Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Romances


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted my the awesomepants ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. In honor of Valentine’s Day (and for me, in honor of my deep abiding love of The Swoon), we’re discussing our favs literary romances. And yeah, I’ve never been particularly shy about sharing my crushes (see: I Have A Page of Them, Hello), it’s always fun to talk about the actual couples who float my boat. There are some great ones, especially in the YA genre. I don’t know, is this because of that incredible force that slams us in first loves, or is it because usually at that age we’re so much more trusting, far less cynical. I’m not sure. All I know is, holy wow, I could spend hours discussing this. And let’s get it out there now. Ten? You want me to list only TEN? I’m so gonna cheat.

1. Michael and Mia, The Princess Diaries– Am I beating a dead horse here? I love both of these characters individually and their coupledom is pure sweetness in every way. There’s such devotion, such cuteness, such loyalty and humor. And you guys, in Princess in Training (the book where Mia is all worried about the S-word and what Michael’s expectations are because she’s just not ready), when Michael tells her, “You’re the girl I want. One day you WILL be mine,” I le sighed until the cows came home.

2. Jane and Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre– God, he’s a grumpy brat, but I love the hope he finds in her. And Jane is truly one of the most amazing heroines ever written. I love them and this love that drives Rochester to do the wrong thing.

I have little left in myself — I must have you. The world may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

3. Adam and Mia, If I Stay/Where She Went– Lordy, their story was gorgeous and breathtaking in the first book, but when we had a chance to see into Adam’s heart in the second one, I think swooned fifty times harder. Their love is so good and so solid. It’s what real-life happy couples, the ones who make it, are made of.

4. Lenny and Joe, The Sky Is Everywhere– He’s goofy and handsome and so besotted with Lenny. She’s flawed funny and full of emotion and passion and pain, and when they come together it’s rich. It’s funny. It’s poetic (or maybe that’s just Jandy Nelson’s impeccable writing).

5. Jay and Violet, The Body Finder– Best friends who fall in love. Neither is perfect, but they have something that’s probably always been there, something that’s blossomed and become undeniable. I really find myself more into their story than the scary bits of those books (and the scary bits are awesome, I just fall for the lovey dovey stuff every single time).

6. Cricket and Lola, Lola and The Boy Next Door- Childhood friends. Do couples get cuter than these two? I think not. I love characters. Love them.

7. Augustus and Hazel, The Fault in Our Stars– These two are funny, so different and so alike. Hazel is a little more guarded, a little more jaded. Augustus is this bright ball of sunshine. They understand each other in a way few others could and Gus wants to make life good and sweet for Hazel. He wants to help her realize her dream-even if she doesn’t know how badly she wants it. But you know what I really love? That his dream is really to see her realize it and to experience it all with her. Oh, I need to read this one again. Loved it.

8. Ron and Hermione, The Harry Potter series– Their story isn’t even one of the main plots in the books and yet, there it is, unfolding little by little as they grow up. They’re friends, their immature (ahem, Ron), they have banter and they argue, but beneath it all is that love that goes beyond friendship and is so hard to truly classify as anything but meant to be.

9. Wes and Macy, The Truth About Forever– Obviously we know that Wes is the kind of cute that makes every girl who sees him go gaga, but I love how unphased he is by it all. He and Macy (though she has the Sa-woon, too) have these great conversations and laughter. It’s not Wham I’m Your Bio Partner and Now We’re in Love. It’s slow. It’s funny. It blurs lines before either of them can really admit it. I seriously love that book. It’s my favorite Dessen, no question about it.

10. Finnikin and Evanjelin, Finnikin of the Rock- Man, these two have some serious passion. First, they fight. A lot. Because they are both really strong-willed. And then, when they start liking each other it’s that thing again, the line blurring. The fact that they both feel something more, but neither can admit it. And the end is so beautiful, so romantic. I mean, of course. It’s Melina Marchetta.

11. Taylor and Jonah, Jellicoe Road- Yes, it’s Melina Marchetta again. Taylor and Jonah are both a bit emotionally damaged. She’s a little crazy. He’s a little uptight. But they find something in each other. It’s something that started long ago and then somehow evolved into this rivalry, but when they finally admit the truth to themselves, it’s seriously swoonworthy. You guys, I’m telling the truth. Jonah Effing Griggs is to die for. Page melter, all the way.

12. Tobias and Tris, The Divergent series– I liked them in the first book, but when the second book came around I was really whoa mama-ing. A lot. These two are majorly intense. Tobias especially. I’m totally into it.

