Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Blogger's Convention 2013 - You're Gonna Make It On Your Own

Well, I have finally made it. This will be my first year attending the full BEA Conference. Last year I went for the one day as a Power Reader.

Today I attended the Book Blogger's Convention. Say what you will about the panels, but I think it is a pretty good deal. Attending the BBC gets you admittance into the BEA Conference plus they serve a Continental Breakfast and we got a lunch voucher for $15.00 and a free drink (soft drink) coupon for the Happy Hour after the con. ON top of that, we got a swag bag upon, books at the first break-out session and more books during the Happy Hour.

So I am going to attempt to summarize the event, though I do have a tendency to rattle on so.

I took the ferry over and did get stuck in some traffic on 495, which was expected. Still, I made it before the doors opened, so I was happy about that. Registration was from 8 - 9 and the Opening Ceremonies were at 9:15. During the welcome, we were advised of the lunch voucher and free drink voucher. Apparently a bunch of us didn't get them.

The opening speaker was Will Schwalbe who was very funny. He just wrote a book called The End of Your Life Book Club, which is not what his speech was about. He talked about what works in book promotion, whether reader, blogger, author or publisher, and how the same measured success. It was quite a good speech.

We then broke out into our sessions. I chose Young Adult Editor Insight Panel over the adult one. We got a stack of books there. The next session was Blogging Pros: Successes, Struggles and Insider Secrets. Again, I chose the YA track and not the adult track. In between these two sessions, though, I went back to registration to enquire about the vouchers advising I didn't get them when I registered and was able to procure said vouchers.

So after the second session, it was time for lunch. Now the meal voucher didn't specifically state where to go and I didn't realize (or had forgotten) there was a food court, so I went traipsing all over twice trying to find the places to eat where I could cash my voucher. I finally asked one of the very helpful staff members holding the signs that said "Can I help you?" At first she looked at me like I had two heads and then realized I probably wanted to go to the food court. After she gave me directions, I made my way down.

Now it is here I need to pause in my report two issues. One, I did not bring a small suitcase today as I figured I would not need it. I knew we were getting a swag bag, but I figured it would only be two or three books, which is was. Once again, did not count on other freebies and was woefully unprepared. More importantly, I have forgotten just how heavy 12 or so books could be carrying them on my shoulder for any period of time. Second, just as I was reaching the food court, so did so a bajillion other people, or more accurately, they got there before me while I was traipsing from here to kingdom come looking for the food stands.

So, I was completely thrown off by the amount of people in line to order food and couldn't get close enough to anything to see the menu, plus, I didn't want to stand on line to order. It was then I saw a sign that said Sandwiches. It was a refrigerator unit where there were beverages, yogurt, salad, sandwiches, prepared food basically. So, I grabbed a tuna sandwich, a yogurt and a Snapple. I then had to get on line which had double back and was looping itself. All the register lines were long, but the one I was in was particularly slow. I was afraid to get out of line and try another line as I figured it might make matters worse, so I toughed it out. When I finally got to the last bend of the line, I discovered why the line was taking so long. And yes, the other lines had started to move and only had a handful of people each. Turns out he line I was originally on would take credit cards and the other lines were cash only. There was no sign to indicate cash only or credit cards taken or any such thing. I didn't even know until I almost got to the register and that's when I switched lines. Nightmare.

I ate lunch back in the conference room listening to the most boring discussion of legalese, but did actually find out some info about disclosure. So, boring yes, but also instructional. After lunch, I attending Blogging Platforms over Taking Your Online Presence Offline and for the final session, took Extending the Reach of Your Blog Online over Book Blogging and the "Big" Niche. Found out some very useful information, but also learned something else.

Now, I'm a newbie, a rookie, whatever you want to call me. I started blogging in February of 2012 and I would not consider myself blog-savvy in any way. I don't have a lot of time to explore, investigate, read, study, whatever you want to call it and anything requiring a read-up in order to do is just too much for me right now. I feel like I need someone to hold my hand just to show me how to do things. I know there are Google tools and stuff and even got myself a Blogging for Dummies book (which I have not cracked the spine on yet). So, what I learned is that there is so much stuff out there to improve my blog, so many tools of the trade, so many things to know and be aware of. I was effectively overwhelmed, felt even worse about my blogging skills and non-existent knowledge and realized I have so much work cut out for myself. I don't know how much of what I learned today I will apply, but I need to read up first and therein lies the rub.

