Monthly Archives: October 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

This is the first week that I’m joining with The Broke and the Bookish by creating a Top 10 Tuesday list!  As someone who is a HUGE fan of Top 5 lists, I can imagine that creating a Top 10 list every week would be even better!

Anyway, with Halloween falling on Friday night, one of the options for this week’s list was about which characters I would want to dress up as for Halloween!  This particular Halloween I’m not dressing up, since my boyfriend and I are joining his family to celebrate his father’s birthday on that night, but if I WERE dressing up, here are the Top 10 Characters Who I Would TOTALLY Want to Be For Halloween!

1. Khaleesi
I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones (and if you’re not, shame on you), and from episode one, I knew that she was the perfect combination of beauty and bravery.  Plus, I think that if my boyfriend and I both dressed up, we could totally go as the Khalessi and Khal Drogo.  I would have to wear one of her fancier dresses though because her midriff-baring tops would force me to develop abs of steel

2. Elsa
I haven’t seen Frozen yet, but there’s something regally beautiful about Elsa’s cool (sorry, had to) and confident character.  P.S. if you want your child to dress as Elsa for Halloween, the amazing Natasha gives instructions on how to make an Elsa costume on her blog Little Pink Monster.

3. Princess Buttercup
By now you’ve noticed that I have an affinity for characters with long blond hair–perhaps it’s because that’s the closest to my actual hair, and after years of doing musical theatre, I can’t stand wearing wigs!  The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’ve wanted to BE Princess Buttercup since I was a little girl.  Her costume wouldn’t be incredibly difficult to manufacture, as long as I didn’t go for her wedding gown or expect my costume to flutter in the wind as I jump from a tower.
4. Belle
Seriously, who doesn’t love Belle’s yellow ballgown from Beauty and the Beast?  When I went to see a high school production of that show, I thought, “Mannnnn, that girl is so lucky to be wearing that dress!” 
5. Smoke Monster
Remember LOST?  That show was awesome, right?  And I always thought the Smoke Monster was the coolest (or hottest) character on the show.  Is this a feasible costume?  Eh, probably not.
6. Dorothy Gale
I’ve actually been a version of this before.  I wore a white t-shirt, blue and white skirt and attempted to cover a pair of heels in red glitter.  Sadly, I just ruined both the heels and part of my living room floor :-/  But one day I’d like to wear the real thing: jumper, braids AND ruby slippers!
7. R2-D2
Not Sexy R2-D2 or anything like that.  I would just like to be able to create something that involves a rolling chair and an R2-D2 costume.
8. Rapunzel
Okay, if someone would give me a costume for Rapunzel from Tangled, I would brave the wig because I love that movie, and if you’re going to grow your hair that long, then you better work it!
9. Scarlett O’Hara
I’ve worn a petticoat once before when I was a flower girl in my aunt and uncle’s wedding, but I’d like the whole shebang for Miss O’Hara!
10. Catwoman
If I am ever able to rock a body like Anne Hathaway or Halle Berry, then yes, I will be Catwoman.
If you could be anything for Halloween, what would you choose?
I joined in on–


Oh my stars….

I have a rather lengthy commute to work, so listening to books on CD has become a regular habit of mine.  Listening to a book on CD is difficult because it has to be really compelling to keep my interest after a long day of work.  Things reach a whole new level, however, when I am listening to a book in the car, reach my driveway, stay in the car for 5 more minutes to continue listening, and then rush into the house in order to download a Kindle version of the remainder of the book.  Such was the case with The Fault in our Stars.

John Green’s beautiful story begins with sixteen year-old Hazel Lancaster, lung cancer patient who travels through life attached to an oxygen tank.  Having been withdrawn from school a few years back, Hazel doesn’t have many friends, and she has a difficult time keeping up with the remaining ones.  The most interaction she has with others her age occurs when she is forced to attend a cancer patient support group once a week.  One week, she starts an argument with her mother as to why she shouldn’t have to attend support group…but if she had won this argument, she would not have met Augustus Waters.

Augustus Waters is a survivor of a bone cancer that robbed him of one of his legs.  Very much a boy in many ways, Augustus loves video games and even reads the novelization of those games.  Once he meets Hazel, however, he branches out into another form of literature, which bonds the two in a way that cannot be broken.

Yes, it’s a story about two sick teenagers who fall in love, but it’s so much more than that.  One of the reasons that I used to watch Dawson’s Creek as a young adult is because I appreciated that the kids on the show weren’t “dumbed down.”  On the contrary, the characters had large vocabularies, spouted their opinions on philosophy and film, and loved each other in a way that was more mature than simple puppy love.  This is how Hazel and Augustus are portrayed: intelligent teenagers who were forced to grow up much faster than those who expect to live long and healthy lives.

I don’t want to give away the ending of the book or too many specifics, but I will tell you this: I finished the book late last night and then was heartbroken for several reasons, the largest of which was that I already missed this characters and wished the book could had continued into infinity.

P.S. I do not want to see the movie.  This book was so wonderful in my mind that I do not want to sully the images with the ones that Hollywood is offering.  However, if you can make an argument to why I should see it, let me know.


A Winning Game

Some of you, Dear Readers, may know that I used to teach English to middle schoolers.  While there have been great strides in the writing for elementary and middle school students (thank you, J.K. Rowling), I always felt that older books that were targeted for this particular age group were just too simplistic, especially when it came to mysteries.  The only mystery that I taught to my students that even showed a flicker of intrigue was actually a book for adults, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  The kids just ate it up, and I realized that many authors just assumed that kids can’t understand a complex storyline.

Over the years, I had heard about Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game.  When I worked at a bookstore and would shelve the young adult books, I constantly picked up this tome and thought, “Okay, I really need to remember to read this.”  It wasn’t until I added the book to my Goodreads list that I was given a visual reminder to pick up the book.  And it was worth the wait.

The Westing Game is about a group of people who are hand-selected to live in a very fancy apartment complex.  Shortly after they move in, local millionaire Sam Westing dies and claims that all of the building’s inhabitants are his “heirs.”  Everyone will get $10,000, but only the one who solves the mystery of who killed Mr. Westing will inherit over 200 million dollars!  The heirs range from a Chinese man and his son, a judge, a maid, a doorman, a medical intern and a few teenagers.

There are no flat characters in this book–all of them have complex personalities, and each of them has a surprise or two hidden from the others.  Sweet Angela, for example, causes more destruction that any of the others.  The handicapped boy Chris holds more information than anyone else in the group.  Teenage girl Turtle secretly plays the stock market–and makes some money in the process!

In addition to the dynamic characters is a plot that allows for intelligent twists and turns.  I won’t give anything away. but trust me when I tell you that as a 34 year-old woman, I was just as surprised at the outcome as a teenager would be.

Two takeaways from this post should be the following:
1. There were authors even as far back as 1978 who understand the creative and intelligent capacity of young adults.
2. Don’t be afraid to reach into the young adult section for your next read–it’s worth it!