Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 “Awww” Moments in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish featuring a new top ten list each week. Everyone can participate – head on over to their blog and sign up.

This week is Top Ten “Awww” Moments In Books (those cute lines, charming actions, kisses, or any other sentimental moment that made you say “AWWW!”). What’s your list?

10. From Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler:

“Don’t move, Anna Reiley. Right now, everything is perfect.”

9. From Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater:

Sam: “You—you greatly overestimate my self-control.”
Grace: “I’m not looking for self-control.

8. From Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr:

She stood in his kitchen, watching him toy with the ring in his lip. It wasn’t quite that he was biting it, but sucking it into his mouth. He did that when he was concentrating. It isn’t sexy. He’s not sexy. But he was, and she was staring at him like a fool.

“Wow,” she whispered (…..)

“Wow, huh?” His voice was low, husky. His chair creaked as he stood. His footsteps seemed strangely loud as he closed the couple yards between them. Then he was beside her. “I can work with wow”

7. From Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

“Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it.”

6. From Forever by Judy Blume:

“I love you, Michael Wagner.”

“Forever?” he asked.

“Forever,” I said.”

5. From Savvy by Ingrid Law:

Will removed a present from the stack on the table as we passed. “Happy birthday, Mibs,” he repeated, handing me a small package wrapped up in colorful paper. “It’s a pen set.” He nodded at the gift. “In case you were wondering.”

4. From Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter:

He was handsome. he was strong. And most of all, I knew that even though Josh might have been the boy who “saw” me, Zach knew where my favorite passageways were; Zach knew I was a pavement artist; Zach knew where I sat in class and what I ate in the Grand Hall…Zach “knew” me–

And that was maybe the scariest thing of all. So scary that I temporarily forgot I wasn’t just being cool standing there with my hand on my hip–that my hand actually served a purpose–so when Zach cocked his head and asked, “So what is it, Gallagher Girl?” I reached up to touch the cold stone wall.

And my bra landed on my feet.

3. From Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver:

“I vowed after that day that I would be your hero too, no matter how long it took”

2. From Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins:

He pats his way around the bed and slides back in. “Ow,” he says.

“Yes?”

“My belt. Would it be weird…”

I’m thankful he can’t see me blush. “Of course not.” And I listen to the slap of leather as he pulls it out of his belt loops. He lays it gently on my hardwood floor.

“Um,” he says. “Would it be weird–“

Yes.”

“Oh, piss off. I’m not talking trousers. I only want under the blankets. The breeze is horrible.”

1. From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling:

Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.

After several long moments–or it might have been half an hour–or possibly several sunlit days–they broke apart. The room had gone very quiet. Then several people wolf-whistled and there was an outbreak of nervous giggling….Hermione was beaming but Harry’s eyes sought Ron. At last he found him, still clutching the Cup and wearing an expression appropraite to having been clubbed over the head. For a fraction of a second they looked at each other, then Ron gave a tiny jerk of the head that Harry understood to mean, Well–if you must.

 

Any faves from this list? Any that you hate? I had to go with HPott for the win, but, man, there are some great “Awww” moments in a bunch of my favorite books. I have one from Summer Sisters by Judy Blume that I love but I worried it was too spoilery? Ok, so a whole list could probably be made from Judy Blume’s books.

Review in Questions: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

 

20boysummer

 

 

Favorite thing about the book?

There was a lot that I loved about this book, but I want to focus on one and that is how personal and honest this story felt to me. I’ve always thought the key to finding a great book is finding an author who has written the book only he or she could write. When the author shares his or her unique worldview and perspective. Premise, plot…that’s all well and good. But honesty, the kind that makes you blush, That’s what makes something special. 

Which brings me back to Twenty Boy Summer. In my eyes, Sarah Ockler has written an intensely vulnerable narrative. While I hope she has never experienced loss in the way her main character, Anna, did, I wouldn’t be shocked if she’d felt some of the same fears Anna felt when she was younger. Obvioulsy, I have no clue. But the thing about honesty is that readers find validation in seeing their deepest fears expressed. I know I did. And yes, I blushed. 

I truly think this book will do today what Summer Sisters by Judy Blume did for teenage girls in years before. 

Obligatory least favorite thing about the book?

I’ve heard a lot of “perfect” flying around with reference to this book and it damn near is, but I’m not that kind of reviewer and flaws add character anyhow, right? Here goes: I found some of the Matt-Anna relationship a bit cheesy. The things they talked about and discussed were just a little bit *much* for me and didn’t feel natural. Didn’t seem like how relationships really go, but hey, maybe it’s just the way Anna was remembering it. 

