Saturday, January 31, 2009

*The* Announcement

Hi, people! Rise and shine, lovelies. How are you this fine weekend, I-can-do-whatever-I-want-YAY! morning?

You might notice today is YA Connection day. Well…it is. But. We have some news. For the first time ever—we’re skipping YA Connection this week. It’s not a permanent, indefinite, or hiatus-like situation. It’s just a spur-of-the-moment decision we reached through a late-night email chain in which we both discovered we weren’t up for compiling it. Kristi is sick and it’s super cold where she graces her presence which makes it hard to move, breathe and think. Steph’s classes start on Monday and she’s hoping for one last weekend of freedom to party and do other illicit things, uninterrupted. (And Steph does realize her reason is nowhere near as valid as Kristi’s…)

So—while we’d be very flattered for this sort of reaction—we hope no one is terribly upset. Go back to bed! Rest! Give your tabs a chance to rest.

We’ll still regularly posting, both of us, and we’ll see you with YA Connection again next week.

xoxo, Kristi and Steph

What is this I hear?

Though I am one of the hosts, my mic's going batshit crazy prevented me from contributing this time. The podcast is probably better for it. I'm listening to it now - are you?

(Picture clickable for your convenience.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

'Edgy' Elicits an Embolism...?

I got into a rather long Twitter discussion with author Courtney Summers (@courtney_s) about the edgy label that some books (and their authors, for some ungodly reason) carry in and through their writing. I started it by saying that I thought labeling a book as edgy is counterintuitive as acknowledging your own 'edginess' is shooting yourself in the foot. To me it comes across as trying to cause a reaction, and trying too hard at that. Let the book speak for itself, please.

So, I decided to bring this forth on my blog. What do you guys think? What about beyond 'edgy' - any other common adjectives publishers (and sometimes authors) slap on the product?

Personally, I hate descriptors. You know, those perverse and often baffling additions to the book description, like, "[Author Name] has written a rich, captivating story exploring the beautiful love of RPattz and his hair grease that will inspire readers to search for alternative energy sources therein."

I hate that. Love having the description (though they're often overplayed or misleading), love having the genre (though don't trust Amazon's categories: they placed Twilight as spine-chilling horror which is perverse and often baffling in and of itself), hate the adjectives.

Anyway, y'all, I'm gonna go back to my insomnia and my insomnia read.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

A pen pal program is created between rival schools Ashbury and Brookfield in the hopes that students will come together in the “spirit of harmony and ‘The Joy of the Envelope.’” The students can’t stand this idea at all, on account of Brookfield’s disreputable standing and Ashbury’s high-end reputation—they’re like apples and oranges. But it’s an assignment for a grade, so they pretty much have to do it. And so, the correspondence commences.

Emily, Lydia and Cassie, batting for Ashbury, start out pretty snarky. The guys respond—Emily gets Charlie, an unassuming, kind-at-heart delinquent; Lydia, a trickster (which suits her game-master tendencies quite well), Sebastian; and Cassie is met with single-sentence threats if she continues writing to her pen pal, Matthew. They continue on until friendships are forged between the Emily/Charlie Lydia/Sebastian entities and until Cassie breaks the ice with her enigmatic friend.

A third of the book goes by and the “couples” (so to speak) decide to meet. Except there’s a teeny, tiny problem: there’s no Matthew at Brookfield. And when whoever’s been posing as Matthew does meet Cassie and tears her apart (metaphorically speaking) cruelly, all niceties go out the window. The Ashbury girls are determined to find out who it is, and, employing the help of their Brookfield pen pals, they descend in a really fun mix of “secret missions, false alarms, lock picking, mistaken identifies, and an all-out war between the schools—not to mention some really excellent kissing.”

This is another one of my insomnia reads. I was going to watch like two discs of our Friends collection throughout the night, but I began this book instead (urged by my friend Reader Rabbit), and I ended up spending the entire night reading it. For one, it’s really funny. For another, it was really quick paced (on account of its epistolary format—it’s all told in letters, emails, transcripts, and diary entries). But more than anything I love the…



Pranks. I love books that feature pranks! Sebastian and Lydia are both, as previously mentioned, very into pulling pranks and all that, so they get into this game and constantly try to outdo each other. It’s very entertaining how, like, one robs the car of the other’s English teacher to steal exam papers.

Finally: I thought the content carried itself out very well until the very end, where there’s this showdown between school authorities. There’s enough suspense to keep turning pages as they start writing to one another, when they finally begin to meet, when it’s discovered that Matthew isn’t really a Matthew after all, when they try to get back at the imposter, and when the school wars begin. This is one of the best FUN! novels I’ve read recently. B

*smiles*

Point/Scholastic
| 340 pages | February 1st, 2004 (US Hardcover) | GoodReads | Amazon
Originally published in Australia by Macmillan under the title Finding Cassie Crazy

A Couple of Things



Bless.

And: one of my favoritest books of 2008, Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher, was chosen as an ALA Top Ten Books of 2009! (Via bookshelves of doom)

This book is good, y'all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm Soooo Late Posting About This...

I Heart Daily is a free newsletter of stuff we like. Each day, you’ll find out about one thing: The band you should hear, the girl who’s kicking ass in the world, the lipstick color that looks good on everyone, the designer who doesn’t have a fashion show yet but is completely amazing… you get the idea.

You’ll never hear about stuff we hate, just stuff we heart.
We’re nice that way.

It's run by Melissa Walker and Anne Ichikawa, and it is awesome! Go check it out at http://iheartdaily.com.

Waiting on Wednesday 13: Prophecy of the Sisters

Waiting on Wednesday is the one day during the week where you don't have to feel dirty for lusting after so many books :P Its creator is the fabulous Jill of Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink:

Sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her.

Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportion.

It's Little, Brown's lead YA title for next week, which means it's supposed to be really, really good. Fun! I didn't like the cover a whole lot when I first saw it, but I gotta say, it's growing on me. Doesn't it look...creepy, in a way?!

