Isn’t it Pretty to Think So?

Man, life sure gets in the way of having a blog.  I guess I was [slightly] better at keeping up with things when I was freelancing, but now I’m working in Cubicle Land and I find myself falling behind on everything that I actually want to be doing.  Such is the American Dream.

Anyway, this week is March’s Favorite Read week for Road Trip Wednesday

Since I’m currently reading WANDERLOVE, I can’t choose it–but have no fear!  I will be posting about it at the end of the week for Tracy Neithercott’s YA Book Club!

This month, it’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler.  In fact, I’ve been wanting to write a post about this book ever since I read it.  Sort of like a “Dear Ms. Ockler, Stop making me and all of my extraneous words look bad” type post.  Because that’s the thing about this book–there’s not a single misplaced word.  At least, not as far as I could see.  Every detail felt necessary, and every word/phrase was the exact right word/phrase.

Sarah Ockler is like the lovechild of John Green and Sarah Dessen.

The relationship between Anna and Matt was gorgeous and heartbreaking, and Ockler did an amazing job using the summer beach town setting to bring another dimension to the conflict and all of the emotional arcs.

This is great stuff if you’re a reader, but since I also like to write, I felt the same longing that I feel when I read Melinda Marchetta.  If people exist that can write things this perfectly, then how will I ever compete? 

Of course the solution is easy:  write better.  Which, incidentally, is not easy at all.  Sigh.   

So, what were your favorite reads this month?  Are there any writers that make you want to wallow in your own failings?

OK, I can’t end this blog on a dark note, can I?  It’s only Wednesday.  So I also want to add that last night I finally saw Midnight in Paris and it reminded me of how much I adore Hemingway.  Have any of you seen that movie?  

Ernest Hemingway: You liked my book?
Gil: Liked? I loved all of your work.
Ernest Hemingway: Yes. It was a good book because it was an honest book, and that’s what war does to men. And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud unless you die gracefully. And then it’s not only noble but brave.

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Rebecca B says:

    “Sarah Ockler is like the lovechild of John Green and Sarah Dessen.” Now I am running to the book store.

    I just got Midnight in Paris for my latest Netflix–can’t wait to watch it. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Haha, I hope I’m not misrepresenting the lovechild bit. She’s not as funny as Green, but she has his knack for choosing the perfect words at the best moments. So good.

  2. Mandy Aguilar says:

    “Sarah Ockler is like the lovechild of John Green and Sarah Dessen.”

    Why have I not read Sarah Ockler yet?!?!?!

    (ha ha! Just saw that Rebecca B pulled the same quote for her comment!)

    This sounds like a fantastic book, so it’s going on the TBR pile for sure.

    And to answer your question, yes, lots of writers make me feel like I’ll always be a failure. John Green and Melina Marchetta are in that category for sure. Well, and then there’s Markus Zusak… 🙂

  3. Elodie says:

    I have to say like Rebecca, I HAVE to read that book now 😀 I just started a book by Sarah Dessen and I’m loving it. So if she’s the lovechild of John Green and Sarah Dessen, it must be WOW 😀

    • Crystal says:

      It really took me by surprise how much I enjoyed this book. It didn’t have the same kind of humor as Green does, but like I replied to Rebecca, it’s all in Green’s magical way with words. He’s so amazing at choosing the exact right ones, and Ockler clearly has that gift as well.

  4. Gabrielle Prendergast says:

    Well I just bailed on FInnikin of the Rock, so I can’t say Melina Marchetta makes me feel inadequate right now. And LOOKING FOR ALASKA is really pissing me off. I nearly threw it across the room last night. WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion kind of made me want to give up this month. Every month its someone different.

    • Crystal says:

      Haven’t read FINNIKIN yet, so I don’t have any perspective there… but I can’t decide if your statement about WARM BODIES makes me want to read it or avoid it, haha…

  5. Colin Smith says:

    “Lovechild of John Green and Sarah Dessen” is high praise indeed. I’ve experienced that same feeling: you read a book and when you’ve finished you just collapse weeping in your arms saying “I’m no goooood!! I can’t wriiiiite!!!” But then we dry our eyes, take a deep breath, and learn from these masters of prose. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      “But then we dry our eyes, take a deep breath, and learn from these masters of prose”–this is a much more glass-half-full way of looking at it. I’ll have try to be more zen like this in the future 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, you do! This is the only think of Ockler’s I’ve read, but I really do want to read BITTERSWEET. I spend way too much on hardbacks, though, so I need to wait a little bit for that one to come down the paperback pipeline 🙂

  6. Sara Biren says:

    I loved Twenty Boy Summer. So heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. I think Sarah Ockler did a fantastic job of portraying this particular grief – on many levels.

    • Crystal says:

      Definitely. I loved how she showed the grief for not just Anna and Frankie, but also Frankie’s parents–and even Anna’s parents. All of their grief was different, and they handled it in their own ways that were totally true to character. Very well done.

  7. Brandi says:

    I saw, “Midnight in Paris.” In fact, I was in Paris a week after they filmed there. Loved the movie and it made me proud to be a writer. =)

    • Crystal says:

      That’s so awesome! I still haven’t been to Paris, because my husband refuses to go there. He says we can go anywhere in the world–just not France, lol.

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