My Contest...

Coming soon!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

MV: I Don't Want To Forget You-Claire Kuo

Title: I Don't Want To Forget You
Chinese Title: 我不想忘記你 (Wo Bu Xiang Wang Ji Ni)
Artist: Claire Kuo (郭静)
Language: Mandarin Chinese
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I absolutely adore this song. I've first heard this song a while back and just could not get it out of my head, and I finally rediscovered it a few months ago. So beautiful.

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Girl In The Arena By: Lise Haines

"I could talk with young people, young women in particular, about how we once lived in a time of blood. Blood and money and lots of publicity" (P.324).

Title: Girl in the Arena
Author: Lise Haines
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 324
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Geared Towards: Teens/Dystopian Readers
From: Library

Summary (From B.O.B): During the week, Lyn lives in a big house in Cambridge and hangs out with friends in Harvard Square. But over the weekend, she cheers her father on as he gears up for neo-gladiator competition-a high-profile televised blood sport that rivals the NFL. Lyn's father is the top player in the league, and the paparazzi that have always swarmed him have started to dog Lyn's every move. All this fame comes with another price-Lyn's family lives with the constant presence of violence, uncertainty and a strict cultural code set by the Gladiator Sports Association.
When a skilled young fighter slays Lyn's father, the GSA imposes an unthinkable sentence-Lyn must marry her father's murderer. Though her mother has made a career out of marrying into Glad culture, Lyn is prepared to do whatever it takes to claim her independence. Even if it means going into the arena herself.

Wdebo's Review: Growing up, I always found Gladiators to be these disturbingly curious creatures. The whole idea of slaughtering a bunch of people and animals and also having people actually watching that as entertainment is just so strange to me. (I regard bullfighting in that light also, but that's a story for another time....) Therefore, when I saw Girl in the Arena I was immedietely intrigued. Having anything to do with gladiators is something I've never seen in YA. The story, though enjoyable at times, had many flaws.

The first thing that should be pointed out is the formating of the writing. Mainly, instead of quotation marks to offset the dialogue Haines uses hyphens instead. This made the writing difficult to read at parts, even though I did get used to it after a while, it could still get confusing if I just glazed over a sentence. The structuring of the writing was also awkward in certain places. When I quickly read some paragraphs some things just did not seem to make sense, and it caused me to have to go back and slowly re-read sentences.

I was also unsatisfied with the prologue. The reasons just did not make sense to me. I appreciated the "backstory", I just wished the beginning was better...I'm not sure what to say...articulated? Beefed up? Changed to a more "exciting" reason? I really don't know exactly what I'm expecting from it, it just did not work for me.

I also felt that there would be a lot of heart-pounding action in this story, but there was none. There seemed to be some kind of clear film between me and the emotional aspect of the novel, no matter what situation Lyn was thrown in, I just could not feel any nerves for her. I did not have any of those heart-pounding-on-the-edge-of-my-seat experiences. It was as if I was watching a slide of pictures zoom by without any thought about it.

Even though I did list a lot of cons to this book, there were positive aspects also. For example, I really liked the character of Lyn. Though she was conflicted towards the middle of the story, I regarded that as very natural behavior, but she stuck to her beliefs and was very independent. She relyed on herself which is a very good quality.

The storyline itself was very enjoyable and interesting, even if the writing was not superb. The dystopian aspect of it was quite frigtening. It was basically the mirror image of our current society with neo-gladiators thrown into the mix. The addition of pop culture such as YouTube and movies was a nice garnish and helped create an interesting satire on our current society about the consumerism aspect of our lives.

Cafe Cover Chat: I really like this cover. This cover was one of the reasons I wanted to pick up this novel. It just seems so intense and the pose itself just seems so magnetic. (A-)

All in all, though Girl in the Arena was not the best executed novel, there were parts that were enjoyable . If you are looking for a novel on the level of an author like Suzanne Collins (Since GITA is quite similar to The Hunger Games) do skip this one, but otherwise pick this book up for an fun and exciting little read.

Grade: B--

Wdebo :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Random Entertainment Clips (29): Vocaloids

I recently got crazily addicted to Vocaloids this term, so here are a few favorites....

World Is Mine- This is one of Miku's most famous songs, so many Vocaloids and Nico Nico singers have covered it. Even though I like Miku's version, I love Len's version more or maybe that might just be because Len is one of my favorites.



Immitation Black- I love this song. Hehe. Even though I like the Nico Nico version better just becuase it's smoother, but this is just lovely. This was one of the first vocaloid songs I've ever heard. (I first listened to this before my Vocaloid addiction, so sometime last year)



The Last Revolver- I really like Gumi. Her voice seems to be one of the more realistic ones in Vocaloid standards. This is such a sad song. For some reason, it gives me Agent J memories. The tune, however, just seems so...happy...for such a distressing topic.



A Restless Night's Song (Hot Cocoa)- This song is basically my life in three minutes. I am the world's worst procrastinator. I totally had this song on repeat when I was scrambling to finish my journals for Lit class.



Wdebo :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday (2)

It's been a while since I've done a post like this...enjoy!




Chain Reaction-As a giant Simone Elkeles fan who is absolutely amored with Perfect Chemistry, it really is no surprise that this book is on the top of my "Wanna Read" list.


Clean-I really enjoyed Beautiful and really want to read Clean.


V For Vendetta-Loved Watchmen and I've wanted to read this one for so long.


Jessica Rules The Dark Side-I stayed up so late to finish Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side, I was obsessed with it for a while...I want the obsession to *hopefully* continue :3


What's On Your Wishlist?


Wdebo :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update: What I'm Watching/Reading Now!

[Note: Click on the picture to be directed to each works' MyAnimeList or Amazon or Goodreads page]

F i n i s h e d:
Watching:



No.6 (11 Episodes)-Started out amazing, but then the episodes started to get kind of boring and pointless. But the opening and ending were totally lovely. [Full review coming sometime this week or next week!]

Nyanpire (12 Episodes)-The cat vampire anime that went by very fast. It was cute but nothing too amazing.

Reading:


Forbidden-Review coming next Monday!

I n - P r o g r e s s:

Watching:

Freaks & Geeks-Can't believe I JUST started watching this show. It's just so awesome. Sad it was cancelled :/

Ao No Exorcist-GAHH it's so great right now. I love Rin and Yuki. Except I love the first opening so much more than the second opening (But it's still pretty good)

Reading:

Yankee-Kun To Megane-Chan-I've been reading this since Summer. Even though this manga is completed in Japan, it's still being scanlated into English so it's taking forever for me to finish it. I am absolutely in love with this manga.