Find out more at Michelle's MySpace page or on the Amazon page.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Love Me, Love Me, SAAAAAAAAAY That You Love Me


Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family’s resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends—much less to meet cute boys. So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she’s immediately drawn to him. Sure, he’s a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won’t say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star’s girlfriend turns up dead on the beach—strangled by her own bikini top—and alarm bells sound. Is it too great a coincidence that Seth’s family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces. . . .

Thanks to the omniawesome Penguin Group USA, I have five (cinco, pende, ummm??) copies of these to give away. Leave a comment with your email addy to win. +1 if you mention this contest (with a link to *THIS* post) somewhere and tell me about it.

Contest ends...oh, what do you say we let it go on for two weeks? I never have any long lasting contests. So, deadline = the 10th of February in the blessed year of 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

JELLICOE ROAD PRIDE

IT WON THE PRINTZ AWARD!!

I'm so happy.

It Just Occurred To Me...

...that one of the reasons I really liked Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers is that for a while, it felt like it was Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green narrating. Like, there were major differences and all, but Parker was the deeply unhappy, alcohol-ridden teenager hiding some dark secret. Even when she was bitchy, there were still people who stuck by her. It's clear they're the same person, but it was cool to draw the parallel if only because Alaska is still such a mystery to everyone. If you like John Green's novel and haven't read this one, give it a chance and see what you think. ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden is your classic overachiever: she’s studious and entirely too serious. What’s more, she deprived herself of a normal high school experience—one with friends and fun—opting instead for the academic route. Which did indeed work, because she got into a great university, the one she’d be attending come August. In the meantime, there is the whole summer stretching before her, and suddenly, spending it at home with her holier-than-thou, my-feminism-is-better-than-yours, literary professor of a mother and her revolving door of grad student flirts, dinner parties and drinking isn’t cutting it. So, Auden decides to spend summer in Colby (this isn’t set in Lakeview!) with her father, her stepmother Heidi (whom her mother deems a waste of space because of her girly tendencies), and their newborn Thisbe (her father is also a literary snob).

She isn’t sure exactly what to expect in Colby, but it’s definitely not what she finds: a hookup she stupidly stumbled upon, her father immersed in his novel and not paying any heed to Heidi and the ever-crying Thisbe, Heidi’s imminent breakdown, or the job she inadvertently lands, keeping the books for Heidi’s shop, Clementine’s. With the job come three girls—the other employees—who’re everything her mother stands against: girly and frivolous. Set in her snobby (and shy) ways, Auden secludes herself from the group and works diligently in the back room.

However, she can’t keep hiding away forever. She doesn’t sleep at night, and neither does this strange guy Eli she keeps seeing around. One thing—Eli’s help in placating Thisbe in the middle of the night while Heidi catches up on some sleep—leads to another—seeing Eli at a party—and they become night buddies, embarked in a quest to give Auden a second chance at the childhood she never had, one food fight at a time.

As the summer progresses, Auden aggregates herself to the trio from Clementine’s, faces the errors of her prejudice toward people influenced by her mother, and basically examines her entire life up to that point. The summer is, quite simply, a Renaissance.

Auden’s character resonated with me. Like her, I’ve changed school multiple times (seven, if memory serves) and that’s made me feel like I’ve missed some crucial school experiences and rendered me socially retarded. Granted, I hide it a lot better than she does (seriously), but the underlying insecurity is much the same. Also, her prejudice toward “fluffy” girls is something I’ve faced as well, as was her discovery of substance beyond the pink exterior. This is terribly realistic stuff for us self-absorbed teens who figure we know everything and are always the smartest in the room.

Which brings me to the characterization: Sarah Dessen is quite accomplished at possibly every facet of writing and storytelling, but I believe her true forte is her characters. Even Thisbe, Auden’s newborn half-sister, had personality. I loved how all important characters had layers upon layers that continuously surprised me, the reader. Reading this book was a peeling-the-onion experience, to be sure.

Another thing I love in Sarah is that she doesn’t write about foreign—futuristic or fantastical—worlds but rather about the one in which I reside, and yet her world building is so adept, rich, filled with detail, that I can’t help but lose myself in it. In the hands of another writer, her books would probably be half their size and probably still be good (I love her familiar-yet-foreign approach to plotting universal situations in an unique way), but wouldn’t come alive as they do with her mastery of setting me in the mood and atmosphere.

And finally, I love that this is a smart read. Aside from having smart-sounding content (Auden is, after all, an ambulant brain), the book itself is smart in that it’ll probably identify with each person in a different way. I identified with Auden’s alienation and her awakening to the people around her, but with the number of other things going on, I’m sure other parts will speak louder to other people. Her dysfunctional family situation, the unresolved divorces, the overall complicated nature of each troubling aspect of the book… Quite frankly, like with Laurie Halse Anderson, I wonder where Sarah Dessen gets the experience with with which to write the wide range of topics she covers, and with such bang. It’s downright formidable, the skill those two possess.

Now, ironically (given the book’s subject matter), I read this one during one of my insomnia episodes. In fact, it’s 7:52 a.m. as of writing this sentence, and I just had breakfast and sat down to write this review. I’ll be going to sleep soon as I finish it, quite satisfied at that, because this book turned an otherwise destined to be useless night, exciting, interesting, and memorable. (Which is more than I can say about all the others, considering I can’t even distinguish one from another…)

I have to say, though—and this is one of my only (minor) objections to something in this book—I’m not sure if insomnia is exactly what Auden has. She has a general discomfort with sleeping at night (explained in the book), but insomnia is the inability to sleep, even if given the opportunity. She just drinks loads of coffee to snap out of it. There’s a difference, and believe me, as an insomniac, I envy the people with the choice.

Anyway.