13. Henry and Claire, The Time Traveler’s Wife– This isn’t YA, but I seriously love this book. It is about as romantic as it gets. Henry is incredible, flawed and as swoony as can be. But that’s all because of Claire. Without her he’s nothing. He’s a mess, a drunk, troubled mess. She grounds him with her devotion and her love. They are such a picture of commitment and give, in my opinion, such a realistic image of healthy, married love (you know, minus the time travel).

There are so many more. Tell me who your picks are!

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I’d Take to a Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Books You’d Want on a Deserted Island (which is, of course, totally how I think. Books and chocolate and I’d be set).  This is actually a very tough topic because as much as I love to make lists, the idea of whittling down my favorites to only ten is practically impossible. So this list is based mainly on how these books make me feel. There are so many others I’d like to add, but TEN you guys, only ten (OK, I may have cheated a little).

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger– This is my all-time favorite book. No question about it.

Lookit…there’s the swoon.

2. Emma by Jane Austen– I love me some Pride & Prejudice and Darcy, but give me the folks at Hartfield and a good lecture from Mr. Knightly any day.

3. Forever Princess by Meg Cabot– Holy wow, I love this entire series, but since this is the final book and the Michaelness is so particularly lovely and Mia is so adorable and still so grown up, this is the book I’d have to choose as my favorite to read over and over again for all time.

4. Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling– Oh, this one is hard too. I love this whole series, especially The Prisoner of Azkaban and the last two books (and all of them), but the drama in this one killed me.  It was so excellent.

5. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson– I could probably read this one every day forever and ever and never tire of this gorgeous, funny, incredible book.

6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman– I loved If I Stay as well, but if I had to choose a favorite of the two, it would be Adam’s story in WSW.  This book made my heart sing. It was breathtaking and romantic and sad and uplifting. It’s everything Mia and Adam’s story should be.

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- Now, this may not be the happiest of books, but the relationship between Todd and Viola really impacted me.  This book was amazing.

8. Austenland by Shannon Hale– This is one of those books I can read a thousand times and still want to dive back in. It’s Austeny, it’s cute, it’s funny, it’s romantic. And it’s completely original.

9. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen– This is my favorite Dessen book. I could fall in love with these characters over and over again. Also, Wes.

10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- A book with drama (like a soap opera, only not cheesy), with romance and heartbreak and tragedy, and one of the most well-written heroines ever created.

11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee– I can’t say enough how much I love this book. It surpasses everything you’ve ever heard and it has the man I think is the best literary character ever written (male or female), Atticus Finch.

12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- Beautiful, just beautiful. And funny and sad and so very romantic.

Have a great Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Kick Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by those kick-ass ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.  This week we’re talking about the kick-assedness (yes, it’s a word) of some of our favorite heroines.

Here are my absolute favs:

1. Frankie Landau Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks– Butt kickers are fabulous, but give me a girl who uses her incredible smarts to take over the all-boys secret society at her school (because she didn’t like being excluded) AND who makes up words like gruntled (the opposite of disgruntled. How can you be disgruntled and not be gruntled?) any day.  This girl is bright, she’s funny and yet she’s still awkward and so realistic what with her insecurities and the fact that she cares too much what her lame-o boyfriend thinks, but every girl should aspire to find their inner Frankie.

2. Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries– She may be awkward and shy, but this girl knows what she wants, she knows what she needs to do, and she always, always finds a way to do it. Again, Mia is not the girl who’s going to beat everyone up or who will finish the race first, but she overcomes huge obstacles, she ends up living out her adolescence in view of a watching world, she (spoiler alert) brings democracy to a country that has never known it AND she even figures out a way to get her prom-hater boyfriend to put on a tux and take her to his senior prom.  Mia’s got it all in the bag, she just doesn’t know it.

3. Katsa, Graceling– She’s a more fierce heroine. Katsa is skilled with the gift of killing people.  She’s an assassin for an evil king. She’s fearless. And when she has to forsake her king (she knows he’s bad news) and do the right thing, she does it without question. And finally, Katsa isn’t the girl who needs the fairytale ending to live happily ever after.  She chose a different path than I would have, but she made that decision unapologetically and I love her for it.  She is what feminism is about (not because of the choice she made, but because she went against the grain and did what she wanted).

