Friday Fix #2 - Meet Alyssa, Jake & Gregory!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Friday Fix is a takeover of my Friday blog post by other bloggers who have volunteered their time and energy to "star" in their very own guest post on Friday. Only one mandatory thing - you must answer five of the most random questions I throw your way. The rest is up to you. Remember, if you'd like to be featured on the Friday Fix, shoot me your email, and let me know! So, without further ado, here are Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory from Teens Read and Write!

Hello All!

This is Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory Kirk. Together we make up Teens Read and Write. Melissa has kindly let us take over her fan-tabulous blog for the day. Mwahaha!

Of course, we'll be narcissistic and tell you all about ourselves... but later. First we thought we'd discuss something that we've been seeing a lot in the YA genre.

Absolutely terrible friends with no redeeming qualities whatsoever and still the protagonist wants to be friends with them.

We'll will start with Nora and Vee from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, a book I (Alyssa) adore and even have a signed copy of on my bookshelf. I love the story but when in came Vee, not so in love.

Their friendship starts out great. Vee's a little ditzy but fun. Then boys are introduced and Vee loses all friend-like capabilities. The only thing she wants from Nora is help getting a boyfriend. The most glaring moment for us was when a guy physically assaults and threatens Nora. What does 'best friend' Vee do? Makes excuses for the attacker!

And that's not all, folks. Vee goes on to try to convince Nora to go on a camping trip with the psycho. You see, it's this guy's friend that Vee has the hots for and he wants the four of them to go camping. Without Nora it's a no go. Vee is so desperate for this guy she's willing to put her friend in harm's way. It really irritated us because for nearly the whole book Vee has been warning Nora to steer clear of Patch (the bad boy hotty love interest) because he might be dangerous.

And before anyone comments that Vee was supposed to be under some 'magical' influence that rendered her a complete idiot and totally disloyal to Nora, that isn't the case. We went back over the story with the proverbial fine tooth comb. No where. Absolutely no where in Hush Hush does the author ever say or hint, or in any way imply that Vee's mind was being messed with.

Next, let's look at Grace and April from The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. Another book we absolutely enjoyed except for the girls' friendship. April starts out a loyal friend. Then April realizes she has a shot with Grace's hunk of a big brother and all out abandons Grace...until she needs her again, of course. Like for instance, when April's mom won't let her go to the Christmas dance unless Grace is going too.

And we wouldn't mind the protagonist having terrible friends as long as he/she didn't want to continue to be friends with them and even risk their lives for these morons.

Or here's an idea. How about the friend screws up but it gets acknowledged, talked about and resolved in some way. Just a thought, but putting up with friends who are disloyal users is a lousy message to send to young adults.

The guys and I agree that we'd drop friends like Vee and April faster than we'd drop an irate spitting cobra. So we can't figure out why we're seeing it in books. And we can't figure out why no one is saying anything about it.

On a positive note, we do know that there are great friendships in books these days. In fact, here are our favorites:

- Detective Pleasant and Stephanie from Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
- Harry, Thomas and Murphy from The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
- Ethan and Link from Beautiful Creatures byKami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

So what about you? Do you have your own fictional faves and flops? Any moronic best friend characters you want to diss? We want to know!

At Teens Read and Write we mostly review YA books, the majority of which are in the urban fantasy genre. We also review the occasional movie or TV show, have interviews. We also just signed up to host a Reading Challenge called the 12x12.

Oh, and contests, of course. Our two current contests include a chance to win a 2010 New Moon Calendar and a Glee TV show CD soundtrack. Our next MegaBook Giveaway will be announced soon. In our last MegaBook Giveaway we had 37 winners and gave away 41 books. And it's international. Be sure to look for it and enter!

We're Teens Read and Write - teens who love blogging, our blogging buddies (like the lovely Melissa), books, movies, TV, and a multitude of opinions and perspectives. We'd love to hear yours!

We'll check in over the next few days and if you comment with any questions for us, we'll be happy to answer them!

A huge Thank You to Melissa for allowing us to hijack her great blog (don't you love the header!). We're hoping she'll return the favor, but we have to come up with some ingenious questions so please help us out. What do you want to know about Melissa? What would you like us to ask her?

Here are the questions and answers!

1. Would you believe in a liar who admits he/she is one?

Alyssa~ No way. Now I know I can't trust them.

Jake~ No, they could be lying about being liars.

Gregory~ Of course...but I could be lying.

2. Can a short person "talk down" to a taller person?

Alyssa~ Yes, they just need a ladder.

Jake~ Haven't you seen a circus midget reduce the strong man to tears?

Gregory~ Only if they're UP-ity.

3. At a movie theater which arm rest is yours?

Alyssa~ All of them or I eat your arm.

Jake~ The one to the left of the person sitting to the left of me.

Gregory~ Arm rest? The whole theatre is mine.

4. Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?

Alyssa~ Because it has been scientifically proven that processed meat in a circular form tastes better.

Jake~ Processed meat is non-conformist to the Man.

Gregory~ The meat industry is racist against squares.

