12/28/2015

My Christmas

Our little fat Christmas tree in all its bad-camera-quality glory. His name is Octavio.
Can we all just sit back for a moment and talk about our Christmases? 
Do you mind? Thanks. Because I rather like the topic.

Mine was wonderful. I'd forgotten how awesome Christmasses can be. :-)
-We woke up early, and opened our stockings around the fire in the living room. 
- I dressed up in light-pink and dark-red.
-We sang Ding Dong Merrily on High and others. While there were candles burning, of course. They were red candles, of course.
-We went to Church and had a wonderful service with friends and candles and carols and God. 
-We had a big lunch with chicken instead of turkey (at least we kept it in the turkey-family.) 
-I was SO stuffed-to-the-brim that I almost didn't enjoy our pudding, which was ice-cream-with-caramel-and-toffee (the best, seriously.) 
-We cracked our Christmas crackers and read the silly jokes and put on our paper crowns. (Mine was green.)

An awkward attempt to make an elegant shot of me decked in fake-diamonds and fluffy Christmas-ness.

- We opened the presents under the tree and I got THIS amount of books. I also opened Emma's Christmas present and letter and got darn emotional.
- Everyone started reading their new books. (I've got a picture of all my family reading books on Christmas day. I've trained them well, haven't I?)
- We watched King Philip of Belgium's Christmas speech and Queen Elizabeth of England's Christmas Speech. Queen Elizabeth's was SO good - a lovely Christian message. (Watch it here, if you want to.)
- I organised my new books in my bookshelves. I have so little place left.
- We watched some of the Sound of Music. I mouthed all the words, because I really know that movie by heart - word by word.
- We ate dinner (although no-one was really hungry, lets be honest) and phoned my Grandparents in England and sang "We wish you a merry Christmas" for them.
- Of course we sang some more Christmas songs. Duh.
- And in the evening we played Pictionary and my team LOST which means my Christmas was ruined.


So. Now the books I got. There are MANY. THIRTEEN; I got thirteen books. I had not expected that. (I have to be honest though and tell you; some of these were early birthday presents. My grandparents put my Christmas present and my birthday present together.)

ZEE BOOKS (and dvd) I GOT (starting from the bottom of the picture):
1. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. This book was a "risk" to buy. I'd heard a lot about it; but I have no CLUE if I'll like it. I wanted to make one purchase like that, so I asked my grandparents to buy it. I hope it was worth the buy; because my copy is gorgeous and hardcover. Has any of you read it?
2. Against the tide by Elizabeth Camden. This is one of Hayden's favourite Christian Fiction books - and I generally like the same books as her - so I think I'll enjoy this one.
3. Therefore we are by my Granddad. This is a little thin book my granddad wrote about our family background. I've read it before, and I love learning about my good old ancestors.
4. Vienna Prelude by Thoene. Ashley likes this book a lot, and it's WW2 so obviously I want it for my OWN. But... I might not like it. So this one was KIND of a risk.
5. Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser. This one wasn't really a risk - because I've read 'The Sweetest Thing' by Elizabeth Musser and LOVED it, so I thought another Musser book would be a safe book to wish for.
6. Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh. My dear Eva made me buy this book. I decided I HAD to buy at least ONE Jack Cavanaugh book for Christmas; and I went with Dear Enemy. Can't wait to read it.
7. The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser. One of my favourite books ever, but I didn't own it, soooo. I gave this book to Emma last year for Christmas, and I've missed it so much. I can't wait to read about Perri and Dobbs again. Highly recommend this book! It's such a gorgeous book about friendship and God and love.
8. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. My best friend Emma loves this book to bits, so I wished for it and it's sequel, Hattie Ever After and I GOT THEM BOTH. So happy. I've started reading this, and it's adorable and so good. :-)
9. Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson. I'm SO in love with the cover. It's gorgeousness alore. Can't waitwaitwaittttt to read this!!!
10. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron. This one is a "risk", too, but I'm pretty sure I'll like it; because many of my Goodreads friends did + it's a Holocaust book, which means it must be amazing.
11. Code Name Verity by what's-her-name. This one has been rather highly rated by my Goodreads friends and it's WW2 fiction. So I think I'll be my cuppa.
12. Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay. I loved "Dear Mr Knightley" - it was charming and so literature-reference-y - and I knew I wanted to read more of Katherine Reay's books. So Lizzy and Jane is was then. Can't wait to read this one! I love the cover, too. That helps.
13. Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristrow. SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. Because it's by the same author as 'Celia Garth' (which I adored) and some people have told me it's even better, which... which... kind of blows my mind. :-P

And the dvd I received is Meet me at St Louis!!!! FINALLY I WILL WATCH IT. Emma gave it to me. I mean. Who else would. (Thanks again, Violet. You should've heard me squeak.)


I'm so blessed. Not only did I get the best presents and have a wonderful time; I also have the best family, amazing friends, a Church with lovely people, a bosom friend at the other side of the ocean, and the most amazing news of all time - God coming to us as a little baby.

I'm quite upset it's a whole year again till Christmas, to be honest. :-/

How was your Christmas?

12/26/2015

Happy Birthday, Miss Meg!

(Naomi's words are in pink, Emma's words are in blue.)


Once I was an Anonymous person. I stalked blogs quietly in my room in Belgium, and knew that I'd never really talk with them. Then I discovered Anonymous comments. So I tried. AND FREAKED OUT. So then I commented on those blogs, and discovered that I could actually be one of them - I played the games, and had my share in the conversation (to quote Lady Catherine de Bourgh.) I was completely fweeeeking out when Emma asked me to guest post (<3) and then, on a whim, I asked my parents if *I* could start a blog and BAM I was a blogger. But this post isn't about me.... 

 Today is the birthday of a very special girl & a dear friend. You may know her -- she likes to hang around the blogging world (I say 'hang' meaning it in the very best way :-)), leave kind comments and say things that make people smile. She's an imaginative soul, an inspiring personality, and a real lover of life. So who is this girl? Most of you know her as Miss Meg March. I know her by another name (which I don't need to tell you, mwahahaha). The fact is, she doesn't know that I know it's her birthday today, so this is meant to be a surprise. (Shhhhh. Don't tell her.) ;-P

This post is about my very dear Anonymous commenter, Miss Meg! A lovely friend, indeed. And t'is her birthday, so....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISS MEG!!!


 Sometimes you meet a person and immediately something 'clicks' inside you know you've found a kindred spirit. So it was when I first met Miss Meg. She started commenting here on The Blog back in the spring, and right away I knew we were going to be friends. (At first it may have had something to do with the fact that she watched Horatio Hornblower and seemed to understand my love for Archie Kennedy...but that's immaterial.) ;-) We started talking, and found we shared so many interests -- it was miraculous! I started to look forward to Miss Meg's comments every time I published a post, wondering "what will Miss Meg say about this?"

