Friday, August 31, 2012

Tales from the Locker Room (And Other Stalk Worthy Places)

Okay, so I really don’t stalk the locker room, but I do pick up on some interesting things in my classroom and in the hallways. I've bribed a few former students into doing my dirty lurking. And I have some classes willing to answer some questions.

My students have only been in school a week, but I was able to do a little spying and a lot of asking. Here’s the low down on all things teen (at least this month, in my school).

What they’re watching

Love and Hip Hop, Pretty Little Liars, Southpark, Regular Show, Awkward, The Inbetweeners, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Teen Wolf, Swamp People, Beyblade, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Workaholics

Movies they’re excited about

Anchorman II, Breaking Dawn II, Wreck-it-Ralph, Finding Nemo 3D, The Hobbit, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What they’re listening to

Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Ace Hood, Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Brad Paisley, Kenye

Some went to see this guy in concert


What they’re saying

swerve: Used in place of "swag". Derived from the lyrics of "Mercy" by Kanye West, it is commonly slipped into conversation in response to a "Ballin'" remark. (from Urban Dictionary)

Some oldies but goodies

bet: yes OR okay OR I agree

neck: what you say when someone does something stupid, sometimes accompanied by a slap on the neck.

What they’re wearing

Anything from this

to this

to this

This monthly feature is generally light and fun, but I want to make it meaningful. I’ve got a few “spies” and a few classes who keep this old lady young and updated. And they answer every question I ask them (sometimes it’s a little TMI). So, if you’ve got particular teen things you want to know for future Tales from the Locker Room, leave a comment. Or send it in an email. And as long as it’s something within the ethical realm of my teacherly self to ask, I will.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Every Thursday, we post a question for our followers--and every Saturday, one of the commenters will be selected to choose a title from our Vault! ARCs, signed books, awesome books... Anything we have--you get to choose.

To enter, follow YA Confidential and please make sure that your email address is linked to your comment in some way! (So we can get in touch with you :)

Today's question:
What's the best YA you've read this summer?

Our Answers

Matt: This is Not a Test, by Courtney Summers

Alison: Can I have a ten-way tie? No? Okay, I’ll just list my top four then (that’s better than ten, right?!): SCORPIO RACES, HATE LIST, GRACELING, and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

Yeah. See, YOU try to choose between those four.

Sara: I read The Giver for the first time and fell in love. In fact, I read the entire series and was just... blown away. Lois Lowry is a phenomenal writer--and speaker, as I was lucky enough to witness her at BEA this year. She had me in tears and was definitely the highlight of that trip for me! (Crying aside, of course! She was completely candid and inspirational.)

Alexandra: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman tied with Eona by Alison Goodman. Interestingly enough, both are fantasy stories about dragons (though they're very different) which is a subject matter that has to be done VERY well to catch my interest.

Katy: So hard to pick just one! Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, Monstrous Beauty, and The Book Thief are all honorable mentions, but the very best book I read this summer was Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore's writing blows me away, I adored Bitterblue as a protagonist, and Sapphire, Giddon, and Po... Love!

Jessica: SO tough to choose here...I've read so many excellent books! I think I'd have to say the best book I've read was the copy of Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN BOYS that I snagged at ALA. It's not quite out yet, but it's the one book that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since I read it.

Copil: Railsea by China Meiville. I know, I know, it's my goto book these days, it's like I've got a one track mind. . .see what I did there?! RAILsea? One track mind? Yeah, I'll just see myself out. OMG, I did it again! "See" myself out? RailSEA? Oh, whevs.

Your turn!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Undercover Wednesday: Fall, 2012

We're big readers here at YA Confidential, so it should come as no surprise that we've got a list of Fall, 2012 releases we're anticipating like crazy. Here are eleven up-and-coming young adult novels* (among dozens!) that we're dying to add to our bookshelves...

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins (September 11th)
Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt…. Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby? Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened? Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be. Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure. 
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Butter by Erin Jade Lange (September 18th)
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel (September 25th)
Can the living coexist with the living dead?  That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites. Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety. Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target. As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Stealing Parker
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (October 1st)
Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her. Now Parker wants a new life. So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty? But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Through To You
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth (October 2nd) 
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv. The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

Passenger (The Marbury Lens #2)
Passenger by Andrew Smith (October 2nd)
Jack and Conner have a plan. They think it's the only reasonable way to deal with the Marbury lens. But the four boys - Jack, Conner, Ben, and Griffin - end up scattered in different places at different times. Jack is lost in a Marbury that isn't Marbury, a Glenbrook that isn't Glenbrook, pursued through every crumbling not-world by an uncaring cop trying to solve the mystery of Freddie Horvath's murder, and a deceitful kid named Quinn Cahill who believes he is the King of Marbury. Jack's universe is collapsing in on itself. He finds his friends. He finds his home. There's always just one thing, and Jack knows it. This can't be it.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (October 23rd)
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. She can’t. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren’t. She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She’s wrong. In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Ask The Passengers
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (October 23rd)
Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better. In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

*All summaries are from Goodreads. Links lead to each book's Goodreads page. 

