Dear E. Lockhart…we’re cosmic soul sistahs. So…can I call you E.?

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, by E. Lockhart

A teen girl infiltrates a boys-only secret society at her boarding school in this suspenseful, thought-provoking, and humorous novel.

by Vee

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks”, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  I love your major girl power mentality.  I love your Catcher-in-the-Rye-esque old chum’s club feel (without the loony pants main character).  I love laughing at and with Frankie and all her quirky observations which mirror some of my own.  (If the word immaculate exists, why not maculate????  Amen sistah, I’ve been asking that question for years!!!)  I even love the light blue cover version of your book cover that contrasts so beautifully with the red seal of the Basset Hound Society.  That seal of a basset hound intrigues the potential reader without them even reading the synopsis – I mean, really…what in heaven’s name is a basset hound doing on the cover of a YA novel?  Open this fabu book and find out!  So there, that’s my review.  Go out, read it, and enjoy.

Ok, FINE!!!!!  I know I have to give you more than that, but seriously people, the books I most enjoy are also the books I find hardest to review.  Why?  I don’t know.

Perhaps it’s because it would be so easy to write a full term paper as to why I love them, and spew crazy talk about my love for them all over the place and get super detailed about the story.  Because when you love a book you want to shout it to the seven winds and you hope that it loves you back and come next Valentine’s it will send you a card and a dozen roses.  Or maybe one of those delicious chocolate covered strawberry bouquets that come with the bonus of a pretty pot that you can use later for when it sends you flowers on your anniversary.  Or wait, does that actually happen?

Well, if it could, this book would do it.

Our story starts at the end of summer on the Jersey shore.  A bored Frankie convinces her mama (pronounced mah-mah…like an east coast heiress, please), to let her walk to the nearby boardwalk for an ice cream cone, as any teen girl would do if she was stuck with her LAB guy cousins and the rest of her extended family.

Thankfully she succeeds in ditching her utterly boring and insipid present company, and, as luck would have it, makes the acquaintance of a handsome fellow who is neither the former nor the latter, during her stroll.  He is charmingly cryptic about who he is, flirty, amusing and has a witty exchange with Frankie in which he tells her hardly anything at all about himself before running off.  This leaves the savvy reader with the impression she will be running into this intriguing character at some point later in the book – or at least she better!!!  He exits, leaving a seed of interest planted but with no exchanging of cell numbers, e-mails or FB accounts.  Obv’s this is the dude that she’s destined to hook up with right?  Riiiiiiiiiiiiight???  Oh, E. Lockhart, you tease me so (and I so love you for it).

Frankie is intelligent, clever, beautiful and rich.  You hate her already?  WAIT!!!  Give my girl a chance.  She also has to suffer through her family’s serious lack of respect for her (their nickname for her is “bunny rabbit” — and they mean it), not to mention living with the standard insecurities after being in her older sister Zada’s shadow for quite some time (this was no one’s fault, Zada is also strong and fabu and shadow-casting worthy).  Oh, yea, and then there’s also her major unrequited crush on the campus “it guy”, one Mr. Matthew Livingston, who knows little to nothing of her existence.

To top it all off, my people, poor Frankie has to start her sophomore year at the prestigious Alabaster Preparatory Academy, a fancy pants, froo, froo boarding school – the alma mater of her father – all alone, on her own, to make her own way.  Last year Frankie had established herself within Zada’s circle of popular people but alas, this year sissy is gone, gone, gone off to Berkeley.

Now, thing is, despite some feelings of trepidation, ultimately we realize Frankie is gonna be a’yt…she’s not one that enjoys the shade of anyone’s shadow (that’s a major hint people!).  She’d rather slap on her metaphorical SPF 45, and bask in the allegorical sunshine.  And sunshine she shall get – fo sho.

Before we know it, she is dating Matthew, Mr. Swoony Face hisself, and we are all devastatingly crushing on their first encounter.  Seriously…it curled mah toes, it was just SOOOOO cute!

But wait…as a special bonus, moments after they have the fateful first official meet and greet that may very well bring them together forevah (because they’re just so damn cute) – tun, tun, tuuuuuuuhhhhhn!!!! – the dude from the board walk shows up.  Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeee-eh-uh!  He’s Matthew’s best friend (now that’s what I call a perfect co-inky-dink) and goes by the nickname of Alpha, a rather appropriate nickname (his real name is Alessandro) as he seems to be the ring leader of a click of boys on campus.  But not just any boys…but the most popular and seemingly influential boys on campus and Frankie wants to know, “Why?”  And guess what…so did I.

Now, perhaps another author would take this opportunity to confuse our girl’s heart and make it a hem and haw story a la Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle between Alpha, Matthew and Frankie but dawg, E. Lockhart takes Frankie on a journey of self-discovery that surprises the heck out of the reader.  At least this reader, because what ensues next is like nothing I’ve ever read in any YA novel before.  Did I tell you yet?  LOOOVED IT!

So, see, here, this is what happens (picture me right now praying to the literary gods that I, in my love blindness for this book, don’t reveal too much —wish me luck):  Instead of getting lost in the dazzle of two totally gorgeous men, Frankie looks beyond the looks, the popularity, the charisma and the money and digs deeper.  This book is the antithesis to the current YA fiction trends where, despite the nagging feeling that something just not quite right about the dude that’s giving you those initial, delicious butterflies in your stomach, you just throw your hands in the air and go for it anyway.  Hulloh!!!!!!!!  It’s, like, revolutionary.