You are most certainly one of Us, even though you have no blog and no account, and all that. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dearrrr. I know what it's like to be an Anonymite, and I'm so happy that I know you. (Also, you watch Lark Rise, sooo. Obviously we are friends.)

Your comments always make me smile, because they shine out happiness and golden sparkles.  So thank you for that - for commenting on Every Single Post (how kind is that?) and for your love and your exclamation marks and your words. We 'precciate you. You're the kind of person I can't really imagine not smiling. :-) (And that says a whole bunch, you know, because, my imagination is rather large.)

You truly are a kindred spirit, Miss Meg! I'm grateful we can share fandoms and book recommendations. :-) Thank you for all your comments and all your enthusiasm -- it's contagious! I'm looking forward to getting to know you better, and I hope many of your wishes come true in your new year. (Not all of them, because that would leave you with nothing to wish for - but a lot of them. :-))

Happy Birthday, Miss Meg! I hope your fifteenth year proves to be the best yet. I hope you have an amazing day with a big Birthday cake as well as left over Christmas cake, and loads of fun and presents, and all that. Just, Happy, happy Birthday, and Thank you. :-)


Love,
Emma & Naomi

12/25/2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas!!!!!


Have a wonderful day with your family and friends; with your new stuff, and your good food. Most of all, let's be happy together; about Jesus coming to earth. That is the present above all presents and it just fills this day and season with endless joy.

(No, We wish you a merry Christmas, we don't all like figgy pudding. I much prefer chips and cake.)

12/19/2015

There's a story contest somewhere...

Regency Delight Story Contest

Hi dear people scattered around the world happening to read this post. Hello, and happy six-days-before-Christmas. I hope you've got your red and green outfits all ready, and I hope you're singing Christmas songs all day (because you should be.) (I sang 'I'm dreaming of a White Christmas' about five times while laying the table today. I sang it very passionately. Because I am dreaming of a White Christmas so there.) (Seriously, it's almost summer weather here. Ghastly business.)

ANYWAY.

This post is to say that my friend Melody is having a Story Contest. If more than eight people enter the prize is a 5$ Amazon giftcard. SO PLEASE. Go and enter. Because just think. If there are plenty of people there is this PRIZE. :-)

Also, it's good for your thinking skills and writing skills and all that.

AND IT'S FUN.

Melody has written down all the rules and all the information in this post. So buzz off now and go and read it and then go and write and then go and enter. Thanks. Goodbye.

12/18/2015

The best series in the world.


I read all the Anne books these last two weeks. I started with Anne of Green Gables, and now I've just finished Rilla of Ingleside and my eyes are still wet with tears. GAH. I never realised how much I loved the Anne books. Some of them are less good than others, but... in the whole... they're GOLD. They really are! I'm convinced they are the best series in the world. Ever.

I've survived SO many feels these past two weeks. I'm exhausted from shipping Anne and Gilbert (it's tough, let me tell ya) and I'm torn and heart-broken about my darling love Walter and that kiss he gave Una on the station. (Just no and yes and no. I can't even.)

Here are all my reviews of them. (If you follow me on Goodreads, you might have read them already.)


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Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS BOOK IS DIVINELY ROYALLY STUNNING AND GORGEOUS. (There. I daresay Ann Anne would approve of that.)

I have such good, good memories of this book. I remember my mum reading it to me when I was about eleven, in the evenings, and being completely enTRANCED at it. I loved it all, even the description of Rachel Lynde's garden flowers and Anne's yellow ugly orphan dress. I didn't want her to stop reading it, and my heart tore a little when it was time to go to bed. Then I remember recieving a copy with Megan Fellows on the cover for Christmas and being thrilled to the bone about it. I've read this book so many times- my copy is all bent and crumpled and old (and I've also read it several times on my kindle.)

Anyway, this book is beyond description to me. I love it so much. (Although I love 'Rilla of Ingleside' and 'The Blue Castle' even MORE. Is that possible.)

List of Random Things I Loved:
1. There aren't many books that start with a minor character. Anne of Green Gables (which starts with the delightfully blunt Rachel Lynde) taught me that this is such a clever idea, for a writer. It gives us immediate insight on the main characters from another person's view. (If that makes sense.)
2. Prince Edwards Island. One day I will visit you.
3. ANNE SHIRLEY. OMG. OMG. I love her so much. I do understand why she annoys some people, actually, because she does kind of talk a LOT (let's not even try to deny that.) But she's so DEAR and darling, and she means so well, and oh... I want to be her so badly sometimes.
4. Marilla. I used to find her REALLY annoying, but now I really love her. Oh, I cried when she cried in the end, when Anne went off. And Oh, how I laughed when she stopped one of Anne's endless monologues, with a, "For heaven's sake, hold your tongue." She can get away with that.
5. Matthew. THE DEAR MAN I NEED TO HUG HIM. I cried when he died, peoples - I can't help it, I'm just so emotionally invested in these characters. Matthew is the most adorable little peach of an old man ever and I understand why Lucy Maud Montgomery regretted killing him off so soon.
6. Diana is a really good bestie. Although she lacks imagination.
7. All the funny bits. Can I even start?!!! I mean, there's the raspberry cordial incident, the brooch affair, the haunted woods calamity, the jumping-on-a-great-aunt-story, the desperately hilarious apologies, the mouse in the cake, the slate-over-a-head epicness... and oh, ENDLESS. I love them all. Goodness, I want to have loads of kids just so I'll be able to read Anne to them.
8. Anne's puffed sleeved dress! Brown gloria (not light-blue, movie people. Hello.)
9. The elegant concerts, Mrs Spencer, all the school-mate gossip.
10. GIL. I mean, Gilbert Blythe. HE REALLY IS A NICE KIND OF BOY. I mean, if you get what I mean. I mean, he's not bad. You know. I wouldn't mind reading a little more about him. You know, if you forced me. I wouldn't say no.
11. I love everything Anne says. Her past and her stories and her romantic ideas thrill me to the very soul. (Look how she's intoxicated me.)
12. Her story about Geraldine and Cordelia though. I LOVE IT. :-D (Cordelia drowns with her lover who 'forgot he couldn't swim' and Geraldine ends in a lunatic asylum. Yes. I love that. :-))

13. I LOVE IT ALLL. This list is not complete.

What I don't like as much:
1. The last chapters. It's all a bit melancholy and Anne grows up and I HATE IT. *sulks*
2. Wait, is there a number two?

So yes. One of the best books ever.


