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Author Archives: Estelle

A Million Miles Away | ‘Buy it’ this week

Nothing makes a reader feel more spoiled than easily slipping into a book and remaining emotionally invested throughout. It’s even sweeter when it comes as a total surprise. This, my friends, is A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery. The book follows Kelsey as she deals with the death of her twin sister, Michelle, right […]

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July 9, 2015 - 10:32 am

Emma @ Miss Print - I’ve been doing some major waffling about reading this book because while I want to see what the author’s writing is like and am intrigued by the premise, it also sounds a lot like a book I didn’t much enjoy that I read earlier in the year. BUT after seeing how much you enjoyed it I am definitely going to give it a try. I’m always happy to hear that a book I’m excited about or hoping to try is one that you really enjoyed, Estelle!

July 8, 2015 - 9:40 pm

Grace @ She Reads Things - I’ve had my eye on this one, so I’m glad to hear it was a good one! Makes me more excited to read it!

Great review!

-Grace 🙂

July 8, 2015 - 11:52 am

Vicky - I like novels to be set in sleepy little southern towns. I like coastal towns too. Really, as long as the writing is good, it can be set any place and I will be happy.

July 6, 2015 - 2:10 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Yes! I loved this one, too. I read a copy of a friend’s ARC & have been wanting my own finished copy now too. It’s such a great portrayal of grief and how messy and complicated it can be. Yet there’s this beauty in it, too. Lovely review!

Hooray for Hollywood & Pride

There’s always that defining moment (or a few of them) when you realize you have to break away from what your parents want and do your own thing — even if this isn’t in their best interest. I’m reading a parenting guide for work right now, and the author talks about how parents need to know when […]

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August 11, 2015 - 9:59 am

Friends Who Write Diversely... | Dive Into Diversity, Magan - […] thanks to authors/bloggers/Twitter goddesses Dahlia Adler (Under the Lights) and Katherine Locke (Second Position) for being so game for today’s post. Rather Be […]

July 7, 2015 - 1:17 am

Wendy @ Book Scents - I totally agree with you! I loved seeing both Josh and Van’s story unfold and seeing that they’re not the pair that ends up together. I loved seeing their arcs and thought all the characters were so well developed. I kind of want to see more of what Josh does after!

July 1, 2015 - 10:42 pm

Kailia Sage - I need to read this book as soon as possible! Everyone is raving about this book and I love the premise!

July 1, 2015 - 11:37 am

Alexa S. - I 100% agree with your thoughts on Under the Lights! It was such a delight to read about both Van and Josh, to really get to know them beyond what we learn in Behind the Scenes. And Dahlia wrote both their stories so well too!

July 1, 2015 - 10:53 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I really, really need to read Dahlia Adler’s books. I have Behind the scenes ( I think I picked it up after your review) and still haven’t read it. And I really want to read this too.

Fiction lately (and maybe for your next beach day)

Hooray, it’s Monday (hope you had a good few days!) and also a few days before a holiday weekend. So I thought, why not share a few of the fiction titles I’ve tried out recently — just in case you are looking for something to read on your car trip, a stop at the beach, […]

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July 31, 2015 - 9:32 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - YAY STAY! I read that book in my early blogging days, and I loved it so much. I remember so many moments that made me laugh out loud, and I found the story so touching. I enjoyed Why Can’t I Be You, too, though this is my favorite of the two! 😉

July 5, 2015 - 9:11 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I’m so glad you liked Stay, Allie Larkin is one of my favorites. Now you just need to read Why Can’t I Be You!

June 29, 2015 - 8:04 pm

Cassie - YAY for STAY! I love Allie Larkin and can’t wait for more from her! Like you, I enjoyed Things You Won’t Say, but I felt a bit of a disconnect. It did hit me hard at times, but at others I felt it was lacking the huge emotional pull that I would expect from a novel with that subject matter.

