P.S. I Like You

So if you are following me on Instagram, you know that I am reading Obstinate Headstrong Girl edited by Christina Boyd but as I haven’t finished the book yet, I’ll tide you over with one of these. I had thought this was a Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers, but after rereading my review-I realize this is closer to a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

Hmm…

So without further ado-let’s get onto the review!

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

So I like to buy books for people as gifts, especially those under 18 as they have more free time and I want to encourage reading. All my nieces and nephews know this and expect it.

This past February marked the 15th birthday of one of my nieces and I found myself falling into a problem. I haven’t read as much new Young Adult novels and I knew there that if I got her one from when I was her age she wouldn’t be interested. They would be talking of razors and sidekicks, etc-terms they don’t know.

What?

My coworker and I had been talking of different books for young adults and she brought up Kasie West, that she supposedly writes clean young adult romances.

Hmmm…

So flash-forward six months, I’m trying to figure out what book to get my niece when I remember Kasie West. Only West has written a lot of books, so I wasn’t sure which one to get her.

Huhhhhhhh

So I googled “best Kasie West books” picked a list at random, Awkwordly Emma: Emma’s Definitive Ranking of Kasie West’s BooksThe number one book was P.S. I Like You and as it was on sale on Amazon I bought it. You know I cannot resist a deal.

The book order came with a snippet to read on your kindle immediately, which I did, and then the next day when Amazon dropped the book off, I was hooked enough to peruse it.

I started reading, just planning to check out a chapter-but instead I was sucked in.

Lily Abbot is a junior in high school. She likes reading, music, and creating her own clothes from thrift store finds. She is shy, but hides behind of shell of impassiveness and an “I don’t care” attitude. Inside she secretly lacks confidence.

Pretending all the time…

She’s horrible when it comes to dating as she finds it incredibly difficult to talk to guys, as she freezes or rattles on.

She comes from a large family-older sister, two younger brothers, goofy parents who’s job earnings fluctuate they go from well to lean.

Lily’s best friend is Izabella, they have been friends forever, with only one black spot in their history together, Cade Jennings.

When they were freshman, Lily was doing poorly at P.E. in volleyball, with everyone lobbing their balls toward her. Cade Jennings, handsome jock only made things worse as he nicknamed her magnet-“as she attracts all the balls”, a nickname that continues to follow her around to this day.

Ugh.

So how did he impact their friendship, well Izabella dated Cade and Cade and Lily would go at it like cats and dogs, with Izabella having to choose between them and picking Lily.

It is two years later, and Izabella is now dating the sweet and kind Gabriel-but Lily and Cade still go at it every time they see each other.

Lily is frustrated with her family as she wants to enter this song writing contest, but finds herself without any time to herself to write. She starts writing in Chemistry class, but then is caught by the teacher.

Her precious notebook of possible songs being threatened at being confiscated, she then starts writing on the desk-just a little.

The next class she is surprised to find something written on the desk in response. This begins a friendship between Lily and her mystery pen pal as they write each other little friendship notes every class, hiding them under the desk.

At first Lily thinks it is a girl, but when she realizes that it is a guy she starts falling for him.

Love him.

As she writs out her feelings, when talking to him, she lets her guard down and really becomes herself-no masks, nothing fake, the real Lily.

The same goes for her mystery guy-a guy who completely releases his feelings and becomes true to himself.

Lily does’t want to know who it is as she doesn’t want to be disappointed if it turns out he has a girlfriend or is anything less than the perfect man she built up in her dreams-but she starts trying to find out who it is.

Time to get on the case!

But then she discovers it is her archenemy Cade?! Oh no, what’s a girl to do.

How can this amazing person she writes to be the same jerk she goes to school with? How could she have fallen for her best friend’s ex? Who is the real Cade, the letter writer or the school hotshot?

Sh knows she should give this whole thing up before he realizes who she is, before Izabelle realizes it, before she falls even harder…but can she do it?

So this reminded me of Pride and Prejudice meets The Shop Around the Corner with the way that Lily has a prejudice against Cade and Cade has his pride.

