Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Because of Another Blogger

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish (a site I love).  This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read Because of Another Blogger.

It’s actually pretty difficult for me to trace why I read certain books.  Most often, I just know I’ve heard something good, or maybe I love the author or the premise.  Every so often the cover gets me (but let’s be real, in YA I usually have to fight the urge to run screaming in the opposite direction. The covers are SO bad. ).  Quite often I pick up a book because a blogger I trust has raved about it.  Here are a few that stand out in my mind:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsIf you’ve ever stopped by and visited the ladies at Forever Young Adult, you know that The Hunger Games is a staple there.  In the midst of their discussions about Peeta or Gale and the posts that help you find your Hunger Games name (I was Gersless O. Singmint, in case you were wondering),  I recognized I’d have to check this series out.  At the time, Mockingjay wasn’t out yet, so it was a bit of a gamble for me (we know how I hate to wait for sequels.  And it was still a significant wait), but once I read the first two books—and totally flipped out over them—at least I had a community of people to spazz with.

2. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan– Holy crap, this book blew me away.  I first read about it when author Gayle Forman mentioned it in her Twitter feed (and also on her blog) and it seemed like immediately afterward, the ladies at FYA were also singing its praises.  They couldn’t have been more right.  This book was amazing.

3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver- This is one I’d heard about, obviously, but wasn’t in any rush to get to (you know how it is when the TBR stack is taller than you). But, when I read how Carla at The Crooked Shelf pretty much fell in love with it, I ordered it immediately.  I’m so glad I didn’t drag my feet on this one.

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth-  It was inevitable that I pick this book up at some point, considering that before its release the world of bloggers was going cray cray for it.  The first person I heard spazz about it was, again, Carla at The Crooked Shelf, so I promised myself I’d read it and love it (which I did).

5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart- You guys, where would I be without Frankie?  She reinforced the cold hard truth: Girls rock.  And she makes up her own words, which, or course I love.  Again, my favorite blog, Forever Young Adult, put this one on the radar for me.

6. Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski- I read great reviews on two blogs I love, first at Anna Reads and then over at GReads.  Both ladies were right on the money. I loved the pants off this book and pretty much wanted to read it again the moment I finished it!

7. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready- Holy bananas I love this series.  I would never, ever have picked it up (because I’m sorry, but I’m not a fan of the covers) had it not been for Jen at Makeshift Bookmark.  Thanks to her I know of the incredible hotness of Zach and Logan.  I love these books! Did I already say that?  Good.

8. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra ClareThe weird thing is, I read Clockwork Angel before reading any of The Mortal Instruments books.  Based on the fact that I looooooved Clockwork Angel and the fact that several blogs, including Mundie Moms (I mean, wow, an entire site dedicated to Clare’s books? In a word, awesome) and The Story Siren, mention this series, I finally read (and loved) them.

9. Where She Went by Gayle Forman- Okay so, I honestly would have read this book anyway, considering the way I blubber like a maniac every time I read If I Stay, but I was a little scared.  When a book is THAT good, it’s normal to be concerned about the sequel because it seems like nothing can match up.  Then I read this great review at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing. She convinced me that, not only was it a good book, but that I would absolutely fall in love with it (and of course, I did).

10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore- This one I picked up from a blogger, Yannabe,  whose site now seems to be inactive (sad face, because I loved her reviews). I wanted to mention it though, because if she hadn’t spoken so highly of Graceling, it would have completely slipped past my radar and that would have been tragic.  It’s so excellent.

Mondays That Bite: Twilight Read Along Chapters 6-10

by Vee

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Monday, and that can only mean one thing: I get to indulge once again in some Twilight talk.  OMG.  For those of you who missed the gushing, I am still tote’s sending my love to Ginger at GReads for starting the fun.

The questions below came to us from Lisa at Lisa is Busy Nerding.  I had tons of fun answering them (thanks Lisa!), and hope YA Crushers have their own ideas to add as well.  And now, without further ado, week two of the funnest thing ever: the Twilight Read Along.  (Yay!)

1.  Because we have to talk about it sometime – are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?  Does that impact how you re-read the book?

Um, Team Edward.  Moo.  A totally emotional decision, and I won’t even bother stating my case.  I just be lovin’ me some Edward.  (And Jacob is a smelly dog.  Sorry,  I just had to get one dig in…)

Re-reading the books I had a totally different experience than when I read the books the first time .  This was true with all characters, including Jacob.  The first time I read them I wanted to go as fast as I could through the story because I felt so much in suspense, wanting to get to the bottom of all these mysteries.  The second time around I was able to digest the characters and much to my chagrin, I was able to see Jacob with less disdain when re-reading the first book because I felt he did do a lot that, I must admit, redeemed himself for me when we arrived at the series’ conclusion.  (She says in a begrudging tone.)

2. Bella spends a lot of her time by herself in her room when she’s not at school.  What do you think this says about her as a character?  Can you relate to her introverted nature?

I think the picture of Bella that Stephenie Meyers is trying to paint is of someone who isn’t necessarily the stereotypical teen girl.  It would take someone beyond the standard stereotype to catch the eye of someone who has seen them all.  Evidently Edward agrees.  The fact that Bella is an introvert who decides what is right for herself, despite what others might consider cool, foreshadows what’s to come and the decisions she makes in future books, which aren’t based on what most of us might choose but what she feels is right for her.  The convictions are strong in that young Padwan.  (Sorry, I’ve been having Star Wars marathons with my kids this summer…)

Do I relate?  Yeee-eh-uh.  As someone who was 100% non-sporty (let’s just say the klutz factor got in the way of my Olympic gold medal plans), not to mention kinda shy, being in my room reading was a favorite pastime.  Books saved me (remember my answer to question #1 last week?).  I could escape in books.  Books were my best conversation starters (and still are, actually).  Books rock the house.  As does hanging out alone, having quiet time with just you and your book in your room.  Yay books!

3. Probably my favorite chapter of the entire book, chapter eight brings us dress shopping, nearly getting assaulted, and then wraps up nicely with a quaint dinner and confession time.  In this we see the blend of typical teenage existence starting to get tainted by the paranormal world.  If given the choice right then, would you push to know more about the paranormal, or bury your head in the sand and live the teenage dream?

Push to know more.  Push to know more!!!!!  Ahhhhhhh!  Sevehn.

4. Already, it’s pretty clear that Bella is falling for Edward.  Is this happening too quickly to be plausible, or is it totally reasonable to you? What about Edward do you find to be swoonworthy at this point?

Unlike the person who plays him in real life, Edward is well spoken and thoughtful in what he says.  And – ok, let’s review – words are the way to Vee’s heart.  Also, if there’s mushroom ravioli involved: I. Am. Yours.  But I digress.  Chemistry, as it relates to love, can be a pretty tricky thing.  So it’s not entirely that implausible that she’s already giving him some stink eye.  Lez see…he’s evidently super hot, he can talk real good, and he does swoony gentlemanly things that guys his age, sadly, don’t always know to do.  (Offers her his delicious-smelling-jacket?  Hulloh?  Oh, and also, he pays for dinner.  And it was mushroom ravioli…did I mention that?)

5. Jessica has to forcibly remove all of the details on what’s going on from Bella, but through that we learn more about how she’s feeling and how she’s falling for Edward already.  If you were in Jessica’s shoes, what would you say to Bella?

“Bella, that is some hot piece of…”, oh wait…that’s not a proper answer.  If I were me, but in Jessica’s shoes, knowing only the little that Jessica knows about Edward, I’d say: “Bella, this dude is a little too dark and broody (though admittedly really fuh-huh-hine) so just tread lightly and look alive!  No dark, hidden corners with him for a while, ‘kay?”  Because in the real world, where he’s actually walking down the halls of school, I would think it was a little scary.  Dark, broody, never talking to anyone???  Hmmm…  But still, he’s Edward so I wouldn’t completely discourage it, either. I’d just ask that she be a ninja about it and watch out, because I don’t know who he really is, right?!!?!