ANYWAY: more for you to read this summer! I gave Barefoot by Ellin Hilderbrand a go, and I REALLY enjoyed it despise disliking the first I read by her! SO THAT. ALSO!!! EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave and OF COURSE Maybe In Another Life by TJR! READ THEM ALL!!

xoxox

June 29, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Alexa S. - Stay sounds really sweet! I definitely think I’d give that one a shot. I’m also really intrigued by French Coast, just because I’m so partial to France as a setting in the novels I read 🙂

The Status of All Things: It’s Complicated

Last Friday I was feeling pretty miserable — very down in the dumps — and I did something I rarely do. I tweeted about it. About how 2015 has not been a great year so far. The next day I deleted it. Why? Was I worried how being sad would make me look in a […]

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October 6, 2015 - 12:01 am

Beyond the Pages: Musings On Internet Life - […] picked this book up in the first place was because of a post by my friend Estelle who wrote a much more articulate and WAY more succinct post about this book that I highly […]

July 31, 2015 - 9:40 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I hope you know how much I loved this post! I wrote about in my June recap, but I just realized that I never commented and told you how much I enjoyed reading it. I’ve told you over and over again lately – your ability to write reflections about books and to tie them to your experiences is one of my favorite things about you and your reviews. For the most part, I only read reviews for books that interest me. But that’s not the case with you! I’ll enjoy reading ALL of your reviews, even for books that probably aren’t for me. You’ve got such a way with words, and I love how deeply you think about the things you read! <3

July 3, 2015 - 12:38 am

Holly J - Oh, I LOVE this post! I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, I have made so many genuine friendships with internet people (something I never thought I WOULD ever say). On the other, it can really affect my real life. Sometimes I spend HOURS, literally hours, on Twitter. I’ve been backing away more, trying to spend less time online. But it is hard, especially since social media is the biggest way I communicate with the friends I’ve made through blogging. It’s also hard too, because I’m not very open in real life. It’s easier for me to share things online. And I know that’s bad, and it’s something I’m trying to work on. Because it’s really hindered my IRL relationships. I don’t wanna put too much importance on a thing that shouldn’t have so much value. Social media has many positives, but it also has as many downfalls.

I think you hit so much of that in your post. I know I want to start stepping away as much as possible, because letting those days go by always spending them on social media and ignoring the people in my life is not worth it. As much as I love Twitter and my blogging friends (not that I would stop talking to them if I quit social media), sometimes I need to remember that I’m losing time with those I hold dearest to my heart.

Lovely post, Estelle! 🙂

July 2, 2015 - 3:51 pm

Looking Back on June 2015! | Bring My Books - […] wrote this really thought provoking post about social media; it’s pros, cons, and all the complicated feelings she has for it. (Note: […]

June 28, 2015 - 10:57 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - It’s hard to say that I hate the Internet and social media when I have a blog and many social media accounts and when I think it’s brought great people like you into my life, but still, I kind of do. I’ve definitely tried to distance myself from social media and keep proper perspective when I do dive in. I was looking through Instagram the other day and a friend of a friend or some blogger’s profile I was looking at said something like “this is my highlight reel” and, even though I had heard that sentiment before, I really liked the positioning of it in her profile.

June 27, 2015 - 5:12 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - Estelle, I always love how you can review a book while bringing it back to your own life. It’s something I find difficult and rarely attempt. This also reminds me of when my graduate school class left me (and everyone else) completely terrified of social media. I actually just set my Facebook to delete this week because I couldn’t take it anymore.

Between the social media aspect and the ideas of fate and causality, this one sounds really fascinating. I have no idea when I’ll get to it (so slammed with reading) but it’s going on the TBR list right now.

June 26, 2015 - 11:21 am

Laura @ Scribbles & Wanderlust - I’ve had this same issue — throwing a feeling out into the world and later deleting it — for about 4 years now. We see the internet as a safe outlet to expose our feelings and find comfort from others for the sudden, jarring difference in our usual daily communications. But then we don’t get a response from the faceless mass, and it makes us feel worse. So why DON’T we speak to family and friends, or write it down privately? That always brought me comfort before, so why this compulsive need to share it with the world that won’t respond back? Who knows.