Frankie discovers that prince charming may be, well, not so much a prince.  Or no, wait, I take it back…he is “the prince”, but is a prince what she wants?  She starts to question if appearances are really as they seem.  She observes as others fit the roles they’ve been assigned by the little society within the boarding school and whether or not she wants to accept her designated role.  In so doing, she uncovers a mystery of legendary proportions (but no supernatural shiz here…it’s all real, human stuff), becomes the mastermind behind unveiling this little mystery to the rest of the school, and teaches some boys a much needed lesson that goes a little something like this:

“Never underestimate a smart girl who hates nothing more than being written off as JUST a girl!!!”.

Dig it!!!!  In other words, that old saying (and all the t-shirts that have followed) should be modified to read a little something like this:  “Don’t mess with Texas or Frankie Landau Banks, bishes”.

I will say that had I been the author I may have given Frankie a bit more self control (I think she took her mission a touch far) but had she not gotten a smidgle carried away, then there wouldn’t be a story.  This one slight ding on my part is the same ding I give to the 5th episode I watch in an I Love Lucy marathon…I start cringing and talking to Lucy (yes, I talk to TV characters too) about her lack of good critical thinking skills, but still, it’s easily forgiven and I continue watching and laughing.

This book presents a fantastic challenge for the reader who can’t help but put herself (or himself?) in Frankie’s shoes and wonder…if presented with two options: acquiesce to a role assigned, or challenge the status quo (which means possibly losing the affection Mr. Hot Pants boyfriend), what would you do?

Oh, and interlaced into this fantastic story is Frankie’s awesome sense of humor and wit.  She is totally on my GF list cuz we’re SO on the same wavelength I got a little spooked (after I was done laughing, iz funny).

Crush Intensity: Really?  Do you have to ask?  Fine then…if I must state the obvious: 5/5 – Loved Frankie, loved her sister, loved how well the author set up the major swooniness of the dude in the story only to challenge us as we chose along with Frankie…self worth or potentially losing the hot guy (and not knowing if this will happen until we follow through with it)????  OMG…I know.  As an added gift, the tone of the book is tremendously smart.  The author really shines with a story that is both well written and fun.

Soundtrack:  You may wonder why in my past reviews there is a major lack of soundtrack choices on my part…and I’ll confess.  I have a problem.  An addiction, some might call it.  I have no musical self control.  If I pick soundtrack choices, it’s like I’m eating potato chips…I can’t have just one.  I mean, hello, stories have different moments – the ups, the downs, the sad, the inspirational high point, the happy (or not so happy) conclusion…and so it’s hard to choose one song to put a book in a nutshell.  I think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I am not a nutshell kind of girl…I’m more of a giant conch shell, if I have to put something in any sort of shell.  So that being said, I’ve used as much self control as I have on this front and narrowed it down to three moments that could use music in the movie playing in my head:

Supernatural – “Smile” — At this point she’s thinking:  Why doesn’t it feel right when people call me “bunny rabbit”?  Why don’t I like being thought of as “just the girlfriend”?  Why do I want to be the mastermind behind the greatest prank this school has ever known???

“Haunting Me” by Stabbing Westward — Dedicated to the dawg that was more like the bitch who stole Frankie’s pads.  Hee.  You’ll find out.

“The Dark Days Are Over” – Florence and the Machine — Perfect to roll end credits to!

Casting The Hunger Games Movie (like for reals)

The Hunger Games, the incredible first book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, is being made into a film.  For some reason Vee and I were NOT asked to direct or weigh in on it (what the shizzo is that about?)  Despite this tragic news,  we’ve been talking about our dream cast.  Forget that the film now has a big-name fancy pants director (Gary Ross) or that the budget was just announced to be somewhere around $60 million (that’s more than Twilight thank heaven, but less than some huge epics).  We want to talk about who would be in our movie— age, money and sanity aside.

Tee

Alright friends, I’m nothing if not totally indecisive when it comes to the most ridiculous, unimportant things.  If you need help with a major life decision, I’m your girl.  But if you want to know which of two identical taupe shades you should paint your living room, I will agonize over the whole process.  All that considered, we should be thankful that I whittled my cast down to one choice per character on most everyone…except Katniss.

Kaya Scodelario as Katniss?

Kaya Scodelario

AS KATNISS

I know alot of people online are talking about her for the role of Katniss.  I think she physically fits the description of our resident bad ass, Ms. Everdeen.   Plus she’s  gorg.  If I didn’t think she looked like Katniss I’d probably hate her.  I’m interested to see her in the new Wuthering Heights movie next year, playing the character I love to hate, Cathy Earnshaw. This one has potential so she gets a solid…eh.

 

Or Emma Roberts as Katniss?

Emma Roberts

AS KATNISS

Confession: My kids and I love the Nancy Drew movie.  And we love Ms. Roberts.  She is cuteness personified.  Obviously “cute” is not a word we Hunger Games peeps would ever use to describe Katniss.   Buttkicker?  Yes.  Brave?  Yes?  Totally clueless when it comes to guys? Oh hell yes.  But not cute.  Still, for some totally irrational reason I think Emma Roberts would have the ability to carry off a tough, multi-layered girl like Katniss.  I have no evidence to point to, other than the fact that perhaps her Auntie Julia has passed on some of her wonderful acting talents, but this is what I believe.