Falling For Hamlet-Been reading this forever, but I just cannot find any motivation to finish it.

Acid Town: Like "YKTMC" I've been reading this since Summer but this manga is currently in progress so I'm dying wondering what will happen next, I am so addicted to this story. *Love*

Wdebo :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shut Out By: Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 288
Release Date: Septermber 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Geared Towards: Older Teens
From: Publisher (Review)

"'It's the one thing they could never say no to. The one thing they beg and plead and cajole for. Up until now, I didn't realize we could use it to our advantage. But last night, I realized that it's our best shot.' I paused, took a breath. 'We go on...a sex strike!'" (P. 38).

Summary (From Front Flap): Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight or haze a freshman. And on three seperate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing iwth a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming. In this hillarious and romantic reimagining of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the battle of boys against girls is on.

Wdebo's Review: As a giant fan of Kody Keplinger's debut novel, The Duff, I could not wait to begin Shut Out. Though this was definitely an enjoyable read, it did not reach the level that The Duff had and, in turn, had disapointed me in that way.

The writing was very well done. It was a wonderful read from the very beginning and posessed a well thought out stroyline. Each event happened at the perfect time. It had a nice amount of romance and comedy and a smart mouthed protagonist. However, there just felt like there was something lacking to it that just made it not as impressive as The Duff.

It was one of those books that, though enjoyable, was easy to set down and pick up later. I did not have a giant longing to read it at all hours of the day, but the good thing about this book is that it is easy to get into again when you just pick it up from the middle. However, there was a section in the middle that was very slow, as if there was two distinct sections to the book and no perfected connection between the two. I also wished that there would be more of a battle between the boys and the girls as it is made to seem in the summary. It just felt like more of a girl beating down guys fight then an actual straight up battle of the sexes.

Lissa was a pretty good character, I liked her a lot in the beginning of the book but then she because very whinny and annoying towards the end of the book. However, I did really like the character of Cash.

Cafe Cover Chat: The cover is pretty good and shows the strength and fighting spirit of the girls. (B)

All in all, a pretty good read when one just looks at it by itself, however, if it is compared to Keplinger's debut novel, it falls short of it.

Grade: B

Wdebo :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Black Butler (Anime + Manga) + Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL :) Hopefully you all get to spend a wonderful day with your families =] And I also wanna say "Happy Birthday" to my mom =] Happy birthday mommy!!~

And as my Christmas present to you, a "little" Black Butler review for all of you. Enjoy~

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

The reason I got into this series was only because I saw how attractive Sebastian was, but once I started the anime and just saw how wonderfully gorgeous the gothic artwork was and found out just how much I enjoyed the storyline, I was instantly addicted and could not stop watching!

Season One:

Title: Kuroshitsuji
Also Known As: Black Butler
Japanese Title: 黒執事
Amount of Episodes: 24 [Watched: 24]
Status: Completed
Tags: Shonen, Supernatural, Dark Comedy, Fanservice
For: Teens (13 +)

In Victorian-era London, the head of the Phantomhive corporation is no ordinary man, in fact he cannot even be considered a man, for he is only a boy of twelve years. This boy's name is Ciel Phantomhive. Ciel is no ordinary boy either, he acts as the Queen's "gaurd dog" and rules his own manor with the help of his four clumsy, airheaded servents and one omnipotent butler, Sebastian. But Sebastian is no mere mortal, in fact he is a demon employed by Ciel who made a pact with him. His soul in exchange for being saved and getting revenge on those who disgraced him and his family name.

Grade: A-

Season 2:

Title: Kuroshitsuji II
Also Known As : Black Butler II
Japanese: 黒執事II
Amount of Episodes: 12 [Watched: 12]
Status: Completed
For: Older Teens (16+)

A year after Black Butler ends, Black Butler II begins and a new butler and master appear. Alois Trancy at first glance appears to be a cheerful, sweet looking fourteen year old boy but at closer inspecition, one can see he is anything but that. Alois is a sadistic, angry, cross dressing little teeange boy, flanked by a servent named Hannah, servent triplets and a stoic demon butler named Claude Faustus, making the Trancy family, one to be feared. Behind Alois' evil demenor though is a dark past, one directing his actions and also his newest wish, that of obtaining the head of the Phantomhive household, Ciel.

Grade: C+

Wdebo's Review: I had no idea what to think when I started this anime, I had never watched anything like this before, I had never read anything by this author before, I barely knew the plot and the only reason I was looking into it was, as stated above, the art, mainly the character of Sebastian. But I was instantly drawn into it. The world, the art, the story, everything was just so intoxicating. I was so addicted to it and just could not stop watching until the very last episode.

However, there were a few fumbles in the plot in the middle of Season one. The story also gets progressively stranger and darker as the episodes continue. (This is something I have to warn my friends about when I show them this series...and make them start from episode one).

I do have to add though that there is a ton of fanservice in season one and about 5000 times more in season two. For season one, it was mainly for the fangirls. Because the author, Yana Toboso, is also a yaoi artist. I also read somewhere that Black Butler was supposed to be a yaoi manga, but I am probably wrong about that. Anywho, there are a bunch of shonen-ai and shota undertones in this story, most likely to keep the fangirls placated. Season two, however, not only includes fanservice for the girls but also for the guys (think abnormally large boobs and clothes being ripped off as though they were made out of paper).

I loved the characters from Season one. There was something about every character that I just feel in love with, even the side characters like Pluto, Drocell, Undertaker, etc. I really enjoyed the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian. There are a lot of fan pairings of Ciel and Sebby and I am totally conflicted as to whether I like them together romantically or just as master and butler.

Season two deserves its own review section. I was completely satisfied with the ending of Season one, so just having a season two there was strange. The only thing I really loved about season two was the introduction of Alois, he was just the most messed up yet awesome character ever. I wasn't sure whether I would like him at all in the beginning, I had crazy conflicted feelings towards him, but at the end, I was in love. Apart from that and also just the whole revisitation of all of the previous characters, this season was absolutely disappointing and just not necessary. However, I guess if you look at it from the view of someone who has never watched season one, it can be considered a pretty decent anime.