Tell Us: What Fall, 2012 releases are you desperate to read?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teen Roundtable: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

For this month’s roundtable, our spies and operatives had an assignment: Read THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and come prepared to chat about it! And we did! But before diving into discussion, Lissa started us with a most SERIOUS question:
Lissa: !?!??!!??!??!?! 
El Cholo (aka COPIL): That's too serious. Let's keep things light, people. 
Lissa: LOL Copil I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself :S 
Alexandra: Just 2, both in the theater. 
Alison: wait for it...Alison has only watched the DVD once. But I did see it twice in the theater 
Katy: Aaah! I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't bought it yet. Once in the theater, and I want to get the DVD so bad! 
Alexandra: The douchebag I was with the second time when I watched it said he didn't like JLaw as Katniss. I did not like his opinions or his ability to speak. 
Alison: Well, I hope you dumped said douche.
Katy: He has bad taste, clearly.
Lissa: He has no idea whattt he's talking about! I thought she was amazing! 
Alexandra: (Oh I would NEVER EVER date that guy. I was with him and other people.) Jennifer Lawrence made me warm up to Katniss, so she's great and I won't hear anyone say otherwise 
Riv Re: I was wary of Jen at first, but she was amazing. It's all in her eyes. 

Erica: Oops, sorry I'm a few minutes late. I got distracted reading. 
Alison: Erica, you are COMPLETELY forgiven.  What were you reading, btw? 
Erica: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 
Alexandra: OMG I loved that one! 
Lissa: Loved Seraphina. I wish I had the sequel in my hands so bad right now 
Riv Re: dragons, right? 
Erica: yes 
Alison: oooh - I've heard good things about that one. *winks at Alexandra* 
Alexandra: ;)
Riv Re: *winks as well* (feeling left out) 
Erica: I'm really liking it so far! 

So, onto THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. Here’s the good reads blurb…

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

How many of you read Perks? (It's OKAY if you didn't!)

El Cholo: I didn't. But I started it and I'm here to discuss what others liked about it. Did most of you read the book because of word of mouth from a friend? Or hear about it elsewhere? 
Alison:  At least one of my students list it as their favorite book every year. I had to read it. 

Lissa: Read it!
Katy: I read it last month. Mostly because Emma Watson is going to be in the movie.  
Erica: I didn't. I meant to, but I've been so busy with the show I was directing. 

Riv Re: I didn't, but I love the movie trailers. (I know, I'm committing a cardinal sin.)
Alexandra: Now that I've read it, I'm quite interested in how they are going to pull it off as a movie 

Lissa: I'm worried about how the movie will be pulled off, too
Alison: As stated in the previews (which make me BAWL), it's BASED on the book 
Lissa: My younger sister (12) is a huge Logan Lerman fan and she was all excited to watch the movie, but after I read it, I'm wondering if it might be too mature for her, who still doesn't even like to admit that boys don't have cooties :S 
Alison: I'm not sure about letting my 13 year old read it, BUT she does want to see the movie (huge Percy/Logan fan) and I think it will be much tamer than the book 
Riv Re: Alison, what age would you say it's for? 
Katy: I read it mostly because Jessica Love was raving about it, but Alison, I'm not sure I'd let my 13 year old read it. 
Lissa: I'd say 14+ or for mature 13 year olds. If I'd read it at 13, though, I'm sure I would have put it back down. There's just so MUCH in that book 
Alison: I say upper YA but idk there is a lot 
Riv Re: I'm learning to appreciate the "upper YA" label. 

In the book, one of the characters calls Charlie (the mc) a wallflower. He says to Charlie, “You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.” Do you agree with that? What do you think being a wallflower is? Also, what ARE the perks of being a wallflower?