For a list of next week’s questions, be sure to visit  Jasmine and Jacinda at The Reading Housewives of Indiana and check back with us on Monday when we discuss chapters 11-15 (it’s meadow time, party people)!

Even the photo stills of the scene in the Port Angeles restaurant make me sad (I really don't think the screenwriter - or the director - did it justice in the movie - yes more whining), so the only thing I could bear to include this week, was a photo of mushroom ravioli. Sigh.

Top Ten Tuesday: Rebels in Literature

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and I luuuurve this week’s topic: Top Ten Rebels in Literature!

I love a good rebel because they are so very opposite of sweet, goody two-shoes me.  In most of my examples, these are not characters who were all brooding and Rebel Without a Cause-ish, but they stood up for what they believed in despite the consequences.  That is, in a word, awesome.

So here is my list of the best rebels evah:

1. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)– I’ve mentioned before that Atticus is hands down my favorite literary character of all time.  I don’t believe he’ll ever be surpassed.  In a time and place where racism was commonplace, he defended an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman,  despite the danger  that is posed to both he and his family and, perhaps worse, despite the fact that he knew it was a losing battle.  Plus he’s been forever memorialized by Gregory Peck in the film version. That’s never a bad thing.

Atticus and Tom

2. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)- Jane had a less than desirable upbringing and a life lacking much love until she crossed the threshold of Thornfield Hall and became governess to Mr. Rochester’s ward, Adele.  Just when it seemed like she was about to get her well-deserved happily ever after, the rug was pulled out from under her.  She didn’t stay and take the tawdry option offered my Mr. Rochester, but instead left and carved out a new life for herself.  It was painful, but she did the brave thing and moved on.

3.  Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)- My love for Miss Bennet runs deep. She’s bright and beautiful but quick to recognize the fact that though it’s not a common idea, she hopes to one day marry for love.  She turns down not one but TWO marriage proposals (from Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy) and has no problem making fun of Darcy to his face.  In the end, she’s humble enough to see her own shortcomings and to forgive Darcy for his, but I think her weaknesses are what make her so interesting (and I think that’s what Mr. D loves about her too).

4. Katniss (The Hunger Games)- I think most of us would be willing to take the place of a loved one who is about to face danger.  Most of us, when put to the test, would fight with all we had for our lives if necessary (though there’s no guarantee we’d be as much of a butt kicker as Katniss).  But not everyone would have the courage to pretty much say IN YO FACE to the Capitol again and again (because not only can they hurt you, they can hurt everyone you love). Whether it’s with her illegal hunting at home, her mockingjay pin, or eating the berries in the first book, Katniss has some serious cojones.

5.  Harry, Ron and Hermione (The Harry Potter series)- I could go on for days blabbing about how much I love these three.  They are the most devoted of friends, their strengths compliment each other and despite the fact that they’re young wizards (meaning there are many who are more experienced and stronger) they constantly run toward danger to face it head on.

6. Frankie Landau Banks (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks)– Guuuurl, Frankie is awesome.  She realizes one day that she doesn’t like being left out of the all boy secret society on campus.  So what would you do if you were Frankie?  Most people would complain and do nothing (I’m in that group). A few might spy on them.  But that wasn’t good enough for our girl Frankie.  She infiltrated the group and got them to take orders from her like they were her little minions. And they had NO idea it was a yucky old girl doing it all! Also, she makes up words which automatically makes her awesome.

7. Tris (Divergent)– I know we haven’t posted our review on this one yet, but I’ve read it and it’s fantastic.  Tris is amazing because she is so courageous–like, courageous bordering on crazy, but courageous just the same.  She leaves her family, the place she’s grown up, and faces people who aren’t warm to her, to train for a dangerous job she may not get (thus leaving her homeless and without much purpose).  And her bravery has nothing to do with being fearless. That’s the best part. She is frightened, but she pushes past it.

8. Lena (Delirium)- Lena has to go against everything she’s ever been taught for the sake of love.  And this is dangerous for many reasons.  First, because she’s been told that love is a serious infectious disease (but she is willing to risk catching it when Alex sparks her interest), second because she could be locked away (or worse), and third because Alex could be harmed.  But she risks it all, not only for romantic love, but for the memories she holds of real love from her mother or the real love she feels for her best friend.  These things make her willing to question everything she’s ever believed in.

9. Taylor Markham (Jellicoe Road)- Taylor is brave bordering on crazy in her desperation to find her mentor Hannah, the closest thing she’s had to a parent since her mom abandoned her years ago.  Taylor will break any rules to find Hannah, or to find more information about her mother’s whereabouts. And then there’s her confusing relationship with Jonah Griggs, who both intrigues and infuriates her.  Even though it hurts, she never backs down.  She fiercely pursues the people and things that mean the most to her. Plus, she’s pretty brilliant as she leads her team in the local Territory Wars.

10. Katsa (Graceling)- Man we need to review this book. It is so good. And Katsa is a butt kicker.  She is a trained assassin working for an evil king and though it may cost her her life, she defies him. Along the way she falls in love and, unlike most love stories, has no interest in marrying him! She loves him but …SPOILER ALERT…she’s like, can’t you just be my lover?  Now, this isn’t necessarily how I’d choose to live, but when I read it I was like WHHHATTT??  You, Katsa, have a giant pair of you know whats.  Also, you’re an amazing fighter.

2011 MTV Movie Awards: The Cliff Notes (Longest Cliff Notes Evah)

by Vee

Ok, soooo I am about 18 years too old to care about the MTV Movie Awards or find them in any way amusing.  That’s like the life of an entire person!  Who can vote!  Oh my.

Alas, books that turned into movies were nominated.  The actors who PLAYED the characters in said movies were there.  Someone had to watch this shiz and bring the news back to my people (that’s you — yes I am blaming this on you/using you as my scape goat as to why I am to watch teeny bopper award shows with Justin Bieber in them).  It was a sacrifice, but watching scenes from the newest Harry Potter and Breaking Dawn movies was just something I had to endure for you.  I hope you appreciate me!  Because I had to rewind, rewind, and rewind again, just so that I could get this all just right.  But more on the new movie clips to come soon.

I will go through the awards in order of how the events occured for the most part, but to be honest this article really has no plan.  Just my observations.  At times I’ll talk about what actors or the host said, and it may look like a quote, but I am just paraphrasing, because it’ll be a cold day in my oven on Thanksgiving if I am going to go look up exact quotes for this!  And in certain instances, I don’t know the name of some of the actors, because I am just too old to care.  So, if this is the case, I suggest you Google it.  I promise it’ll come up.

Jason Sudeikis

The Host: Jason Sudeikis

The Good – He doesn’t try too hard to “act young”.  He acts like himself, and he’s actually quite funny, but he also clearly knows “what up” in the MTV world.  So, as far as I could see, it was a good balance.  Also nice, he has good rappor with many of the A-list people on the scene, which allows for some funny, easy moments.  Example: Clearly he is a good bud of Justin Timberlake (repeat after me: looooove him), so after a few digs in his opening monologue (“You may know me from SNL, or as my family refers to it, ‘The Justin Timberlake Show’“), it was cute and hilarious when Justin (the first presenters of the night along with Mila Kunis) referred to Jason with one simple word: “A**hole.”  Hee. That might be offensive to some, to whom I say, this is Justin Timberlake!  He can do no wrong.

One of the best moments of the night?  When Jason made a joke about Emma Stone’s movie, “Easy A”, during his opening monologue and they pan to her in the audience.  Unlike other starlets who just laughed politely – if uncomfortably – Emma went stone faced, but clearly doing so to add to the humor of the moment.  That’s when I knew I’d been right about that Emma Stone girl.  She is awesome sauce and we should tot’s be friends (call me Emma).  Or, I could be like her mom figure and she can call me up for advice (just call me, we’ll figure it out).

