May 16: Geek. Ing. Out.

I haven’t mentioned Pamela Ribon for a long time, and that’s good because it means she’s probably forgotten about the restraining order that EVERY ONE OF YOU thinks she needs to take out on me. Can’t someone be a super-fan without getting the law involved? Geez.

A bit of review: I read one of Pamela Ribon’s books in 2010; she happened to see my post and left a comment asking if she could send me her other books for reading during chemo. I tried to be all, “Oh, you don’t need to do that…” but, I mean, SHE OFFERED. Pamie and JenThe next week I received all of her books, autographed to me, and even though I already loved everything about her (yes, mostly her style of writing and sense of humor), I loved her even more because of her very generous and thoughtful gesture. When I heard she was going to do a book reading/signing in the Northwest, I dragged April way up to Bellingham so I could meet Pamela in person. Picture proof of a giddy Jen and nervous Pamie:

Last year she emailed to ask if I could give her some details on surviving cancer treatment—how it made me feel, what people did that was helpful and kind, that sort of thing. She said she was writing a book in which a character was going through chemo and wanted it to be as realistic and honest as possible. I was thrilled to help, of course, and sent her links to a bunch of my posts from 2010—the ones where I raved about how awesome my friends were/are.

So, when you read Pamela Ribon’s latest book, You Take It From Here—and you will want to!—keep in mind that the nice things the cancer-fighting character’s friends do for her? They were inspired by YOU.

And before you put the book down, please turn to the acknowledgements section at the back, because that’s where you’ll see this:

pamelaribonOMG, she means me!!
I think she means me. That is me, right?

Pamela sent me an advance copy of the novel—it comes out July 3 for all you un-acknowledged-in-the-back-of-the-book folk—which I eagerly read and completely loved.

Here’s the publisher’s synopsis of You Take it From Here:

youtakeitfromhereFrom the author of Why Girls Are Weird comes a poignant, funny tale about two very different best friends—one terminally ill with cancer, and the other determined to do absolutely everything she can to help…

Practical, patient Danielle Meyers escaped her small Southern hometown as quickly as possible, landing herself in sunny Los Angeles as a successful homemaking consultant and recent divorcee. Her bossy, loud, impulsive best friend Smidge stayed behind in Ogden, Louisiana, and has succeeded quite soundly—wife, mother, karaoke superstar, social butterfly, and survivor of cancer. But when Smidge and Danielle reunite for their annual girls’ vacation, Smidge reveals that the cancer is back and terminal, and Danielle vows to do anything to make the last bit of Smidge’s life easier. And Smidge has just one favor that she wants to ask: She needs Danielle to move back to Ogden and take over Smidge’s family after she dies, marrying Henry, and raising Jenny. When the friend you love “the mostest” wants you to make her last wish come true, how do you say no?

Like her other books, there is a very true-to-life balance of hilarity and sadness in You Take it From Here. Her characters are real; they are dear friends who are sometimes assholes to each other. It is a heartwarming AND heartbreaking story about being by a friend’s side as she faces cancer and what will happen after she’s gone. I very highly recommend this book—all of Pamela’s books, not just this one, but also especially this one.

I am soooo geeking out over this little blurb in the back of Pamie’s new book. I cannot even begin to tell you how much.


P.S. I asked Victor which of my friends he wants to marry when I die, and he very smartly refused to answer. I made him promise that it won’t be someone so great that he’ll forget about me or I will haunt him and not in the friendly ghost way. So, he’s pretty much damned whether he speaks up now or waits until I’m gone. Ha! Haunting him and whichever one of you he marries is gonna be awesome.

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