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(View all my reviews) Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm torn between rating this four or five stars. On one hand, I loved it much better than I remembered, but on the other hand, I still don't adore it like some of Lucy Maud Montgomery's other books. So four stars it is. I'm going to be awful pessimistic today and start with 'what I didn't like's first. ( Don't ask me why. )

What I did not like:
1. Anne, I still love her ... but she's just not the SAME and it always breaks my heart a little. Of course, she's still ANNE - she does talk to herself and think up whimsical things. (She changes even MORE in the later books - she's still pretty Anne-ish in this one.) But still. She's sixteen in this book! Like, she's changed so much since when she was 14!
2. Diana's plumpness is mentioned too often. Like hello. I KNOW IT BY NOW.
3. The secondary characters don't have the same place in my heart like the secondary characters in Anne of Green Gables. I love Matthew far better than Mr Harrison, and Mrs Stacy or Mrs Allen far better than Mrs Lavendar or Charlotte the Fourth.
4. Not enough Gilbert. I mean it.

Now! What I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK. Because I DO looove this book. It's a darling and filled with sunbeams of delight.

1. Anne still has her whimsical fancies, thank GOODNESS. She still is pretty Anneish. As I said, I do love her a lot. And goodness, I relate to her soooo much in this book. She's sixteen-going-on-seventeen (mah age) and the things she does are just SOOO me.
2. THE COW INCIDENT. Nope. I'm not laughing.
3. GILBERT BLYTHE. Um hello excuse me while I go and swoon and scream over how badly I ship the two of them.
4. THAT SHIRBERT SCENE. WHERE ANNE BLUSHES FOR A MINI-SECOND AND GIL SEES IT. Um, excuse me while I ship these two for 3 hours.
5. Davy Keith is indescribably naughty (I would hate him in real life - he's worse than my brothers, gosh (view spoiler)) but Davy is still kind of an adorable peach. And he's HILARIOUS.
6. Davy: "Preserves is a holy way to say jam." Anne, trying not to laugh: "I have to quickly drink some water."
7. Paul. Pauuuuuuuuul. I adore and love this little boy. The WAY Montgomery described him - gawsh, it's really the prettiest description of a person ever in literature. "He had the most beautiful little face she had ever seen in a child . . . features of exquisite delicacy and refinement, framed in a halo of chestnut curls. His mouth was delicious, being full without pouting, the crimson lips just softly touching and curving into finely finished little corners that narrowly escaped being dimpled." Excuse me, but that's an impeccable description. So yes, I love Paul. Everything he says and does, even if it's super sentimental, I don't care. (Of course, boys like that don't exist. They just don't. But for once I don't care about that; I love Paul.)
8. All the letters from the pupils. #bestever.
9. Goodness, can you imagine being a teacher at the age of SIXTEEN?!!!! I can. Sounds pretty daunting to me. (I want to be a teacher though, so I love Anne for being one. Told you me and Anne are kindred spirits.)

I LOVE THIS BOOK. :-)


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(View all my reviews) Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3)Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

How did I ever rate this book less than five stars???!!!!! It was brilliant. No, more than that. It was captivating, thrilling, and so emotional. I don't know why I got so emotional while reading this. I almost yelled out loud, and I cried about five times. GAH. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. Where has my love for it been all my life?!!! Why have I not read this 20 times yet?!!!! I loved it to bits. Definitely a new all-time-favourite.

I loved it, okay?!!!!

What made me cry:
1. When Ruby Gillis died. No seriously. I was a wreck. I mean.... her and Anne's last conversation... it broke my heart . Ruby... oh Ruby. OH RUBY. And her unfinished embroidery work. AND HOW MONTGOMERY REVEALED HER ILLNESS TO ME. I cried so much. And I don't even love Ruby that especially much.
2. Okay... when was the second time I cried? Oh yes, Gilbert's first proposal. BECAUSE. BECAUSE. SHE SHOULD HAVE SAID YES SO BADLY. Gahh. *shakes fist at Ann.* (I wrote her name without an E deliberately. To tease her.)
3. Then I cried when Anne read her parent's letters. (Chances are high that I was crying at the song I was listening to at the moment. Carrie Underwood's 'Temporary Home' makes me cry.)
4. AND THEN THE END. I BAWLED.

Now. Zee list of things I LOVED:

1. Phill!!!! Phillipa Gordon was awesome. She's funny + honest + sweet + admits her faults. Reminds me of Anne; but then without all the whimsies and romantical thinking.
2. Anne is amazing too though. I love her completely, despite the fact that she's not thinking properly about Gilbert, and despite the fact that... no, she is still the old Anne. I love her sooo much. I love her nose; her everything. :-)
3. Davy is hilarious. I hate and love him at the same time.
4. The Alec and Alonzo thing is hilarious too. JUST SNORT.
5. GILBERT BLYTHE. I actually never fell in love with Gilbert Blythe - I liked him and all that, but I never had super big feelings for him. BUT THIS TIME. It changed, let me tell ya. I loved Gilbert sooooo much! HIS EYES. AND HOW HE LOOKS AT ANNE. AND HOW HE VISITS HER EVERY EVENING. AND HOW HE SENDS HER FLOWERS AND GETS THE INSIDE JOKES GOING. I fangirled ridiculously hard.
6. I shipped Gil and Anne SO hard. I'm exhausted. I seriously talked in fury against my kindle. "GET MARRIED. JUST GET MARRIED. ANNE STOP ANNNNNNNNNNE." I'm not kidding. I really did.
7. I was cheering at Miss Lavendar (aloud) when she said this:
"Because you were made and meant for each other, Anne—that is why. You needn't toss that young head of yours. It's a fact."
YEAH. SAY THAT MISS LAVENDAR.
8. THE ENDING.
I.... I... I just can't. It was beautiful. And I cried. The end.

List of things I didn't like:

1. Priscilla and Phillipa's names... I ALWAYS get them mixed up!!!! Annoys meh.
2. Nothing else, I believe. Some bits were a teeeeeeny bit boring; but all in all I loved this a ridiculous amount.

On the proposals:

I didn't necessarily NOT like this - I just thought it was slightly over-the-top. Anne got *counts* five proposals!!!! But since thinking about it properly, I think it's okay, actually. Lucy Maud Montgomery got six proposals, so I suppose she considered having loads of proposals dead normal. Also, weren't proposals in that time a bit like 'do-you-want-to-go-on-a-date-with-me's now? I don't know.
Anyway... her proposals:
1. Jane's brother. That was a boring proposal. "Oh it's okay. He likes Nellie too." HAHA.
2. Gilbert's first proposal. IT BROKE MY HEART. SERIOUSLY. How could she say NOOOOOOOOO?!!! 
3. The worker-dude. "Can I hav yer?" *Lydia-snort*
4. Mr Harrison. I think he's creepy.
5. GIL AGAIN. AND YAYYY. NOW I CAN CRY HAPPY TEARS.


It was absurdly good. Read it.