Lissa: I think that being a "wallflower" means you're the quiet, observant person, but I'd have to disagree with Charlie being called that. Yeah, totally, he's a quiet kid, but he seemed underdeveloped for me even though he's in AP classes 
Alexandra: Lissa, I felt that way, too. He seemed a lot younger than a freshman in high school. His writing style specifically wasn't very advanced so I was at odds with him being smart the whole book. 
Lissa: His writing seemed immature to me and he honestly seemed a little slow in a lot of situations, which seemed to confuse me because all his teachers and friends consider him brilliant 
Alexandra: I feel like a wallflower would be a very observant person, and Charlie OBSERVED a lot, but I didn't feel like he processed it very well or very introspectively 
Katy: Alexandra, I totally agree 
Alexandra: He sees things and he keeps quiet about them, but whether or not he really UNDERSTOOD is up for debate 
Katy: he was good at relaying what was happening around him, but not really analyzing and GETTING it. 
Lissa: Yeah, maybe that's a better way of putting it, Alexandra. In some situations I was shocked that he didn't pick up stuff or didn't understand what he was seeing 
Alexandra: Lissa I think you put it really well, too 
El Cholo: Did these impressions last throughout the book? I was feeling this way at the beginning and wondered if it went all the way to the end. 
Alison: But (close your eyes if you haven't read), there are reasons he's a little backwards and somewhat seemingly slow in situations, yes? 
Lissa: Alison, I didn't really get the part where all the things "come together." Did he have a developmental issue? Was he depressed/anxious? I know he had a past that affected him a lot, but I didn't really understand how that tied in with the way he behaved, if I'm honest.
Alison: Lissa, his issues stemmed from incidents that happened when he was younger (and that's all the spoiler you get). Also, remember that he had anger issues - really hurting people when he got angry - and subject to unexplained uncontrollable crying. He was depressed…a lot.
Riv Re: I haven't read the book yet, but I'm reading all this, and it's so sad! You're making me sad, Alison!  
Alison: It's a sad bookl  But also a very happy one too.
Lissa: I don't think there are many perks to being a wallflower, but again, I don't think Charlie could be considered a wallflower. He was on the edge for a lot of things, but he did become involved in a lot of stuff too as the book went on 
Katy: I think he saw what he wanted to see in many situations, if that makes sense. Blinders, maybe 
Alison: perfect sense                                          
Katy: that and at times I wondered how reliable he was
Lissa: Katy, I had to wonder about his reliability too. He seemed vague about things and then he seemed dishonest about a ton of things 
Alexandra: I had a hard time with the narration in total, truth be told, and ergo I often had a hard time understanding what Charlie did see or understand, because he jumped around topics SO often 
Alison: I also felt part of his wallflower-ish-ness was how introspective he was 
Alexandra: Here's what I wrote in my book about the introspectiveness: "This is why I don't like first person narration. I can't get any space. My face is smashed up against the glass of his thoughts and I want to step back but he won't let me."  I was so in his head the whole time I felt stripped of my ability to imagine anything.
Katy: That's pretty perfect, Alexandra. He was a particularly suffocating narrator. Oddly, though, I didn't hate him 
Lissa: Alexandra, I think that was probably the intention of the narrative though. Charlie's being trapped by all his thoughts and he's writing them out to someone to try and sort them out, and while that doens't make for a very assembled reading experience, I think it was totally intentional and worked, characterization/narration wise 
Alexandra: Lissa, I see your point, and I agree. I think it was intentional, and it conveyed a certain kind of reading experience and perhaps what it was like to be bogged down by his muddled thoughts.  I didn't hate him either, I just had a hard time with the structure 
Lissa: I really dislike letter-format in books. I've never read a book where I've appreciated that format 
Alexandra: Structure is a make it or break it for me--if you guys notice, every time I say I hate a book (Wuthering Heights, looking at YOU) I moan about the structure. So there's that 
Alison: I actually was very okay with the structure. But I can see the letter thing and how honest and in his head made for a tough read

Who do you guys think the "friend" he was writing to was?

Alexandra: I think, if you strip away enough, he was writing to himself. I think he needed to have "someone" to write to, because it's harder to say those things to yourself. So he needed that facade of writing to someone else, to get out all the things he needed to hear from within. And the ability to mail them off and let them go. 
Lissa: Huh, good point 
Alexandra: Just my theory though 
Katy: I like that theory, Alexandra... That's what I was thinking too  
Lissa: I hardly thought about who he was writing to, tbh. Sometimes I thought it was aunt, even though it didn't fit in with the story he told us in the very beginning 
Katy: I considered his aunt too, Lissa 
Alison: good theory, but he does mention how the friend is someone he heard someone else talking about, but I CAN'T FIND IT RIGHT NOW 
Alexandra: I don't mean he wasn't really writing to someone. I think he really was mailing the letters to that person he heard someone else talking about, but I think the REASON behind it was because he needed to talk to himself. 
Alison: yeah, I'm with you on that, Alexandra 
Alexandra: Notice that he picked an almost complete stranger, rather than someone he knows, to send these letters to. 
Lissa: I think he did that because he had such a hard time talking about himself. He rarely ever talked about himself - maybe it was hard for him? - and he basically just listened to other people talk about their lives while nobody really asked about his 

(SIDE NOTE: Alison eventually found the page, LONG after the chat. If you’re curious, he somewhat specifies who he’s writing to on the last page before the epilogue.)