What was most surprising about the book?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…oh wait, that’s another book…but still…No spoilers here, sorry!

Favorite Character?

I’m going to pick the MC’s best friend, Frankie. You just know there is so much pain going on under that exterior. And haven’t we all known the girl that looks like she’s “asking it” and known the facade was nothing more than a cover up? 

Underlying themes?

This book is all about death and loss, but also about the possessiveness and almost tunnel vision that can overtake family members of the deceased. In this book, Anna was left without a “stake” in the death of her first love, Matt. This is what I was referring to above as one of my worst fears when I was younger.

One of the lines repeated throughout the book is thought by Anna. She keeps silently saying, “I’m fine. Thanks for not asking.” (I may have messed up the wording because I don’t have the book in front of me.) 

Family members might forget the impact their loved ones death had on others. They might sometimes believe their grief has to be the greatest and shut others out. I think this is such an interesting angle from which to examine the impact of death. 

After this book you felt…?

Hopeful. Nostalgic. 

Who would you recommend this book to?

If we’re being honest, I don’t think guys are going to fall head over heels for this book. But teen girls, this one is for y’all. And girls/women that grew up loving Summer Sisters, there’s a new one! Very different, but you can still enjoy all the same emotions. 

This is the ultimate summer read. Throw it in your beach bag right now! 

Finally, how long did it take you to read? 

Hmm…less than 24 hours for sure. 

Sunday Six

Couldn’t get that seventh point, so Sunday Six it is! 

1. So excited about the movie deal for Forest of Hands and Teeth!!!  I can’t imagine how crazy-slash-awesome that must be for Carrie Ryan. She’s been a big fan of zombie movies and to now have her own? That has to be fantastic. Also the question of  the “A-list” starlet set to play Mary is killing me with suspense! Unfortunately, looks like we have to wait until 2011 for that, but as things go, I guess that is pretty fast. 

2. Finals are done Friday, so I’m already thinking of my reading list, of course. Sitting on my desk is my signed copy of Fragile Eternity, so I know that will be first. But next in line I’m thinking: Wifey by Judy Blume and The Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent. <–Note: those are two *adult* books. I’m as shocked as you are. 

Any other must-reads for the summer? I’m particularly looking for an excellent non-Neil Gaiman MG book. (Love Neil but I’ve already picked up Coraline and Graveyard Book).

3. I have a fairly daunting idea for a rewrite. But right now, I’m leaning toward going for it. I’ll be running it by my agent first to see what he thinks. Scary, but exciting. The plan still needs a bit of, well, planning. I’ll let it sit in my mind the next few days and make sure I still like it, but crit partner has given the green light, so that’s a good sign. 

The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn is editing with an open mind. Even when you think you’re being openminded sometimes you’re only thinking within the four corners of your manuscript. It’s hard, once the story is down, to see the things that aren’t there, but need to be. It’s even harder to realize whole story elements need to be changed and/or added. 

4. In (sort of) the same vein, does anyone have some worldbuilding tips. I know some folks out there love, love, love the worldbuilding aspect of writing.  I’m not someone that sits around, draws out maps, and is constantly thinking of rules. However, I think embracing that wouldn’t hurt. So, I’m looking for tips on making a cohesive, living and breathing world. What do y’all do that works for you?

5. I really liked this blog post on Agent Kristin Nelson’s blog. This is almost exactly how my agent submits and I’m personally a huge fan of it. If you’re looking for a sort of outline on how the submission process should go (i.e. if you are interviewing agents, etc.) this is a great article to review. I can speak from experience that this is a very smooth metho–at least for the author. I love how Kristin says, “Well, I’m a control freak. That means I’d want to know everything. So that’s what my author’s get–whether they like it or not!” Works for me!

6. Happy Mother’s Day! To my mom, of course! And to all the other mothers out there. I was talking with someone the other day about how unbelievable it is that all these moms with small children are able to write! I don’t know how y’all do it, but color me impressed. 

Also, Happy Mother’s Day to one of my best, best friends who is expecting! Yay! She is the first mommy-to-be of our group of friends so I am thrilled for her and it’s crazy to think that she’s going to be a real, live mom.

Everything I Know In Life, I Learned From Blogging

…Not from Judy Blume.

