Book Review: Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

For Kellie Brooks, decease family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, clinic her adopted overachieving sister, health her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.


But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

My Review:

I’m just going to say one thing to start off: I absolutely love the way Amy Spalding writes her novels. Maybe because she has a similar voice to me and I’m completely biased and all of that fun stuff. But I do. I absolutely love the way she writes. She writes casual, she tells, she doesn’t show and this is how I write. I love that it feels like I’m reading a journal from my  best friend. Its wonderful.

That being said, this story was incredibly fun and awesome to read. Its a family story. I love family stories. I have five brothers and sisters and I love them all so I absolutely family stories. This definitely is that. While there is the love story between Kellie and Oliver, the story really centers on the family. I love that Amy really knew the dynamics of a family, no matter how the family is broken down. I think that’s beautiful. So much of the story felt so incredibly familiar to me. While I have never had a sibling that was adopted or found their birth mother, I definitely have had siblings pull away, discover their own path, that sort of thing, so I felt so close to Kellie. When Sara starts to pull away, and feel close to her birth mother, and Kellie starts to miss her…that hurt my heart. It felt so incredibly familiar to me.

I also felt so close to Kellie because of her differences between herself and her siblings. As much as your parents tell you again and again and again, that they love you equally, sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a parent approves of one child more than the other. That’s the way Kellie feels with Sara and her father. Its the way I felt when I was younger and my brother got all of the attention. He was the sports star, and sports have always been SO huge in my family, and I was the geeky girl, with very little friends and my nose stuck in a book, and my fingers on the keyboard as I wrote. My brother was always the star, even though he is younger, and when he moved out and my whole family went into a frenzy, it was rough for awhile, so this part of the story felt so familiar to me.

Lastly, without spoiling the book, because I work so hard to not do that, I felt a connection with the relationship between Kellie and Oliver because it felt so real. I feel like so many relationships in books tend to be glamorized and that sort of thing but this one felt real, every bit of it and I think that’s why I enjoyed reading about it so much. It felt like a relationship that any one of us could have, and so it felt familiar and relatable and you sort of enjoy going on those roller coaster of emotions with Kellie.

In conclusion (I feel like I’m writing a really bad high school essay now…), I really love this book. I love the way Amy writes, I love that I feel like I’m curled up in bed, reading a note from my best friend and I love that she has a really good way of capturing emotions and feelings. She captures friendship and family and love so well and it all felt incredibly familiar which made for a very quick and a very fun read.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

LADA…and Me

As I’m sure a lot of you can relate to, link I spent a lot of my life and time in school being teased and being bullied. It’s hard being a nerd. And I’m talking a real nerd. Lately, there’s been this blow up of “I <3 Nerds!” and “OMG I’m so nerdy!” and all that. I’m talking, straight up nerd, when you’re doing stuff that most other kids just don’t get.

So yeah, I definitely spent most of my time just being WEIRD. I’m sure, the things I liked were popular: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pokemon, etc. But the extent to which I liked these things was a lot for people to handle. I’m a very intense person and when I find something that I like, I can be really intense. And a lot of people have a hard time understanding that. They can’t understand the serious LOVE I have for Harry Potter. No one can understand the sort of passion I feel for reading and the attachment I feel for fictional characters.

So I had a really hard time finding friends in school and outside of school. I followed my best friend for so much of my life and made friends through her. That kept me happy for awhile. I had good friends. They weren’t really MY friends, but I had good friends.

But as life happens, my best friend and I grew apart. In a seriously big way. And for the first time in my life, I felt truly and totally screwed. I had to make friends on my own and this wasn’t something I wasn’t used to. I spent a lot of years trying and failing, trying and failing to make friends. I met people I didn’t like, I met people that I did like. I met people who were really cool. But I just didn’t meet anyone who really clicked with me. I found a new best friend, as our boyfriends were friends, and I love this girl to death. She continues to be my best friend, no matter what. But I still needed to learn to make friends on my own, to branch out on my own.

And this is when I discovered the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army.

Its simple: its a group of 21 and over Harry Potter fans who get together and do seriously awesome things.

I first met them at Whimsic Alley when one of the members of the group, Melissa, who is a professor at a local university, did a preview of the Harry Potter Literature class that she was going to begin teaching. I was hooked. These were people who didn’t just see it as a book…it was so much more than that. I had to find out more.

