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Weather and Judy Blume

June 29, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

Earlier this year, we complained that winter was lasting way too long (well getting snow in May was just plain wrong). Now we're getting to the time where it's just too hot. Granted it wasn't in the mid-90s this week, but it sure seemed like it.

Take Monday night for example. I went to Zumba class as usual, but I was worried that I wasn't going to make it through the 45 minutes. I'm sure the sweatpants I was wearing that evening wasn't helping matters any, but I was sweating in every area possible. But I managed to put in the entire 45 minutes, and I wasn't the only one who noticed how warm it was inside the YMCA. Yeah, I washed every article of clothing I was wearing right after I got home. It's time to invest in some lightweight yoga pants.

Even if it seems to be "too darned hot" for indoor exercise, I don't mind doing so. Sure the sweat may be pouring down my face after swinging some kettlebells (I even took a paper towel to my hair), I can't feel my legs and I feel like I'm about to pass out, but it's actually a good feeling.

And now the conversation switches over to books. Like quite a few teen girls back in the day, I read Judy Blume's books. I just got finished reading a book of essays by current female authors like Meg Cabot, Megan McCafferty and Beth Kendrick - "Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume." Most of the authors referred to such books as "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret," "Deenie," "Blubber," "It's Not the End of the World" and "Starring Sally J. Freeman as Herself." Blume wrote most of her books during the early to late 1970s, but the topics she writes about still resonate with teen girls today - parents getting divorced, bullying, being accepted, dealing with death, relationships and other rites of passage (like getting their first bra).

I'll admit that I was an awkward teen. I had glasses, braces, and permed hair among other things. I also had a crush on a dark-haired, dark-eyed classmate. And I was also painfully shy. So escaping into Blume's books, among others, was one of my pastimes. I don't have much in common with Margaret, one of Blume's characters, but I could relate to her questionings and being confused about growing up.

In continuing with reading teen books, my book club is reading "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green.The narrator is a teen girl named Hazel, who has terminal cancer of the thyroid. Her lungs are basically shot, so she needs an oxygen tank.

She meets Augustus at a Kids With Cancer support group. Augustus is immediately smitten with Hazel, while she deals with depression. The two are smart, funny and seemingly compatible. I've read a couple of Green's novels and enjoyed both. So far, "The Fault in Our Stars" is a great read.



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