Criss Cross: Cress Predictions

CrissCrossHalfFullRachel: Good Morning fellow readers! Today is day 5 of #CelebrateCress and we are so glad you came to join our VERY FIRST CRISS CROSS discussion. Since it’s #CelebrateCress, we want to talk about predictions for Cress! Just FYI, there are spoilers for both Cinder and Scarlet in this post, so if you haven’t read those books, STOP HERE. And also, GO READ THEM.

First let’s re-cap Cinder (read our review here). At the end of Cinder we were left with:

-The cyborg draft was meant as a way to find Cinder.
-Iko was dismembered by the evil stepmother, and Cinder rescued her personality chip.
-Nainsi contained a Lunar D-Comm chip that Queen Levana has been using to spy on the Emperor.
-A girl with long blond hair was on the other end of the D-Comm chip.
-Cinder is actually Princess Selene (and is therefore both Lunar and Cyborg).
-Kai makes an agreement with Levana to return Cinder to her (so Levana could take her “prisoner”—i.e. kill her) in exchange for Levana agreeing to not wage war on Earth.
-Dr. Erland gives Cinder a new hand and foot, and gives her instructions to escape and meet him in Africa.

Julianne: Scarlet (review here) recap:

In Scarlet we meet the goodhearted but tough, headstrong, and slightly abrasive Scarlet.  She is quickly swept up in a tumultuous and thrilling series of adventures, and joins forces with our old faces from Cinder, along with new ones.  At the end we have been nudged out to the edge of the story and left hanging at the edge of the cliff…. ahhh

– Kai is still in danger of becoming subject to Levana by marriage (poor thing, probably getting grey hairs worrying about it…)
– The entire Lunar army hot on the tails of the ragtag rebels.
– I’M GOING TO HAVE TO REREAD…

Rachel: Haha, Ok Juju! I’ll help you out! At the end of Scarlet we were left with what Julianne listed above and:

-Wolf is actually part of the Queen’s secret service, the LSOP, a team of genetically modified humans with wolf-like qualities.
-Levana DESPERATELY wants Cinder.
-Scarlet’s Grandma had a love child with a Lunar while in the military.
-Grandma actually housed and protected Cinder until she was 11 yrs old and Mr. Linh picked her up.
-Grandma has the same blocking chip that Cinder had, and the LSOP tortures her to death trying to find out how she’s immune to glamour and where the Princess Selene is. (Tough lady gave them nothing.)
-The attacks of the LSOP force Kai into a marriage agreement.
-Iko becomes the Rampion causing some great interactions between her and Thorne. 🙂
-Cinder and Thorne rescue Scarlet and Wolf right in time!
-Cinder has better glamour skills at the end of the book than the beginning—she actually was able to control a LSOP.
-Scarlet and Wolf get all mushy (according to Iko).

Julianne:  haha thanks Rae…  it melded so perfectly with Cress I had a difficult time recalling where Scarlet ended!  And we actually learn what LSPO means–Lunar Special Operative!

JB: According to the blurb for Cress, we know the following about Cress:

-Cress is a hacker.
-Levana orders Cress to track down Cinder and the handsome Captain Thorne.
-Cress escapes her satellite.
-The team gets separated.
-Queen Levana won’t let anything get between her marriage with Kai, which suggests that something/someone is trying to stop it.
-The earth’s fate rests in the hands of a bunch of misfits.

Questions we want/need answered:

How does Cress escape?
-Why/how is the group separated?
-Will Kai be able to get out of marrying Levana? (And will he end up with Cinder?)

Speculations from around the interwebs:

-Cress is actually Crescent Moon, the (supposedly dead) shell daughter of Dr. Erland.
-Cress and Thorne get together.
-Cinder and Thorne get together.
-It will take place in the Sahara desert.
-Lunars drink the blood of shells to become immune to the glamour of other Lunars.
-Levana has been using Cress’s blood to spread Letumosis among earthens in order to weaken Earth’s ability to fight back.
-Earthens create a weapon to destroy Luna.

Rachel: Marissa has included the iconic scenes of the classic fairytales in her retellings. A lost foot, a wolf disguised as grandma, etc.

What iconic scenes of the Rapunzel story do you think she will include? If you are not familiar with the classic tale, check back Tuesday for a post on the history of Rapunzel!

