Friday, June 14, 2013

Roundtable: Summer Lovin'

It's time for our monthly roundtable! And this month we're talking about summers (how appropriate) and how realistically they're portrayed in YA.

Riv Re: just warning in advance, but im only half present tonight. have to do some math.
Alexandra: 2+2=5
Riv Re: if only it was that easy...
Leigh: Math That's not very summery
Riv Re: well summer's not quite here just yet  i only just finished finals last week, and NYS regents are ahead...THAT's one of the things books get wrong: Not all school breaks start in the beginning of June.Leigh: you're right--I was surprised by that when we moved to Indy. They go an extra two weeks into June
Jaime: Around here school doesn't finish until the very end of June.
Alison: My students finished TODAY
Alexandra: In other countries, they have a much shorter break in the summer. I learned this by reading the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison
Lissa: Lucky! I still have exams and will finish everything on the 26 :/
Alison: WOW! When do you guys start school?!
Lissa: September 5 or 7, depending on the year. It's painfully long
Riv Re: beginning of september at some point
Leigh: the schedule here was relatively new. They started just as early--Aug. 8, and went til June 15
Alison: WOW, Leigh! That's insane!
Riv Re: i think we start end of aug. next year
Leigh: But 2 weeks off for "fall break," 2 weeks for Christmas, 2 weeks for "spring break"
Katy: My daughter got out Friday, and they start again August 7th... Only two months!
Alexandra: I wonder if this is better. Since, as a newly-minted adult, this whole working ALL YEAR round, with only 2ish weeks off for vacation, totally sucks. I'm like, where the hell is my 3 month break? Stupid school system conditioned me to expect it for 16+ years!
Alison: Okay, so apparently there are discrepancies in when school starts and ends across the country...I remember someone saying this was something YA doesn't always get right. But I guess it would be "realistic" depending on where the story is set. Thoughts?
Karen: I say, if you're setting is a real place, research for accuracy. I did that for my story that takes place in Arizona. I looked up the school schedule online.
Leigh: great point, Karen!
Riv Re: it's like a foreign country: when your book takes place in England, you research A Levels. Same thing.
Jaime: I've looked up school schedules for a story as well. 

Alison: Anything else that's portrayed well or not well regarding summers in YA?
Katy: Ditto, Alexandra!
Alexandra: My family went to the beach almost every year and I NEVER met a cute guy!
Alison: I had a couple, but only due to camp and theatre. NOT the beach
Alexandra: I didn't meet any at camp, either!
Leigh: Most of the summer reads I'm thinking of are Sarah Dessen, and they're all pretty accurate
Alexandra: Actually, as far as YA goes, my entire teen years were dry of romance.
Leigh: Yeah, I never had that one true love in HS
Alexandra: I didn't even get asked to dance or asked out in hs. I was like boy-kryptonite or something.
Leigh: BUT! I did know people who did...and they ended up pregnant. LOL! j/k
Alexandra: Haha, sadly Leigh, that story was true for far too many people in my high school.
Leigh: Alexandra... NOT
Karen: Some of us had a tragic summer romance in high school that would make a super sad book. No happy ever after for me.

Lissa: That twu wuv is always found, summer jobs are easy to get
Katy: I just read NANTUCKET BLUE, and I thought it was pretty accurate, other than the ease of finding a summer job. Hers just fell into her lap.
Jaime: I'm not sure if YA summer stories are accurate because I worked at camp almost every summer I was in high school.
Leigh: Me, too, Jamie!!! I LURVED camp. #nerdalert
Jaime: No summer romances there either {though there were plenty o' crushes}.
Alexandra: I always went to themed camps. Not just regular sleepaway camp, but camp with some kind of purpose. My parents thought it was such a great idea. *sigh* Language camp being the primary one. I also went to Irish dance camp (that one was my idea.) You can imagine that Irish dance camp was 95% female.
Jaime: Okay, Alexandra, those sound WAY cooler than the camp I went to.
Alexandra: The language camp was sometimes like being in school, though, and all I wanted to do was go canoeing or learn random sports like archery or whatever. Irish dance camp was fun, though.
Leigh: Hey, Alexandra, that sounds like LOADS of great possibilities for a book!
Alexandra: If only I wrote contemp.
Leigh: I just went to regular, 3-wk sleepaway camp
Riv Re: i went to month-long camp for the past couple of years. Girls only
Jaime: You could write sci-fi Irish dance camp or sci-fi language camp (where the language is some alien tongue).
Katy: I always wanted to go to sleep away camp... I think it's a lot more popular on the east coast. Nobody went away where I grew up.
Jaime: I grew up toward the Eastern part of Canada, Katy, so that makes sense.
Alexandra: Katy, what did y'all do with your summers then? Jobs? Summer reading?
Katy: In high school I worked all summer life gaurding and teaching swim lessons. My hair really suffered.
Jaime: Hey, Katy. Maybe you could teach me to swim.
Katy: Do you not know how, Jaime?
Jaime: Nope. I can't even tread water. Basically, I plan on doing a really long back float if I'm ever in an overboard situation. So I'll pretty much drown.
Katy: Jaime, that boggles my mind. Get yourself to a pool, girl!
Karen: Katy, your summers are a great set up for a book  Hot lifeguard. Right, Leigh????
Leigh: HOT LIFEGUARD....but I think he was gay. You know if I think he's hot, he's gay
Leigh: Jaime, you must learn to swim. For safety
Karen: Jaime, go to Leigh's pool. She has a lifeguard who can teach you to swim.
Jaime: I hear he's hot.
Katy: I have definitely pulled from my summers at the pool, Karen.
Karen: Katy, I would too. Sounds like fun