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(View all my reviews) Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne of Green Gables, #4)Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So far, 'Anne of Windy Poplars' has to be my least favourite Anne book. This might change, because I did like it. Some bits I really liked. Some bits I found so boring I found myself taking a nap.

What I liked:
1. Windy Poplars. It sounds like such a beautiful place to live!!! Little hidey-holes and secret reading places?!!!! Yes Please. I'd love to live in Windy Poplars. (And the name is scrumptious.) (Did you know that it was originally called 'Anne of Windy WILLOWS?' They asked Montgomery to change it because it sounded too much like 'the wind in the willows.' Whatever.)
2. The little love lines were adorable. "I'm afraid I'm scandalously in love with you, Gilbert."
3. I love how this book was like a scrapbook. Bits of letters here and there; bits of third-person stories.
4. I still love Anne. Although she's not the old one anymore, and she's far too perfect, she still gets delighted about romantic stuff and she still has those Anne-ish whimsies.

What I didn't like:
1. I didn't do much fangirling. I would have loved more Shirbert.
2. I would have also LOVED to read Gilbert's letters.
3. Some bits were SO boring. I napped sometimes.
4. Anne is far too perfect. It annoys me.


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(View all my reviews) Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5)Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm sitting here, wondering about the rating of this book. It's not a five-star read for me, definitely not. I thought it was too 'quiet' for an Anne book, and it bored me sometimes, not gonna lie. But I really loved the setting, and some of the new characters, and the darling twinkles of Anne and Gilbert's newly married life. Plus, I almost cried. So it's not a three-star read either. So a four-star read it is then. :-)

What I liked:
1. THE WEDDING PREPARATIONS. I am one of those girls who loves weddings and wedding Pinterest boards and all that kind of stuff. So obviously I loved reading all about my dear Anne 's wedding.
2. Gilbert's gaze when Anne walks down the aisle. Gahhhh. They're so cute and Gilbert is so good and patient and I love him. The love he has for her is dear and darling. I love them.
3. When he calls her 'my wife.' IT'S ADORABLE.
4. Like Anne, the 'beautiful blonde girl' fascinated me. Leslie. I like Leslie. She's like a quiet star in moonlight - fascinating and gorgeous and kind of sad. (Gosh, don't I sound poetical. Hush, I'm reading Montgomery.)
5. Miss Cornelia is a hoot.
6. I love that Diana calls her daughter Anne Cordelia. WE FANS KNOW WHY.
7. Sniff. T'was so sad when Joyce died, and so happy when Jem was born. I love Jem so much already.
8. "We haven't quarrelled yet," Gilbert teased. (LOVE it when he teases her.)

What I didn't like:
1. Quite a few bits were boring to me, and I don't really love Captain Jims, or whatever his name even was. Sorry. The bits with him were boring to me.
2. Like Anne (not Anne Shirley, haha) said in her review I think it's weird (plus so unromantic - I'm disappointed) that Anne and Gilbert have neighbours over on their very FIRST day/evening/night together in their house as a married couple. Come on.

I really liked it, but it wasn't my favourite.


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(View all my reviews) Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6)Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually liked this much better than I thought I would. I thought I would snooze 90% of the time, and roll my eyes at the 'perfect-family' that the Blythe family is. And... well. I did snooze sometimes. I'd say I snoozed 30% of the time; which isn't that much, y'know. And yes, I also rolled my eyes sometimes.

But! I just love these kids (I have a kind fascination + emotional, personal attachment to them) and it was actually pretty darn adorable. I really liked it.

What I liked:
1. All the kids, and their adventures. I am the biggest "Rilla of Ingleside" fan, ever, so reading about all my beloved characters in my favourite book ever as kids... it was just precious.
2. I loved all the little respective adventures the children had.
3. Walter's story about going to that horrible family and walking home in the night, thinking he mother had died... well, I felt so sorry for him, and almost cried. (Sorry, it's Walter. I love that boy to death and I cannot stand it when he's upset. IT'S UNFAIR.) It was beautifully written.
4. I loved Di's stories, about all her friendships going into shatters. Am I the only one who has to grin at the name "Diana Blythe." Because it makes me think What if Diana Barry married Gilbert. *shudder*
5. Nan is so gorgeous.
6. AND THEN WE HAVE LITTLE RILLA. She's so cute.
7. The first three chapters of the book were so adorable and OHMYGOODNESS Davy has a girl. He's grown so fast!

What I didn't like:
1. Anne is just WAY to perfect. Like, mothers like that do not exist. Sorry. Where is my whimsical Anne who always ends up in awkward situations?!!!
2. Some bits were dead boring.

All in all, I found this adorable. I wouldn't have liked it if I didn't love "Rilla of Ingleside" so much, though. I think only the real, big, Anne-fans can appreciate this book. :-)


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(View all my reviews) Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables, #7)Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well that was stinking adorable. I loved it.

What I like:
1. All the Blythe children, but especially WALTER. I just love Walter to bunches and bits. I love when he fights despite not wanting to. And how he always dreams and thinks up whimsical things. He makes whimsies manly, Walter does. He's so sweet and I love him.
2. Una. SHE'S SO SWEET. The end.
3. Jem. Jem is a teenager now and he's so handsome and tall. Gah, these children.
4. I loved the beginning of this book, and just GAH. It's Montgomery. All her words and stories and chapters are jewels.

What I didn't really like:
1. I personally thought there was a leetle too much about about the Merediths (I do love them) and not enough about the Blythes.
2. Mary Vance annoys me.

I know this review is super short. But I'll just say that I really like this book, and that these children... GAH. I love them. Forever.


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(View all my reviews) Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #8)Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book. THIS BOOK. Seriously, I have no words. I can only sit here and cry and sob like a baby. It was that good. Every reread makes me quiet in stunned awe; ever reread makes me tremble in the emotion, the beauty, the amazingness. This book is out-of-this-world amazing. I've decided it's my favourite novel.

(Um, this review contains a spoiler of a certain death. But you may want to be prepared for the death, so carry on reading.)

Soooooo.
1. I cried more than ten times. I'm sure of it.
2. I laughed (really laughed - not just the tsk-laugh) three times.
3. I REALLY cried. Like, tears dripped on my pyjama top. :,-(
4. AZRIOFZQEOZGUHUJFHUJIHDSUIDSGHUHUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right, so judged from those four points, I obviously OBVIOUSLY think this book is AMAZING AND UTTERLY COMPLETELY EMOTIONAL AND AMAZING AND HEART-MOVING.

Oh, this booooook. It's DEFINITELY one of my favouritest-of-favouritest books ever. It's definitely the book that gives me the most feels, it's MOST DEFINITELY the book that makes me cry the most. Goodness, I don't know WHAT this book DOES to me - but I just can.not. stop crying! Maybe it's because it's a re-read - I know what's going to happen to a certain favourite character of mine, and therefore in every paragraph where he's in I automatically start crying because I know that he's going to die. (I JUST LOVE HIM TOO MUCH I CAN'T BEAR IT.)

