being shipped from family to family; mostly being used as a free baby-sitter than treated as a member of the family. She has spent a lot of her time alone or with children much younger than her, and has created habits that some, at that time, find strange. She has an extensive imagination, creates imaginary playmates, and when gets with people just talks and talks and talks.

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I remember when I was in Wyoming, I was alone for a whole month, so then when I started hanging wit people that happiness of being with people made me run at the mouth.

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Marilla has no idea how to raise children, let alone girls, let alone this girl; so at first she tries to stop this behavior, but eventually it grows on her. Anne gets into all kinds of troubles, making mistakes as she transition from unwanted, uneducated, accident prone girl; to a confident, loved, intelligent, and wonderful woman.

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So I’m going to do this review a little different. I’m going to list through everything I liked, enjoyed, or stood out to me in the novel; instead of a page by page review.

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A) Her Imagination

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Her imagination is amzing. Not only does she dream of average things like games but creates all these back stories and tales for things she sees, people she meets, etc. And that it is so something I have done and still do. That’s the problem with having an overactive imagination, you can never turn it off. But the best thing of it is that the world is never boring.

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I love the stories and descriptions she gives.

“It was pretty interesting to imagine things about them- to imagine that perhaps the girl who sat next to you was really the daughter of a belted earl, who had been stolen away from her parents in her infancy by a cruel nurse who died before she could confess.”

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B) Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Anne was born with red hair and people have told her it was a pity, said it ugly, etc. Because she feels so ugly she believes that she is worthless and that she will never find someone to love her.

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How funny when this book has had 50 million copies printed and been translated into 20 languages.

I think we love her.

I think a LOT of us love her.

But her insecurities based on her past history and what she sees in the mirror blind her to the amazing soul she has, like Dashti in The Book of a Thousand Days. If only she could see how wonderful she really is.

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C) Naming and Renaming

Anne loves to name things. She names everything from plants, to trees, to objects, etc.

“What is the name of that geranium on the windowsill, please?’

‘That’s the apple-scented geranium.’

‘Oh, I don’t mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it yourself?…Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people.”

I do that too. I’ve named all my electronics, for instance my printer is Eramus; to everyday objects I use a lot-like my kettle which is Geoffrey. It is fun and better than saying it.

MeanGirls I know right!

And if Anne doesn’t like something, she changes the name.

“When I don’t like the name of a place or a person I always imagine a new one and always think of them so.”

I do that all the time. Remember Metropolis? Freder Frederson was a dumb name to me, so he became Alan instead.

Yes!

Yes!

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D) Matthew Has Never Stood Up to Marilla Before, This Being the Only Exception

Matthew is nice, so nice he never asserts himself, argues, or tries to get his way over another. Marilla wants to send Anne back to the orphanage, but Matthew speaks up. For the first time in his life, he has been contrary to Marilla.

“[Marilla] What good would she be to us?’

‘We might be some good to her.’ said Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly.”

Even though seeing the cruel woman who was going to take her made Marilla change her mind about getting rid of Anne; I believe that Matthew’s insistence helped give her a push in that direction as well.

Mmhm great gatsby

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E) Anne’s Optimism

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Anne has been through so much in life. With people not wanting her, others using her; unhappiness and cynicism is something you would expect her to have, to be a prime part of her life. But does she? NO. She is completely optimistic, hopeful, and consistently sunny even in the grayest of situations. We should all try to strive to be a lot more like her. She makes the best of every situation and enjoys life.

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F) I Speak Fluently in Book Quotes

Anne loves to read, although she hasn’t been able to do it as much as she would have liked. But she is constantly quoting from whatever she has read, having such things pop up randomly in conversations.

Well that is another hope gone. My life is a perfect graveyard of buired hopes. That’s a sentence I read in a book once, and I say itover to comfort myself whenever I’m disappointed in anything.”

Now you might recall I’ve mentioned before that I like to speak in movie quotes, I do the same things with books I’ve read. Most people don’t know what I’m talking about, but it is still fun.

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G) Compares Herself to Books/Book Heroines

What can I say? I do this constantly. I think I’ve done it a thousand times in the past, and am currently doing it right now.

I just can’t help it!

It's how I feel.

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H) Bosom Friends

Finding a best friend is hard. But being without one is worse.

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We all wish we can have a bosom friend, but not all are luckily enough to find one. And if we do find opne, it is hard to keep them.

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But as Anne says, they are the most important and we need to honor them and try to keep those bonds strong!

And what a good friend Anne is, I hope I’m half as good a friend as she  is.

“And I can give Diana half of them, can’t I? The other half will taste twice as sweet to me  if I give some to her. It’s delightful to think I have something to give her.”

aw cry

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I) Gilbert Blythe

I have always had a thing for guys who were

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And I realize, as I read this long before Pride & Prejudice, Gilbert Blythe is probably the reason why.

“[Gilbert Blythe] was a tall boy, with curly brown hair, roguish hazel eyes, and a mouth that twisted into a teasing smile.”

swoon dreamy

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J) Anne Shirley’s Temper

How many of you have a temper? I know I do. When I was younger I didn’t control it very well and would blow up. Especially if it was something that really hurt me.

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So Anne is the same way. Gilbert wants her attention, but Anne isn’t here, but in her imagination. So Gilbert does the only thing he can think of: he gets her attention by calling her carrots.

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Anne becomes so enraged she smacks her slate over his head.

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This was the scene in the book that made my friend think of me. She said that she could see me doing this…and this is the truth. I have done this more times than I care to admit to guys who acted like jerks to me when I was younger. Happily I use my words now, but this was definitely me.

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K) Holding a Grudge

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I used to hold grudges all the time and I still do a bit, but try not to. After Gilbert hurt her Anne resolves never to forgive him and starts up a rivalry in that she must beat him in everything.

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L) Making Mistakes

Anne makes a ton of mistakes, but with every one she always turns them into a positive. And I try to do that all the time. I mean it is inevitable, we are going to mess up as we aren’t perfect. But there is always one thing to hold on to:

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M) Matthew Goes Shopping, the Dad Mistake

One of the best parts of the book is when Matthew goes shopping for Anne’s dress. He gets so flustered that he ends up buying a rake and twenty pounds of sugar.

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Eventually he gets the neighbor to make her the right dress. Such a dad thing to do; try to get his daughter a dress and fails.

One time when I was at school, my dress’ zipper broke so they called my parents, and my dad came right over. Except he didn’t bring one dress; he didn’t know what to do so he brought every dress in the closet.

Not good

Not good

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N) Let’s Act Out a Story

Anne and her friends act out the story of the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson. They get a boat and put Anne in it, sending her down the river. She loses the oars and the boat springs a leak. Eventually she is stuck in the river.

Not good

Not good

And about to drown, but who should save her?

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Gilbert.

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I love this part. First, how sweet that he saves her life.

How sweet!

How sweet!

And secondly, I have never had this happen but I have tried to act stories out and had them fail.

Reality Sucks

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O) Gilbert and Anne

After Gilbert saves Anne he tries to talk to her and get her forgiveness, and it is just the sweetest scene ever.

“I’m awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn’t mean to vex you and I only meant it for a joke…I think your hair is awfully pretty now-honest I do. Let’s be friends.”

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So sweet!

How sweet!

How sweet!

He’s crazy about her. If only she could see…

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P) I Will Never Forgive You

Gilbert cutely asks for Anne’s forgiveness, bur Anne says no. She is holding onto the grudge and continues to do it for a long time. I have to admit that I was the same way. Me and Anne we have Mr. Darcy temperaments.

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Q) Romance Sucks

So Anne decides that romance is over. After almost drowning, she’s done.

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But Matthew warns her that not all romance isn’t bad.

“Don’t give up all your romance, Anne,’ he whispered, shyly, ‘a little of it is a good thing-not too much of course-but keep a little of it, Anne, keep a little of it.”

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R) Anne starts softening

Anne starts softening about Gilbert,even though she doesn’t realize it.

“Gilbert looks awfully determined. I suppose he’s making up his mind, here and now, to win the medal. What a splendid chin he has!

You're so cute

She looks at him, watching him a lot. She see’s him out with Ruby Gillis, and doesn’t like it.

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She has tons of girlfriends, but thinks it would be nice to have a guy as a friend. And Gilbert is so smart, they could spend a lot of time together talking about all kinds of stuff. Watch her Gilbert, soon you will have your in. Just wait a bit longer.

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S) Gilbert Gives Up His School for Anne

After Matthew dies, Anne decides to stall her scholarship to help Marilla with Green Gables as Matthew is gone and Marilla’s eyesight is horrible. Gilbert gets the Avonlea school, while Anne will have to travel out to White Sands. However, Gilbert goes to the board and has them switch schools so that Anne can stay there with Marilla.

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The whole point of him not going to continue his education was because he needed to earn money to pay for it. So now he switches schools and will have to pay board, eating into the funds he has been trying to save.

How romantic!

How romantic!

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And even though nothing turns out quite like she hopes, she’s lost those she cared for, built new friendships, teaching instead of being schooled; Anne can still find joy in life.

“God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world…”

Wow

Wow

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Just love it. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again!

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to At Midnight, Your Coach Will Become a Pumpkin Again, and the Animals Will Regain Their Original Shape Until Your Next Ball: Ella Enchanted

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For more on Anne of Green Gables, go to Imagination

For more on L.M. Montgomery, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more on Gilbert Blythe, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more on Fred Rogers, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

For more Sarah Dessen quotes, go to Austenland

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Today’s Christmas Carol is Good King Wenceslas. Good King Wenceslas is based on the historical Saint Wenceslaus I. The carol is telling the story about Wenceslaus and his page going out in the cold to deliver alms for the poor.

The song was written in 1853, with the lyrics by John Mason Neale and the music borrowed from the 13th century carol Tempus adest floridum.

I chose the version by Bing Crosby, as you all know how much I love him!

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For more Bing Crosby, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more Christmas carols, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol

Austenland

So this isn’t part of our 30 Day challenge. I just felt I needed to post it as I wanted to review the sequel for the 30 Day challenge and I couldn’t do the second without the first! After this we will continue the 30 Day challenge.

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Austenland (Austenland #1) by Shannon Hale

I first read this book back in high school, I was a freshman or sophomore at the time. I really loved the premise of the book and most of the characters and thought the story was fantastic. I only had one issue, and that was with the main character Jane. I hadn’t really been in a relationship before I read this and I thought the main character was a bit…bonkers. She seemed to throw herself into “relationships” without them even dating, like Gigi in He’s Just NOT That Into You.

I then went on to read the sequel as soon as it was printed, Midnight in Austenland, and just fell in love with it. I thought it was amazing!

I love it

Then the film trailer came out for Austenland and it looked like it was to be mostly this first book, but have a few traits of the sequel that I loved. I was so excited.

FangirledWhenSeeingPreviewI tracked that film and when the release dates were changed, waited. And waited. And then when it wasn’t released in any theater near me, I waited some more for it to come out on DVD.

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I rented it as soon as it was out, watched it, and adored it from beginning to end!I thought it was sooo much better than the book.

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But then I began thinking…what if the book wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was? Maybe as an adult my perspective would change then when I was a teenager? It has been almost ten years (time flies!) since I last read it and decided it would be the perfect time to reread and review it (especially as I want to review the sequel but can’t until I review this one!)

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Austenland

Jane Hayes is obsessed with Jane Austen.

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She reads all of Austen’s books and watches the 1995 miniseries again and again.

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But unlike most fangirls, Jane is ashamed of her love. I don’t know why, I embrace mine.

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It goes for the rest of her work as well.

Anyways…Jane’s mom comes to visit with her great aunt Carolyn. Carolyn is super rich and her mother is trying to get her into the will. She hides her Austen items and DVD disc, (I proudly display mine), but Carolyn finds it.

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Carolyn waits until Jane’s mother goes to the restroom and warns her about Darcy, letting him in and taking over.

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Hey, I don’t see anything wrong for striving for a guy like that or any other Austen man. I don’t want to settle. I want someone special.

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Six months later, Aunt Carolyn dies and leaves something for Jane. She gets all excited dreaming about what she could buy or do with the money:

Good job screenwriters.

But it turns out she is not rich.

Reality Sucks

Instead she gets a three week paid vacation to go to Pembrook Park in England. There she is in a Regency Westworld (except no killer robots), dressing, talking, and acting as it it is 1816. There is no scripts or written endings, but there is a ball and you might meet your dream man there.

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Now they make it seem as if wanting to be with an equivalent of Darcy is a bad thing and that that love is to blame for her bad relationships but that’s not true she is crazy when it comes to relationships. She thinks every guy she has ever been with is her “boyfriend”, even when they haven’t even dated! Even when she just talks to them or thinks about dating them.

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She goes to the Park reading about all the rules they have to follow in that time period. In fact there are a lot of rules with the park as to what they can and cannot do.

She meets Mrs. Wattlesbrook who introduces her to what she will wear and introductory rules. She is now to go by the name Jane Erstwhile, instead of Hayes, and although they were supposed to change their ages and create this fake cover story; Jane wants to be real.

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So Jane finds out that she isn’t the usual type of client. Most of the time, like in Westworld, they have a ton of money. Unfortunately, Jane is not rich so she will not be treated special like the other two guests: Miss Elizabeth Charming and Miss Amelia Heartwright.

Really?

Really?

Jane has to get rid of all her modern items, although she secretly holds back her cell phone, and dress only in Regency wear.