Sidenote: I know Chloe Moretz is all the rage right now.  There has been lots of internet buzz that she’s a favorite to play Katniss.  Let’s me just say, she is adorable.  I loved her in Kick Ass and the clips I’ve seen from Let Me In (which I won’t watch because the original film scared the pants off me) look fantastic, but she is far too young to be Katniss.  Not only is she young, she looks very young.  If she is cast as Katniss, I may have to go on a Hunger Games boycott (which, you know, would only last until the movie came out, after which I’d totally go see it because I have absolutely no willpower, but still.  Be warned).

Ben Barnes as Gale

 

Ben Barnes

AS GALE

Well hellooooo Prince Caspian.  Or is that King Caspian now?  Sigh. Barnes has those brooding good looks that Gale is known for.  Though we barely get to know him in the first book, this is how I picture Katniss’ sidekick.  In fact, most of what Suzanne Collins tells about Gale has to do with his uber hotness (check), his hunting abilities (seeing him fighting all those CGI things in Prince Caspian leads me to believe he’d pull this off) and his devotion to Katniss and her family.  He is exactly how I imagine Gale, that poor guy stuck in friend mode with his best bud.  Wouldn’t they make such pretty babies? 


Hunter Parrish as Peeta

Hunter Parrish

AS PEETA

I know I just picked him in my casting for the Clockwork Angel review.  He’s kind of my go-to-blonde-guy (sorry Blonde Guys.  I’m not normally your biggest fan).  And he has an innocent look about him, which is exactly how I imagine our District 12 baker.  Peeta is someone who sees a sliver of hope in the darkest of times and this face conveys that.  What convinced me of this was when I rented It’s Complicated and saw Mr. P playing Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin’s son.  The moment I saw him, all I could think was “Peeta! Bread!  Peeta!”  When genius strikes, you don’t question it.

Hugh Laurie as Haymitch

Hugh Laurie

AS HAYMITCH

This is totally how I picture my man Haymitch.  I love that terribly flawed guy because despite his flagrant drunkenness and harsh ways, you can see that he has a heart.  Can you really blame him for being a little bit of a crazypants?  He’s been through alot.  That’s why I think Hugh Laurie would be perfect—because he’s not.  He’s good at playing a man who is intelligent, who has some inner demons but also has a heart buried somewhere under that hard exterior.

Elle Fanning as Prim

Elle Fanning

AS PRIM

Would you look at that face?  Isn’t she the most precious thing since baby Renessme chewed her way out of Bella’s tum tum?  No, really. Isn’t she so cute?  Dakota’s little sis is exactly how I picture Prim.  She has that fresh, innocent face that could convey hope in even the darkest of times.  And she’s just the right age (twelve).

Elizabeth Banks as Effie

 

Elizabeth Banks

AS EFFIE

Look out bishes! It’s time to talk about the cold-hearted mega byotch, Miss Effie.  I imagined Effie as someone picture-perfect; someone who looked beautiful on the outside, with her mega-watt smile and perfect composure, but who could convey an icy detachment with one look.  I can imagine that she’d have the same expression on her face in announcing the Hunger Games as she would in doing a big-time Panem celeb interview.  Dats cold.  Elizabeth Banks (who I love) fits the bill.

Jude Law as Cinna

Jude Law

AS CINNA

I’m not gonna lie.  I agonized over this one (remember: taupe paint).  It was so difficult to place my beloved Cinna.  I imagined him to be breathtakingly handsome with just a touch of fabulosity.  I think Jude Law could pull that off.  He’s pretty and kind of delicate-looking.  Still, before we sign his contract I’d be open to suggestions from others.

 

 

 

Vee

OK, so I should probably start this off with one big “I’m sorry”.

I feel like I start way too many of my posts with apologies and disclaimers but what can I say?  I was raised Catholic so my guilt is in every fiber of my plasma.  But see this time, this time it’s truly warranted…I really do need to apologize.  Why?  Oh, wait until you get to the bottom of my casting call.  Now don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Don’t go sending me your computer repair bill if you throw something at your computer screen and it breaks.

“WTF is she talking about?”, you might ask.

Listen, I didn’t mean for this to happen, but the brain eyes want what they want and sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it.  As I read The Hunger Games, and as I quickly discovered my personal preference for Peeta over Gale, my head (acting as if on its own accord) morphed Peeta into who it wanted him to look like…siriusly.  And so it was only natural that this would transform Gale into the opposite of Peeta, cuz they are, right?

OK here’s the deal:  I like brunettes.  I’ve never been one for blond guys and I find it a great duress to imagine a literary character swoonworthy if he’s a blondie, which supposedly Peeta is.  Sooooo…there, I said it.  In my head Peeta is a brunette, very down to earth looking and Gale is blond and pouty.  What?!?!?  I SAID I KNOW ALREADY, STOP WITH THE DIRTY LOOKS!!!  Sorry, there’s the Catholic guilt kicking in…it’s making me a little paranoid.  Wait, are you still giving me the evil eye?  I can’t take this.