Both have to work through those things-Lily realizing maybe her disliking Cade had a bit more to do with her being jealous that Izabelle’s time being taken up by someone else and one nickname he gave her-and Cade letting his pride be torn down (in front of the whole school).

There is even a scene when Cade and his friend are talking about school stuff and his friend mentions that Lily is at the craft fair and is cute and Cade says she’s tolerable, but not handsome enough for him.  (Okay not in those words, but that just flashed in my head when I read his response.)

We also have Sasha, a popular cheerleader, who is after Cade and does all she can to try and trap him into getting with her, constantly flirting with him nonstop, and even pretending to be his mystery letter writer. Like to me-that sounds like Caroline Bingley, and if she had the opportunity to pretend something Elizabeth did that Mr. Darcy found appealing was her-you can bet anything she would do it. She constantly makes fun of Lily in front of everybody and talks smack of her to Cade.

 

We also have the incredibly kind Izabelle and equally kind and adorable boyfriend Gabriel (hands down Jane and Mr. Bingley) try to set Lily up with a guy that is who I believe is Mr. Collins. Very little personality besides one thing, tries to go after Lily even when she makes it clear she is not interested, and their disastrous date-modern Collins to a T.

I can’t remember the name of this character, and I can’t look it up in the book as it is with my niece, but Lily has a crush on a guy she thinks is “cool” and “artsy”. He doesn’t turn out to be a cad like Mr. Wickham, but Lily does realize she didn’t really “see” him for who he really was. And he makes a promise that he will call someone up to see about fixing her guitar strings, and reneges-just like Wickham promised to come to the ball but then doesn’t show up.

As I mentioned before, Lily comes from a large family with two silly parents. While they love each other and treat each other with respect-they are pretty goofy and their antics of competing, along with other things, often deeply embarrass Lily. The same goes for her siblings.

So embarressed

In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth starts to view Mr. Darcy in a different light when he’s in his home-seeing what his servants say about him and seeing him more relaxed-in this Lily starts to think she was wrong about Cade being a jerk when she sees him in her home. He is the coach for her younger brother’s team and he speaks highly of him, he is much more relaxed and open in Lily’s house and with her family.

Open and smiling

I loved the letter writing, as that always gets my heart! So in Pride and Prejudice, a letter changes Elizabeth’s mind about Darcy, while in this book it is a series of letters. Of course that part makes me think more of The Shop round the Corner, with Cade and Lily verbally duking it out in the physical world, while falling in love through paper. And then like how Jimmy Stewart’s character, Alfred Kralik, finds out the truth and tries to figure out what to do about it-made me think of when Lily discovers it is Cade.

But then Cade does a final letter to let Lily know how seriously he cares for her-P.S. I like you.

This was a cute adorable read, and if you are an Austen fan-I think you will love it. Or you can use it as the foundation to give a teen, the next one being an actual copy of Pride and Prejudice.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to The Colonel

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

For more love letters, go to Love Notes: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

For more young adult books, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious (2015)

I wish we were talking about that awesome ’80s song, you know me…

But alas, no. We are instead discussing-Austentatious (2015)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Yes, I really, really do not like this show or how they portray the characters. But I started it, so I’ve got to finish it.

Ugh!

So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. In the last episode Collins (Mr. Collins from P&P) was trying to get with Elizabeth:

Elizabeth is trying to find a home for the insufferable Mr. Darcy-like they right him really bad.

Uh oh

Emma hired Marianne temporarily and she is back to looking for a new job. But not doing well in that at all…mostly because they make her a dunderhead.

And Elinor got a promotion, had to deal with a mess at the office (she’s an accountant), and meet the handsome and fun Edward Ferras-IRS agent.

So in this episode Elinor, Emma, and Lizzie are hanging out at the coffee ship and Elizabeth lets Elinor have some of her smoothie-all I can think is no!! Never!!!

I never share drinks after I did with someone and they gave me a cold sore.

Lizzie is picking out colors for a family photo. Now is this really a thing? They always show people doing this in movies and TV, but my family only did it twice when I was a baby and the when I was sixteen. Otherwise our photos were just at weddings and events, etc. Did anyone have a family where they took family photos every year?

