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I reviewed a sweet little summer read over at BlogHer — Karen White’s The Beach Trees. Below is a snippet, but you can head over to the full post for the real scoop on the book!

Culture shock doesn’t always require a passport, proven in Karen White’s latest book, The Beach Trees. There’s no other way to describe Julie Holt’s initial reaction to everything she experiences on her first trip to the Gulf Coast, visiting the hurricane-ravaged landscape and heartbroken family her best friend, Monica left behind but described in detail, both with words and paintings, until her untimely death.

Julie, a lifelong New Englander living in New York, attempts to put tragedy — her sister’s childhood disappearance 17 years ago and her best friend’s recent death — in her rearview mirror as she drives south to River Song, the beach house Monica left her in Biloxi, armed only with the keys to the home, which was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and Monica’s 5-year-old boy, Beau. For the first time in her life, she has no plan, but, she soon learns that Biloxi, New Orleans, and Monica’s estranged family have plans for her.

(Seriously, go over and read the full review. Go on, now!)


I just bought tickets to see Harry Potter and the End of the Greatest Wizarding Saga of All Time EVER, Never to be Seen Again Part 1. Oh, I’m geeking out in such a big way. When the final book came out, of course, Jared and I preordered it, but only one copy. Fortunately, I got my greedy little hands on it first and read it — all eleventy-billion pages — in one sitting. Yes, I stayed up until 5 a.m. and was worthless for an entire weekend, and perhaps I then spent two hours searching all the Harry Potter fan sites for, god, I don’t know, more spells, more history, more anything because holy shit it’s over it can’t be over WHAT WILL I DO?, but it was totally worth it.

I’m not normally into fantasy stuff at all. I haven’t gotten into Twilight or any of the other vampire fiction, and while I enjoy movies like Star Wars, I’ve never had any inclination to, like, read the books (unlike some husbands I know).

Harry Potter is different. I’ve always loved to read, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had a series take my imagination to the places this series has taken it. I’m so excited for this movie (even though we all know it won’t even come close to the amazingness of the book), but I have a feeling that, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Jeez You Guys We All Know What Happens and How It Ends So Why Are We Lined Up at Midnight? Part 2 comes out, it’s going to be much more bittersweet.

(And no I’m not dressing up. I’m not even bringing a wand, though I just might sneak in a little of my own pumpkin beer. They just charge so much for it at the theater, you know?)

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