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She meets Theodore, the undergardener, who helps her learn the dances she’ll need to know for the ball.

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Jane is ready and determined that this vacation is going to be great and she will conquer.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #1 Alex Ripley, 4 yrs

She was four years old, he kissed her, and he moved to Minnesota that summer, never to be seen again.

The next day is day one of Jane’s trip to Pembrook Park. She meets her “aunt” Saffronia and “uncle” Sir John Templeton who she will be staying with during her time there.

She meets Miss Elizabeth Charming who is a very wealthy, buxom, and “twenty-two” (fifty). She is extremely wealthy, recently divorced, and looking for a book happily ever after ending.

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The two then meet the men, the reason they are here. The first is the fair-haired, roguish, open man Colonel Andrews.

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And then we have Mr. Nobley: tall, dark, and brooding.

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You know how I like them!

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And Jane likes what she sees.

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Sir Templeton is pretty much just drunk all the time and not interesting. Colonel Andrews is a  lot of fun, and Nobley? Well…

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Elizabeth Charming really wants one of the men and throws herself at both of them, making for some fun and interesting adventures.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #1 Justin Kimble, 12 yrs

They started “going out” in 4th grade when they shared Pixy Stix, scored each other as 1os, and gave each other Valentines. But then he chose another girl for the folk dance and it was over.

So this is a big part of my problem with Jane (Hayes). Those aren’t real relationships, she shouldn’t count them. She was just a child!

The next day she goes out for a walk and runs into Theodore. Even though they aren’t supposed to talk, as he is a servant, they do anyway. Theodore hates the Regency story and gives up on it, revealing his name is really Martin Jasper. Even though it is against the rules, Jane actually starts to like it. It is a secret, “bad”, and Martin is a nice connection to the real world.

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Jane starts to feel strange about this whole “fake Regency” thing, as if she can’t do it. Mr. Nobley and the Colonel see her grow pale and Nobley urges the Colonel to get her some water. There Jane and Nobley have a private conversation, where Jane tries to figure out how Mr. Nobley can pretend like this. Mr Nobley misunderstands her and becomes upset.  He tells her that she can’t play games and try to trap him.

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Later while the men are out doing their manly things, the women wait for Amelia Heartwright to call. They hope she won’t be attractive as it seems there isn’t enough men for everyone. She comes in, and you know how we girls are.

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Unfortunately, she is absolutely beautiful; but along with that she is very kind and hard to dislike. But Jane’s earlier dismay proves to be true as Mr. Nobley and Miss Heartwright appear to have had a history. With those two paired and the Colonel for Miss Charming; Jane is left alone with no one.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #2 Rudy Liev, 15 yrs

Rudy was hilarious and always cracking jokes, ones that were extremely harmful and unfunny. After four months of dating he told everyone when Jane kisses, she licks like a cat. He continued to make fun of her, the moniker “tiger tongue” staying with her even at her ten-year reunion.

After they break up, she reads Pride & Prejudice for the first time.

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Miss Charming won’t let herself be dominated or destroyed, and immediately snags both gentlemen for Whist after dinner. Miss Amelia makes up the fourth, leaving Jane out in the cold again.

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Which unfortunately sets her in Sir John’s drunken sights. He passes out, and tired of overhearing the lively conversation from the whist table, Jane decides to go out for a walk, major Austenland and Regency no no.

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Jane hears a TV and goes to it, being Martin’s  trailer. She overhears the Knick game and is invited inside. Things ensue, and before you know it they are making out. Jane leaves after their session and heads back to sneak into the house.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #3 Dave Atters, 16 yrs

Star of the high school basketball team and Jane was extremely infatuated with him. One night he tried to put his hand up her skirt, she refused, he dumped her.

Instead of blaming Dave she blamed Mr. Darcy for her high expectations of men.

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Dave was a jerk. High expectations have nothing her other than you fell for a guy who thought he was the best and didn’t want to take no for an answer.

You should have high expectations. You shouldn’t have been dating a jerk like him. Any guy who won’t respect you isn’t worth it.

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Every night she goes to see Martin and they make out, eat junk food, etc. She is bored with Regency things as she can’t stand to do any more of them.

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Uh, embroidery is not boring or easy. It is hard work and fun. I”ll have to post some of the things I’ve done.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #4 Ray Riboldi, 17 yrs

Ray was nice, and Jane decided after the last two boyfriends she wanted a nice guy. After a few months, two guys who’d been longtime friends played a prank involving Ray’s jeep and dog poop, telling him to stay away from pretty girls. He then retaliated to Jane believing she was the one to put them up to it.

Jane has horrible taste in me, but she can’t blame Austen for it. The men she are picking are the problem. Maybe you should befriend and get to know them instead of going into “dating” them.

She gets bored of relaxing during the day, which I don’t get. Two weeks in England, relaxing? Sounds good to me.

Let's go now!

Let’s go now!

She runs to see Martin, but he ends that, being offended that she is “one of those women” interested in Austen stuff and that she was with the other two men this morning. He’s a total jerk and Jane is upset as she came all this way, just for more disappointment.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #5 Rahim, 35 or 40 yrs

She meet him while working the perfume counter at age 19. He dates her for three weeks taking her to expensive restaurants, buying her gift; Jane almost fulfilling a cliché of being a “shopgirl”. I say almost because when he took her to her apartment and tried to sleep with her, she laughs and it ends.

Jane is depressed. She has no one, made a fool of herself going after Martin, and is still the fifth wheel. That night she turns down a game of whist and heads outside to walk again.

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Mr. Nobley surprises her, having come to check on her. He warns her about Martin, his protectiveness getting her all upset. Later she comes back in the house and sees the book Mr. Nobley always reads with a pay stub made out to a Henry Jenkins. Hmm? Could that be his real name?

Thinking Hmm

As she starts for her room, she comes upon a drunk Sir John who hits on her.

Uh no.

Uh no.

He tries to get with her, but she knees him in the groin and stops him.

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Mr. Nobley comes upon them, and lends a hand. Here he shows his other side, no longer brooding and distant, but actually charming funny, and dare I say…a delight.

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Jane is thoroughly disappointed in all that happened and decides no more nice-Jane. She is going to rock Austenland and be the best Regency lady ever.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #6 Josh Lake, 20 yrs

Met at a college carnival fundraiser when two groups of friends merged together. They get stuck in a ride and the fear and adrenaline make them start a relationship, but after three months they both know there is no pop to the relationship and break up.

Not Austen’s fault but Jane’s for letting the situation’s emotions create a false relationship and love. Like in Bones when Booth and Hannah get together.

The next morning, Jane pulls out her smuggled cell phone and emails a friend for info on Martin Jasper and Henry Jenkins, hoping to unearth the real person under the mask.

That morning the men are out of town, which upsets Miss Charming. She didn’t dole out the big bucks to be ignored or play second fiddle to Miss Heartwright.. She goes to speak to Mrs. Wattlesbrook and straighten out what her vision of Austenland is.

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Jane, bored, goes to visit Miss Heartwright. She doesn’t really want to, but as this is something Emma would do, she’s in the game.

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When the two ladies return to the park, they have an unexpected visitor! Miss Heartright’s jilted lover has returned, a Mr. George East who has recently become Captain. Miss Heartwright takes off, and Jane rings for a maid to show Captain East to his room.

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Hmm…so now we have three ladies and three men. But who goes with who? And will Jane get the dream proposal promised?

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #6.5 Paul Diaz, 20

She meet him in a watercolor class, sort of talked believing they clicked, but when she asked him out; he didn’t even know who she was.

At dinner Jane flirts as widely as she can, staying in Regency fashion. She throws Mr. Nobley out as it seems Miss Charming and Miss Heartwright care for him. Instead she tries to kill the Captain and the Colonel with her charm.

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That night Jane, the Captain, and Colonel stay out of cards and tease Mr. Nobley. The teasing goes a little too far with Jane giving a short rant on the men of the day:

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And Mr. Nobley has a longer rant about women. Clearly he has some wounds.

ouch Hermione

They then dance with East taking Heartwright and the Colonel paired with Miss Charming. Jane is left all alone until Mr. Nobley steps up and asks her for a dance.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND 7 Juan Inskeep, 25 yrs

Gay.

The next morning the men are out “shooting”, Miss Charming is upset and heads out to see Miss Heartwright, so Jane goes upstairs to check her email. Nothing on Martin Jasper but she hit the motherlode on Henry Jenkins. He studied theater and history at Cambridge, and four years ago was in a crazy divorce. He was very calm but recounted how when his wife cheated on him with a neighbor, he forgave her; when she sold his car to pay for a wild weekend in Monaco, he forgave her; but when she shish-kabobed his fish because he said he wanted kids: that’s when he decided the relationship needed to end. Sounds like a modern-day Mr. Rochester with a crazy, cruel wife.

She is crazy!

She is crazy!

Later in the library, she overhears the Colonel’s proposal to Miss Charming. One man down and two left to go. The game is on!

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #8 Bobby Winkle, 23 yrs

They started as friends and moved on to dating. The relationship lasted six months and then he left for an internship Guatemala. He returned six months later and never called.

The next day they play croquet. Andrews and Miss Charming, Nobley and Miss Heartwright, & Jane and Captain East. Jane doesn’t mind being with Captain East as he is not only attractive but as bad at croquet as she is.

However, she notices that Mr. Nobley keeps staring and watching her. And even more she realizes that she cares what Mr. Nobley thinks about her.

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The game is interrupted when Mrs. Wattlesbrook drives up. They found Jane’s cellphone and she is to be kicked out of Austenland.

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She goes to get in the carriage upset that the men didn’t stand up for her. Before she gets in, they are interrupted by Miss Heartwright. She claims that it is her phone, she accidentally brought it, and that Jane was holding it for her. Because Miss Heartwright is so wealthy, they let her pass.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #9 Kevin Hyde, 27 yrs

She loved him. They dated for almost two years, Jane even went wedding dress shopping, but one day he told her he wanted to end it. He said it was too hard and that he wasn’t having fun.

The next day Miss Heartwright and Mr. Nobley are going horseback riding. They invite Jane, who determined not to be a third wheel, invites Mr. East. As they ride she tries to have intimate time to flirt, but Mr. Nobley keeps messing things up when he separates them. He eventually makes up Jane looking poorly, and sends the other two on ahead.

That guy!

That guy!

Jane is angry with Nobley for messing things up, but then he relays that Miss Hearwright asked him to intervene and give them a few minutes alone to talk about their past.

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She and Nobley start talking and he manages to trick her into revealing something personal, her love of painting and her old dream. They are interrupted by East, but later that evening she finds a package for her. When she opens it, it is oil paints, an easel, and canvas.

How sweet!

How sweet!

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #10 Peter Sosa, 29 yrs

She met Peter in the work elevator. They dated for five weeks and he was perfect. She started to dream only to have that crash down when he revealed that he was already dating someone. His girlfriend bet him he couldn’t make the next girl fall in love with him, and the little game went too far.

The next day is rainy and Jane spends the morning painting. She’d rather not tear herself away, but does as she knows she needs human contact after all that time alone.

She goes to the library to read and is met by Mr. Nobley. He reads the book to her, but it is too boring they cannot continue.

The Colonel wants to do a play, but they would need Mr. Nobley and he refuses. However, after Martin approaches and tries to re-romance Jane, Mr. Nobley tries to warn Jane against him once again. Jane finds herself falling for him, and promises to stay away from Martin if Mr. Nobley performs in the play.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #11 Clark Barnyard, 23 yrs

He was a younger man and someone she worked with. They joked and flirted for months when he asked her out finally. They start kissing when he tries to get her clothes off. She had to tell him no four times before he stopped, confused as to why they weren’t going to have sex.

This wasn’t even a real boyfriend! They went on one date! Jane is a tad delusional.

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Mr. Nobley continues to look and watch Jane. They run off together to practice their parts, and actually break a few Regency rules with proximity.

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Jane feels secure in having Mr. Nobley at her ending. But as they talk she remembers the ball is in two days and the vacation ends in three. It will all be over soon. 😦

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They come upon a tender moment of Captain East and Miss Heartwright. While they talk about love and whether it can be done under fiction; Mr. Nobley reveals he had a “friend” who was heartbroken but if you asked him now, “he” might be opening his heart again to another.

Is it a "friend" or him?

Is it a “friend” or him?

They perform two hours later, badly, but something happens with Mr. Nobley. They way he looks at her, kissed her cheek…it seems more than just a part. But that’s silly it can’t be…real?

Could it?

Could it?

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #12 Tad Harrison, 35 yrs

They were engaged after a year, adopted a dog, and picked out baby names. But he wouldn’t set a date. A year later, they take a break and Tad starts sleeping around. He kept the dog.

The next day, Jane paints all morning. After spending the whole morning alone, she goes out looking for the men. There are only two days left!

She sees the Colonel talking to someone out of sight  and overhears that the Colonel has to get back to work, only to see it is her! Disgusted Jane goes back to her room and starts painting again.

Men?

Men

Later that evening, Mr. Nobley takes her aside and asks her about her painting. They spend a long time as Jane shares her feelings of painting, the things she has been doing; just going on and on. Mr. Nobley smiles through the whole thing and asks to see her paintings.

How sweet!

How sweet!

He compliments her work and then leaves. But then returns to ask her to reserve the first two dances for him.