Sarah Dessen is definitely on an uphill climb of quality. She is one of those authors I am damn near worshiping and would die if I had the opportunity to interview or something. Counting this one, I’ve loved her last three books, each successively more than the other. I didn’t think she’d be able to top Lock and Key—which is second only to This Lullaby, as far as I’m concerned—anytime soon, but she did with this one. Her work—particularly at its best—is the kind that inspires me, moves me, even in the bleakest (or most boring, as was the case) of scenarios. Definitely required reading. A

Viking | 381 pages | June 11th, 2009* | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

*Yup, I reviewed this way early. There is a certain appeal at being the first blogger to read and review one of the most expected books of the year, and I am not passing up the chance! Thank you, J, for this!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dude

The Pope has a YouTube channel.

Nifty.

(And yes, that's really him. You can Google "vatican youtube channel" and you'll get a bunch of reputable sites verifying it. I just heard it on the news.)

YA Connection, January 18th - 24th

YA Connection
(Week of January 18th - 24th)

YA Connection is a collaborative column compiled by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Steph (Reviewer X). In it are links from around the YA blogosphere, including, but not limited to, contests, author blogs, reviews, and miscellaneous news pertaining to the general awesome of YA. They also do weekly contests accompanying these thingies because that's always fun.

Both K and S are starving blogger types, so if you're a publicist or author, we KNOW you can relate: wanna donate a book? :) Nah, but really, anything regarding communicating something you'd like added (like a link of your own) or whatever should be emailed to BOTH of us: thestorysiren at hotmail.com and reviewerx at gmail.com.

This week's contest is located here and it's for If I Stay by Gayle Forman (an April release - yay ARCs!)

Contests
Okay, y'all, supply us with links to your contests in the comments section. I'm turning up nothing in my feed reader search and my nephew is yelling and I basically have no time to look further. Sorry!

Author Blurbs
(Compiled by Steph)
A.S. King (The Dust of 100 Dogs) is only a few days away from her debut's release! She's still awesome, of course.

CK Kelly Martin (I Know It's Over) has a wonderful blog filled with political issues regarding YA, Canada, and occasionally the US. She almost never posts about herself, which is rather regrettable (hint!), but it does make for a great venue in which to discuss current events. Check out her post on a book that was recently challenged in Toronto.

Maggie Stiefvater (Lament) gives her thoughts on ... nookie. ;) Really, it's a great (and illustrated) post on romance and pretty much parallels my opinion the subject, too. Cynicism ftw.
Justine Larbalestier (How To Ditch Your Fairy) is dedicating this entire month to discussing writing and answering blog reader questions. Here's my favorite for this past week: Similes.

Tracy Madison (A Taste of Magic) talks about how she creates characters. Writing a letter to herself from the POV of whoever she's creating? Interesting.

John Green (Paper Towns)'s latest release (the aforementioned one) was nomintated for an the Edgar Award! This makes me happy not only because it's John Green but also because he mentioned the award banquet involves a tuxedo. You fill in the blanks.

Melissa Walker (Violet in Private) did a cover story for Alexa Young's Frenemies series! Does anyone love this feature as much as I do? I keep seeing it pop up in other blogs, which is...I dunno, but no one does it better than Melissa.

Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate) is participating in an anthology out next July from Candlewick Press! It is entitled Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. Her contribution is called "The Mummy's Daughter". I am SO getting this.

Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice) announced that the second book she has under contract with Razorbill won't be the mermaid one (slightly upset about this) but rather one about a dairy princess.

Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride) got quite a bit of snow this week (for NC). Personally, I hate snow, but to each their own :)

Stephanie Kuehnert (I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone) for the mandatory Inauguration Day mention - I really loved her post. Also, what do you think of her wedding dress?

Elizabeth Scott (Something, Maybe) has an excerpt up for aforementioned title, her next release, in March!

Wendy Toliver (Miss Match) says you can tell a lot about a person from what they collect. Well, she does have a pretty crafty collection going on there :)

Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year) is the queen of authorly blog things, and this week she posted one that every writer, everywhere, should read a million times over: Exposition is like salt... (Okay, and Jennifer? Not happy about the release rescheduling :P)

Jessica Verday (The Hollow) got her ARCs! I still maintain that the cover is eye-catching.

Aprilynne Pike (Wings) interviewed fellow 09 Debutante Saundra Mitchell (Shadowed Summer)! (Consider this my nudge for Aprilynne to ~update~ more.)

Saundra Mitchell (Shadowed Summer) is sharing excerpts for her upcoming novel every Tuesday until its release on Feb 10th. Check out the first one!

Diana Peterfreund (Rampant) has a killer post on vocabulary and YA novels. (Pun intended.) I love it when YA authors act as advocates for their audience's intelligence, especially when we're currently put to a test.




Author of the Week
V.C. Andrews: One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than fifty novels in V.C. Andrews' bestselling series. The new Delia series begins with Delia's Crossing and will continue in Delia's Heart. V.C. Andrews' novels have sold more than one hundred million copies and have been translated into sixteen foreign languages.
(Photo & bio credit: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/V-C-Andrews/4466/biography)

Blogger Blurbs
(Compiled by Kristi)
Angie of Angieville reviewed Impossible by Nancy Werlin and Need by Carrie Jones.

TheBookworm of Au Courant reviewed Willow by Julia Hoban. "The intensity of her guilt and hope were remarkable and extremely well wrought by the author."

Becky of Becky's Book Reviews reviewed Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro and Far From You by Lisa Schroder.

James of Book Chic posted a VC Andrews Vlog and a Fresh New Voice of YA interview with Jessica Burkhart.

Carol of Bookluver-Carol's Reviews reviewed Far From You by Lisa Schoeder and Lament: A Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater.

Yan of Books By Their Cover reviewed Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Purge by Sarah Darer Littman, The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap and The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry.

Harmony Book Reviews reviewed Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson and Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling.

Gabrielle of Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen interviewed Tina Ferarro.

Just Blinded Book Reviews reviewed Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson. "Almost the entire book was so slow paced until I got towards the end when Scarlett receives the ‘mysterious’ note. As if the entire book was just a background story or just a set up for the sequel."

