Okay, I’m going to pontificate a bit on the High School Musical movie franchise and then reflect on the A to Z Challenge and then get into the books so scroll accordingly.
I feel like I had a bad day last week, but I can’t remember which day it was. Darn these days bleeding into each other and nothing on my calendar to make them stand out. Anyway, I rewatched all three High School Musical movies this weekend, and I am currently torn between which one is my fave. I think maybe the first two are tied for me? Three is definitely my least favorite, mostly because of the backdoor pilot nonsense that pulled focus from the main characters. That time could’ve been spent on, I don’t know, anything else related to being seniors and graduating from high school. I mean, maybe how Sharpay and Ryan felt about possibly splitting up? Plus, it had the worst songs. (If we go strictly by songs, then the first one is the clear winner. My favorite song from that movie can change on any given day. Plus the charm levels of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are off the charts. Okay, so obviously, the first one is my favorite. Why did I even pretend it was a competition?)
Also, there is SUCH a difference in Zac Efron’s performances after the first HSM when it’s actually his singing voice.
Okay, let’s get into the A to Z reflection.
I don’t actually have a lot to say this time. Using the theme worked well for me, and I actually liked focusing on pandemic survival strategies. It kept me grounded in the present and actually paying attention to what was happening with me from day to day. I only knew for sure what a couple of my topics would be (Xbox, white noise machine, teaching, Jeopardy). For some of them, I knew I wanted to write about them (Meg Cabot) but didn’t know what letter they would be. So, it was fun.
On the official blog’s reflection post, the author mentioned that it was the Year of Good Commenters, and I definitely fell down on this part. I was barely keeping up with writing my posts this year so didn’t manage to comment on any participant blogs–not even reciprocal comments and then not even when I had the blogs opened in a tab so I could make sure to do it. So, I was not a good commenter or even a terrible commenter. I was a no commenter.
Ah well. I did finish the challenge though, and even though it was a day or two late, I’ll take it. It is funny to put that picture after talking about how I didn’t comment, though. Hah.
I read two books!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The ending of this book DESTROYED ME in the best possible way.
Okay, so the thing about this book is that because it’s about a friend breakup told in two POVs and in two different orders (James’s POV moves backwards in time, starting after the breakup; Kat’s moves forward pre-break up), Spalding had to do two things to make this work:
1. Make you believe that these two actually were/are best friends
2. Help you see why they would no longer be friends
ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Oh, and she had to do both without making either girl a villain because mostly probably if you’re me, you just don’t want them to ever break up even though you already know that the breakup has happened.
So anyway, this worked for me. A lot. First of all, female friendship is my jam. Second of all, I just really love realistic YA lit that isn’t about teens trying to save the actual free world but just doing regular teen things and trying to live and survive in high school or deal with their families. Or both! All at once! I MISS READING BOOKS LIKE THIS. Regular teens doing regular things are so important! The mundane is important because FEELINGS are important. (Ugh, speaking of feelings, I obviously have a lot of strong feelings about this topic.)
I only got lost in the timeline once and that may have been because I set the book down for a bit as I dealt with *gestures around* all of this. Or it may have been the timeline. The point is I can’t be an accurate judge of why I got lost in the timeline.
Oh, I will also say that I put off reading this book for a while because I thought it was going to be sad, and I shouldn’t have been worried because it has a lot of Spalding’s trademark humor throughout. (I mean, yes, obviously, there are sad moments, but in general, it is not!)
Plus also, I related to both girls! Sometimes at the same time! I have had friends like Kat and I have been a friend like James but also I have been completely blindsided by a friendship breakup before.
Did I mention that the ending DESTROYED ME? Because it did. In a good way.
4.5 stars, rounding up
Okay, this is YA high fantasy, and it is not my genre at all. I switched between the audio and the ebook, and I think I would have finished it if I were able to make more headway on the audio version (i.e., driving places and listening). As it was, I just didn’t put in enough time so wasn’t able to finish it before the book club meeting and what I read didn’t interest me enough for me to actually finish now that the book club discussion is done.
I made it to pg. 108.
Stay safe out there, everyone.