Alexandra: Do YA books ever mention summer reading? Because I always had TONS of it.
Lissa: Summer reading is the best kind of reading
Alexandra: Lissa, what summer reading have they assigned you that you've liked?? I always hated it because it got in the way of the books I actually wanted to read.
Riv Re: hate assigned summer reading...
Jaime: I've never been assigned summer reading.
Lissa: I don't get assigned reading because they like us to work on it in class
Riv Re: though i got a super general assignment this year: any non-fiction book
Katy: I haven't either, Jaime
Alexandra: OH. Okay, yeah my summer was full of ASSIGNED reading. It made me so mad because I had so much other reading I wanted to do instead.
Leigh: How did you escape summer reading, Jamie! Even I had that...

Alison: I'm really curious as to what the guys did with their summers, but then I realized - they're not here.
Karen: I was JUST thinking that. No boys tonight
Alexandra: I have a cousin who used to make potato cannons when he was a teen.
Karen: My boyfriend's son is here for the summer. He mostly skateboards and plays video games
Katy: My brothers both did sports all summer, and hung out at lakes and such. They didn't work like me -- how unfair!
Alexandra: Katy why did your brothers not have to work?
Katy: Good question, Alexandra. I'm the oldest and my parents became more and more lax as time went on. I have the best work ethic of the three of us, though.
Leigh: Katy's brothers sound like the hot guys in these YA books... LOL!
Katy: Pretty much, Leigh. They actually drove around in a Jeep with the top off.
Leigh: wow. Katy had the hot brothers
Alexandra: We had a big family reunion and he would shoot them across the yard and over the train tracks. Also leave coins on the train tracks and wait for the trains to flatten them
Leigh: omg--Alexandra! I've seen that in movies! Does it work?
Alexandra: Leigh, which bits, the potato cannon or the flattening coins? Because both worked.
Leigh: the flattening coins. I've actually seen the potato things work. We called them potato guns
Alexandra: Haha we called them that, too, but cannon seemed more accurate looking back...The flattening coins worked. But they would fly off the tracks, too, so you had to kind of dig around in gravel to find them.
Jaime: Most of the guys I knew worked at camp with me as lifeguards and counselors.
Leigh: Potato cannons, skateboards & video games. These are spot-on boy summer
Jaime: Just asked my hubby how he spent his summers as a teen: working, playing video games, and hanging out with friends.
Leigh: My hubs worked on a paint crew
Karen: John says he worked on old cars and hid from the cops. lol
Jaime: Hid from the cops? That feels like a story...
Lissa: Oooh I want to hear this story
Leigh: yes, Karen! why was he hiding from the cops
Karen: Jaime, the police knew John and his twin brother by their first names.
Jaime: Haha! That's hilarious!
Leigh: ew, hot twins. Yay!
Karen: He's trying to remember....
Leigh: hot bad boy twins
Karen: breaking into cars
Jaime: I'm sensing a "hot" theme with Leigh tonight LOL.
Karen: he jumped in a canal once to hide from the cops. And it worked. lol
Karen: Thanks guys, now he's telling me long detailed stories with lots of reenacting
Riv Re: have fun, Karen
Karen: lol. it's a good example for his son of what NOT to do this summer

