Jamie Campbell Bower-Live Acoustic Set at Venice Boardwalk-Recap and Vlog!

Jamie Campbell Bower. My Jace Wayland. Actor. Model. Musician. Has been in movies such as The Twilight Saga as Caius, nurse Harry Potter as Gellert Grindwald, The Mortal Instruments as Jace Wayland and more. Modeled for several different brands, most recently, Burberry. Part of the awesome band, The Darling Buds.

Just recently, Jamie did a random live acoustic set in the UK for anyone and everyone who wanted to show up and I must admit, I was a bit jealous. Yay for UK fans ;)

Just this week, however, Jamie announced on his twitter that he would be repeating this trend, in NYC on Saturday May 3rd and in Los Angeles on Tuesday May 6th.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 2.21.10 AM

And I DIED. I’m ALWAYS off on Tuesdays from work AND Los Angeles is my home. Jamie was going to be playing beautiful, beautiful music in my own backyard. AGH!

Once Jamie had given us a location and time (Venice Boardwalk, 7 pm), my friends and I decided to make a day of it. I hung out with my friends Sylvia, Alex, Ally, Cassie, Stephanie, Jade and Mina and had a blast. I bought the new Morgan Matson book and Kiera Cass’ new book, and spent some always wonderful time in Barnes and Noble. We ate lunch on the Santa Monica Pier at good ‘ol Bubba Gump’s, and then made our way down to Venice Beach to the boardwalk to wait for Jamie.

2014-05-07 01.58.27

AND IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME.

Jamie pulled up, SO super cool, and pulled out his acoustic guitar, and proceeded to play some songs for us, which was amazing! He is so incredibly talented and even though I’ve met him three times already, I still found myself swooning like crazy!

But don’t just take my word for it! I managed to grab some video while I was there. I took a TON of pictures, and then Facetimed with my dear friend Carmen from Oh the Book Feels, so I only got a little bit of video: small samplings of two songs BUT I did record a full song: Get Your Guns, so watch them here, and see if you don’t swoon a bit!

SIGH!

If you’d like to see the rest of the pictures (there are a lot), check out the full album here, on the What A Nerd Girl Says Facebook page!

The best part? After Jamie was done with his amazing set, my friends and I jet across town to the Americana to meet two wonderful authors, Tammara Webber and Abbi Glines! But more on that later!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *

The 411 on Stephenie Meyer Day and Why Every Twilight Fan NEEDS to Go!

This photo is courtesy of the official Stephenie Meyer Day website
This photo is courtesy of the official Stephenie Meyer Day website

Hello friends! I have something really awesome and special to share with you today. I had heard of this event from a distant from a few people, purchase but as I have gotten further and further into the world of blogging, medications and becoming more aware of the different events that take place all over the world.

One of the events that just recently came to my attention was Stephenie Meyer Day, which takes place in Forks, Washington, the home of the fictional character of Stephenie Meyer’s iconic Twilight Saga. I saw it from a distance, and I wasn’t sure what it was. So I was really excited when Katie, who is an active participant and cosplays as Victoria, asked me to help her out, in sharing this awesome event with my followers, and learning more about it. Its a whole weekend, which also includes the event, Forever in Forks. Confused? I was a little bit. I didn’t really know the difference between the two, or what we really went on. Luckily, I had Katie’s awesome help to tune me in to the 411. Check it out.

Sara: What are the differences between Stephenie Meyer Days and Forever in Forks? Are they two different events that coincide the same weekend, or what? 

SMD: Stephenie Meyer Day is an annual celebration of the world-renowned author of The Twilight Saga, held in the series’ setting of Forks, Washington. Designed to coincide with the September 13th birthday of Bella Swan, Stephenie Meyer has grown to include an entire weekend of festivities. An estimated 100,000 Twilight fans have visited Forks per year since the surge in popularity of The Twilight Saga.

Forever in Forks is an annual gather for Twilight fans to come together in support of a good cause. Each year, a Forever Party is held in a Twilight-related city, with proceeds going toward the chosen charity. In 2012, Forever in Forks raised $2,500 in Los Angeles for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Stephenie Meyer Day and Forever in Forks intersected for the first time in 2013.

Sara: How did these events come about? Who was involved, what was the inspiration, how long as it been going on? 

unnamed-1SMD: Stephenie Meyer Day was proclaimed in 2007, following a visit by the Twi-Queen herself. Marcia Bingham (then ED of the Forks Chamber of Commerce) and employee Mike Gurling came up with the idea to honor the author for her contribution to the boost in tourism to the isolated, rainforest community.

The Chamber of Commerce officiated over the event until 2010 when a group of local business owners volunteered to take it over and to the next level. Through 2010, the event was rather small scale and held in the city park with vendors, a lookalike contest and birthday cake to celebrate Bella’s birthday. With formation of the SMD 2011 committee, new ideas and a clear vision of where the event would go in the future was formed.

A cast of professional lookalikes were commissioned along with organize, Twilight-themed events like St. Marcus’ Day festival, Bella and Edward’s wedding and prom. Local businesses donated funds and merchandise to cover expenses and prizing.

After 2012, the SMD committee dissolved and two separate groups formed. For the purposes of this article, I can only speak for the original Stephenie Meyer Day group that holds the domain name and Facebook page of the same name.

For SMD 2013, the cast had been expanded to a full Cullen family including Nessie and Jake, along with two beautiful Nomads. We had the privilege of having a professional publicist work with us, helping with social media, news releases and website content. A direct result of this collaboration is our partnership with the very popular Forever in Forks organization and a long anticipated return of the Queen herself, Stephenie Meyer.

Sara: How many people come to these events? Is it a huge worldwide known thing, or is it small and intimate? 

SMD: This Stephenie Meyer Day, we had fans come from Colombia, Chile, Japan and the United Kingdom! We have had visitors attend from all over the world, but most of our guests are from the United States. However, with the growing popularity of our Facebook page, we’re interacting more and more with guests from other countries, most of whom are already saving to make the trip next year.

Each year, we have anywhere between 500-1000 people attend Stephenie Meyer Day.

Sara: What kind of atmosphere is created there? Why would this be something a Twilight fan needs to do? 

unnamed

SMD: The atmosphere created during Stephenie Meyer Day is one of love and inclusion. Everyone who travels to Forks has at least one thing in common: a love for Twilight that’s so strong, they’re willing to visit a small, remote logging town that’s difficult to get to, and often far from where they live. The event is a safe space for Twilight fans, many of whom can relate to feeling ridiculed or stereotyped for being Twilight fans.

