I’ve got half an hour between finishing a story and picking up my youngest from preschool, so I’ve decided to join the Fangirl Friday bandwagon. FF is hosted by Evil Eva at Nancy Drew is My Homegirl, but I came to it via those infuential peeps at YA Crush.
1. “Perfected By Girls” by Alfred C. Martino
reading devouring “The Fault in Our Stars” like every other YA reader this week, I decided to plunge into my review e-book of “Perfected By Girls.” I am not an athlete, but I find myself inexplicably drawn to stories about athletes (huge Olympics junkie here), so I wasn’t surprised at how much I enjoyed the story of Melinda Radford, the only girl on her high school’s wrestling team. My older brother also wrestled (quite well) in high school, so I had a particular fondness for the way Mel described her brother, the team’s co-captain. Wrestling takes discipline, and although I find the “making weight” part a bit disturbing (I remember my brother running in the Miami heat with what looked like a rubber suit on), Martino immerses us in the world of competitive high-school wrestling with such an authentic voice, I couldn’t help but root for Mel (and her sweaty teammates) as she fought her way to the mat. She’s endearingly flawed and isn’t sure how to handle being thrust into the limelight as some sort of feminist sports icon, but Mel is a great role model for girls who take sports just as seriously as their male counterparts. Thanks for the copy, Alfred!
2. “The Descendants”
Alexander Payne’s beautifully acted drama about a Hawaiian family dealing with some heavy issues (Mom is in a coma; Dad discovers she’s been having an affair; Dad takes teenage daughter — a recovering substance abuser– on a trip to find and confront the man who cuckolded him) is amazing, particularly thanks to George Clooney’s award-winning performance. It’s Clooney at his finest — free of vanity but never devoid of the charm and gravitas that makes him the Hollywood Star (yes, with a capital S) that he is.
Watch the trailer, below!
3. “Revenge” on ABC
I’ve been a big fan of Emily VanCamp since she starred in one of my favorite WB dramas, “Everwood” in the mid 2000s, so I’m delighted that she’s hit prime-time gold with this deliciously soapy twist on “The Count of Monte Cristo.” With Madeleine Stowe as a fabulously conniving Hamptons socialite and a trifecta of gorgeous guys playing Emily’s rich love interest, townie long-lost best friend, and the only guy who knows who she really is, this is one of the few freshman shows I’ve anointed with a Season’s Pass on my DVR!
4. Rest In Peace, Etta James
The soulful jazz singer will always remain close to my heart, because my husband and I danced our First Dance to “At Last.” Side note: we honestly didn’t realize it was such a popular First Dance choice; it was dear to our hearts because of how much we loved the soundtrack to “Pleasantville.” I was saddened to read about James’ passing this week. If you want to see her portrayed on screen, check out the underrated movie “Cadillac Records.” My second favorite song by James is, no surprise, “It’s a Man’s World,” but she could sing anything anywhere and it was divine.
Watch her sing it live!
5. My sister, who’s reading “Divergent.” This blog is a labor-of-love collaboration between my sister Diana and me, and a bunch of wonderful contributors. I can’t tell you how much it means to have an amazing sister who loves the same things you do. My sister texted me yesterday to say: “Divergent is so good i forgot to go to one of my classes while reading.” That’s the power of a good book; it draws you in so fully you forget everything else. Don’t worry, my sister eventually made up her time with the class, but isn’t that a fabulous recommendation of Veronica Roth’s epic debut?