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FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #12.5 Jake Zeiger, 30ish yrs

Her neighbor that she saw every time she gets her mail. She tries to ask him out, but he turns her down as he never saw her as anything but neighbor.

This was not her boyfriend either! Just in her head!

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The ball comes and Jane is dressed elegantly. She is approached by Martin, dressed up as an extra, who tries to get the first two dances, but Nobley interferes, whirling her away.

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Eventually they break way from the group and Mr. Nobley asks for her hand in marriage. Jane is upset at the faux love and walks away, deciding Mr. Darcy is not for her but she needs a “real man.”

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She runs off to find Martin, as he is “real”.

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They make plans to meet up the next day and for Jane to rearrange her schedule and get a few extra days in England.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #13 Jimmy Rimer, 38 yrs

They walked the same path every day in central park for five months. Then Jimmy snorted when laughing, and Jane avoided him.

The next day she says good-bye to Miss Charming and she and Miss Heartwright head out. It turns out Miss Heartwright is not British as they thought. She is a rich wife who comes out annually to have some fun. She shares that it was Mr. Nobley’s idea to save Jane from being thrown out, asking her to pretend it was her phone.

OMG gasp

After Jane dresses in her old clothes returning her Regency wear, Mrs. Wattlesbrook lets her know that Martin is an actor. He was picked for her but had to be taken out if circulation when thinks got too heated.

What jerks

What jerks

Jane is so angry at them making a fool of her, picking a gardner as her match instead of any gentleman because she’s poor and not an “ideal” client.

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Jane lies about her magazine, pretending she is a staff writer, threatening Mrs. Wattlesbrook and having a ton of fun making her sweat.

FLASHBACK: BOYFRIEND #14 Martin of Sheffield, 29 yrs

An actor posing as a gardener, who posed as a gentleman on the Austenland estate.

Jane heads to the airport: angry, sad, and feeling foolish. As she is thinking to herself, she hears in the airport:

Paging Miss Jane Erstwhile

Is it Mr. Nobley?! Did he comes after her?

Double double yay

No. It is Martin.

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He was sent by Mrs. Wattlesbrook to mend things. He tries a few lines, but Jane sees right through them all.

No thank youhowaboutno

But then the most surprising thing happens. A man dressed in Regency wear approaches! It is Mr. Nobley.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

He tell her that he loves her! He got caught up in the role and gave her the same old proposal he always does, the Darcy proposal. But he truly does love her. Being with her was different than being with anyone else.

lovedyou Persuasion

Martin and him fight, calling each other names; but Jane is just done with it all. She boards her plane saying good-bye.

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On the plane, she is surprised to see that Mr. Nobley has bought a ticket and will be joining her on her flight. She questions why Mrs. Wattlesbrook would go that far, but he tells her she didn’t send him. He came on his own, he Henry Jenkins. In fact, Mrs. Wattlesbrook never sent him to go after Jane, not at the park and not now.

Wow

He knows she has no money, he never heard the article rumor, and bought the ticket even though he is deeply afraid of flying to prove his love. He tells her that if it is too much he can wait, if they just start out slow and then see where it takes them.

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But then he says he lied.

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Ah snap, knew it. It was too perfect.

Reality Sucks

He tells her that he doesn’t want a fling. For him it is all or nothing and he is throwing himself at her feet.

How sweet!

How romantic!

And then this part, this is the best:

“But wait, stop, it’s not supposed to end this way! You’re the fantasy, you’re what I’m leaving behind. I can’t pack you up and take you with me.’

‘That was the most self-centered thing I’ve ever heard you say.’

Jane blinked. ‘It was?’

‘Miss Hayes, have you stopped to consider that you might hav this all backward? That in fact you are my fantasy?”

How sweet!

How sweet!

Present: Boyfriend #15 Henry

Jane is taking this relationship one day at a time and no longer seems to be ashamed of her Pride and Prejudice love.

In the end Jane does the one thing everyone dreams of, she gets a “real” Mr. Darcy.

Don't Stop Believing!

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So I liked the novel, the only issue I really had was Jane’s feeling ashamed at being an Austen fan. I just don’t get it and it made her less likeable. I also didn’t like how she complained about her vacation or blamed her horrible choices in men on Austen. Those things were corrected in the sequel and film which is why I liked them better.

But the end was just perfect. It was incredibly romantic and just the type of thing we dream of. Hale sure knows how to write

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For more by Shannon Hale, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to The Bend and Snap

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

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So even though this isn’t a part of our scheduled posting, as it is a post in the first 25 days of December I am going to add a Christmas Carol.

Today’s song is one that my sister loves and used to play all the time. It is On This Very Christmas Night or Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

This song was published in 1998 and strayed from rock to being in the form of a children’s choir. It is a great song, but once played remains in your head forever.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol

Nothing Wrong With It

beingyourself-woman

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feminine Strength Empowered

What bothers me in the news these days; everywhere you look people are telling you as a women who you should be. You need to be a feminist. You have to be single, getting married will only harm your dreams. You should strive to be a CEO or scientist: housewife, teacher, etc.; are clichés and holding women back. You shouldn’t care about your appearance, that’s shallow and vain. On and on they go. But here is what I think:

Feminist or Anti-Feminist. Athlete or Fashionista. Housewife or CEO. Nerd or Cheerleader. A Good Girl or a Bad Girl. Damsel or Superhero. Overachiever or Underachiever. Mother Hen or Baby. Wise Crone or Foolish Youth. Spoiled or Humbled. Clingy or Independent. Single or Married.

Don’t let the world label you, real power and strength comes from being yourself.

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Go be strong in believing what you believe and being your true self.

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For more on Agatha Christie, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more on Sarah Dessen, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

For more quotes, go to Man of Respect

The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

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Fandoms…they just start out as one thing to read, watch, listen to. But before you know it they have sucked you in and you are on a lifelong journey of loving them and spending time with them and trying to get others to join in.

the-grady-twinsPride&Prejudice Elizabeth Jane come play with us the shining

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Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

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So yesterday’s post on December, 1933 (Oh What A Night), made me realize something. I had totally skipped over this band in my earlier fan posts. How could I forget the wonderful Frankie Valli?

What can I say about Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons? Their music is amazing! I absolutely love it and could listen to it again and again.

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I think my love for the group started when I heard Big Girls Don’t Cry in Dirty Dancing. From there my favorite songs grew to Candy Girl, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Grease, Let’s Hang On (To What We Got), Sherry and Working My Way Back to You.

I just love Frankie’s voice. It is not perfectly melodic, but so musically interesting and beautiful that I love it.

For more on Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, go to Oh What A Night

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Sarah Dessen

HighstandardsExtraordinary

I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I started reading her books when I bought a copy of Someone Like You from the library bookstore. From there, that was it. I was in the Dessen fanclub and owner of practically every book she has written. They became a huge part of me.

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Something that Sarah Dessen does that is unique to her writing, is that she likes to connect all her work together. Make small little briges through all the novels. One summer I went through, reading with a fine tooth comb and finding every possible connection.

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That Summer- This is one of my least favorites in her collection. It isn’t a horrible book or anything, but not as strong as the other novels, in my opinion. That Summer is the story of 15 year old Haven living in a world that is rapidly changing. Her father has divorced her mother and is remarrying the weather girl. Her fun-loving, always out there sister is marrying a boring guy and going to set out on a boring, bland life. Haven’s best friend has just returned from camp boy-crazier than ever and with a long distance boyfriend. And Haven can’t stop growing, being almost six-feet tall. All she wants is to go back.

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Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s comes back into the picture; maybe he can take things back to how they used to be?

These are the things I’ve found so far that refer back to That Summer

Someone Like You:
One of Ashley’s old boyfriends dies in a motorcycle accident just like Scarlett’s boyfriend Michael does.
Sumner works at a market with Kiwis just like Michael Sherwood does.
Also set in Lakeview

Keeping the Moon:
Haven’s family spent a whole summer at a beach in the past, which is just what Colie does.
Ashley dated a guy named Frank and Isabelle dates one in Keeping the Moon.

Dreamland:
Ashley was a cheerleader just like Caitlin becomes.
Also set in Lakeview
Corrina drives a VW bug. In That Summer Sumner drives one too.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Haven’s family spent a whole summer at the beach in the past.
In Caitlan’s dream she goes to the Lakeview Mall. Lakeview Mall is where Haven had her first job at.

This Lullaby:
Set in Lakeview
Casey sends Haven letters on pink stationary with silver ink. Lissa’s soon-to-be roommate writes to her on pink stationary with silver ink.

The Truth About Forever:
Lorna MacPhail, Haven’s stepmother, is the weather woman who had no idea that the freak storm would occur. This freak storm disturbs Macy’s mom’s plans to have a big house selling party outside forcing her to have a nervous breakdown.
Set in Lakeview

Just Listen:
Also set in Lakeview.
Gwendolyn was one of the orginal Lakeview models, something Annabelle becomes later.
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Haven’s family used to spend summers at the beach.

Lock and Key:
Ruby gets a job at a mall kiosk. The mall is where Haven had her first job.
Set in Lakeview

Along for the Ride:
Haven’s family spent a whole summer at a beach in the past, which is just what Auden does.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean goes on beach trips with her mom, much like Haven’s family used to do.
McLean’s mom cheats on her dad, and gets remarried. She gets pregnant too soon. Haven’s dad cheats on her mom and he remarries. His new wife gets pregnant too soon too
The Moon and More:
Haven’s family spent a whole summer at a beach in the past, Emmaline lives in a beachtown.

Someone Like You- Ever since Scarlett moved across the street from Halley the two have been best friends. The summer before their junior year, Scarlett starts dating Michael Sherwood, the most popular guy in school. When he dies in a motorcycle accident, the two stand through it together.

Friends-Best-Friends

But when Scarlett discovers that she is pregnant and decides to keep the baby, will the two be able to handle all of life’s changes?

Halley also has been having issues with her mother. It seems that she wants to control her more and more, making her the perfect example for one of her psychology books. Things become even more strained when Halley starts dating Macon, Michael’s best friend and one of the popular kids. But things are not always what they seem, and the things we want may not always be the things we truly desire.

This is one of my favorites as it was my gateway into Dessen’s work. I just love the characters and the story and still read it once a year.

These are the things I’ve found refer back to Someone Like You.

That Summer:
One of Ashley’s old boyfriends dies in a motorcycle accident just like Scarlett’s boyfriend Michael does.
Sumner works at a market with Kiwis just like Michael Sherwood does.
It is set in Lakeview

Keeping the Moon:
Haley buys Macon a pair of Ray Bans. In Keeping the Moon, Norman has a pair of Ray Bans in his sunglasses collection.

Dreamland:
Set in Lakeview and Caitlin goes to Jackson High like Haley and Scarlett do.
Rogerson lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Grandma Haley goes to the Evergreen Care Center, the same place Cailtin is sent to Dreamland.
Caitlan goes to Topper Lake, just like Haley does in Someone Like You
Ginny’s family lives near the golf course. Rogerson’s family does too in Dreamland.
Scarlett and Haley frequent the Quick Zip. Dave works there for a while in Dreamland.
Macon is always buying Halley cokes and candy. In Dreamland, Rogerson does this after he hits Caitlan.

This Lullaby:
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Remy works in the Mayors Village Shopping Complex; the place where Milton Market is. Milton’s Market is where Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley go to Zip Marts all the time. Remy and her friends frequent the Zip Marts too.
Scarlett Thomas used to date Remy’s brother Chris. Remy’s boyfriend Dexter’s friend John has a crush on Scarlett. Scarlett is the manager at the place he works at.
Set in Lakeview

The Truth About Forever:
Set in Lakeview
Macy goes to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley do.
Outside the Mayors Village Shopping Complex, Wes sells his sculptures. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being were Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You. Macy and her sister also go inside Milton’s to buy greens for a salad.
Wes girlfriend, later ex, is at Evergreen being treated for a drug problem. It is the same place Grandma Haley is sent to in Someone Like You.
Macy also goes to the Quick Zip like Scarlett and Haley.

Just Listen:
Set in Lakeview.
Annabelle goes to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley did
Mooska, the modeling place, is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being were Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
Annabelle and Owen have a radio show like Haley’s dad Brian.
Annabelle lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.

Lock and Key:
Also set in Lakeview
Before Ruby attends Perkins Day, she used to go to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Ruby goes to Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being were Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley go to Zip Marts all the time. Ruby also frequent the Zip Mart.

Along for the Ride
Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while before transferring.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean goes to Jackson High like Haley and Scarlett do.
Also set in Lakeview

The Moon and More:
Emmaline’s mom gets pregnant in high school, just like Scarlett.

Keeping the Moon– Colie has always been overweight like her mother. She liked the extra bundles as it made her feel as if she had a shield against the attacks of the world. She and her mom, Kiki, drove from place to place, job to job; always moving where they wanted to. That all changed when her mom hit a car in a gym parking lot and and had to work off the debt. She joins in the workouts, loses tons of weight, becomes an instructor, and from there a millionaire with Kiki Sparks videos and products going across the country. Colie is now stuck in a town she doesn’t like, in which the girls pick on her everyday; even though she no longer is overweight. This summer her mother is going on an international tour to spread the Kiki Spark’s gospel, and Colie will be spending it with her aunt she hasn’t seen in years. At first Colie hates living with her fatty food loving aunt, in a house where everything is broken down as they only need some TLC, and where a strange artist/handyman, Norman resides. But as Colie starts working with Norman and two other girls, Morgan and Isabelle, at the Last Chance Cafe; she may just discover more about herself and what beauty and confidence really mean.

beautyofawoman

This is another one that I absolutely love. The character, story, and just everything about it is really great. I read this one at least once a year as well.