The Bad: Jason, could you please cap your Schwarzenegger jokes about illegitimate children at 10?  That 12th one…bit of overkill.  Yawn.  And if I could just ask a favor: leave Maria Schriver out of the punch lines…she’s gone through enough with that LAB she had for a husband.  (Aggro much?  I know.)

The Ugly: His attempt at a musical moment (a la Hangover when that dude plays made up songs at the piano but which, though terrible, are hilarious) was a failure!  The only silver linings were a brief appearance by Foo Fighter lead singer David Grohl hitting the gong for him and Emma Stone, singing briefly with Jason.  Other than that it was just lame.

Now that's a bad morning...

Other good host moments: The opening clip had Taylor Lautner doing something he does really well (and I say this despite the fact that he’s a smelly dog that I hate!), which is to play the charismatic straight man to a comedian’s bits.  He proved this beautifully on his SNL appearance, and he is always a good sport.  And since I’m already on the subject of the opening clip, I might as well complete my thoughts on it and just say that Eva Mendes made me pee mah pants.  She wakes up (again, a la Hangover – which I LOVE saying for some reason) with a Team Jacob tattoo all across her cheek.  She flips out on Sudeikis and says, “WTH man, I am Team Edward, I’ve ALWAYS been Team Edward!!!!”  It was hella funny.  But maybe thaz just because I love me some Twilight (this statement however comes to be challenged as the evening progresses).

So on to the awards themselves…

Mila's got all the luck...gorg hair, and gorg co-presenter.

Mila Kunis (who had the best hair of the night) and JT (that’s what I call my man, Justin Timberlake) who were funny and genuine, presented the award for Best Male Performance.  For the record, they take my “Funniest Presenters of the Night” award.

Best Male Performance Winner: Robert Pattinson (Edward, moo) for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Now you’d think I’d be all happy pants about this but alas, I was not.  I’ll be up all night if I make a list of everyone listed, so I’ll just tell you who SHOULD HAVE won: Daniel Radcliffe (Mr. Harry Potter, of course).  Did anyone who texted in their votes watch HP?  Serious?  I can’t even talk about it.  And then of course Mr. Pattinson gives one of those quirky speeches of his and you go…for reals?  You’re Edward?  Holy crow, indeed.  If only he wasn’t so pretty I would have broken up with him straight after this acceptance speech, but alas I did not — what can I say, he looked pretty good, he even looked like he’d washed his hair.  His acceptance speech moments progressively got worse, so my decision was not a wise one.

(Silver Lining: At least Taylor Lautner didn’t win.)

Then Steven Spielberg and his peeps from his upcoming movie Super 8 came out and showed us all a clip…and I think me smells a hit!  I’m crossing my fingers that this will be my kids’ generation’s Goonies…every generation needs a movie like that!

Now we come to Best Villain, presented by Steve Carell, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — who everyone thinks is all yummy pants but I get this sense from him that he knows he’s yummy pants so for me that always cancels any deliciouness associated with any pants, his or anyone else’s.  I don’t like it when you think your pants are yummy.  If you know, just shut up, pretend you don’t.  I’ll let you know if you’re right.  So back to best villain, who is tot’s a good one!

Best Villain Winner: Tom Felton (Drako Malfoy) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I (yay!)

Funny thing, though I wanted HP to get at least one win, which (spoiler alert) this was the only one (I know!), but I was just wondering why Aro of Eclipse was not nominated?  That would be a nod for Twilight that would have me saying, “OK, yea, that’s about right and it wasn’t just crazy Twi-fans voting 27,000 times.”   Sorry, Michael Sheen!  Oh, and also, sorry to Voldemort…a note to Ralph Fiennes you rock da house with your creepy snake face. For reals.

And then, guess what?  FOOOOOOOOOOO FIGHTEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSS, thaz what!  Foo Fighters played their newest song, Walk, and were uuuuuuuuh, SO good, of course!  Reminded me that I need to add more pennies to my jar because I am tot’s going to be at their next concert!  Oh, but before that Jim Carrey came out and did an initially funny bit where he poked fun at presenters who did over the top stuff to get attention when really they are there to spotlight/introduce someone else.  He did so while wearing a fancy-high tech green screen suit (yes, you read that right) that switched up different scenes on itself.  That alone would have been funny had he chosen some outlandish scenes, maybe snapshots of himself to continue the whole self centered motif?  Instead he chose to keep inserting (no pun intended, believe me) a scene of two dogs doing, well, you know, the deed.  And as he went back to that scene, it would stay on that for longer and longer periods of time.  Now, I promise you, I’m not some huge, uptight prude.  I chuckled a bit at the first brief clip of the dogs.  Then the clip time kept getting longer and longer and I couldn’t help think of how young many of the kids in the audience were — and those watching.  It crossed over to the crass spectrum, for me (this is where people write me hate mail for being and old fogey who can’t take a joke anymore, and that’s ok).

And so we move to the next award presented by some comedians who’s names I just don’t know.  Sorry.


Best Jaw Dropping Moment:  The winner will make your own jaw drop, but luckily (and my Silver Lining on this one), Justin Beiber did not win this one for Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Performance Spectacular.  Not when you had the likes of James Franco of 127 Hours cuttting off his arm or Steve-O of Jackass 3D bungee jumping INSIDE of a loaded porta-potty.  (And the clip of that was – well – jaw dropping, once you finished gagging).  But wait, what?  Oh, huh, Justin Beiber DID win.  Lest I get killed by the Justin Army, I think I am just going to quit while I am ahead on this one.

Then Josh Duhamel (yum), Patrick Dempsey (McYum,Yum), Shia LeBouef and the lucky, lucky girl who is in the new Transformers with them step onto the foggy stage (the fog machine worked overtime that night) and presented the award for…

Best Fight: Robert Pattinson, Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuels for Eclipse, for the scene when Edward rips Victoria’s head off.

I will admit, this was a strong choice.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  Ok, that’s a lie.  The acceptance speech would have been only too painful, had it been just RP up there, but luckily Bryce and Xavier saved the day with some actual gracious comments to the fans and some of the people involved in making the movie.  Thank you, Richie Cunningham, for teaching your daughter how to speak in public.  Thank you.  And Bryce, BTW, is preggers and couldn’t have looked cuter in her Grecian-style dress.  Interesting choice of color, I’d say, but at the end of the day, it worked for me.

After Jason sings on that gadnabbed piano (we’ve already gone over that, thank goodness), came one of the best moments of the night.  Ryan Reynolds came out.


Dear me, what a lucky sweater.

Wait, where was I?  Right…Ryan Reynolds (sigh) came out with Blake Lively and presented Best Kiss.  And, if you watched the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 and 2010, I don’t think you’ll be too surprised with the result.

Best Kiss: Oh yes friends…RP and Kristen Stewart (Edward and Bella) for Eclipse.  And ya know…the thing is, if you look at the other nominees, they weren’t all that fantastic.  I was kinda surprised by how few “good kisses” occured this year.  Nonetheless, I don’t mean to diminish th yummy-delicious-ness of the meadow kiss.  They are good at the kissing, those two, so congrats.

It was also nice how Kristen and Robert came up and made the best acceptance speech of the night. OK, no one believes me at this point, so why bother with the sarcasm?  OMG, Kristen Stewart.  I suggest, I beg, I implore, that you come over one day when my BFF Emma Stone is over for tea (that’s what we’re going to do, Emma and I) and we can talk about what not to do.  We’ll work on body language, work on some Pavlovian trick to help you not bite you lip all the time.  Trust me, it’ll be great!  It’ll be very The King’s Speech, you’ll love it!  Also, I think someone needs to ‘splain that a safety pin dress is not only not flattering, but since you wear shiz like that all the time, it has already numbed us to the look…sorry but you don’t look like a rebel.