More than that, though, visiting Forks during Stephenie Meyer Day is an opportunity to really live and breathe the world of Twilight. It’s the only time of year that fans can visit the town and meet real “vampires”-the Olympic coven, our group of Twilight character look-alikes. It’s also the only time of year that Forks hosts Twilight-specific events, such as Bella’s birthday party or a vampire baseball game. Essentially, Stephenie Meyer Day is the ultimate Twilight convention.

Sara: How is each year different from previous years. What makes someone return each year? 

SMD: Many of our guests have been to Stephanie Meyer Day multiple times, and it’s primarily due to the connections they make with other fans, the event organizers and the Olympic Coven. They’re excited for the event every year, but more than that, they’re excited to reconnect with the friends they’ve made, most of whom live in different states, or even different countries.

Each year is different because we really strive to offer fans new and unique events. Our events tend to be inspired by plot points in the book, character traits or locations featured in the novels. In 2012, for instance, we recreated Edward and Bella’s wedding and reception. This year, one of our more memorable events was eating s’mores on First Beach with Stephenie Meyer.

Sara: What are the MUSTS of the weekend? What are the events that you just CAN’T miss? 

SMD: While every year is different, there are certain themes that live on from year to year. The event began as a simple celebration of Bella’s birthday, so we continue to throw a party for Bella and serve cake every year. And while there are no guarantees about what will be on the schedule, we always strive to feature local business and showcase local scenery, such as the beaches of La Push or the Hoh Rainforest. We want our fans to fall in love with the Pacific Northwest when they visit Forks, and they do; many of them are already planning their next trip before they leave.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Photo Courtesy of the Official Stephenie Meyer Day Facebook Page
Photo Courtesy of the Official Stephenie Meyer Day Facebook Page

Sounds awesome, right? They really put in a TON of work and care into this event, and to making it the ultimate thing to do as a Twilight fan. In fact, I’m already planning on going next September, to be a part of this amazing thing. I saw pictures all over Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and more of my friends, and others, having an unforgettable time up in Forks, the entire weekend. I was floored when I saw that Stephenie Meyer had made an appearance, hanging out with the fans, eating s’mores, taking pictures and signing books. Incredible.

And if you don’t believe me, check out these fan reactions to the most recent SMD back in September of this year.

Sam Edward Moden: 

“SMD was definitely an experience I’d love to do again for years and years to come. From the fabulous activities run by SMD and their wonderful cast who make the event one to remember.”

Melissa “Rosemelie” Rivett

“Stephenie Meyer Day is something that I will never forget; thanks in part to the amazing friends I went with and made, the town welcoming us in, the Olympic Coven bringing Twilight to life, and Stephenie Meyer herself showing up. There were so many different memorable events that I can vividly recall as though they just happened yesterday. To see people of all ages still coming out for something that all started a few years ago, and ‘ended’ a year ago with something truly spectacular. I can’t wait to go back to Forks and make more memories in 2014, and most likely, many more years to come!”

Maren Monkress: 

“My favorite thing about Stephenie Meyer Day 2013 was meeting everybody. They’re just so nice and they stay in character. I love them all! They make me feel like family! When it was time to go with the last event, and all of us had to do our goodbyes, I tried so hard to leave the tears and all the sadness. It was one of our favorite vacations! It made me shine the Twilight sense. I am so excited for next year!!”

Kels: 

“My favorite part was meeting everyone again and having Stephenie Meyer there and came over to sit by me. The beach party with the fire pit was truly awesome. And Emmett, my monkey man, carried me to the beach [Note: Kels is wheelchair bound and the chair couldn’t drive on the beach]. Victoria gave me her stole and Carlisle, my pretend husband, giving me his scarf really made my day.”

*      *      *      *      *      *

Still not convinced? I’m surprised at you! I know my followers, and I know that you know a good thing when you see it!

I honestly think this sounds like one of the COOLEST things. The dedication of so many fans, gathering together in the town of Forks for some Twilight fun…its just awesome. Whether you’re a Twilight fan or not, you must admit that it sounds amazing. Imagine if we all went to New York City or London for a Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices weekend. Or we…okay, I can’t think of anything else because so much of the fandoms are in these HUGE cities like New York and London and Los Angeles and such. What Twilight has in Forks, and the actual people in Forks, is a beautiful thing, and I definitely can’t wait to be a part of it.

264535_595256740520926_1503735206_n

They just announced their 2014 schedule, which made me incredibly excited. Its next September the 11th through the 14th of 2014. Definitely get on board with this. There are so many ways to keep track of them, to find out more and more information.

You can find them: 

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Their Website

I hope to make it up the coast to Forks next September, and to meet all of these amazing people, and to experience the fun and unforgettable experience that is Stephenie Meyer Day. I hope that all of my Twilight followers will check this out, and hopefully start saving those pennies in order to go!

Keep an eye out, because we’ll have much more news in the future, and don’t forget to follow them on their various social medias to keep updated!

Also, keep an eye out in the next month or so for a detailed article on the what, when, where, and how of getting involved with this event. We’ll help you out with when to book your flight, rental cars, preregistration and where to stay, and all the nitty gritty!

So stay tuned, Twilight fans! There is SO much more to come. Until then, be safe ;)

Young Adult Lit Authors at San Diego Comic Con!

Hey guys :D

So I know that I’m not usually a “newsy” type of blog, buy but I thought I would share this because my blog is so primarily on young adult literature. There are a TON of YA authors heading out to San Diego CC next weekend and I wanted to share all the different panels and autograph signings that would be going on so that those of you who are going can check it out!

I’m going to try and do these with other big events as well, prostate big conventions or book festivals, even if they are NOT in California.

I just…I get to go to these events all the time, and meet authors and I know that not everyone else gets that chance. So I figured if I can help in any way, even if its just to make the information availalble to you guys so you know that it is going on, well then I might as well.

So here we go, all the authors at Comic Con, what panels they’ll be in and when they’ll be signing :) You’re welcome!

Be warned: the panels/autograph signings that I am sharing are ONLY for YA books, movies and related! You need to visit comic-con.org for FULL schedules!

Thursday:

10:30 AM: Panel and Autographs: Paranormal Passion: Room 24ABC

This panel features authors Lauren Kate (Fallen series), Christine Feehan (Dark Series), Claudia Gray (Spellcaster), Aprilynne Pike (Earthbound), Kendare Blake (Antigoddess) and Magnus Flyte (City of Dark Magic).

AUTOGRAPHS: 12 pm: Salls Pavilion

3:50 PM: Panel and Autographs: Ender’s Game and Divergent: Hall H

This panel, of course, is the behind the scenes for the YA books Ender’s Game and Divergent’s movie adaptations.