The closing speaker was Randi Zuckerberg who made a name for herself as the Marketing Director of Facebook. She was a fantastic speaker. She talked about her digital pet peeves, 10 things to do to improve your online presence. She was bubbly, energetic, motivating and so accomplished. I didn't expect to really care about the closing speech, but she was so engaging I couldn't help but listen.

After that, we headed to the Happy Hour, where as I indicated above, we got a complimentary drink. I was expecting it to be alcoholic in nature, but read the fine print and had to settle for a diet coke. Walked the hall, picked up a few more books. The highlight was meeting Melissa de la Cruz. She autographed her upcoming Witches of East End novel. I haven't read her, but I have been wanting to. Just didn't know where to start. I guess I will need to get book one of the series now and work my way to the book I just got. So, that was the highlight of Happy Hour.

So, what did I learn?

I learned that I should always plan for a load of books because if I get them, I can just wheel them home and if I don't, there's no harm. Carting the books on my shoulder is just too stressful on my neck now.
I learned that if I have a lunch voucher, leave the session a few minutes early to beat the crowd to the lunch lines. It seemed very like a manga where everyone fights at the cafeteria. It's basically a mob scene and people fight to get bread.
I learned that if I attend the BBC next year, that I should have a tablet with me. It seems very convenient for a lecture type experience.
I learned that while I can be very outspoken and assertive, apparently I am neither of those things when I am alone and in unfamiliar territory. I was really uncomfortable trying to network and am really not good with small talk.

So, I didn't stay all that long at the Happy Hour. I wanted to get home. I got to the ferry and saw two in their berths. I headed for the Hoboken ferry, but they had already started pulling up the gate. I jogged over and they stopped and dropped the gate again, urged me on board and they would look at my ticket and started lifting the gate again. It was then I pulled out my ticket and said I was going to Port Imperial. I was then told I was on the wrong ferry and needed to go to berth 6. They had to drop the gate again and let me off and I had to run for the other ferry. I was able to get on the ferry, but was advised they were all waiting for me, so when I got on the ferry, I apologized to everyone for making them wait.

So, here is my observation. I used to be so very Mary Tyler Moore. MTM was very put together, fashionable and she could do things, make things happen. I mean, she turned the world on with her smile for crying out loud! While I have never been what you might call fashionable, I always felt so very MTM. I was able to go places alone. I spent 2 1/2 weeks on my own in England and Wales!! How is it possible I can't remember which berth I need to go to get back to my car? I wonder what happened? Now, instead of being so very MTM, I realize I should not be let out of the house without a keeper. Now how sad is that?

Here are today's acquisitions:
Autographed ARC
Winds of Salem (A Witches of East End Novel) by Melissa de la Cruz

Finished Books
Plague in the Mirror by Deborah Noyes
Quintana of Charyn (The Lumatrere Chronicles) by Melina Marchetta

Unsigned Arcs
Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
All Our Yesterday’s by Cristin Terrill
Hereafter by Kate Brian
Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick
The Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch
The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb
Journey to Virginland – Catena by Armen Melikian
The Love Dare for Parents by Stephen & Alex Kendrick
Set Free: Discover Forgiveness Amidst Murder and Betrayal by Stephen Owens & Ken Abraham
Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos by Vicki Courtney
Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Strobe Edge Vol 4 by Io Sakisaka

It's been a while since I posted a manga Monday. I guess because it has been a while since I've actually read a manga. I really should get back on track with that.

Regardless, I did manage to read Vol 4 of Strobe Edge and the relationships become more complicated. It was a girl likes guy who likes girl who likes guy who has a girlfriend story, but is now turning into a girl likes guy who likes her back while his first crush still likes guy who is still going out with girlfriend, but maybe he has feelings for the other girl. Confusing? I know.

Book Description (From Amazon):

Release date: May 7, 2013 | Series: Strobe Edge (Book 4)

Being in love can light up your life… A sweet love story that will warm your heart!
What is love, anyway? Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wonders what this mysterious feeling really is. When she meets Ren Ichinose, the handsome, enigmatic guy that all the girls worship, her life takes an unexpected turn. With just a few words and a smile, he changes her world...