Silver lining: Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart didn’t win for their Eclipse kiss (blech, blech, spit, blech, insert mouthwash, blech!).  Team Edward wins, ha!  But Robert did run into the audience to go plant one on Taylor and it was HIIIIIGH-larious.

Let us just take a moment and compare...hmmm...

And them Hermione came out (ok, fine, Emma Watson) and I was all…awww, you look so cute with that short hair.  Her white dress (she looks great in white) was a little “old” for her, for my taste, buy she made it work.  And anyhow, who cares, she came out and showed a clip of the very last, sniff, sniff, Harry, weep, weep, Potter, buahhhhh!, Movie.  Sniffle.  The clip for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II was totally satisfying and I can see that this movie is going to be worth every single penny I spend seeing it in the movie theater 5 times.  Or 12.

The boy who lived, come to die.  AVADA KADAVRA!!!”  [Kablaaaam!] Hearing Voldemort pronounce this line just like it appears on the pages of the book followed by the flash of his wand (hence the “kablaaaaam”) was enough to get me a little chokey-choked up.  The clip gave me confidence that this final movie is the brilliant culmination of the equally brilliant Harry Potter movies that have come before it.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!    Can’t wait!!!

And thus we arrived to the point of the night when the Generation Award was presented to Ms. Reese Witherspoon. (Love her!  Reese, you should call me too…maybe you can help me and Emma with this whole Kristen connundrum.)  Patrick Dempsey (McYummmmm), Robert Pattinson and Chelsea Lately said some words before having her come up to accept her award.  The video clip in her honor was excellent and hit its mark…I knew pretty much all the movies, but seeing all her hits one after another after another made me stop and think, “Wow, look at this Reese…sistah, you are accomplished!”  I did, I said it out loud and my beloved looked at me like I was cray-ZAAAAAAAY!

Patrick Dempsey shared his admiration of Reese in his classy, suave way (nice suede jacket, BTW).  And then came Rob.  Rob, Rob, Rob.  Rob.  For starters he pulled out his crumpled notes from his back pocket, which throws you off because Patrick had just finished speaking without any notes.  So Rob made reference to his sorry-ass looking piece of paper and Patrick and Chelsea were like, “Dude, use the teleprompter??”  Except, and this was funny…under his section for the teleprompter it just said “ad lib”, which he quickly pointed out to the two of them.  So I don’t know if something beyond his control happened, in which case I’d like to know so I can send him an apology note for judging him.  OR maybe he didn’t get his notes to the intern in charge of typing them into the teleprompter in a timely manner.  You decide the most likely of the two theories.

And so he reads off his speech, which included inside jokes with Reese (kind of like a middle schooler making a speech for his best bud who wants to show just how close they are, them and their inside jokes and all) that no one got.  At a certain point it was clear that even Reese was trying to figure out what he was referring to.  This was followed by his fumbling a joke’s punchline (during her acceptance speech Reese fixed it for him, and then everyone laughed).  Robert was so off that it made Chelsea Lately clearly uncomfortable.  Now that’s talent.  Patrick looked like he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him.  I kind of wished the same thing for Rob, just to spare him further embarassment.

FINALLY Reese came up and gave and outstanding acceptance speech.  She started by saying that she knew the mystique of “the bad girl” is intriguing but that it’s possible to make it in Hollywood and remain a good girl.  That you do not need a reality show to make it in Hollywood.  She wanted young girls of America today to know that “in her day”, if you made a sex tape you were so mortified you’d hide it under your bed [not put it on You Tube], and if you took naked pictures of yourself, you’d try to hide your face [not Tweet it]. WOW.  I loved her before, and now I am a fan for life.  Good for you Reese!

After some other comedy bits which, evidently, were quite forgettable, Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz, looking chic and effortless in a black short/blouse set with a thin black belt, presented…

Best Line From A Movie: Alexys Nycole Sanchez for the line: “I want to get chocolate wasted,” in the movie Grown Ups

She was darling and, obviously her parents prepared her well for her acceptance speech. Perhaps someone should forward them Robert’s parents’ digits, see what they can do to help.  And for the record, I want to get chocolate wasted too, Alexys!  Good job!

Honorable Mention For Vee: One other nominee who was a worthy opponent, from my BFF’s movie, Easy A:

Amanda Bynes:  “There’s a higher power who will judge you for your indecencies.”

Emma Stone: “Tom Cruise?”


Ashton Kutcher, looking very David Grohl-wannabe despite his bow tie, and Nicki Minaj presented Kristen Stewart (are you surprised?) with Best Female Performer.  And in this one instance, I have to share who she was up against:

Emma Stone, Easy A
Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Jennifer Aniston, Just Go With It
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Now, I get, really, that this isn’t the Oscar, but for reals????   Ahhhh!  My most heartfelt apologies to Hermione.  And well, you know how I feel about Emma Stone.  You had two Emma’s to choose from!  All you had to do was pick one of them!  Instead, you chose the lip biter.  Well done America.  I don’t even want to talk about the lip biter’s speech.  I don’t.

You cooould go with this...

Leyton Meester, Selena Gomez and Katie Cassidy came out and introduced the rapper Lupe Fiasco who offered a solid performance.  I bobbed my head a bit as I watched it.  But what I really want to talk about is Leyton Meester’s dress!  Ack!  Was Loehmann’s having a sale on Granny mini-dresses?  Worst dressed of the night for me.  And that’s taking Kristen Stewart’s safety pin dress into consideration.  In contrast you have sweet Katie Cassidy’s fresh crochet-looking white dress which was not my fav but which beffitted her age and the tone of the awards, and one of the two people who I thought were best dressed that night, Selena Gomez.  That girl has the best stylist in Hollywood.  For the past year I’ve noticed just how incredibly fabu she is dressing.  (If you’re curious, my other best dressed is Emma Stone, but I am almost embarassed to say it because I am starting to sound like a stalker.)

...OR this. Tough choice, I know.

Jason Bateman, some other comedian dude I don’t know, and Jason Sudeikis presented…

Best Comedic Award: And the winner is…on your feet, ladies and gents…Emmmmmmmaaaa Stoooooooone, for Easy A.  Nuff said.


(Except that her dress and demeanor were perfect.)

Then came the piece de resistance, and the thing many a 13 year old girl across the country asked if they could stay up late to watch, even though they shouldn’t have been allowed to…RPatz, KS and Taylor Lautner came out and introduced, in their own suave way (do we have to go over this anymore?), the Breaking Dawn, Part 1 trailer.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!  (What can I say, I am still a suckah for this story.)

In consideration of how inhumanly long I’ve made this article, I’ve written another article with details about this clip (and you knoooow I have details on this!).  You can click on this link if you want to read all about it.  For those of you who don’t want to go that route, I’ll just say the most important thing about this clip: There. Was. Headboard. Breakage.  Thaz right.

Think I just about barfed of joy. And relief.

And truly, as skiddish as I am after three movies that really don’t do justice to the books (Universal, why didn’t YOU buy the rights to Twilight?  Forks could right now be in Florida, right next to Hogwarts, and my life would be complete), this did in fact looked pretty good.  The wedding scene was just right.  Yes, for the first time ever, I am actually saying that a scene from one of those movies looks like the picture I had in my head.  And now I feel like I’ve jinxed my chances for a satisfying movie, so I’ll just move on.

Annnnnd finally, best movie.  But before I state the obvious, I’d like to give a shot out to the presenter, Gary Busey, who came out in a plastic hamster ball to present the award, which I can only commend him on.  I mean, if I had to present this award to the winner, when movies like Harry Potter and Social Network were nominated, I’d have some sort of protection against any rotten tomatoes thrown my way.

I can’t even make it suspenseful, because, guess who won?  Yea, I know you know already, but couldn’t you just pretend to be surprised, for my sake?

As much as this hurts...thank you Taylor. Ow.