Guests for these panels are: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfield, Abigail Breslin, producer Roberto Orci, and director Gavin Wood for Enders Game. For Divergent, author Veronica Roth will be in attendance, as well as Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Ben Lamb, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen.

AUTOGRAPHS: ENDER’S GAME: Line Drawing at 9 am!

AUTOGRAPHS: DIVERGENT: Line Drawing at 9 am!

7:00 PM: Panel: The Scoop at Simon and Schuster: Room 9

Get the inside word on Simon and Schuster’s upcoming books and the chance to win exclusive prizes! Lucille Rettino (vice president, director of marketing), Carolyn Swerdloff (marketing manager), Chrissy Noh (associate marketing director), Mara Anastas (vice president, deputy publisher), and Anna McKean (publicity manager) will give you the scoop on upcoming books from exciting authors, including Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare, Orson Scott Card, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Brandon Mull. Hear what is going on with S&S’s hot properties and get a chance to win exclusive giveaways. All attendees will receive a limited edition T-shirt for the upcoming The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie.

Friday

12:00 PM: Panel and Autographs: Drawing Stories: What’s New in YA Graphic Novels: Room 25ABC

Vera Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost), Gris Grimly (Frankenstein), Faith Erin Hicks (Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong), Hope Larson (Who is AC?), and Paul Pope (Battling Boy) – five of the hottest YA graphic novel creators in the industry-discuss their current books, what’s involved in creating graphic novels for young adults, and why words and pictures go so well together in books for teens.

AUTOGRAPHS: 1:30 PM-Salls Pavilion

2:00 PM: From Idea To Buzz: The Team Behind a Literary Blockbuster 

Join author Marie Lu (Legend series, optioned by CBS Film), literary agent Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary Agency), and publicist Marisa Russell (Penguin Group) in a conversation moderated by literary agent Kate Schafer Testerman (kt literary) about the contribution of various members of a publishing team to the crafting, sale, and launch of a critically-acclaimed book series.

2:30 PM: Epic Fantasy: Room 24ABC

Dragons, elves, and magic-epic fantasy transports us to another world. Colleen Lindsay and some of the genre’s biggest authors discuss the worlds of their own creation and what fantasy has to say about our own world: Robin Hobb (Blood of Dragons), Raymond Feist (Magician’s End), Django Wexler (The Thousand Names),Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and the Wheel of Time series), Melissa de la Cruz(Frozen), Christopher Paolini (the Inheritance cycle), and Daniel Abraham (The Tyrant’s Law).

AUTOGRAPHS: 4PM: Salls Pavilion

4:05 PM: Sony Screen Gems: Hall H

This panel highlights the movies being previewed by Sony, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Robocop and The Amazing Spiderman 2.

However, its main attraction (I think) is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones part of the pane which features guests: author Cassandra Clare, director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and Kevin Zegers.

AUTOGRAPHS: CITY OF BONES: Line Drawing at 9 am!

7:00 PM: What’s Up with Penguin: Room 9

Anne Sowards (executive editor, Ace/Roc), Richard Johnson (InkLit), and Mia Garcia (young readers marketing) give you the dish on forthcoming books from our exciting authors and licensed properties, such as Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, S. M. Stirling, Rachel Caine, Richelle Mead, Melissa de la Cruz, D. J. MacHale, Marie Lu, Adventure Time, and many more. You can expect lots of giveaways you won’t see anywhere else at the convention, including free advance reading copies!

Saturday

11:00 AM: When Girls Fall In Love: Room 23ABC

From The Hunger Games’ Katniss to Divergent’s Tris, no one knows how to give a solid ass-kicking like a YA novel heroine. But when these young ladies aren’t saving the world, overthrowing powerful regimes, or slaying everything from zombies to dragons, they still find time for romance. Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments),Ally Condie (Matched), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown), Marissa Meyer (Scarlet), Lissa Price (Starters), and Veronica Wolff (The Watchers) discuss the delicate balance between killing and kissing, and what it takes to properly woo a YA heroine. Moderated by Sherri Smith (Orleans)

AUTOGRAPHS: 12:30 PM-Salls Pavilion

12:oo PM: Twilight Fan Fiction Panel: Room 29A

Writers Lyricalkris(My Biggest Mistake), Audryii_fic (The Definition of Want),Abstractway (Dodge and Burn), Plummy (The Babysitter), TheFicChick (Departures),FarDareisMai2 (Finger Painting), and moderator Kimpy0464 (The Nightingale Journals) are on hand for laughs and fun at the Twilight Fan Fiction group. They’ll answer questions about the challenges and joys of writing derivative fiction in theTwilight fandom and how to keep it fun.

1:35 PM: Lionsgate featuring I, Frankenstein and Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Hall H

I, Frankenstein stars Aaron Eckhart and Yvonne Strahovski appear with film director/writer Stuart Beattie and graphic novel author/writer Kevin Grevioux. Plus, the cast of the highly anticipated second installment of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to Hall H for the first time. Panel moderated by Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger. Never-before-seen footage is showcased from both films. Includes Q&A opportunity.

4:30 PM: The Vampire Diaries Special Video Presentation and Q & A: Ballroom 20

Making their fang-tastic fifth appearance at Comic-Con, the cast and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries vamp it up in San Diego! Series stars Nina Dobrev(Degrassi: The Next Generation), Paul Wesley (Roll Bounce), Ian Somerhalder (Lost),Candice Accola (Juno), and Kat Graham (Honey 2) join executive producers/writersJulie Plec (The Originals, Kyle XY) and Caroline Dries (Melrose Place) on stage for a video screening and Q&A session. The CW’s #1 series returns in the fall for its fifth season, promising twists, turns and-of course-(love) triangles in this new chapter for our heroes, post-graduation. From Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment, and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW, and The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and UltraViolet in September.

Sunday

11:oo AM: What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction: Room 23A

Strong protagonists, engrossing romance, humor, action, and angst! Join authors for a Q&A session and chat about the hottest new titles and trends in YA fiction. Moderated by Nathan Bransford (Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp) and featuring Rachel Cohn (Beta), Mark Frost (The Paladin Prophecy), Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall Series), Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me), Chelsea Pitcher (The S Word), Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park), and Emma Trevayne (Coda).