 

See? Look, she's thinking, I am SO going to kick the living shiz out of that paparazzi!

Kaya Scodelario

AS KATNISS

She’s lovely but not SO unbelievable gorgeous that she knows it.  The kind of pretty that everyone but her is aware of.  She also has eyes that show her strength…you know, the kind of eyes that say, “I am so going to kick your ass right now!” and be able to follow through on that promise.  Just sayin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See? She looks tired.

Katherine Keener

AS KATNISS' MOM


Katniss’ mom is kinda, sorta pretty but she tired!  I mean, hulloh, you would be  too if you had to live in District 12 and had lost a husband, gone through major clinical depression that you, somehow, nursed yourself back from, and were starving nearly everyday.  Also, coal dust is not good for your skin…it can make you wrinkle prematurely.  I hope Katherine Keener doesn’t take this the wrong way but she does a really good job acting tired.

Sami Hanratty is a cutie-pie like Prim

Sammi Hanratty

AS PRIM

Cutie-patootie Prim still has the fresh look of innocence.  She is, by nature, filled with hope.  She’s super cute as a button too, just like Sammi Hanratty! (She’s in one those American Girl movies I’ve never seen on account of I have two boys, thank God!)

Robert Downey Jr. is my Haymitch

Robert Downey Jr.

AS HAYMITCH

I have this bizarre “smell you” connection going on with Haymitch and I don’t know why.  I mean, I SWEAR it has nothing to do with my own out of control drinking problem. Just kidding you guys, I don’t have an out of control drinking problem!  It’s totally under control which is what I always tell my friends from AA when they call.  OK, so, really, I don’t know why.  He’s a kook, and I just happen to have a soft spot for kooks.  It also probably doesn’t hurt that from the get go I envisioned one Mr. Robert Downey Jr. as Haymitch, who I have just the tiniest of crushes on.  I might have cast Hugh Laurie, except I just really wanted to post this picture of RDJ giving me (me) the stink eye.

 

"Um, why is the Mockingjay holding that big giant ball? I think it clashes with her outfit!"

Kristin Chenoweth

AS EFFIE

This girl is the bitch-who-stole-mah-pads.  She is utterly obtuse and unable to access the part of her brain that says, “Heeeeey, I’m in the business of taking people to their deaths!”  She distracts herself by thinking she’s in the business of being a crazy etiquette nazi and it works for her.  You need to have the ability to give the crazy eye look if you’re going to play this gal and Kristin Chenoweth is just the girl.  I’ve seen the crazy eyes on that one and she does them gooooooood.

Jake Baruchal

AS CINNA

Oh, Cinna.  I heart Cinna.  I want to start the club and be the president.  Every girl needs a Cinna.  I could write a sonnet about why but if I start I’ll never finish, so let me just say that this one is the hardest to cast for me.  I wanted someone who is good looking, but not too good looking.  He should not be ripped because he has to stand in great contrast to the likes of Gale and Peeta, who are totally ripped and muscular (right?).  Someone who has a quiet serenity, and eternal wisdom about him, someone who with just one look tells you he knows more.  The force is strong in this one, young Padawan.  So tell me, how in the hizzle am I supposed to cast that?!?!  Imagine my luck, as I was watching a commercial for the upcoming release of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (on DVD and Blu-Ray!) and I see Jake Baruchal, the apprentice, gives the camera this quiet-resolve-type look and I was sold.  That’s my Cinna and I am sticking to it.

 

I'm sorry.

Chord Overstreet

AS GALE

I have nothing to say.  Sorry, I’m too busy with my head under my pillow.  Look, just enjoy the pretty picture of Chord Overstreet and be quiet.  Just thought I’d add that it’s almost a mystic, voodoo kind of thing that my final (and most important, to me anyhow) casting pick is also a fellow Glee cast member…

 


This is my Peeta, okay?

Cory Montieth

AS PEETA

Peeta, who even in all my cringe-filled-stupor I saved for last because I love him so.  Peeta is sweet but still capable of (I don’t care what anyone says) open a can of whoop ass.  The difference being that he can talk about how that makes you feel after it happened.  Well, on account of my brunette-preference, I pictured an aw shucks, cutie-patootie who still could bench press.  And so, fresh off of my first read of The Hunger Games, I tuned into my current fav TV Show, Glee, and watched as Cory Montieth did the whole “aw shucks” thing so adorably perfectly, and then turning around and kicking some a-double-ss  on the football field.

The Recap…

It looks like Vee and I will have to duke it out over Gale and Peeta (obv. Ben Barnes will win since he’s a prince and all), but this whole conversation has us wondering…who would your dream cast be?

Twilight Tastes Like Milk Chocolate: The case for indulging your obsession with the most hated YA series since…never.

By Vee

If you’re on your computer today, clearly it’s because you need to locate your nearest Target/Walmart/Borders, etc., as you’re in desperate need of your own copy of the Eclipse movie…STAT!