Aside from that, what do you think will happen in Cress? How will the tension play out between the characters and Lunar vs. Earth? Will there be kissing?

Julianne: Who are we kidding… of course there will be kissing…

Rachel: We hope!! Let us know your predictions in the comments below!

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#CelebrateCress Day 3: Lunar Chronicles Dream Cast

We love the Lunar Chronicles so much and believe it could be a wonderful movie. Even those who haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles would love it (but, of course, we would tell them to read it anyways). In our dream world, the movie would be just like the book and would star these awesome people.

Cinder

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her evil stepmother and stepsisters. We think this actress would be perfect—she could easily portray Cinder’s spunk and determination.

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Kai

On Marissa Meyer’s Pinterest board is this picture that portrays Kai wonderfully. He is even in costume!

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Sadly we do not know who he is… so we picked this guy! We think he would be great!

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Scarlet

Scarlet is a passionate, caring girl with a fiery personality. Choosing someone to portray her is hard. While I imagine Karen Gillan in her role of Amy Pond, she is too old. The Girls in Plaid chose these three young actress and couldn’t really decide who was best. Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments below!

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Wolf

Marissa Meyer has said she imagined Wolf looking like Tarkan, a singer.

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I like watching Australian shows sometimes and thought this actor could pull off the role wonderfully. (H2O & Legend of the Seeker anyone?)

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Craig and Tarkan resemble each other and besides, Craig is just adorable!

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Thorne

So, when I read Thorne…he sounds like Zachary Levi (Flynn Rider, Chuck, Louisiana native). While I would love for him to play Thorne in a TLC adaptation…he’s too old.


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Ok, so this maybe the Zachary Levi I imagine..

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However, The Girls In Plaid agreed he was too old, so we picked this guy. We agreed he was adorable enough to earn the role of Thorne.

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Cress

Cress is a dramatic, cute, naive, short young lady who has been locked up in a satellite. The actress we chose is so perfect that she must be Cress if TLC makes the big screen!

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Jacin

Jacin is describe in Cinder as “a young man as handsome as Sybil was beautiful, with blond hair pulled into a low ponytail and sharp features that Kai had yet to see an expression on.”

We went between two actors, one being Chris Hemsworth and the other one being…

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Alex Pettyfer. He will do nicely.

Lunar Thaumaturge

These lackeys to the evil Queen Levana must be beautiful…and sly with a dash of crazy. We believe these Hollywood stars will fit the bill!

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Levana

“She was indeed beautiful, as if someone had taken the scientific measurements of perfection and used them to mold a single idle specimen. Her face was slightly heart-shaped, with high cheekbones barely flushed. Auburn hair fell in silken ringlets to her waist and her unblemished ivory skin shimmered like mother-of-pearl in the sunshine. Her lips were red red red, looking like she’d just drunk a pint of blood.”

The Girls in Plaid easily agreed who should be Levana.

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WHO Shall he be?

The following actors are ones we want included in a TLC adaptation, but we are not sure who they
should be. Thorne? Ran? Thaumaturge? Lunar guard? LSOP? Help us out guys!!


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Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Let’s know by leaving your thoughts in the comments! We love hearing from our readers!!

Also remember that leaving a link to your TLC dreamcast (via blog, pinterest board, etc.) in the comments counts as 3 entries in our TLC giveaway! Giveaway is closed.

– Liz (aka Rachel)

Review: Cress

CressAuthor: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

Age: Young Adult

Synposis from Goodreads: Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Review:

After two attempts at starting this review, I almost decided to just leave it at this:

CRESS IS AWESOME AND AMAZING SO GO READ IT BUT THORNE IS MINE.

But I thought that maybe I should explain why it’s awesome and amazing and why you should read it and also place my claim on Thorne.

I honestly thought there was no way Marissa Meyer could be more amazing, but she is, and Cress absolutely blew me away. I thought there was no way to top Cinder and Scarlet, but she did just that, and Cress is the most exciting, funny, and adventurous book yet. Marissa does a lovely job of seamlessly interweaving the stories of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.