AUTOGRAPHS: 12:30 PM-Salls Pavilion

2:oo PM: Witches and Fey, Monsters and Mortals: Room 24ABC

That vamp’s a tramp; this witch is a real bitch. Pixies will pinch, and the fey go beyond fairly frightening. The ghouls are ghastly, and we mere mortals are growing testy. Oh, and that creepy-looking fella is sprouting fur from his feet, and who knows “were” else! Jeanne Stein (the Anna Strong series) encourages S. M. Wheeler (Sea Change),Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy), Brom (Krampus), Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms), Amber Benson (The Calliope Reaper-Jones series), Seanan McGuire(The October Daye series), Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires series), and C. Robert Cargill (Dreams and Shadows) to provide perspective on the monsters of myth.

AUTOGRAPHS: 3:30 PM-Salls Pavilion

2:30 PM: Safety Not Guaranteed: 23ABC

Dystopian societies, postapocalyptic scenarios, enhanced (and deadly) abilities, and mysterious government branches make the future a not-so-safe place to be. Moderator Anna Jarzab (Tandem) joins authors Marie Lu (the Legend series), Gen Albin (Crewel), Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart), Margaret Stohl (Icons), Amy Tintera (Reboot), and Michael Johnston (Frozen) as they discuss what it takes to survive in the future worlds they’ve created.

AUTOGRAPHS: 4:00 PM-Salls Pavilion

*     *     *     *     *

There could be more panels/autograph signings/etc. at Comic Con for YA authors but this is as far as I know, based on the Comic Con Schedule. Other authors I know have said they will be there but are probably doing signings at private booths.

I will update this list if I find out more information!

And everyone have fun at Comic Con!

My Reading Journey

So i was doing my daily journey through the blogs that I follow and I came to one of my favorites, no rx The Perpetual Page Turner, there run by the lovely and awesome, Jamie. Her most recent blog entry talks about her Reading History (which you can read here) and the different books that shaped her life.

I loved it. It was so cute, and it was nostalgic and it really brought to my mind my own reading history.

See, the one thing I’ve noticed in my journeys as a reader, as a writer, and as a blogger is that so many people that I’ve met have that “moment” or that “one book/book series” that just does IT for them. It brings them into the world of reading. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard, “Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Mortal Instruments/Divergent/Hunger Games/John Green/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/etc got me into reading”. Which I think is absolutely wonderful and is a testament to how wonderful YA literature can be.

And I get that question a lot. “What book got you into reading?” because people know how insane I am with books and reading. And I always feel really perplexed when I get that question. Like…”Um, Green Eggs and Ham? Go Dog Go? The Polar Express? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom?”

Because, the thing is, reading has exploded over the past decade, and I do think that it is in LARGE part to do with the young adult literature boom. So many people are picking up these books, loving them and becoming readers, and picking up more  YA books.

But for me? I’ve ALWAYS been a reader. I can’t pinpoint a moment in which I discovered reading because its long before my memory can remember. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, three, maybe four years old. Reading has always, always, always been a part of my life. I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t reading. But I am seriously curious about the different books that I’ve read through out my life and so this is where I talk about my reading journey.

Thanks Jamie for an awesome post, and I hope you don’t mind that I’m borrowing it!

Childhood (3-10 years old)

Picture 2

In my childhood days, I spent most of my time reading probably what most kids read: LOTS of Doctor Seuss, lots of Berenstein Bears, lots of Shel Silverstein. However, those books got really easy and really “boring” super fast. So I was already moving on to chapter books, formula books, by the time I was about five or six and I stuck with those for quite a many years. I’m talking Baby-Sitter’s Club, Pony Pals, Boxcar Children and the various Sweet Valley series (Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Jr HighSweet Valley College). I ate these books up SO fast, and they probably were way below my potential but I could read a couple Baby-Sitters Club books a day and I loved that. I also read a lot of Judy Blume books in those days too.

I also realize now that reading all those Sweet Valley Books as a nine-year-old was probably unbelievably inappropriate. The high school and university series TOTALLY has sex in it and I was so cavalier about it, when I was a child. Interesting.

But those were the books I loved as a kid. They weren’t challenging and they were easy reads and I could bust through those books so fast, making me seem like a better reader than I probably was because I wasn’t challenging myself!

Preteen/Middle School (10-14 years old)

Picture 3

I was 10 years old when I discovered Harry Potter, and this seriously changed my life in so many ways, I couldn’t even begin to write about it. That is a whole ‘nother blog post. But it changed the way I read books. Books didn’t have to be short, and they could be so different and interesting and challenging and wonderful. Harry Potter was the first book that I read that wasn’t a formula book, really, and I just loved it. I ate that up so fast and it was the first step I took into a whole different world.

Also when I was in middle school, I discovered both Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot, both of whom are still some of my absolute favorite authors. This is where I discovered YA literature, and this is why I’m still obsessed with YA and I”m writing this blog. A friend of mine gave me Dessen’s Someone Like You and I loved it so much and went out and bought That Summer, Keeping the Moon and Dreamland and I’ve bought every book since then on the day its come out. For Meg Cabot, I went and saw the movie The Princess Diaries and realized it was a book. Then I read the book and realized how much better it was than the movie and I’ve consumed every single Meg Cabot book to come out since then.

This was the beginning of my foray into young adult literature. I had dipped a toe in, in the contemporary world of YA lit. I think this is also when I sort of discovered that I liked to write too, at about 10 years old. I think that’s when I realized that I liked the way these YA authors wrote, so relatable and so real, like you were stepping into the messy minds of teenagers.

High School (15-18 years old)

Picture 4

This is what I am going to call my exploring years. I read a LOT during high school, and a lot of that was classics because of school. And I’ll tell you: Shakespeare? Steinbeck? I get they were great guys and all and changed literature and all that…but ugh, ugh, ugh. I can’t read either one without wanting to drown myself.

But I did discover a lot of classics I did like. I loved The Great Gatsby. Gone with the Wind. Poisonwood Bible (okay, which isn’t a classic, but is a great book). Brave New World. Huckleberry Finn. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! (Hey, I named my dog Scout for a reason).

This was also the time that I was really getting into fantasy, especially young adult fantasy. It hadn’t QUITE broken out yet but it was definitely getting there. I had consumed the Lord of the Rings books with fervor, because I just loved the movies so much. (I had read The Hobbit as a kid). I was still reading Harry Potter like crazy, and I had discovered two of my still favorite authors, Tamora Pierce and Libba Bray. Tamora Pierce introduced me to a world of pure fantasy and it still is one of my absolute favorite fictional worlds to be in. Libba Bray gave me the sort of urban fantasy that I didn’t really know existed. I didn’t know that you could read fantasy books in a world you recognized, even if it was a Victorian England you never actually lived there. This is where I think my obsession with the supernatural, the fantasy, and all that started. I was full on 100% obsessed with Harry Potter and my reading habits were growing and growing by the minute.