Pffffttt…ok, that’s just silly.  You did that weeeeeeeeeeeeeks ago and wrote the store name, the address, the store hours, and wrote “Eclipse“, with a heart around it, obvs!  So on this much awaited day – this gloriously awaited day – the day the Eclipse movie releases on DVD/Blu Ray, I beg you (as my MFEO has so graciously done) to indulge me as I state my case for my Twi-love.  But before I do, there is one very important distinction I need to make about my Twi-love and what else is out there (cuz it’s scaaaaary)…

I am not a Twi-tard, I am not a Twi-mom.  Am I a mom that likes (ok loves) Twilight?  Yeeee-eh-uh.  Am I kind of a fa-reek (i.e. ‘tard) and also love me some Edward and Bella action?  Fo sho but those are two entirely independent things.  Just ask any of my friends, I was a freak well before Twilight was on my radar.

However, since the loonies came out of the woodwork with the movies (thanks Summit for marketing this to the crazies, thanks so much), I am forced to hide my pretty healthy (all things being relative), slightly obsessive love for this swoony story.  OK, sooo I overlook the fact that Steph clearly lost her thesaurus when she was writing this series (golden eyes, golden eyes, I GET it…he has golden eyes).  Sooooo I skim through the paragraphs when we read about how Edward’s face is the face of an angel and how Bella thinks he’s just SO way better looking than any super model and she just doesn’t get, at all, how someone as beautiful and perfect, and nice, and dreamy, and muscular, and sevehny, and super duper awesomely cool and junk could love her because she’s so plain and SOOOOOO doesn’t belong with him.  (Get some gadnabbed self esteem sistah — love yourself and other will love you!)  Soooo I hate that stupid corn hater, Jacob. (Nothing to add to that…I just hate him, that’s all.)

Bananas, milk, sugar…oh, hey.  I was pretty sure I lost you back there when I started rattling off about Edward’s perfection so I just was checking to see when you’d notice I’d moved on.  Welcome back!  This is my point exactly.  I get it.  I know these books are no Pride and Prejudice (but I mean, what is, come on?).  They’re just fun, party people!  They’re kind of like milk chocolate…dark chocolate is more sophisticated (evidently it’s also better for you, which goes so well with my analogy), but when you’re in your car and you haven’t had lunch yet, and you have exactly 12 minutes before you have to go pick up your kids from school or you won’t get a chance to eat again until dinner which is 3 ½ hours away, you’ll grab that Hershey’s bar and it will taste sooooooooooooooo good, you’ll want to slap yo’ momma.  Yum.

Eclipse= Peanut Buttery Goodness

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn are like the Costco pack of chocolate bars — not just because they’re a variety pack but because they’ll last you a while.  OK, Twilight is a Hershey’s Bar (like I said, it’s just good when you need a tasty treat), New Moon is a Mounds.  You know: cuz you dig the chocolate (read: Edward’s return), but aren’t a huge fan of the coconut (read: the first third of the book when Bella was just so damn whiny and the last part of the book when she expects the reader to buy that she is totally dreaming – ugh, sooooo annoying).  Eclipse is the preemo Reese’s peanut butter cup (best chocolate everrrrrrrrr — the delicious peanut butter inside is like page 186, yummmm, sevehn, sevehn, sevehn with a side of feathers) and Breaking Dawn is a Twix…it’s yummy, but it’s the Twilight candy with a kooky bunch of details that make you go, “Say what?  Pregnant?  Who da hell?  What da hell?”

SO, sit back, enjoy the chocolate-y goodness and ignore the annoying coconut flavor.  This isn’t meant to replace Moby Dick as the subject of your term paper, people.  It would, however, make a great read after writing (and surviving) said term paper.  It’s like dessert.  Not meant to be taken too seriously or to meet all your daily dietary needs.  That’s what vitamin supplements and encyclopedias are for (just try not to eat the encyclopedia).

So, as you stand in line at your local store, take off the hat and the dark glasses, stand tall and proclaim, this movie is deeeeeeeeeeeelish (but try the book, it’s even better)!

Donneven Think About Skipping This

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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 jerkhead 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.”

LOVE. THIS. BOOK!

 

 

A Very Tee Thanksgiving

by Tee

Long ago, on the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims shared a feast with the Indians—so named by one Christopher Columbus because when he first set foot here way back in 1492, he thought he’d reached India (before you get all impressed with my knowledge let me say, it pays to have a history-buff smarty pants for a hubs).  Now we commemorate this day by gorging ourselves to the very brink of nausea (or is that just me?) while sitting side by side with our dear loved ones.  For some this is a good thing.  For others, they’d rather extract their teeth with a spoon.  And while I am in that first grouping, I started daydreaming recently about who I’d invite to my fantasy Thanksgiving celebration if no real people were allowed.

So without further delay, here is the guest list for Tee’s Thanksgiving in Crazytown:

THE PARTY PLANNER

Alice Cullen as the Party Planner extraordinaire

Alice Cullen (Twilight) can throw herself one hell of a par-tay. I mean Bella’s birthday bash was total perfection until Alice’s hubby tried to eat the birthday girl (hey, it happens).  She’d have an eye for the finer details like lighting, invitations and overall fabulosity.  Plus she would fund everything with her excessive wealth and I am not going to argue with her on that.  She’d also use her foresight and be all “Tee, friend.  Do NOT have that third helping of taters, ‘kay?  You’re gonna be siiiiiiiiiick.”  Sometimes I need this kind of help.