Cress is such a lovable character. We were introduced to Cress in Cinder, but we are finally getting to know her. She’s bubbly, sweet, smart, dramatic, a dreamer. And all alone in a satellite. One difference between Cress and most of our Rapunzel characters is that Cress isn’t as naive as the Rapunzels before her. High in her prison, she has access to internet and—since she’s also a hacker—if it’s in the interwebs, it can be hers. Because of this, her desire to leave her satellite is very strong—she can see what life is supposed to be like, but can’t experience it for herself. But despite the fact that she’s stuck in a satellite, Cress has a hopeful attitude instead of a poor-me attitude, and I commend her for that.

I should probably warn you that if you aren’t already in love with Thorne, you will be by the end of this book, so go ahead and get a “Thorne is my Captain” shirt and join the gaggle of girls who are fighting over him. (Twitter has become a warzone with the Thorne girls.) It’s definitely a toss-up between Thorne and Cress as my favorite characters in the series (with Iko coming next, naturally). Thorne has the best lines, and he’s just as cocky and even more entertaining than he was before.

But shall we also talk about Emperor Kai? Poor guy is going through all kinds of struggles–his father recently passed from Letumosis, he doesn’t feel prepared to be the emperor, and he still has feelings for a girl who possibly manipulated his feelings. Oh yeah, and he has to marry the evil queen Levana. Which, of course, Cinder isn’t too happy about, so now she has even more of a reason to overthrow Levana.

I feel like I’ve probably gone on too long about characters that have already been introduced, but they are just so beautifully developed and leap off the page. It’s impossible to not care for them and love them and feel their hurt, their fear, their excitement. The characters are what make The Lunar Chronicles so real and so lovely and so relatable. It’s impossible to not become attached to them and root for them. They are what keep me reading, because now I can’t picture my life without them. *snaps out of sappy moment*

It’s obvious we’re obsessed with The Lunar Chronicles, and I truly feel like obsessed is the correct word choice here, but we have reason to be. If you’re a fan of Cinder and Scarlet, you absolutely don’t want to miss out on Cress. It does not disappoint.

A star rating is inadequate. Cress deserves an entire galaxy! 

Check out our other Lunar Chronicles posts:
Review of Cinder (book 1)
Review of Scarlet (book 2)
Interview with Marissa Meyer Part 1 and Part 2
Looks From Books character-inspired and galaxy-inspired
Dream Cast

#CelebrateCress and a Lunar Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Today marks the first day of… #CelebrateCress!

What is #CelebrateCress? It’s our celebration of the third installment in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, and it’s being released next week on Tuesday, February 4. We’re kind of obsessed with these books and their lovely author. (Proof.)

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So what all is going on during #CelebrateCress? We have a ton of cool things planned! We will be sharing with you a review of Cress, the history of the Rapunzel story, our TLC-inspired outfits, fan art, food, and fan cast, and our very first vlog! But there’s more! There will also be…

A GIVEAWAY!

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What? A Giveaway? What can I win?! We will be giving away…
-a TLC bookmark signed by Marissa Meyer
-a bookplate signed by Marissa Meyer
-a Cinder mirror
-a paperback copy of Cinder
-a hardback copy of Scarlet signed by Marissa Meyer

Basically, it’s a lot of awesome.

And how can I win this package of awesome? We wanted to give you lots of opportunities to win this giveaway, so we have many ways to gain entries!

worth one entry:
• Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or Bloglovin. Leave a comment on one of the #CelebrateCress posts telling us where you’re following and your username.
• Comment on any of our #CelebrateCress posts.
• Tweet a link to this giveaway or any other #CelebrateCress post. You must use the hashtag #CelebrateCress and mention @thegirlsinplaid. (You can do this once a day for the entirety of #CelebrateCress.)
• When Cress is finally in the wild, take a picture with it and share it with us in one of these three ways:
1) Twitter: Make sure to use the hashtag #CelebrateCress and mention @thegirlsinplaid
2) Instagram: Make sure to use the hashtag #CelebrateCress and mention @girlsinplaidskirts
3) Email: Email us your photo with the subject line #CelebrateCress

worth two entries:
• Participate in our new feature, Criss Cross! Criss Cross is our version of a discussion post, and we want to hear your thoughts! We will premiere this new feature on Friday, January 31. A heads up on our topic… Cress predictions! So be thinking about what you think will happen in Cress and let us know on Friday.