These are the things I’ve found refer back to Keeping the Moon. This one is a bit harder as it takes place away from Lakeview, and some might be a bit of a stretch, but they do connect.

That Summer:
Isabelle dates a Frank, Ashley dated a Frank in That Summer. Haven’s family spends a whole summer at a beach just like Colie does

Someone Like You: Haley buys Macon a pair of Ray Bans. In Keeping the Moon, Norman has a pair of Ray Bans in his sunglasses collection.

Dreamland:
Boo wears her hair up in chopsticks just like Mira does in Keeping the Moon.
Colie’s family lives near the golf course. Rogerson’s family does too in Dreamland.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Colie does too.
Norman has an older brother who is living up to his father’s expectations. Norman is the black sheep in the family and picked on by his father. In Dreamland, Rogerson has an older brother who is living up to his parents expectations, the black sheep of the family, and abused by his father.
Norman has a huge dissertation on sunglasses; one may hide behind them, accessorize with them, etc. In Dreamland, Caitlan uses them to hide behind and Rina to accessorize.

This Lullaby:
Colie lives in VA with her mom. Truth Squad announces that they have just come from VA.

The Truth About Forever:
Macy’s family has a beach house in Colby. The waitresses at Last Chance restaurant know him by name.
Macy also celebrates the 4th of July.
Norman walks with a slow loping gait. So does Wes in The Truth About Forever.

Just Listen:
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Colie is sent to the beach for a summer.

Lock and Key:
Ruby’s friend Olivia’s cousin Laney takes place in a 5K. She was inspired to after she watched a Kiki Sparks infomercial. Kiki Sparks is Colie’s mom.
Nate is a runner like Colie.

Along for the Ride:
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Colby is where Colie visited for the entire summer in Keeping the Moon.
Auden eats at Last Chance where Colie worked at in Keeping the Moon.
The cashier that takes Auden’s order at Last Chance is a dark haired girl with a lip ring. Colie is dark-haired with a lip ring.
Heidi, Auden’s stepmom, two best friends are Morgan and Isabelle. Morgan and Isabelle are Colie’s next door neighbors in Keeping the Moon.
Auden passes a women with long hair in an orange jumpsuit on a bicycle. This is Mira, Colie’s aunt.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Colie spends the summer with her Aunt Mira.
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Norman.
Like Colie, McLean becomes a waitress.
Heather’s dad loves moon pies. Norman loves moon pies too.

The Moon and More:
Both stories take place in Colby.
Eats at Last Chance a few times, also where Luke broke up with her. Colie is her waitress.
Norman walks with a slow loping gait. So does Morris.

Dreamland-Caitlan has always lived in her older sister Cass’s shadow. Cass has done it all and excelled at everything. This year Cass is off to Yale and Caitlan believes she can finally have something that is her own. It is her birthday, but instead if celebrating Caitlan it is once again all about Cass. Cass has run away with her boyfriend and not going to Yale at all. Caitlan sets out to start her next year, in an even bigger shadow; Cass’s missing one. Caitlan then joins cheerleading and dates Rogerson Biscoe, all very different from anything Cass would ever do. Being with Rogerson makes everything better as she finally has something that is hers and focused on her. But what happens when Rogerson becomes the problem instead of the answer.

This is one of Dessen’s best. I have never read anything that so clearly described why women become attracted to men who abuse them, and why they stay when they know they should leave. It is amazingly poignant and a real page turner.

These are the things I’ve found refer back to Dreamland.

That Summer:
Ashley was a cheerleader just like Caitlin becomes in Dreamland.
Set in Lakeview too.
Corrina drives a VW bug. In That Summer Sumner drives one too.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Haven’s family spent a whole summer at the beach in the past.
In Caitlan’s dream she goes to the Lakeview Mall. Lakeview Mall is where Haven had her first job at.

Someone Like You:
Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Caitlan goes there in Dreamland.
Set in Lakeview too.
Rogerson lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Grandma Haley goes to the Evergreen Care Center, the same place Cailtin is sent to Dreamland.
Caitlan goes to Topper Lake, just like Haley does in Someone Like You.
Ginny’s family lives near the golf course. Rogerson’s family does too in Dreamland.
Scarlett and Haley frequent the Quick Zip. Dave works there for a while in Dreamland.
Macon is always buying Halley cokes and candy. In Dreamland, Rogerson does this after he hits Caitlan.

Keeping the Moon:
Mira wears her hair up in chopsticks just like Boo does in Dreamland.
Colie’s family lives near the golf course. Rogerson’s family does too in Dreamland.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Colie does too.
Norman has an older brother who is living up to his father’s expectations. Norman is the black sheep in the family and picked on by his father. In Dreamland, Rogerson has an older brother who is living up to his parents expectations, the black sheep of the family, and abused by his father.
Norman has a huge dissertation on sunglasses; one may hide behind them, accessorize with them, etc. In Dreamland, Caitlan uses them to hide behind and Rina to accessorize.

This Lullaby:
Corinna and Dave rent a little yellow house. In This Lullaby, Truth Squad rents it.
Dave works at the Quick Zip Mart with friends. In This Lullaby, Remy and her friends are always at the zip mart.
Set in Lakeview
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. U is where Lissa is going to college.
Rogerson was a pot dealer, Chris used to sell pot in This Lullaby.
Rina moved to Lakeview from Boca Raton. Lissa’s to be roommate Delia is from there.
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; Caitlan does in Dreamland too.
Caitlan plays quarters, Remy does too.

The Truth About Forever:
Macy went to Jackson High. Caitlan goes there in Dreamland.
Wes girlfriend, later ex, is at Evergreen being treated for a drug problem. It is the same place Caitlan goes in Dreamland.
Caitlan goes with Rogerson to deliver some pot. They go out far in the country on a rode full of potholes. Same road Macy travels on her way to Delia’s house.
Set in Lakeview.
Caitlan and her friends play quarters. Macy plays quarters in The Truth About Forever.
Stewart and Boo teach at U and Caitlan’s dad is the dean of students. Caroline went to U.
Macy also goes to the Quick Zip, Dave used to work there.
Just Listen:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Caitlan goes there in Dreamland
Set in Lakeview too.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Perkins Day is where Rogerson Biscoe goes in Dreamland.
In Caitlan’s dream she goes to the Lakeview Mall. Annabelle is a Lakeview Model and spends a lot of time at the mall.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Boo and Stewart teach at U. Caitlan’s dad is also the Dean of students.
Annabelle lives in the Arbors, Rogerson lives there as well.
Rogerson loves classic rock, so does Annabelle’s sister Kristen

Lock and Key:
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Caitlain goes there in Dreamland.
Ruby transfers to Perkins Day. Perkins Day is where Rogerson Biscoe goes in Dreamland.
Set in Lakeview.
Ruby is physically abused by her mom, and Rogerson’s dad is physically abusive to him.
In Caitlan’s dream she goes to the Lakeview Mall. Ruby works at a jewelry kiosk in the mall.
Ruby used to buy pot from Rogerson
Ruby’s somewhat boyfriend Marshall’s roommate is Rogerson.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the Arbors is where Rogerson used to live.
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U

Along for the Ride:
Boo and Stewart teach at U. That is where Auden mom teaches as well.
Cass starts reading about Buddhism. In Along for the Ride, Auden is reading about it too.
Caitlin went to Jackson High. Auden goes to Jackson High for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Rogerson Biscoe goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Auden does too.
Caitlan’s Dad is Dean of students at the U. Auden’s mom is a professor at the U.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
Caitlan’s dad is a huge fan of college sports. McLean’s stepdad is a college basketball coach.
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Boo and Stewart teach at U. Caitlin’s dad is also the Dean of students
McLean goes to Jackson High like Caitlan.

The Moon and More:
Rachel Gertman, friend of Emmaline’s sis Amber, was in a bike accident had to go to rehab. Caitlain had to go to rehab for her drug and emotional/physical abuse from her boyfriend.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Emmaline lives in a beachtown.
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. U is where Emaline is going to college.

This Lullaby- Remy’s mom is a romance writer, and Remy leaves all that mushy stuff to her.

romance

Remy is strictly a numbers girl and has been counting down the time in which she will be able to leave her home and journey to CA for college; using money from the guy that set up all others to surely fail, her father. She has a checklist for how the rest of the summer should go until she’s in the golden state; but that all changes when Dexter literally crashes into her life. Nephew of her mother’s sixth husband and in the band playing for their wedding; he propels into her life and changes everything; showing her an unscheduled, unplanned path. But will Remy be able to handle something off the page?

These are the things I’ve found that refer back to This Lullaby.

That Summer:
Also set in Lakeview
Casey sends Haven letters on pink stationary with silver ink. Lissa’s soon-to-be roommate writes to her on pink stationary with silver ink.

Someone Like You:
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Remy works in the Mayors Village Shopping Complex; the place where Milton Market is. Milton’s Market is where Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley go to Zip Marts all the time. Remy and her friends frequent the Zip Marts too.
Scarlett Thomas used to date Remy’s brother Chris. Remy’s boyfriend Dexter’s friend John has a crush on Scarlett. Scarlett is the manager at the place he works at.
Also set in Lakeview

Keeping the Moon:
Colie lives in VA with her mom. Truth Squad announces that it has just come from VA

Dreamland:
Corinna and Dave rent a little yellow house. In This Lullaby, Truth Squad rents it.
Dave works at the Quick Zip Mart. In This Lullaby, Remy and her friends are always at the zip mart
Also set in Lakeview.
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. U is where Lissa is going to college
Rogerson was a pot dealer, Chris used to sell pot in This Lullaby.
Rina moved to Lakeview from Boca Raton. Lissa’s to be roommate Delia is from there.
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; Caitlan does in Dreamland too.
Caitlan plays quarters, Remy does too.

The Truth About Forever:
Stella reads the romance novel, The Choice. This is the one Remy’s mom, Barbara Starr, is writing in This Lullaby.
Also set in Lakeview
Macy plays quarters, Remy does too.
Sherman from Shreveport is supposed to be Macy’s date, but a drunk loser. A drunk loser named Sherman hits on Remy.
Jason’s parents are professors just like Lissa’s parents.
Jason and his dad talk about the recent elections in Europe. In This Lullaby, Jennifer Anne tries to talk to Remy and Chris about them.
Lissa’s going to U, Caroline went there too.
Macy goes to the Quick Zip like Remy and Co.

Just Listen:
Annabelle goes to the club Bendo with Owen. Truth Squad is playing, and Remy happens to be there too.
Clark and Rory wear Truth Squad shirts.
One of the CDs Owen gives to Annabelle has the Truth Squad’s songs on it.
Also set in Lakeview
Annabelle is raped, Remy was too.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Lissa is going to attend U.
Mooska, the modeling company is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. This is where Remy’s work is also located.
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; the fancy area where Annabelle lives.

Lock and Key:
Remy and her friends are always at the Zip Mart. In Lock and Key, Ruby goes there as well.
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. Jump Java is where John Miller worked at.
Cora helped Barbara Starr with her last divorce.
Also set in Lakeview
Reggie sells vitamins in the mall. In This Lullaby an old boyfriend of Remy, Anton, sold vitamins in the mall.
Truth Squad rents a little yellow house. In Lock and Key, Ruby and her mom are living there.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the Arbors is where Remy and Co go to a party
Lissa is is going to U. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U
Nate has a “No Eating in the Car” rule like Remy.

Along for the Ride:
Auden’s parents are both PhDs. In This Lullaby, Lissa’s parents are PhDs. as well.
Auden’s mom teaches at the U. U is where Lissa is going to college.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Lissa is going to U.
Dave takes classes at the U. Lissa attends U.
McLean gets a coupon for Jump Java. Jump Java is right across from Remy’s work and where Scarlett and John Miller worked.
McLean’s mom reads romance novels. Remy’s mom writes them.

The Moon and More:
When Emmaline was feeling stressed out over Theo, she goes to Jump Java to clear her mind. Scarlett and John Miller worked at Jump Java in This Lullaby.
This Lullaby takes place the summer before Remy goes to college, just like Emmaline.
Lissa’s going to U, Emmaline will be going there in the fall as well.

The Truth About Forever-Macy Queen is not looking forward to having a good summer. She saw her father die a year before, and drew away from the rest of the world. She started dating the braniac Jason, who never likes PDA or any affections. This summer he’ll be gone and she’ll be bored out of her mind, although at least she has Jason’s job at the library. But when she throws out some affection in her email and doesn’t fulfill Jason’s expectations at the library, she finds herself single again. After a chance encounter, she finds herself working for a catering group full of characters she never would have thought would become her friends. From Delia, the owner who believes imperfections are needed in life; Wes the former juvenile delinquent turned artist; Bert the serious Armageddon fan; Monica the one that never talks, and Kristy,  scarred but survivor of a fatal accident and always out to live life.

I love this book. Macy is someone you just connect to, the friends are people I wish were my pals; and oh, Wes. If only you were real.

ISawHimFirstFictional

These are the things I’ve found refer back to The Truth About Forever.

That Summer:
Lorna MacPhail, Haven’s stepmother, is the weather woman who had no idea that the freak storm would occur. This freak storm disturbs Macy’s mom’s plans to have a big house selling party outside forcing her to have a nervous breakdown.
Also set in Lakeview.