Elinor’s hair looks darker than the other episodes in the series, I wonder if she dyed it or if she wears a wig.

Hmm…

Marianne is applying but no one will hire her because of her lack of experience. Elinor acts like Marianne must be making this up to get out of working, but I remember it being like that. It’s hard out there.

But wait, Marianne does have some experience working for Emma and Darcy’s office. Why doesn’t she try a temp agency?

Hmm…?

Elinor finds out that the cafe is hiring and grabs an app for her sister.

Lizzie mentions that they took a “jean on jean” picture years ago…first of all-yuck that has bad idea written all over it. And secondly, no flashback? Really? I know this didn’t have a humongous budget, bit still-now that you have said it I want to see it. Since we don’t have that I’ll gift you with this.

And why is Lizzie looking at paint samples? Is that how you really choose a background?

So every one in the Bennet family wants a different color and its up to Elizabeth to find a compromise. I have to say that one thing this show does right is name drop her sisters, we hear Jane, Kitty, and Lydia. A lot of retellings cut them out-making Elizabeth an only child, or just have one sibling. It just doesn’t work in my opinion, as anyone with a sister knows-you guys influence each other and make each other’s personalities.

Elinor is thrilled that she scored Marianne an interview at the coffee shop. Marianne is still asleep, the call waking her up.

Marianne is less than thrilled and asks about free milkshakes. Elinor is not amused, but I think it is a valid question and I would have asked the same thing. You know me and free…

Marianne thinks food service is a bit lame, but agrees to come. Okay so Marianne finally has  cute outfit, yes, they were putting her in some weird stuff. Blue lace dress, small rope belt at the waist, and knee high boots-I’d wear that in a millisecond.

I love my shoes!

She plans to wear that to work and Lizzie isn’t sure it will work, but doesn’t say anything. I think she definitely should wear more comfortable shoes, but every coffee shop and cafe that I’d ever gone to, if they don’t have uniforms, their staff have worn all kinds of things. So it isn’t too crazy or anything.

The two are amazed at books that help you choose and coordinate colors and that people have “seasons”. I’m shocked they have never heard of this, I mean Marianne is supposed to be a fashionista girl. But I mean the terms “my color”, “having my colors done”, “what’s your season”, or “I’m a ___” are things people were saying before 2015. Although you know what I think:

And how could they have missed these with all the different shows on HGTV or WE or Lifetime?

Marianne is late for her first day and is all no big deal-really? Why do they always make Marianne so dumb.

And Elizabeth is over at Elinor’s at 3:30? Doesn’t she have a job and work to do? And why would she think 9 to 5 Elinor would be home at 3:30?

Elinor is trying to help Lizzie choose colors and patterns, but why? Didn’t we establish in the other episode that she has zero fashion taste? Why isn’t Lizzie asking Emma?

Maybe because she is the only one doing her job.

Lizzie is freaking out what color to pick and I’m just like go with Navy Blue. Navy blue is the best color that looks goos on everyone. I have never met a person that cannot pull of navy blue.

So we hear a bit about Lizzie;s sisters. Mary is conservative (gray turtlenecks), Jane classic and sweet (pastels), Lydia wild (neon, ’80s, and animal print), and Kitty slightly less wild that Lydia (a tamer version). I have to say good job writer’s, it appears someone read the book or saw a movie as this is spot on. I can imagine their modern-day equivalents wearing these.

Marianne bursts in, a mess and shares her day. She was told off by her boss, Eric, for being late, has to wear an apron, and messes up a lot. Well-jeez I don’t blame her. The guy didn’t even train her. Now I have never worked as a barista, but I think I would have a new employee come in early to show them how things are done and how to work the equipment. Do they just throw you into it? Can anyone chime in on this?

Eric rushes her again and again, which is odd as she just started. You think he would cut the new girl, on her first day, with no barista experience, a break. Seriously, I mean you saw her resume-what were you expecting?

Elinor is super controlling again and determined to make sure Marianne keeps her job and wants her friends to help. You can’t control the world Elinor. Bedsides, her boss Eric seems a bit of a jerk to me, he might just fire her.