 Alison: Riv and Lissa - what do most of your friends do during the summer?
Lissa: Most of my friends jet around to Europe or wherever, but this year a bunch of us are trying to get jobs - to no avail. Basically we just chill at the pool, shop and volunteer most of the days away.
Jaime: That's awesome that you volunteer, Lissa.
Katy: Definitely, Lissa. Where do you volunteer?
Lissa: The library, the community centre, the food bank
Karen: Awesome, Lissa.
Lissa: I'm trying to get a job placement at the library, but I haven't heard anything back yet. Since I don't have any previous work experience, I'm just trying to get my name out there and maybe volunteer a bit more
Jaime: Now that I think about it, I wasn't being paid to work as a camp counselor for the entire summer. I guess that's volunteering.
Alexandra: Lissa, work in a clothing store. You don't need any experience to do that. Trust me
Katy: Good luck with the library, Lissa. That sounds very cool.
Jaime: Yes, a library job would be AWESOME!
Lissa: Thanks
Leigh: library job = The Truth About Forever!
Lissa: Oh that was good. I don't know how Macy gave that up
Riv Re: my friends are all either going away with their families, going to travel camps, or working in day/sleepaway camps. though i guess you might call it volunteering, since they dont all pay

Riv Re: (sorry I'm so absent. trying to figure out the area of a triangle...)
Alexandra: ALISON CAN HELP WITH THAT! She's math genius!
Jaime: I Math. Like big-time love it.
Alexandra: (intentionally omitted an article, there. Alison is MATH GENIUS. No "a" or "the" needed)
Riv Re: yeah, i used to love it. now its more like a love-hate relationship.
Riv Re: actually. no. just a hate relationship. (I copied over the wrong number >​<
Katy: It's crazy to me that you people with the math brains can also still write creatively. It's like your brains are super-charged.
Karen: Alison, don't hate me, but I dislike math very very much
Alison: insert HUGE frowny face
Jaime: Loving Math and creative things equally makes finding the right job kind of tough in my experience. :/
Riv Re: i'm apparently dual brained (not right or left) according to that dancing silloutte thing... i like math that makes sense. i like the logic behind it. cosines? not so much...
Alison: GAH - LOVE trig! SOH-CAH-TOA
Katy: Alison, this may be the one area where we have NOTHING in common.
Riv Re: sorry (not really) for the caps
Alison: And as Copil would say, Alison just had a nerd boner - also, I feel really weird saying that. Also, trig was my favorite subject in hs. I know. HATE ME
Alexandra: Omg Alison, remember the risque math notes my friend and I used to pass? SOHCAHTOA was totally a thing. Because it sounds vaguely like a Native American word.
Alison: HAHAHA - I think you should write a contemp and put all that in there
Riv Re: i don't know what you're talking about, but i am so scared.
Alison: :)
Alexandra: Lol, Riv. A high school friend and I used to pass notes when we got bored in math, and we would make up soap opera scenarios for whatever we were learning. Like the sine curve is jealous of the tangent because it's next to the acute angle and crap like that. (I know what I just said actually makes no math sense but whatever.)
Alison: We are so way off topic
Alexandra: It's always my fault we get off topic.
Jaime: Someone can write a YA contemp about Math camp with all of these nerdy double entendres.
Riv Re: please do, Jaime!
Alison: okay, maybe we should get back to summers
Katy: Should we share a favorite summer YA before I go?  I'll go with Jenny Han's THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY trilogy. Also, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
Jaime: My favourite summer YA is probably AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR.
Riv Re: mind is going blank. But Amy and Roger's... was amazing
Alison: My most recent favorite summer YA is Miranda Keneally's THINGS I CAN'T FORGET. But I also LOVE TWENTY BOY SUMMER
Jaime: WANDERLOVE was pretty fantastic too.

Alison: Anything else we want to add about summers in YA?
Riv Re: bathing suits require a lot of shaving
Jaime: And white bathing suits are NEVER a good idea. Ever.
Riv Re: omg yeah. no. never done it, but i can imagine
Alison: Agreed - with all that
Riv Re: if you're going to do the shorts thing, two or three inches is shorter than you think it is. Sunscreen. tanning=wrinkles (and cancer.)
Jaime: So the moral of this story is: Make sure you shave, never wear a white bathing suit, and ALWAYS wear sunscreen.
Riv Re: well, you don't *have* to shave
Riv Re: only shave if you want to, girls! never let society shape your body!
Jaime: Well, on that note. Goodnight, ladies!
SO…that's our wrap-up on summers in YA. How do you feel about them? Realistic? Tell us in the comments!


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