worth three entries:
• Let us see your own Lunar Chronicles creativity. You can contribute once in each of the following categories: fan art, outfits, food, fan cast, and fan-fic. Share your submission in one of these three ways:
1) Upload your submission to twitter using the hashtag #CelebrateCress. You must mention @thegirlsinplaid.
2) Upload your submission to Instagram using the hashtag #CelebrateCress. You must mention @girlsinplaidskirts.
3) Email your submission to girlsinplaidskirts @gmail.com with the subject #CelebrateCress.
(For the fan cast, leave a link in the comments to where we can find it–blog, Pinterest board, whatever.)
• Upload a pic or video of your Cress feels/excitement/fangirling to Instagram. (This can be pre- or post-Cress release.) You must use the hashtag #CelebrateCress and mention @girlsinplaidskirts.

The Fine Print:
• Your creativity entry must be your own original work to qualify.
• By submitting your entry, you give us permission to share your work on the blog. We promise to give you credit! We want to share your hard work with other Lunartics!
• The submission period ends at midnight CST on Thursday, February 6, so all entries must be received by then. A winner will be picked randomly and be announced Friday, February 7, so check back to see if you won! The winner will have three days to email us with their info or we will choose another winner.
• This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. A big apology to our international friends—we’re working on an international giveaway soon!

This sounds like a lot of fun! That’s because it is going to be a lot of fun! We can’t wait to see your submissions and share them with other Lunartics, and we’re super excited to be giving away a prize with some of our favorite books!

So come join the party and help us #CelebrateCress!

Rachel’s Favorite Fairy Tales

In getting prepared for Fairy Tale week, I asked my mom which fairy tales were my favorite. To my surprise she said she actually didn’t read me many fairy tales. We read more Tug Boat and Pokey Little Puppy stories. Of the ones she did read me, they were the Little Golden Books. I did watch the Disney movies – a lot (well, Cinderella). I learned more about them as I got older, and learned to love them more. I love the history facts and morphology of  fairy tales and just find them fascinating. (Like how Grimm’s were dark and often offer a warning, but other are light and happy.) Also…tid bit fact, the first Grimm’s fairy tale book was published the year Louisiana became a state, 1812!

The things you remember when enrolled in Social Studies and Library Science at the same time!!

Cinderella

I don’t remember not loving Cinderella. It remains one of my favorite Disney movies to this day. When I was four years old, my mom made me a Cinderella costume and I helped pick out this fabric. Neither one of us knew this project would be the start of a love for character costumes! Growing up, Cinderella merchandise was hard to find at first, but still I had Cinderella sheets, figurines, and all other sorts of paraphernalia. For my 21st birthday (and my sister’s 16th), my parents took us to Disney World. There my dream came true – I got to eat IN Cinderella’s Castle. I think Cinderella is an important fairytale, in that the character is not only a dreamer, but remains graceful and kind even when she is mistreated. That is a powerful role model for a child to have!

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To see pictures of the Cinderella inspired Tea Party I hosted click here. To see other adorable pictures from the tea party click here.

Rapunzel

As a child, I read the Little Golden Book version of Rapunzel, but while I enjoyed the story…it wasn’t a favorite. 9780307002075The tale of Rapunzel became a favorite of mine with the release of Tangled – if we are going to be honest. tangled_movie-wideI feel like I could be that Rapunzel (except I can’t sing like Mandy Moore). It’s more of the I’m happy, dreamer who is “helpless”, but determined romantic sort. And she painted. So since I love it SO much, I have a Rapunzel costume, piggy bank, Pascal stuff toy, action figures, and a painting inspired by the film. The film is an interesting retelling and the supporting characters help make the movie!

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While, I love Tangled…my first Rapunzel film I watched was the Barbie film. In high school, I use to baby-sit some girls and we watched Barbie movies often. This version of the Rapunzel story was cute and interesting if we look at it as a pre-curser to Tangled.

Princess and the Pea

The Little Golden Book version of this fairy tale was one I really enjoyed growing up. The idea of a tower of matresses and a little pea determining if one is really a princess or not is so crazy that I loved it. I have done a few Princess and the Pea sketches that I may post on instagram. I would love to read/watch a retelling of this story…it could be very humorous in the sense of Princess Bride or Tangled kind of funny.