4. Katniss, The Hunger Games– Well, if she’s not bad-ass then I don’t know who is.  She saved her sweet little sister from The Games, she saved Peeta and she gave President Snow the ultimate inyourface (at the end of the first games).  While the series didn’t end perfectly, and Lord knows this girl dumb as a hammer when it comes to guys, I always admired her strength. Had I been in her position, I would have hidden in a tree and cried until someone captured me.  But not Katniss. Hell no.

5. Isaboe, Finnikin of The Rock– What a fabulous book, with a stellar story and an unbelievably good romance. Isaboe showed such bravery and such passion. She was absolutely my favorite character in that book, both for her willingness do anything to see their home restored and for her love for Finnikin.  This girl is fierce while still maintaining such grace in the face of tragedy and against seemingly insurmountable odds.

6. Taylor Markham, Jellicoe Road– Taylor has a side to her that is recklessly devoted in her love for Hannah (her caretaker) and her mother. It’s this drive that pushes her to find answers about her life and her family.  And it’s this relentless love/hate thing she has for Jonah Griggs, one of the biggest bad-ass literary guys ever, that is a beautiful perk in the story of a girl who so desperately needs her mom. It seems simple and yet there is so much to this painfully flawed girl.

7. Clary Fray, The Mortal Instruments series- Clary is willing to go to those dark corners and creepy places I would never dare to.  She wants to fight as a Shadow Hunter, a life that was at one time foreign to her. She’ll do anything to protect her family, her best friend Simon or her loverboy Jace (and you would too). And even though she’s tiny, I have a feeling she could kick your butt and mine.

8. Jane Eyre– The ultimate feminist chick before feminist chicks were in existence.  And Jane isn’t in your face about it. She doesn’t have to preach about not needing a man or a family. She loves Mr. Rochester, despite the odds.  And yet, even though it’s so painful, she leaves his home because she needs to; she has to.  It’s the only option for someone like her (someone with morals, someone with integrity and self-respect).  And she proves to herself that she can make it without him, she just likes life better with him.  I love that story.

9. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice– A poor girl who wanted to marry for love in a time when marrying for love didn’t happen very often. AND she was willing to turn down not one but two marriage proposals, one from a super-hot, extremely rich Mr. Darcy (because he was rude and deserved a big SO THERE).  She was a lady in every way and yet she never failed to say exactly what was on her mind.

10. Viola, The Chaos Walking series- Oh this poor girl who orphaned from the moment the story begins.  Though she doesn’t know Todd, the young boy who is shocked to find her outside of town, she decides to trust him. They aren’t even sure they like each other, but they each have a common goal: to get away from Prentisstown and the people who seek to kill them both.  Throughout this series, both Todd and Viola risk life and limb for each other, but I especially love Viola, how even though she can hear every thought racing through Todd’s head, how even when they are separated and Todd does some questionable things, she believes in his goodness and she’ll do anything to save him. I’d love to see this girl when she grows into a woman because I know she’s be amazing.

Top Ten Tuesday- Don’t You Forget About Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re listing some of our favorite older books–the ones that may not be at the forefront on most blogs right now because they’re a bit overshadowed by newer releases, but are always books not to be forgotten.  I tend to read a ton of “older” books, mostly because I never got to them the first time they came around.  I tried to keep my list to ten, but man it was hard!

1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman– Even I forget how much I loved this book. It’s a fairy tale classic for grown ups. And have you seen the film? Priceless.

2. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot– These are just plain fun, full of ghosts and kissing and that sweet awesomeness that can only come from Meg Cabot. And Jesse?  Muy Calinete!
3. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman– A book about mermaids before everyone wanted to write books about mermaids–only this one is different ( I think, because honestly it’s the only book about mermaids that I’ve ever read). The author builds a story around an island with a rich history and really leaves the mermaid stuff to your imagination.  At the time, the story was completely different.

4. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr-In my eyes, Sara Zarr can do no wrong and this book is no exception. It’s full of angst and sadness and a main character who managed to escape her childhood pain by becoming a different girl. She deals with  issues that may make us cringe, but that on some level we can relate to. And when Cameron Quick–all grown up and über mysterious, that long-lost best friend who just up and disappeared–returns, it’s lovely and mystifying all at once.

5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore– I’m not sure that anyone can ever forget this book, and yet I know so many people who have never read it. Katsa is one of the most insanely fierce heroines around and the steam between her and Po could literally melt your eyeballs.