Best Movie: The Twilight Saga, Eclipse

Once again I’d like to say…what?!?!?!  Did they not see that HP was nominated for this one either?  Weep.  I have no delusions, I know that this isn’t the Oscars, it’s not an awards show where Black Swan is going to win, even when nominated against Eclipse, but really?  If the voice of teen America is being represented, and teen America is self-centered enough to pick Eclipse over Harry Potter, I’m kinda worried.  Just sayin.

No, I was not kidding.

Silver Lining: No, not the hamster ball.  Taylor Lautner gave a very nice acceptance speech, that smelly mutt.

And thus concludes the longest article ever written for YA Crush.  Thanks to those of you who stuck through it.

Sarah Dessen Week

It’s Sarah Dessen Week!!!!!!!!

We’re following suit with a couple of blogs we love, The Reading Housewives of Indiana and YA Bibliophile,  in celebrating Sarah Dessen Week.  Sarah’s new book, What Happened to Goodbye comes out tomorrow (holla!) and we are pretty much freaking out over here.  For the rest of the week we’ll deconstruct Dessen’s themes and distinct voice and analyze the strengths of her protagonists ( Snort.   I can’t even type that with a serious face).  Okay, actually we’re gonna spazz out about the awesomely awesome heroines, the totally swoony boys and pretty much slobber all over her books.

As our first order of Sarah Dessen-y business we are going to repost a review of one of our all-time favorite books, The Truth About Forever.  If you have not read it, please check it out…like now.  One word: Wes.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

(originally posted November 26, 2010)

The truth is, I love this book

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Here’s the scoop:

When Macy’s jerkface of a boyfriend,  Jason,  asks her for a summer break—via e-mail, no less—she is understandably shocked.  He doesn’t break up with her exactly, but he wants them to take the summer to review their goals so that when he returns home they can commence to make a decision regarding their future.  Yeah, I know.  Macy shouldn’t have put up with that.  But girlfriend did, though instead of pulling a Bella and acting half-dead, she surprises herself by accepting a job at Wish Catering.  The chaos and frenzy she experiences there offer a reprieve from her disappointment over Jason, and more importantly, over her father’s recent death.

Dessen is such a gifted writer. It feels as though the words flow from her books with such ease and simplicity.  She’s never overwritten and never tries too hard to honestly capture moments of sadness, embarrassment or humor.  She has the innate ability to transport her readers to normal places with normal circumstances while somehow making them all seem truly magical.  And with this book more than any of her other novels, she has created characters who are so wonderfully vivid and charming that I can’t help but wish I could crawl inside their world and live there.

Outside of Macy—who is so realistic in her need to have a perfectly planned life—there is Wes, the artistic Dreamy McDreamerson (Sa-woon!).  Wes is a boy who has a bit of a troubled past but is now responsible and devoted to helping care for his younger brother, Bert.  And Bert, oh Bert.  It’s impossible not to love that adorable dork head.  He drives an old ambulance (which he refers to as the Bertmobile.  Hello Cuteness!) and is all about Armageddon and end of the world stuff—and he’s serious about that crazy biz.  Wes and Bert have neighbors (who are also co-workers at Wish because it’s run by the boys’ aunt) Kristy— who encourages Macy to forget her bonehead ex so she can find a truly extraordinary boy— and Monica, Kristy’s little sis (I mean, how can I not love someone who mumbles phrases like “Donneven” and “Bettaquit?”    She’s like the freaking Donnie Brasco of Sarah Dessen books.  Fuggetaboutit).

Macy’s interaction with her new co-workers quickly goes from catering jobs to solid friendship.  She tries at first to be anti-social, preferring to go home and study for her SATs,  but finally bends to the pressure of Kristy’s constant invitations to join the group when they hit the town (meaning good old-fashioned keggers).  Since they’re together so often, Macy and Wes start playing an ongoing game called Truth (like Truth or Dare without the dare) and, as a result, they develop a close relationship.

This isn’t a story with intense physical action or complicated plotlines.  It’s about life, recovering from loss—both of Macy’s dad and of her perfectly mapped out expectations—and finding love;  not only the sweet romantical  kind, but the stuff that comes from being stripped down to your truest self and knowing you’re still accepted.  And even though there isn’t lots kissing, this book is still Swoon City.

Crush Intensity: 5/5  This is a perfect, sweet book that will always remain one of my all-time favorites.

Soundtrack: Oh man, the Strokes are the stuff eargasms are made of.  I think “Someday” is a perfect fit for The Truth About Forever.

Memorable Quote:

“Wes, come on,” I said. “Are you seriously not aware of how girls stare at you?”

He rolled his eyes, leaning back on his palms.  “Let’s get back to the idea of you being perfect.”

“Seriously, what’s it like?”

“Being perfect? I wouldn’t know.”

“Not being perfect.” I sighed. “Being…”

As I tried to come up with something, he flicked a bug off his arm.

“…gorgeous,” I finished.  Two weeks earlier, this would have mortified me: I could just see myself bursting into flames from shame.  But now, I only felt a slight twinge as I took another sip of my beer and waited for him to answer.

“Again,” he said, as the parking lot girls passed by, eyeing both of us, “I wouldn’t know.  You tell me.”


King of the Underworld a hottie? Um, fo sho.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

EVERY GIRL who has taken the test has DIED.

Now it’s KATE’S TURN.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails…

Here’s the scoop:

Whoa.  Sounds heavy, right?  Well, yea, kind of, but there is so much more to this book than life and death drama.  Like swoony pants action with the King of the Underworld.

Kate Winters is grappling with the approach of her mother’s untimely death.  Mom has been struggling for years with cancer and we meet them on Kate’s 18th birthday on the road from New York to Eden, Michigan.  Mom’s dying wish is to live out the last of her days, which evidently are somewhere in the slim to none category, in her hometown.

Mom begins her walk down nostalgia road by asking Kate to make a stop in a wooded area not far from the outskirts of town. So they pop by and mom takes a moment at a hu-mon-goid wrought iron gate which she says is the entrance to Eden Manor.  Anything called a “manor” sounds creepsville to me.  And even though, after mom stares lovingly at the gate for a lil’ bit all they do is return to the car and go on their way, I know Eden Manor is something to watch out for in this story.  I am just gifted that way.

As they approach the town of Eden, Kate nearly sends her mom, and herself, to an earlier grave, as she has a near miss with a cow on the road and swerves the car into a spin that nearly crashes them into a line of trees, which I hear can be pretty painful.  Mom, in her weak state and all, pretty much sleeps through all of this, but Kate spots a hella good looking young, dark, brooding fellow in a black coat (because they always gotsa to be in foreboding wardrobe, it’s the rule!).  This brief encounter through her rear view mirror leaves her unsettled.

They settle into a not-so-cozy house, and Kate begrudgingly starts her new school, appropriately named Eden High where she befriends James, who incidentally is kinda the school weirdo. Then, of course, once Dylan, the captain of the football team, starts making googly eyes her way, all-a-sudden Ava, GF of the aforementioned high school football star, who is – shockingly – captain of the cheerleaders, decides it’s time to be friendly.

Ava turns out to be a big phony bologny byotch.  She takes Kate on a wild goose chase towards a supposedly awesome party, into the dark, dark forest, across a cold river (not cool since Kate is like tote’s afraid of water) not far from Eden Manor.  (Did I call it, or what?  Just sayin.)  Once there Kate realizes, WHAT?  There’s no party, no cool people by the keg!  Ava takes off her clothes, revealing a bikini – and with it – her plan to abandon Kate in this predicament all along, all because she was mad at Kate over her boyfriend sending some stink eye her way!  Like it’s Kate’s fault!?  Homegirl dives into the river, cracks her head and passes out.  (That’s why mom always said, “Feet first the first time,” yo!)  So now Kate has to save the bish-who-JUST-stole-her-pads?  Child, please.

