Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Post

I don't usually talk about this, because it's something that is very difficult for me, even this far past it.

7 years ago today my best friend died. We were 16. It's been a while since the anniversary fell on Thanksgiving. I think about her every day, without fail. A lot of times I think about how unfair her death was, how it wasn't supposed to be this way. I think about all the plans we had and all the things we talked about doing that will never happen now. I think about little things, inside jokes we had and times when we just laughed and laughed about pretty much nothing at all, because when you're 16 and invincible you think you have all the time in the world.

But today, I'm thinking about how lucky I was just to have her in my life at all. As much as I wish we could've become crazy old ladies together and done all the things we talked about, what's important is that I loved her when she was alive, and now I appreciate every second I had with her. She was an amazing friend, the loyal, funny, irreplaceable kind that don't come around very often. I hope that wherever she is she knows I'm thinking about her and that I will never forget her, and that her death changed me in ways I never could've imagined.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Plea to YA authors

Dear YA authors,

Please stop making your heroes decades, centuries, and in my latest read, a couple MILLENNIA older than the heroine. I'm supposed to believe that a guy who has been around for thousands of years fell in love with a normal 16 year old? That over those thousands of years he never met anyone more extraordinary than this plain person? I don't care that he looks like he's 16, he's not, nor should he be acting like he is. It's honestly a little creepy.

Thank you for your time and attention in regards to this matter, and I appreciate your discretion in the future.


Smoothie Girl

Friday, November 12, 2010

REVIEW: Siren by Tricia Rayburn


Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.
Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.

As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.

I'm not a huge paranormal YA reader, especially when it involves mythological creatures. But something about this book caught my eye (the creepy yet gorgeous cover possibly?). I was intrigued, and after reading the glowing reviews I had to read it. I scoffed when the reviews insisted that this book had to be read in a day...but they were right. I bought this book last night and finished it this morning.

And while I've decided that I will never own a summer house in Maine -- bad things always happen at summer houses in Maine--the rest of the story was completely original and interesting. I didn't think I would like the MC and narrator Vanessa, a girl afraid of everything? No way. But she turned out to be immensely likable and sympathetic. Although I thought she avoided asking obvious questions, she turned out to be strong and brave. I loved Simon and Caleb. Especially Simon. He was ah-dorable.

The author drops enough hints throughout the book that you suspect what's going to happen, and yet it doesn't feel entirely predictable. I also loved the writing style, simple and straightforward but with just enough detail to get mental pictures of every scene.

I felt disappointed with the vague ending and the loose strings not being tied up into a pretty bow....but to my immense relief it is going to be trilogy. Phew!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Deciphering the Teenage Mind

Okay, the title of this blog is misleading. There is no deciphering the teenage mind. The things teenagers do don't make any sense. However, if you are writing a YA novel and sometimes wonder how a teen would react to something or what they would say, here are a few ways to get a glimpse into the teenage brain.

Watch 16 and Pregnant/ Teen Mom religiously.

These shows are the epitome of teenage naivete and immaturity. How a 16 year old girl could get pregnant (for the most part on purpose) and think that her equally irresponsible boyfriend will a) want to stay with her for the baby b) suddenly become responsible c) be an excellent, supportive father is the best example I can think of to show the utter lack of common sense teenage girls display. And yet somehow at the end of the show, every girl says "Oh, yeah, I should've waited to have a baby. It's hard."


Read Seventeen magazine. This is what teen girls actually care about: boys, hot boys, flirting with boys, having sex with boys...oh and makeup, clothes and shoes.

Disney Channel is not an accurate representation of normal teens. Normal teens are not secret pop stars, don't have magic powers, and no school sinks that much money on costumes and sets for high school plays . Instead, look at what happens to Disney stars in their private lives. Sexting, naked pictures, eating disorders and cutting, nasty break-ups, now that is realistic.


Watch MTV's True Life and/or Made. Okay, watch anything on MTV. No, watch everything on MTV. The absolute best source for info on teens.