Elinor

Is Elinor sitting on the Smoothie Shop’s couch with bare feet. Ew-that’s not your couch. That’s a public one. And why ARE YOUR SHOES off in a CAFE??

Anyways, Elinor convinces Emma and Lizzie to come by everyday and, make Marianne look good so that she can keep her job.

So here we are and I’m thinking this has like zero to do with Jane Austen. Like why even make a show based on the characters of Jane Austen when it has like nothing to do with it at all. It’s amazing when you compare this to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and see how well done that was in a modern adaptation that kept to the source material. Even Fall For You went on some other paths, but they kept the heart of the novels in there. What does any of this have to do with anything.

And why do they make Marianne so dumb and lazy. Marianne was a young rich girl, who suddenly lost everything one day, She never had to do anything as they had servants and she does’t adapt as quickly as Elinor. She also was a avid reader and a talented musician and had brains in her head.

So back to the show, not only has Elinor got the girls into it she calls up George, uh no they changed the name to something else-Garrett? I think? Anyways Knightley comes too. How long has Elionr been sitting there? Doesn’t she have a job? I mean I know she was promoted but I thought that meant more responsibilities-like dealing with the IRS, not more time to sit shoeless in a coffee shop. Still not over that.

So in the next scene Elinor is finally at work-finally. She complains about Marianne all the time not working, but hey you’ve been living in a coffee shop. She wears a t-shirt to work. I would expect a newly promoted accountant to wear something more professional, or at least not jeans-but whatever.

Lizzie interrupts her with bunches of clothes-and I ask, doesn’t she have a job she’s supposed to be working at?

Elinor listens to Lizzie as she complains no one is listening to her and actually gives good advice to her friend. They picked Lizzie to be in charge so she gets to make the decision and all have to live with it.

Knightley discusses Elinor’s “great plan” with Emma and Emma wants nothing to do with it from moment one thinks its a bad idea but wants to support her friend, that’s sweet.

Knightley talks to Emma–and hey, why isn’t he at work either, he has a job doesn’t he? I’m sorry I know I keep repeating myself, but its because of Elinor. She is always harping about Marianne not working, and in the other episodes we saw them all at their jobs-that them not doing that is a hundred times more obvious and in your face.

Kinghtley asks Emma why someone who loves love so much would be working in divorce. That’s what I’ve been asking to! Out of all the thousand professions in the world they could have given her-why the heck a divorce lawyer.

She says she is good at it even though it thoroughly depresses her. So Emma admits that is one of the reason she likes matching people up. Well if you hate it, why’d you pick that area of law.

What the heck!

Knightly complains about all disastrous dates he’s been on and all I have to say is why do we get this flashback, but no jean on jean? I really want to see that now.

I’ll just to google it.

I have to say Knightley’s reasons for why he doesn’t like the women were pretty shallow-what a jerk. One’s hair is too big, one talked too much too fast, and one mixed up her authors-okay not going to lie that last one I couldn’t deal with. If I had to talk to someone about Darles Chicken, Clom Tancy, and Sparkiles Nicks, I would go a bit cuckoo.

Emma and Knightley argue over why Emma is looking for Knightley’s match…blah, blah, blah and all I can think is that on Emma’s computer are a bunch of videos as if she is on Youtube. Well call me Elinor because I’m going to say it again Is anybody working?

And before you say well they are just meeting up at work or whatever, these scenes don’t have to be shot at the office. These all would have worked way better at a home, or a coffee shop, or park, etc.

I can’t tell what type of video they are watching but one looks like a dog on a skateboard (but it looks more like an ad), another is something in a baseball field, and the third two people on a couch.

Huhhhhhhh

Next scene is Lizzie in the park, so see-they could have done this in the park! BOOM!

Lizzie starts looking at the color book and says you are more important than my job, rent, or food-just kidding. She keeps looking at it and then just gives up.

Back at the cafe, Elizabeth and Knightley are hanging out at the cafe. And Elizabeth asks Knightley fashion advice. Now I find it odd that out of all the people in this show she hasn’t asked Emma, Emma who loves to give advice and loves fashion. Weird choice writers, weird.