So now, Kate’s not alone in the middle of the woods, at night, not knowing how to get back home.  Oh no, now she has a dead girl for company.  As she sits there pondering what to do about the dead girl, guess who shows up?!?!?  Um, dark, brooding dude with the black coat.  I KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!  And, in a nutshell he asks Kate, in his totally hot, swoony way, what she would do if only she could give Ava her life back.  And Kate says, “Anything.”  Oh shizz, girlfriend, don’t you know?  Never say, “Anything”!  Not to a dark, mysterious, seemingly super natural being in a BOOK.  Cuz in a BOOK, he’ll be all, “Alrighty then, how about giving your life over to me and being queen of the Underworld for 6 months out of the year, for the rest of eternity?”  Obvs you’ll say, “Sure thing, jelly bean,” because you think this guy is high.  Who would possibly do that?  Henry, as this gorgeous fellow introduces himself, that’s who!  And he does.  In two seconds flat Ava goes from dead to not.  Henry’s only condition is that Kate stay true to her word or Ava goes without a pulse again.  Because Henry is, in fact, Hades, King of the Underworld, just like we all learned in Greek Mythology class.  Or, he at least claims to be.

Despite Henry’s hotness, Kate struggles with her decision.  If she accepts, she must leave her mother, move in with Henry, and go through some crazy tests that will decide whether or not she is worthy of being Queen of the Underworld.  If she doesn’t accept, rumor has it Ava will drop dead.  Again.  But these are probably her last days with mom. How can she leave now that her mom is so sick that she has nurse care 24/7?  But if she doesn’t go, will Ava really die?

I would be spoiling some of my favorite thrills and chills of this book if I divulged Kate’s decision, Ava’s fate and the part that James plays in this story.  Suffice it to say that just as I felt I knew who was who, and what their role was in the story, the author surprised me time and time again.  Henry continues to be delish, if a little removed (but we’ll just call that brooding).

As a debut author, I think Aimee Carter has hit the nail on the head.  The Goddess Test, released on April 19, is entertaining and, satisfyingly – to a mythology dork – it offers logical explanations as to how the world of mythology, and a place like Hades, could still exist in our world, within the parameters of this fantasy.  And it does so without getting lost in its own explanation and without taking away from the main story, which is Kate’s journey to understand this world she didn’t know existed, and the journey she is on emotionally as she prepares to say goodbye to her mother.  Kate is a heroine with a good head on her shoulders, a strong voice, and a good heart.  The story has some incredible twists that you really, honest to goodness won’t see coming, and some swoon in there, for good measure.

I want to send a huge thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley, for offering us the chance to review this book.  Being a bit of a mythology geek, among my many areas of geek specialty, this was right up my alley!

A sequel to The Goddess Test is scheduled to be released in February 2012, entitled Goddess Interrupted.  I am hoping Henry will reveal more of his romantic, passionate side in this one, if he does make an appearance…  (That’s my Jedi mind trick, playing with your head.  Will he or won’t he?  What’s he doing – or not – at the end of this book…ah!?!?)  Aimee has also revealed on her website that a third edition to this series will be released in November 2012, and is yet untitled.  I am looking forward to seeing how this story develops!

Crush Level:

4.5/5 – Great story, but I am looking for a more reciprocal devotion on Henry’s part.  A big chunk of him seems still pining for Persephone, his former wife,  as Kate is falling for him and it’s hard to decide if he could possibly be genuine in his feeling for Kate with all the baggage he’s carrying. But the exciting and unexpected twists in this story, and the smartly written heroine make this story a one-sit read for me.  I already am hearing that little voice in my head saying, “I wanna read  this again!”

How I See It:

Kaya Scodelario fits the bill for me - again (See Hunger Games Casting).

Kate: Kate needs to be someone really good-looking – she’s hanging out with gods and goddesses, so “must look good in a toga” is a requirement, but still down to earth, because she has to prove herself a worthy human with a good head on her shoulders.  I think Kaya Scodelario scores high for me on both those traits.

Shiloh Fernandez. Look at him, all dark and broody.

Henry:  This was a hard one, and as close as I could get being that Henry is supposed to be in his early 20’s.  As a young yet tortured looking dude, with millenia of experience in his eyes, I do declare Mr. Shiloh Fernandez will do.

OMG, this picture is so perfectly "Ava" its not even funny!

Ava:  Has to be someone who plays the recovered mean girl role really well.  Cheerleader with a heart, if you will.  Ashley Tisdale…perfect!  Now before you go ragging on my Disney Channel choice, let me just say that if Ms. Tisdale makes some good choices (better than the cheerleader show she was on not too long ago), she’s definitely one to watch.

Time machine, time machine, wherefore art thou, time machine? Sorry Matthew Lillard...

James:  This was not as hard to cast as Henry — always hard to cast my swoony men — but it was also quite difficult.  I couldn’t get out of my head the picture of a young Matthew Lillard, who is now way too old to play this character (sorry Matthew, but you’re supposed to be in high school).  I just think he’d be the perfect dorky, yet cute looking, head phone wearing, french fries on a tray eating friend who isn’t bothered or discouraged when someone turns him down.  Oh, if only I’d finished building that time machine like I’ve been meaning to!

Etienne St. Clair: As Scrummy as a French Eclair (and perhaps just as tall…)

by Vee

For those of you who’ve been with us for some time, you may have noticed I’ve been MIA from YA Crush.  Then again, you may not have noticed at all, thanks to Tee’s awesomely, awesome writing prowess.  (Thanks for saving the day, MFEO.)

In any case, I’ve missed you and though things have been a bit hectic I still made some time to follow YA Crush’s advice — as the entire world should —- and read a few of Tee’s recommendations.

Anna and the French Kiss is the book you want to take with you if a) you’re going on a fun vaca and don’t want something too heavy to read (both figuratively and literally), b) you’re having a bad day and need something to help you escape, or c) you’re having a good day and want something to enhance that mood.

It’s light and airy, super fun, it’s sweet and delicious.  Opening this book is much like opening a pretty little box from zee patisserie filled with delightful morsels of puff pastries.  And the piéce de resistance in the book would be (drum roll please): St. Clair, the hottie that Anna has her eye on.  He’s so friggin’ adorable and sweet that, much like un éclair du chocolat, he’s liable to give you a cavity for which you’ll say “thank you” afterward and gladly go get a filling.

My one tiny complaint (no pun intended) is Monsieur Éclair St. Clair’s height.  What the?  Why???  It’s lousy enough that this happens in the real world — you know, you meet the perfect prom date but, alas, you can’t wear heels because he’d be setting his head on your shoulders during the “slow ones”.  This isn’t the real world, so can we please just make him the proper height for tucking-your-head-into-the-neckage-area action?

I suppose, as he is so adorable in every other way, the author needs to give him one flaw that isn’t insurmountable (ok, I can’t kid anyone, that pun was totally intended).  This made it tough for me though.  Every time I was immersed in his charm, laughing at his flawless sarcasm or swooning at the subtle ways in which he revealed his devotion to Anna (sigh), she’d mention the height issue and *poof* I would feel my swoon fizzle and dissolve like a flat glass du champagne.  (Now, don’t you worry about me, troops, he’s so scrummy it wasn’t hard to return to the swoonage.)

Thankfully, after much discussion, Tee and I came to the conclusion that, though she – being a taller girl than I – could truly not get past this, my fictional self (who will always exist as a young, naïve, teen girl) could totally have been his prom date because at 5’3 and ¾” there’s no way he’d be shorter than me.

With this crisis averted, I will safely add him to my fictional BF list.  Oh, thaz right, he is yummy-terrif enough to actually make it to my list.  He is not just adorable, he’s got just a little bit of a temper (a controllable one, which is juuuuust right), he’s smart, cultured and funny.  The thing that sent him over the edge and a certain shoe in for my list?  He has…wait for it…and English accent! (Not to be confused with a French or Italian accent, which do nothing for me.)  Now, not only does he have an English accent for me to imagine as I read through the pages but the author is kind enough to actually spell out the way he might pronounce things in his English yummy-talk once in a while.  This means my brain doesn’t even have to work that hard.  It’s a win-win all around.