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Little Red Riding Hood

Mom says she read Little Red Riding Hood. I remember our school librarian telling us the story using one of the reversible puppets. However the only version I really remember hearing over and over again as little girl is The Little Red Cowboy Hat. This western fractured tale was REALLY exciting since mom did all the different voices and sound effects. fps-120871_1z

Three Billy Goats Gruff

This is another story mom read to me when I was little. Better than that though, I remember stomping over wooden bridges as mommy would say in troll’s voice “Who’s that stomping over my bridge?” Finding a wooden bridge was so exciting because I knew role playing would follow.

Thumbelina

I love tiny things. My cousin use to tease Mommy, Sarah, and I because he said if anything was tiny it automatically became “cute”. It could be an acorn. If it is tiny…it is adorable. That is probably why I loved Tumbelina (Little Golden Book). Also, watching the film at Aunt Teri’s house was fun.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

I really liked this story (also a Little Golden Book version) as a child. Perhaps I was perplexed how someone could be fooled with that scheme and be a King. It’s just a crazy, but interesting story.

Hansel and Gretel

One of my memories surrounding this fairy tale is being loaded up on a school bus and taken to see a play version at the local high school. Also a GIANT ginger bread house…what kid wouldn’t love that? Let’s not forget the lesson of never using bread crumbs to leave as a trail.

The Swan Princess

I don’t remember reading a book of this fairy tale. What I do remember is watching it a lot at Aunt Teri’s. An awkward young girl growing into a beautiful lady who is determined to marry for love and a handsome prince who shoots a bow. Just one more example of how a bow and arrow can make a character more attractive. (I have a list going on of book/film characters we love that use a bow.)

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Peter Pan

I’m hesitant to include this story in the list, because I don’t personally consider it a Fairy Tale in the folklore sense. I consider it a fantasy that includes fairies and to be compared to Mary Poppins and Narnia. However, since it has been included in Once Upon A Time and other retellings, I’ll go ahead and talk about it.

Did I obsess over this story in middle school? An undeniable YES! I liked the Disney movie as child, but the live action version was what started the obsession. (Blame Jeremy Sumpter.) It was more than the cute boy though, as I watched it – I noticed the plot was different from Disney’s and, well, more story-ish. (If I can make a word up, please.) So Aunt Teri took me to BAM and bought me the book. I devoured it probably 2.5-3 times. I even attempted to read it aloud to my cousin, Kip, all the way from West Monroe to Shreveport (sorry Kip). I wrote my 7th grade bio on James Barrie. It has so many messages that can really be considered for adults, I think. (Go watch Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp.) Let’s just say I love Peter Pan.

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What are some of your favorite fairy tales? Do you remembering reading the stories or watching the films (or both)? What role did they play in your childhood?

– Liz (aka Rachel)

JB’s Fairy Tale Wedding

Because I am an uncultured swine, I’ve never read the original fairy tales. I guarantee you that as soon as Rachel reads this, I’ll be getting a text with more required reading. While I may not have a true appreciation of the classics, I do appreciate Disney’s retellings, especially those of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Those two movies (and the plays and costumes at Disney World) were huge inspirations when it came to my wedding.

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photo cred: Three Nails Photography

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Gramma’s snapshot

1) Cinderella Wedding Dress | This was the third wedding dress I tried on and I immediately knew it was mine. The funniest part? After I had it in the dressing room, I looked at the tag—it was the Cinderella dress from the Disney line. With some help from some wonderful ladies, we were able to make it fit my modesty standards and add some personal touches as well. I knew I wanted a HUGE bow on the back because the last time I saw Cinderella in WDW, her dress had a ginormous bow. I also wanted the huge puffy sleeves which are reminiscent of Cinderella’s ball gown. For the full story of how I found my dress (and a photo of what it looked like before my “modest”fications), click here.

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2) Ballroom Backdrop | The inspiration for the backdrop came from the Beauty and the Beast show at Disney World. My mom and I absolutely loved the set for the ballroom and I knew I wanted something similar. We used photos from the WDW play and the movie as inspiration, and Rachel’s mom and dad created the gorgeous backdrop.