The Flower Guy

I think Alice would appreciate the assistance of  Damon Auguste (Evermore). Why, you ask?  Because he can manifest the shizzola out of tulips, thereby creating instantly glorious centerpieces!  As long as he promises not to pull any out from behind our ears, it’s all good.  And I think he can wear exactly what he’s wearing in this picture. Do. Not. Change. A. Thing. 

THE STYLIST

There is no question that this job would go to Cinna (The Hunger Games).  Sadly I have no photo of the sheer mass of awesomeness that is Katniss’ style man.  My head can come up with no real image of him (I know!  It’s tragic).  Picture or no picture, Cinna would def. be in charge of dressing me for the event.  I’m sure he’d come up with some new spin on the Pilgrim garb (no Mockingjay fire please.  We don’t want to burn the turkey). It would be something that says both, “Tasteful” and “Suck it Prez Snow.”

THE FOODIES

Personally I am all about the food.  Give me a fork and something edible and I will show up to any party (or to your home uninvited.  If there’s food, I’m there).  I’m not much of a cook though, so I’d let my peeps be in charge of all that.

Katniss would kick some major turkey butt

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) would obviously be the turkey killer. Since girlfriend is mostly used to cooking squirrels I’d let her use my oven and roasting pan as opposed to an open fire.  Of course, her hunting partner, Gale, can come along on the big turkey adventure .  Caught up in the romance of shooting animals, Gale would probably take his shirt off and try to kiss her (hey don’t blame me.  That’s just how he was written), but Katniss will still think he just wants to be her bestest friend in the world since she’s kinda clueless that way.

Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)

Where oh where would we be without some tasty bread from my man Peeta?  So he’ll be making weepy, goo goo eyes across the table at Katniss (esp. if Gale refuses to put his shirt back on).  I’m OK with that as long as he feeds me and makes a cake with those pretty hand-made flowers he’s so good at.

Ruby Oliver (The Boyfriend List)

Ruby can’t exactly cook (and lordy DO NOT ask her mom to help because she is all about the tofu), but she has connections.  When she runs the bake sale at her school she gets a classmate—a boy, no less—to whip up some brownies.  Now these aren’t just any old brownies.  No way Jose.  These hunks of chocolatey goodness are Ninja Brownies.  I have no idea what that means but they sound like something I should be eating.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

HRH Mia Thermopolis

Mia Thermopolis (The Princess Diaries) would give us her lovely Thanksgiving speech. As  a vegetarian she would remind us of the cruelty of hunting animals like turkeys for the sake of meat (Don’t worry.  We’d use a serving platter to shield her from Katniss’  arrows).  Then she’d wax on poetic about the beauty of the first Thanksgiving; how the Indians sat down to a meal with the Pilgrims—the same Pilgrims who would later give them blankets infested with smallpox.  Just thinking about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Michael Moscovitz (The Princess Diaries) would also be in attendance.  Not just because of my insane love of him.  Oh no.  I have a valid reason.  He is the lead singer of Skinner Box and would bring his band mates to collaborate with Adam (If I Stay) and his band Shooting Star (I’m sorry.  That really is their name).  It would be a virtual buffet of hotness serious musical talent.

Finally, no Thanksgiving day is complete without a rousing game of flag football.  I’m not really an athletic type of girl though so I’d sit on the sidelines while my girls Frankie Landau Banks (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks) and Taylor Markham (Jellicoe Road) formed two equally bad a$$ teams.  Cinna would, of course,  whip up some uniforms and Peeta and I would sit on the side and cheer (he’s too delicate for football).  Michael  would score one hundred touchdowns even though he’s not into team sports (because he’s Michael, OK?).  It would be a game to remember.

After the mess was cleaned up and everyone left for the night, I’d slip into the  superbly styled jammies Cinna left for me and consider checking myself into a mental hospital—but it would all be worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Say What Bishes?

by Vee

My word, I do declare we’ve populated this blog with a bevy of posts that carry terms that perhaps aren’t a part of the regular, everyday person’s vocab.  This may come as a shock to you but Tee and I are not regular, everyday people so it only stands to reason that the way we talk isn’t “regular” either.  Most of who we are is pretty irregular, not just our vocab, but that’s another article altogether.

The Words page is comprised of terms Tee and I have come to use as part of a language painstakingly created through many years of hard work and careful selection.

OK, that’s so not true it’s not even funny.  (OK, it’s a little funny.)  But it’s just not how the crazy works.

Crazy talk just brimeth over and we take it and run.  Sometimes we read something in a book, or hear it in a movie, or just kinda, um, make it up when we’re having a particularly juvenile convo, which happens often (shocking, I know, we’re SO mature and all).  Essentially things just pop out of our mouths, and if we laugh, it’s part of the dictionary.  The screening process is just that stringent.

Now, we know it might have been a smart move to start this blog with a Words section that was all ready to go, but in all honesty, yea, um, Tee and I thought that the only people who would be reading this blog would be,well…us.  So this being said, it wasn’t necessary to hop to it since we KNOW what these terms are already —you know, cuz we made them up (or adopted them in some cases).  Really and truly when I say that this blog was a brainchild born of the need to set the crazy down on paper (or whatever this is), I mean it.  It was a way to let the crazy overflow and be housed somewhere so it would let us SLEEP!  Serious.