Natasha of Maw Books Blog interviewed Lisa McMann, reviewed Savvy by Ingrid Law and Skelton Creek by Patrick Carman.

Mrs. Magoo Reads interviewed Charlotte Agell.

My Favorite Author has a "virtual" interview with Suzanne Collins, and reviewed Gone by Michael Grant.

Alea of Pop Culture Junkie has a lookalike, a hardcover vs. paperback and a review of Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson.

Lenore of Presenting Lenore reviewed Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. "Despite knowing the fairy tale, I found this retelling adequately suspenseful and read eagerly, rooting for Galen to break the curse and usher in a happily ever after."

Reader Rabbit reviewed Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith. "I'm not saying that the characterization was fantastic or that the storytelling was the best thing ever...but I will say that Sherri L. Smith pulled off the story well. History buffs, make sure you pick this one up when it's released tomorrow!"

Kelsey of Reading Keep You Sane interview Stacey Jay and reviewed You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay.

Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag interviewed Tina Ferraro.

Megan of Simply Books reviewed The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. "I liked how Mary E. Pearson wrote the novel. She started out writing in sparse language, and as Jenna begins to adapt to her new life and become her own person, the writing becomes more detailed and flows better. It was a good way to show Jenna's transition."

Jocelyn of Teen Book Review reviewed Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols and had a guest post by Jennifer E. Smith.

Taren of The Chick Manifesto reviewed Forever Princess by Meg Cabot and has a VC Andrews update!

Book of the Week
My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews
Audrina Adare wanted so to be as good as her sister. She knew her father could not love her as he loved her sister. Her sister was so special, so perfect -- and dead.

Upstairs in the locked room were her sister's clothes and dolls, her animals and games -- and her sacred rocking chair, which held the secret of all her sister's gifts. Now Audrina will rock and rock and claim those gifts.

Now she will come face to face with the dangerous, terrifying secret that everyone knows.

Everyone except... My Sweet Audrina.
(Note: this is just so I am motivated to finish. It's interesting so far, albeit slow, but I keep putting it off I-don't-know why. >.<)



Our Reviews

Kristi reviewed: Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson, You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay and Triple Shot Betty's In Love by Jody Gehrman.

Steph reviewed: Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty (more of a fangirl reaction than a review - that's coming later), Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith, 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares, and Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers.

-

Have a fantastic weekend!

YA Connection Contest: If I Stay

The winner of Wintergirls is Stephanie! Please email me (as you left no email address...).

This week's contest is for If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

“Just listen” Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.

“Stay.” He says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love – music – even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

It's a big April release (meaning: ARC) from Dutton. Want? It's quite easy:

Leave a comment with your email on this post. (Unless you have a public Blogger profile with your email listed there.) +1 if you comment on Kristi's YAC post (& tell me about it). +1 if you mention this contest (with a link to THIS post) somewhere and tell me about it. (It's +1 for each mention.)

Contest ends next Saturday.

Okay? Let it begin!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Judge You...

...when you display poor grammer mannerz. (Yes, like the Facebook group.)

I have no problem with acronyms (omg, btw, fwiw, etc.) but when you get all "how r u" and substituting syllables with the number 8, it's like, wtf?

I feel a list coming on... Le sigh.

Anywayz, what are everyone's views on chatspeak? I have a theory that nobody is as bothered by it like I am. Le sigh x 10000000.

Info on the second Hunger Games book!...

...can be found on Lenore's blog. Including the cover.

Steph

Okay, Okay

Following that weight post earlier this week, I think a more positive thingy is due. So! Open thread. What is the one thing you love the most about yourself?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: *~sparkles~*

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly book lusting appointment set forth to make the closeted book nerds feel saner. ~woo~

My choice for this week is only out on Winter 2010 (I'm guessing late Dec 09?) and has no cover yet but whatever.

Here's the Publishers Marketplace announcement:

Courtney Summers's SOME GIRLS ARE, pitched as Mean Girls meets Heathers, a dark tale of high school rivalry in which vicious rumors and nasty tricks are the currency that buy you popularity or seal your fate at the bottom of the social food chain, to Sara Goodman at St. Martin's, in a nice deal, for publication in Winter 2010, by Amy Tipton at FinePrint Literary Management (World English).

And here's from an interview with Little Willow:

What's next for you?

My next book, Some Girls Are, is coming out in Winter 2010, also from St. Martin's Press. It's about really, REALLY mean girls. I have always been fascinated about really, REALLY mean girls, so I'm pretty excited about it. While it's being whipped into shape, I'm working on my next book. I'm too superstitious to say much about WIPs (works-in-progress) . . . but it's another YA and I'm excited about it too.

Note that since it's early on in the process and Courtney is still revising and stuff, everything - title, publication date, umm... that's it? - is subject to change. People in publishing are very temperamental beings (as is the market).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

It’s a funny story how I got this one, actually. After a crazy couple of close-calls, Courtney Summers sent me a *~sparkly~* email being awesome and nice and graciously shoving one of these at me even though I was planning on having my brother buy it for me anyway. I think she really felt sorry for me, y’all. Like, at my neediness.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Something’s bothering Parker Fadley. In the space of some short seconds, her life turns on its head, perfect no longer. Gone is every teacher’s dream. She begins getting bad grades, showing up to school wasted, and getting in other miscellaneous trouble. The problem is, no one knows what caused her downfall. Parker wants to be left alone to figure (or not) things out her own way. But what with being placed under suicide watch, the school officials breathing down her neck and threatening to withhold her diploma, and the new guy at school falling for her unintentional appeal, it’s tough. Tough to lose herself and tough to ignore her demons. Because the truth is that something horrible has happened—and it might just be her fault.

I just want to say this novel is a true testament of subjectivity. When Courtney Summers put the first two chapters up on her site, I had to have this. My best friend, however, felt far differently. The same first paragraph that hooked me, turned her off. (To which I said, All righty then…) Here it is, for your convenience:

Imagine four years.

Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics, pantsings, spilled food, theft, fights, broken limbs, turf wars–every day, a turf war–six months until graduation and no one gets a medal when they get out. But everything you do here counts.

High school.

Doesn’t that equate to utter love and devotion? I’m telling you, my friends are weird.

Anyway, all of this leads me to the primary object of my affections: Parker’s characterization. Regardless of her mystique and the drama surrounding it, her voice was just crazy-good in its intonation, consistency, and constancy. Strong narrators are my forte, and Parker left no doubt of whom (read: the bitch) she was and she was unapologetic about it. And best thing is, it never got annoying, fanciful or trashy. Major props for that.

Her lifestyle made sense, all things considered, because even though you don’t find out until the end what Horrible Occurrence occurred, it was obvious from the get-go she is unhinged and hurting. There were times I wanted to slap her for being such an ungrateful bitch to all the people reaching out to her. Ultimately, though, I felt really sorry for her because her defense mechanism was going to fail her at some point and she wouldn’t know how to deal with it, and by then she’d have driven everyone away.

I’ve seen comments about how her alcohol abuse was unfounded, and I just have to say I don’t think so. I’ve seen friends go off the deep end for tamer reasons. I reckon they shut down and then proceed to find God in the bottom of a bottle, either because they have some preconceived notion alcohol fixes things (incorrect: it’s a depressant) or it was just the first thing that materialized in front of them that made sense (a depressing prospect). It’s a directionless place to be, Parker’s situation, so I don’t blame her.

There were places where I wished the big revelation didn’t keep being put off, but really, I enjoyed this novel. It’s an amazing combination of being powerful from the perspective of a fragile character and hits close to home. Here’s to everyone who has regrets or something to hide. B+

Note: To all the cheapos or hardback haters out there, here is something to be happy about: original paperback release!

Further note: Canadian authors rule. Between Courtney and CK Kelly Martin (whose novel I Know It's Over was one of 2008's best), there is no shortage on the awesome front.

St. Martin's Griffin | 214 pages | December 24th, 2008 | Author Site | Excerpt | GoodReads | Amazon

3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares

This is a sort of antithesis to the original sisterhood—instead of finding a means of staying connected through their summers apart, here the girls’ friendships falter. Even though I’m kind of getting sick of hearing “sisterhood” and “Ann Brashares” in the same sentence, I gotta say, this book worked for me. The voice is quieter, more insightful than the original series, which I really enjoyed.

Okay, so, there are three girls: Ama, the overachiever trying to escape her genius older sister’s shadow; Jo, whose family life is deteriorating and who becomes consumed by a summer romance; and Polly, who tries to pursue modeling while her dysfunctional mother is never around. Theirs isn’t the same magical story as the four girls’ preceding them: there’s no birth ties, the mothers weren’t in any way close, and there’s no crutch (by which I mean an enchanted pair of pants) to thread them together through their time apart. Like I said: antithesis.

There were a couple more things I liked about this one. There narrative changes perspectives and therefore settings between the three girls frequently, but despite the constant shift, it flows well and uninterruptedly. While it takes awhile to be able to distinguish between the voices of each girl, it’s an effective structure in which to tell the story and I loved how accomplished it was.

The other thing is the tie-ins with the original characters and stories. They showed up and it was sweet to see how the stories fit together and yet are completely separate. (The reason I liked their cameos as much is because Bridget was kind of idolized and I loved her. :P)

So, yeah, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Ann Brashares really impressed me. The original series still has a special spark in that it was fresh, whereas this one is familiar, but I think old fans would like it, too. The one true, conspicuous improvement is the design—3 Willows’s is all atmospheric and tranquil-like. :) B.

Delacorte | 336 pages | January 13th, 2009 | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weighing Weight

Jocelyn at Teen Book Review made a great post on her blog regarding body image. I made a note somewhere I wouldn’t subject anyone to my own views lest they be rendered utterly lifeless upon reading it, but Jocelyn said she was interested in knowing, so here we go. Hell if I don’t give the keeper of Teen Book Review what she wants. ;)

Let me start by saying my metabolism sucks. You hear a lot of girls complaining that they can’t even look at a donut and they’ll gain five pounds. You think they’re kidding? I sure as hell am not. See:



*thighs expand*

It’s not fun.

I’ve flirted with the overweight BMI range at least twice before. One of them was when I moved back to The Shithole (my home country) in 2007. I fell into a black hole of agony and despair and all things depressing, and I’ll tell you what, it’s nothing something you get out of without self-motivation. Trouble is, I had none. My love of food overcame my love of fitting into my clothes, and what with the metabolism from Satan himself that I have, it wasn’t the best of combinations. After gaining a considerable amount of that pesky thing called “junk in the trunk” and looking worse than I’ve looked in years, any desire I had to turn things around were shot to hell.

Then, in 2008, I quit being emo for a moment and decided I wanted to feel pretty again. So I embarked in a crazy scheme where I was to lose 30 pounds and damned if anyone would stop me. None of that small goals crap—I was aiming for the win. I dieted, I abstained from fatty foods, I deprived myself of an actual delicious meal for months until the results began showing up. By April my classmates began noticing the difference. By July my super prissy cousin praised me and said I looked really great. I have no idea where the will to do all of this sprung from but I thank whoever’s up there every day for it because I truly underwent an amazing transformation.

Here’s the part where I get controversial. Some girls would’ve probably felt fine at the peak of my weight, but I sure as hell didn’t, nor will I ever. Not to sound conceited, but I’ve never really had to worry about my grades or anything like that, so all that attention’s always been focused on my body. I needed to lose all that weight to begin embracing myself for whom I am. And I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with that—having positive body-image and self-esteem to me means evaluating what it is you do want a going after it. People are allowed to go after higher grades, better jobs, better homes, and general improvement, so why wouldn’t that be applicable to my own body?