Someone Like You:
Set in Lakeview
Macy goes to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley do.
Outside the Mayors Village Shopping Complex, Wes sells his sculptures. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being where Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You. Macy and her sister also go inside Milton’s to buy greens for a salad.
Wes’ girlfriend, later ex, is at Evergreen being treated for a drug problem. It is the same place Grandma Halley is sent to in Someone Like You.
Macy also goes to the Quick Zip like Scarlett and Haley.

Keeping the Moon
Macy’s family has a beach house in Colby. The waitresses at Last Chance restaurant know him by name.
Norman walks with a slow loping gait. So does Wes in the Truth About Forever.

Dreamland:
Macy went to Jackson High. Caitlan goes there in Dreamland.
Wes girlfriend, later ex, is at Evergreen being treated for a drug problem. It is the same place Caitlan goes in Dreamland.
Caitlan goes with Rogerson to deliver some pot. They go out far in the country on a rode full of potholes. Same road Macy travels on her way to Delia’s house.
Caitlan and her friends play quarters. Macy plays quarters in The Truth About Forever.
Also set in Lakeview.
Stewart and Boo teach at U and Caitlan’s dad is the dean of students. Caroline went to U.
Macy also goes to the Quick Zip, Dave used to work there.

This Lullaby:
Stella reads the romance novel, The Choice. This is the one Remy’s mom, Barbara Starr is writing in This Lullaby.
Also set in Lakeview.
Macy plays quarters, Remy does too.
Sherman from Shreveport is supposed to be Macy’s date, but a drunk loser. A drunk loser named Sherman hits on Remy.
Jason and his dad talk about the recent elections in Europe. In This Lullaby, Jennifer Anne tries to talk to Remy and Chris about them.
Lissa’s going to U, Caroline went there too.
Macy goes to the Quick Zip like Remy and Co.

Just Listen:
Annabelle, Rory, and Owen go to World of Waffles. While they are there they see Macy and Wes at a nearby table
Also set in Lakeview.
Macy goes to Jackson High like Annabelle.
Mooska modeling company is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. This is where Wes sells his artwork.
Annabelle’s dad designed the house they live in. Macy’s mom did the same thing with theirs.

Lock and Key:
Ruby, Cora, and Jamie live in Wildflower Ridge. The very place Macy’s mom designed in the Truth About Forever.
One of Nate’s clients is Macy’s mom. He creates gift baskets for her with little chocolates in the shape of houses.
Kristi is at the mall helping Bert find a gift for his girlfriend. She like Ruby’s necklace, which inspires Harriet to create a bunch to sell at her kiosk.
Macy and Wes run the 5K. Ruby’s friend Olivia’s cousin Laney tries to run the 5K.
Also set in Lakeview.
Macy goes to Jackson High like Ruby did for a bit.
Macy goes to the Quick Zip like Ruby does.
Nate is a runner like Wes.
Caroline went to U. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U
Gervais is a tutor like Bert.

Along for the Ride:
Macy went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Macy’s ex-boyfriend Jason Talbot goes to Kiffeny-Brown. Auden goes there in Along for the Ride.
Jason Talbot was supposed to be Auden’s date for the prom, but he cancels last minute. He is also her date in the prom boardwalk party Heidi throws, but cancels last minute once again.
Macy and Wes are always going to World of Waffles. In Along for the Ride, when Maggie, Leah, and Esther go there, Esther’s car breaks down.
Auden’s mom is a professor at U. Caroline went to U.
Auden is a tutor in Along for the Ride. Bert also tutors.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Macy’s sister Caroline went to U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Macy does.
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Wes.
Dave takes classes at the U. Macy’s sister Caroline went to U.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Macy and her family have a beach house.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is Macy’s ex.
Dave, like Wes, also has a tattoo that is in remembrance of someone he loved that died.
The Moon and More:
The caterer Robin says “everyone loves meatballs” just like Delia always said in The Truth About Forever.
Underage Morris is a bartender for the event, such as Wes.
Story takes place in Colby, Macy’s family has a beach house there.
Emmaline has the same Us and Them mentality; its her and Clyde against Ivy and Theo. Macy expresses the same idea in The Truth About Forever regarding the caterers against the eaters.
Luke, Emmaline’s ex, is Wes and Bert’s cousin.
Emmaline and Luke play Gotcha! They were taught by Wes and Bert.
Like Macy, Emmaline always wears an elastic on her wrist.
The waitresses at Last Chance restaurant know Macy’s father by name. Emmaline goes to Last Chance all the time.
Wes walks with a slow, loping gait; just like Morris.
In the beginning of The Truth About Forever Macy helps out with the catering because a server moves so slow and not doing well. Emmaline helps out with a catering when Morris is moving too slow and not doing anything.
Caroline went to U, and it is where Emmaline is attending in the fall.

Just Listen- Last year Anabelle was the “girl who had everything”, or at least she played her in the Kopf’s Department Store commercial. And last year she did have everything; two best friends; dates; healthy sisters; etc. But this year she is friendless, her mother is controlling her every move, her older sister has an eating disorder, etc. Life is glum. Then she meets Owen, musical enthusist.

music

His brash and truthful ways; may just be the help she needs to face what happened a year ago, the even that changed everything.

This is a truly great book. I remember my friend Bela had borrowed it from the library, and I borrowed it from her. I had one school day to read it and completed it in a few hours because I just loved it.

These are the things I’ve found so far that refer back to Just Listen.

That Summer:
Set in Lakeview.
Gwendolyn was one of the orginal Lakeview models, something Annabelle becomes later.
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Haven’s family used to spend summers at the beach.

Someone Like You:
Set in Lakeview.
Annabelle goes to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley did
Annabelle lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Mooska, the modeling company, is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being were Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
Annabelle and Owen have a radio show like Haley’s dad Brian.

Keeping the Moon:
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Colie is sent to the beach for a summer.

Dreamland:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Caitlan goes there in Dreamland
Set in Lakeview too.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Perkins Day is where Rogerson Biscoe goes in Dreamland.
Boo Connell, the neighbors in Dreamland, is leading a talk on menstruation, which Mallory and Owen’s mom are attending.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Boo and Stewart teach at U. Caitlan’s dad is also the Dean of students.
Annabelle lives in the Arbors, Rogerson lives there as well.
Rogerson loves classic rock, so does Annabelle’s sister Kristen

This Lullaby:
Annabelle goes to the club Bendo with Owen. Truth Squad is playing, and Remy happens to be there too.
Clark and Rolly wear Truth Squad shirts.
One of the CDs Owen gives to Annabelle has the Truth Squad’s songs on it.
Annabelle is raped, Remy was too.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Lissa is going to attend U.
Mooska, the modeling company, is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. This is where Remy’s work is also located.
Remy goes to a party in the Arbors; the fancy area where Annabelle lives.

The Truth About Forever:
Annabelle, Rory, and Owen go to World of Waffles. While they are there they see Macy and Wes at a nearby table
Annabelle is a Lakeview mall model. Macy can see it from her window.
Annabelle goes to Jackson High like Macy.
Mooska, modeling company, is in the Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. This is where Wes sells his artwork.
Annabelle’s dad designed the house they live in. Macy’s mom did the same thing with theirs.

Lock and Key:
Annabelle goes to Jackson High, that is where Ruby goes for a little while.
Ruby listens to Annabelle’s radio show one day on the way to school.
Owen’s sister Mallory and her friends come to Harriet’s kiosk to look at the key necklaces.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U; Cora and Jamie went there too.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Annabelle lives.
Ruby, like Owen likes Led Zepplin
Owen helps Jamie find Cora’s favorite songs.

Along for the Ride:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Annabelle, Rolly, and Owen go to World of Waffles. In Along for the Ride, when Maggie, Leah, and Esther go there, Esther’s car breaks down.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Auden spends a summer at the beach.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes there to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean was on the soccer team at one point. Annabelle’s friend Clarke played soccer.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Annabelle does.
McLean is told to transfer to the Fountain School. Rolly attends the Fountain School.
McLean sees Annabelle and Owen arguing about music during her first lunch at Jackson High.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. McLean is going to attend U too.
The Moon and More:
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Emmaline lives in a beachtown.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U, Emmaline will be attending there in the fall.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes there to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings. Esther films the art show for Emmaline and Ivy.
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. Jump Java is where Emmaline goes to clear her head when Theo distresses her.

Lock & Key- Ruby has been living on her own for a few weeks after her mom just took off one day. When the water is turned off, the jig is up. Ruby is taken into CPS as they track down Ruby’s older sister, the sister she hasn’t seen since she walked out on them as she decided to start a new life at college. Ruby finds herself in a strange, new world as Cora not only is someone she hardly recognizes; but she is married to Jamie, the most down-to-earth and boyish millionaire she’s ever met. But as Ruby is trying to find herself in this new family and fancy home; she discovers that not everything is as it seems. Even this side of town can have its ugly secrets; sometimes as close as the neighbor’s.

These are the things I’ve found refer back to Lock and Key.

That Summer:
Ruby gets a job at a mall kiosk. The mall is were Haven had her first job.

Someone Like You:
Also set in Lakeview
Before Ruby attends Perkins Day, she used to go to Jackson High like Scarlett and Haley.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the fancy area where Ginny Talbot lives in Someone Like You.
Ruby goes to Mayor’s Village Shopping Complex. Milton’s Market is in the Mayor Village; the market being were Scarlett and Haley worked in Someone Like You.
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley go to Zip Marts all the time. Ruby also frequent the Zip Mart.

Keeping the Moon:
Ruby’s friend Olivia’s cousin Laney takes place in a 5K. She was inspired to after she watched a Kiki Sparks infomercial. Kiki Sparks is Colie’s mom.
Nate is a runner like Colie.

Dreamland:
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Caitlain goes there in Dreamland.
Ruby transfers to Perkins Day. Perkins Day is where Rogerson Biscoe goes in Dreamland.
Corinna and Dave rent a little yellow house. In Lock and Key, Ruby and her mom are living there.
Ruby is physically abused by her mom, and Nate’s dad is physically abusive to him. In Dreamland, Rogerson’s father is physically abusive to him.
In Caitlan’s dream she goes to the Lakeview Mall. Ruby works at a jewelry kiosk in the mall.
Ruby used to buy pot from Rogerson
Ruby’s somewhat boyfriend Marshall is roommates with Rogerson.
Ruby has a friend that lives in the Arbors, the Arbors is where Rogerson used to live.
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U .

This Lullaby:
Remy and her friends are always at the Zip Mart. In Lock and Key, Ruby goes there as well.
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. Jump Java is where John Miller worked at.
Cora helped Barbara Starr with her last divorce.
Reggie sells vitamins in the mall. In This Lullaby an old boyfriend of Remy, Anton, sold vitamins in the mall.
Truth Squad rents a little yellow house. In Lock and Key, Ruby and her mom are living there.
Lissa is is going to U. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais and Nate are going to U
Nate has a “No Eating in the Car” rule like Remy.

The Truth About Forever:
Ruby, Cora, and Jamie live in Wildflower Ridge. The very place Macy’s mom designed in the Truth About Forever.
One of Nate’s clients is Macy’s mom. He creates gift baskets for her with little chocolates in the shape of houses.
Kristi is at the mall helping Bert find a gift for his girlfriend. She like Ruby’s necklace, which inspires Harriet to create a bunch to sell at her kiosk.
Macy and Wes run the 5K. Ruby’s friend Olivia’s cousin Laney tries to run the 5K.
Macy goes to the Quick Zip like Ruby.
Nate is a runner like Wes.
Caroline went to U. Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U
Ruby lives on Wildflower Ridge like Macy.
Gervais is a tutor like Bert.

Just Listen:
Annabelle goes to Jackson High, that is where Ruby goes for a little while.
Ruby listens to Annabelle’s radio show one day on the way to school.
Owen’s sister Mallory and her friends come to Harriet’s kiosk to look at the key necklaces.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Ruby, Gervais and Nate attend U; Cora and Jamie went there too.
Ruby goes to the Arbors at one point, the fancy area where Annabelle lives
Ruby, like Owen likes Led Zepplin
Owen helps Jamie find Cora’s favorite songs.

Along for the Ride:
Ruby dates Nate Cross. Auden talks about awkwardly flirting with him in Along for the Ride.
Ruby’s brother-in-law created the website Ume.com. In Along for the Ride, Auden goes on it.
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Ruby goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Ruby wears a necklace with a key on it. Harriet makes a ton of these to sell at her kiosk in the mall. In Along for the Ride, Heidi sells these at Clementine’s.
Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U. Cora and Jamie used to go to U. Auden’s mom is a professor at U.
Gervais is a tutor like Auden.
Ruby applies for Defriese but doesn’t get in. Auden and Maggie attend Defriese.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach, she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located, and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University. Ruby applies to Defriese University
Dave is friends with Gervais
McLean has multiple UME.com pages
Guy next door to McLean goes to U like Ruby and Nate do. McLean herself attends U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Ruby did before she transferred.
Dave takes classes at the U. Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U.
McLean gets a Jackson High Spirit Sticker from Deb. Ruby has one on her notebook
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. McLean gets a coupon to Jump Java from Deb.
Dave makes Smoothies. In Lock and Key, Harriet tries to quit drinking coffee by switching to Smoothies.
McLean, her dad, and mom love Led Zepplin. Ruby does too.
Moon and More:
Benji and Emmaline’s grandma are putting the realty on UME so people can like the page. Emmaline and others have UME pages. Ruby’s brother-in-law created UME.
Emmaline’s mom gets pregnant in high school, just like Ruby’s mom.
Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U. Emmaline is going to U in the fall.

