stupid surveys, book reviews, good moments.

Last Friday I sat on my living room floor and cried to my mom about a lot of things…and then one by one the entire family trickled up and we wound up dancing, and my dad was trying to teach me the dance he and my mom did at their wedding to some ridiculous country song my sister played and at the end I fell into his hug, so happy I cried, so full of joy I couldn’t stop laughing. In other words, I was a mess.

Plus I had a lovely phone call with the darlingest boy in the world.

And I’ve finished nine books in the last week, which means I’ve read eight since I finally finished Vanity Fair last Tuesday night (it’s Monday now).

Thoughts on Vanity Fair: It was a 3/10 the first time I read it. It’s a 4.5/10 now. It did get vaguely interesting, and yielded a phrase that I can obnoxiously quote when I’m trying to be a literary genius in conversation (“faint, fashionable fiddle-faddle”), and I did find a mildly interesting passage which made me think Thackeray would have liked the idea of Snapchat, but I don’t like the book much more than I did.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: There are some books which are good because they hook you in with some sort of mystery (Agatha Christie, ASOIAF come to mind) and you just whip through them because you gotta know who murdered the colonel in the library, or who Jon Snow’s mother is, or what really happened to Rebecca. They usually pale on second reading, and Rebecca is no exception, but it is still a beautiful craft and a very complex story. 8.5/10

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I thought it was going to be a fun, quirky romance. It was that, but it was also much deeper. It didn’t quite rock my world, though. 8/10

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. John Green raved about this book in a book recommendations video. I’m not sure I’m quite as enthusiastic about it as he is – the writing style didn’t seem to measure up to the hype he gave it and the story was not earth-shattering and sort of canned, if you ask me, though there was a nice depth of emotion to it and a good twist in the middle. Maybe I’ll read through it again. Still, on first reading, 7/10

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. I LOVE THIS ONE. Not only does it yield the impossibly wonderful line “I’d like to know about everything beautiful,” which main character Angie uses to explain why she wants to go to college, but it also speaks to the soft quiet wonders of everyday life and how they sometimes pale when presented with something as wonderful as a budding romance. I connected to Angie very much in this book. 9/10

The Maze Runner and sequels by James Dashner. I blew through all three of these in the space of eight hours, and these books are similar to Rebecca in that you keep going because you just have to know what happens, not because you are genuinely invested in the characters or anything. The story is not bad, and the emotional wringer it put me through was good (I use the term good in a mostly sarcastic way), but it did make me realize that young adult dystopias are highly formulaic. More on that another time. 7.5/10, extra points for the movie-based visuals of Thomas Brodie-Sangster running around being gorgeous.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Hannah recommended me this one. The best way to describe it is if Madeleine L’Engle and a Doctor Who episode had a baby. Which is, I suppose, appropriate, considering that Neil Gaiman wrote one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes ever (The Doctor’s Wife). Anyway, 9.5/10 (the extra .5 would be if I had cried, which I did not). Very scientific ratings system, this.

All right. Have a silly survey filched from a friend’s Facebook (I was stalking again).

A – Available: to…?

B – Biggest fear: moths, dying mentally at 40

C – Crushing on: Sam (and sometimes also Phil Lester)

D – Drink you had last: orange juice

E – Easiest person to talk to: Derek, Hannah and Sam

F – Favorite song: at the moment, “Samson” by Regina Spektor; of all time, “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel

G – Grossest memory: cleaning up fresh cat vomit

H – Hometown: Mountain Home, Idaho

I – In love with: the line “I’d like to know about everything beautiful”

J – Jealous of: myself as I will be exactly one year from now

K – Killed someone: not yet

L – Longest relationship: nine months

M – Middle name: Leigh

N – Number of siblings: 2

O – One wish: to be ready to live this next year without fear

P – Person you called last: Sam

Q – Question you’re always asked: “So, are you fluent in German?”

R – Reason to smile: hmm. mother, father, sister #1, sister #2, Sam, Hannah, Derek, Photina, Ronja, Helena, childhood cuddly toys which are still in my room, languages, books, Doctor Who, beautiful words, Dan and Phil, burritos, tea…shall I go on?

S – Song you sang last: I was singing along to “The Stranger” in the kitchen today.

T – Time you woke up: 7:05

U – Underwear color: blue

V – Violent moment you had: I threw a shovel at the side of the house once when I was mad

W – Worst habit: taking three hour naps every afternoon

Z – Zodiac sign: indifferent

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