I also have to add that I am in love with the very first ending song: "I'm Alive" By: Becca, mostly because Becca's voice reminds me of Hayley Williams' voice =]



Watch Black Butler (Season 1) HERE
Watch Black Butler (Season 2) HERE

The Manga

Title: Kuroshitsuji
Also Known As: Black Butler; Dark Butler
Japanese Title: 黒執事
Author: Toboso, Yana
Status: Ongoing
Current Amount of Volumes: 12 (+ 7 Extra Chapters)
Geared Towards: Teens


Wdebo Notes: The main premise of the manga version is the same as the anime version. However, after the (I can't quite remember, but I think) Prince Soma and Agni storyline, the story goes in a completely different direction. There are many characters that appear in the manga version that are completely absent in the anime version or are very very similar to a character found in the anime series. (IE Drocell and Joker).

Personally, I love the manga series more. However, the anime series has Pluto, so it makes it is difficult to choose which one is the best. Haha. But no, the manga series, has much more action stuffed in it than the anime version. It just seems to have so much more details added in, both art-wise and also story-wise. The art is just so beautiful. I could stare at it all day, or more specifically, I could stare at Sebas-chan all day. I also enjoyed how many of the characters in the anime who only appeared to be side characters are given much larger roles in the manga and so much more depth and background information.

[Note: I have currently finished all of the chapters that have been scanlated already and might I add that I am crazily addicted to this manga and I wish that there was a new chapter everyday. *Sigh* ]

All in all, a darkly delicous story that I am sure will cause me to develop some kind of strange butler fetish later in life. Not that I mind.

Grade: A

Wdebo :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Grow A Pear-Ke$ha

Title: Grow A Pear
Artist: Ke$ha
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Review: I am about as far from a Ke$ha fan as one can be, but for some reason I could not stop listening to this song. However, that might have just been because I first heard it on a Toradora! AMV (Posted below) and since I love Toradora and that AMV this song just got dragged into the mix and got stuck in my head. Whatever. It's an addicting song and I did *Confession time* have it on repeat while I was studying for finals. Haha, I'm so lame (Cries)

Listen and Enjoy!



Toradora! AMV



Wdebo :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

How Many of the 100 Most Popular YA Books Have You Read?

I abosultely love quizes like these because I am a(n awesome) dork who loves to keep track of her reads. =] So when I saw The Book Girl Reviews had this quiz on her blog I knew I had to try it!

The key:
[ x ] - Books I've Read
[ - ] - Books in my To Be Read Pile

Start!
[ - ] 1. Alex Finn – Beastly
[ - ]2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
[ - ]3. Ally Carter – Callagher Girls
[ - ] 4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (book one only)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (book one only)
[ X ] 8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
[ X ]9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider
[ - ] 11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings
[ - ] 12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush
13. Silence Brandon Mull – Fablehaven
[ - ]14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
[ - ] 15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (ALL)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (ALL)
[ - ] 17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth
[ - ] 18. Christopher Paolini
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart
[ - ]22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
[ x ] 23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
[ X ]27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
[ X ] 28. Holly Black – Tithe
[ X ] 29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter
[ - ] 30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride
[ X ] 32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
[ X ] 33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid
[ X ]35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
[ X ] 36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
[ X ] 37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
[ X ] 38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus
[ - ] 40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Beautiful Creatures
[ - ] 41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers
[ - ] 42. Kristin Cashore – Graceling
[ - ] 43. Lauren Kate – Fallen
[ X ] 44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events
[ X ] 45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle
[ - ] 46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
[ - ] 49. Maggie Stiefvater – Shiver
[ X ]50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study
[ X ] 52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
[ X ]53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
[ - ]54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
[ X ] 56. Maureen Johnson – 13 Little Blue Envelopes
[ X ] 57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl
[ X ] 58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator
[ X ] 59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries
[ X ]60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief
[ X ]63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods
[ X ] 65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely
[ - ] 66. Michael Grant – Gone
[ X ]67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
[ X ]69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
[ - ]70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
[ X ]71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night
[ - ]73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires
[ X ] 75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
[ X ]76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
[ X ] 81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
[ - ] 82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
[ - ] 83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
[ X ]84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars
[ - ]85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan
[ x ] 86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
[ X ]88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
[ X ] 91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry
[ X ] 92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host (Read half then dropped it)
[ X ] 93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors
[ X ] 96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching
[ X ]99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl
[ X ] 100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

I've read 39 of the 100, and 25 are in my TBR pile! So, all together that's 64 of the 100 accounted for!

Not as good as I had hoped but yeah, really need to get cracking on that TBR pile :3

Now it's your turn! Copy and paste the above quiz and see how well you did! Link back in the comments :D

Wdebo :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Instructions For a Broken Heart By: Kim Culbertson

Title: Instructions For a Broken Heart
Author: Kim Culbertson
PAPERBACK
Amount of Pages: 291
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Geared Towards: Teens
From: Gift From Friend

"Jessa's eyes fastened themselves to that red dress mostly because she couldn't bring herself to keep looking directly at them. Like the sun. Or a blinding light from an alien spaceship. More like that" (P. 4).

Summary (From B.O.B): When Jessa catches her boyfriend, Sean, making out with Natalie "the Boob Job" Stone three days before their drama club's departure to Italy, she completely freaks.

Stuck with a front-row of Sean and Natalie making out against the backdrop of a country that oozes romance, Jessa promises to follow all of the outrageous instructions in her best friend's care package and open her heart to new experiences.

Enter cute Italian boy stage left.

Jessa had prepared to play the role of humiliated ex-girlfriend, but with Cariassa directing her life from afar, it's finally time to take a shot at being a star.

Wdebo's Review: Instructions For a Broken Heart was a part of my birthday book pile so I thought that I should read it because it had been sitting there for so long, just collecting dust. While reading this book I found it to be average, nothing particulary amazing, but not something that I hated too much.

I felt that I should have been feeling myself being transported into Italy and empathizing with Jessa while reading this book, but I just could not. Even though, growing up, one of the main places I always wanted to visit was Italy, I still could not thoroughly enjoy the extensive descriptions of the scenary around her and to feel exactly what she was feeling. But I guess that is one of the main problems that I found with the book. The descriptions were just too "extensive" almost to an extent of being...pretentious.

I had read a positive review of this book that had stated one of the mian reasons for reading this book to being its beautiful writing. But there is a fine line between beautiful writing and over flowery and over the top descriptors. When I read books, I definitely enjoy straight-forward narration as opposed to the whole beating-around-the-bush kind of writing. I also disliked how the story seemed to stuff romance randomly into the conclusion. It would have ended so much better if they showed Jessa "surving" the trip just by relying on herself.