Ando confesses his feelings to Ninako and tells her to give up on Ren—especially because there are limits to loving someone who already has a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Ren finds it harder and harder to deny his attraction to Ninako… But will Ren choose to do anything about it, particularly when his girlfriend, Mayuka, needs him?

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.

My Review:
So in this volume, Sayuri and Daiki seem happy now that they are a couple. It seems like Daiki has forgotten all about the crush he had on Ninako as he tries to plan a surprise Christmas gift for Sayuri. Sayuri on the other hand is starting to feel a little unsure of her relationship with Daiki. She's thinking maybe she was just in the right place at the right time when he was feeling vulnerable and it could have been any girl. But Daiki has something to tell Sayuri that could change their relationship and not for the better.

Ando corners Ninako and tells her that Ren has a girlfriend and he will never walk away from his girlfriend, Mayuka. Ando tells Ninako that he has feelings for her and she should just choose him because he'll never hurt her. Although he's been a player in the past, he is putting all that behind him and only wants to date Ninako. Ninako confesses that she still loves Ren and even though he will never return her feelings, she can't commit to dating Ando when she would just be using him to forget about Ren.

Ren keeps getting thrown together with Ninako and has begun to realize he might actually have feelings for her.  He does the only thing he can which is to distance himself from Ninako.  Mayuka needs him.   I wonder if he will realize at some point that staying with her out of obligation will do neither of them any good.   But a bombshell is dropped on Mayuka and she seems even more vulnerable than usual, so Ren decides to ignore his feelings for Ninako and devote himself to supporting his girlfriend.

Ando warned Ninako that she might be fine being friends with Ren, but that love is greedy and that eventually she'll want more than Ren can give. Will she stay content to just be friends? Or will that become too painful to sustain?

Strobe Edge Vol 5 is due out July 2. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

Friday, May 24, 2013

In Answer to a Question

So, I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now.

If I could save only one book in the event of an emergency, what book would I save?

There were so many things to take into consideration.

For instance, if it were to be the one book that influenced my life the most, that would be Lord of the Rings. Actually, no, strike that. It would be The Hobbit. Although I prefer the trilogy, I never would have read LotR if I hadn't read The Hobbit first. And I still consider The Hobbit to be the one book that put me on the path of super geekdom. Still, I did not choose a book by Tolkien.

I could have chosen The Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had a copy of that as a child, which I still have, BTW. I taught me a love for mythology and stories and characters bigger than life. This is the book I believe I can attribute my love of mythology to. Another book that shaped who I am, but I did not choose this book.

I could have chosen Pride and Prejudice, a book that taught me that not all Victorian novels are stuffy and end miserable for all concerned. Because of Jane Austen, I have ventured to expose myself to more Victorian literature. Sadly, in my estimation, nothing else has equaled my love of Austen, but I have watched some movies / TV series that are quite good, although still sad and miserable where generally speaking no one gets what they want. I didn't choose this book either.

I could have chosen Moonheart by Charles DeLint. This was probably the first modern fantasy book I read based in Celtic folklore, which sent me on a quest to find more. It also introduced me to the Welsh bard, Taliesin, who I fell in love with as a character and became a women possessed to find anything and everything I could about him. I felt a special connection as my great grandfather was Welsh, realizing that only makes me an 8th Welsh, but still it was a connection I clung to in my youth, and still do I suppose. I had actually gone to Wales after college and I went to a university, can't remember which one now, but the university held a book in special reserve called the Book of Taliesin. I so much wanted to get a chance to see it, but if I didn't get the chance. Either it was ridiculously expensive to gander a look or non-students couldn't access. Even though, this book motivated me to expand my knowledge base in a way many other books hadn't, I still did not choose this book.

I could have chosen The Princess Diaries as this was really the first book that set me on my current path of my preferred genre of young adult. I was never a fan of first person books and this being in diary format just seemed to be something I wouldn't care to read, but I saw the movie and loved it so much that I needed to read the book. What I found was that I really could enjoy a book in first person perspective. Earlier attempts were unsuccessful. A large portion of the books I have been reading since are all in first person. Had I never given this book a chance, I would have missed out on all that future reading. And I adored Michael, but I did not choose this book.

I could have chosen Outlander as it is probably the book I have read the most times. LotR is probably a close second. Besides hot Scot in a kilt. Hello! I picked up this book solely on the merit of its cover. I loved the original cover design. It intrigued. This book showed me that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Sadly, I did not choose this book either. Sorry Jamie.

