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Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars: A Movie Going Experience

Disclaimer: While the movie was fantastic, this is not a review of The Fault in Our Stars, it is a re-accounting of the movie going experience. Proceed with caution, because there may be some spoilerish content. Also, my interpretation of this experience makes me feel really old.

As so many others, I went to see The Fault in Our Stars with my best friend on Friday. As a general rule, I don't usually attend movies on their opening night, but there was no way I was waiting to see this one. We bought our tickets online, went and had some lunch, then made our way to the movie theater. I honestly do not think I have ever seen so many teenage girls in one place. It was loud, it was giggly, they were tall (when the hell did teenage girls get so darn tall?), and I just kept thinking to myself "please let them all be seeing Maleficent". They were not. The theater was only about half full when we got in, so we were able to find suitable seats quite easily, and since we were early we got to observe teenagers in the wild. Let me set the scene for you  a little bit. Apart from Shanon and I, there ended up being only 5 other people in the theater who were over the age of 16 (I say 16 because I assume most of them drove themselves, what with the lack of adults in attendance). There was a middle aged woman handing out movie theater candy boxes with packs of tissues tied to them, to a large group of girls, I assumed she was probably one of their mothers. Of course, I never asked, so she could have just been some lady handing out candy to kids. Then there was a couple that sat a few seats down from me who looked to be in their early 20's, the lady didn't give them any candy or tissues. About five minutes before the lights went down, an elderly couple walked into the theater, I don't think they were expecting so many youngsters, either, but they braved the masses of tall, giggling girls and found some seats. Did I mention the fact that every single teen girl in this theater seemed to know every other teen girl? Well, it was the random shouting of names from across the theater, and the spastic waving that tipped me off. (Sidebar: when did so many young girls start wearing belly shirts?)

So the lights go down and we are treated to somewhere around an hours worth of previews. Some were must sees (If I Stay), others I found to look utterly ridiculous, but they definitely excited the masses (Ouija). Then the movie started, as did the squealing. Things were going okay, I was enjoying the film mostly uninterrupted, and I was starting to feel like it was all going to be okay. Okay. (See what I did there?) Anyway, I had been lulled into my false sense of security and then Hazel bumps into Gus. The theater errupts into teen girl screams. Gus stares at Hazel, squeals abound. Gus continues to stare at Hazel, more squealing. And so on and so forth. From this point forward, every time there was a favorite line from the book, we were treated to screams and squeals. Were teenage girls always this melodramatic? I honestly cannot remember.

Cut to Amsterdam. Gus's hotel room. Sex. The reaction to this scene might have been the most shocking to me, because I was under the apparently mistaken impression that teen girls in general, lead way more inappropriate social lives than I do. But the giggling that ensued when Hazel and Gus began undressing each other, just proved to me that the girls in that theater were probably not ready to have sex if they couldn't watch it without giggling like little girls. Of course, one of them refrained from giggling and instead shouted out "Side boob!". Maturity, folks.

After the sex, and the giggling, we get to the part of the story that we all were dreading. Nobody wants Gus to have this conversation with Hazel, but it's inevitable and we must endure. Some of us more quietly than others. Now, for me, while reading the book this is the part where the sad really started and it didn't let go until after I turned the last page. Turns out, that holds pretty true for the film, as well. Though, for my fellow moviegoers, it was much more devastating. Cue the shuddering sobs, the anguished wails, and the constant sniffling. As we got closer and closer to the end, it was as if these girls were all in competition with one another. The louder they sobbed and wailed, the more it meant they loved the characters on screen. There was a girl, in the row just in front of me, who was sobbing and rocking back and forth in her seat. With the orchestra of tears happening all around me, I was having a hard time not laughing my ass off. Don't get me wrong, I was also having feelings, they were silently streaming down my face. I can't imagine seeing this film and not having an emotional reaction, but I can also keep it in check. Maybe teenage hormones were to blame for all of the crazy happening around us. Maybe science is the reason. Either way, I was doing a pretty good job of having my feelings while not laughing at others forms of expression, but then something happened that started a chain of events that just could not be stopped.