6. The Ruby Oliver series by E.Lockhart– So often I sing the praises of Frankie Landau Banks, only to forget the wonderful funny found in the Ruby books.  This girl is self-deprecating and sarcastic, hopelessly teenaged in all ways of thinking. I sometimes like to think of her as Jessica Darling light (only, in my opinion, she’s funnier because I relate to her more).

7. The Enemy by Charles Higson– This is the ultimate in YA zombie books. End of story.

8. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta– This is a book I speak of constantly and again, I know so many people who haven’t read it. While the beginning is tough because of the number of characters and dual storylines, it all comes together beautifully and those who stick with it, I believe, will be richly rewarded in the end.

9. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith– It’s a classic, sweet and funny and romantic. If you’ve not read it, do yourself a favor and give it a whirl.

10. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales– I will always love Leila Sales because her books make me laugh so hard I snort.

Casting Call- The Fault in Our Stars

Welcome to our new feature, Casting Call, hosted along with my good friends at Gone Pecan, The Book Addict’s Guide, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks.

Each week we’ll be dream casting some of our favorite books and blogging about it. We’ve divided up our favs characters and to see the whole cast you’ll have to visit each site (we won’t bite, I swear).

Our book this week isThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green  Have you read this book?  If not guuuurl, get on it. It is wonderfully sad and beautiful and funny and romantic and yes, you will absolutely cry, but it is sweet and somehow uplifting all while being tragic and still managing to make you smile and wish you could be someone’s Hazel (or make you happy that you are someone’s Hazel). Read. It. Please.

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (Goodreads)

My casting choices this week are Hazel Grace and Isaac, best friend to Augustus and fellow member of the cancer support group.

Hazel Grace

Sara Hyland as Hazel

Hazel is bright and witty, she’s sarcastic and somehow still hopeful.  She manages to live even though she accepts that she’s dying. She worries about her parents, about their future without her and she, despite her initial plans to keep to herself, falls in love with a boy named Augustus, a boy who is in some ways her opposite.  I truly fell in love with this character from the first pages of the book. Hazel is a girl who is impossible to forget.

There’s just something about Sara Hyland that reminds me of Hazel. I’m not sure if it’s the deep, expressive eyes or the roundness in her face, but after considering many actresses (this is serious business, I’m telling you), she was the one who stood out.


Lucas Till as Isaac

I love Isaac. He’s best friend to Augustus and eventually becomes a dear friend to Hazel as well. He has a tough road, paved with pain and the consequences of his own cancer battle. Eventually, he loses his eyes along with his girlfriend, and though it’s not a simple transition for him, he’s still Isaac–cracking jokes with Gus, playing video games, and getting it. Getting the battle that few kids their age understand. Lucas Till fits the bill here.

Please be sure to check out my other blog friends and tell us what you think.  We would LOVE to hear your thoughts and your dream cast ideas!

Gone Pecan

The Book Addict’s Guide

The Grown Up YA

Teen Lit Rocks 


Happy Friday!

Casting Call- Divergent

Welcome to our new feature, Casting Call, hosted along with my good friends at Gone Pecan, The Book Addict’s Guide, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks.

Each week we’ll be dream casting some of our favorite books and blogging about it. After doing our casting last week, we realized that this could easily consume our whole week (endlessly searching for  pictures of Aaron Johnson on Google–awesome or creepy?), so we’ve decided to each take a couple of characters and cast them.  If you want to see the entire cast you’ll have to visit everyone.  We even planned it out in advance with a list and everything (thank goodness Brittany is so organized!)

Our book this week is Divergent by Veronica Roth.  I’m going to be very honest and tell you that, as much as I loved this book, I remember practically nothing about it,  having read it during the summer of 2011.  I do, however, remember Tris and Four and Tris’s parents and then…that’s pretty much it. Luckily, I picked two of those characters.


I love Mia Wasikowska. She has this ethereal quality about her, almost angelic, which is very much how I picture Tris. Tris is someone who can easily be misjudged.  At first glance, you wouldn’t expect her to be the brave one, or the one willing to take the risks, but looks can be quite deceiving because this girl rocks with crazy intensity.

I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless.
I am Divergent.

Mr. Prior (Tris’s dad)

I love Sean Bean.  I mean, have you seen Game of Thrones?  In a show of total badasses, he steal manages to take the cake (well, he and Peter Dinklage, but I digress).  Andrew Prior has a certain brave devotion to his family. He physically takes care of them and, spoiler alert, is more than willing to risk his life to save them. Physically, he is supposed to have dark hair, so I’m going to say that I’m OK with The Bean dying his (I’m a giver).