Knightley thinks Mrs. Bennet’s choices are weird. He then listens to Lizzie and actually asks questions about it trying to help. Liz asks Knightly about his day and he tells her he has been doing nothing but what Emma says. Lizzie ask him why he doesn’t say no and he says its because it makes Emma feel good.

She then asks him if he ever thought about asking Emma out- and I’m like writer’s 10 points for you. It was done in a great way. Good job. Its like boom, so obvious to everyone you like each other-but Lizzie is tactful in suggesting it. It’s funny, but it actually reminds me of that scene in Emma (1996) AKA the Gywenth Paltrow version when Emma is all after all we aren’t brother and sister and Knightley is all, yes we are not brother and sister. In this Knightley is all we are friends, and Lizzie is all well friends make the best romantic relationships. It’s not the same but still a cute nod, whether intentional or not.

And then Knightley admits that he is interested in Emma. Cute.

Marianne makes a smoothie for a customer and does a really great job, but then accidentally spills it on him. Eric is all mad at her-but the customer seemed cool and it was an accident.  And it is only her second day. I don’t know-he seems extra harsh, but then again I have never worked food service so I can’t really say.

There is a cute moment where we have a horrified Marianne who feels so stupid at her mistakes and Elinor actually comforts her and shares a time about when she messed up on the job as a janitor and caused a girl to break her arm as she forgot to put up the wet floor signs. How awful! And I can’t believe she didn’t get sued for that!

Marianne tries to get her job back, but her boss is not buying it. Grant Kinghtley comes in and tries to convince the boss that Marianne is the best and should stay. Emma bosses Knightley around about how to “sell it” and they are so like in a relationship already. He really does “sell it” giving her $100 tip.

Lizzie shares how she picked the colors from the spilled smoothie on the guys sweater, and while she’s talking I noticed she looks really cute too-a blue and black gauzy shirt and her hair in a bun with front pieces curling. Finally! They had someone stepping it up on set with these outfits. You are on TV not radio, where what you wear matters.

Marianne comes bursting in excited that it worked and she has her job!

Grant tries to get his money back, but no dice.

He should just have Emma pay him back.

The cute guy Marianne spilled the drink on comes back as he thinks she is cute, and asks her out to dinner. Aw. But he’s not Colonel Brandon, so is he Willoughby?

If he is, then this show might get interesting-we have been missing a villian(s).

Hmmm

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…

For more Austentatious, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to The Smart One and the Pretty One

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy

For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

So every year, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I do a post on 17 awesome Irish heroes and heroines.

So this year, I tried to get 17 more Irish heroes and heroines from books, film, and TV (like I did for years 2013-17), but I wasn’t able to get that many. So instead if 17, I only have 7.

Aw, man.

Maybe next year I’ll be able to reach 17 again! But as for today:

7) Jimmy O’Brien from Fashion Model (1945)

Jimmy O’Brien is just your normal stock boy in a huge department store. He is dating one of the models and they are talking about getting married. Another model flirts with him, and a fight breaks out. Later, he finds her dead, along with another model, and the store owner. Being around so many dead bodies-the police are after him as they think he is a deranged killer. It up to him and his fiancé, Peggy, to prove his innocence and solve the crime.

Why Jimmy is Awesome: 

Jimmy is just a sweet, bumbling, goof-but an all around nice guy that is just adorable. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, flirt with another girl, or do anything wrong. He’s incredibly sweet, unfortunately-just has rotten timing. Above all-he is hilarious.

For more on Jimmy and Fashion Model, go to Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Fashion Model (1945)

6) Marvin “Mouth” MacFadden from One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill is a small town in North Carolina where basketball is everything. The town is divided into the wealthy and poorer sections, in one lives Nathan Scott-captain of the basketball team, wealthy, dating the hot/punkish cheerleader; and Lucas Scott-plays the river court, raised by a single mom, spends his time reading classics, and being nonexistent in school. These two are half brothers, their father’s choice of one over the other impacting their lives and choices.

Why Mouth is Awesome: 

Mouth is a nerdy guy, from the river court and one of Lucas’ best friends. Mouth stays friends with him through thick and thin, big egos and shattered dreams. He always there to lend a hand, give advice, and hangout.

