Monday, April 30, 2012

Crap My Friends Say

It's the last week of the year and I've been keeping a running tally of strange/hilarious things that my friends have said throughout the year. Here are some of the highlights. All names have been removed to protect the funny.

"If I was white, we wouldn't be having this discussion!"
"You are white!"
"I am pale! I am not white!"

"I'm so mad I could punch a duck."

"Do you want to see a pregnant fish?"

Professor: "This is a chicken and egg situation."

"Now if a baby says 'gaga' can that be considered a word?"

"Well, the whole theory of the velociraptors..."

"Hey, do you guys want to come dance in the rain with us?"

"There is a dirt road. Ergo you live in the boondocks."
"I do not live in the boondocks!"
"There's dirt!" ... "There's trees!"

"I thought you were going to say you like the sounds you make when you're in pain and that's a very sketchy thing to say."

"Those girls over there are having an epic argument. About Chinese people. And how they cook their food."

"Did you know if you lick someone's elbow, they can't feel it?"

"That's such a boondocks thing to say."

Random girl outside: "Squirelly, squirrely, squirrely! I'm gonna get you!"

"I just want to go to the store and buy the most awkward combination of items possible."
"What do you mean awkward?"
"Like KY and a watermelon."
"You should buy a box of condoms and a bunch of bananas."

"Don't sit next to me, I have the plague!"
"We share a bathroom!"

*singing* "Taking out the trash! Taking out the trash! At night!"
"It's not nighttime, people!"

"I'm really tempted to look up pictures of squirrels."

*watching The Little Mermaid* "Oh my gosh, it's like the Titanic!"
"Except with a little more rock and a little less iceberg."

Random boy: "HEY, TOMMY!" *looks in completely other direction as he walks to door* *freezes when he looks in*
Class: *stares*
Boy: "Wrong class. Sorry."

"I'm wearing my pajamas bottoms as a scarf."

"I'm not going to blow your eyelash."

"I make all laws regarding cows."

"You are not naming a cow after my daughter and I am not naming a daughter after your cow so therefore they will never have the same name."

"You don't know what a powwow is?"
"Is that where you punch puppies?"

"Hey! These are the socks we sword-fought with yesterday."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heat Wave Review

Heat Wave
by Richard Castle
I am obsessed with Castle. I spent three weeks watching all four seasons and when I found out that there was a real version of Castle's Heat Wave I knew that I had to order it. I couldn't stop fangirl squealing when it finally arrived a few days later.

I was a little worried about how I would feel about it -- being a fan of the show -- but it's actually very well done. I couldn't stop grinning when I saw the dedication in the front. It's like holding Richard Castle's actual book. There were lines in the book that I could actually see Beckett and Castle saying, and points where I could hear the characters' voices in my head as I'm reading. 

There were a couple of things that I was really hoping they remembered from the show -- the sex scene and the "Go ahead. I need the practice" line that Castle promised he would add -- and they were definitely not forgotten. It really made me feel like part of the show. 

Overall: 8/10. Major fans of Castle should definitely pick this up. They really did justice to the show. Now I need to get my hands on Naked Heat...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RTW: Best Book of April

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic: 
What was the best book you read in April?

My reading list was sadly short again this month. Hopefully I'll be able to make some kind of dent in my TBR shelf this summer!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight 
by Jennifer E. Smith
I know I'm a little late for the wagon on this one, but I absolutely loved it. It's a quick, sweet read that was a great escape during the final-stretch of the semester. The kisses gave me butterflies and the characters were great. The writing is great and I loved the flashbacks to the plane ride while Hadley's in England. Also, Oliver is now one of my top fictional crushes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rooming With Your Best Friend: Why I Did When Everyone Told Me Not To

When I started preparing for college, it seemed like everyone seemed to have some piece of advice that they wanted to share. One of the most prevalent by far was "Do not room with your best friend from high school." I brushed the advice off at first, not planning to even attend college in the same state as my best friend, until (through a series of life-changing events) we ended up at the same school.

Suddenly, their advice applied to me.