Human reason can excuse any evil; That is why it’s important that we don’t rely on it. (Andrew Prior)

Please be sure to check out my other blog friends and tell us what you think.  We would LOVE to hear your thoughts and your dream cast ideas!

Gone Pecan– Caleb and Peter

The Book Addict’s Guide– Christina, Mrs. Prior and Jeanine Matthews

The Grown Up YA– Eric and Will

Teen Lit Rocks  – Four and Uriah


Happy Friday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Bookish People I Stalk

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking about bookish people we’d like to meet.  The thing is,  I must be way boring or seriously mental (or both, let’s be honest) because while there are the obvious authors who need to become my bestie immediately, and there are bloggers I love and blogs I stalk, the only other bookish people I want to meet are book characters. So, um, does that even count?  I’m going to go ahead and say, why yes, I believe it doe and suddenly my list has gone from ten to ten thousand. I’ll try to reel it in.

Top Ten Bookish People I’d Like to Meet:

1. People who love books, especially YA books– Well duh.  But seriously, if you’re here and we’ve never chatted, say hi. I truly LOVE talking about books. I love sharing the books that mean something to me and I can’t even count the number of times someone has commented or e-mailed me with a book they feel I should read (and I read them and usually love them!). So drop a comment or an e-mail. I’m really nice, I swear.

2. Blogger Friends– I’ve had the chance to get to know SO MANY awesome people through blogging and man, a few of us have some epic Facebook and e-mail convos about hugely important stuff like the hotness of Jace, the incredible lack of aging by one Keanu Reeves, and the fact that it’s indeed a tragedy to have never seen Footloose. So let me give a shout out to some bloggers I really love: Gone Pecan, Teen Lit Rocks, The Grown Up YA, The Book Addict’s Guide.  And there are so many others.  I’d really love to arrange some huge non-stalkerish way to meet up, have some cocktails and discuss Michael Moscovitz.

3. Other blogs I stalk– There are tons of other blogs I stalk, ones where I don’t really know the hosts but I love to read what they have to say, like Forever Young Adult and YA Highway.

4. Meg Cabot– This would fit into my plan to be besties 4 evah, which is neither weird, nor creepy–right?

5. Leila Sales– The girl cracks me up. I just want to follow her around all day to see if she makes normal everyday life stuff like going to the post office or hitting Starbucks as funny as she makes her books and her blog.

6. Sarah Dessen– Love her words, love her books, her Twitter, all of it.

7. Every other author I love (because I can’t possibly list them all)- Sara Zarr, John Green, Jenny Han, E. Lockhart, Melina Marchetta, Cassandra Clare…too many more to name!

8. Authors Who Are No Longer– Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte for sure. We’d need to discuss, Knightley, Wentworth, Darcy and Rochester and just WTH was up with St. John and that seriously lame proposal. And I’d have to tell them how amazing their heroines are even now and how they’ve sort of ruined it for real-life guys because everyone wants to marry Darcy.

9. And Speaking of Heroines– I’d have to meet Elizabeth, and Emma and Jane Eyre. And of course there are modern-day ladies like Mia Thermopolis and Katniss, Mia Hall, Frankie Landau Bank and Hazel Grace and a list so long I can’t even imagine how much time it would take to discuss.

10. The Heroes– Goodness, were I to list them all I’d end up in a puddle on the floor. We’ll start here.

Happy Tuesday!

Casting Call- The Sky is Everywhere

Welcome to our new feature, Casting Call, hosted along with my good friends at Gone Pecan, The Book Addict’s Guide, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks.

Each week we’ll be dream casting some of our favorite books and sweet Lordy, isn’t it appropriate that we begin with one of the most gorgeous, swoonworthy books out there? A book with two of my all-time favorite heroes and heroines?  Well, feast your eyes on my cast for The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. And guys, if you’ve not read this book, do yourself a favor and get on it. You won’t regret it.

Alexandra Chando as Lennie

There’s something in her eyes that makes me think of Lennie, something sort of innocent and maybe a bit withdrawn. I’ve always pictured Lennie with eyes that really showed depth and pain and a lust for life (apparently I think eyes can say many, many things).