The very first official meet-up I ever went to was the Intermagical Relations Quidditch Picnic. And yeah, I said Quidditch. It was a joint picnic between the LADA, the Auror Brigade, and the awesome people behind Harry Potter Day at DisneyLand. There were Potter themed games and food and you could learn to play Quidditch in preparation of an actual quidditch game. It was amazing. I had to go back for more. I was hooked, easily. These people were so welcoming and friendly and I had so much in common with all of them. I had never felt so much in my element.

That was almost a year ago. I’ve been a member of LADA for almost a year and I can honestly say that this group is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

One, the people. This group is all adults (there is drinking involved in these meet-ups though I, myself, do not personally drink) and we all love the same things: Harry Potter, obviously, Hunger Games, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, comics, cartoons, Game of Thrones, books, movies, video games and so much more. Every single time I am with these people, I never run out of things to talk about it. I can go from one conversation on one side of the room talking about a recent book we all read and then cross the room and talk to a different group of people about the most recent episode of a t.v. show. I’ve never met a group of people who just GET IT, they just get me. They’re funny and smart and they’re of every race, gender, religion (or not), philosophy, career, whatever. They are such a great example of diversity and yet we’re all bonded together by this.

Two, the amazing things we do. I’ve only been a member for a year and this group has been around for about four years. And yet despite that, I have already experienced a great amount of awesome times. Every month there is a book club meeting, where we read a book and get together to discuss it. And I think we all know that I LOVE talking about books.

But we’ve also done quidditch tournaments. We did a Hunger Games party where we were “reaped” into different districts, went and saw the movie, and then came back to the Capitol party to compete in the games. We had our very first, extremely successful Harry Potter Roller Skating Night. We had an Avengers de Mayo party, where we saw the Avengers and then partied and played games. I’ve met Tom Felton with these guys, we’ve had Harry Potter pub nights and Harry Potter pub crawls and Potter game nights. We’ve done beach days and we’ve celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday. We’ve done a wizard version of Iron Chef called Wizard Chef. We did a wizard version of a white elephant party called white hippogriff. We’ve done tattoo days and we hit all the cons. We’ve gone and seen geeky parody musicals. I can go on and on and on. I’ve never seen so much creativity and fun in a group of people before. Its the ultimate geek partying. There are a ton of pictures below to show the awesome things we’ve done.

We even have a Harry Potter Bowling Night coming up soon, as a part of So Cal Wizarding Weekend (more on that to come).

Just one day ago, I went to the most recent meetup, which was the second Wizard Chef. And after we held our cooking competition, which was SO MUCH FUN, we all kicked back, opened up a couple of beers and just talked. And while I was sitting there, I realized something, something super happy.

I have met an amazing group of friends and an amazing group of people. Not only are these people my friends because we have so much in common and we’re all nerds together, but they’re all such amazing people. They’re mothers, and fathers, and teachers, and writers, and filmmakers and artists, and they can sew and knit and they’re creative as hell. I look forward to each and every meet-up because I know I’m going to have a fun and unique and badass time and I’m going to do it all with the best friends that I could possibly have.

Intermagical Quidditch Picnic

The costume winners at our Hunger Games Capitol Party

Me meeting Tom Felton at a small convention we attended

My fellow members at our White Hippogriff party

Celebrating 100th Meetup at Harry Potter Game Night

The various super heroes of Avengers de Mayo

The first ever LADA Pub Crawl

A few members meeting Tom Felton <3

If you’re in Southern California, I definitely urge you to join. Its the best decision I ever made. And if you’re not in Southern California, then I encourage you to go out there, and find that group for you, no matter what your thing is. Meetup.com is a great place to start. Good hunting, everyone! We all deserve to find a place where we belong :D

Are you a member of LADA? Do you feel the same? Are you part of a group that you’ve had some awesome experiences with? As always, let me know in the comments.

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Making Changes, Making Moves

Now, pharmacy most of my blog posts are strictly nerd or fandom related, and usually I spend a good 500-1000 words being silly and crazy and talking about awesome fandom stuff.

Today’s blog post is going to be a little different, a little more personal and a lot more me.

 DON’T LEAVE! Hear me out:

I know it’s not nerd, but if you follow this blog, I hope that you have at least some attachment to me, whatanerdgirlsays. So i hope that you can hear me out and enjoy this post, even if its not what I usually write.

In the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a lot…most of it stress. I’ve been in a job that I absolutely hated, I was working 40 or more hours a week, I wasn’t seeing my friends or my family or my boyfriend, I had no time to write or read, my grades were falling and I was gaining weight like crazy. I was downright miserable.