But at the same time, there’s that guilt for sharing something “out of the ordinary.” Which is so bizarre, because we’re all human, we all have our days. And the internet has turned our online identity and presence as a brand. We’ve branded ourselves. For me, it’s always talking about books and lit agent stuff, and now it feels weird to talk about anything other than that online. But that’s not who I am. I’m a musician, a traveler, a friend. Yet I rarely, if ever, talk about other activities. A deviation feels weird.

Anyway. This was an excellent post. (And now I’m super curious about that book.)

June 26, 2015 - 11:08 am

Ellice Y - I love this post, and I love YOU, E. And ironically, I wouldn’t even know you if it weren’t for the Internet and this technology that you’re referring to. That said,there are times when I think it’s okay, maybe even HEALTHY, to step away from one form of social media or another for as long as you need. For me, Facebook is the form of social media that often causes the feelings that you described. Does something that Suzy posted about her “perfect” life have me so distracted that I miss the good things in my own life? I try to keep that in mind. I also try to remember that social media can create a majorly false image–you only see what people want you to see, and pictures can be very deceiving. Keeping that mentality keeps me from going crazy in this world of over-sharing! Also, if I’m feeling disconnected because I don’t have time to be on Twitter (which is where I talk to some of my best friends) much because of work,I find it nice to revert to “old-school” email (how insane is it that just sending an email feels old-school now), and even more primitive, snail mail to keep in touch. That might be an option if you ever choose to back away from social media a bit? Selfishly, I hope that you never do because I love being able to talk to you through different mediums– but you have to do what makes YOU happy. That’s most important 🙂

This is SUCH a rambling comment, and I hope you can make sense out of it. Would it be incredibly ironic to tell you to text me or email me? Haha. MUAH!

June 26, 2015 - 10:46 am

Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things - This post is totally on point! 😀
Lovely post! XD

June 26, 2015 - 10:41 am

Alexa S. - I have so much to say regarding this post, but it all boils down to: I agree 100%. There are both advantages and disadvantages to social media and the internet, really. I can’t say I’d ever really be able to give it up completely, but I do think that being thoughtful and intentional about how and when I use it is a habit worth cultivating.

June 26, 2015 - 10:28 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - This is an EXCELLENT topic. I’ve really been feeling all of these things lately. Especially as a blogger (who’s a bit too obsessed with her blog and the book community), it’s really hard for me to disconnect… but I kind of have disconnected personally. The internet is just an easy place to say something quickly and leave it out there for anyone to see. Maybe you tweet something because you need to get it off your chest or just want someone to reply… But happy or sad, beautiful or ugly, any tweet/post/photo will be seen by many and consequently assessed. I like what you said — it really is just pieces of your life. I don’t share a LOT on social media because that’s my personal business and I’m not that close with ALL of my Facebook friends and the 3000 people on Twitter who follow me. It doesn’t need to be shared. I try to pick and choose the personal things because I do like showing that personal side of myself and allowing people to see who I really am but I try to stay away from the negative (especially when I see so much negative myself).
It’s REALLY hard not to “judge” (I put it in quotes because I don’t have a better word) who people are on social media from their posts. I’d like to think I know a certain person well but then again, I have no idea what happens in their personal life. It’s so hard to draw the line on how much to share and who you share it with.
And YES it’s so hard to put the phone down. I kill time with my phone. I’m so, so awkward so it’s my excuse not to talk to strangers/make small talk. (It’s not BECAUSE of social media, though. I’ve always been shy and had a hard time making small talk.) I try very hard to make sure I’m not ignoring my husband and I try to keep my phone put away when hanging out with friends (unless we’re at a book event or something in which case we’re all checking what’s going on and who is where). It’s really hard! You feel like you’re missing something if you don’t… And the sense of immediacy I think it what’s starting to kill those personal, face-to-face friendships. I know I feel the need to constantly check my phone for missed texts/tweets/emails but then I miss the people I’m with (which let’s face it — I actually have less time with them to begin with).
I guess I said nothing new but it’s really interesting to think about and talk about! I’d love to pull away from social media and technology every once in a while. I do try to take breaks… but it’s always hard to leave and feeling “missing”!