I could have chosen Ranma 1/2. At the time, the story was still being serialized in comic book form. When I met hubby, he was working in a comic book shop. I would go by the shop and wait for him to get off work if we had plans, so to entertain myself, I would read comics. I picked up Ranma and was so completely unprepared for the onslaught of madness and mayhem and it was just about one of the funniest darned things I had ever read (recommended for mature audiences). I boy that turns into a girl? A man that turns into a panda? A girl that turns into a cat? And I can't discount Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High. Since I came into the series late, I picked up the first 4 or 5 story arcs in digest format. Still one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Picking up that first copy of Ranma in the shop brought back my love for Japanese culture. I had lived in Okinawa when I was 7 - 8, came home just before I turned 9 and I used to watch the cartoons in Japanese like Kimba the White Lion, Speed Racer, Marine Boy, Gigantor. The love for Japanese animation and comics as well as the culture has always stuck with me. Rumiko Takahashi made me remember why I loved it all so much, still, I did not choose this series.

There are so many really good books I've read throughout my life, many of them shaping me into the person I am today, so it was really hard to pick just one book, but ultimately, the book I chose is a signed and number copy of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman which the author's preferred text. It is a newer release. I do have the original book from when it was released, but I had seen the miniseries from the BBC. It was purchased at a comic book convention, bootleg, on VHS and was rather grainy, but I loved the show, so naturally had to read the book. While I had read the Sandman comics, Neverwhere was the first novel I had read by Neil even though I had bought Good Omens which he had written with Terry Pratchett first. The story of Neverwhere in both formats just blew me away and solidified my love for the work of Neil Gaiman.

So there you have it. At least that's what I'd pick today. Ask me again tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thought for the Day

I know it's been a little over a week. I apologize my friends. Sometimes life just gets in the way of life. I have been having a particularly difficult time this month getting any me time to post anything. You can call me Ellie Excuses, but it's been madness.

I've had hubby's B-Day, Mother's Day, a Beefsteak to attend, Iron Man to go see, car repairs to deal with and car rentals, gym twice a week, been out walkies a couple evenings, had to go to the doctor, weather changes requiring benadryll which puts me out, registering for BEA took a couple nights and researching the event has taken at least a couple more, still working 12 hours OT, have had a hockey game every other night, Dr Who to finish out for the season as well as Game of Thrones and when I am free for a few, I've been doing chores; laundry, spent a day sewing repairs to some of my favorite skirts, etc.

Where's the Me time?

I feel like I turn around and it is too late or I'm too tired if I have a minute to myself at all. I have only managed to read between periods on the games and at night by flashlight after hubby goes to sleep.

I feel horrible, guilty and somehow incomplete. I know blogging about books is a hobby, but I am amazed at how much it has come to mean to me, how important it is.

BEA is next week, so I am fairly certain things will continue to be madness until it is over. I will endeavor to post when I can before hand. I am still unprepared and have charts, maps and graphs still to print out complete with circles and arrows pointing to all the cool stuff.

If only I had a Marauder's map, but not one to tell me where everyone is, but one to tell me where all the cool stuff happening is right now. That would be awesome!

Anyway, I wanted to write a quick post to merely pose a question that came to me in the shower. And here it is.

If your house is on fire and you have 60 seconds to get out and you only have enough time to grab one book, what would that one book be?

I am going to have to think on that and I will let you know what I came up with.

But I am curious to know what book would you pick and why?

I look forward to reading your answers.

Until then, TTFN!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

I am absolutely appalled that my last STS post was 04/21/13. I wonder where I've been and what I've been doing. Maybe there is another soul trapped in my body with me and they have taken over the last couple of weeks of my life while I lay dormant. It's like a bad science fiction movie!!

As you can all see, it wasn't really my fault. And I was doing so well, too. At least I did get one post in this month, not too good, though. The past couple of weeks have been hectic and times and problematic, but hopefully I will be able to take time to catch up on my posts. Fingers crossed!!

Okay, okay, you got me.  It is actually the hockey games.  It's hard to get anything done when your team is in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the games are aired every other day.  And yes, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Islanders in 6 games out of 7 and are now heading to the second round of the playoffs and I got a few days reprieve.  Round 2 won't start until all first round games are completed, which will be tomorrow night.