Not that it’s that easy. I still fight negative thoughts about how I never lost all the weight I intended to lose. I still fight the frustration I feel at how I have such skinny friends who eat whatever they want and don’t gain an ounce. But that’s my issue, and I know I’ll be combating these negative thoughts forever because I’ll never be content with how I am. But, I’ve come a long way from my self-loathing. And I did it healthily.

That’s my take. I have an obese sister and no matter how many times people say you need to accept yourself, that it’s okay to have curves, etc., I never want to have those kinds of health implications on me. Same with being too skinny. But when you’re in the realm of health and you want to change yourself for whatever you perceive is better (by either losing or gaining weight), I totally respect that. It was my weight loss that gave me the courage to like me for me. You should (HEALTHILY of course) set the ideal you want for yourself - for friendships, looks, weight, grades, family, WHATEVER - and go after it. In the end, it’s all about feeling good and happy about yourself, and no one else, right?

And, let me just say, however you go about acquiring better self-esteem, know that it helps in all possible aspects.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Here’s a subject matter you don’t hear about every day: It’s the early 1940s the Women Airforce Service Pilot(s—it’s also plural)—are serving in the WWII-era United States. Because they’re women, they’re taken for granted and are not considered an official part of the United States army, stripping them of any benefits they would’ve had otherwise. On top of all things going against her as a woman, our main character Ida Mae deals with another type of prejudice, being that she’s of African descent.

Cool premise, huh? Here’s another one for the books: Ida Mae is biracial, so she’s got fair skin but was brought up in a black neighborhood. To join the WASP she has to essentially deny her race and therefore her family (all of whom have darker skin that she does), which unsettles and offends her mother. I’ve always been one for unique concepts and conflicts, and this novel delivers in that aspect.

Ida Mae goes through training to become a WASP and I felt this connection to the girls there and their resulting kinship with one another after spending months together. It’s a really nice and feel-good kind of bond they have, and there’s even a wave of excitement that comes with a good conflict when the feeling’s compromised by Ida Mae’s alienation from pretending to be part of a white-girl group and that it’s all a lie. It’s not that the characters had a remarkable amount of depth to them—they got by. But it was the ensemble that really worked for the book. I saw the kind of relationship they had and how much they strived and fought for their integration into the army, and it was very convincing. That was in my opinion the biggest thing this had going for it.

So, I liked Flygirl. It is a solid 3-stars, which isn’t the rating system I use and unfortunately I can’t find an equivalent, so we’ll call it on the brink of a B, okay? I’d recommend it for someone looking for a little-known subject in WWII history or just looking for a little originality.

Flygirl will be available in hardcover in three short days :)

G.P. Putnam’s Sons (YR) | 256 pages | January 22nd, 2008 | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

*no spoilers*
This isn’t a review so much as a (pre)view. This is me throwing my thoughts together for a time-sensitive verdict.

Perfects Fifths is a culmination of Jessica’s one of a kind witticisms and repartee, Marcus’s mystique, meta-intertextuality, highbrow pop culture, and the bittersweet history between the two we’re all too familiar with.

And it is good. Unpredictable as ever, but good.

And that is all I am gonna say on that subject. For now.

Crown | 304 pages | April 14th, 2009 | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Be Very, Very Jealous

Showing off isn't my style and all, but I can't help myself. Guess what I just got in the mail?


Perfect Fifths! By Megan McCafferty!
If I don't answer my email, you know where I am.

YA Connection Contest: Wintergirls

The winner of last week's contest for Willow by Julia Hoban, picked at random, is Sara of What A Girl Reads!

This week's contest is for a book that comes out in March, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

It's reaaaaaaaaaally good. Click here to see Lenore's thoughts.

Want? I know you do. Leave a comment for one entry (edited to add: and email address!). +1 if you get the secret word from Kristi's blog. It'll change every once in a while so MAKE SURE you check to see if it's still the same. (Also, go check out YA Connection while you're at it cos we both work hard at that thing. :P) +1 if you post about this contest (and link to this post) somewhere. Link me to wherever you post, by the way.

That's it! It ends next Saturday. :)

Zomg

"Teens send nude pics to one other, face kiddie porn charges"

(Via Dear Author)

So...when can we expect the Vanessa Anne Hudgens/Zac Efron joint arrest?

But really, I can't even begin describing how stupid I think this is. Instead of going out there and helping the 1 in 4 women that are sexually assaulted sometime in their lifetime, they're wasting man power, court time, and tax-payer money to see that a group of horny teenagers put to rest something arguably ill-advised but potentially harmless. Honestly, I've seen, experienced and heard of way worse. At least this shit's consensual.

Tsk. People.

Friday, January 16, 2009

He's Got A Smile That Seems To Me...

Another for the "ZOMG this is what Steph looks like!" collection. This time I'm accompanied by my nephew. We'll call him...Little Dude. This was last weekend. I feel like sharing :)




...reminds me of childhood memories, where everything is as fresh as the bright blue sky.

411 on Le Reviews

If you want to know more about me, personally, go here. If you want to know info about the actual site, stay on the line.

Hiya :) Here’s what you may want to/definitely maybe need to know before sending me a book to review:

The world’s not getting any younger and le review pile is not getting any smaller. I swear I have cold sweats at night just thinking about its size sometimes. I’m about 5’4’’ and it’s nearly towering over me. HOWEVER, I’m too much of a cheap ass to pass up the chance to get free books. You find some of the best gems at random and I’m not above getting me some of those. So, I accept and welcome and love books for review, but know that I can’t guarantee a review. I try! I really do, for every single book that finds its way in my mailbox. In fact, I also welcome nudging if it’s been awhile—greater chance I’ll get on it like that.

But yeah—no guarantees. Sorry!

** A BOLD CLARIFICATION **
For my own "safety" as far as these things are concerned, I will stress this again: Unsolicited books are not guaranteed a review. I sometimes don't even get to those I did actively seek out. Just a word of warning.