I suppose one could say that in conclusion (if you need one) an éclair is just as delicious, even if it is a small one.  So long as it has an English accent.

MFEO’s: A Love Story

by Tee

A couple of years ago, the hubs and I were watching this little movie—you may have heard of it— called Sleepless in Seattle and I had an epiphany.  I said, “Dude. This is our love story.” And he looked up from whatever he was reading and said, “This movie?”  And then I went, “Um, I wasn’t talking about me and you (duh), I was talking about me and Vee.”  I mean, hello?  Why would I have been referring to us?  Hubs and I are high school sweethearts,  very much like another story I love, but nothing like  Sleepless, one of the greatest friendship stories ever.

So he gave me the typical look that says  “my wife is totally nuts but I kind of dig it” and went on his merry way while I scrambled to call my other better half (because I have multiple better halves.  Work with me).  After divulging what I was watching and  hearing the obligatory “I love that movie!”,  I rambled off an explanation of how this epic tale about Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell (with some side story about Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) is just like her and me.

Our real life relationship is that way.  We talk about love, and books, and our kids, and more love and we laugh and create a ton of inside jokes that annoy everyone we come in contact with.  We take turns being the crazy uncertain Meg Ryan character (because someone has to be the Rosie O’Donnell voice of reason) and encourage each other to embrace the insanity and just go with it.  In fact we even say, “Is this crazy?”  And the response to that question must ALWAYS be “No. That’s the craziest thing about it.”  And hence, the MFEO thing was born— but you can read more about that here.

Most people can relate to that kind of unwavering loyalty between friends.  Some have that one friend who has been there through everything; others—like me—have a couple of pals who make them laugh, cry and help to keep them sane (or something like it).  This level of dorky devotion has inspired us to look at the literary friendships we love.  Because really, what are you without your besties?

1.  Mia and Tina- The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

Guys, I love Tina Hakim Baba.  She is the bestest best friend any girl could ever ask for.  She is a force of strength in Mia’s kooky, crazy life and the sweetest part is that she understands what it means to be a bit different.  Like Mia, Tina is followed around school all day by a bodyguard (because her dad is a wealthy oil guy and because he’s way paranoid).  Tina helps Mia to be unashamed of who she is and supports her in all circumstances (unlike a certain friend.  I’m talking to you Lilly Moscovitz).  And the best perk of this friendship?  Tina is crazy obsessed with romance novels— the kind with ridiculous titles like “The Sheik’s Secret Baby”—and not only does she share them with Mia, she draws much of her advice straight from the pages of those novels.

Here one of my favorite exchanges between them:

Tina:  … Let’s face it, Mia.  You and I are going to be the Last Virgins at Albert Einstein High School.

Mia:  Wow.  That sounds like the title of a book.

Tina: You should totally write it!!!! THE LAST VIRGINS.

Mia: Two girls cursed with Israeli-trained bodyguards, paid by their fathers to protect their daughters’ precious gifts…with their lives!

Tina: No man shall know them- UNTIL PROM NIGHT!!!!

– Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot

2. Jenna and Cameron –Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

As children, they were drawn together as the social outcasts of their grade school, but it was the tragic horrors of abuse that bonded them forever.  This story shows that time and circumstance can never change the indelible mark certain people make in our hearts.  For Jenna and Cameron, spending years and miles apart doesn’t change their connection, which is stronger than steel.

I’m talking about the ones who, for whatever reason, are as much a part of you as your own soul. Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business.

Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless. If you had a lifetime to talk, there would still be things left unsaid.

3. Harry, Hermione and Ron- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

These three met as young children and have been through the ringer together.  And when the stakes are at their highest and people are turning on Harry or hiding away out of pure fear, is it any wonder that the two people who stand beside him are the two who have always been there?

“We’ll be there, Harry,” said Ron.


“At your aunt and uncle’s house,” said Ron.  “And then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.”

“No—” said Harry quickly; he had not counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking this most dangerous journey alone.

“You said to us once before,” said Hermione quietly, “that there was time to turn back if we wanted to.  We’ve had time, haven’t we?”

“We’re with you whatever happens,” said Ron.

– Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

4. Frankie and Anna – Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Frankie and Anna offer the most realistic picture of a lifetime friendship and its growing pains.  These two are next door neighbors and have always known everything about each other, but when they lose Frankie’s brother in an accident, they see the fine cracks in their seemingly perfect relationship.  At times it’s a bit painful to watch, but their story shows the love that it takes to see yourself and your friends for who they are and the maturity that leads to forgiveness.

Inside her head, Frankie had the map to my entire life, and I to hers. I hated that my feelings for Matt were uncharted and unmapped like a secret buried treasure.

5. Macy, Kristy and Monica- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Oh y’all (yeah, I’m not from anyplace that says y’all.  Not sure where that came from), I love these girls.  Macy is a girl who just doesn’t see herself as she should.  She doesn’t realize how bright and funny she is and how deserving she is of someone who loves her—not just in a romantic sense, but in an all-encompassing way.  Kristy and Monica, sisters and fellow employees at Macy’s summer job, are the perfect antidote.  Monica is a quiet, unassuming friend offering little criticism and simple, straight advice (she is the inventor of words like bettaquit and donneven. Clearly there’s genius under all that mumbling).  Kristy has this amazing energy and is the kind of girl who is instantly accepting of those around her.  By opening up about  overcoming her own insecurities (she has bad scars from a car accident and instead of hiding, she plays up her beauty and walks with pride), she helps Macy to branch out and embrace a new life without her jerkypants boyfriend and without needing the approval of the family members who take her for granted.  Also, they help Macy to do one of the most important things we can do with our friends:  they show her how to laugh at life again.

“You and Wes,” she said, triumphant, “are just like this .”
She was holding a book, a paperback romance. The title, emblazoned in gold across the cover, was Forbidden, and the picture beneath it was of a man in a pirate outfit, eye patch and all, clutching a small, extremely
busty woman to his chest. In the background, there was a deserted island surrounded by blue water.
“We’re pirates?” I said.
She tapped the book with one fingernail. “This story,” she said, “is all about two people who can’t be together
because of other circumstances. But secretly, they pine and lust for each other constantly, the very fact that
their love is forbidden fueling their shared passion.”
“Did you just make that up?”
“No,” she said, flipping the book over to read the back cover. “It’s right here! And it’s totally you and Wes.
You can’t be together, which is exactly why you want to be. And why you can’t admit it to us, because that
would make it less secret and thus less passionate.”

So what does all this mean?  That you should grab your MFEO(s) and give them a big ‘ol hug.  Cheers to good friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really looked for the MFEO video, but could find it nowhere.  Even this video doesn’t get straight to the point.  The main idea begins at around 1:33.

Edward Is No Stalkah: My Rebuttal to “Channeling Edward Cullen” (Not Really…)


"OMG, they think I'm a stalkah..." People, he's devastated.

by Vee

Listen up, I don’t care what people say, or even if there is a whole book out there in Twi-land about it (is there?).  Edward was not a stalkah. 
That he was a WAAAAAY too old for his future bride?  True.  (I try not to think about that too much, but thanks to Tee, can’t help it…thanks for pointing that out sistah, thanks so much.) 
That he   was a bit over the top in his absolute love for his whiny bride?  True, true.

"Babe, trust do NOT want to be devastatingly hot like me...just look at me...look at me, I say!" (I LOVE this pic and was looking for the first random excuse to insert it somewhere...hey, at least I'm honest!)

He was even a little annoying when he’d tell Bella that, though she wanted desperately to become one of the undead, he’d rather she die than become totally hot and immortal.  True dat.  Good God, bite her already.

