Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Books I've Read: Sugar Lump

This was a fun, easy read that had a little twist to it.  I'm not sure I believed it 100%, but I enjoyed it, so I don't think it really matters.

CC has been dragged around the country with her father for years. As a result, she's started blogging about her travels and gained a huge following.  But no real friends.  So when her father gets a job in Sugar Lump, a picture perfect town known for weddings that last forever, she doesn't initially think it will be any different than any of the other places they've lived.

But Sugar Lump is different.  Soon CC has a house, friends and even a couple of boys who may or may not be interested in her.  She thinks she's finally found a home.  So why is her father so adamant she leaves to go to college next year?

When she overhears the mayor saying something about 'taking out' someone who doesn't follow the rules, Sugar Lump's perfection suddently become something more sinister.

I enjoyed this book.  Having spent most of my childhood being dragged around the world, I sympathized with CC's desire for a permanent home and friends that lasted more than a year or two.  And Sugar Lump's quirky perfection was well realized, even if the sense of there being something wrong about the place permeated even the very first descriptions of it.  

Maybe I'm a cynic.

The twist wasn't quite as surprising as it could have been, but there were some things I didn't see coming, even if I had figured out the bulk of it before I reached the end.

Overall, this is an enjoyable read.

But don't just truat my opinion.  Here's the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old travel blogger CC is stuck on a never-ending road trip with her wanderlust-addicted father. When her dad lands the job of his dreams in Sugar Lump—wedding capital of the world—CC finally finds a place to call home. Complete with two quirky best friends and a quixotic guy to crush on, Sugar Lump is more shades of perfect than she can possibly count.

But when CC accidentally overhears the mayor complaining that she has to “take out” a rogue employee for not fulfilling the terms of his contract, the idyllic town’s facade crumbles. Devastated by the possibility of having to move yet again, CC discovers everyone has been keeping a massive secret from her—including her own father.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Weekly Goals 19-3-18

I had a bad week last week and did very little writing.  This week I plan to rectify that and add around 5K to my story.

I was also bad in terms of my exercise regimen, so I plan to fix that too, and go to the gym at least three times.

Let's get things back on track before they fall entirely apart, shall we?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things 16-3-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

My best friend is playing up the coast tonight so I'm heading up to see her.  It's been a couple of months, so I'm looking forward to catching up with her.

Another friend I haven't seen in a while is coming over on Saturday, so it will be nice to catch up with her too.

I went to another Arts Festival show, an Irish Swan Lake that had nothing in common with the classical ballet.  It was wonderful and so was the meal my mother and I had at a restaurant I've been wanting to try for a long time.  It's always nice when something you've been wanting to try for a long time ends up being just as wonderful as you'd heard!

It has been a busy week at work this week, but it has been a good one.  I'm looking forward to the weekend, but not desperate for it.  Although I will need to get my butt into my chair and do some writing because I haven't managed any yet this week between work trips, theatre shows and life.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Books I've Read: Girl Mans Up

This is the first book I've read where the lesbian character is butch.  In fact, she's been butch since before she figured out she liked girls.  And it's also one of the first books I've read where the romance is the easy, uncomplicated part of the MC's life.

Pen is the daughter of Portuguese immigrants now living in Canada.  They don't understand why she wants to dress in boys' clothes and cut her hair short.  In fact, they don't understand anything about her or her older brother who lives in the basement.  But they never seem to try either, just demand the kids to obey the rules and respect them without actually ever trying to earn their respect.

I didn't like this parent-child relationship at all.  I know some parents are harsh, especially immigrants who struggle with cultural differences as well as the usual generational ones, but this seemed borderline abusive.

So is Pen's friendship with Colby, the guy a few doors down.  She and Colby and a couple of other guys have been friends forever and Colby has been using Pen as a wingman since he was old enough to be interested in girls.  But Colby is a bit of a dick and I found myself cheering when things started going badly for him, and cheering even louder when Pen figures out what a douche he is and walks away from the friendship.

Blake, the girl Pen lusts after from afar, then gets to hang out with, is another badass female character.  She's a gamer whose unashamed of her skill and will take down male gamers without a qualm.  While her relationship with Pen happens quickly, it feels like a realistic sliding into love between two girls who like the same things.

I really enjoyed the way this book explored gender idenity, friendship and parental relationships, even if I found some of the relationships to be toxic and a little over the top.

But don't just believe me.  Here's the blurb:

All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth--that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Weekly Goals 12-3-18

I didn't get as much writing done last week as I wanted to, so I didn't hit the 10K or even the 8K marks I had hoped to.  And this week isn't going to be much good either as I have a lot of work stuff on and won't be home to write three out of five nights.

So this week I'm setting myself a very low goal, and will get to the 10K mark by next Monday.  I just wish I was a little more inspired by my story...  I like it, but I keep getting bogged down in details.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things 9-3-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

Well, nothing really.

It's been a tough week, with several people I know suffering devastating losses.  One of my colleagues lost her mother this week, two close friends lost their husbands, and someone I've worked with in every job I've had since the early 2000s, and who was a good friend, died on Monday.

So it's not really a celebrating kind of week...

I'm hoping next week might be the opposite of this one, and I'll have something really great to celebrate.

What are you celebrating this week?