____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Amazingly Long Story of Acquiring and Loving The Unwritten Rule

Is there a saying that one good author leads to another?  Because there should be.  And if there isn’t, well, I’m saying it now.

Not that long ago, I moved…And this move has changed my life more than geographically.  But for the purposes of this post, I’m going tell you how I fell into the Candyland, Wonderland of blogs.

Did I mention that I had just moved?  Well, it was on a day, much like today (all days are more or less the same in California, except some are weekends), the internet had just been hooked up, and I was doing my utmost to do anything except for unpack, organize, or look for a job.  And after emailing every single friend I’ve had and lost touch with since college, and clicking the refresh button a thousand times, I decided to google one of my favorite authors and see if there were any updates.

Search box:  Tera Lynn Childs

*Internet explosion*

It turns out that TLC is the most hooked up author on the planet.

And not only did she have a fintastic new book on the way, but she had a blog, and facebook and twitter, and she even had a second blog with some other pretty awesome writers.

So I tentatively friended TLC on facebook, and started reading her blogs religiously.  Tera’s blog kept me up-to-date on the forthcoming (recently released) Forgive My Fins.  And her other blog, The Books, Boys, Buzz blog, introduced me to authors that (for some reason I can’t fathom) I hadn’t heard of before.  Here, I finally felt like I had found my place, amidst people who wrote, and read, and wrote about reading and writing.  That’s where I first heard about Wendy Toliver and her upcoming (recently released) book, Lifted.  Wendy had two other books out, but I was immediately drawn to the premise of Lifted; the story of a girl who moves to Texas and gets sucked into a shoplifting ring (I’m oversimplifying, but you can check out my review for more info).

That’s when I friended Wendy, and started following her.  Wendy led me to her other blog, The Teen Fiction Café….which is where I found Elizabeth Scott.

There happened to be a contest that day, for a copy of Elizabeth Scott’s The Unwritten Rule.  And I won.  Do you know how exciting it is to win things????  Especially when you’re trying to conserve your money, because you’re trying to avoid looking for a job?  Yeah, well, picture me jumping-up-and-down-annoying-the-crap-out-of-my-sister excited!!!!  I have since developed a minor case of “jazz hands” every time I win something.

Cue the jazz hands a few days later when I opened the mail and there was my very own signed copy of The Unwritten Rule.

When I finished, I immediately friended Elizabeth on facebook, and wrote her a fan letter, to thank her for sharing such an amazing book.

So let me tell you how much I loved it!

I LOVE LOVE LOVED it!

From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down—I read it through in one sitting!  It was sooooo good!—Completely heart-wrenching—Sarah and Brianna have typical teenage relationships, concerns, and insecurities; but instead of becoming teenage stereotypes, Elizabeth Scott  created characters that felt so real they could just as well have been me or my own friends and family.

I think everyone can relate to having a crush on someone who's unavailable, the premise of the story.  I love that this is the "best friend's" story—because as a character, she doesn't usually get a chance to tell her story, which is funny considering that most people would probably relate better to the insecure Sarah, than to a beautiful, confident, popular Brianna.  Interestingly enough, Brianna's character is just as real as Sarah's, and her story is just as relatable; their common insecurities become the catalyst for both the beginning and the end of their friendship. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping throughout that Sarah would finally get the guy, but not being able to turn away from the impending train-crash of her friendship with Brianna.

I've felt the tug-of-war in Sarah and Brianna's friendship, many times in my own friendships—Neither of the girls is perfect; instead, they are human, and their friendship is real, made up of the little slips and accidental insults, and taking each other for granted, combined with force of habit, and those special moments that form our most valuable friendships—It's amazing how much we can overlook for the bond of an important friendship—but not boys; that's where girls draw the line, and where they have to make their choices. It's easy to wonder how many girls might have missed out on the chance of true love, when it's at the cost of a friendship—How many of us are that brave?

I also found relationships with the parents really touching.  I, myself, was lucky like Sarah, in having very loving, caring parents.  But I also saw enough of my friends who weren't so lucky; both those that were divorced, and some still married.  Parents who DID love their children, and raised them, but after eighteen years, that was it, as if they were done.  Parents who seemed to turn into acquaintances, who wished my friends the best of luck and that was that. I saw their relationships from Sarah's side, and felt sorry for them.  It was such a vivid dynamic, seeing how Brianna's parents put their own problems and insecurities on her, how scared and confused it made her feel, and then to see her both fight against her fear of becoming and ending up like her parents, and subconsciously mimic their behaviors as defense mechanisms.

I was blown away by the depth of the story, and at the end, the only question I could think of was, “Why hadn’t I heard of this author before???”

The only answer I have is that I've obviously been living in a cave.  But now I live in a cave with internet and a blog.

I have to give a shout-out and a humongous thank you to everyone at The Teen Fiction Café.  I am such a huge fan, and aside from the occasional free stuff, really enjoy this blog.  And I'll always be thankful for being introduced to such awesome people, and such an amazing community!  Thank you!


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