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Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Independence!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

I am. (This is the crazy plant in my garden in CT. Every year it gets bigger and crazier and more tropical. But no complaints from me; I love it.)

What a whirlwind! Saturday we went to the wedding of some very close friends in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This is the dress I tried to get. The one I actually wore was similar, but looser. Also, I smiled while wearing mine.
My sons walked the bride down the aisle; the service was completely in Polish;and the day was just perfect in every way. We had spent all morning transforming our apartment into a honeymoon suite for the lovely couple to stay in this weekend -- I hope it was terrific for them, and that the Hershey's kisses I scattered all over the bed didn't melt during the day...
Then yesterday we went to Shakespeare & Co in Lenox, MA, for a reading of the Declaration of Independence (my boys got to read a bit!) and hanging out listening to music, drinking tall cool drinks, and then, at night of course, the traditional viewing of the fireworks (not actual fireworks, though. Instead a production of Richard III. Which was great.)

Today we canoed around the lake here in CT. Mmmm, heaven.

And, my favorite soldier, Zack J, got promoted to Sergeant on Friday! Hu-ah!!!!

Gonna chill for now, but first, two BRILLIANT-related things:

AS PROMISED -- I took the Avery quiz, and here is my result: I am most like... Allison!

Have you taken it yet? I highly recommend it. I was SO surprised to come out most like her, even though in some ways I guess it makes sense... Tell me your results in the comments below! The link is right there in the post below this.

Also -- just got word of a new review for BRILLIANT, this one from Bookchic! I met the great and hugely dedicated guy behind this site at BEA. Here's the link:

And the review is below.
What are you doing to celebrate Independence Day?

Rachel Vail

Brilliant by Rachel Vail
"Everything is going to be fine . . . .

Quinn Avery can handle change. It's just paint, right? Bright, blinding white paint covering her once dazzling red bedroom walls. Quinn knows she shouldn't be angry at her mom—she's doing what she must to sell the house—but still, Quinn is beyond mad, and she doesn't know what to do about it.

Until now, Quinn was doing a pretty good job at pretending to be her old self—calm and brilliant Avery daughter, responsible big sister to Allison and Phoebe, piano virtuoso, girl who makes everyone proud—but without the sanctuary of her room, a new, wild Quinn is emerging. Lying, sneaking out, partying, Quinn is practically asking to get caught. When Quinn adds kissing the wrong boys—including her sister's boyfriend and her own piano teacher—to her list of crimes, has she gone too far to save herself?"- summary from Amazon

I love how Rachel Vail did this trilogy; you get the same situation with different events in each book as it's told from each sister. There's the same family situation told over several months, I think. The timeline was a bit confusing for me as I thought it was going to be the same period of time told through each sister's perspective.

But aside from that, it's interesting to see how each sister views the other two, then to read how the outer appearance is different from the inner. In this one, Quinn is seen as the perfect oldest sister but reading from her point of view, you see that she's way more than that and wants to break out of the mold. It sounds cliche, but Vail makes it more complex and realistic. To me, it's just fantastic how she crafts each character, especially the sisters.

The book flew by for me because it was so interesting. The prose was full of humor, romance, reflective moments, and heated arguments. This trilogy is wonderful for those who love realistic fiction, which can be a bit hard to find these days.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. Some of us posted in the entry called "Avery Girl Quiz" but I'm reposting Just in Case (and I WAS originally going to make a pun out of that but thought better of it last minute :)

    "Tres interesting! I got a score of 25 which, apparently makes me:

    'Rebel Without a Cause. You're independent and have a restless spirit that keeps you on the move. You speak your mind, you're a great friend, and you're loyal to your friends and family. You feel things deeply, which can make you a little vulnerable so you have a tendency to put up a wall between yourself and others to keep from getting hurt. You have incredible style and are fearless when it comes to changing up your look or making a bold fashion statement. You're coming into your own and, without even realizing it, you radiate confidence: That makes you truly gorgeous.

    You are most like Allison Avery, the middle sister. Tired of being the 'interesting-looking' sister, Allison sells her cell phone to the devil in exchange for beauty. Suddenly, her crush is pining for her, she's chosen as finalist in a teen modeling contest, and she has a new best friend. Does everyone want her for who she is or for how she looks?'

    Although I never thought of myself as the type of gal who had friends who lurved her looks, it makes me laugh at how accurately pinned the explanation of "me" is. Or, at least, how accurate I think it is. lol! That was one of the funnest quiz I've taken! I've got to get on the Avery girl bandwagon.

    Can't wait for you to reveal your Avery-girlness!

    ~Scilla Fredericks"

    That was a pretty amazing review! But I have to ask, do authors find it a bit perturbing when people make comments like "I found the timeline confusing" or is that just us amateur authors who work really hard to make everything as reader friendly as possible without giving up our own vision? Hahahaha! Thanks for the Happy Independence Day! I'm glad you had a good one; a lot of us did too!

  2. Thanks so much for blogging about my review, and it was great to meet you at BEA!

    I'm also wondering what you thought of my timeline comment. It didn't really affect my reading that much because it's focused on Quinn and not the other two sisters. So I wasn't looking for where the other two books fit in and what scenes, if any, overlapped or whatever. But you put in clues that referred back to the other books so that helped to place me in the right time frame. I guess it was more confusing for me because I had it in my head that it was over the same time period and then to find that it wasn't was a bit jarring to me.

    I think I'm just making it worse, lol. I'll shut up now.

  3. I finally was able to do the quiz! (It didn't seem to work out when I tried before).

    As I suspected, I got 38 points, so, no surprise at all, I'm most like QUINN. And here's my description:

    34-42 points: High Achiever You're ambitious and driven to work hard to achieve your goals. But you're not all work and no play! You love spending time with your friends, whether you're heading out to a party or just staying in for a low-key girls' night. You're trustworthy and reliable, and your family and friends have come to depend on your wise judgment. You're the type to sacrifice your own wants for the greater good, but don't forget to do something for yourself once in a while. With your capabilities, there's nothing in your professional or personal life that you can’t achieve. A brilliant future is ahead of you.

    You are most like Quinn Avery, the eldest of the Avery girls. Quinn's always been on the straight and narrow, but her family's financial crisis threatens to push her off into uncharted territory. Saving money means no more piano lessons...and no more gorgeous piano teacher. Losing him hurts more than anything, and Quinn's willing to do just about anything to keep him in her life.

    I think it's basically right about everything. Except that I'm an only child and she's the eldest, but anyway.

    Laura (Spain).