While it’s true I do a lot of YA, I accept books of all kinds and all age groups. Just a thought, though: Religious fiction isn’t really up my alley. This is mainly because I’m just not very religious myself, so it’s not something I personally enjoy. I don’t mind morals and all but I’m not very big on…religious fiction. Though if you’ve written some great, engaging nonfiction book about any religion that’s factual and all, I find that stuff fascinating as I quite like studying different religions. So that’s…that.

Also: My reviews are sometimes way too honest for people’s tastes. If you’re not someone with thick skin, I’m probably not the best person to send your book to. And look, it’s no problem. I don’t think my opinion will change the world or anything but I still like to tell it like I see it. It’s a matter of principles, I suppose: I’ve bought countless books based on reviews that were faked because the person was too afraid to hurt the author’s feelings and all. Now I’m not saying all positives are lies—I’m just saying I’m giving it straight, either positively or negatively. And keep in mind I’m nitpicky as hell. Sometimes downright bitchy.

…Yeah.

As for stats, this changes a lot but as of today, January 16, 2009, I get 400-500 visitors a day (depends who you're asking - my number on Statcounter is 500-600, on Sitemeter it's 400-500... I dunno which to trust) and have about 400+ subscribers on various feed readers. If you want an up-to-date number, just ask me.

Okay! And that’s it!

Steph
reviewerx at gmail.com

A New Testament of Awesome



If you were looking to find out more about the book, watch the video. Many more details! And then... Is that not the coolest thing you've seen all week? If you want more background, A.S. King provided that over here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Favorite Kind of Romance

I’m anal, bitchy, and the most cynical creature about anything and everything. I assume most people don’t have this problem, making romance novels for them easier to digest than they are for me. See, I’m not very liberal with love—if anything, I’m completely, utterly exclusive about it (and everything else, really). Convincing me of love as a motivator? Making the whole plot center around love? You better be a hell of a storyteller, is all I’m saying.

With this in mind, I bring forth Bloom by Elizabeth Scott and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. They’re not alike on the surface, but if you dig deeper, there’s a very clear and distinctive connection to be made…

You know that thing about the first time sucking and it getting better each consecutive time? I never in a million years thought it could apply to books. But hell, what do I know? It does. I didn’t have the most favorable opinion on either of these the first time around, but here’s the thing: With Melina Marchetta, she’s one the authors I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrve (roll your eyes all you want, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true), and with Elizabeth Scott, it usually takes more than one read through her books for them to sink in. (Side note: I don’t mean it as a bad thing. I quite like her books. Just don’t absorb them as quickly!) By which I mean I couldn’t let it end there.

So like a good (little?) girl, I went back and reread them. And it’s a funny thing, falling in love with a love story. Falling in love with two of those? Aw, well damn.

Saving Francesca tells the story of how transformed Francesca’s life becomes when one day her mom won’t get out of bed. The setting is quite unique: a boys’ school that just decided to go co-ed. Many, many guys and only a handful of girls. Fun! Above that, it’s set in Australia, so you can hear all the orgasmic accents as the characters speak. If nothing else, there’s that. But aside from that, there’s the fact it’s a damn good, realistic book in how parental depression affects a family and how there’s a certain beauty—or at least a quality—in even the ugliest situations that keep you afloat. I want to say the tone of the novel is kind of like that of a chick-lit book’s, but that’s slightly inaccurate. Look, I don’t know. It’s something else altogether, and what it is makes the darkness in this book digestible, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful.

I just have to say, what I love about Melina Marchetta is that she just never has any halfhearted characters. I could pick each and every one of the ones here apart, consider their portrayal in the book, and genuinely ask to read a book solely about them. Considering my review pile, that’s saying a lot.

But it’s the love element that makes this book distinguishable. Not only the romantic love, mind, but every other type: the amicable one, the familial one, etc. Usually these types of descriptions make me want to puke as, yeah, not my thing, but Francesca is just as cynical as me so she makes it work.

And now, Bloom. Bloom is not as all-encompassing as Francesca, but it’s every bit as wholesome, and it gives a deeper look into the romantic type of love in Francesca. It’s basically about a girl who has to choose between the love of her life, around whom she can’t control her feelings, and the guy who offers her stability and security, with whom everything is “nice”, quaint even, if that passes an insult. It’s the same type of situation Francesca finds herself in, except this is its reverse: In Francesca, it’s the guy who has to choose; here, as I mentioned, it’s the girl.

So anyway, what’s great about this is that I believed, very much so, in the chemistry between the characters. Above all other qualities, methinks, Bloom’s best aspect is the sexuality it depicts in an honest and forward, but not graphic, way. I have nothing against graphic, but it would really ruin the story here. The point is to be all-consuming and subtle.

Like the title says, I consider these two to be—very good—examples of my favoritest type of romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love the leading up to it stories all the same, but there’s a special place in my heart for those that don’t keep things tipsy-topsy up until the last page about whom the character will end up with. I mean, these do that nevertheless—one character or the other has to make a choice. But it’s a choice based on the circumstances and on the exploration of what it is you want, and I love it when authors take that plunge. They’re not created to be fanciful and memorable, and end up being just that because of their intention not to be. If that makes any sense.

I kind of think of these to be the underdog of the genre. The stakes are all internal and all center back to that conflict of security vs soul mates. (In fact, Elizabeth Scott did a lovely guest blog on this during Girl Week…)

Both = As.

Saving Francesca:
Knopf (US) | 256 pages | May 9th, 2006 (US) | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

Bloom:
Simon Pulse | 231 pages | April 24th, 2007 | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon


And changing sides really quick: Anyone have any recommendations for me?

For Fantasy Fans, Readers & Bloggers

Penguin is doing that free-ebook thing they did for Savvy back in 2008, but this time for the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan. For a limited amount of time, you can read the entire first book, The Ruins of Gorlan, online.

They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .


Click here to read it!


I know people don't really come here for fantasy recommendations, so hey, if you're a fantasy book blogger, be sure to mention this on your own blog. You can even embed the book onto your own blog, like such...


Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan


I'm weirdly excited by Penguin's efforts to make books available like this. It's a cool idea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If Looks Could Kill...

I had a conversation with a friend recently and the topic of how hot a certain male author is came into play. (You know who you are.) She claimed he only became “soooooooo hot” to her once she saw how “adorable” he was during interviews, thus causing a stir. Me? I don’t believe it for a second. It had to have happened before—reading his work because of the physical.

I mean, it’s not the first time I’ve heard it happening. How do you think I got some of my friends into John Green? Look, the back copy of Looking for Alaska failed to entice and you all know the old adage: desperate times call for desperate measures. I showed them

The Picture


and voila. They bought the book. Simple as. (No they have not read it yet. But hey, royalties for John and culture for them. I can pour them the glass but I cannot drink it for them.)

So it got me thinking about the aesthetics. We can all agree that covers are the most important thing for first impressions, which is generally why it’s good if they don’t suck. But beyond that, what about the author’s looks? Do you reckon there is an author you wouldn’t love as much if they weren’t so damn pretty? What about personality? Any authors move you to buy or at least read some of their work simply because of either of those?

I have one! Granted, I’d have read Paper Towns anyway, but damn y’all, John Green can part oceans with those glasses.

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by the fantabulous (and I scarcely use that word) (seriously, you can check) Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a community book lusting effort.

Anyhoo, my choice for this week is:

Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu

Twelve-year-old Paris Pan’s life is a mess. She’s just moved to a tiny town in Nowheresville, Oklahoma; her family life is a comical disaster; her new friends are more like frenemies; and the boy she has a crush on is a dork. Things couldn’t possibly get worse, until she discovers that a girl mysteriously died years ago while taking a seventh-grade rite of passage–the Dare– right near Paris’s new house. So when Paris starts hearing strange noises coming from the creepy run-down shed in her backyard, she thinks they could be a message from the ghost of a girl. But while she has no plans to make contact with the great beyond, her two new friends have other thoughts. Everyone who’s anyone takes the Dare, and now it’s Paris’s turn.

[More info here.]

The cover is what did me in: so simple yet super eye-catching. I must admit, I'm a reluctant MG reader (cause: over-reliance in dirty minded conventions which often find no room in MG), but I would totally bump this one up to next thing on Mt Kill-Steph.

I mean, seriously, don't you just love?

(For the record, I don't censor my comments at all, with the exception of the occasional spam bots because my blog is not a dump. [Depending on who you ask.] But if you don't like it, don't tell me please. Happy thoughts only for this post! This book is my new pet until there comes a time when it's not, such as if I read it and don't like it. *knocks on wood* That would be most distressing. OMG! That cannot happen!)

Anyway,
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Previous Waiting on Wednesday posts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update Yourselves

I understand everyone is gearing up for midterms/finals/whatever in US-landia which is kind of killing the blogosphere slowly, but from the comments I'm getting, you're all still alive and responsive so answer me this:

How are you? Whatcha readin'?

Me, I'm reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. And also, to a lesser extent, My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews.

The Best Meme EVER

Stolen from John Green, who is for all intents and purposes the filter of what is and isn't worthwhile in life.

Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search.
"Steph needs someone to CoNfOrT HeR. Why would I make a great partner!" (Not like that Steph wants it, I don't.) "Steph needs to go to the bathroom real bahhd..." (Try a bush?) "Steph-needs-a-lesbian" (FANTASTIC! :))

Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search.
"Fashion Show Photos (This Is What Steph Looks Like!)" (Yup! That's a blog post!) "Steph...looks like she's picking her nose" (I'm scared to look cos that might be me...)

Type in "[your name] says" in Google search.
"Steph says… I’m a muggle who’s on a quest searching for happiness, mind to lend me a hand?" (If I'm not mistaken, "Lend a Hand" was one of Manda's nicknames in Sloppy Firsts.)

Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search.
"All Steph wants for Christmas is Frank." (Well, it's an improvement from the previous Steph who wanted a john...) "Steph wants to stay." (That's the last thing I want, actually.)

Type in "[your name] does" in Google search.
"Steph does the Peace Corps." (Why am I so dirty minded? Yuck. Anyway, I actually DID want to participate in the Peace Corps but you have to be a US citizen or resident or something and I'm not.)

Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search.
"Steph[hates myspace]" (That I do.)

Type in "[your name] asks" in Google search.
"Steph asks if Ashlee is actually going to clean up after the dog." (Because if she's not, no one is.)

Type in "[your name] likes " in Google search.
"STEPH LIKES TO RIDE IT DIRTY." (Haha, how about that?) Okay and whoa, the rest are way too dirty even for me.

Type in "[your name] eats " in Google search. (Uh-oh, this won't be pretty...)
"Eat What Steph Eats. morsels for your mouth, musings for your mind..." (That is the creepiest blog name ever.) "Steph Eats The Moon."

(Not as bad as I was imagining it!)

Type in "[your name] wears " in Google search.
"Anyone know where I can get the colour nail varnish Steph wears in Big Brother!" (That people actually post about this on the web scares me.)

Type in "[your name] was arrested for" in Google Search.
"steph was arrested for destruction of public property." (I can actually see myself doing this.)

Type in "[your name] loves" in Google Search.
"Steph Loves Kenny says:." (Am I the only one who gets annoyed with people changing their name on networking sites to proclaim their love (quote unquote when necessary) for their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse?) "Steph loves blogging!" (Yupyupyup.)

See? So fun, isn't it? I tag everyone. If you do it, leave me a link below so I can check it out!

I'm Sorry But...

Taren just informed me there are rumours that Vanessa Anne Hudgens may be cast as Leah Clearwater.

OMG I may be jumping to the gun on this, but please say it ain't so. Leah is supposed to be kickass and cool and awesome. Vanessa is just...eh.

On the other hand, why do I care? I really should stop blogging about Twilight once a week...