But, I don’t know, one day, I just woke up and decided, enough was enough. I’m only twenty-four years old and now is the time to live life.

So, first, I started this blog. And I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly happy this blog makes me. It makes me happier than I’ve been in awhile. I love writing it, I LOVE hearing feedback from you guys. I’m seriously starting to think of creating whatanerdgirlsays stickers or buttons or bracelets or something because I am so insanely attached to this blog. Its something that I’ve seriously enjoyed doing because it’s so me. I love to write and I love all things nerd. So thank you for reading this blog and giving me a reason to keep writing it.

Secondly, after being miserable all summer, working an insane amount of hours and not being able to actually enjoy my summer, I quit my job. That’s right, I quit. I realized that in a few years, when I finally graduate college, I’m going to be working a 40+ hour week for the rest of my life…and until then, I need to worry less about work and more about me. So I’m done and I quit. I do not currently have a job, but I am looking (if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears) and I’m looking for something with less hours, so that I can pay my bills (which aren’t a lot) and I can still enjoy my life.

Then I decided it was time to live out my dreams.

Okay, that probably sounded pretty corny. It’s so true though!

Instead of focusing all my time and energy on a job that I hated, I’m focusing on the things that I want to focus on.

Like spending more time with my family and my friends and my boyfriend.

Like putting way more focus on school! I know that the biggest thing that is going to help me in life, with becoming a teacher, and even with becoming a writer, is to finish school and to finish my education and work has been holding me back from that for far too long.

Like finally coming to terms with who I am and what I look like. I’m a nerd, and I’ve found myself an awesome group of nerd friends and I’ve got a good family and a great boyfriend. And even though there are days when I look in the mirror and am unhappy with what I see, I have more and more days where I’m accepting how I look and I’m happy that I’m the way I am.

And doing what I love most: writing. And I’m doing two things with my writing. One is this blog. I want more time to devote to this blog.

My second thing with my writing is to finish my second novel. I’ve been working on it for about a year and a half and honestly, I’ve been stuck for ages. I haven’t had the time to sit there and think about my main characters and where I want them to go and what I want them to do. I haven’t had the time to write. And I want to focus on writing more than anything because it is my dream job.

And I want to get my first novel published. Another Chance for Summer was started when I was 19 and finished when I was about 21 or 22. Its currently published through Kindle Direct Publishing, and I’ve mostly gotten good responses from it. Hey, you can’t please everyone!

And of course, I’ve sent out about a million manuscripts and letters to different publishers. And of course, I’ve got a million no’s.

Though that’s extremely discouraging and disappointing, I’m trying my super very best not to let it get me down. I know that Meg Cabot was rejected a million times, I know that J.K. Rowling (all hail the Queen!) was shot down before little ol Bloomsbury took it on. I know that even the best have gotten rejected at times.

So, I’m taking matters into my own hands. I’m not going to sit around any longer and just wait for things to happen and wait for my dreams to come true.

I’m going out there and getting things done! I’v decided that I’m going to self-publish Another Chance For Summer. And it’s not cheap. So I’m looking to save some money and I’m starting a Kickstarter for the project to get YOUR help in making this possible. My project isn’t up and running quite yet but once it is, I’ll post about it!

So I’m making changes in my life and I’m finally doing what I want to do rather than what is expected of me. And I’m trying to live my life the way I want to live it: with the people I love and doing the things that I love. I’m so proud of myself for coming to these realizations and for making the moves to make my life better and to make my dreams come true!

But I can’t take all the credit for that. I have to throw a shout-out to my friend Tony, who runs his own website, facebook page and video blog on his own life changes. He tried to get onto the show, The Biggest Loser, made it so far and so close and just didn’t quite make it. But instead of letting it get him down, he’s been losing weight on his own and making his own changes, like quitting his job and getting a job that fits his dreams. His video blog is super fun to watch it and the moves he’s been making and the life that he’s urging himself to live is a serious inspiration to me and it shows me that you CAN do it, even when you think you can’t.

So I’m sorry for the super long post and I hope that you enjoyed getting to know me a bit more. I’ll have more information on my Kickstarter project to get Another Chance for Summer published in a few days, I hope, and, of course, I’ll share it will all of you lovely people. Thanks, as always, for reading and I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing back from you!

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So what do you guys think, huh? Whatanerdgirlsays stickers? Buttons? Bracelets? Any other ideas? Hmm…

Oh one last thing: DOCTOR WHO RETURNS SEPTEMBER FIRST ON BBC AND BBCAMERICA! OHMYROWLING SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!