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5 Star Review for Raspberry Beret! 4.5 Review for July 4 road trip.

Reviewed by Tanya Owen for Readers' Favorite

"Raspberry Beret" by Lisa A. McCombs is a story about a teenage girl who communicates her feelings in a journal. Every entry starts off as “Dear Abby” because she wrote a report on the advice columnist who shared her name. Abby was a teen who had a knack for learning the French language, reading Nancy Drew mysteries, 
writing in her journal and making new friends. When Jesse moved across the street from her, little did she know how much her life would change over the next year. Abby saw Jesse as mysterious and quiet when they first met. Although they became best friends, there was always this mystery about her friend. Even though the sleuth in her was dying to know more about Jesse, she always respected her privacy. She figured that Jesse would share what she needed to in due time. As time went on, Abby found a romantic interest in Adam, who was a football player many girls were interested in. During the course of her eighth grade year, Abby and Jesse were instrumental in starting up a group called TAG-U, Teens Against Growing Up.

This book was very enjoyable and easy to read. It shows how a young teen girl’s thought processes can be positive or negative. The relationships McCombs shows in this book are very well-developed and very interesting. She definitely made me curious as to what would happen next. This is a book that is hard to put down because you are pulled into the story so much that you can visualize the scenes as if you are there. This is definitely a must-read for preteen and teenage girls.
I am so excited that my middle child Raspberry Beret has received some attention. As with all middle children, RB has felt a little left-out; but she packs a punch, because the last page makes my readers not like me so much. This is especially true with my early followers who had to wait for the final book to publish. That's not a bad thing, though, is it?

Speaking of bad things...My MS has really been active lately. My family took a little road trip yesterday to celebrate my husband's day off and the country's birthday. Our first point of destination was Forks of Cheat Winery near Morgantown, W V. This 3 HOUR adventure lead us to a place not forty minutes from home AND THEY WERE CLOSED!
This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with MS, so read on.
 Lesson learned:
Do not rely on GPS Navigation when you are more knowledgeable of the area than technology.

Next point of travel interest was Uniontown, PA, also not too terribly far from home, except we some how got on the PA Turnpike and couldn't find interstate 79 until long past lunch time. The Texas Roadhouse in Washington was a delight, though.
Lesson learned:
Enjoy unexpected surprises and make the most of what God offers.
This, once again does not relate to MS in any way other than the fact that my MS bladder threatened to ruin the rest of the day, but I successfully located a bathroom in Lowe's while waiting for Texas Roadhouse to open its doors for  the day.

We achieved our planned destination shortly after a steak dinner and I finally got to explore Tanger Outlets. Well, a few stores any way. What a lovely place to shop, if you are so inclined. I spent far too long in Banana Republic, but fighting the crowd was an adventure in itself. The place was packed and the participants were mostly non-English speaking and extremely rude. I give the store a 5 Star but the shopping experience a 3 Star. Maybe visiting on a more low profile day would be more fun?
Oh, and I DID find some good sales, but spent 20 minutes stumbling around the store trying to find the outfit that I somehow set down somewhere and of course those two pieces of clothing were the only ones in the store that were my size. While retracing my steps I also misplaced my cane and found it hanging on a sale rack where it narrowly escaped being taken by a non-English speaking rude person.
Lesson Learned: Pay more attention to what you are doing.
After "enjoying" Banana Republic, my time was short, so I entered J. Crew (for the first time ever) to look for something Michelle Obama might buy since that is where she evidently outfits herself and her daughters. I purchased a couple pair of shorts and a really nice button down for Mutt because he actually got excited about it. The clothes were rather preppy (just up my alley) and not overly expensive. I like J. Crew. The folks there were much more pleasant but I recognized a couple of non-English speaking faces upon my exit and was glad that I got out there.
An MS event did occur here. As I reached out to hold on to a display so that I could inspect shoe sizes underneath, I found myself sprawled on the floor when the display rolled away from me on its hidden wheels. Boone quietly reached out to help me up and I don't think anyone saw me, but I felt very exposed and a bit dizzy. Sure, you say, this could happen to anyone, but for several seconds I experienced that MS Drunkenness that plagues me from time to time.
Lesson Learned: The Obamas put their J. Crew shorts on one leg at a time, just like me.

The day's travels pretty much wiped me out and I was more than happy to end the holiday on my back porch with a cold Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Now if drunkenness occurred it would be of my own choosing:)
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