I liked the progressve addition of characters into the storyline, however, the characters themselves did not impress me too much. With the character of Dylan Thomas I found him to be a decent character, but I was just not the biggest fan of how he was presented through the writing. I did not mind that the charcter was named after the poet, instead, I actually appreciated it, it feels like a great way to introduce teens to culture apart from just pop culture. The thing that annoyed me though was the repitition of his name. If Culbertson had written Dylan over and over again, I would have been fine with it, but instead she would continually refer to "Dylan Thomas." Which got annoying after a while.

The protagonist, Jessa, is a different story. I found Jessa to be a very selfish, whinny and annoying character. I get that this all came about because she was cheated on, but that doesn't give her the right to act like a total bitch throughout the entire trip. At least she did have growth throughout the story, but I still could not find her very likeable. On the other hand, I really liked Tyler, he just seemed like such a sweet guy.

Cafe Cover Chat: The cover has a sweet side to it and also has a romantic undertone to it with the blurred out background of Italy. It's cute. (B)

All in all, though not the most perfect, memorable book, it still posesses a few good qualities that makes it a readable story sure to fill up a few open hours.

Grade: C+

Wdebo :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Stalking Options :)

Hiya everyone!

I just wanna make a short post to tell you guys I am now a part of two new sites...

1) Networked Blogs so please follow :3
2) CustomReads as a recommender, so be sure to follow there too so hopefully you can get some good recommendations from me =]

Other places you can find me....


Hopefully I will see you around. I'll be waiting =]

Wdebo :)

Waiting On Wednesday (10)

WOW is brought to you by Jill at Breaking the Spine :)

Today's book is...

Dead Is a Battlefield By: Marlene Perez
Summary (From Goodreads): Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade.

When a new boy shows up at school, the girls are infected with a case of seriously creepy crushes. But when their obsession turns to violence, Jessica and her friends start to wonder if there’s more going on than just a little friendly rivalry. Are the smitten girls turning into love zombies?

And Jessica has other worries—like her crush on Dominic Gray, the cute but moody new singer for Side Effects May Vary, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day and lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she's a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe?

Why I Want To Read: It sounds cute and I've been craving zombie books for a while especially since all I've been able to read in Honors College are books like The Odyssey and The Aeneid. Yeah, I'd rather read cheesy YA zombie books any day. And might I add that I love the cover. Such a captivating shade of green right there :)

Release Date: March 2012

So, what are you waiting for?

Wdebo :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh. My. Gods. By Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Oh. My. Gods.
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
PAPERBACK
Amount of Pages: 264
Release Date: May 1, 2008
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Geared Towards: Teens/ Fantasy readers
From: Library


"But even if I'm not a believer in 'alternative realitites,' as Nola calls them, I'm willing to keep an open mind. Sure, I'll believe they're real. Just as soon as I see one" (P. 33).

Summary (From B.O.B): All Phoebe Castro has to do is keep her grades up and have another stellar cross-country season and her dream of attending USC with her friends on a track scholarship is a reality. So it's a complete shock when her mom announces that she's marrying a near-stranger and moving them to Greece.

Before Phoebe knows it, she's stuck on a secret island in the Aegean and attending the superexclusive Academy, where her new stepfather is the headmaster and the kids are anything but your average students-they're descendants of the Greek gods, superpowers included. If regular high school wasn't bad enough, this is mortal misery.

Phoebe's only chance of reclaiming her old life lies in securing that scholarship. But managing that may be an ungodly challenge, considering she's got a sabotaging stepsister from Hades and a gorgeous guy-what a god!-in her way...

Wdebo's Review: After seeing so many good reviews of this novel I decided to give it a try. Though this was definitely an enjoyable read, filled with enough magic, teenage angst, fluff, humor and, of course, romance, to make any teenager swoon with happiness, it is actually a very cliche book with a "Greek God" kick added to it. But that is preferable at times, no?

The plot is quite cute, the love between the two main characters was..nice, but, as stated above, it definitely walked along the totally predictable side of things. What annoyed me though was how all of the problems were resolved so suddenly and quickly. There was no time to absorb apologies or for denials, etc. The behavior of all of the characters just seemed so unnatural, it all seemed to be boxed up in a happy, fluffy world of perfect-endings. I also hoped that the story wouldn't have started so sudden, I think it should have given a bit more of her background in her previous life before being whisked away to Greece. Though I do have to admit I want to read the sequel, Goddess Boot Camp, just because I am interested in what happens later.

Phoebe and I had a love-hate relationship going on. On one hand, I liked her because she spoke her mind and had snappy combacks. But, on the other hand, I found her to be weak and annoying at times. I did, however, really like Nicole and Troy, the friends she met in the academy, they were kind and always there for her. But I wasn't the biggest fan of her friends from SoCal, they seemed kind of meh. Finally, Griffin was just blegh, I didn't like him in the begining, I didn't like him at the end, which is surprising because I usually fall in love with characters like him just like that. *Snaps fingers together to show quickness* Disappointing...

Cafe Cover Chat: I like the color scheme and picture even if it feels like one of those cheesy middle school covers. (B-)

All in all, an entertaining read that will fill up a few open hours.

Grade: B-

Wdebo :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

CONTEST: The Discovery of Jeanne Baret

Title: The Discovery of Jeanne Baret
Author: Glynis Ridley
Summary (From Amazon): The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships’ official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources—medicines, spices, timber, food—that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire.

Jeanne Baret, Commerson’s young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as “Jean” rather than “Jeanne,” the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class.

When the ships made landfall and the secret lovers disembarked to explore, Baret carried heavy wooden field presses and bulky optical instruments over beaches and hills, impressing observers on the ships’ decks with her obvious strength and stamina. Less obvious were the strips of linen wound tight around her upper body and the months she had spent perfecting her masculine disguise in the streets and marketplaces of Paris.

Expedition commander Louis-Antoine de Bougainville recorded in his journal that curious Tahitian natives exposed Baret as a woman, eighteen months into the voyage. But the true story, it turns out, is more complicated.

In The Discovery of Jeanne Baret, Glynis Ridley unravels the conflicting accounts recorded by Baret’s crewmates to piece together the real story: how Baret’s identity was in fact widely suspected within just a couple of weeks of embarking, and the painful consequences of those suspicions; the newly discovered notebook, written in Baret’s own hand, that proves her scientific acumen; and the thousands of specimens she collected, most famously the showy vine bougainvillea.