For more on One Tree Hill, go to We Will Fandom You

5) Bridget from An American Tail

A family of mice, the Mousekewitzes, are immigrating to America. On the ship ride over, a storm occurs and Fieval is washed ashore, believed dead. The family continues, grief stricken over their loss, while unbeknownst to them, Fieval floats to New York City. Fieval tries to find his family and gets caught up in all kinds of adventures along the way.

Why Bridget is Awesome: 

Bridget is an amazingly kind and caring mouse. She is a suffragette, political activist (speaking out against the attacks of cats against mice), and takes Fieval in until he can find his family. When Fieval comes up with a plan to fight the cats, she not only supports him, but rallies all her friends to join in.

4) Flynn O’Malley from Veil of Secrets, Choices Video Game

Veil of Secrets is a choose your own adventure type of video game. You play the main character and decide what to do next in the story. In Veil of Secrets you are visiting your best friend and roommate from college, Kate O’Malley, as she is marrying the wealthy son and heir to the Sterling empire. However, she doesn’t show up to the wedding, and you team up with her brother Flynn, deputy Naomi, and criminal defense lawyer, Grant; to discover what happened. Will you find out the truth? Or be the next victim?

Why Flynn is Awesome: 

Once a con, (although he really should have gotten off with a lighter sentence-the judge being a friend of the Sterlings gave him a much harsher one than he deserved) now all he cares about is helping to find his missing sister. He will go through anything and do anything for his baby sis, even a car accident doesn’t slow him down as he will gladly roll through the pain to find her. If you decide he will be your partner in solving the case, he will protect you through everything and everyone to the best of his ability (although you are the main character so you will be doing the actual taking down). Also if you choose he can be your boyfriend and you can inspire him to continue down the straight and narrow path

3) Caitlin O’Koren from Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

It is Caitlin O’Koren’s 16th birthday, but instead of waking up to cake and presents, she instead wakes up to police and panicked parents as her older sister has run away. This was supposed to be Caitlin’s year of being out of her perfect sister’s shadow, instead she finds herself stuck in it even more. She and her best friend join cheerleading, but through a series of events she ends up dating drug dealer bad boy, Rogerson Biscoe. This takes her in an incredibly different direction than her sister, as she has always wanted, but into another world and an incredibly different romantic relationship.

Why Caitlin is Awesome: 

Caitlin is a 16 year old girl trying to navigate her way, especially in the midst of all these transitions and changes. She is a good friend, there for anyone who needs her, and a powerful character, as she encounters serious abuse and is able to do the steps to heal and come through it. An amazing story and character-that I STRONGLY recommend.

For more on Caitlin and Dreamland, go to Plot Twist

2) Katie Callahan DeMaio from The Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark

Katie Callahan DeMaio is a widowed county prosecutor. Katie has a rare condition which causes her to lose too much blood on her period, causing lightheadedness, blackouts, etc. One day she is driving home from work and this causes her to crash-she becoming a patient of the Dr. Edgar Highly. She is given medication, but doesn’t take all of it and awakes in the middle of the night-seeing a man move a dead body?

Meanwhile, celebrated physician and miracle birth, Edgar Highly, is facing a very large problem. One of his patients is unhappy with his care and going to go to her former physician. He has to take care of her quick, or else all will be uncovered. He prepares to take her dead body to her house, did someone spot him in the window?

Katie hears of the suicide and starts investigating, will she uncover the truth or be the next victim?

Why Katie is Awesome: 

Katie is a wonderful person who cares about her family, friends, and coworkers. She has encountered a lot of tragedy, but remains a powerful person who looks ahead at the future. She is smart, fun, and cares about bringing justice to all. She will not let an innocent person go to jail, but continues to bulldog it and search out the truth.

