April 24, 2014

Jennifer's Way by Jennifer Esposito

As someone who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was intrigued by Jennifer’s Way and what an actress could possibly tell me about my new disease.  I was astonished to learn how far her condition had gone and what terrible symptoms she was plagued with.  Not to mention the many years of dead ends she ran into within the medical field.  It was very disconcerting to hear how many doctors and nurses have no idea what Celiac is. 

My symptoms were mild in comparison.  However, when I was diagnosed I was given a vague message and a "start a gluten-free diet" recommendation and no more guidance than that.

Jennifer was able to put words to some of my thoughts and feelings that have come along with my diagnosis.  Especially in the case of going to restaurants and trying to continue a social life without being “difficult”.  Even trying to talk about it with people is tricky because no one will ever understand until they have to turn their lives upside down too. 

I certainly don’t wish anyone to have this disease however I’m appreciative to see someone in the spotlight share their journey.  Hopefully her words can help change the opinions of the misinformed and be a voice for those that have the disease.  Thank you, Jennifer!

April 7, 2014

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

Holly's favorite person in the world, her Grandpa Jim, just passed away. Unknown to everyone in the family, he left his beloved, but deeply in-debt, Las Vegas wedding chapel to his granddaughter. He also left her a letter to be hand delivered to his chapel-owning rival's grandson. Across the parking lot sits the theme wedding performing Cupid's Dream, the antithesis to the traditional Rose of Sharon.  It's a Shakespearean tragedy that these two chapel families hate each other because Dax Cranston is one handsome rival, even in his cowboy get up. With Grandpa Jim gone and Holly in charge she's going to do everything in her power to help save the chapel even if she can feel her Grandpa rolling over in his grave.

I just finished this wonderful and touching story with a sniffle.  Leavitt writes Holly as a down-to-earth, normal girl and the dialogue between Dax and Holly is adorable yet realistic. I loved this: "We're all messed up," [Holly] said "I think life is just about finding the right people to be messed up with." I loved that these characters have faults and their own troubles to get through.