THIS BOOK. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

But let me make a list or two. :-) Sort out my many thoughts and feels in a more organised manner, you know. It must be done, even when in utter tears and states such as mine currently.

What I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK:
1. I own it. Hahahahahahahaha.
2. The fact that it gives me SO. MUCH. SORROW. That means it's amazing; right? That means it's written in the most amazing way ever, right? UGH. THIS BOOK MAKES ME CRY. I tell you again, TISSUES ARE NEEDED. (Seriously, the Amazon guys should add a tissue or two whenever they ship a copy of 'Rilla of Ingleside' somewhere. I might write a letter and tell them.)
3. Kenneth. He's so HAAAAAANDSOME. Plus, he's also pretty cool. AND I LOVE HIS SCAR IN THE END. I'm just in love with his scar. :-) And ohhh, it's so MEAN of Montgomery to stop the book so soon, just when Ken and Rilla are FINALLY reunited. I NEED ONE MORE CHAPTER. Please. I want to see them married. Ugh, Kenneth, you're adorable.
4. WALTER. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER CRIED MORE FOR A FICTIONAL CHARACTER. I'M MADLY IN LOVE WITH HIM. SERIOUSLY. I WISH I WASN'T SERIOUS. (Also, he's the fictional character I've devoted the most capital letters to, I think. Hah.) He's probably my favourite fictional character of all time and he's a hero and I love him to bits.
5. Una. I basically AM Una. We're in the same Walter-position, anyway. I feel SO sorry for her, because she has a sad and lonely ending. Oh, and her lovely whistful dark blue eyes! AND WHEN WALTER GIVES HER A 'COMRADE-Y KISS' AT THE RAILWAY. I bawwwled. (surprise, surprise.)
6. Jem and Faith. Basically love them.
7. The DANCE. And the mooonlight scenes.
8. AND AND AND KEN AND RILLA'S KISS. I've gotta admit I've reread that bit a shamefull amount of times. It's funny how Montgomery makes something SO romantic and adorable and swoony from such an unromantic setting. (Susan was standing in the same room, for Pete's sake. Haha.)
9. Susan was funny - I have to admit she's not my favourite character, though. But she's fun and the book wouldn't be the same without her.
10. The BABY. OH I LOVE JIMS. Enough said, maybe.
11. WALTERS LETTER. (Be warned. Capital letters. (I really am unashamed of using Caps Lock in my Goodreads reviews, aren't I?)) OH MY GOODNESS EOQfjzQGINDIFH¨DH. WALTERS LETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's the part where I cry the most. Just saying. Especially when Rilla then gives it to Una. (I can't tell you how much a cry at this point.) OH UNA. I WISH YOU AND WALTER COULD MARRY.
12. EVERYTHING.
13. Rilla. GAWSH. She annoys me a little in the beginning, but as the book progesses.... What a great girl. I can relate to her so much it kind of hurts. I love how she has flaws, and never is "perfect."
14. WALTER.
15. Jeeeeeem.
16. Dog Monday. DOG MONDAY. I am literally the least-doggiest person in the WORLD. But my goodness. My eyes are waterworks when Dog Monday and Jem are finally reunited. WATERWORKS. I tell ya.
17. SHIRLEY. I love that boy.
18. WALTER IS MY FAVOURITE THOUGH AND OF COURSE HE DIES.

*cries for three hours*

What I didn't like:
1. Rilla annoys me in the beginning of the book. Also, it makes me angry how unlovable she is towards dear little Jim in the beginning.
2. I find the first chapter, about the cats, dead boring. Soary.
3. Also the bits about politics and what-happens-in-the-war are boring. Really.
4. THERE IS NO MOVIE. (I might write a script and send it to BBC or something. No really. I am considering this very seriously. A Christmas holiday project?)

BUT PLEASE.

READ THIS BOOK.

IT'S AMAZING. And that's honestly, sincerely not an exaggeration. I cannot even tell you - this review does not do justice at all. (And it's kind of ruined my Christmas. I'm going to cry all week.)

View all my reviews


______________________________________________________________

There you go.

The Christmas proposal in Downton Abbey


It's time for the inkling exploriations! And for this month, it's obviously (OBVIOUSLY) Christmas-themed. (Click here for zee post of Heidi's)

"A Christmastide movie scene." 

There are PLENTY of those I love to bits, but the prize always has to go to Matthew Crawley's proposal to Mary Crawley. (Funny how they have the same last name.)  I mean, that SCENE. Can I even start on how priceless it is?!!! It's beyond gorgeous and romantic and snowy and Christmassy. Mary's red silky dress is beautiful, and Matthew's blue eyes are so HAPPY and twinkly... GAH. Best proposal ever in any movie or series history ever. I want a Christmassy proposal one day. (But I think I'll want to wear a coat.)


I LOVE THIS SCENE WAY TOO MUCH. (Everything about it. Matthew's adorable LOOK when Mary says she won't answer unless he kneels down and everything. I LOVE THESE TWO. (And their hug melts my heart. And of course everything looks like a shimmery, perfect Christmas card.)) Gah.

Please, tell me I'm not the only one who's seen that scene about 50 times.

A-very-important-PS: SEVEN MORE DAYS. Christmas, I love you.

12/15/2015

State Fair 1945 // Review

Eva, this post is for you. :-)

Several months ago, I was lying in my bed, feeling cranky. I can't quite remember what I had, but I wasn't feeling well, and I went to Youtube to find something for myself to watch - something that would cheer me up a bit. I chose 'State Fair' for several reasons.


1. I had heard of it quite a lot and it looked so charming. (I was already head-over-heels in love with the costumes before I watched it, of course.)
2. It looked liked something the rest of my family wouldn't really enjoy that much (so it would be okay for me to watch on my own, as they didn't really miss out on anything.)
3. It looked like something that would cheer me up.
4. It was on Youtube. (Ha.)

So I watched it. I, WOW, I loved it. It was that delightfully charming and that yearning-to-dive-in-kind-of-movie. I loved it disastrously much, and I wanted to be Marge Frake and wear her darling frothy frocks and go to a fair and meet my future husband there. I seriously lived in a dreamy haze for the next day(s) - I lived with my head in State Fair, wearing the clothes and buying lollies with a dignified gentleman. It's the kind of dream old-movie-style movie, with nothing heavy or teary about it - a movie to cheer you up, a movie to dive into, like a bag of coloured candy. *Sigh*


The Story is about a sweet little family - Stubborn-and-good-old-Pa, Practical-and-loving-Ma, Fun-and-dorky-brother Wayne, and dreamy-whimsical-beautiful-protagonist Marge - who live rather happily in a green-budded farm. The movie starts with them packing to go to the annual State Fair in town. It is obviously a big thing for the family. It seems to be a big thing for everyone - neighbours flock together and talk about that. Mr Frake starts betting about his pig to one of his neighbours, and Wayne phones his girlfriend to ask her if she'll come too.

