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Whatnot – Week 11

When I started these “What Not” posts, I did so because my reading was spotty and you can’t manage a book blog effectively when you aren’t reading. I am reading like a machine now, but I’ve come to enjoy this mid-week post so I shall continue! Can’t believe I am eleven weeks into this.

Last weekend we drove to the coast. We loaded up the pup and her blanket and took off. My daughter wasn’t feeling it so she went to a coffee shop instead. We drove to Ventura so we could walk around the harbor. A lot of people skipped their masks that morning. What didn’t sit right with me is how they looked at ME wearing one. If it’s just you and your friend walking around the harbor then yeah, whatever but when you pass others or hit a crowd, you pull it up. No?  I do.

As we were walking on this clear, beautiful morning, a fog rolled in. You can see it inching its way into the harbor. It’s so beautiful there. After walking around a bit we picked up pizza and ate it in the car!

Ventura Harbor

Oddly enough, we have had our own foggy mornings these past couple of days. I like it. The pup does not. She must have sun or she creeps around the house scowling. I will wait for it to burn off before we go for our walk.

I am currently reading The Distant Dead. A math teacher shows up dead. He’s murdered actually but he’s fairly new to the town and people don’t know much about him so there’s a bit of mystery surrounding his death. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it when I started it but now I am totally into it. I should finish it soon and have the review up next week.

In other random news I am back to being uninspired by meal planning and food in general. I am a good cook but I just feel like it’s too much effort these days. I am happy with PB toast with a drizzle of honey or a nice slice of avocado toast sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning. My family doesn’t feel the same way though.

Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. Any plans? I think we had planned to pick up Chinese takeout but I just remembered that I think we still have youth group that night. Hmmm.

Review: Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet

Are We There Yet?
By Kathleen West
Berkley, 9780593098431, March 16, 2021, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Suburban moms and junior high drama. I shudder just remembering those days.

The Rest of It:

The transition from grade school to middle school is a big one. Some kids handle it better than others. Some parents, too. Alice feels pretty accomplished. She’s about to be a partner in the design firm she runs with her boss and her kids are both well-adjusted and happy. Her husband Patrick is very successful, although hardly ever home due to work and the mom group she hangs with all have similar interests. It’s a good life.

One day, one of those suburban moms hints that there might be something going on with Alice’s son, Teddy. Having absolutely no clue what she’s talking about, Alice finds herself defensive and guarded. So when the truth comes out about Teddy and what’s going on at school, Alice’s perfect little world quickly unravels.

West does an admirable job of depicting junior high life and what goes on with teens. All of the insecurity, the hormones raging, the anger that suddenly cannot be contained no matter what, and then the parents who poorly navigate those waters. This story also focuses on the danger of social media and how quickly a bad choice can turn into real harm if allowed to run its course.

Although I didn’t love any of these characters, I feel that the author did a stellar job of presenting the conflict and that these characters behaved very realistically to the challenges being presented to them. I remember my own challenges with my two and those teen years were/are rough. Plus, West touches on the busy-ness of working parents and how oblivious they can be to issues that are literally staring them right in the face.

Overall, I found this story to be pretty realistic in the telling and yes, I can see how even the best of parents can’t control the teen mind or body. They are like wild animals sometimes and definitely have opinions of their own. What would you do if you thought you did everything right and your kid still acted out in a horrible way? That is the question Alice faces over and over again.

I think any parent will be able to relate to this story and even if you don’t have kids of your own, you probably remember what it was like to hit the age of thirteen. I know I do.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.