For more on Mary Higgins Clark, go to That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

1) Michael “Crocodile” Dundee from Crocodile Dundee (1986), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001)

Michael “Crocodile” Dundee is living his life in Australia, his reputation being built up by a friend, and making his living by taking tourists out on tours. He is strong, tough, battles any beast, and is friends with an aborigine clan-who actually raised him. When a beautiful New York reporter, Sue Charlton, writes a series of articles on him, he becomes so popular, that he joins her in New York. He’s a regular fish out of water, but his sweet nature wows Sue. The two return to Australia in the sequel, taking down drug dealers/smugglers and saving a friend of Sue. In the third film, the two and their son head off to Hollywood-also getting into crazy shenanigans and solving crime.

Why Crocodile Dundee is Awesome: 

He is such an amazing man. He is kind, caring, protective, supportive, and always there for Sue. When she wants to stay in New York, he stays too even though there isn’t much for him to do. When she has the amazing opportunity to go to L.A., even though he’ll be separated from Australia and the land he loves, he wants her to take every opportunity that comes her way-along with wanting their son to see both cultures so that he can decide what he ultimately wants to do with his life (when he is older). He a great guy, and I can watch all three films a thousand times and never get tired of them.

So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

The_Luck_of_the_Irish

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2018 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Top O’ the Morning: 7 More Irish Heroes

Dancing Queen

I love ABBA. And when I saw this pic I loved it and had to include it in my post.

I love all their songs, but the first one that got me into the band was Dancing Queen.

The song was released in 1976 and took the world by storm, number one in many places-Europop and Disco at its finest. In fact Anni-Frid Lyngstad said the first time it made her cry-she felt its connection and knew that others would have the same draw to it.

It was performed for Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride-to-be, Silvia Sommerlath on the night before their wedding. Then on Queen Silva’s 50th birthday, Anni-Frid Lyngstad performed Dancing Queen for her again.

This song has been covered by lots of bands and singers, and been in many movies and TV shows. Of course the most famous being Mama Mia!

I think we love this song because it does connect to all of us, no matter the age.

So enjoy!

Ooh
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for a place to go
Where they play the right music
Getting in the swing
You come to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music
Everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen
Young and sweet
Only seventeen
Dancing queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave ’em burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another
Anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the dancing queen
Young and sweet
Only seventeen
Dancing queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance
You can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl
Watch that scene
Dig in the dancing queen
Dig in the dancing queen

For more of my favorite songs, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song

For more ABBA, go to A Study in Fandoms

For more disco, go to I Will Survive

For more Sarah Dessen, go to Plot Twist

Plot Twist

I am getting a divorce.

Yes my husband turned out to be abusive. He abused me physically only a few times-mostly financial, verbal, and so on. We were only together a little over a month when I left.

I never realized how many facets there were to abuse of what it really meant until my counselor showed me this wheel. I had always say it just as someone hitting you, or like what they show in the media.

People always ask why do women stay with people like that and going through it there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Most of the time I was in shock like I couldn’t believe it was really happening to me, that it was my life.

Help me! I’m confused!

The way that keeps you off guard is how they change so quickly. They can be one way and then a couple hours later, completely different. Making you question yourself as to what is going on. And of course they never doing that in front of other people. also kind of makes it almost unbelievable that it is real.

I think Sarah Dessen described it best in her book Dreamland. Like I can’t believe I stayed with him as long as I did. I can’t believe I even married someone who treated me so wrongly. I see things now that should have been flags, but I never ever imagined that he would abuse me. And being apart from him I feel as if I woke from a dream. And just like Caitlin, I had to put the pieces of my life back together again.

And a lot of women can’t leave, they don’t have the money or support. I was blessed that I had support and he tried to use up all my money, in fact have a bunch of his debt as he took my credit card and just charged it up. But I am free (or will be when the divorce finalizes).

And it is so much better being away from him. I still have times of grief over how he treated me and what he did to me but now there is hope.

Just moving on and moving forward.

And I want to share this wheel to help others:

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 six 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.

value:Worth

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?

smalmindslashoutnotunderstand

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.

uh-no-gifuhno

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.

Psmartorprettyeitherorsarahdessenmorethanthat

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.

bekindBeright

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.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

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:

WeClickPerfectPerson

I want them to get together!!!!!

Twocharacterstogettogether

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.

uh-no-gifuhno

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.

rebeccaitwasallalie

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.

gossipgirlcan'tstandhappycouplesy

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