Ridley also richly explores Baret’s awkward, sometimes dangerous interactions with the men on the ship, including Baret’s lover, the obsessive and sometimes prickly naturalist; a fashion-plate prince who, with his elaborate wigs and velvet garments, was often mistaken for a woman himself; the sour ship’s surgeon, who despised Baret and Commerson; even a Tahitian islander who joined the expedition and asked Baret to show him how to behave like a Frenchman.

But the central character of this true story is Jeanne Baret herself, a working-class woman whose scientific contributions were quietly dismissed and written out of history—until now. Anchored in impeccable original research and bursting with unforgettable characters and exotic settings, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret offers this forgotten heroine a chance to bloom at long last.

~~~

To join fill out form HERE!

Contest open in US only

Deadline: January 1, 2012

Wdebo :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seven Days (Manga)

WARNING: This manga is shonen-ai (Guy X Guy) [But please don't let that be the reason that stops you from reading this manga]

Title: Seven Days
Story By: Tachibana Venio
Art By: Takarai Rihito
PAPERBACK
Amount of Volumes In This Series:
2
Amount Read: 2
Geared Towards: Teens

"[It's Monday], the day he'll definitely say 'yes'. And at the end of the week, he'll tell his partner exactly this: 'I couldn't fall in love with you. Let's break up.'"

Summary: Seryou Touji is a popular first-year student who is known to date anyone who confesses to him first at the beginning of the week and break up with them right after seven days. As a whimful joke, third-year student Shino Yuzuru decides to test if the term "anyone" can include, well, "anyone", more specifically, if it can pertain to him.

Wdebo's Review: (Sorry for the lame summary, haha...but one really doesn't need to know a lot about this story before reading it) Seven Days is definitely a favorite manga of mine. I read it this summer and reread it on the plane a week ago. I found it enjoyable, even the second time around. There is something about this story that is just so captivating, I'm not quite sure what it is.

The plot itself is pretty cliche, I mean from the first few pages it is pretty easy to guess where this story is headed. (Into la-la fluff land, obviously) However, I could not stop myself from being drowned into the story. I loved the chemistry between Seryou and Shino. The only thing that I wasn't 100% satisfied with was how quickly their relationship came about, I thought there would be at least some more confusion and hesitation but maybe that is just how Seryou's personality is. Apart from that, there was something so pure and sweet about the relationship between the two, the tender inching closer towards one another feel that seems to only be present in shonen-ai.

At some parts, the artwork feels, light almost unfinished in a sense but I am still in love with it. There is a beauty and grace to all of the characters, especially Seryou and Shino. They both had this lovely flowyness to them but still had masculine qualities.

I really liked the characters themselves. I loved the contrast between the sweet Seryou and the (In a way) harsh Shino, except I felt Shino's personality changed a little too quickly. I liked the side characters but I wished they could show up in the story more, especially Koike-Chan. I rarely see girls in shonen-ais that I actually like, so Koike was an enjoyable character.

All in all, a wonderful manga that is sure to keep you glued to the pages until the last pannel.

Grade: A-

Wdebo :)

P.S. I absolutely adore this mmv...enjoy!



Read it HERE
Download it HERE

Did you enjoy Seven Days? Check out these titles!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Alright-Shiloh

Title: Alright
Artist:Shiloh
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I love this song. It is just so happy, actually I just like songs like this, the whole let's-look-at-the-world-from-an-optomistic-point-of-view music. However, the irony of how Shiloh's life has fallen into the gutter is wafting over the song (which gives it a sad tone to me) but it is still a great song. It is a shame she didn't become more famous. Shiloh has a great voice and presents great messages in her songs.



Wdebo :)

P.S. I'm back! Well for a few weeks only though.....(I only brought three books with me *Cries* but I do however have a lot of read mangas/watched animes so I'll review those instead :3 )

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blogging Break

So....Hi.

*Awkward pause*

I know I haven't blogged in like two months, but I have a *really* good reason why. Three words. I started college.

Every time I get home the only thing I want to do is curl up with a good YA novel, but then reality hits me and I remember, aw crap, I have a buttload of homework left. And since I am in the Honors College, I have a crazy amount of reading and writing I have to do.

I will be in touch soon!

I PROMISE: I WILL READ LIKE CRAZY DURING WINTER BREAK.

Wdebo :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Desert Apple-Versailles

Title: Desert Apple
Artist: Versailles
Language: Japanese (No singing in this one though)
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I got into Versailles after I saw a cosplay picture about Visual Kei and not knowing what it was, I decided to search it up and found them. (Not a very exciting story, I know...) At first I was like 0_0, then it started to grow on me, and now I'm absolutely in love with them. Versailles is awesome, I love their costumes/looks, it's so cool. This is one of my favorite songs from them.

Listen and Love!





Wdebo :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Linda Joy Singleton

Next up is Linda Joy Singleton, author of of many books including the DEAD GIRL series. (DEAD GIRL WALKING, DEAD GIRL DANCING, and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE)

Enjoy!


~~~

MY PERSONAL HISTORY OF E-BOOKS

With e-books so popular, I thought I'd share some of experiences with electronic books. I know to most readers, it seems like e-books just suddenly sprang up last year and seem to be taking over the publishing world. But you might be surprised to know that I sold my first e-book over ten years ago. It wasn't an easy process, either. I went through ALL the same steps as I would have with a traditional publisher.

In 1999, I attended a writing conference at a castle where an e-book editor spoke and talked about this new method for publishing. I love to try new things, so I pulled out some manuscripts that hadn't sold yet and sent them to HardShell Word Factory. It took a long time to go through the submission process, then when my books were accepted (for middle-schoolers) I had to wait my turn for editing and for the cover art. They had their own artist -- a talented young man who was sadly murdered a few years ago -- and he did the covers for MELISSA'S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, MAIL-ORDER MONSTER, PHANTOM BOYFRIEND and LOVE POTION (mysterious, magical, romantic books for younger teens). I went through editing the same as with my traditional publishers (at the time I was writing a cloning series for Berkely called REGENERATION). It took two years before the first two books were out in floppy disk format. They packaged these books in little boxes with disks inside and covers like real books. Readers could also buy two-books-in-one paperbacks of these books. I love these books and was excited to embark on a new type of publishing. This was years ago before the Kindle or Nook. But there were e-readers. The best was the Rocket Reader. The first out into the world and a great device. But it didn't survive and the others that followed had battery problems and were still too expensive to lure readers away from paperbacks. (Not that I wanted to do this -- although I have many e-books on my I-Pad, I continue to buy and prefer paper books).