Along for the Ride- Auden has never been a child. The daughter of two professors, who are children enough, Auden was always expected to be an adult. She’s studied hard and is going to go off to university. However, when she decides to head out and stay with her father for the summer, and his wife and new baby; she is off to a summer that will be different in every way imaginable. She starts working for her stepmom, she is introduced to girls and their world, a place she has never been before. One day when she is out with them; she meets Eli, a guy who has been so wounded he hasn’t been able to be around anyone. But as the two are insomniacs, Auden and Eli team up to be the most unlikely pairs; as Eli teaches Auden how to be a kid, and Auden sets out to ride her first bike.

I just love this book. It surprised me because at first I didn’t think I would, but I absolutely fell in love with it and its message. A major winner. Plus Eli is perfection, if only he existed in real life.

PeopleIWant2Marry

These are the things I’ve found refer back to Along for the Ride.

That Summer:
Haven’s family spends a whole summer at a beach just like Auden does

Someone Like You:
Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.

Keeping the Moon
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Colby is where Colie visited for the entire summer in Keeping the Moon.
Auden eats at Last Chance where Colie worked at in Keeping the Moon.
The cashier that takes Auden’s order at Last Chance is a dark haired girl with a lip ring. Colie is dark-haired with a lip ring.
Heidi, Auden’s stepmom, two best friends are Morgan and Isabelle. Morgan and Isabelle are Colie’s next door neighbors in Keeping the Moon.
Auden passes a women with long hair in an orange jumpsuit on a bicycle. This is Mira, Colie’s aunt.

Dreamland:
Caitlin went to Jackson High. Auden goes to Jackson High for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Rogerson Biscoe goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Boo and Stewart teach at U. That is where Auden mom teaches at as well.
Cass starts reading about Buddhism. In Along for the Ride, Auden is reading about it too.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Auden does too.
Caitlan’s Dad is Dean of students at the U. Auden’s mom is a professor at the U.

This Lullaby:
Auden’s parents are both PhDs. In This Lullaby, Lissa’s parents are PhDs. as well.
Auden’s mom teaches at the U. U is where Lissa is going to college.

The Truth About Forever:
Macy went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Macy’s ex-boyfriend Jason Talbot goes to Kiffeny-Brown. Auden goes there in Along for the Ride.
Jason Talbot was supposed to be Auden’s date for the prom, but he cancels last minute. He is also her date in the prom boardwalk party Heidi throws, but cancels last minute once again.
Macy and Wes are always going to World of Waffles. In Along for the Ride, when Maggie, Leah, and Esther go there, Esther’s car breaks down.
Jason’s parents are professors just like Auden’s parents.
Auden’s mom is a professor at U. Caroline went to U.
Auden is a tutor in Along for the Ride. Bert also tutors.

Just Listen:
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Annabelle, Rory, and Owen go to World of Waffles. In Along for the Ride, when Maggie, Leah, and Esther go there, Esther’s car breaks down.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Auden spends a summer at the beach.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes her to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings.

Lock and Key:
Ruby dates Nate Cross. Auden talks about awkwardly flirting with him in Along for the Ride.
Ruby’s brother-in-law created the website Ume.com. In Along for the Ride, Auden goes on it.
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Auden went there for a while in Along for the Ride.
Ruby goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in Along for the Ride.
Ruby wears a necklace with a key on it. Harriet makes a ton of these to sell at her kiosk in the mall. In Along for the Ride, Heidi sells these at Clementine’s.
Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U. Cora and Jamie used to go to U. Auden’s mom is a professor at U.
Gervais is a tutor like Auden.
Ruby applies for Defriese but doesn’t get in. Auden and Maggie attend Defriese.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach, she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located, and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Mclean
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Auden did before she transferred.
Dave used to go to Kiffeny-Brown before transferring to Jackson High
Dave takes classes at the U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Auden spends the summer with her dad and stepmom.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is the guy who stood Auden up twice.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. She comes by with Thisbe and a bathing suit from Clementine’s.

The Moon and More:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing first night.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was were Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go and promised never again to go.
Knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetines.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
Along for the Ride takes place the summer before Auden attends college. So does The Moon and More.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Adam and Wallace live down in the beach shacks. Wallace used to live in GULL’S CRY which is where Theo lives after he gets kicked out.

Whatever Happened to Goodbye-  Ever since McClean’s mother cheated on her father and went off with the guy; McClean has followed her father as he closed his restaurant and taken a job moving from place to place and fixing up restaurants that his boss is planning to take over. With every move, McClean reinvents herself. But in this new place that feels as if it could be home, who should she be? Who is she really?

I didn’t like this as much as the other books, but thought it was still pretty good and fresh.

These are the things I’ve found refer back to What Happened to Goodbye.

That Summer:
Also set in Lakeview
McLean goes on beach trips with her mom, much like Haven’s family used to do.
McLean’s mom cheats on her dad, and gets remarried. She gets pregnant too soon. Haven’s dad cheats on her mom and he remarries. His new wife gets pregnant too soon too.

Someone Like You:
Also set in Lakeview
McLean goes to Jackson High like Haley and Scarlett do.
Dave counted the exact amount of distance between the shed and McLean’s house. Scarlett and Haley used to do stuff like this.

Keeping the Moon:
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Norman.
Like Colie, McLean becomes a waitress.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Colie spends the summer with her Aunt Mira.
Heather’s dad loves moon pies. Norman loves moon pies too.

Dreamland:
Caitlan’s dad is a huge fan of college sports. McLean’s stepdad is a college basketball coach.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Caitlan.
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Boo and Stewart teach at U. Caitlin’s dad is also the Dean of students
Also set in Lakeview

This Lullaby:
Also set in Lakeview
Dave takes classes at the U. Lissa attends U.
McLean like Lissa goes to U.
McLean gets a coupon for Jump Java. Jump Java is right across from Remy’s work and where Scarlett and John Miller worked.
McLean’s mom reads romance novels. Remy’s mom writes them.

The Truth About Forever:
Also set in Lakeview
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Macy’s sister Caroline went to U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Macy does.
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Wes.
Dave takes classes at the U. Macy’s sister Caroline went to U.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Macy and her family have a beach house.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is Macy’s ex.
Dave, like Wes, also has a tattoo that is in remembrance of someone he loved that died.

Just Listen:
Also set in Lakeview
McLean was on the soccer team at one point. Annabelle’s friend Clarke played soccer.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Annabelle does.
McLean is told to transfer to the Fountain School. Rolly attends the Fountain School.
McLean sees Annabelle and Owen arguing about music during her first lunch at Jackson High.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U. McLean is going to attend U too.
McLean, her dad, and mom love Led Zepplin. Owen does too.

Lock and Key:
Also set in Lakeview
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach, she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located, and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University. Ruby applies to Defriese University
Mclean has multiple UME.com pages
Guy next door to McLean goes to U like Ruby and Nate do. McLean herself attends U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Ruby did before she transferred.
Dave takes classes at the U. Ruby, Gervais and Nate attend U.
McLean gets a Jackson High Spirit Sticker from Deb. Ruby has one on her notebook.
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. McLean gets a coupon to Jump Java from Deb.
Dave makes Smoothies. In Lock and Key, Harriet tries to quit drinking coffee by switching to Smoothies.
McLean, her dad, and mom love Led Zepplin. Ruby does too.
Dave is friends with Gervais

Along for the Ride:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach, she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located, and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Mclean
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Auden did before she transferred.
Dave used to go to Kiffeny-Brown before transferring to Jackson High
Dave takes classes at the U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Auden spends the summer with her dad and stepmom.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is the guy who stood Auden up twice.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. She comes by with Thisbe and a bathing suit from Clementine’s.
The Moon and More:
Knows Rachel Gertman who makes the Gert bracelets. McClean and her mom have a ton, they were a tradition when they went to Colby beach. Dave bought one too.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Emmaline lives.
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Morris.
Guy next door to McLean goes to U, McLean and Dave also attend U. Emmaline will be attending U in the fall.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Caitlan.
McLean gets a coupon to Jump Java from Deb, Emmaline goes to Jump Jave to clear her head about Theo.
McLean and Emmaline shop at Park Mart.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. Heidi and Emmaline’s mom are friends.

The Moon and More:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing first night.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was were Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go and promised never again to go.
Knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetines.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
Along for the Ride takes place the summer before Auden attends college. So does The Moon and More.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Adam and Wallace live down in the beach shacks. Wallace used to live in GULL’S CRY which is where Theo lives after he gets kicked out.

The Moon and More- Emaline and Luke have grown up together in Colby and joke around about how they will be getting married. However, Luke has different plans and breaks up with Emaline. Shortly after, she finds her life occupied by a film crew renting some of her parent’s beach houses. They are trying to make a documentary about the town’s reclusive artist. Theo, the film student and assistant, is from New York and seems sophisticated and exciting, and believes that Emaline is too good for her little town. With Emaline being pulled in all directions by her stepdad, father, mother, Theo, and friends…what choice will she make? Which of these is her moon?

This is my least favorite in the series. I felt like the characters weren’t as unique and developed. I also didn’t like how the girl broke up with her boyfriend of four years and was like an hour later I’m fine and over him. Seriously? It wasn’t horrible, but just not the caliber I expected.

These are the things I found that relate to The Moon and More. 

That Summer:
One of Ashley’s old boyfriends dies in a motorcycle accident. Rachel Gertman, friend of Emmaline’s sis Amber, was in a bike accident but just had to go to rehab. Doesn’t specify what type of bike for Rachel though.
Haven’s family spent a whole summer at a beach in the past, Emmaline leaves in a beachtown.
Someone Like You:
Rachel Gertman, friend of Emmaline’s sis Amber, was in a bike accident just like Michael, although michael died and Rachel just had to go to rehab. Doesn’t specify what type of bike for Rachel though.
Emmaline’s mom gets pregnant in high school, just like Scarlett.
Keeping the Moon:
Both stories take place in Colby.
Eats at Last Chance a few times, also where Luke broke up with her. Colie is her waitress.
Norman walks with a slow loping gait. So does Morris.

Dreamland:
Rachel Gertman, friend of Emmaline’s sis Amber, was in a bike accident had to go to rehab. Caitlain had to go to rehab for her drug and emotional/physical abuse from her boyfriend.
Cass spends a whole summer at the beach. Emmaline lives in a beachtown.
Boo and Stewart teach at the U, while Caitlan’s Dad is dean of students. U is where Emaline is going to college.

This Lullaby:
When Emmaline was feeling stressed out over Theo, she goes to Jump Java to clear her mind. Scarlett and John Miller worked at Jump Java in TL.
TL takes place the summer before Remy goes to college, just like Emmaline.
Lissa’s going to U, Emmaline will be going there in the fall as well.
The Truth About Forever:
The caterer Robin says “everyone loves meatballs” just like Delia always said in TAF.
Underage Morris is a bartender for the event, such as Wes.
Story takes place in Colby, Macy’s family has a beach house there.
Emmaline has the same Us and Them mentality. its her and Clyde against Ivy and Theo. Macy expresses the same idea in TAF regarding the caterers against the eaters.
Luke, Emmaline’s ex, is Wes and Bert’s cousin.
Emmaline and Luke play Gotcha! They were taught by Wes and Bert.
Like Macy, Emmaline always wears an elastic on her wrist.
The waitresses at Last Chance restaurant know Macy’s father by name. Emmaline goes to Last Chance all the time.
Wes walks with a slow, loping gait; just like Morris.
In the beginning of TAF Macy helps out with the catering because a server moves so slow and not doing well. Emmaline helps out with a catering when Morris is moving too slow and not doing anything.
Caroline went to U, and it is where Emmaline is attending in the fall.

Just Listen:
Annabelle and family would go to the beach a lot for summer. Emmaline leaves in a beachtown.
Male model who gives Annabelle his number goes to U, Emmaline will be attending there in the fall.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes there to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings. Esther films the art show for Emmaline and Ivy.
Heather Wainwright has a Jump Java coffee. Jump Java is where Emmaline goes to clear her head when Theo distresses her.
Lock and Key:
Benji and Emmaline’s grandma are putting the realty on UME so people can like the page. Emmaline and others have UME pages. Ruby’s brother-in-law created UME.
Emmaline’s mom gets pregnant in high school, just like Ruby’s mom.
Cora and Jamie went to U; Ruby, Gervais, and Nate are going to U. Emmaline is going to U in the fall.
Along for the Ride:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing first night.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was were Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go and promised never again to go.
Knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetines.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
AFTR takes place the summer before Auden attends college. So does M&M.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
Knows Rachel Gertman who makes the Gert bracelets. McClean and her mom have a ton, they were a tradition when they went to Colby beach. Dave bought one too.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Emmaline lives.
McLean’s dad walks in a slow gait like Morris.
Guy next door to McLean goes to U, McLean and Dave also attend U. Emmaline will be attending U in the fall.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Caitlan.
McLean gets a coupon to Jump Java from Deb, Emmaline goes to Jump Jave to clear her head about Theo.
McLean and Emmaline shop at Park Mart.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. Heidi and Emmaline’s mom are friends.