 

Ok, seriously, wouldn’t that be a sad story? Don’t worry. Before you start thinking I am in serious need of a Mary Poppins outing, there are a few things I learned outside of blogging. Like the fact Pennsylvania is not in New England. Oh, and that Ashlee Simpson is very, very preggers. Not to mention The Office is the best show ever. (Oooh, maybe everything I Know in Life, I Learned from Dwight Schrute.)

Anyway, now that we understand that I…*gasp*…exaggerated…We can move on.

Everything I Know In Life, I Learned From Blogging.

 

1. Write every day. Sure Stephen King told me, but, hey, I like to learn by doing. And blogging every day, forces me to write every day. Has it improved my writing? By light years.

2. Make friends. Moms always say to play with the other kids in the sandbox. Having your blog is like putting a couch in your living room to entertain friends. It’s never fun to hang out at a house that has no seating. Until I started my blog, I knew no one online. So start a blog. Meet people. Maybe even serve some chardonnay.

3. Sell your product, Sell yourself. Lots of good things have come into my life via blogging. I’ve been contacted by book packagers. I’ve had agents check it out and say the blog was a positive factor in deciding to offer representation. I’ve had other agents email just to say good luck. I’ve gotten free copies of books that haven’t come out yet to review. I’ve had an editor read my Scout page and contact my agent to say he’d like to see the project. Good things. From blog.

4. Reflect on your craft. Whenever I have an argument with Nate (*hope he’s not reading today!*), I tell him to write it down. Because writing is thinking. Writing down your reasoning helps you understand whether what you are doing is working. Is it rational? Is it effective? I don’t know. Write it down.

5. Stay up-to-date. Y’all hold me accountable. I keep up with what’s happening in the publishing industry because if I don’t, I can’t churn out the most relevant information for you on my blog. But it’s beneficial for me, too. Understanding the direction in which the market is moving, helps me to hone the direction of my writing. End of story.

 

So there ya go. All I know in life in five bullet points. Who’d have thought?

 

Status: Still banging out that synopsis, then going back to make it pretty. Those Scout sequel ideas are sifting around in my brain, but I’m waiting for that idea that I know is right.

5 People I Never Want to Meet

We’ll take a break from the scheduled Wednesday blog post on the process of writing because…

…I’ve been tagged!

 

This month, I’m participating in the Absolute Write June Blog Chain and Rosemerry has just passed the baton. Check out her blog post on People You meet Online who you Don’t want to Meet in Real Life.

Now, I have to take a theme from her post and create mine from it, so I’m going to generalize.

Here are the Five People I Don’t Want to Meet in Real Life…Ever:

1. Jay Leno’s wife–as far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t have one.

2. Kathy Lee Gifford–I’m mad at her for ruining the last hour of the Today Show and for dumbing down Hoda Kotb.

3. Roseanne–Just way too crass for me. I wasn’t made for that type of humor. Sorry!

4. Stephen Hawking–I don’t like feeling dumb and his brand of genius might melt my mind.

5. Denise Richards–Did you see her on E!’s “It’s Complicated?” She went on a blind date with a guy and made the poor man feel sooooooo awkward. It was just plain mean.

 

And that’s my completely comprehensive, not at all petty list of the People I Don’t Want to Meet in Real Life…Ever. Who would be on your list??

Now, it’s my turn to tag, so I’m tagging Soma at Rotating the Bear. Head on over!

 

 

Status: Today, I finished reading Forever by Judy Blume. It was a fun book and a quick read. As a YA writer, I’m pretty sure it falls under required reading. After finishing that, I headed down to the library and ordered I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter and Twilight and New Moon by Stephenie Myers. I didn’t actually request the second Twilight book, but the librarian said I ought to have it thrown in for good measure. The librarian actually said to me: It’s ok, I like all of these books, too. Then I realized, I should probably feel kind of funny ordering so many tweeny books. Oh well! I also picked up Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

As I mentioned in my last post, I found an artist for my graphic novel. I’m excited about him. His name is Ben and I’ll be sending him a rough query, scene-by-scene synopsis of the first few chapters, and the first several pages of script today. So I’m a busy girl in the coffee house today.

But what if…

This video is hilarious. It’s an author talking to his editor. Check it out for a Monday afternoon jolt.

 

 

Tomorrow’s Topical Tuesday will be on the subject of Beta readers. How many should you have? When should you use them? And how do you know when to disregard their advice. As always, feel free to participate and I’ll link to your blog and comment on your post.

Status: Reading Judy Blume’s Forever. I’ve been working on blog stuff all day, trying to figure out how to meet one of my July goals. So far, so good.