On the friend line: Charlie considers the reader a friend, simply because he or she listens to what Charlie has to say. Do you consider yourself Charlie's friend by the end of the novel? Why or why not?
And...AND would you have been friends with Charlie? Why or why not?

Katy: Honestly, I'm not sure I would have been friends with Charlie, but I would have been friends with Charlie's friends. 
Lissa: By the end of the book, I wasn't sure how I felt about Charlie. Sure, I could empathize and understand him, but I don't think I'd be very good friends with him because it would be a very one-sided friendship 
Alison: which was Sam's point at the end too 
Alexandra: I'm extremely introverted, but I think Charlie would have irritated even me 
Alison: I would've been friends with him mainly because my heart hurt for him so much. I cried for him and I laughed when he said things like No kidding! and when he was happy, i was happy. And now I sound like E.T. 
Lissa: Charlie reminded me of myself, too, introvert-wise, but I think it'd be very difficult to be his friend, especially in the beginning of the book 
Alexandra: The good thing about him is that he did have a very distinct personality and voice. Enough that we all could at least make this kind of assessment about him. 
Alison: BUT I don't know if I would've been like Sam and Patrick...and pulled him in. 
Lissa: Yeah, me either Alison.  I personally thought that the way he just went up to them was very uncharacteristic of him, too 
Alexandra: I wouldn't have pulled him in, and I wouldn't have liked being pulled in. At 14 I liked very much to be left alone--I wasn't secretly hoping for someone to befriend me. Tangent question: why do you think Sam and Patrick pulled him in? What drew them to him? (Since we're from his perspective, we have to extrapolate about why they liked him.) 
Lissa: I think they probably could see some of themselves in him. They both had issues they had to get through 
Alison: Good question, Alexandra. My thought was What draws us to who we are drawn to? 
Lissa: and Charlie probably seemed like he could use someone to sort things through with, too, like they had each other. That makes no structual sense as a sentence, sorry, but I think you know what I mean 
Alexandra: Like a combination of common ground, but at the same time having something the other person needs. 

On a different note, what's the deal with Bill, Charlie's English teacher?

Lissa: I thought he was creeepy, frankly. I would be FREAKED if a teacher asked me to his house 
Katy: Me too, Lissa! It's a little odd when teachers zone in so specifically on one student.  And I liked that Bill was so encouraging to Charlie, but I was a little sketched out by him 
Alison: Yes, I was a little creeped out by Bill's initial attention on Charlie, but he grew on me. 
Alexandra: Bill needed to recommend more books written by WOMEN!
Alison: What was your impression with Bill by the end of the book? 
Alexandra: I never warmed up to Bill because I disliked his reading choices. My feminism doesn't have an on/off switch. (I know, it sounds like I totally hated the book. I actually enjoyed reading it and read it over 2 days.) 
Riv Re: I never get through books in 2 days anymore--it's really sad
Alison: This one is short. You could do it.
Riv Re: Maybe. But I've become a slow reader lately, and there's this weird thing: a "sense of responsibility" that ovetakes me at 3 in the morning when I'm trying to read. 
Alexandra: Oh crap, ditch that while you still can. 

Because the story’s set in the 90s, there is a lot of talk of music and mix tapes from the era. Let's say you've got 30 minutes a side to your blank cassette tape. What songs would you put on it to make a mix tape for your best friend? (or maybe I should say “make a playlist”)

Riv Re: Oh! I have a song! Sort of. It's recent, and my bestie hates it, but it reminds me of her: "Sarah Smiles" by Panic! at the Disco 
Erica: For Good from Wicked would definitely go on it. 
Riv Re: definintely For Good...though it is a little bit sad and nostalgic, more of a good bye song 
Erica: I like it for the message - not necessarily for the literal interpretation 
Alexandra: I have NO idea what I'd put on a mix tape... 
Alison: It depends on the friend. I kind of identified with a lot of that stuff in the book because my friends and I used to do the same thing.
Alexandra: I have a friend who used to make mix cds for all her friends--a couple favorite songs of mine came from the cds she made me. I love receiving playlists or mixes from friends because it says a lot about them and a lot about how they think of me. I'm terrible at giving them, though.

And that’s when time ran out on us. :(

If you’re curious as to my thoughts on the book, I’ll be discussing gushing about it Wednesday on my personal blog. You’re welcome to stop by, check it out. Bring coffee. :)

Have YOU read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What are your thoughts? And what would YOU put on a “mix tape” for a friend?

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