Anyway, I have been bursting at the seams to share my book bounty of the past three weeks with you all. So, without further delay...

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Books Shipped:
How Zoe Made Her dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer - Author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, which I have but have not read yet
Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg - Author of In My Room which was previously reviewed here
Until I Die by Amy Plum - Still have to get through book 1
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa - Haven't read book 1 yet
The Silver Dream: An InterWorld Novel by Neil Gaiman - Ditto, book one in my possession, but not yet read.

Books Bought at the Book Store:
Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls) by C.C. Hunter - This was the exchanged I picked out because I bought Until I Die by Amy Plum, but had forgotten I ordered it from Amazon. Luckily they made the exchange at the store as I was over my 14 day limit to return items
A Kingdom Besieged: Book One of the Chaoswar Saga By Raymond Feist - Bargain book - Now I just need to wait for books 2 and 3 to be released in bargain format
A Royal by Megan Mulry - This was a Kindle Deal of the Day, but I have had trouble finding time to read the sample before the offer expired, so naturally I spent a lot more money on it to buy a physical copy. The lesson learned on the Kindle Daily Deals is that they are cheap enough. For me with sometimes time issues, if I think it sounds interesting I will just buy it rather than dealing with a sample

Icons FREE PREVIEW Edition (First 6 Chapters) by Margaret Stohl - I figure it will give me a good taste before committing to buying.
Written in the Stars by Carly Syms - Already reviewed, May 1 actually
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - Kindle Deal for April
Star Wars: Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning - Kindle Daily deal for Star Wars Day - May the Fourth Be With You.
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald - Kindle Deal of the Day
From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara - Kindle Deal of the Day - That's right.  They are actually referencing Hugh Grant movies.

Pre-ordered on Kindle:
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (eBook Original) by Neil Gaiman - Free download due out May 20, 2013

Strobe Edge 4 - Caught up
Black Bird 16 - Behind
We Were There 16 - Behind 2 volumes
La Corda d'Oro 17 - Caught up
Dengeki Daisy 12 - Behind
Negima! Master Negi Magi 38 - Way behind
Missions of Love 3 - Ordered before I read volume 1. Cell Phone novelist indeed. I doubt I'll order any additional volumes, but we'll see.
Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit 1 - Just how many story arcs are going to be released???
New Moon Graphic Novel 1

My friend in Scotland sent me a complete set of the Dr Who stamps that have been released in the UK

Star Wars Wampa Hockey Jersey from Dave's Geeky Jerseys - Although my jersey says Echo 7 which was Han Solo's call number on Tatooine

Hello Jawa t-Shirt from Tee Fury

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review: Written in the Stars by Carly Syms

The story ends the way these stories often do. The first real love of my life broke my heart. As I tell it, he ripped my heart out of my chest, threw it on the floor and stomped on it until it went flat. I’m not sure he could have ended things in a worse way. He came to visit me at college and I’m not sure when or how it happened, but he started corresponding with my plug mate (At my college, the electrical outlets matched up to the rooms sharing a wall.), which gave way to dating and me being cast aside.

She was a floozy, a freshman (I was a sophomore) and she already had one of the worst reputations on the campus after only a couple of months. I was devastated, felt betrayed. He wasn’t around as he didn’t go to my school, so I only had her to target, to lose my venom at. While I wasn’t mean or nasty, neither was I understanding or forgiving. I glared, refused to talk to her, the whole passive aggressive approach.

Apparently I must have upset her a bit, because I got a call from my ex not too long after they started dating and he was asking me to be nice. What was my reaction? I honestly can’t tell you. The details now long lost to the haze of time. Only the feelings remain. Did I laugh? Did I cry? Did I try to deny it? Probably any and all.

And who hasn’t been on the losing end of a relationship? So I could completely understand how Kate’s world had unraveled so quickly as she sat through her break up in Written in the Stars by Carly Syms. At least she had a break up, some sense of closure.

For me, there was no such closure. Our relationship was a bit ambiguous. I’m not sure what I ever really meant to him, but he was the world to me. He just stopped writing. We didn’t get to talk on the phone all that often, but I lived for his letters. He came to visit me at home right after Christmas and it seemed to me that he was back, but then at New Year’s, he brought her to the annual New Year’s Eve party me and my friends threw every year and I realized he really was gone.