5. What was the funniest thing you did as a kid?

Alyssa~ When I was four, I went with my parents to my great-grandmother's funeral. Her coffin was in then front of the chapel and everyone was in back waiting for the service to start. All of a sudden there's this clanging noise. Everyone looks to the coffin to find me using the coffin handle as a knocker and yelling, "Grandma! Are you in there?"

Jake~ When I was ten, my teacher asked the class to write stories in our journals every week. Everyone else wrote tales of bunnies and princesses, but I went above and beyond. I wanted to give my teacher something interesting to read, like monsters that ripped off limbs and gladiator battles. Oh, I peaked my teachers interest. So much that she called my parents in to talk about my anger issues and her fear that I was a serial killer in the making.

Gregory~ We were on vacation in Las Vegas when I was 11 and I decided I wanted to be a rock star. I stole Alyssa's leather coat that had curly white fur on the collar and cuffs. I also put on my mom's big pink sunglasses and spiked my hair straight up. When we went through the lobby I started talking in my best British rock star accent, put on my best British rock star strut and started greeting strangers with "Hey, luv, 'ow you doing? Do ya like my new album?" and other stupid stuff like that. I don't know why, can't explain it to this day but the best part was that all these strangers played right along. Some people even asked for my autograph. My family thought we'd get kicked out by security but it ended up being a blast!


  1. Love this analysis and can't wait to check out their blog! Also thinking that I want them to read our books before they hit shelves just to make sure we're not making the same mistakes!

  2. What a fun post with fun questions!

    I couldn't stop giggling when Alyssa says, "All of them or I eat your arm."

    Cheers for my favorite sibling team :)

  3. I just finished PAPER TOWNS by John Green, and those friendships were real. I loved Q's friendship with Ben and Radar. Lots of crap, but not in a way where they couldn't be friends, you know? Or that the reader didn't BELIEVE they could be friends, which is what I also saw in HUSH, HUSH and THE DARK DIVINE.

    Great post, guys!

  4. Great answers to really though out question LOL enjoyed reading them.

    Totally agree BFF are being pretty dumb abd self centred in recent YA books.

  5. that was funny....and Jake you crack me up....

  6. Hey Alissa, Jake and Gregory,

    Thanks for a great blog post! Such good points about writing accurately when it comes to friendships.

    You're welcome to guest post on my blog anytime! Look me up.

  7. Melissa - Thank you for letting us guest post. It was fun!

    Lisa and Laura - Thanks for checking out our blog and while we're always happy to help, we're sure you're writing is fabulous!

    Juju - Thanks for the kind words.

    Elana - glad to hear about Paper Towns. We'll have to check it out. That also reminds us that the friendships in Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

    Shweta - Glad we made you laugh! Melissa's questions were fun!

    Tina - Thanks, Jake's head is swelling from the compliment! There will be no living with him now.

    Elle - Your welcome and thanks to you. We'll check out your blog and we'd be happy to guest post!

    Alyssa, Jake and Gregory

  8. Awesome post and love the feature! Lol, I loved the subject you guys talked about. I think we have reached a consensus, hot guy > best friend any day of the week.
    And you guys were such weird, cute kids. :D

  9. That was fun to read! I especially love the last few questions, though (like #5)!

  10. Jenn - it is a great feature and fun for us guest bloggers. You're right, hot guy/girl should not be more important than friendship. Who knew we could be weird and cute? Thanks for the compliment!

    Lea - Melissa had some great questions that we had a blast answering! Glad you liked them.

    You all should guest blog too!

  11. it's a very great idea to host something like this..big applause to Melissa! yeay!

  12. Darlyn - we agree! This was fun. We highly recommend it so contact Melissa. We're dying to hear the answers to other inventive questions she comes up with!

  13. I don't agree with the hush, hush statement. But I understand your POV. I kind of see Vee's POV because I have been in her postion, sort of. Nora never really in a abusive relationship, but my bff was and at first I made excuses because I couldn't beleive it. It isn't till later when it hits you forcefully that you realize and then your friends at a point where she isn't going to listen to you.

  14. Book Monster - We're very sorry that your friend was in an abusive relationship. That is a horrible thing to deal with - for everyone, including friends.

    You make a good point that we often don't have any experience or knowledge of what to do when something so unfamiliar and difficult comes up. There are no easy answers. I hope your friend is doing well now.

    **Spoiler Alert**

    In the scene we discussed, Nora is 'yanked outside, pinned against the wall and slammed against it a couple of times."

    Nora complains to Vee in detail about the "physical assault" but Vee makes excuses. "He's got alot going on, He was wasted, Didn't know what he was doing-if he hurt you, He'll feel horrible."

    Physical abuse/assault is serious. If a YA author is going to bring it up, we think they should show some healthy options/resolutions.

    Nora or Vee could have brought it up. Vee could have acknowledged her mistake or if she didn't Nora should have distanced herself. As it stands the author brings up a serious issue with no positive resolution.

    Again, hope all is well now with both you and your friend. Thanks for lending an excellent point of discussion!

    Alyssa, Jake and Gregory


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