So I had these e-books published and online waiting for readers. Guess what happened? Not much. In 2001, kids weren't going online to look for books. My annual royalty statements from the e-books totaled less than $5. Still I loved these books and was glad to have them out there.In 2003, I gave it one more try and my favorite e-books, DOUBLE VISION, was published by Amber Quill. This YA is about a teen girl who must pretend to be an alternate version of herself in a parallel world to prevent a murder in her family. Still the market wasn't there yet so few sales.

Jump ahead to January 2011. I've published over 35 traditional YA/MG books and still have the 6 e-books out, too. My publisher, Flux, decided to try an experiment by offering my THE SEER book, #1. DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY for free for a month to Kindle readers. Many people received e-readers for Christmas and were eager for free books. My book sold like crazy! My book made it down to #12 in the top free books for Kindle. In May, my publisher tried this again with my book DEAD GIRL WALKING, and it made it down to #7 in the top free-books. Now I seem to make more e-book sales than paperback sales.

And my e-books published years ago--suddenly they're selling. I'm receiving royalty checks larger than 3 digits! E-books have come a long way -- and I've enjoyed going along for the ride.

CHECK OUT MY E-BOOKS:

Mail-Order Monster
Love Potion
Phantom Boyfriend
~~~


Now for a giveaway!


Linda will be giving away an autographed copy of DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY. Enter now for a chance to win!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Random Entertainment Clips (28): Anime Attack (1): AMVs

So, basically during this summer I have gotten crazily addicted to animes, so as a tribute to this insane addiction, I have decided to set aside some Random Entertainment Clips for anime ^^

One main thing that comes with animes are AMVs, so here are some of my favorites :)

Enjoy!

Anime: Soul Eater
Song: This Is Halloween
By: sarfios



Anime: Ouran High School Host Club
Song: High School Never Ends
By: MeliChan923



Anime: Gravitation
Song: Never Had a Dream Come True
By: gokusanzokami
*Warning: Contains shonen-ai (BL, BoyXBoy-Whatever you wanna call it)*


Anime: Black Butler (Grell) & Death Note (L)
Song: Grace Kelly
By: Kitovraska



That's it for now ^^

I have a playlist on YouTube where I add some of my favorite AMVs if you wanna check it out HERE :3

Wdebo :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Jess C Scott

Next up is Jess C Scott!! Enjoy!
~~~


Staying Focused as an Indie Author, by Jess C Scott

Jess C Scott, author of The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy and EyeLeash: A Blog Novel
Independent publishing offers tremendous opportunities to writers everywhere. The indie publishing model is speedy and efficient, and allows a writer to have full creative and business control.

I decided to self-publish my debut book (EyeLeash: A Blog Novel) in June 2009. I published my second book in August 2009. Both these books (and many of my subsequent novellas/novels) aren’t exactly “commercially categorizable.” They don’t fall neatly into a specific category. These types of books can be problematic for mainstream commercial publishers, who have certain expectations with regards to the business of commercial genre fiction.

Some writers write for the money. Others write because they love to write, and want to share their work with the world. I happen to fall somewhere in the middle.

My ultimate goal in life has always been to “making a living from writing” (I’m currently 24, and have one more “basic financial goal” to meet in 2011).

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a lot of focus on how much indie authors earn, and how many copies they sell. There seems to be a lot more emphasis on quantity, instead of quality. Maybe this is because society values money and materialism. I’ve had to question my own values and beliefs, along the way, to decide for myself what I really wanted to do (as an indie author).
At the end of the day, I want the stories I write to be able to stand the test of time. Earning an income from writing is important to me, but I cannot do it at the expense of my vision as an author/artist/non-conformist.

What I’m making money from is just as (if not more) important to me, as how much I’m earning (with regards to writing/publishing).

Indie publishing offers me the opportunity to get stories out in a timely fashion, and create stories that I want to write, not what a conglomerate dictates to me is right for a particular genre/market.

As an artist, I’m very careful to ensure that I do not exploit this opportunity, which traditional commercial publishing is not be able to provide for me. This is why I continue to stay focused on the characters and storyline.

Making money is great. But making money from providing something of meaningful value is even better.

To all the indie authors out there who share a similar perspective: Do what you love. Keep improving. Keep going.
---------------

LINKS:

Website: http://www.jesscscott.com
EyeLeash Page: http://jessink.com/eyeleash.htm
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jesscscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jesscscott

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, an incubus-themed anthology, and The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy. Connect with Jess online at www.jesscscott.com.


~~~


NOW CONTEST TIME!


Just fill out the contest below for a chance to win a signed copy of EYELEASH: A BLOG NOVEL.


Wdebo :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Basket Case-Greenday

Title: Basket Case
Artist: Greenday
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: My current favorite Greenday song. Muah. I love Greenday's older songs better ^^

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Alex Cavanaugh

Next up is the author of CassaStar [My review HERE], Alex Cavanaugh! Enjoy!

~~~

Challenges of Writing a Sequel


Some writers envision detailed worlds and further adventures for their characters. They plan for more books. Not everyone has that vision, though. I certainly didn’t!

When I wrote CassaStar, it was intended to be a standalone book. I’d carried the idea around for years and even wrote a rough draft when I was younger. I’d envisioned many adventures for Byron and Bassa, but when I wrote CassaStar (spoiler!) I killed off one of the characters. That rather nixed further stories.

I panicked when people began asking about a sequel, even before CassaStar’s release. What the heck was I going to write?

One question continued to come up from fans - why weren’t there any women in the book? I decided to give the fans what they wanted and introduced a female lead into the story. Drawing upon an earlier idea, I created a whole new storyline, one that I hoped would satisfy my readers. That definitely taught me to continue fueling new ideas.

I also continued with the theme from the first book - friendship and trust. After countless rewrites of the outline, I used NaNo last year to complete the first draft of the sequel. I revised the story, ran it by my critique partners and test readers, and submitted it to my publisher in June.

And I am happy to say the sequel will be released next February 28 as CassaFire!