Now as for Saint Anything? I have yet to read the book, but when I do I will update this and let you know what I think.

For more on Sarah Dessen, go to It’s Not Old…It’s Vintage

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So I typically talk about 4-6 things, but after that Sarah Dessen review I’m a bit tapped out. So I will continue as normal next week.

LifeasaFangirl

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For the previous post, go to A Study in Fandoms

And Stay tuned for part 21

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For more Audrey Hepburn, go to I’m Putting You First: How to Steal a Million (1966)

For more book-filled posts, go to You’re My Best Friend

It’s Not Old…It’s Vintage

oldfashioned

Today love seems so convoluted. You’re supposed to have multiple boyfriends vying for your attention.

boyfriendAnneofGreenGables

What’s wrong with dating one person and seeing if they are right?

Or how about every relationship has to be about sex, in fact “love experts” recommend “sleeping around” to figure out what you like. A lot say a one-night stand “empowers” you.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Whatever happened to getting in relationships because you are trying to find your soul mate. And getting to actually know that person by just spending time with them without all these added pressures of having to have sex with them and move in together. If you don’t do those things there is something “wrong” with you. Why does it have to be like that? Why can’t it be like this?

sex

Whatever happened to romance?

SexLoveRomance

I don’t care what others say, I want to fall in love vintage style.

oldfashionedLove

Let’s bring these back.

OldFashionedDating

I sometimes feel as if I’ll never meet a guy who feels the same way…

HighstandardsExtraordinary

But I refuse to settle for the second best

High

And eventually I’ll find him.

SomedayPrinceWillComeMostLikelyLost

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For more on being old fashioned, go to The Ugly Truth

For more Anne of Green Gables, go to Imagination

For more Sarah Dessen, go to All By Myself

All By Myself

Being alone can suck.

allbymyselfAloneBridgetJones'Diary

And I’m not talking about being single or just having some fun by yourself, you know space away from people.

talonePartyMeBySelf

I’m talking about being lonely. As in no best friends or people you can really talk to or hangout with.

Friends-Best-Friends

In fact, if we spend a  lot of time alone we can start doing things that we don’t normally do,

JurassicParkAloneTalkingtoSelfIanMalcolm

And even going as far as doing things we didn’t think through.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

Which really explains Emma’s character.

Emmafakesmile

Yes, in the beginning of Emma, we read that her life has been pretty awesome:

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

Life is great.

-Jim-Carrey-beautiful-gif-UYfb

Until…

da dum Jaws

Her governess gets married!

Say What

Come on, give me a second and I’ll explain.

So Emma lost her mother when she was a baby. To take care of her and her older sister, Isabella; Mr. Woodhouse hired a governess, Miss Taylor, but she was young and treated the girls more like her sisters than charges. In fact, after Emma’s older sister was married, Miss Taylor and Emma became the best of friends. BUT, with Miss Taylor’s marriage, that close companion is now gone. Not for good, but when your friend gets married, or in a romantic relationship with someone, your friendship changes. No longer does that person have as much time for you or free time, as they are now focused on someone else. No more Miss Taylor, just Mrs. Weston.

“It was true that her friend [Mrs. Weston] was only going half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference from a Mrs. Weston, only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house…”

In losing Miss Taylor to Mr. Weston, Emma loses more than just a governess. She loses a sister, mother, friend, confidant, equal, etc. And is all by herself.

HowI MetYOurMotherAloneRobin

“Her father and her were left to dine together, with no prospect of a third to cheer a long evening.”

Noo!

Noo!

But what about her father?

Well, Emma’s father is not the best companion. First of all she is a girl, and I don’t care what anyone says (looking at you Mean Girls 2), girls need other friends that are girls. Guy friends are great, but there are things you can’t talk about with them. Mainly,

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

And other stuff. Plus her father…well he’s not in the best place to be a young girl’s companion. Mr. Woodhouse married when he was much older, as was often done. So he is first of all, much, much older than Emma. He also is a hypochondriac and is always getting anxious about things. This is hard for Emma as she always has to takes care of him, be cheerful so he can be cheerful, and abide by his rules (really fears). She loves her father, but he isn’t the everyday companion she needs.

Now what about people in the town? Well…Emma is friendless there too. You see at this time in England, there was a social hierarchy, and Emma is at the top.

indiana_jonesoh_yes

It is pretty sweet to be the first family and everything, but not so much in this situation. Everyone is kind or civil to her and she is invited to all the events, but unfortunately no one is her equal. So no one can be her real friend. Except Miss Taylor, who now is busy with her new life as Mrs. Weston.

The only friend she has now is Mr. Knightley [but more on him later].

So you see it is very easy how a smart girl, can become lonely and bored being by herself…

Emmayawnreading

Turning to meddling in other’s affairs, not only for amusement but for what I believe is a desire to have a connection to other people. To feel “a part of the group” and involved.

Now does this turn out well?

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out!

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For more on Emma, go to One of a Kind

For more on Mr. Woodhouse, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more of my favorite songs, go to Let It Go

Fall For You

FallForYOuJaneAustenAcademyCecilia Gray

Fall for You (Jane Austen Academy #1) by Cecilia Gray

*Warning: Contains Spoilers*

So in this Jane Austen inspired work, Cecilia Gray takes the characters of Jane Austen’s novels and puts them in high school together, pairing up who would be friends and having them live in modern times. She chose the characters Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot.

Now this is something I have thought of too. Now I consider the main characters of the novels to be Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot. For me, I would have pegged Emma and Anne as best friends as both were raised in the same manner with money. Anne is also more passive and listens to advice given by friends, the qualities that Emma enjoys in others. Catherine and Marianne always seemed a great match to me, as both love reading and have overactive imaginations. I could see Elizabeth and Elinor as well as Elinor has a level-headed, cool, calm, and collected personality that Charlotte, Elizabeth’s best friend, also had.

AustenHeros

So the girls all go to an all girls’ boarding school in Merryton, CA. The founders of the school were the Elliots, in this book called the Escobars, Anne’s family, and named it the Jane Austen Academy. However this year is different, as the Elliot family have lost a lot of money and had to sell the school. The new owners want to remain anonymous, and have opened the doors to boys.

This gets Lizzy Egmont (I don’t know why she didn’t just use Bennet as she is Elizabeth Bennet) very upset as she feels it is going against the values of the school and that boys will ruin everything. This is something I didn’t like as the author made Lizzy like some man-hater and against all boys in general.

HateYou

Lizzie is an only child from Chicago, where her parents are doctors, poor, and too busy for her. Now this is something that I didn’t really like either. Lizzie needs the interactions of her other siblings, as that helps make up her character. And Lizzie isn’t the only one who loses her siblings, every character in this (besides Darcy) is an only child. Really, I mean for Elinor this is horrible as she and Marianne are yin and yang. Elinor sense and Marianne sensibility. Without each other, who are they?

Weird

Weird

And if her parents are doctors and poor (which could happen) how can they afford to send her every year to a boarding school? That makes no sense. And her parents ignore her? One of the cutest things in Pride & Prejudice is the relationship between Lizzie and her father.

Pride&PrejudiceMrBennetandElizabethBennet

Yeah that is majorly upsetting and… wait I shouldn’t rant. Moving on.

So Lizzie is excited to live with her best friend Ellie Dvorak (Elinor Dashwood). Ellie is the child of yoga instructors and very zen “whatever happens will work out” type of person. She’s the complete opposite of the actual Elinor Dashwood character. And I didn’t like that at all.

NotLiketheBook

However, Lizzie discovers that not only did she have to share a ride with her, but Lizzie is also having to room with her nemesis…Anne Escobar (Anne Elliot). Lizzie hates Anne because everything was just given to her as her parents owned the school. Ellie is rooming with Emma, a rich girl more interested in clothes and having fun. Everything Lizzie is not.

uh-no-gif

Lizzie and Anne don’t agree on being roommates and the two go to see the headmistress, Katherine Berg (Catherine de Berg). As they are waiting they overhear the headmistress talking with someone else and saying how she wants to destroy everything the Academy was and make it something new. Change the name, change the curriculum, etc.

OMG

When they speak to the headmistress, she won’t let them switch. And to make it worse she promises them that if they room together, she’ll give Lizzie the job of managing editor (perfect blackmail as she wants to be a journalist and has been coveting that spot) and Anne will be in charge of the “Welcome Back Dance”, (what she has been in charge of since the beginning of time). At first both balk at this, but decide it’s best to team up in order to take Ms. Berg down and stop the changes she is trying to make.

floral-bonnet-gifIWillEndYouFirefly

Part of this deal is that they have to do in depth profiles of certain new guys brought into the school. New students such as Dante Braxton (Fitzwilliam Darcy). However, to get back at Headmistress Berg, Lizzie and Anne decide to make the “Welcome Back Dance” a Regency inspired ball.

ball-in-emma-300x291

Anne and Lizzie start bonding and discovering more about each other. Lizzie starts understanding Anne’s pain of losing everything, and Anne understands Lizzie’s drive for truth and justice.

The next day the two are in the “newsroom”, in which Lizzie thrives in her role as editor and meets the very thing she doesn’t like, boys.

ew! Gross Yuck

Dante enters with the other two guys that Lizzie and Anne have to interview, Rick Wright (Fredrick Wentworth from Persuasion) and actor Josh Wickham (George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice).

Now this is something else Cecilia Gray changes. Wickham has no role in this book at all. He’s there for the interview and that’s it. He’s not the guy Lizzie crushes on for a while, he’s not evil as he was in the book, he’s nothing. I don’t know whether she is going to change his whole role (as she already did with his backstory) or save his destructive side for later books. All I can say, it’s not Pride & Prejudice with Wickham being a nice guy.

Get it right

Get it right

Besides the guys, Dante also brings his little sister Georgiana. He is extremely overprotective of her, and his protectiveness is misconstrued by Lizzie to be super controlling of his sister.  Lizzie is trying to take down Dante’s “control” by assigning Georgiana to interviewing Josh. She also assigns Anne to interview Rick as they seem to know each other. Lizzie gives herself Dante.

She starts questioning him and notices his attractiveness:

Pick whichever look you prefer

Pick whichever look you prefer the most

She starts questioning him and gets on the scent that he knows more about the new owners of the school then he is trying to let on. Georgiana interrupts them; with her, Dante, Rick, and Josh all leaving abruptly. Lizzie finds it strange and starts to discuss it with Anne, seeing that her interview was pretty stilted and just plain bad. Lizzie starts to push Anne to find out what her past was with Rick, but stops and instead is just a friend, joining her for dinner.

Friendjustbethere

While Lizzie and Anne’s friendship is growing, Lizzie and Ellie’s relationship is going through some rough times. Lizzie is jealous with how close Ellie and Emma are getting and vows to get everything back to “normal”.

Soon it is time for the dance and the ladies look lovely.

ball-in-emma-300x291

Lizzie is ready to head to the dance, but Emma got them dates. Edward (Edward Ferras from Sense & Sensibility) is Ellie’s date, Emma got Dante, and Lizzie is teamed up with Rick. Lizzie leaves the group to hang out with Anne, and both are thrilled that the dance was a success and everything is beautiful.

Anne sees Rick dancing with other girls and is heartbroken. She runs outside and Lizzie follows her, to comfort her. While they are talking, Dante and Rick come outside discussing things, not realizing that the girls are there.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

 They overhear the boys talking and find out more than they wish.

  • “Edward will be in the middle of a catfight if he keeps acting this way”- Is there another girl besides Ellie that he is with? Is he cheating on his girlfriend? (Those who have read Sense & Sensibility know the answer to that.
  • Darcy excuse me Dante, wants to get a scholarship to Georgetown, the same school that Lizzy wants to go. (This makes me wonder why uber rich Dante needs a scholarship to Georgetown? His family has gazillions so can’t they use some of that to pay for his education? Whatever.)

So yeah, instead of outright dissing Lizzie like in the book, Dante just states he’s not interested in any girl and wants to go to Georgetown. Now I thought it was a huge faux pas on the writer’s behalf. Dante did nothing to outright insult Lizzie. In the book Pride and Prejudice he does and you agree with Lizzie’s anger as you see it as justified. He was a total jerk, and because of her hurt of pride at that remark she readily believes Wickham’s lies about the rest of Darcy’s character. In this, Lizzie has no reason to be mad at him, making any anger unjustifiable, and instead of a sympathetic character she looks like a brat.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

Lizzie and Anne go back to the dance, having a great time. They run into Georgiana and convince her to come back to journalism. She worries about what her brother might say, but ends up agreeing to join. Dante approaches Lizzie to ask her to dance, but Lizzie immediately pounces on him, calling him a jerk because he is trying to control his sister. I thought once again this made Lizzie seem rude and not as likeable as she doesn’t even know the family dynamics but is yelling at him, and also because Lizzie would never discuss this in a public forum, but would wait to have a more private conversation.

she'sallthatembarrassmefreddyprincejr

After Lizzie rails on him, Dante apologizes for being a bit overprotective and agrees that maybe Lizzie was right in his being a bit too controlling. Instead of graciously accepting, she throws in another dig and storms off.

How rude

I mean:

Girl Please

He just admitted he was wrong! Give the guy a bit of slack. Especially since he hasn’t really been a jerk, in fact you are the one acting jerky!