 Tee and I have a fun time bantering on this subject on a semi-frequent basis.  Now, lucky for us we’re not fahreeks…we crazy-pants, fo sho, but in a totally different realm.  We know that this is all in good fun, no one gets all emo or decides it’s time to take it outside, even if one of us passionately counts him as a fav romantical leading man (can you guess who?).  Iz okay to poke fun…we laugh and agree even as we disagree.  Then we laugh some more!  Inspired by the HIGH-larious (and I MEAN that) title of her last post, I wanted to set the record straight, as far as I am concerned. 

So lezzz roll: Point #1OMG, Edward, follows Bella, like, everywhere.

OK, let’s dissect this, shall we?  Yes, he does, he watches her sleep, he sings her songs, he follows her when she goes to outings with her girlfriends (where he saves her from real creeps, ahem).  However, let’s all remember…this girl is more accident prone than I am.  (Side story alert: Most of you don’t know me, but just ask MFEO about that one time when I was pregnant and I took a ride down her stairs on her daughter’s indoor trike thingy – not on purpose…scared her hubby to death!).  So, ok, just being the most accident prone person in the universe isn’t enough.  But here’s the deal-eeo: this is after he already had tried to stay away from her (this most accident prone person in the universe, everrrrrrr) for her own good, and after she was all…”No, dude, don’t go…”.  They are soul mates in a fictional world where this kind of crazy, soul mate, unbearable-like love can exist and where you never get sick of a person, even when they slurp their soup over a decade into your marriage, EVEN when you’ve told them to quit it already.  Wait, what?

OK, as we were.

Point #2:  He breaks her car to control her whereabouts…dude!?!?!?!

Edward takes out some sort of dinglehopper out of her car so she can’t go see Jacob.  Stalker-like?  Perchance.  And this is the closest I’ll ever come to conceding on this point.  However…let’s just say that this was Angela who found out that her homie Bella was going to go see a werewolf, a brand, spankin’ new one who allegedly (according to the standard newbie werewolf norm) doesn’t know how to control his temper yet.  I consider Ang a fictional GF of mine and I think it’s safe for me to hypothesize that she might consider pulling a wire or two.  Hullllooooohhhhh!!!  I mean just look at poor Emily!!!!!  Come on!  It’s not like he’s like, “Bella, I don’t want you to go to the mall.”  It’s like, “Dammit, Bella, do you WANT to get your face ripped off?”

Point #3: OMG, Edward like totally controls Bella, ugh, like uhmahgawd.  It’s like my momma always said: a guy will only go as far as the lady allows…and this doesn’t just apply to playing Parcheezi party people!!!  Men need to be molded and encouraged into the best “them” they can be…they don’t do it by themselves!  (No one call my beloved, he is fully under the impression that he did). 

I am CERTAIN one of these is a prime example of a snafoodle, and that there's a dinglehopper in there somewhere too...

My point, and I do have one, is that if Bella didn’t like it when Edward was saying, “Um, yea, no, you’re not going to go see Jacob,” it was her responsibility to nip it in the bud.

Had my beloved dismantled my snafoodle from my car, I would have LEFT THE WINDOW CLOSED that night…

Had he said, “Um, were you going to ask my permission about something?” (In this scenario my beloved can read minds, ya dig?)  I would have been like, “Um no, I don’t ask for permission from anyone but my dad, but thanks for asking.”


Now, you knew I was going to add at least one more gratuitous pic of Edward and Bella right? And I mean, come on, talk about passion...this is THE kiss.

But, again, let’s get real (as real as I can be in Crazytown)…this is a story about two soul mates that have no “real world” comparison.  This is a story about the love we feel when we first feel it.  A love that continually envelopes your entire being so passionately, that nothing else matters.  It’s not real love, it’s not that deliciously peaceful love that you grow into.  Sigh. 

Now, if you’ll excuse, now that I’ve written this article, I feel a need to go give my beloved a great, big hug, as I’ve been pleasantly reminded that at the end of the day (even if it’s a day when we dine on soup) I always come to realize he is perfectly perfect for me.  Sigh, sigh, sigh.


For better for worse, in sickness and in health, even if you slurp...I do.


Just Because You’re a Fictional Character, It Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Better Yourself

By Vee

 Happy New Year!  (Yea, a month in, and I’m still saying it.)  With the new year come all those promises about losing weight, being a better person, and all that jazz.  It begs the question, (don’t ya think): What are some of our favorite book characters working on in the new year?  (Because they ARE, you know, it’s not like they’re not real.)

 I, for one, would love to know if Alpha can finally be a man in 2011 and own up to the fact that Frankie Landau Banks (I need to say her full name), totally moded, corroded and exploded his doggie arse.  Yea! 

OK tell me about your relationship with your mother. Oh shiz...

 Or perhaps this might be the year that Katniss wants to give a ring a ding ding to the local therapist and work on those pesky intimacy issues. 

 And while we’re on the subject of The Hunger Games characters, hey, um, Haymitch, I hear AA has been waiting for you to pop in for a visit. 

 Or maybe, Jacob Black could decide that this just might be the year to stop being YA Crush’s bitch who stole our pads.  Not likely, I mean, I’d have to re-write that whole story.  Hmmm…there’s a thought. 

 But I digress! 

 In other news, Mia Thermopolis may decide to…wait, she already rocks the house.  Not only is she all about Greenpeace, she wrote a book (like for real, right?) and donated all the proceeds to them.  Hulloh?  Is it a wonder we heart Mia?  (And plus, did everyone SEE how fab she looked at the Golden Globes with that taupe-80’s inspired numbah with the low back?  Wait…)

 As for me?  I am keeping it real, party people…I KNOW that come December 31, 2011, I probably won’t have abs of steel, I probably won’t have learned Italian, and I probably won’t have lost the lil’ love handles that remind me one must suffer a bit in the looks department for the love of having children.  But I will have lost 10 inches of hair. 

 Say whaaaaat?

 Inspired by all that these fictional characters are doing (in my head) working towards their goal of self-actualization, I thought and thought. 

Soooo...this is Carl Jung. Um, if this is what self-actualized looks like, I might be having second thoughts.

P.S. Thank you Meg Cabot, oh queen of the YA, for the awesome term I steal again and again for my own personal amusement.  And Carl Jung, can have some credit too, if you want to get technical.

 But as we were: there I was thinking and thinking.  What could I do to feel like I am doing something for the world?  I mean, I recycle, I volunteer at school, and I’ve taught my boys to clear their plates and hold the door open for ladies (you’re welcome future daughters-in-law).  I even spread the love of YA books in my quest for world domination.  OK, maybe that’s not a good example of my attempts at altruism.  So, what to do, what to do???  And then it hit me. 

 St. Baldrick’s is an event held each year at my local school.  Students, parents, staff and community members alike, participate in this worthy event by shaving their hair and finding sponsors willing to make a donation which will go towards cancer research.  Now, nobody panic…I am NOT shaving my hair (I would but I have a nearly tween age child who I still have to walk to school every day and, really, that would just be cruel).  Luckily, a local hair salon sends their fabu team for anyone who would like to chop off their hair (minimum 10 inches) at this event.  The hair is donated to Locks of Love, something I’ve done before, and is used to make wigs for those who have lost their own lovely tresses due to chemo.

 And so, this year, instead of empty promises about changing the world (though I am still planning on taking over it), or changing my body, I am going to, perhaps not change a life, but hopefully make one a little brighter.  And in the process I will work on my vanity…my hair, like Joe March from Little Women, is the thing I consider my one beauty.  I love my long hair, I love that hair won’t be mad atchya if you have an extra piece of cheesecake.  Just wash it, use the right hair products, brush it like Marsha Brady and, no matter what you ate that day (week, month or year), it will still look pretty and shiny for you.  Once in a while, though, I think it’s good to put this kind of vanity in check. 

 So won’t you help me help others?  I am putting the link up for anyone who would like to help me in reaching my goal of donating $1,000.

  Thanks to everyone who can help!  Love, Vee