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What Feels Good | Monday, Monday

Hey, it’s a new week and a new month! I’m back here again with this stream of consciousness Monday thing. But, of course, it’s Sunday and I’m cooking a meat pie (just call me Mrs. Lovett) and getting ready to settle in for sports and Walking Dead (which we have all been pining away for, […]

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November 10, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Garrett - Really enjoyed reading your post! The way you speak about your marriage at the point in life you’re at makes me look inside myself. I may just be 21 (nearlyyyy 22) but I can’t help but wonder what my future holds already. Like a ton of blank pages to be written every day, I hope it turns out to be a good read!

November 2, 2015 - 10:15 am

Alexa S. - I’m really looking forward to seeing Waitress (the musical). It should be a lot of fun, and I do love Sara Bareilles! Also, I really like the idea of just holding onto and recognizing what feels good. That’s important, especially when it comes to making sure the things in your life (or people) are making you happy and helping you be at peace. I love that you got so honest about marriage too. It’s hard work, but also worth it every time <3

Slappy birthday & memory returns

Months and months before her birthday, one of my long-time best friends (ironically a non-reader) knew she wanted to see the Goosebumps movie as part of the festivities for her big 3-1. All the cool kids were reading R.L. Stine’s books back in the day. Including us. The movie was actually a lot better than […]

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October 27, 2015 - 1:52 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - I don’t really have a lot to say but I loved this post. It reminded me fondly of the BSC books I owned from Scholastic book fair (numbers 1 through 55 for sure if not more!) and the odyssey I dragged my mom on (at least two toy stores) to get my Claudia BSC doll which I still own.

It’s funny how as children we often find things that don’t even have names when we discover them. I didn’t have a newspaper as a kid but I wrote a couple of epic thinly veiled remixes of . . . Emily of New Moon and A Wizard of Earthsea. I think of them as my first and only attempts at fan fiction.

October 20, 2015 - 3:25 pm

Alexa S. - I loved reading Goosebumps and many other series as a child! They’re definitely a big part of my life, even until now, and I love that. I love that books still remain at the forefront of things important to me, and I love that other people feel the same way. Loved reading this, E!

October 20, 2015 - 9:24 am

Leah - Matt isn’t a reader. At all. Yet he is passionate about Goosebumps. I was (and still am) massively in love with reading and gobbled up practically everything I could get my hands on as a child…apart from Goosebumps. For some reason I was never interested in reading them despite my friends’ love for the series. A few years ago Matt had a cold and was convinced he needed to be on bedrest (men..) Being the wonderful girlfriend I am, I grabbed him a few Goosebumps novels – being sick is the PERFECT time for comfort reads. Not long after I was sick and wanted something to read, but didn’t want to put much thought or effort into it. LONG STORY SHORT, I grabbed one of the books (it was the one about lawn gnomes!) and had a blast.

I’m a decade or two late to the party BUT I can finally say I’ve read a Goosebumps book and I’ve been grabbing them any chance I get!

A fork in the road | Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest

When I think back on a decision crossroads, I always go back to  the first big decision I ever made: where to go to college. If I hadn’t chosen my small liberal arts college near the beach, I wouldn’t have been kicked out and forced to go somewhere else because that college was in debt. […]

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December 31, 2015 - 10:16 am

What This Book Gave To Me, Estelle - […] keeping with the highs of the year, both Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer and Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid made me think of the steady females in my life (the golden old ones, and the […]

July 31, 2015 - 9:23 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Ah I love this review, Estelle! I’ll always be thankful that you introduced me to Taylor Jenkins Reid with your review of Forever, Interrupted. I’d hate to think that I might have missed out on these awesome books! I love what you’ve written about Maybe in Another Life, and I wholeheartedly agree with all of it. This was one of my favorite friendships I’ve read in a long time! I love that you call it “the best love story I could ever imagine.” SO TRUE!

July 23, 2015 - 3:54 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - *heart this review*

I love stories like this. Somehow I missed that Maybe in Another Life involved a character following two paths, but I know now and I am so excited to read it.

I think about crossroads like this all the time. Small ones like what if I never joined my college newspaper and big ones like what if I was never forced to quit a job and follow a circuitous path to my current place of employ. Or, even crazier, what if I never had to have an internship in high school and never started working in libraries at all?

I refer, in all seriousness, to Alternate Universe Emma who I sometimes suspect is a bit cooler than me (maybe with pink hair or the tattoo I’ll never get) but it’s hard to imagine–even with all the bends in the road and the uncertainty about other areas–that I’m not right where I’m supposed to be and on track to whatever big finish life has in store.

July 22, 2015 - 12:33 pm

Alexa S. - I loved reading your thoughts on Maybe in Another Life, E! You seriously have a way with words, and I totally feel like you expressed EXACTLY how this story made me feel with this post. So happy you loved it too!

July 18, 2015 - 11:31 pm

Amy - Putting this on my To Read list! I love “friend love” stories, and you are right, I don’t read about them often enough. It’s a special kind of love that doesn’t always make the best prime-time film, but all the early morning phone calls, “please-help” text messages, quick lunch dates are really what helps get me through life. Thanks for your review!

July 16, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Lauren @ Bookmark Lit - I’ve been resisting the urge to write incredibly lengthy comments on every single review for this, because I think about this ALL the time and talk about it way too much. I always alwaysss wonder where my life would be if I made different decisions (esp. in regards to college). Her books sound amazing and I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to them yet. I think this is going to be the celebratory book I buy tonight for my one year blogiversary! I need it in my life.

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. 🙂

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.

Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu | Estelle Reviews

Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu ( web | tweet ) Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 12, 2015 Pages: 368 | Target audience: Young adult Keywords: beauty, father/daughter relationships, sisters, NYC, romance Summary: It’s summer in NYC and Montana is dealing with having her college-aged sister/best friend, her plastic surgeon father and some unexpected news, […]

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January 28, 2016 - 3:31 am

Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu | Book Review - […] Rather Be Reading – “explores the complexity of sister relationships” […]

January 2, 2016 - 8:01 am

Ladies in Read, Estelle - […] Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu: Corey Ann never speaks down to her readers and writes with honesty about beauty, sisters, and mysteries of love in this NYC summer story. (Runner up: Life By Committee.) […]

May 17, 2015 - 10:37 am

Haniya - This review looks really nice! Can’t wait to read it!

May 14, 2015 - 8:01 am

Move Over Taylor || Corey Ann Haydu on NYC - […] Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu … […]

May 11, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - Life by Committee came out of nowhere last year and completely blew me away while also tapping into some themes that I connected with on a very personal level. So of course I was already excited to see what Haydu would do next. This review has me downright intrigued. I can’t wait to check it out.

(PS As a decidedly not fair complexioned person, I feel you with the hair stuff. In college I very foolishly decided to fix my own eyebrows and wound up removing nearly half of one eyebrow–only one mind. I had a friend in high school who essentially had no eyebrows for several months as well!)

May 11, 2015 - 11:13 am

Alexa S. - I love, love, LOVE these thoughts on Making Pretty so much, E! You’ve really captured the essence of Montana’s story so beautifully, and I love the way you managed to mention some of its elements that are so perfect for a discussion – her father’s career + how that affects their relationship, her friendships, her first love. It’s seriously a great, thought-provoking read!