June 26, 2015 - 10:28 am

Cassie (Happy Book Lovers) - I love this piece so much. I felt this way during my senior year of college. I was so overwhelmed with everything and not doing so great, and I was upset about my usage of social media. So I did a little experiment and it ended up being so liberating. I turned my phone off.
I still carried it with me because emergencies may happen, but it was off and in the bottom of my backpack. I got through hours of studying so much faster, spent more time reading and talking to friends, and I was so happy with the result. I think every once in a while, it’s good to just unplug, even if it’s just for a few hours. 🙂

The pen is mightier than the sword…

It isn’t easy, but telling something as it is, telling the truth, always seems more beautiful and more poetic than anything else,” says Mr. Graydon — the English teacher in Sarah Crossan’s simultaneously sweet and heartbreaking Apple and Rain. At first, he’s the teacher no one wanted, a replacement, and suddenly he spends the year treating his students […]

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June 26, 2015 - 4:27 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - Great post–I love seeing people comparing books with similar themes. It was nice hearing a more nuanced run down of both of these titles too (especially Every Last Word where I’ve seen so many reviews that all of the praise is starting to blend together).

June 24, 2015 - 11:59 am

Alexa S. - I loved this post, E! I love coming across characters who write in YA – it’s always so fun because I can identify so much with writing as an outlet and creative expression. I loved Every Last Word, and now I’m curious about Apple & Rain!

I’m feeling 18-22 (and it’s great)

I’m a big believer that the things you love when you are a kid don’t necessarily have to disappear once you get older. Hello — I’m an adult reading young adult books all the time, I’m a frequent visitor to Disney World and it’s not because I’m a mom, and I’d always prefer to spend […]

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July 7, 2015 - 1:22 am

Wendy @ Book Scents - I know I’m not “old” (i’m turning 27 this summer) but sometimes people will slam me for liking certain things and I’m like really? does it matter that much? why is a certain “thing” restricted to an age when we can enjoy it but not after that age? that’s just dumb. I always like to think age is just a number — which it is!

As for hilary duff, I didn’t even know she came out with a new album! I need to check this out asap because i really loved her back in the day! umm lizzie mcguire was a fave! about vanessa hudgens… I was SO SAD when she and zac efron broke up. that’s so awesome about her being on broadway though!!

June 28, 2015 - 12:23 am

Retrospectively Reading (17) | The Reading Shelf - […] “I’m Feeling 18-22 (And It’s Great)” @ Rather Be Reading […]

June 26, 2015 - 12:02 pm

Jamie - OH MAN I’ve been having the OLD crisis lately as I approach 30 in October. I’m not ashamed of liking things that maybe people might think “i’m too old for” but I definitely go through waves of “I DON’T CARE” to feeling a little insecure about it. But mostly I think of how happy those things make me and I’m like EH…DO YOU SELF…DO YOU.

and omg GIRL MEETS WORLD…Will and I started watching it when it first came out and watched like half of the season but got behind. MUST CATCH UP.