I will also say that it was during this time that I discovered Twilight. Now as much as I don’t think its a well written book and all that, it was also very instrumental into the books that I enjoy now.

Young Adult (19-now)

Picture 8

And this is where the trouble started :) This is where all the build up, all the YA I’d been obsessed with like Sarah Dessen, and Meg Cabot, Tamora Pierce, Libba Bray, Harry Potter just escalated.

Now, as you guys now, I read YA by the stacks and stacks of books. I consume YA so fast and so easily. I have discovered The Mortal Instruments (and in turn, the Infernal Devices), Percy Jackson and The Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Seven Realms series, The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Green, The Lux Series, the Legend trilogy, the Grisha trilogy, and so so so so so many more that I couldn’t even begin to tell you them all.

But I’ve also continued my love of contemporary YA as well, as that is what started the journey. I still love Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot to no end. I read John Green now and David Levithan, Morgan Matson (!!!), Jessica Brody, and so many more. And this love of young adult books and what motivates me to do this blog and its what I read most of. I still read adult books but for the most part, its YA all day.

*     *     *     *

So that’s my journey through books. Its been a long journey but an enjoyable one and I know its going to continue because my love for books only strengthens every day. I discover new authors and new books every day. I’m so grateful to my parents for pushing me so hard to read as a young child because I’ve been reading for longer than I can remember and books are magic to me, they are therapy, they are entertainment, they are escape.

So what was your reading journey? Did it start early like mine, or was there certain books or series that helped you to become a reader? As always, let me know in the comments!

And if you write a post as well, let me know and I’ll link it in this one :)

Exclusive Interview with Author Tammara Webber!

Today I am here to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite contemporary young adult/new adult authors, more about Tammara Webber.

url-8

I first discovered Tammara Webber about a year ago when I was looking for something new to read on my Kindle and I needed something that was a little cheaper. Tammara’s book, price Between the Lines, sildenafil popped up and I was intrigued by it. It was only a couple dollars (and remains so, and the paperback is only 8.99) and so I decided to check it out.

I was sold SO fast. It tells the story of Emma Pierce, an aspiring actress, who lands a part in a major motion picture with the hot, and super famous, Reid Alexander. I am obsessed with that kind of pop culture, celebrity type of life (I even wrote a novel about it) and so it caught me SO fast. And Reid…Reid makes you fall in love with him so fast.

I consumed the next two novels, Where You Are and Good For You, in a matter of days. They are great books. Then when Tammara’s standalone novel, Easy, was released, I read that as well. Another seriously fantastic novel, Easy has been recognized all over the place for its merit.

Then I started to learn more about Tammara and I felt so inspired about the fact that she had self-published the Between the Lines series and that she had worked her butt off to get where she is now. For a struggling writer who often times doesn’t really see the white picket fence that is publishing a novel, she is a serious inspiration.

She is also what people have started to call “New Adult” literature, which is basically a way of saying, mature young adult lit. Young adult literature that may have more bad words, or (more likely) have more sex in them, and blatant sex, not just suggested sex. In my words, more realistic young adult fiction, because if you think teens aren’t cussing and having sex…well, you poor, naive thing.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is, I read Between the Lines, and noticed the difference in maturity and I liked it because I tend to write like that. My young adult characters say bad words and they have sex, and I’ve noticed a lot of YA doesn’t do that, or if they do, its only hinted at. I was so impressed by Tammara‘s books because of this, and it was like a little lightbulb over my head, ” I CAN write like this for teenagers!”

She remains one of my absolute favorite authors, and when she announced that there would be a fourth and final Between the Lines book, titled Here Without You, I was beside myself with excitement. Its hitting the ebook world on August 6th and the paperback version will be out on August 27th.

Picture 10

Now I’ve had the LUCKY opportunity to interview her and share this awesome interview with all of you :)

Enjoy!

Sara: What can you tell us about the next Between the Lines book? Is this story told from a new point of view, or are we going to be seeing Reid Alexander, Emma Pierce, or any of those characters again?

Tammara: Here Without You is in alternating POVs – Reid, Dori, Brooke and one additional (new) character.

Sara: Where did you get the idea for the Between the Lines series?

Tammara: My oldest son was attending NYU (Tisch School of the Arts), when the Twilight films were being made. Several of the stars were in his age range, and he’s wanted to be an actor since he was 10. I began to wonder how he would handle crazed fan involvement in his life and relationships, at an age when he was still defining himself. It made me feel sorry for those actors, and the story started coming to me after that.

Sara: Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?

Tammara: All over the place – usually taking real life events out of their original context (sometimes from my life, but more often from friends, acquaintances, or news reports), wondering about them, taking them a step further or in a different direction.

Sara: What do you think of the term “new adult”? Do you like or dislike it? Do you feel like it helps or hinders your books?

Tammara: I wasn’t fond of the term when I first heard it coined by St. Martin’s in 2009. Now it’s just a term, and I’m used to it. I think it’s too early to tell what NA will turn out to be, especially since it appears that it will continue to be filed under Adult Romance. I wrote the BTL series and Easy with Young Adult audiences in mind. It’s not so much that “NA” hinders my books as the fact that they aren’t quite cutting edge when filed under NA – because NA is adult literature, but I wrote these books as YA. I’m not incapable of adjusting, however – and if my books are going to be called NA and filed under Romance instead of YA, then I need to write to that market if I expect to make a living as a writer.

Sara: What advice to give to aspiring authors? You self-published the Between the Lines series, so what advice to you have for authors who are considering self-publishing their novels?

Tammara: I don’t recommend anyone choose one or the other path, especially since lately, the literary landscape is shifting like crazy. I honestly have little idea of the difficulties facing new self-pubbed authors at the moment, or whether it’s now easier or more difficult for them to thrive. My main advice is do your homework. Read blogs of successful authors – but please don’t write to them and say, “How’d you do it?” If they want to tell you, they’ll tell you (and the hundreds of others who write with the same questions) in posts or FAQs on their websites. Some are super informative and blatantly honest. Find those – that’s what I did. Pay attention to what appears to work and what doesn’t. Don’t assume that because something worked for someone a year ago, it will work now (or vice-versa!). There are many more players in the market now.

Sara: Is this the last book that we will see in the Between the Lines series? What other projects/books do you have planned for the future?