They continue dancing, but then Headmistress Berg drops the mother of all bombs, she announces that the Jane Austen Academy is no longer going to exist, the next year will show a massive overhaul of everything and a new name.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Lizzie will not be deterred. She is determined to save the academy.

AvengedTheAvengers

The next day in Journalism, Lizzie sends everyone sccurying to cover the bomb Headmistress Berg so delightfully dropped.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

Curse you Headmistress Berg!

When they are surprised by Rick’s mother. Lizzie had contacted her for background information, but Mrs. Wright decided to come in person to answer any questions and bring photos for the spread.

There is also this weird subplot where Lizzie keeps thinking of Dante and finds herself disgusted at being so focused on him, as yuck a boy. All I can say is:

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

I mean you seem to be going out a little far there with the “I Hate Boys”. I mean it’s not like she is 10 or 12, she is a teenager, and most teens are interested in the opposite sex. Maybe they all don’t want a girlfriend or boyfriend, but they are interested. I mean I could buy the disgusted that she could be like one of those girls who is always giggling at boys or one of those girls who changes everything about themselves for a boy. But really? Being disgusted at the thought of being interested in a boy? That’s really strange.

Mmhm great gatsby

Anyways, back to the book. Dante and Lizzie discuss Georgiana. Dante acceding once again that he was wrong in thinking newspaper wasn’t for Georgiana. Lizzie also discovers that he has parent issues, of which she can relate. (Although in P&P both Lizzie and Darcy had close relationships with their dads. It seems to me you could have the whole bonding over parents done the same way with them keeping those special links to their dads. But that’s just me I guess.)

We learn more about Rick’s character from his mom. He was doing so well at the Naval Academy, but transferred home because his mother became sick. Now this also doesn’t make sense to me. Dante and Edward were born rich, going to the best schools. It makes sense that in some point in time their histories linked up and they became best buds. But Rick was poor, and then become rich AND was at a Naval Academy. How did he meet up with the other boys to become best buddies? I don’t know. I guess when you try and meld different people from different backgrounds, histories, and events you are going to get weird holes like this. I’ll just move on.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So Lizzie and Anne are invited to spend the weekend at the Wright household, where Edward, Dante, and Rick (of course) will also be staying. At first the girls don’t want to, but when Lizzie hears a snippet about Mrs. Wright being one of the new buyers of the Academy, she sees it as he perfect time to snoop.

perfect plan

Lizzie heads out to eat with Ellie, when she is stopped by Dante. Dante questions if she is coming over this weekend to the Wrights. She gets all offended, why? IDK. Then she heads over to Ellie and to her chagrin, Emma.

Ellie is hurt when she finds out that Lizzie is going to a guy’s house with Anne, instead of hanging out with her. Lizzie assures her that things aren’t changing, she just wants to find out who the new owners are. Besides the “awful” Dante will be there. (He’s not even awful!) Ellie is all hurt about what Dante said about Elizabeth, but he wasn’t even that horrible. I mean…I already talked about that. I better move on.

Emma and Ellie make plans for the weekend which upsets Lizzie. Now I totally get this, it’s hard when your best friend is spending so much time with someone else.

bestfriendmakes plans with someone else

So that weekend they head out to the Wright’s place, er amazing mansion. Anne and Georgina feel at home, as they are from wealthy families, or in Anne’s case used to be wealthy. Lizzie is starting to feel uncomfortable.

They go to their rooms and Lizzie is floored with the beauty of the place.

That's a lot!

So everyone heads down to the pool and dinner, while Lizzy stays behind to “groom”. In reality, she is investigating the house. She starts to psych out a bit, but if she is going to be an investigative reporter, then she has to go for it.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

She finds herself in the office, with lots of photographs. She starts trying to memorize them, when she is interrupted by a voice.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

And it’s Dante!

Crap

It just had to be him, huh.

Lizzie tries to explain that she got lost on the way to the lake. Dante doesn’t say anything. When they get down there, Lizzie talks to Anne. She finds out that Anne really wants Rick back, but is scared. And you can’t blame her, relationships are scary.

truthaboutdatingTogetherForeverorbreakup

While everything is fun, Lizzie still has her eyes on the prize. She fakes a cramp to get back in the house, BUT by doing so she inadvertently causes Dante to dive in and save her. He goes and carries her put of the water.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

Lizzie tries to assure everyone that she is fine, but a part of her is pleased to have been in Mr. Darcy’s, I mean Dante’s arms. And who can blame her?

Mr.DarcySexyPridePrej

Lizzie is able to reassure everyone that she is okay, and takes off upstairs to change and get ready for dinner. She hurriedly changes her clothes and runs back to the office.

She begins taking pics with her phone, spotting a younger image of Rick and Dante. In it Dante looks incredibly happy.

Then she hears a creak behind her, and “That was taken three years ago.”

Busted!

Oops!

Crap

And it is Dante! Uh, oh.

Dante asks her what she is doing, as he knows it is more than just “lost”. Lizzie has nothing else to do but come clean. Dante questions her about researching those in the photo when there is over 50 people in them. Just a part of the biz, Lizzie replies.

Darcy, Dante then goes on to tell her not only an incredibly charming memory of him and his sister. He then, to Lizzie’s surprise, begins to tell her who each person in the photos are. When Lizzie asks him why, he says because he wants to.

How romantic

How sweet!

He gives her everything, completely open. In fact, if Lizzie wanted to ask him who the owners are he probably would have said right away. But, she doesn’t want to be a reporter around him. Instead she wants to know all about him.

Grease Tell Me more

They get called down for dinner, and go on.

That night Lizzie is trying to figure out which of them are the owners, why she is feelings this way about Dante…that is until Anne comes in. Anne stays the night in her room as Anne’s is freezing cold. Lizzie quizzes her about the *real story* behind her and Rick. But Anne still won’t give her much about it. Lizzie convinces her to try again for Rick.

The next day the group is playing pool, when Anne smokes them all. Lizzie tries to use this opportunity to match up Anne and Rick, but it doesn’t work out.

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

But she and Darcy team up to learn more about the owners. Lizzie also asks him about Georgiana, and how she suspects there is something she is hiding. Darcy, I mean Dante (I am so bad at this, tell me why did she change his name again?), Dante says nothing, but Lizzie knows there is more. She cares about Georgina though, so she lets it go as is.

They talk more and Lizzie concludes that she was wrong about Dante, that there was more. Darcy, Dante, says that he is very guarded.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcydon'ttalktostrangerseasily

And that he has trusted people before, and is very careful about who he trusts from now on.

Trust

The two have a big moment alone in the stairs.

swoon dreamy

And Lizzie is hooked.

be-still-my-heart-gaston-o

Lizzie goes up to the room to change and her mind is reeling over what happened. Anne comes in excited as she and Rick had a great time as well.

That night at dinner Rick is acting weird again and is all cold to Anne.

VeronicaMarsBrokenUpbutNot

Lizzie goes to her room and packs everything up, ready to return to school. She Is looking for Anne, when she finds out that she has already left. Dante, Georgiana, and Rick are also off horseback riding. Lizzie is completely confused.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

What is up with everyone?

She and Edward ride back to school together and Lizzie uses this time to grill Edward on the Anne/Rick drama. He tells him that back in the day, Rick lost his head over Anne and she broke his heart before he left for the Naval Academy. Dante saw that Rick was starting to fall for Anne again, and cautioned him to not give her a second chance. When Rick left for the Naval Acdemy, he wanted to continue dating Anne, but Anne’s mother convinced her to dump him. And who wants a women who can be easily swayed?

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Then Edward asks her why she and Darcy kept ducking out. Lizzie knows she has to give some back, so she tells them they were looking into who the owners are. This confuses Edward as he knows…or thought the owners were Dante’s parents.

There is always a but

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Crap

HE PLAYED HER!

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

And that means one thing and one thing only, revenge!

floral-bonnet-gifIWillEndYouFirefly

Lizzie is hurt and upset over this. How could she trust him? How was she was so stupid?

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

She is by herself when the door is thrust open, and there is Dante. He tells her that he had a ton of fun that weekend, that he loved how she defended Georgiana, and that he couldn’t stop thinking of her, hoping she would go out with him.

Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

And Lizzie is like

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

How could he be so cruel to play her and then try to ask her out? She turns him down cold.

HearthasNoRoom

Lizzie rips him a new one. She is furious that he destroyed Anne’s new chance at happiness (I have to admit I did think that was a clever way to do the Charles & Jane story arc). But even more that he helped her “investigate” when his parents are the ones who own the school!

Jerk

Darcy says it’s true, but Georgiana knows nothing about it. He asks if Lizzie will publish anything. She tells him he will just have to wait and see.

Ellie and Emma come back from their trip, and Ellie sees something is wrong but Lizzie doesn’t want to talk in front of Emma. They tell her about their weekend and give her a surprise. A book that has articles from the West coast newspapers through the years.

lovebooks

Lizzie is estatic, and when she discovers that Emma was the one who decided to get it for her, it makes her realize that she may have judged Emma too harshly.

Lizzie is extremely upset and wants her best friend to spill to, but Ellie was going to have lunch with Edward. She doesn’t want to be around Edward as she feels stupid, and she gets horribly upset saying things she doesn’t mean. They both start yelling, and Lizzie leaves.

She heads down to the microfiche, as she has an idea on how to save the school. When she gets there she runs into Anne. Anne was hiding out as she is heartbroken over Rick. She decides to hitch on to Lizzie’s plan to save the school.

The next day at lunch, Lizzie stands up and gets everyone’s attention. Anne hands out pamphlets while Lizzie talks about her idea. She tells them how the school started when Anne’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother couldn’t find a school that would allow her daughter on the premises. She goes on in her speech that change is good, letting boys in was a good change, BUT it would be bad to change the name and the morals and values that the school stands for. She then sends a petition around hoping for signatures.

We can do it

That day at the newsroom they dole out assignments and Georgiana asks her some questions. Georgiana’s “something secret” is really bothering Lizzie, so she takes her aside and asks her about it. Georgiana fell for a bad boy that was an old friend with Dante. He was really bad news. Dante got in some fights protecting the reputation of Georgiana. Long story short, Georgiana’s boyfriend cheated on her and dumped her, with Georgiana becoming depressed and throwing a hissy fit. They sent her to California, but Dante said that he had to go to. He didn’t want his sister to be without him, as he wanted to protect her.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everything suddenly falls into place for Lizzie…why they bought the school…why he came. Dante’s parents did it so that Dante could go and protect his sister.

aw cry

Lizzie goes to work on her petition, asking Emma and Ellie for help. Lizzie and Ellie make up, with Lizzie no longer hating on Emma but including her in the group.

Friends-Best-Friends

They head out to their special tree; grabbing Anne along the way. The twosome is now a foursome.

The next day Lizzie is tooling about in the newspaper room and upset that there aren’t more interested in signing the petition. She decided to not print the owners names as she wants to respect Dante and Georgiana’s privacy, but that doesn’t mean she won’t send their parents special copies of the Gazette with hopes it will sway them.

She goes to see Bergie who tries to tempt her like Crowley into taking a deal that will seal her fate with Georgetown. Lizzie turns her done and heads off to her room.

No thank you

As she is heading back she runs into Dante, who asks her for a few minutes. He gives her a huge stack of papers with tons of signatures. He got everybody he knows to sign it, getting tons of signatures. He can’t guarantee that it will change his parents’ minds, but he wants to help. He also talked to Rick and told him he was wrong, but Rick is not ready to try again. Lizzie is shocked.

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

Why did you do this?

Pride&PrejudiceDarcy

And the two’s fighting is over.

Pride and prejudice kiss darcy elizabeth

The end does leave me with a few questions. If we had the Georgiana drama done before she came to the school why include a Josh Wickham? Is she going to have a repeat? Is Josh just a red herring? Why?

Now I know I had a few issues with the book, but on a whole it was actually very cute and I loved the idea of putting them all together as friends. I am looking forward to the rest of the series to see how she tells the other stories of the Jane Austen novels. I would recommend reading it at least once.

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For more retellings of Pride and Prejudice, go to An Assembly Such as This

For more modern retellings of Austen’s novels, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to The Ugly Truth

It Doesn’t Exist

Ever feel as if finding the right guy is impossible?

Men&Mon

It’s like every guy you know is a loser.

HOrrible guy Sabrina Teenage Witch

That is if you can even meet single men.

Dontknowanysingleattractivemenilovelucy

They have the worst lines (I wrote a whole post on that). I mean one time I had the same guys in a corvette hit on me two days in a row. You’d think they’d get the point that I’m not interested and that they should really invest in some new lines.

No

Not to mention how guys seem to treat girls these days. The act like you are just a commodity and that you need to be giving of your whole self just because they’re willing to drop a couple bucks for food.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

And if you refuse they call you names and say that you are being a prude, poor sport, b*****, or worse.

StoplisteningtoYouBigBangTheory

No wonder we girls are obsessed with fictional men.

SingleOnlyGoodMenFictionalAustenland

It sometimes feels as if you will never find anybody. As Marianne in Sense and Sensibility puts it:

NevermeetamanIcouldLove

I mean aren’t there any good men anymore?

HighstandardsExtraordinary

But don’t give up.

findperfectguy

That dream guy is out there. It may take him a while, but eventually you two will meet up.

SomedayPrinceWillComeMostLikelyLost

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For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to Some Things Never Change

For more Sarah Dessen, go to The Final Chapter

For more on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, go to Food, Food, Food!