Valentine’s Day was a joke. Of course, I had to endure her excitement over what he had sent her for Valentine’s Day. He even came up for a weekend and as she lived right next door, I had to make myself scarce, so when an invitation came to go see a movie from one of my male classmates, I jumped at the offer. Me and my classmate started dating and I thought everything was great. I didn’t even recognize the relationship for the rebound that it was until the end of the summer.

Book Description (From Amazon):
"Isn’t that all we can hope for, anyway, to be happy when we crawl into bed every night and to wake up the same way every morning?"

17-year-old Kate isn’t happy. Her boyfriend just broke up with her and she doesn’t have a clue where to go next. When her Astrology-obsessed friend suggests Kate let her horoscope guide her through the break-up, Kate ends up in one sticky situation after another, all designed to help her get her boyfriend back, no matter what she might have to give up along the way. Have you ever wished you had someone to show you the way through the rough patches or is it better to let Fate take the reins?

My Review:
Kate gets dumped by her long- time boyfriend. He makes lame excuses for it, like she doesn’t have enough pizazz for him or that she never follows through on anything she starts. She’s confused, hurt, but she also lives in a fantasy land we like to call Denial.

Her best friend Anna is obsessed with her horoscope and reads it religiously every day, allowing her horoscope to dictate the actions she takes. Kate doesn’t hold any stock in it, but when she reads her horoscope the day Zach breaks up with her and it’s on point, she starts to become a believer.

Zach, while I have always loved the name (but not since He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Parise shafted the NJ Devils last summer), I have to say is kind of a big huge jerk. And that Kate wanted him back so badly just made me disgusted. (Seeing shades of myself? I don’t think I was quite that pathetic.) As loving as he seemed when they were in their relationship, he seems to take a great deal of pleasure in rattling her, often being cruel. And I thought, why did she love him so much in the first place? He’s nasty, condescending, insulting, but then he tries to act caring, like they broke up but they should be able to be friends and he doesn’t understand why she is so angry with him.

The problem I have with Kate is that she clings to the horoscopes like a lifeline, like they are a text book to getting Zach back. She takes them literally, even though Anna tries to tell her that they are not meant to be taken at face value, but as a guide. For instance, the first day of her Get-Zach-Back attack, her horoscope tells her to do something for herself; go to the gym, have a luxurious latte. So she goes to the gym with Anna and later follows it up with a fancy coffee beverage which she doesn’t enjoy, but forces down because that's what her horoscope told her to do. Not only does she take it literally, she interprets all her daily horoscopes as validation or proof that she will get Zach back. See? Denial.

On her first day at the gym, she is struggling with some of the equipment when she is addressed by one of the trainers. He can see she is struggling and offers to assist her. She tells him she has to get rid of the poof in her stomach so she can get Zach back. Idiot. You don’t say something like that to a hot guy you just met who’s trying to help you. He tells her he hopes she comes back, but Anna sees them talking and asks Kate if she can go for him.

This is a story of one girl’s heartbreak and what she goes through in trying to overcome it and assert herself, to be her own person and be able to stand on her own.

I could really identify with Kate. Everything Kate felt, I have felt, so I could understand how miserable she felt, how lost. There has to come a point though, that, while you may not be able to get over the break up yet, you can at least accept the fact that he really just doesn’t want you back. Kate wanted to fix herself so he would come back to her instead of understanding the problem was with him. She is pathetic in her inability to let go, trying to talk to him about the break up. Even when he tells her that he will never want her back, she hears the words, but can’t comprehend them, assuring him and herself that they will get back together.  She won't even tell her family because it would be weird when they do get back together.  Denial ain't on the map, sweetie.

As miserable, sad and pathetic as she was, I felt hopeful that she would make the right choices, for the right reasons, and not cling to a guy who obviously didn’t want her. I wanted her to succeed, to stand on her own and assert herself. I wanted her to find some modicum of happiness. I wanted to slap her and tell her to get over it. I wanted to slap Zach and tell him to get over himself. I felt for Kate, sad even, but I think it was because her character struck a chord in me, as I believe it would for anyone who’s been cut loose from a relationship. Did I finally get my happy ending? Years later and I know I’m better off, a lot of mistakes along the way. Does Kate move on and eventually find happiness? That would be a tell and I’m not telling.