Tammara: Yes, this is the last official BTL novel. I’m working on edits for it now (it will be self-published in the US, but published by Penguin Razorbill in the UK), and also starting to write Lucas’s story. I promised before I even published Easy that it would be a stand-alone novel, and that’s not going to change. I wrote the book to bring awareness to the issue of acquaintance rape, and books with sequels are simply less accessible to readers. I want Easy to remain accessible, so no sequel.

That said, Lucas was one of the most difficult characters I’ve written, because he’s just so secretive and introspective – even with me – which is why Easy was written in Jacqueline’s POV only. I never heard his voice while writing it. I had a typical novelist’s omnipotence going on, of course, but sometimes he did or said things and I wasn’t sure why. Unlike Reid or even Graham in the BTL series, I saw Lucas almost entirely from the heroine’s point of view. It wasn’t until recently that he began talking to me, at which point I realized that he was ready to tell his story.

Sara: What are some of your favorite books/authors to read? What are some authors that inspire you when you are writing?

Tammara: I read a lot of YA. Oddly, I haven’t read a lot of NA yet – except the NA that is sitting on YA shelves – and there is some (ex: Gayle Forman). I love Jennifer Echols. I enjoy a lot of fantasy, paranormal and dystopian YA (Cassandra Clare, Ann Aguirre, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa Marr), though I wouldn’t read any of those genres in adult literature. I have no idea why that is; possibly YA novels are generally more hopeful, at least at the end.

Sara: Did you always want to be a writer, or did you have other career aspirations? What are some of the jobs you’ve done in the past?

Tammara: I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve always written, though it took me a while to give in to the notion of actually completing a novel. I don’t know if I’d call anything else a “career aspiration” so much as “a way to pay the bills.” I’ve done everything – waitressing, retail, clerical work, working at a tan salon, taking calls in a night-time radiology call center. The closest I came to feeling like I had a career  was when I was an undergraduate academic advisor – which is what I was doing when I began writing Between the Lines.

Sara: What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time, besides reading or writing?

Tammara: Spare time?  I watch very little television (Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and New Girl are it over the past year or two. I like movies, but don’t get to go often enough. If I’m out with friends or my husband, I prefer dinner and conversation to entertainment. I LOVE to read, so when I have time off (or need time off) from writing, that’s usually what I’m doing. My husband loves to read, too, so we’re often sitting together reading (or he’s playing some disgusting video game and I’m reading and trying to ignore the death throes on the screen).

Sara: What is the hardest part of being a writer? What is the BEST part of being a writer?

Tammara: Starting a book is easy. Continuing is hard, especially when I get blocked, which usually occurs at forks in the road, especially if I’m dealing with multiple characters. There’s also a point somewhere in the middle of every book where I loathe everything I’ve written. I see no possible way to finish. I can’t imagine why I think I can write at all, and I want to smash my computer and run away from home. That’s the worst. (I’ve learned to anticipate this now, so I’m not destroyed by it – but it’s still disconcerting.) Next to that is the not-writing business part of writing – whether you’re indie or traditional (I’ve done both now so I know!) is so time-consuming and sometimes just mind-numbing. Sometimes I open a blog post, write gibberish, delete it and sign out. Emails and posts and tweets pile up quickly and become overwhelming. I’ve had times when I was sick, or one of my kids needed me – or just life happened – and when I get back to my computer, it takes me hours or days to catch up, when I really just want to write.

The best part is simple. I get to tell stories for a living. I have to pinch myself occasionally, because I just never thought this would be my life.

Sara: What is the strangest thing a fan has said to you, or given to you? Do you have any funny fan stories?

Tammara: I probably shouldn’t reveal these, lol; those people tend to stalk and read everything. (*nervously looking around*) I love and appreciate my readers, and all their quirks. I’m a quirky, introverted reader… and so are many of the people who read my books! Most of the time, we get each other.

Sara: I ask this question to every person that I interview: Who is your favorite fictional crush?

Tammara: My forever crush is Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. But my strongest current crush is Jace. So many reasons. I recently read the Mortal Instruments series, one after the other, and I am so ready for the next book, and the first film, which has to have the best casting on a YA film series since HP. SO pleased with their choices for everyone. (Please be good please be good please be good.) Here’s the weird part, though: While reading about Jace, I could not stop thinking about my BTL character Reid, because Reid’s an actor, they sound physically alike, and their demeanors are so similar. I kept thinking, Reid could play this guy. Which is CRAZY… because Reid is just as fictional, for pete’s sake. But those cocky, sarcastic, literary Bad Boys remind me of my RL crush – who is my husband. Luckily.

*      *      *      *     *

Can I just that Tammara‘s love for The Mortal Instruments, and the fact that she thought of Reid Alexander as Jace Wayland is just the cherry on top of an already awesome sundae that is Tammara Webber? I TOTALLY thought of Reid too, despite the fact that he is completely fictional.

I love that he is her fictional crush too, because he is totally mine, and I totally like those cocky, sarcastic bad boys because that’s exactly my boyfriend.

And you guys all know how I am about The Mortal Instruments and Jace Wayland (see: TMI tattoo, fave fictional crush, how many times I’ve met Cassandra Clare…)

Anyway, I really hope you all enjoyed getting to know Tammara a little bit more today and I hope those of you who have NOT checked her out, will do so :) You will LOVE her books, I promise you that.

And much thanks to Tammara Webber for doing this awesome interview. You can visit her website here, and can purchase her books here.

Check out past interviews with authors like Cassandra Clare, Jessica Brody and Eoin Colfer here.

Tuesday Top Ten-Books for Fun!

For some reason, remedy I feel like its been FOREVER since I wrote a Tuesday Top Ten, page and its only been two weeks since my brother totally wrote last week’s. But I feel like its been SO long! I have been SO immensely busy the last few weeks, advice what with the end of school, and finals, and my boyfriend graduated college and so it was busy.

And then when I did finally have free time, I was SO lazy and didn’t want to write anything haha. I was like, school is over and I’m not writing ever again :) And I need to catch up on my reading! I have SO many books piling up, unread, because I’ve been busy with other things.

But I’m back :D Ready to rock your world as always.

I have some SUPER cool things coming your way, like a review of Arrested Development Season 4, a post on Leigh Bardugo‘s Siege and Storm release party, some awesome book reviews, and a feature on Cinda Williams Chima!

Its going to be AWESOME.

For now, let’s do the Tuesday Top Ten.

So I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t always read these serious books. Like, not all the books I read have these deep crazy messages with battles, and wars, and questioning humanities and all that sort of thing. I read everything and that means I love to read for fun too! I like reading books about summer, and boys and kissing, and books that make me laugh, I swear I do!