How can you not like a movie with such an endearing family? :-)


Marge is in a relationship with some kind of weird guy who she obviously doesn't want anything to do with, and Wayne gets his share of disappointment when his girlfriend says she can't come. So both the siblings are rather glum-faced in the beginning. Marge, because she seems stuck with that weird guy and millions of rosier dreams (I have to admit, Marge is a bit whiny in the beginning - but she's adorably whiny, so it doesn't matter at all), and Wayne, because his girlfriend couldn't come. But glum-faced or not, they head off with their caravan to the State Fair, Pa's pig, Ma's alcohol-filled-stews, and all.


The brother and sister find their own way in the colourful, sprinkled-with-cosy-lights and little stalls of attractions, and meet their own new friends. Oh, my goodness, there are so many reasons why I want to DIVE in this movie. The balloons. The competitions. The music. The dances. The hats. The singing couples. The bets and tensions. The little stalls. The popcorn and the lolly sticks. The family, cosy, atmosphere. The colourful evenings, with all the lights. So safe and darling.


Marge meets her Mr Handsome when she tries one of those whizzing-screaming-trains. She clings to the stranger (but-not-stranger-for-long-ha-ha) next to her, only realising her embarrassment when the train comes to a stop. But the stranger happens to be the most dignified, gentlemanly guy ever, and they become good friends and meet up evening after evening, afternoon after afternoon, in the cosy bubbles of the State Fair. They go on Merry-go-rounds, buy red Lolly-pops, all together. They even steal a hug or too and sing 'It's a Great Night for Singing' in the Starlight together.

This couple must be the most handsome couple in cinema history. Jeanne Craine and Dana Andrews are so ridiculously perfect in their roles. A couple struck by moonlight and everything twinkly and beautiful. *Le sigh*


Wayne meets a red-headed, bright-eyed singer, and, not realising she's married, he forms a quick boyish crush on her. They also go through some enjoyable evenings together - dancing and singing some plain-fun songs. But the relationship ends promptly when Wayne realises she's a married woman, and in the end he's happily riding his old girlfriend in his car again. Wayne is the kind of easy, fun guy who gets along with life. I really love Wayne. :-)


As I said, this movie is just so DREAMY. It's just like Marge - dreamy, twinkly, gorgeous, romantic, sweet, kind. While I understand why some people wouldn't like it (because I don't think my siblings would be this crazy about the movie as I am - it's not really the kind of movie for middle-aged-boys who like a bit of action and who loathe romance, right?), I have to admit it has entranced my heart a little. I'm fond of this musical.


Ah yes, it's a musical. That means I must talk of the songs, right? This musical doesn't have as many songs as most musicals, but it is a very toe-tappy, music-filled movie nonetheless.

The songs are ridiculous fun. Some of them are more dreamy and wishful. The one Marge sings in the beginning - 'It Might as Well be Spring' - is a bit kind of whiny, but, don't worry, it's worth it, because she sings it in one of the prettiest bedrooms in cinema history and she sits on the windowsill in the most elegant manner ever possible during part of it. It's just visually stunning, this movie is.

My favourite is, easy, 'It's a Grand Night for Singing.' It's the theme song of the Musical, and no wonder. It's crazily swingy and joyful and impossible-not-to-smile. :-) I also love the silly song 'Isn't it Kinda Fun' - I don't really approve of the lyrics, but it's just SO MUCH FUN. :-D 'All I Owe' is also lovely.

JUST LOOK AT THEIR SMILES.
Now I have to talk about my main love for this movie - the Costumes. THE COSTUMES. They are to die for. Every piece. Especially Marge's wardrobe - especially Marge's wardrobe. AH. *Another big sigh, because hey, it's that kind of 'sigh' movie.*

Marge has one of my favourite movie-wardrobes EVER. If you know me and my millions-of-zillions-of-favourite-movie-costumes, you have to realise that this sets the standard high. Marge's wardrobe is to die for. She has the adorable crunchy look (yes, the delicious curly top does help finish off the look) - with beautiful girlish aprons, starry puffy sleeves, flowered bodices, and cherry-decorations. I LOVE EVERY COSTUME IN THIS MOVIE. There, I just said it.


This movie was made in 1945, so I like to think that girls my age watched it to celebrate the end of the War. What an excellent way to celebrate something, don't you think? :-)

Oh, one last thing: Eva is considering doing a State Fair week, everyone. Do comment and tell her that you're interested! :-)

Have you seen this musical?
As crazy about it as I? :-D

Why Mr Knightley is my favourite hero


Some of you may or may not know it, but Mr Knightley in the 2009 Emma version is my favourite literary hero. Not my favourite Jane Austen hero, my favourite literary hero. That means he ranks higher than Matthew Crawley, Mr Darcy or any other one. Mr Knightley is my idea of an ideal hero!
Why?
Mr Knightley is kind. He has such a good heart - he's always saying wise, kind things. He has his faults (after all, no-one but God is perfect, right?), but he's such a good, nice, kind man. Who can't like him? He's so sweet!
Mr Knightley is active. Some people have kind hearts and say nice things, but don't really act them out. But Mr Knightley does. He went to Harriet when she had no dancing partner. He stood up for Mrs Bates... he does things. He doesn't just sit around and say wise things.
Mr Knightley is witty. Kind, wise people? Nah. Boring. That might have been your reaction. But no, Mr Knightley is witty. He says funny things - has funny facial expressions. He makes me laugh. It is perfectly possible to be good, wise and witty. Mr Knightley shows that.
Mr Knightley likes children. I love it when Mr Knightley runs about with the children, throwing snowballs and lifting them on his shoulders. You can see he really enjoys it. That's another reason I like him.
Mr Knightley is a gentleman. He just is. The way he clothes. The way he addresses people. A perfect gentleman.
Mr Knightley argues well. Haha. I just had to stick that in somewhere. Because I love the way Mr Knightley argues... I kinda love it when he's angry - he does it so well.
Mr Knightley is romantic. Yes, on top of being kind, witty, wise and the perfect gentleman, Mr Knightley has a romantic side to him - which he shows when Emma is around. He has a very gentle way of dealing with ladies, and his romantic one-liner is one that everyone knows: "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."
Mr Knightley is gentle. We see him cross. We see him argue. We see him irritated. But we never, ever see him strike someone. He's far to gentle and nice for that.
Right, as I said, he does have his faults - but in the whole, I think he's definitely the nicest hero there is. He's the sort of man I'd like to marry one day. I'm sure you all agree. :-) I made this post for the honour of Heidi's Emma week. Do pop over and join the fun. If you haven't played the game yet... click right here and give it a try!