Remember the girl who was rocking back and forth in her seat? Well, during a scene in which our characters are trying to enjoy the time they have left together, she latches on to her friends arm and shouts "I'm not ready. I'm not ready!". Immediately following this, the 20-something female to my right starts chuckling, which then makes it impossible for me to hold it in any longer, and I let out the loudest snort before collapsing into a pile of laughing my ass off. So I'm sitting there, simultaneously laughing and crying, which causes the girl to my right to start laughing harder. At this point, because it's not actually a funny part in the film, I think we have offended the mass of teenagers, but there was just no stopping us. I get myself in check, the girl to my right gets herself in check, and I finish watching the film with my feelings streaming down my cheeks, but also with a huge grin, because our laughing did not deter the crying competition all around us. In fact, I think we may have encouraged them. Either way, the movie ended as the book did. And we all left the theater with our hearts a little heavier and our eyes a little redder.

So that, my friends, is why The Fault in Our Stars may have been the most entertaining movie going experience I have ever had. And it only had some to do with the awesome movie I was seeing. I wonder, have any of you had similar experiences this weekend while seeing the film? I'd love to hear about them :0)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Books, Books, and more Books :0)

This weekend is all about books! I'll be spending the weekend hanging out with authors, bloggers, and readers in Daytona Beach at

This convention was a blast last year, and definitely one of the highlights of 2013, so I can't wait for all of the fun that's in store for us on the beach this year :0)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Accepting I have a problem.

I am having the hardest time giving up coffee. It's not like I plan to never have coffee again in my life, but I'd like to stop drinking so much of it, and I can't seem to shake it. I'm pretty sure I need a support group or something, because as it stands right now, it's Sarah: 0 and Coffee: all of the points. I have had some at least once every single day since I decided I was going to stop drinking it. That's kind of the opposite of what I was hoping to accomplish. And I'm well aware of the fact that it's all my own fault, because I don't have to drink any of it, but the problem is that I feel like I do have to. Is this what it's like to be addicted to something, because I certainly have a new appreciation these kinds of things. I love tea and have been drinking a lot of that, too, but it doesn't fill the same void. BLARG!

Okay, rant over.

Friday, January 17, 2014

To-do List

There are a few things (well, more than a few I'm sure, but these are the ones I could think of now) that I want to learn or do while I'm 30...

* learn to knit
* finish writing my novel
* learn japanese
* stop drinking coffee
* learn american sign language
* re-read all of my favorite series
* take up bike riding

and I'm sure the list will grow and grow! I can't wait :0)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Turning the big 3-0 and what that means for this little ol' blog...

Today is the first day on my adventure of being 30. Things are absolutely nothing like I expected them to be once I got here, but I guess that's the way life goes. Anyway, the point of this post is to give anyone who occasionally enjoys this here blog, or anyone who happens upon it randomly, a little insight into the direction it will be heading over the next year. I'm feeling a little down about turning thirty and so I thought I'd do something about it. Instead of being bummed and feeling old all year, I'm going to make this the year that I become my best self. I'd like to be healthier, happier, less cynical, and more adventurous. So I plan to spend the year trying new things and making the most out of the old ones. Along the way I'll be blogging, vlogging, sharing photos, and anything else I can come up with to share my goings on. This used to be a place solely about books and there will still be bookish things, because I will forever be a book lover, but I'm expanding my world and broadening my horizons. So if you want to follow along on my journey this year, welcome aboard, I'm glad to have you. I can't promise it will be constantly exciting or even a little bit funny, but it will definitely be something.

Here's to anyone and everyone embarking on a journey of their own, no matter what type of journey it may be!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler: Book Blitz and Giveaway!!

A toxic friendship takes a dangerous turn in this riveting novel from the author of Where It Began.

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother—whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma isn’t.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, a bash where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

This or That with Ann Redisch Stampler!

Regular or Diet?

Regular.  I do wish I liked diet, but my philosophy of food is that I only eat (or drink) junk that I like a lot.  And I like sugar.  And given that the only reason for guzzling a nutritionally bankrupt soda is taste…

 Don't forget to pick up your copy!

About Ann Stampler:Ann Stampler was the mild mannered author of literary picture books when she broke out, tore off her tasteful string of pearls, and started writing edgy, contemporary young adult novels set in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and writer’s-helper rescue dog – without whose compelling distraction she would have no doubt penned dozens of novels by now.

Social media links:
Twitter: @annstampler
The writing life blog:
Novel in the Oven: Really Bad Writing Advice (among other things):

Check out the first three chapters of AFTERPARTY by Ann Stampler:


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