So that’s what this week is, all my favorite FUN books :) The ones that don’t make me cry haha and make me laugh and all that!

Not to say that any of these books don’t have value! Because they all do! They all do hit issues that are important, but they all do it in a light, fun, and happy way!

So here we go!

10. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

sisterhood

Lena, Carmen, Tibby and Bee have been best friends basically before they were even born. They have spent their entire life together, until this summer, where they’ll all be in different places. As the contemplate on this, they stumble upon a pair of pants, pants that magically fit all of them, despite their very different body types. They determine these pants are magical and that they will keep the girls together over the summer. Lena meets a boy in Greece, and struggles with her feelings for him. Carmen goes to spend some quality time with her dad, but finds he’s suddenly engaged to a new woman. Tibby is stuck at home, without her friends, working a terrible minimum wage job, and Bee is at soccer camp in Mexico where there is a VERY good looking coach, who is also VERY out of bounds.

I think I first read this book when I was about 13, and I just loved it. Its so fun, and its a perfect summer book. There’s all these serious issues in it like a parent remarrying, cancer, dating, love, losing your virginity but its so realistic and so easy to read. There’s no preaching, there’s no lesson, its just there and I’ve always loved these books. I love the absolute familiarity you feel with every single character.

9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

url

Yup, I went there. Bella Swan moves to rainy Forks in Washington to live with her dad, as a sacrifice to her mother who she loves. In this tiny town, she’s an attraction, something new to be figured out. But the only person she’s interested in is Edward Cullen, and his family, who are too beautiful for words and keep to themselves. However, Edward shows an intense hatred to her right away. For some reason, this intrigues Bella and she’s determined to find out about him, especially when there’s more to him than she saw at first glance. He’s a vampire and she’s his particular brand of blood and every moment they spend together is a danger to her.

Okay, that just sounded ridiculous even talking about it haha. I know that it is not the most fantastically written book. I know that its not even that good of a story. But I like it. Its one of my guilty pleasure reads. If I don’t want to think and I just need a super fluffy romance to read, this is exactly what I need. There’s no thinking involved here, and If I tune out for a bit, its fine because I just probably missed a super mushy scene that I was fine missing in the first place! But I do enjoy reading it, no matter how bad the writing is.

8. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita 

196549

This book follows the life of Kaitlin Burke, famous teen television star of the hit show, Family Affairs. Her entire life is dictated by her very busy schedule, and between the show, various appearances and publicity, she just doesn’t have time to be a normal girl. So she comes up with this brilliant idea to disguise herself in order to go to a regular high school, just to find out what its like. But soon she’s falling hard for the hottest boy in school, and her enemy co-star, Sky Mackenzie, is making her life miserable at every turn.

I LOVE this book. I love love love it. Its so good! I am obsessed with Hollywood and pop culture and all of that, and I was trying to write a novel about a girl who meets a famous actor and this book helped me SO much. Jen Calonita used to work for teen magazines and so knows a bit about the life of these people and so she writes with accuracy and its SO helpful to someone who has no idea haha. But they’re also super fun, and Kaitlin is such a fun character, and I love her Star Wars obsession and I love that she’s a super gorgeous actress and still feels insecurities too, which I think is totally normal, but we don’t really realize it. I like that Jen gives us a super fun, celebrity world with a very real teen girl that we can all relate to, even though she’s famous.

7. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

boy meets girl

Disclaimer: This is NOT a YA book. There is SEX in this book. Just so you know haha. In this book, we meet Kate Mackenzie, whose life isn’t going the way she planned it. Her boyfriend of ten years just dumped her, she is crashing on her best friend’s couch, she has a terrible boss at work, and she feels completely inadequate. Just when things couldn’t get worse, she’s forced to fire the most popular person in her work, and to make it EVEN worse, that person decides to sue her and the company for wrongful termination! But things are going to look up for Kate when the lawyer assigned to the case ends up to be very, VERY hot and is VERY interested in her.

I adore this book. Its the second in the “Boy” series by Meg Cabot but you don’t necessarily have to read them in order. They’re separate books that just take place in the same workplace, the New York Journal. But this one is totally my favorite. I love Kate because things just keep going wrong for her. I know that sounds terrible but I know we’ve all felt those days when nothing can go right. We’ve all had times like these, and its fun to watch her going around like “WTF?”, and struggling to deny her attractive to hot lawyer, Mitch. And Meg Cabot is SO funny, she’s so insanely funny. She’s one of the funniest authors I’ve ever read and so all while this is going down, you’re just cracking up. I hope to make people laugh in my books like she does because its just so ludicrous and hilarious.

6. The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards 

226315

In this book we meet Kat, who is overweight. Now, this could be an okay thing if she wasn’t so obsessed with it. She’s tried every diet out there, and she lets it rule her life and she lacks self confidence in a huge way. She has a boyfriend in England, that she met online, but she’s lied to him and told him she’s a size four, when really she’s a size 22. Then she finds a way to make it all go away: a weight loss reality show called From Fat to Fabulous. She auditions, and is suddenly on TV! But its not as glamorous as it seemed. The girls aren’t all super nice, and losing weight is hard, and her relationship with her boyfriend is all based on lies. Can she make it out of this show with everything she wants?

Dun, dun, dun! I know I keep saying this but I do SUPER adore this book. Kat is a fun character, who has all these hopes and dreams that are SO out there, and we can all kind of relate to that. Like, I so want a size 2 body with a movie star boyfriend (not really, I love my boyfriend), and I want to be rich, with five cars and all of that. But none of that is actually going to happen and thats okay :) But Kat goes into this show thinking its all just going to be fixed: her relationship, her confidence, everything, just by losing weight and thats not really true. And being on the show shows her a lot more than that. But its fun to watch her on the show, losing weight, and the stupid games they play, and how Kat is branded “The Brat” by the press and its just fun and funny.

5. Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

between the lines

This book follows two points of you. First you get Reid Alexander, the super hot famous movie star, who is all about the glamour of being him: the booze, the girls, the parties, the sex. Then you have Emma Pierce, who LOVES acting and hopes to act on stage, but is pushed to do movie roles. They both end up starring in a modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as Lizbeth and Darcy, and there’s immediate attraction. Reid sees Emma as a conquest, someone he’s determined to have, though he doesn’t really realize how hard he’s working for and why he’s doing it. Emma is attracted to Reid but she’s unsure of his intentions, especially when Graham, another actor on set, is showing his interest as well.