12/13/2015

“Tomorrow they may wrap fishes in it—but I was a star for ONE WHOLE MINUTE!!”

Guest post by Jessica Prescott and Rosie McCann

Ahem.  
Are you wondering what that title could possibly be referring to?  
We’ll tell you in just a minute.  But first, we have to give a big thank-you to our dear old pal, Naomi, for letting us write this guest post—
“About what?” you ask.  
*coughs*  Um, yeah—about that—
So . . .  
GUYS, WE SAW NEWSIES THIS WEEKEND.  

LIKE, THE ACTUAL BROADWAY SHOW.  LIVE.  IN THE THEATER.  NO KIDDING.  
AND IT WAS AWWWWWWWWESOME!!!!!!!!  
We want to tell you the whole story from beginning to end.  We’ll take turns.  (Yes, we are very polite and we know how to take turns.  Ahem.)  From now on, Jessica’s thoughts will be in blue (like so), and Rosie’s thoughts will be in red (like so).  
Let’s begin, shall we? So. One night I was talking in a languid manner about some book or other to Jessica, when she said ‘Wait.’ So I waited. Turns out, she’d heard one of our younger sisters mentioning that NEWSIES WAS COMING TO OUR THEATRE!!!! I promptly lost my head and proceeded to feverishly grab the laptop next to me and google it. AND IT WAS TRUE!! I started screaming and gasping, “It’s true! They’re really coming! Jessica, look!!!” She came back into the room and was immediately greeted by more of my unintelligible gasping.
“Relax,” she said.
Then, “How much is it?” she said.  
Yep, I’m afraid I really said that.  ;)  
RELAX?? Sorry, but that was not humanly possible at that moment. I kept screaming. I couldn’t help it, though I sure our family thought I’d gone loony! I mean to say. Relax? :P Nope.  
Soooooo. Despite my fumbling, I was able to find out pretty quick that the lowest priced tickets were $35 each. What? But we couldn’t back down now. We decided to ask our Dad to go with us. And so – Jessica went intrepidly downstairs to Open Negotiations. Just kidding.
So, I went and told Mom and Dad about it in what Rosie calls a “thoroughly reasonable and self-contained manner.”  (Thank you for the good press, m’dear.  Much appreciated.)  Long story short, I offered to pay for about three-quarters of the ticket price if Dad would go with us—because, after all, you can’t ask your Dad to pay $90 or whatever to go see a show that he’s never even heard of and doesn’t know if he’ll enjoy.  Not right, Jeeves.  And Dad said, OK, that’s a deal; so Rosie and I ran back upstairs to order tickets online.  And then we went to bed (although whether we went to sleep immediately is another matter altogether).  
Annnnnddddd . . . two weeks later, it was SHOW TIME!!!! *shivers with excitement and squee-ness*  

When the overture began AHHHHH THE THRILLS. “Now . . . Is . . . The . . . Time . . . To . . . SEIZE . . . THE . . . DAY . . .”  
The spotlights went on and there was Jack (JACK!!! I had to stop myself from screaming. Understandable, I’m sure :P) and Crutchie up on the top of Jack’s “penthouse.” Ach, the chills when Jack started singing “Santa Fe”!! Joey Barreiro was a WONDERFUL Jack. His voice was amazing, and just the passion and emotion he displayed . . . !!! And then at the end of the song, when he puts his arm around Crutchie and sings “Don’t you know that we’s a family? Would I let you down? No way!”, it was just – awwwwww the FEELS! AND IT’S JUST THE FIRST SCENE. Like What Even. I couldn’t believe how emotional I felt :P Gah.
Yeah.  Can we just take a minute here to reflect on the sheer awesomeness that was Joey Barreiro’s Jack Kelly?  He was just SO COOL.  He’s a real Italian New Yorker, which of course is absolutely perfect for this show ‘cause it’s all about New York City.  His accent is perfect, his looks are perfect, and he’s just got this fantastic, hard-hitting passion and intensity, but in a really direct and down-to-earth and almost “practical” sort of way . . . So yeah.  He’s a great Jack.  I think he’s my new personal favorite, honestly.  (And all the Jeremy Jordan fans rise up in a body and throw rotten tomatoes at me.  And I smile serenely and say, “Sorry, guys, I know Jeremy is awesome, BUT YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING TILL YOU’VE SEEN JOEY.”)

The scene where Jack, Davey, and Les have to run away from Synder (you know, the guy who runs that awful so-called orphanage, “The Refuge”) is really cool. Davey and Les had just offered to take Jack home with them and have dinner, and Jack is like “Uh, that’s real nice, Davey, but – no thanks – I just – um – remembered I have to meet a guy – he’s probably wondering where I am . . .” Jack’s kind of trying to put up a tough-guy front, ‘cause he doesn’t want anyone to know how lonely he actually is. By the way, when Davey says “You could meet our folks” and Jack says “You’ve got folks?”, it’s just soooo sad . . . Then Snyder spots them and they run away into the theatre. Medda Larkin is there, and she yells at them something along the lines of “no naughty boys in the theatre at this hour.” And Jack says, “Not even me?” and he goes down and hugs her. It’s so sweet! She is such a wise and loving person, a kind of mother figure to Jack :)  
And now we come to . . . “The World Will Know.”  ALL DA FEELS.  
This scene was just soooooooo well done—but hey, is that any surprise?  ALL their scenes were well-done.  You can just feel the newsies’ shock and anger and desperation, really, when they find out the price has been raised.  They know they can’t afford it, but they feel trapped—they’re all like, “What do we do now?”  And when Jack is like, “We STRIKE!!!”—well, suffice it to say that we got thrills.  Lots of them.  Only, it’s not so simple as that, because you can’t just “go on strike” and hope to win if you’re a bunch of rag-tag orphans with no money.  Or . . . can you?  ;)
Well, long story short, Jack and Davey manage to rally the other newsies to defy Pulitzer and go on strike—it’s so cool how those two work together, by the way.  Jack is the “boss,” definitely, and he’s the one with all the charisma and fire, but Davey is the one with the “brains” who knows how to make a logical argument and convince people . . . and there are moments in this scene where Jack is kind of “at a loss” and fumbling for the right words, but Davey steps in and says it for him.  Gah.  I LOVE DAVEY.  And then they all start dancing and singing and it’s EPIC.  I have no words, folks.  None.  
Oh, and I especially love the part where they sing “The world says ‘no’—WELL, THE KIDS DO TOO!!!”  They all line up, close together, right at the front of the stage and they’re looking up at the audience and they’re just so MAD that you can’t see how it’s possible they could ever lose.  They look about ready to take on the entire universe.  

