This book is a fairy tale. Growing up I never much cared for fairy tales. They were irrelevant, boring, and the morals were a stretch.  There’s a YA trend of fairy tales with kickass heroines that I think YA Nikki would have really appreciated.

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In The Darkest Part of the Forest, protagonist Hazel is a Gryffindor through and through. She’s reckless and brave and denies her romantic feelings to a fault.  The thing I like most about this book is that Hazel is the hero.  It’s not a love story (there are love interests), it’s not a redemption story (both Hazel and her brother get a chance at redemption), and it’s not about trite human matters.  It’s simple: the enchanted town needs saving and Hazel saves it.  There’s magic, faeries, and kings.

After reading this, I felt empowered, uplifted, and excited about life.  That’s really what I want books I read to do for me: tell me a story, teach me something, bring positivity. Thanks, Holly Black, for another great one.

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Top 5 Friday

July 24, 2015

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  1. I think about writing a lot.  Spend time doing it, reading it, grading it.  What if I wrote something no one would read?  Who am I kidding, I have a novel sitting on my hard drive no one will probably read.  But I didn’t set out to write it without an audience in mind.
  2. Speaking of writing, language is a drug.
  3. My latest for the riot: What I Learned from a Harry Potter Movie Marathon
  4. Summer is a time to experiment with fun chilled drinks.  Here’s Joy’s 6 favorite summer drinks.
  5. How Alton Brown works.

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Proper Pie Co

July 22, 2015

One of the things I miss most about Europe is the street food.  Doner kebabs, pastys (not to be confused with pasties), felafel, sausage rolls, fries with mayo, sweet doughs in their various fried forms. Not long ago, I heard about Proper Pie Co. but thought it only offered sweet pies.  Au contraire, mon frere. […]

Top 5 Friday

July 17, 2015

My love for Joseph Gordon Levitt started with his role in 10 Things I Hate About You and hasn’t faltered since.  My heart skipped a beat at this mother lover latest. My Kinda Book is offering a preview of Rainbow Rowell’s new novel Carry On along with a lot of other teasers.  Is it fall yet? […]

Harrison Scott Key at Fountain

July 14, 2015

Fountain is one of my local bookstores.  It’s on a pretty cobblestone street in downtown Richmond and has creaky wooden floors.  It’s a habit of mine to check the website regularly because they often have author or other kinds of events.  That’s how I discovered Harrison Scott Key: a hilarious Southern writer and teacher who […]

On Working in Coffee Shops

July 7, 2015

Any time I went into a Starbucks, Panera, or Barnes and Noble and saw people wearing oversized headphones tippity tap tapping away on their laptops, I got a little smug.  We get it.  You’re important and have important work to do.  You need to be validated by strangers admiring your hard work ethic.  I’d always […]