Ohmygod Tammara Webber, you’re a goddess of New Adult literature. I didn’t even know what that was until you but you ROCK it. I love these books. I bought the first one because it was TWO dollars on Kindle. (Yeah, so buy it!) and I immediately read the next two in a couple days because they are so good and so juicy. The amount of sexual tension in these books is amazing and I love it! I also love the celebrity life of it, being on set, doing interviews, parties and all that, because again, obsessed with that kind of stuff. Tammara was another inspiration and help for my novel. But everything about this novel is so sexy, and so fun, and you can’t decide which boy you want Emma with because you love them both. And the steamy scenes are to DIE for.

4. Belles by Jen Calonita

12814519

Aw Miss Jen again! This book follows Izzy, a girl living in Harborside, a beachside community that she loves but doesn’t have the best reputation. She lives with her grandma, who is slowly deteriorating from Alzheimers. Its not long before Izzy is yanked away from Harborside and sent to live with this newfound uncle, his wife and his kids in Emerald Cove, a very wealthy town nearby to Harborwide. Izzy finds herself in a world where she feels completely left out and the girls at school, including her own cousin Mira, are not making it any easy for her. Then there’s the mystery of her new family. She’s never heard of them before, and they suddenly appeared when she needed a place to live. Lastly, her uncle’s political advisor (he’s running for the Senate) is on her case, threatening her and her grandmother if she doesn’t stay in line or if she disrupts the perfect family she’s suddenly a part of.

This book is SO juicy. Its like a little mini soap opera for teens. There’s so much going on: the jerk political advisor, the mean girls at school are seriously mean (like, they do really horrible stuff!), a hot boy who, of course, is already taken, and a mysterious family she didn’t know she had. Its all so insanely juicy and FUN. I sped through this book (and the two following) because she has you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out what is going on or whats going to happen. I love it. And when you figure out some of the mysteries, it leaves your jaw open, eyes wide, just as if you were watching a soap opera. Its BRILLIANT and I adore it.

3. Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow

heretodaygonetomaui

I’m not going to lie, the first time I picked up this book, I bought it because the main character lives in my hometown. And that NEVER happens. So this story follows Jane, who is a worrier. She worries all the time. She lives in suburban Southern California and she’s surrounded by families. (Because, honestly, that’s what suburban California is…) She’s determined to spice up her life a bit and so she agrees to take a trip to Hawaii with her boyfriend, Jimmy, even though everything is screaming at her not to. Before she can enjoy any part of her actual vacation, Jimmy goes scuba diving…and never comes up. Now he’s missing, and its absolute mystery, especially when she learns that she’s not the only girl that Jimmy brought to the island….

Carol Snow, you are brilliant and more people should be reading you! I love every single one of your books! I read this one…second, after Been There Done That, and I just laughed at how incredibly ridiculous and hilarious this entire book is. Jane is so funny, and the mess she gets herself into is SO funny. (I’m not trying to be a jerk, I know the plot sounds super serious but trust me, read the book). The entire situation with Jane and Jimmy, and Jimmy’s second girlfriend, Tiara, is just fantastic. She has me laughing the entire book, especially with the descriptions of Tiara, but also has me racing through it to figure out what the hell happened to Jimmy. SUCH a good read.

2. All American Girl by Meg Cabot

url-1

One of my absolute favorite books of ALL TIME. I read this when I was about 14 years old and I think I still owe the Moreno Valley Public Library money for stealing this book from them…and that was 11 years ago! Anyway, the book follows Samantha Madison, a rebellious girl who wears all black, is an artist and completely in love with her sister’s boyfriend. When she’s caught selling drawings at school, her parents force her into art lessons (how dare they!), where she totally doesn’t want to me. After skipping art lessons one day, she stands outside, waiting to be picked up when she notices something: the president of the US coming to buy some cookies at the bakery next door to her art class, and there’s a guy with a gun pointed at him. She doesn’t think, she just moves. Suddenly, she’s a worldwide hero, and is incredibly famous, something she is way unused to it. And it turns out, David, the president’s son is in her art class, and is REALLY cute too.

The absurdity of this book is fantastic but I love it! Its literally one of my favorite books. I love Samantha, because she’s this wannabe rebel, punkish, ska girl who really isn’t any of those things but likes to think she is, which was totally me in high school too, now that I think about it. I love David, I have SUCH a huge crush on him and his stupid little secretive smiles. And I just love the ridiculousness of the situation. I love the idea of a teen girl suddenly saving the president’s life and becoming super famous, and having the president’s son fall in love with her, which she totally does NOT want. I love all the lists too. She makes these lists throughout the book, these top ten lists and I LOVE them. We all know how I am about lists :) Those lists are actually a big inspiration for the Tuesday Top Ten, though Samantha’s are infinitely funnier than mine :)

1. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot 

url-2

Aw, my loves. The entire ten book series follows Mia Thermopolis, a high school girl, in New York City, who is everything that I was in high school: awkward, shy, unpopular, insanely tall (but I was small), no boobs, the works. She’s had a crush on Josh Richter, for ages, and her mom is dating her Algebra teacher, a class she is failing. Then her dad comes to New York to tell her something. He had cancer, and it made him…unable to have anymore kids, which makes her the now known heir to the throne of Genovia. Suddenly, Mia isn’t the normal kid she’s trying SO hard to be but she’s a princess and that takes a lot of work. The ten book series follows Mia from her freshman year to her senior year, following all of her awkwardness, her fun, her life lessons, her ups and downs, the different boys in her life (Michael Moscovitz for LIFE <3) and all the hilarity that ensues.

I first read this when I was 12 years old. I credit Meg Cabot (and Sarah Dessen) with my introduction to the YA lit world. I’ve been obsessed with YA since then and she has been one of my absolute favorite authors and one of my biggest writing inspirations since then. Her books are so GOOD. Written in diary form, you get to be in Mia’s head at all times, which is so great, because since she makes all the mistakes that we all made in high school, we get to see it from her point of view, and her reasoning and her out of control, awesome perspective. We get NO one else and it makes it great because we see how she can overreact or not react enough, and make mistakes and all of that. And Mia is a fun, relatable and hilarious character, and one of my absolute favorite characters ever. If you have not read these books, there is something wrong with you!

Also, the books are SO much better than the movie. I mean, I like the movie. But the books are so good. Its in NYC not San Fran. Her dad is NOT dead, he’s just hilarious. Her mom is hilarious. Her grandmother is NOT sweet Julie Andrews, but scary Grandmere. SO much win.

*      *      *      *     *     *

So that was the Tuesday Top Ten for you!

Hope you enjoyed!

Stay tuned for awesome things heading your way this week!

And don’t forget to check out the previous Tuesday Top Tens!