Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Chain: In Which I FEEL THINGS

For this blog chain round, Kate wants us to tackle the following topic:

Post pictures, songs, movie clips, poems, or novel excerpts that make you feel. Feel what, you ask? Feel anything. Happy. Sad. Angry. Nostalgic. Hopeful. Hopeless. Jealous. Joyful.

I have read in several different places that YA novelist John Green said of his latest novel, The Fault In Our Stars that he wants to make his readers "Feel All The Things." I would love that someone could go through this blog chain and through what we all choose to post have that same Feel All The Things feeling.

So. Things that make me feel.

Le things:

Photo taken after earthquake hit Japan in 2011 (source)


Older students are allowed to roam until the bell, but ninth-graders are herded into the auditorium. We fall into clans: Jocks, Country Clubbers, Idiot Savants, Cheerleaders, Human Waste, Eurotrash, Future Fascists of America, Big Hair Chix, the Marthas, Suffering Artists, Thespians, Goths, Shredders. I am clanless. I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with.

I am Outcast.

--Excerpt from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson



Outtake from Supernatural episode, "Yellow Fever" (bonus points: JENSEN ACKLES)


Dogs + Babies = Awesome (source)


"What is there but a dream? You can't trade in your dream for another dream. [...] And I have a special, special note to the kids in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and Segway Institute of Learning in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to dream big, and dream fierce."

--Viola Davis's winning speech at 2012 SAG Awards for her role in The Help

There you have it! Some of the things that make me feel. *feels a lot* Make sure to stop by Abby's blog to see her entry, and stay tuned for Sandra's post tomorrow!!

And remember: tomorrow is Operation Awesome's Mystery Agent contest!!! :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Game Of Thrones + Season 2 Trailer = AWESOME Monday Morning

If you saw Season 1 of HBO's Game of Thrones, you know that show is O_O

Last night, the trailer for Season 2 was released! 

Le trailer:

April 1st cannot come soon enough.


Now tell me: do you watch Game of Thrones?? Have you read G.R.R. Martin's books?? (I haven't, but it's on my to-do list!). Are there any other shows you're excited about???

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chemistry: The Adorable Edition

Confession: I am OBSESSED with Once Upon A Time. No joke.

For those of you who don't know, it's a TV show on ABC. And it is awesome.

Anyway. I won't dwell on all the reasons why I think it's awesome, BUT I must point out something that's been on my mind since the show's third episode. You see, there are these two characters who are destined to be together: Snow White and Prince Charming

On the show, they look like this:

So. That's them as their true fairy tale selves. This is them in the real world setting, where they're both victims of an evil curse that's wiped their memories:

In the real world, they have NO IDEA they're Snow White and Charming. At all. That's not the saddest part, though--David (Charming in the real world) is in a coma when we first meet him. Mary (Snow) reads to him in her spare time, even though she doesn't know him. Her big heart keeps her coming back to the hospital, spending time with someone who's never had any family members visit. He's alone, and she doesn't want him to feel lonely.

When David wakes from his comatose state, things get reeeeally interesting. I knew he'd wake up eventually. I also knew that he'd be grateful to Mary for how she treats him, and that he'd want to get to know her. I also also knew there would be STUFF that keeps them apart. The romantic tension quota is HIGH, my friends. Oh, so high...

Which leads me to why I wrote this post about two people who are in love on a TV show: the chemistry between Snow/Mary and Charming/David is adorable. It's not the ohmyGodIwantyousobadletsmakeout chemistry. It's not the I-have-always-loved-you-and-now-you-are-mine-forever chemistry. It's just... beautifully awkward. In the fairy tale world, they're enemies who later work together to get out of a bind, and fall in love. In the real world, they're strangers who share a deep connection, but they're so not equipped to handle that connection. They both struggle with accepting why they're drawn to each other, and neither feels comfortable with the idea of being a couple just because there's something between them. STUFF needs to be dealt with first. It's all that STUFF that adds fuel to the awkward fire. They're even adorable when they argue

What does this offensively long post have to do with writing, you ask?

Think of your main character and the love interest. Hopefully, you've created enough tension, romantic  or otherwise. Now look at them again and ask yourself: what do they admire about each other? The minute you have your answer, ask yourself another question: how can I make my characters feel uncomfortable about the traits they initially admired in each other? Snow cannot stand the fact that Charming's such an honorable guy, and yet that's one of the reasons why she loves him. Charming cannot stand the fact that Snow does whatever she wants, even if it means risking her life, and yet that's why he loves her. Denial is what makes their relationship awkward to me. Sweet, funny, and beautifully awkward. 

So. Once Upon A Time. Watch it, swoon, and learn something :)

Now tell me: any other fake couples you think are adorable/awkward/awesome??

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blog Chain: Childhood Memory

For this blog chain round, Jonathon Arnston asks:

Imagine the home where you grew up, and start drawing a floor plan. As you draw, memories will surface. Grab onto one of those memories and tell us a story.

Le story:

My puppy is missing. She's been here for less than a week, and she's already sick of me. 


"Ruby?" I scan through the jungle-ish backyard, seeing nothing but green. And a bit of brown, but that's a stump--when we first moved here, this huge coconut tree towered over the whole house. Dad had the good sense to cut it down, though. Whenever a coconut fell, I'd gasp so loud, you'd think the Backstreet Boys had arrived at my doorstep. Shirtless. But there are no shirtless Backstreet Boys and no Ruby here today. Just green and a bit of brown. 