But what’s this?  Well, evidently there is a healthy group of peeps out there that get us, and can we tell you: we LOVE it!  And we love you back so we want to make sure you are included in the cray-zay talk fully and completely.  Consider it an early Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza/Chinese New Year gift from us to you…kumbaya!

And now, without further ado, we present you with the terms that have stuck with us in the years that we’ve been MFEO’s.  (Don’t know what that means?  Read on and click the link at the end of this article, my people.)  This list will change from time to time as our senile brains remember all we’ve compiled in our years of friendship, or as we add to the repertoire from fresh material that arises.  We do hope that these will help as you read our crazy talk and that when you stumble upon a word/term you don’t know, you’ll click the link and never again have to ask yourself, “Say what bishes?”  Enjoy the aptly named:  Words.

The Twilight Movie: The Bad, The Sad and The Catherine Hardwicke

by Vee

Despite my taking the time and great pains (literally) to get the gadnambed flu shot, my Halloween weekend was spent in my bed, feverish and forlorn.  Seriously, I was miserable. 

 SO, though the fever cleared by Sunday’s eve, my beloved banned me from joining him as he walked the neighborhood with my two little ghouls, lest I succumb once again to whatever bug was ailing me.  I would have fought it, had I WANTED to go walk around for 2-3 hours in the cold but I didn’t.  Plus I kinda dig it when he tries to take charge and tell me what to do when he thinks he’s taking care of me — so long as I agree with what he tells me to do.  So, I helped them get dressed, cracked their neon colored glows sticks, took the prerequisite 100 photos in different poses and sent them off on their journey down the candy highway.  Then I roamed the house like a snot-filled ghost. 

 I tried to read but, yes this is how sick I was, my brain just wasn’t working! 

 Then I channel surfed from station to station only to find a tragic lack of good Halloween entertainment, by which I don’t mean scary movies cuz I hate them.  I am a huge chicken!  Did you know those movies are filled with scary stuff?

 Finding nothing but Teen Mom re-runs (which I’ve seen already including the reunion with Dr. Drew which was hella good), and no good Bravo shows on, my fingers, acting as if of their own accord, very á lá “Thing” from the Adams Family, did the walking to my movie cabinet, snatched up Twilight: The Movie (which makes Twilight the book look damn near excellent), inserted it into my BluRay playah and away we went on our Halloween adventure to Forks.

 Now, let me say this once and be clear forevermore (not to be confused with Evermore, which my MFEO swears is in fact the worst book series evah and loves it due to this fact)….I LOVE my Twilight books, but really, a little writer’s workshop wouldn’t have hurt in this instance.   So from time to time you will hear me rag on the books fo sho…it’s only fair.  And I am nothing if not 100% level headed, 100% of the time…see?  That in itself is 100% true and accurate about me.  I never let emotion get in my way.  (This will only be funny once you read the rest of the article…it’s my way to keep you here so read on, troops.)

Given that the New Moon and Eclipse movies were way less bad, I completely blame Catherine-fareeking-Hardwicke (the director of the first movie) for messing up Twilight and nearly single handedly setting the rest of the movies up for failure (with some hate going to the screenwriter, Melissa Rosenberg and Summit). Luckily my bros Chris Weitz and David Slade came in and, very Mighty Mousily put together some decent movies which my beloved actually says are “pretty good”.   (Yes, my husband will watch these with me.  Come on now, did I not mention he is the love of my life?  He’ll watch Sleepless in Seattle too, if it’s Valentine’s Day or other such sure-to-get-some-action holiday like Wednesday nights).

So in summary: Katherine Hardwicke is the bitch who stole my pads, Melissa Rosenberg her minion. 

 Harsh?  I know.  But ohhhhh, that first movie could have been so much better.  I cringe when Edward does stupid crap like tell Bella he can read the mind of the dude who is thinking about his cat.  Really? 

So, in honor of my fun, post feverish evening, I shall point out the top 10 scariest things in the Twilight movie…and by scariest I mean totally and utterly wrong and horrible…and flat out stupid.

Just one last thing…before I go rag on the movie, let me just share briefly my top 3 “What I Love’s” of the movie.  Why all the lists, you ask?  Because…lists make the world go round in Crazytown.

 1)      The Kiss – Uhhhh…Sevehn.  There’s a reason why the good folks at MTV handed these two the best kiss award two years in a row.  And it’s not because they deliver stellar acceptance speeches, know what I’m sayin?

Oh, sevehn...

2)      Charlie – Hands down best casting and best acting in the entire movie.  Love me some Charlie.

3)      Bella’s Lullaby – Loved it, perfect song choice, and watching Edward play it on the big screen was swoon worthy.

And, with no further ado….voila…after a little love, here’s the hate…

1)      I’ll start with simple and petty issues which in Crazytown translate to complicated and earth-shattering ones.  Where the flippity-flap-jack is the Volvo?  Are you trying to tell me that Emmett’s foot, much less the rest of him, was going to fit in that tuna can?  Damn near broke my heart.  (This is where I show you exactly how level headed and I am.)