But when no one else is showing up to help them, (it’s so heartbreaking, btw, when Jack calls to Specs “Can you see anybody else coming?” and Specs gives him a mournful thumbs-down), all the newsies are kind of frantic. They have to live. If they don’t sell papers, they can’t eat! They start to talk about giving in to Pulitzer. Jack doesn’t know what to say, and he turns desperately to Davey. “You tell them, Davey.”
Now is the time to seize the day . . .” Davey goes back and forth among the newsies, trying to rally them. When he sings, “Courage cannot erase our fears – courage is when we face our fears”, a thrill just ran through me and I wanted to jump up and sing with him. It was such a GREAT MOMENT, guys!
And then when three boys show up and pick up stacks of newspapers!! THE TENSION! But Jack just looks them in the eye. “I know someone put you up to this, boys. But you gotta strike! It’s not just about us. This is for every kid in every sweatshop and every factory and every alleyway in New York!” They hesitate for one long second, while the audience holds their breath – then one kid shouts “I’m with you!” That’s the turning point . . . and its soooo awesome.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THE DAY!!!!
THAT IS SUCH A GREAT SONG, YOU GUYS.  But, of course, it can’t last long—it’s followed by a fight with the Delanceys and Pulitzer’s other guys, and the newsies lose, badly—and, worst of all, Crutchie gets taken away to “The Refuge.”  NO!  NOT MY BABY!  LEAVE HIM ALONE!   But they take him away, and Jack is about frantic . . . and he goes back to his rooftop and sings “Santa Fe.”  It’s just . . . heartbreaking.  I tell ya, guys, that Joey Barreiro is Something Else.  He pours everything he has into that one song and it is INCREDIBLE.  So much emotion.  There’s even one part where he turns away from the audience and leans on the railing, just sobbing . . . Like a kid—a hurt, lonely kid.  Which is what he really is, for all he tries to put on a “tough guy” front.  Sheesh.  Jack, I LOVE YOU.  

Sheesh is right. You all know I am physically unable to actually cry over books, plays or movies (sorry, it’s not like I don’t want to!!) but when Jack sang “Santa Fe” I had tears in my eyes. The stage was all blurry. The other song that did that to me was Crutchie’s new song, “Letter From The Refuge”. On that song, I was soooo afraid that I was just going to start sobbing right in-theatre. It is ABSOLUTLELY HEARTBREAKING!! Crutchie’s in bed, all over blood from the beating Synder gave him. It’s a small cramped bed, that he’s sharing with another fellow . . . He writes a letter to Jack. “Guess I wasn’t much help yesterday . . .” (Just – I’m going to break down thinking about it, especially when the guy in the bed hits him “Otha people are tryin’ t’get some sleep here!”) And he signs his letter, “Your friend . . . your best friend . . . your brother, Crutchie.” His voice is just literally trembling with emotion. And I am shaking in my seat. And can barely see for the tears.
“King of New York” was awesome, too—a lot more cheerful, obviously :D  And here I’d like to pause to give a special shout-out to one of the best members of the entire cast:  Race, played by Benjamin Cook.  He’s absolutely HILARIOUS—stole every single scene he was in.  He’s got this really strong, really high tenor voice (high for a guy’s, I mean) and the BEST facial expressions and just soooooooo much humor.  When he flings out his arms and yells, “Cut out your moanin’ and let’s all pause to drink in the moment . . . I’M FAMOUS!!!!”  And then, of course, we get into one of the most rollicking songs in the whole show—“Ya don’t need money when you’re famous—they gives ya whatever ya want, gratis!”  I just loved it.  
I was really, really looking forward to hearing “Brooklyn’s Here,” because it’s my favorite song in the entire show—and Spot Conlon and his boys certainly did not disappoint me there :)  It was way, way, WAY more exciting than just listening to it on the soundtrack.  SO.  MUCH.  ENERGY.  And it comes at a really low point in the story, too, when Pulitzer’s just about broken Jack’s spirit and everything is horrible . . . and then, all of a sudden, we have the cavalry coming over the hill :)  “Now them soakers is in for a soakin’ . . . What a sad way to end a career . . . They’s a joke, but if they think we’s joking . . .”  YES YES YES.   

Then comes “Something To Believe In”, which, by the way, was Dad’s favorite song. I loved it too.
“Guys like me don’t end up with girls like you.” And when they start singing. “The world finds ways to sting you . . . and then decides to bring you SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN” - I can’t even begin to describe how it affected me. There is so much emotion!!! Jack finally has someone!! “For sure?” “For sure.”
They are so sweet!
“And if you weren’t an heiress, and if your father wasn’t after my head . . .”
“You’re not really scared of my father.”
“No. But I’m pretty scared of you.” Awwww . . .
I have something to believe in . . . Now that I know you believed in me.” AND THEY KISS. All da FEELS, peoples!!!!!
AND THEN THE ENDING SCENE.  THE ENDING SCENE, THOUGH.  When Pulitzer finally, finally gives in.  And when Jack goes out on the balcony and yells, “Newsies of New York—WE WON!!!!!!!” and they all start cheering—I JUST CANNOT TAKE IT.  It’s too much.  And then Crutchie comes back from the Refuge—and Jack hugs him—and Katherine and the other newsies convince Jack to stay with them instead of heading off to Santa Fe—and he and Katherine kiss again—AND ALL THE NEWSIES ARE CHEERING LIKE MAD . . . GAAAHHHH.  Okay.  I have no words.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was amazing.  I wasn’t crying, but my heart was pounding like crazy.  
When they came out for their bows, too . . . Only, being the Newsies, they don’t just walk out calmly.  They dance onstage and do cartwheels and spins and backflips and everything—and you better believe the audience is cheering.  (I was, too ;) )  It was epic.  And when Jack came on, last of all—well, I pretty much lost it.  I just started screaming “JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”  I’m sure I sounded like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert—but hey, I don’t care, these guys are better than Justin Bieber and they deserve some fangirling, too.  

Man, the EMOTIONS. It was over. IT WAS OVER. I was sad that it had ended. And I couldn’t believe that we’d actually seen it. The whole thing. But at the same time, I was just OVERFLOWING with happiness to see Jack and Crutchie reunited, and Katherine at Jack’s side. Ach, I can’t even. FINALLY, Jack is happy. The newsies have WON. And Pulitzer is in his proper place. The FEELS, I mean to say, what? I just couldn’t stop screaming. And I didn’t care :P
Let’s give it up for the NEWSIES OF NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn’t agree more, Rosie.  And remember, all of you:  “Now is the time to seize the day . . .”  (You’re welcome.)  
Thanks again, Naomi—we had a blast!  And thanks to all of you who actually managed to sit through that ;)  

Thank you girls for writing this. I'm so jealous, I can't even.