First of all, I just want to say happy birthday to my best friend, Alyson. We’ve known each other for–I think–the last eight years or so. Alyson has introduced a lot of things to me. Instagram. Last Friday Night by Katy Perry. Thrift Shop by Macklemore. When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars. All of these songs she showed me before they were popular. Justin Bieber. One Direction. Hope Solo. Granted, not all of these things were positive (at least on my end XD) but she’s always been a great friend and I love her passion for life and hearing her soccer coach rants.
We’ve also passed along our own fair share of books to each other.
To close, I just want to say, Alyson, thanks for putting up with me. And happy birthday.
Oh yeah. I hate this song, but it’s ours all the same. (ツ)_/¯ ◔_◔
My favorite books that Alyson has passed on to me, (in chronological order):
1) Moving Day by Meg Cabot
Ahh, these books. I remember these. They are my first clear memory of Alyson’s favorite series when we were little. Another friend of ours nicknamed Alyson Aly Finkle after these books. That’s right. Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls. ‘o’
Synopsis: When nine-year-old Allie Finkle’s parents announce that they are moving her and her brothers from their suburban split-level into an ancient Victorian in town, Allie’s sure her life is over. She’s not at all happy about having to give up her pretty pink wall-to-wall carpeting for creaky floorboards and creepy secret passageways-not to mention leaving her modern, state-of-the-art suburban school for a rundown, old-fashioned school just two blocks from her new house.
pg count for the hardback: 240
Series: Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls
2) Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
The first time I saw Alyson plucking these books off the shelf, I thought of the oranges. Clementines. And the whole day all I could think about was the book. And I ended up reading it while eating an orange. -_-
Clementine is having not so good of a week.
-On Monday she’s sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair.
– Tuesday, Margaret’s mother is mad at her.
– Wednesday, she’s sent to the principal… again.
– Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
– Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
– And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.
Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.
pg count for the hardback: 144
3) Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Alyson picked this book up at the book fair and from then on, whenever I saw it, I thought of it as The Book Alyson Picked Up At the Bookfair That I Hadn’t Read Yet. And so I read it, and it was pretty great. In fact, this was the book that introduced me to Wendy Mass.
Synopsis: And as streams of light fan out behind the darkened sun like the wings of a butterfly, I realize that I never saw real beauty until now.
At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. It’s also were three lives are about to be changed forever:
Ally likes the simple things in life–labyrinths, star-gazing, and comet-hunting. Her home, the Moon Shadow campground, is a part of who she is, and she refuses to imagine it any other way.
Popular and gorgeous (everybody says so), Bree is a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide?
Overweight and awkward, jack is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined and making friends in the most unexpected situations.
Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one’s place in the universe.
pg count for the hardback: 322
4) The Kind of Friends We Used To Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Synopsis: In the old days, when Kate had no interest in romance, she never cared what other people thought. Now, it appeared, love was turning her into a rotten human being. Eleven-year-old Kate Faber wishes she could talk to her best friend, Marylin, about this. But Marylin is no longer her best friend. Or is she? Kate and Marylin were always the kind of best friends who lived on the same block for their entire lives, and who agreed on what kinds of boys were worth kissing and who should be invited to their sleepover. The kind of best friends who didn’t need words to talk, but who always just knew.
But lately Marylin has started to think that Kate can be a bit babyish. And Kate thinks Marylin is acting like a big snob. Somehow nothing is the same, but secretly Kate and Marylin both wish it could be…
pg count for the paperback: 247
Sequel: The Kind of Friends We Used to Be
5) Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Okay, so technically I had seen this book before I saw Alyson reading it, but it was because she said it was good that I actually decided to read it, and now it’s one of my favorite middle-grade graphic novels. To see my full review for this book, click here!
Synopsis: From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.
pg count for the hardback: 224
6) Finally by Wendy Mass
I decided I would read this book when I saw it on the floor of Alyson’s room. Then I decided I would read it when I saw it on her table a few months later. And then, I finally read it when I saw it on her bookshelf. For the longest time I didn’t know if this book was called Finally 12 or Finally or 12.
Synopsis: A humorous look at what it means to FINALLY turn twelve years old.
You can pierce your ears when you’re twelve. You can go to the mall with your friends when you’re twelve. You can babysit little Timmy next door when you’re twelve. You can get a cell phone when you’re twelve. Hey, you can even ride in the front passenger-side seat when you’re twelve.
When you’re twelve, when you’re twelve, when you’re twelve . . .
My name is Rory Swenson, and I’ve been waiting to turn twelve my whole life. In exactly 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds, it will finally happen.
My life will officially begin.
pg count for the hardback: 304
Series: Willow Falls #2
7) Talent by Zoey Dean
Again with the book fair. Well, actually, this is a combination of book six and book three. I saw Alyson buy this at the book fair and then it was when I saw it on a stack of books on the floor of her room that I decided to read it.
Synopsis: It’s all about talent in LA: who has it, who doesn?t, who wants it, and who can find it first! When thirteen-year-old Mac Armstrong witnesses newcomer Emily Mungler’s stellar lying-to-gain-entry performance during a movie premiere party at the Roosevelt in Hollywood, it dawns on her that her own talent is to discover it in others! So Mac and her BFFs set out to prove it by turning fresh-from- Cedartown-Iowa Emily into a box office bombshell. They?ll make deals, throw parties, crush on boys, all on the way to discovering that no matter how famous or important you are, friendship always comes first. Well, almost always.
pg count for the paperback: 304