2)      Edward’s wardrobe.  Where in the crow is that gadnabbed khaki, wool sweater that I read about?  The sweater that inspired me to get the one at Macy’s as a Christmas present for my beloved?  (Shh…don’t tell him it’s and Edward sweater.)  Where?  Not in the movie.  Nor were any of the other good looking wardrobe choices.  Evidently movie-Edward doesn’t have a sister named Alice who likes to shop, so he has to wear the same stupid ass charcoal pea coat the entire movie.  And I mean, hello, RP is from London (brrr…foggy, cold), so even if you say, “Well Summit had a very small budget”, I say, “Shut UP”.  They could have asked him to bring his own personal coats over the pond for filming if they were so hard up on money…duh.  Do I have to do everything around here?

3)      Let’s touch on the magical moment when Charlie gifts Bella the red truck.  What the shizzle is she doing?  Is that her acting shocked and excited?  Wow.  Well, ok.  This would be the bullet point where I talk about the use of lip biting and scoffing as a form of acting…if there was an Oscar for lip biting , she would have won it. 

4)      Eric.  Really?  Could we have written anyone more annoying?  Perhaps this is true to who Eric would be had he been a more important character in the book.  I was willing to make peace with this except for one itty bitty part…the part where THERE IS NO BEN FOR ANGELA AND SHE HAS TO END UP WITH LAME ASS BASTARD (i.e. LAB) ERIC.  Poor Angela.  Ben was so way better.  A vampire must have eaten him before the movie started.  Evidently those pesky, non-vegetarian bloodsuckers have been hanging out at the docks.  Oh that reminds me…

5)      Could we have NOT had that totally made up dude at the diner where Charlie and Bella eat every night?  You know — the dude who then gets eaten by James and Co. in the totally made up scene at the docks?  Perhaps had that all been skipped,  we would have had some time for more important, and real, scenes from the book…like the blood typing scene which tells us, oh, nothing of much consequence, except perhaps ABOUT BELLA’S TOTALLY WEIRD AVERSION TO THE SMELL OF BLOOD!?!!!  Or perhaps we might have had more time for banter between Bella and Edward instead of what we had: choppy conversations that were just glimpses of what made us fall in love with the book and what made Edward fall in love with Bella (cuz it sure wasn’t her scoffs and lip biting on a regular basis)…

I need me some Bella home cookin'.

6)      Bullet point number 5 clearly takes me into numbah 6.  What the hell are Bella and Charlie doing at a diner?  Is this, once again, another natural consequence of needing to meet that dude from the diner that gets eaten by the vampires – which actually never in fact took place in the book and changed the story line pretty much altogether?  Because the deal is, I was waiting for Bella to show us nurturing side…her ability to take care of herself and others.  Also, I loved the descriptions of her making food.  I wanted to see it.  Where’s the lasagna?

7)      Two words people: Port Angeles.  I already talked about the cat thing, I am not going to upset my presently delicate disposition again on this matter.  Ok, actually I am… further proof of who stole my pads…in the “commentary on” version of the movie, which I chose to view at some point in the past (for research purposes ONLY, and NOT because I wanted to hear the velvety smooth, accented voice of one Mr. Robert Pattinson), Ms. Pad Stealer herself shares that (hold on to your hats ladies and gents) the add-in about the dude with the cat was her last minute idea.  And she didn’t even say it in a form of an apology, she sounded proud.  Really.

8)      The ride home from Port Angeles.  Edward, hey Edward, having some night vision problems now that your entering into your second century of life?  What’s the matter buddy?  Why the crazy eyes?  Oh, wait, it must be the shock you’re feeling due to the fact that the screenwriter skipped the important and revealing convo that is supposed to be taking place right now.  And thanks to the stellar directing by the pad stealer, you instead are riding home back in your previous agro/confused state – though you were just pretty charming and revealing in the restaurant.  Makes sense!!!!!   

9)      Here’s a tip to movie Edward:  When you take your clumsy, accident prone girlfriend for a ride through the forest, the same girlfriend you worried about when she went shopping with her girlfriends in town, don’t climb up ginormous trees and set her loose!  Overlooking the fact that you’re a vampire and not Spiderman (which we’d already established when you told Bella…”What if I’m not the hero…”), if you’re scaling trees with what seem to be your spidey-sticky hands (what the hizzle?), remember that she’s accident prone, my man!  Hulloh?  Bad idea.  Really.  Something to think about.

10)   OK, two more words:  The Meadow.  This was the single most disappointing thing to me…it wasn’t supposed to be SCARY.  WTF people?!!?!!?

Robert is BOTHERED because he got a crap director!!!

  This was the moment when Edward was sharing something special with someone who had made the cut in his life as a trustworthy person…the ONE human he would share this with, not some chick he was trying to scare off.  Had he thought she was going to run away screaming, why would he tell her about – and more importantly SHOW her – the sparkly vampire trick?  He already knew he loved and trusted her and that she loved HIM!  He wasn’t trying to scare her off, he was saying:  “Let’s go to the meadow, so you can see just exactly the kind of good lookin’ I can be” and it turned into, “I am so bothered about my sparkles…whine, whine, whine.  Bothered! “  Ugh.  What a buzz kill, dude.   (BTW, that’s a little Jimmy Fallon shout out…the “bothered” skits rock!) 

 But like I said, I still love me my Twilight.  I could re-play that first kiss (up until the part where he flies in the air and I go, “Huh?”) over and over again ‘til Alice comes back home from the Amazon (read the books people).