I walk back inside the house. My dog isn't on her throne, the red velvet recliner Mom bought for those of the human variety. She's not hiding behind the home theater speakers, either. Or in front of the big floor fan, which blows her hair out as if she's racing through a hurricane.

Someone is shouting in my parents' bedroom. I walk down the hall, ignoring the Vin Diesel poster taped on my door, and head into the room at the end. The TV is turned on. Cartoons are arguing about something. My little brother lies on my parents' bed, totally out cold. He holds on to the bed sheets as he snores. 

And sleeping right beside him, paws up and on the sheets, is Ruby.

I sigh. "You've got to be kidding me..."

So. There you have it, folks. One of the most traumatizing memories of my life. I am still going to therapy because of it. 

Thanks to Jon for an awesome topic! Make sure you check out Christine's entry over at her blog!

Friday, January 13, 2012



That's all the review I have for you, folks.

Oh, and if you must know, I cried. A lot.

But John Green does that to me. I'm used to it.

Now go read this book. Seriously. You won't regret it.

*basks in John Green's awesomeness*

Guest Post: Clueless + Werewolves = YA Author Kathleen Peacock!

Hello, all! I'm THRILLED to share today's guest post with you! Please give a warm welcome to Kathleen Peacock, a YA author whose debut Hemlock will be out this May! Since Kathleen's novel includes werewolves, I figured I'd ask her to write about which werewolf she'd love to see in a YA book. But to be totally honest, her idea was MUCH better.

Check it out below!

Clueless: The Whatever Edition

When I was first asked to guest post on which movie werewolf should have their own YA novel, my first thought was, “Awesome!” That thought was immediately followed by the sound of crickets chirping. Gingernaps? I wouldn’t want to read an entire book from Ginger’s PoV. An American Werewolf in London? David wasn’t bitten until after high school and we all know how hard it is to sell YA with a protagonist over eighteen. Oz from Buffy? Not a movie and can you imagine an entire book told from Oz’s PoV? You’d be lucky if you could get him to say enough to scrape together five chapters. Double spaced.

So I did the only thing I could think of: I asked if I could pick a movie that was based on a book and add werewolves to the plot. And the movie I came up with? None other than Amy Heckerling’s totally classic Clueless.

Now just hear me out… Clueless is actually a slick reboot of Jane Austen’s Emma. Both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility have gotten the monster treatment (with zombies and sea monsters, respectively). Plus, think about how totally awesome it would be if Cher was both fashionista AND furball.

Still not convinced? Just take a look at how these lines from the movie could easily be tweaked to reflect the werewolf angle.

Original: Okay, so you're probably going, "Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what?" But seriously, I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl.
The Werewolf Edition: Okay, so you're probably going, "Is this like a Purina commercial or what?" But seriously, I actually have a way normal life for a teenage werewolf.

Original: Christian said he'd call the next day, but in boy time that meant Thursday.
The Werewolf Edition: Christian said he'd give me a howl the next day, but in werewolf time that meant the next full moon.

Mel: You mean to tell me that you argued your way from a C+ to an A-?
Cher: Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?
Mel: Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades.

The Werewolf Edition:
Mel: You mean to tell me that you threatened your way from a C+ to an A-?
Cher: Totally based on what big teeth I have, you proud?
Mel: Honey, I couldn't be happier than if they were based on real grades.

A HUGE thank you to Kathleen for stopping by and making me 1) fangirl Clueless even more, and 2) make me laugh so. Hard. Make sure you buy your copy of Hemlock when it hit stores May 8th! 

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. 

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. 

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. 

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. 

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A MILLION SUNS Giveaway Winner!!!

Folks, the random number generator has spoken. I'm pleased to announce the winner of Beth Revis's highly anticipated A Million Suns.

That winner is...


*more drumroll*


Christina Lee!

Congrats, Christina! I'll be emailing you soon!! 

And thanks to all of you who entered! There'll be more opportunities to win free books, so don't worry :) 

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Reading Challenges: An Epic Fail And REVENGE

So. Reading challenges. I <3 them.

Last year, I committed to reading 30 YA contemporary novels. Out of the 30, I only read 25

*hangs head in shame*

Because of my EPIC FAIL, I've decided to redeem myself in a huge way. This year, I've accepted the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge, and have set my goal to 55 books

Yep. 55 books. 52 weeks to read them.

And guess what? I WILL DO IT. This is my revenge against... myself. The reason why I raised the bar this year is, of course, because I sucked royally last year and want to push myself harder. Also, the 55 limit allows me to read books in a bunch of genres, not just one (I do intend to read more MG fiction this year, though. Certainly lacking in that department...). 

So yeah. 55 books, here I come!!

*flaps cape around*

Now tell me: have you joined any reading challenges this year? If so, which one? 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing In 2012 With A BOOK GIVEAWAY!!


I am sooooo excited for 2012. You have no idea. There are a few personal reasons for said excitement, but a huge chunk of it is due to the super awesome books coming out this year. Among them, one I cannot wait to get my hands on:

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis

Here's the blurb for the highly anticipated sequel to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE:

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

So. Since I want to kick off 2012 with happy vibes and all that jazz, I figured I'd give a copy of A MILLIONS SUNS to one lucky winner! 

Here are le rules:

1) You must be a follower on my blog. 

2) Comment on this post to enter the giveaway.

3) The giveaway will run till Sunday, January 8th.

4) The winner will be announced Monday, January 9th.

4) Giveaway is international (wherever Book Depository ships). 

That's it. Best of luck to all who enter, and I hope 2012 started awesomely for you!!!