Of course, now everyone expects a trilogy! Back to the drawing board…

Thanks again, WDEBO, for allowing me to be part of your anniversary celebration!


~~~


Now for CONTEST!


Enter to win an ebook copy of Alex's book CassaStar. (Just fill out the form below!)





Wdebo :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Huntress By: Malinda Lo

Title: Huntress
Author: Malinda Lo
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 371
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Geared Towards: Teens
From: Publisher (Review)
Extra Info: HUNTRESS is the "prequal" to ASH. It is part of the same land, just many centuries before.


"There was an emptiness inside of her, but she did not think it was due to hunger" (P. 99).

Summary (From Front Flap): Nature is out of balance in the human kingdom. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go forward on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speak of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one Huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

Wdebo's Review: As a giant fan of ASH, I was very excited to begin and read HUNTRESS. When I first started I found it hard for me to get into the story, but after a bit the writing came to become addicting until the very last sentence.

Personally, I always find stories about different lands difficult to take in, read and understand from the very beginning. It always takes me a while to get into stories like this, so when I first started HUNTRESS, I had trouble getting interested, which was disappointing for me, a girl who loved ASH so much. Though once I hit a point towards the middle of the story, I was instantly addicted and could not put down.

The story is written in an omniscient third-person point of view, and it switches between characters throughout the chapter. At first, that caught me off gaurd, I got confused in the beginning, but after a while I got used to the writing and became more comfortable with it and enjoyed it a lot more, it is always nice to see what different characters are thinking about during the same moment.

The most solid element of the novel is the love between Kaede and Taisin, the timidiness between the two in the beginning that grows into a beautiful romance, was a wonderful progression to witness in the story itself. Both girls, though from different walks of life are brought together through love. It was not too overcliche and had a realness to it that made it so great. The chemistry and romance between the other characters was also great too, mostly the one between Con and Shae.

Cafe Cover Chat: I love any cover with an Asian person on the cover, so I love this cover and it looks so pretty and cool. (A-)

All in all, though the story itself had a magical fairy-tale aspect to it that made it enjoyable, the best ingredient to this novel was the romance between the two main characters.

Grade: B-

Wdebo :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BB: Guest Post+Contest: Steve Kluger

Next up is the talented author of books such as MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR and ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE (Both of which are my personal favorites), Steve Kluger.

Enjoy!

~~~


People are constantly asking me where I get my ideas for the stories and characters I put into my fiction. In fact, I’m not nearly as prolific as I’ve been perceived to be, since virtually all the stories are true and all of the characters are real people. I call it “creative reporting” rather than “creative writing.”

Of all the novels, the one that comes closest to being pure autobiography is ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE. Fundamentally about two boys who fall in love with each other in twelfth grade and then don’t meet again for twenty years, it didn’t really require a hell of a lot of imagination on my part. All I had to do was reconstruct my senior year of high school. Exactly as it happened. Well, okay—maybe with one teensy little tweak. Because if I’d actually written it the way things played out in real life, the novel would have ended on page nine.

How To Fall in Love With Your Straight Best Friend

(If You Absolutely Must)


Anybody who's ever wondered just how long gay kids have been falling for straight kids need only take a closer squint at Mercutio, who somehow managed to glide through all fifteen years of his life without ever ungluing himself from Romeo's side. Furthermore, he had impeccable taste in clothes, a dancer's body, and a passion for Queen Mab–who, to this day, bears a suspicious resemblance to Bette Midler. It's not like you needed a road map to figure out what was going on.

Mercutio, of course, wound up on the wrong end of a rapier before he had a chance to pitch the advantages of same-sex domestic partner benefits to Romeo–and the rest of us have been striking out just as prosaically ever since. So how come we still insist on romancing our straight best friends at least once between Winnie the Pooh and college? Because we thrive on irony? (Yes.) Because it's good practice for the real deal? (Yes.) Because a broken heart is so irresistibly theatrical? (Absolutely. "Oh, my man, I love him so. He'll never know....")

Falling in love with Philip was definitely not on my agenda in October of my senior year. He was a 17-year-old godling from France who'd become the envy of the entire senior class, and I was a 17-year-old dork from Maryland who'd become the poster boy for Queer Bashing 101. (I'm still not sure how they figured out I was gay before I knew it myself, though I suspect the Ethel Merman thing may have had something to do with it.) Neither one of us remembers how we met; one minute he was asking me if he could borrow a dollar, and an instant later we were Phil-and-Steve (I always gave him top billing because he was way too cute not to have it). This unexpected development threw the bashers for a loop: in order to score points with Philip, they suddenly had to go through me first. Which meant acquiring a hasty tolerance for Gypsy, Mameand Funny Girl. Revenge is always sweet, but it takes a gay kid to make it musical.

I had no idea that Cupid had just shot me in the ass until Friday evening, November 14. I was in the midst of plowing through a novel I'd recently discovered (Valley of the Dolls, in case it matters) when I realized I'd read the same paragraph nine times without registering a word–because all that kept spinning through my head were images of Philip's twinkly eyes whenever he'd glance at me across a classroom, and the thermonuclear one-dimple grin that could melt plutonium.

Welcome to Gay Adolescent Hell.

Rules and Regulations
(Note: since this is autobiographical, it's about boys. But the formulas work the same way for girls–all you have to do is switch the pronouns and add Lesbian hair.)


1. Practice typing his name in 46 different fonts (including Japanese).
We didn't have iPads yet, so we did the best we could with ballpoint pens and notebook paper. I was more prolific than most: every one of my essays was originally titled "Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip."

2. If you run into each other in the gym, avoid the showers as though they were radioactive. You really don't need a pulmonary embolism at 17.
As soon as I found out that Philip was a swimmer who wore Speedos, I chose track–which was as geographically far from the pool as I could get. On one occasion I ran a ninety-minute mile in the pouring rain just to make absolutely certain he'd already left the locker room.

3. Don't help him audition for a part in the school play, because you're only going to wind up being cast with him.
This is especially painful when the play in question is A Midsummer Night's Dream and the two of you have to spend six weeks together in tights. "Lysander, yield thy crazed title to my certain right," snarled Philip, poking me with a foil. "If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too," I glowered back, poking him in return. One such rehearsal resulted in an impromptu tickling match–which I needed like a hole in the head.

4. Don't waste your time searching for tiny clues that he's really gay. He isn't. Just because he's heard of Barbra Streisand doesn't mean he secretly wants to kiss you. Fidel Castro's heard of her too.
When we listened to The Grateful Dead and discovered "Uncle John's Band" together, it became "our song." Swiss Miss and chocolate chip cookies in the snow comprised "our menu," and after stumbling across ‘ubiquitous' on the senior English vocabulary list, we adopted it on the spot as "our word." Philip didn't seem to understand that these little landmarks meant he was supposed to ask me to marry him.