At first, my best friend and I planned to room separately and then we started to think about all the unsavory types that we could end up rooming with. When choosing to room with a friend, it may seem like the devil you know is far safer than the devil you don't. So, one day, I asked my best friend if she wanted to room with me and she said yes. We requested each other on our forms and the rest is history.

I've been living with her for a year. There are some days when I wish I'd gone in blind and days when I'm glad that we didn't. We're still best friends, but our relationship will never be the same. We're rooming together next year as well, though, I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about asking one of my other friends if she'd like to move in together.

Do I recommend that others move in with their high school best friends? That's up to you. Just know that -- no matter how many nights you spent at each others' houses -- being best friends with someone is nothing like living with them. There will be struggles, there will be fights, and you will learn things about your roommate that you never wanted to know. You might find out that they're a completely different person from the one you knew in high school. 

If you're thinking about rooming with your best friend, think about it for awhile. Will you be able to handle living with this person? Do you have the same sleeping habits? The same studying habits? Do you need complete silence to study while they like to have a lot of noise? Do you prefer going to bed early while they like to go to bed late? Don't just think about how many awesome movie nights you are going to have. Think about how compatible the two of you will be living together.

Living with your best friend may strengthen your relationship or it may ruin it. A lot of people change when they get to college. Sometimes it can be better just to share a living space with someone, rather than being best friends with them. If you do decide to room with your best friend, make sure you work out any problems that arise rather than just letting them fester until it becomes a major problem. Also, make sure that you get out and meet new people. Don't just hang out with your roommate because they're what's familiar. The best part of college is getting out and trying new things.

Still, I'm glad I ignored everyone's advice. I love my roommate even if she does drive me crazy sometimes and keeps me up way too late on weekends.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Releases -- Gone, Gone, Gone; Masque of the Red Death; The Selection

Gone, Gone, Gone
by Hannah Moskowitz
It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives. Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he’ll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody. Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable...and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.

Masque of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

The Selection
by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RTW: Prom!

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
It's almost prom season, and since we love to read and write about teenagers, we want to hear your prom stories!

I didn't go to my junior prom because I didn't want to go alone (though a part of me regrets that decision now). However, when senior prom rolled around I was dating my first boyfriend and I couldn't wait for the time-honored tradition of prom.

When the big day rolled around, I went over to my best friend's house. All the guys were sent downstairs immediately on arrival while us girls stayed upstairs doing each others' hair and make-up and putting on our dresses. When we were ready, we made our grand entrance down the stairs to meet our dates.

We sat around, eating pizza and playing pool, until it was time to head to prom. I can honestly say it was one of the best nights of my life. I spent it talking to my friends and dancing with my boyfriend. I have to admit most of the night is a blur.

When my boyfriend came to tell me that his sister said it was time to go, we met in one of those epic good-bye kisses, like the kind they show in movies (or so it felt at the time). After the dance, I rode back with my friends for a sleepover where we stayed up playing Apples to Apples and talking to the point of exhaustion where everything is hilarious.

So, not your stereotypical high school prom, but I imagine far more awesome than one ever could have been.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Five Tips for Surviving the Last Month

...of college. The end of the semester is upon us so here are five tips on how to survive the whirlwind.

1. Don't put everything off until the last minute.
The last month of college is jam-packed with final projects, term papers, presentations, and studying for finals. I have a major project due every week for the next three weeks. The best thing to do is check the syllabi for all your classes and be prepared for when major projects are coming up. The earlier you can start, the better.

2. Study gradually.
This one goes hand-in-hand with #1, but deals specifically with finals. Don't wait until the night before your History final to cram. Make flashcards, reread the chapters, hand-write out your notes, read over the lectures, do anything that you need to do to study starting a week or so in advance. Flashcards are particularly best done early. If you make them two weeks before the exam, this allows you to study them before going to bed every night and will help plant the information in your memory.

3. Take time to de-stress.
It's hard, but try to find time between studying, going to class, and sleeping to take time away doing something fun. Give yourself fifteen-minute Facebook breaks for every hour or two of studying. Spend a Saturday afternoon hiking with friends. After a day in the library, go for a nice leisurely walk around town. Read for an hour before bed.