June 24, 2015 - 10:43 pm

Jaime Lester - I am 32 years old, and basically the only books that I read are young adult books, and middle grade thrown in sometimes too. Oh, the looks I get. It did bother me a few years ago, but I just don’t give a crap anymore. Just because I am not a teen or even in my twenties anymore doesn’t mean I am an old fogie. And I don’t love the books that I love because they make me feel young again. I love them because they are dang good, and even in my 80’s they will be dang good! I think it is the grown-up in me that can appreciate it as much as I do! And I am, like you, a huge Disney/Pixar/Animated movie fan, as is my 31 year old best friend. That is another thing that I am dang proud of! Also, and the last thing that I will mention, is Full House is coming back! I loved it when I was a little thing, and I am excited about seeing everyone again! I loved this post, and I look forward to hearing even more of the things that people say you shouldn’t love, but you love regardless, at our ripe old young age!

June 24, 2015 - 10:57 am

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - You and me both, Estelle. I think I’m never going to stop being 18-22 at heart. In the year before I turned 30, I think I realized that, and I made my peace with it by starting a YA book blog. =) Now I have friends who range from 15-40 in age in the online world, and I’ve realized that age really doesn’t matter so much anymore. Sarah is 6-7 years younger than me, but we get each other, and I’m so SO grateful I met her.

That said, I am really glad that I also have close friends who are my age, because, like you said, I am in a different place than my 18-22 year old friends, and it’s important to have people who really get you in your professional/personal life.

I’m still on the fence on Hilary’s new album, but I wish I’d seen Gigi – Vanessa Hudgens was adorable in the one number they did at the Tonys, and I just love her. (Were you also deeply saddened when she and Zefron broke up?). I haven’t watched Girl Meets World, but I never really watched BMW, so I can’t say much to that…however, I did just go meet up with the bunch of 17-22 year olds who created Green Gables Fables, and while I didn’t feel OLD, I felt the difference in our lives so much…the weight of my responsibilities (can’t just go away for awhile because I have a house and cats and a husband) felt a lot bigger. But I wouldn’t choose not to have them, you know?

June 24, 2015 - 12:47 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - I’m 33, and I remember that turning 30 definitely shook me a little. There’s something about moving up into a new decade that makes one reflective about the years that have gone by. Even though I’m now into my 30s, I definitely still have moments where I pause and wonder if I’m content at the place where I am in my life. I have a lot to be thankful for (a loving husband, an adorable little boy, and a roof over my head that I am privileged enough to own), but there are other times where I worry that I could be further along in my career and whether I made the best career and schooling choices thus far. At the same time, I’m also a child at heart and I firmly believe that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional! I can also be found busting out the Disney playlists, and rejoiced at being able to watch The Little Mermaid with Marko a couple of weeks ago. He loved it (which means we’ll get to watch it over and over and over again!) and adorably refers to Ariel as “Mama Fish.” So, even though I’m getting older in years, I still get to hold onto all those childhood moments by living them all over again through Marko’s eyes.

June 22, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Leah - ♥ ♥ My heart can’t handle all the awesome! Pop culture will always be filled to the brim with nostalgia – whether it’s tv shows/music/fashion from our childhood or decades before we existed. I think it’s fascinating watching the ebb and flow (although when I was entering high school bell bottoms/flared jeans were making a comeback and NO THANK YOU) and I love that its resurgence means I can share in the excitement with my nieces (Jurassic World especially!)

June 22, 2015 - 11:31 am

Alexa S. - Macky is still semi-yelling at me to watch Girl Meets World, bu since I haven’t seen Boy Meets World in its entirety (I know, I know!), I feel like I should do that first. But yes to Hilary Duff’s album (which is fabulous. I love Confetti!) and to Vanessa Hudgens (who I wish I could have caught in Gigi) and to FULL HOUSE REBOOT (*spazzes*)! Love that these things that are part of your childhood/my childhood are circling back again 🙂

June 22, 2015 - 11:05 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Joining the 30s club is weird isn’t it? When I turned 30 it was weird. but this year I turned 32 (just a few weeks ago) and I’m struggling with this a lot. Although I truly don’t think it’s old, I am insecure about certain things in my life. But enough about that.

I also love “kid” things. And I listen to Disney Music all the time! I have to check out Hilary Duff’s new CD.