5. When he meets a girl he really likes, don't say stinky things about her to change his mind–he'll only get suspicious. Instead, help him plan his romance step-by-step, and when he wins her over (they always do), make yourself absolutely indispensable to her.
Nancy knew inside of nineteen seconds that I was in love with her boyfriend–but since I played my cards right, she kept my secret. This sort of unexpected bonding was nothing new; straight women and gay men have been confiding in each other ever since Guenevere (Julie Andrews in the musical) and Lancelot (Robert Goulet) figured out that they both had the same kind of long-range plans for Richard Burton.

6. Be careful when you buy him birthday presents–you don't want to tip your hand.
The label-maker he's coveted, the new copy of Abbey Road, and the dozen boxes of chocolate chip cookies (half of which he's going to share with you anyway) are relatively benign; the slim volume of poems entitled You're My Friend So I Brought You This Book isn't. Can you spell "dead giveaway"?

7. When the nearby girls’ school asks for boy volunteers to help build the sets for a production of “Brigadoon,” stick cotton in your ears during rehearsals.
Brigadoon was written five years before you were born. Which means that the song “Almost Like Being in Love” was not inspired by you and Philip. Do the math, dude.

8. If you're wondering whether being in love with your best friend means you've finally come out to yourself, the answer is yes.
I had two choices: I could either pretend I was straight and forget about Philip, or keep Philip and admit the obvious. Talk about a no-brainer.

9. When you tell him the truth, don't be pissed off if he guesses it first.
Philip confessed that he'd begun to get the hint about an hour and a half after we'd met–but it didn't make any difference because nobody had ever loved him so unconditionally before. "And I love you too," he said. "It's just in a different category." Somehow I felt cheated out of my big scene.

10. Don't be surprised if you remain best friends for the rest of your lives.
Philip is married, has two kids, and lives in Philadelphia. We still listen to "Uncle John's Band" and we still say ‘ubiquitous' to each other. As a matter of fact, I e-mailed him the first draft of this column and received the following reply: "Lose the Ethel Merman bit. You're dating yourself. And by the way–that was half a lifetime ago. Get a grip already. Love, Phil."

Sure, it was hell–but the memories have always been worth it. And eventually we all outgrow the need to fall in love with our straight friends. Most of the time. I mean, sort of. Well, okay, there was this one occasion when my new dentist turned out to be a relentlessly breathtaking and irredeemably hetero-sexual Japanese American who left me no choice but to fake a pain in an upper left molar just so I could stare up into those big brown eyes during the four visits it took him to complete the root canal I didn't need.

But that's another story.

~~~

Now for the contest, Steve will give a copy of any one of his books (List below).

My Most Excellent Year
Almost Like Being In Love
Last Days Of Summer
Changing Pitches

To join, just fill out THIS form!!

Good luck!

Wdebo :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Beth Fantaskey

First up is the awesome Beth Fantaskey, the author of JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, JEKEL LOVES HYDE and JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE.

Enjoy!

~~~


Happy blogoversary, Electrical Book Café! And thanks for being part of a global network that is keeping the love of reading alive.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that when my first book, JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, came out in 2009, I was completely ignorant of the book blogosphere. Probably because I am about one hundred years old – at least according to my kids – I had no idea that there was this huge, interconnected community of book lovers out there, reviewing and commenting and bringing authors and readers and stories together.

I look back now and think, “Wow... I was so missing out!” In fact, I feel like I missed out during my whole childhood and youth, simply because the blogosphere didn’t exist. What I wouldn’t have given, as a kid growing up in a tiny town in Pennsylvania, to have had the chance to discuss my obsession with The Lord of the Rings trilogy with an international community of people who felt the same way. As it was, I was lucky to have one like-minded “geeky” friend who could talk Hobbits for hours with me. Of course, we knew the Tolkien books were popular, but we had no idea that there were millions out there who were just as passionate about them as we were. And if we did suspect those people existed, we had no idea how to reach them.

We are so fortunate today to have the chance to connect with each other in cyberspace and share our love of whatever stories grab us and won’t let us go – and to learn about new works that we’ll embrace, too.

The book blogging community impresses me in another way, too. As a YA author who deals mainly with young bloggers, I have to say that every time I hear complaints from my generation about young people being “lazy,” I think about all the time and effort that blog managers put into designing, updating, organizing live chats, running contests... all that goes into having a successful site – work done without expectation of profit or gratitude, even – and I know for a fact that the skeptics are wrong.

So this is sort of my public “thank you” to not only Wdebo and the Electrical Book Café for another year of blogging, but to everybody who does the same. Keep up the great work, on behalf of all of us who didn’t even know we were missing, when we were growing up. Thanks for putting the time and effort into giving us a place to share our common love for reading a good story.

~~~

Now, for the CONTESSTTT!!! Beth will be giving away a paperback copy of JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE.

To join, all you have to do is fill out THIS form!

Good luck!

Wdebo :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blogoversery Contest Announcement!!

[Added Info]

The posts...

Guest Post + Contest: Beth Fantaskey
Guest Post + Contest: Steve Kluger
Guest Post + Contest: Alex Cavanaugh
Guest Post + Contest: Jess C Scott

~~~

Hey everyone. So it's August 21st, which means it is my blogoversery :) This year for my blogoversery bash, I will be posting guest posts from authors with different giveaways on each post.

The minimum requirement is just to be a follower :)

Ready?

The posts will begin on Monday!

See you then =]

Wdebo :)

P.S. All Blogoversery Bash Posts will be marked with a BB.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prelude 12/21-AFI

Title: Prelude 12/21
Artist: AFI
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I love this way-too-short song. The end.

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

MY BIRTHDAYYYYYY!!

Yippee! It's that time of year again....My birthday!!! :D Haha. Which means my blogoversery is next week and I have a GIANT contest planned with guest posts/author interviews etc. =]

Well, yeah, I'm so happy! I'm FINALLY 18.

Off to do awesome just-turned-eighteen stuff.

Ta-ta

Wdebo :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stupid and/or Funny Songs

So, today is the last day that I will be 17 and as a celebration of my last day of childishness, (but I will still probably be childish even after I turn 18) I have decided to post some stupid and/or funny songs from YouTube. [My haven]

Enjoy!

Nom Nom Nom Song



Do You Like Waffles? (I think of GIR evertime I listen to this song)



Happy Song



I Like Your Hair



There are a bunch more out there, but I am too lazy to post all of them up and I also want to daydream about what birthday presents I might get tomorrow ^^

Bye bye my awesome blog readers.

Wdebo :)