For What It's Worth

Monday, May 20, 2019

My Monday Musings

I have an actual musing for My Monday Musing this week!

I’m also going to link up with 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight as a Discussion Dabbler with 1-10 posts(sign-ups are still open and the challenge runs through December 31st & did I mention there are prizes??)

I have a couple of topics in mind (but already forgot one 😜 so we’ll see).

Discussion numero uno….

Does reading YA make you a better/more empathetic parent?

I read a few YA books last week that had mothers that were really hard on their daughters.

In The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – Xiomara’s mother uses her religion to shame her physically blossoming daughter.

In There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Moon, Sweetie's mom constantly criticizes Sweetie’s weight – outright telling her she’s not good enough for the boy who wants to date her, making her cover her body, commenting on her choices of food, despite Sweetie being confident, healthy and happy.

Both of these books broke my heart a little each time the mother would make another dig at their daughter and I thought these were great books for teens. What I really wished for though, was for parents to read them so they understand that even well meaning comments - coming from a parent - can hurt in a way that hurts so much more than from a stranger. And they also showed parents realizing the pain they were causing and being willing to try a new way of communicating.

Now, I’m not a parent, but I was a troubled teen, and I think that’s why I connect so much to teens in YA who feel like outcasts or disconnected. I remember that feeling so well and almost always see their side of things more than I relate to the parent in most books. It just hurts me to read when a parent hurts their child. Especially when it's out of love. And I think reading YA could add a new perspective - and for teens - maybe see where their parents are coming from. They aren't perfect either and it's usually out of a need to protect the child from life. Even if misguided.

*Note - I'm not talking about physical abuse here. More a judgy, controlling type of parent who thinks they're helping by *being honest* and *preparing kids for reality*.

So many adults/parents read YA now and it got me wondering if you think that reading YA makes you a better parent?

I have a lot of non-YA reading parent friends that are struggling with their teens and behave the way these book parents above did – maybe not to that extreme – but not understanding that teens do dumb things – even if you raised them with your values. So many of the things that come up aren't even on their radar. Whereas most of us have been reading YA for years - probably long before you became parents and have been exposed to all kinds of subject matter.

As we get further away from our own teenage years, we tend to expect teens to behave and act perfectly, not understanding that a.) they don’t have the hindsight we do and b.) we adults don’t exactly make great choices all the time either. lol

Of course, I understand that that you all are parents and you have to have rules, boundaries and discipline but do you think reading YA makes you understand where your kids are coming from better? Or help you know how to NOT react?

Reading, in general, has open my eyes to other experiences, especially of marginalized people, and has drastically changed my opinions and the way I interact with people and helped me empathize more.

I think this older generation is unique in our consumption of teen entertainment and I was curious reading YA has had the same effect for you – especially as it pertains to parenting.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Friday 5!

I'm going to use my 52 Lists Project prompt again for this Friday 5


This pretty much sums up my essentials lol

But for a more formal list – here we go!


Iced Coffee

I have to have my iced coffee every single day. Rain. Shine. When it’s cold. When it’s hot.
I mix my own at home using SToK Cold Brew brand – 3/4 black with 1/4 mocha and a touch of cream.



I absolutely need animals in my life – especially Fonzi & Figgy. They brighten my every day.






I had a huge butterfly garden in Florida and I knew I loved plants but when I moved to WA with only a small patio – I realized how much I need plants.

I felt totally out of sorts and depressed until I started filling my patio with plants and going to all the spring garden festivals. Plants completely relax me in a way that nothing else does.



Another duh – I need food to survive but I LOVE discovering new restaurants and foods to try. I’m not that into cooking but I’m definitely into eating. lol

Honorable mention – Kevin hahahaha! Poor Kevin.

Take action question: Are your essentials sentimental or practical? Take some time week to reflect on how your essentials make you who you are.

Food is my only practical essential. But not really - because the way I use it in my life is more sentimental.

Not to be all *Marie Kondo bandwagon-ish* by my essentials are things that spark joy. They're in my life because they help ground me, make me happy and get me through the rough times.

What are your essentials?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky. ~

Source: e-arc provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Review: I don’t always love Christina Lauren books. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was on my 2018 favorites list, while My Favorite Half-Night Stand, well…will not be on 2019’s list.

The Unhoneymooners is definitely more Josh & Hazel than Half-Night Stand. Both in my love for it and in tone.

It has the fun, slightly over-the-top rom-com vibe, sweet, swoony characters who have wonderful chemistry and crackling banter.

Olive is the bridesmaid (for her twin sister Amy)  and Ethan is the best man (for his brother Dane) at their siblings wedding. During the reception, all the guests get food poisoning, except for those two - thanks to allergies and a buffet phobia. Amy won an all expense paid honeymoon to Hawaii and doesn’t want to see it go to waste and insist that her sister go in her place.

Olive is sure that she has the worst luck ever (she does!) and it’s only proven when her arch enemy, Ethan, is given the other ticket to join her on the vacation. They figure they’ll just go their separate ways once they get there.

In true rom-com fashion, they run into her new boss and his wife and have to play a real married couple to fool them and then it snowballs - first with Ethan’s ex, who also pops up at the resort and then with the staff - and they have to keep up the ruse.

Everything about this “un”honeymoon is hilarious and the way they start to fall for each other and start to see each other in a different light is wonderful.

But, there has to be an obstacle, and they get a doozy once they get back. I saw it coming right from the start– and I’m going to stay vague about it here – but I liked it. It wasn’t your obvious – back to reality and back to hating each other plot.  The conflict went beyond just Olive and Ethan - testing several relationships. I was infuriated by a lot of the characters actions (even though I understood where they were coming from and how difficult their situations were). Poor Olive is all I’m going to say.

The conflict here was not easy to resolve and it’s one that will be present forever if they stay together – which leads me to my few gripes about this one.

SPOILER -> I didn’t think Ethan groveled near enough. It was a good public apology but I felt like what happened demanded more that just a silly over the top rom-com gesture. It was good but I would have liked to also see them have a serious discussion about Dane and how they would move forward with him still in the picture. And the epilogue – it was sweet and a solid HEA, but from Ethan’s pov, and for some reason his voice was dull to me. And it felt like…here’s a list of all the things that happened that provethis an HEA. END SPOILER
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My complaints are SUPER mild and did not ruin my love for this book at all.