...but then all of a sudden the breath is kicked out of me and I’m shoved to the hard concrete floor of my life now, because I remember I can’t run home after school and tell Bails about a new boy in band. My sister dies over and over again, all day long. (pg 9)

Rachel Bilson as Bailey

We only get glimpses of Bailey through Lennie’s memories, but the flashbacks paint such a bright picture that I feel I know her so well. Ever the loving, protective big sister, she lived on in Lennie’s stories and her poetry. And in the bond that Lennie and Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, share.

I had such a hard time casting this one, but I feel that although she’s the older, more mature sister, she has to have a girlishness about her. I wavered between Rachel Bilson and Emmy Rossum, both of whom look young enough to be a teenager, but in the end went with Bilson mainly because she was older than the girl I chose to pick Lennie. Sometimes there’s a method to my madness. And sometimes not.

“…this is it. He’s it.”

“How do you know?”

“My toes told me. The toes knows.” (pg 119)

Zach Roerig as Toby

Oh, poor little Toby. Somtimes I wanted to hug him and other times I wanted to punch him in the face. It’s impossible not to feel something for the guy whose just lost his love and who has connected with the one person in the world who misses her as much as he does.  Zach Roerig is exactly, perfectly how I picture Toby–cute and unassuming, not about to suck all of the attention out of a room, added to this thing where he seems to have layers of emotion underneath a strong exterior (or maybe I think that because I’m just used to watching him deal with ex-girlfriends and their vampire drama on The Vampire Diaries).

I’m sorry, I whisper to Bailey inside my head, I don’t mean to think about Toby this way. I assure you it won’t happen again. It’s just that he’s the only one who understands, I add. Oh, bother. (pg 33)

And…best for last:

Aaron Johnson as Joe


Um, yes

The curls, the dark hair, the light eyes. Yep, that’ll do it.

I love this character, from his bright, earth-shattering smile to his joyful disposition, to everything in between. He’s cute, he’s a musician, he’s sort of cool and dorky all at once, and he loves Lennie in a sweet, adorably passionate way.

God, you’re gorgeous,” I blurt out and want to die because I can’t believe I said it aloud and neither can he–his smile, so huge now, he can’t get any words past it.

He stops again. I think he’s going to go on about Paris some more–but he doesn’t. I look up at him. His face is serious like it was last night in the woods.

“Lennie,” he whispers.

I look into his sorrowless eyes and a door in my heart blows open. And when we kiss, I see that on the other side of that door is sky. (pg 112)

So how would you cast this book? Please be sure to check out my other blog friends and tell us what you think:

Gone Pecan

The Book Addict’s Guide

The Grown Up YA

Teen Lit Rocks

DISCLAIMER: In our development of this feature we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays.” Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities is purely coincidental. Also, you should check out their casting because it rocks!

Happy Friday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Favs Books I’ve Read While Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by those awesome chicas over at The Broke and The Bookish.  This week we’re discussing our favorite books we’ve read during the life of our blog.

Now, please understand, this blog is (almost) two years old.  We’re just a wittle bitty baby.  And although I’ve read tons of books in that time, goodness, there are so many books I love that I can’t even mention because I read them pre-blog.  Ugh! It’s killing me. I mean, hello, I want to talk about Jonah Effing Griggs. I want to tell you how much I LOVE Cameron Quick (Sweethearts), but those were…sniff sniff…before.

Never fear! I’ve honestly read some absolutely incredible books since that lovely day in November of 2010, when I decided to put my crazy on display.  Yes, you’ve heard me babble about these books over and over again, but you guys, it’s because they’re so good!  

1.  Where She Went by Gayle Forman- I never imagined I could love the sequel to If I Stay as much as the first book…but sweet fancy Moses, I love this one even more. Maybe it’s that it’s all from Adam’s perspective?  Um, yeah, because he’s crazy hot awesome.  And yet, I also think it’s because I was so happy to have that chance to see Mia again, to know she’s not just surviving but that she’s thriving.

2. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- Everything about this book is beautiful. I love the story, I love the characters, I love the writing, I love the sad, crazy tragedy of it all. This book is pretty much perfect.

3. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan- I couldn’t put this book down.  It got to me on every level: in the girliest ways as I was sucked into the romance, but also as a mom as it explored the sad life of Sam and Riddle and the painful upbringing they had.  It was so well-done.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Good Lord, the writing here is fantastic. It’s poetic and beautiful, but it’s also funny.  Taylor created this wonderful mythical world and made it live alongside the real world, both seeming so real and so vibrant. And the MC, Karou? She is what kept me turning the pages. I loved her.

5. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- Oh, this book killed me in the best way possible (there is a good way).  It’d better than you’ve heard, which is saying a lot. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorites.

6. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Holy cow! The swoon, the steamy kisses, the bad guy I wanted Juliette to face punch and kiss–man, this is a good story.

7. Delirium by Lauren Oliver- This book is gorgeous!  Lauren Oliver has such an amazing, lyrical way with words.  I could read this book over and over again.

8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- I can’t talk about it without sounding like a total idiot.  It’s just, well, wonderful.  And you know that because it’s John Green, but still.  I loved it.

9. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr- Oh, I love all of Sara Zarr’s books, but this is my favorite. Even in the midst of loss and change and sadness, this story radiates hope.  And I love Zarr’s writing style. It’s clean and simple and yet her words pack such a punch of emotion.

10. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta- Goodness, this book is pretty much amazing, as are all Melina Marchetta books.  There was humor, there was a great cast of characters, and of course, like all of her books, I was hooked. And yeah, I cried, but not in a sad, depressed way.  She is such a great writer.

11. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater- Although the premise here sounded good, being that I wasn’t a built-in Stiefvater fan, I really wasn’t expecting much. And this book has a slow pace.  The beginning is a bit difficult as the author sets up the story, but truly, honestly, I say this with all of my heart, this book is so very worth the wait.  I could not put it down and I was so sorry to say goodbye to Sean and Puck in the end.

12. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins- This book is like a warm hug or day at Disneyland.  It shines with humor and happiness and manages to have one of the sweetest, more adorable romances I’ve seen in a long time.

Top Ten Tuesday- Romances That Would Really Make it

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. One of the B&B gals, Jamie, will be getting married very soon, and in honor of that absolutely wonderful celebration we’re discussing literary romances that would make it in the real world.

I love this topic. Love it.

1. Anne and Captain Wentworth, Persuasion by Jane Austen– Because, well, have you read that letter?  All that love stored up after all those years–you can’t beat a story like that. So much of their romance relates back to real life. In real life people grow up; they age. And in real life, in order to have successful love we have to forgive the past and offer a huge measure of grace.

2. Jane and Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– These are two crazy, passionate people (not as crazy as Bertha, obvs).  But Jane doesn’t end up with Rochester until she’s able to make it on her own. And in a way she rescues him. Again, this is how real life is. One person in the relationship isn’t always the hero; we equally rescue and take care of each other.

3. Adam and Mia, If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman– Oh man, the love here is beautiful and breathtaking.  This is truly one of my all-time favorite couples.

4. Michael and Mia, The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot– Hello, he created a robotic arm just to prove he’s worthy of her!  And he respects her as an individual with a life of her own. And Mia embraces that.

5. Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen– Before they’re married they act like a married couple, always sassy and opinionated, but flirtatious and overwhelmed by that love they didn’t plan on. Also, this is another couple that has to take down those walls of pride and move forward with higher, better expectations.

6. Jay and Violet, The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting– These two have a romance that evolved from friendship. While I think there are many ways to fall in love, this is my favorite—but I’m totally biased.

7. Cricket and Lola, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins– Again with the childhood friends. They’re so cute! But more than that, Cricket and Lola appreciate the unique nature of the other. And they can laugh at themselves. Real love must include lots of laughter.

8. Lennie and Joe, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson– I imagine that these two would be crazy, passionate and romantic in the loveliest sense of the word.  But even in those moments where they may not feel particularly lovey dovey (it happens, like when you’re paying your bills or talking about what to cook for dinner you’re not usually making googly eyes at each other), they have a firm foundation in their shared interests and in a deeper understanding of each other. They get each other. This is so important!

9. Conrad and Belly, The Summer series by Jenny Han– Come on. They’ve grown up together and despite immaturity on both parts, they’ve been building a loving relationship forever. They’re friends, they’re like family and it’s like they’ve waited their whole lives to finally grow up and be together.

10. Wes and Macy, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen– They laugh together. I can’t express enough how important this is. Also Wes= dreamy.

And yes, I can count but I just can’t stop myself. Here are a couple more:

11. Taylor and Jonah Effing Griggs, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta– I know they’ve endured some seriously painful shizz in their lives, but they’ve gotten to a place where they can be completely raw. They get each other, they get the pain and yet they want to see the other through it. Man, I love this couple.

12. Hermione and Ron, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling– Because they’re perfect for each other. They just are.