4. Write when you want to.
If you use writing as a de-stressor, be careful that it doesn't become another stressor. Last week I started setting goals to write at least 250 words per day, but with the amount of homework I've been doing, it's been almost impossible for me to keep up with my goals and it makes me feel guilty when I don't. So now I've made a pact to relax on my word count goals until finals week is over and it's made it easier for me to relax and just write.

5. Pack as you go.
On top of homework, classes, sleep, clubs, and friends, the last month of the year probably also means packing to go home for the summer. Don't wait until the last second to start packing if at all possible. This is especially true if you live in a dorm like mine where there are hours of the day that you're not even allowed to vacuum during finals week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy int he airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

This is a really quick, sweet read and I absolutely loved it. It's a heartwarming book that would be perfect to curl up while the sun streams in through the window. I fell in love with the writing from the very beginning. The scene at the airport was so cute and sweet and I loved the dialogue.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Oliver.

Overall: 10/10 This is one of those books that I'll pull off the shelf with a smile whenever I need an upbeat read that I love.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Essential Books/Movies

Every once in awhile I come across a book or a movie that changes the way I look at the world. A book that I think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. A movie that everyone should see. Here are some of those.

Schindler's List
It's a long movie but it doesn't really feel like it. I watched it for the first time this weekend and when it was over, I literally couldn't stop crying. It's a very powerful, moving film. It's about Oscar Schindler, a man who saved over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust by keeping them working in his factories.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee Harper
This was one of the few books that I was assigned to read in high school that I actually finished. Even rarer was the fact that I loved every minute of it. It's a fantastic book and one of my favorite classics. It's a story of love, innocence, racism, and life in the Southern town.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
While I don't recommend reading this book in a public place, I do highly recommend reading it. The writing is absolutely beautiful. TBT is the story of a girl living in Nazi Germany who steals books from book burnings. I read it last year and it's stuck with me ever since.

1984 by George Orwell
This is a chilling dystopian tale. It was written as what Orwell thought the world would be like in 1984, but it shares some scary similarities with the modern world. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, this was one of the few classics from high school that I actually finished and loved.

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
This is a fascinating and quirky book about the effects we can have on the lives of others. The story features Ed Kennedy, an underage cab driver who accidentally stops a bank robbery and then begins to receive playing cards with instructions in the mail.

Sold by Patricia McCormick
This book tore me to pieces but was worth every second of it. The writing is gorgeous and the story powerful. Sold is about a thirteen-year-old girl living in Nepal until she's sold into prostitution by her stepfather.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
I read this in middle school and have been very fond of it ever since. It's a quick but amazing read. It's about a dystopian future in which everyone is assigned a job and emotions no longer exist. When Jonas is assigned a job, he receives the position of The Giver, the one who holds all the memories of feelings in the world.

Do you have any books or movies that affected your life or that you feel everyone should read?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RTW: It Takes a Village...

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:
Who has helped you on your reading/writing/publishing journey?

First and foremost, I want to thank my mom for not being concerned when I spent hours shut in my room writing and revising without human contact. She's encouraged me to chase my dreams and figure out what I want out of life. She understands that writing is what I love and that I need the space to do it. I'm glad that I have someone in real life that knows that I'm a writer and will be there any time I need someone to bounce ideas off of, even if they don't like young adult fiction. It's thanks to her that many of my earliest memories have to do with writing or reading.

And a special shoutout to everyone at AW! I don't know what I would have done without you guys. Three years ago I was just a bouncy newbie with a book, a dream of being published, and absolutely no knowledge of the business. I've come a long way since then. Thanks for teaching me and letting me bounce around ideas and complain when the writer's block hits (and also for introducing me to Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Veronica Mars).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Second Anniversary, DW!

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the airing of Matt Smith's first episode, The Eleventh Hour. Because I don't blog on Tuesdays, I'm doing this shout-out today.

Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor and Eleventh Hour was the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched. Happy anniversary, Eleven!

It's also the anniversary of the famous Fish Fingers and Custard Scene, which I would reenact if I had a car to drive to the store. Ah well. Has anyone else tried this strange combination?

And on a related note, the first preview for series seven was released recently! I CAN'T WAIT! I mean, cyborgs, the Wild West, and the return of the Daleks?! This is going to be a great one.