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3) Royal Banners | I hate that I don’t have any better photos of the banners that Rachel’s mom made (you can catch a glimpse of them on the doors), but these will have to do. Technically, these weren’t princess or Disney or fairy tale inspired, but rather inspired by the Royal Wedding. I went over to Rachel’s house for the royal affair, and we stayed up all night in order to watch the big event. As soon as her mom saw the royal banners, she started brainstorming ways to recreate them for my wedding. They turned out perfectly! And now I’m reminded that I need to hang one of them in my office…

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4) Lumiere the Unity Candle | This wasn’t even supposed to happen. But it did, and I’m so happy. I had sent my candle holder over to Rachel’s so she could polish it (she likes doing that for some reason), and her dad thought it would be funny to print out a Lumiere face and tape it to the candle. I loved it so much that I insisted that Lumiere join the wedding party, and I’m pretty sure I win the award for best unity candle ever.

Have you ever been to a fairy tale or princess or Disney wedding? Would you consider yourself obsessed enough to use fairy tales as the inspiration for the most important day of your life?

{Photo cred goes to Cody Smith Photography unless otherwise noted.}

Julianne’s Neverland

I have a delightful vintage book of Nordic fairy tales I wanted to share, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere! So I has to settle on a favorite of mine. (Of course I can’t possibly choose only one.)

The story of Peter Pan and the Darlings is special to me because I still try to find bits of Neverland in my everyday. Neverland is not so much a real place anymore, but a place in my thoughts where I can be free and unrestricted. It’s where uninhibited creativity happens and stories happen and impossible things are everywhere. Usually I find Neverland when I’m sleeping, but sometimes I manage to find myself there during the day and when I get back to reality, the day is a little brighter and jollier because imagination is powerful and in a way fairy tales can come true. 😉

The image is of a lesser knows scene from the story. Peter is out alone at night and has come to be perched on a small rock-island in a cove. There he ponders his little life and his adventures, and wonders abut the could-be’s. this is also one of my favorite lines in the book.
“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”

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Introducing Fairy Tale Week and #CelebrateCress

Hello darlings! Have we got some awesome things planned for the next few weeks!

Today begins our Fairy Tale week! This week, we will be sharing with you our favorite fairy tales and the influence they’ve played in our lives. And after fairy tale week, we will kick off…

CelebrateCress#CelebrateCress is our book celebration in honor of the release of the third book in The Lunar Chronicles series. We have a ton of awesome stuff planned—TLC-inspired outfits, food, fan art, and an awesome giveaway!

You’ll want to make sure to check out our Instagram (@girlsinplaidskirts) this week because we will be releasing a photo every day of something that will be in our giveaway pack. And I can assure you that it is awesome.

To get in the spirit of things, check out some of our other Lunar Chronicles posts:
Review of Cinder
Review of Scarlet
10 Adjectives for Cress
TLC-inspired Looks From Books
Cinder-inspired pajamas
Interview with Marissa Meyer

Review: Going Rogue

Going Rogue by Robin BenwayAuthor: Robin Benway

Genre: Humor, Romance, Adventure, Action

Age: Young Adult

We received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary by me:

Maggie just thought things were bad when she pulled her boyfriend Jesse and best friend Roux into her life as a spy last year. But now there are people after her parents, and she’s the only one who can clear their names. She and her friends are on the run to Paris, and they have to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

Review:

The second book in the Also Known As series is just as funny as the first. Benway has a humorous writing style, and has crafted intriguing and witty characters that I’ve only grown to love even more after Going Rogue. Roux shines brighter than ever, and Jesse is still cute and sweet. The conversations between the characters (especially any of Roux’s lines) make me for real LOL. Like, for example, this dialog between Angelo and Maggie:

Maggie: “You didn’t dump anyone’s body into the Hudson River, did you?”
Angelo: “Of course not, Maggie. Not in this suit.”
That sentence is so Angelo.

Overall, the book was really good, but there were some things I didn’t buy. Like, all of a sudden, Jesse can speak French when he couldn’t before. I don’t care if you HAVE been taking French your whole life, it doesn’t work like that. (If it did, I’d be fluent in Spanish by now.)

One thing I loved was getting to meet some other (young!) members of the Collective. I thought Maggie was the only one (as did she), but it turns out there are others and they pretty much rock. (And also spy boys with Irish accents are hot, just ask Roux.)

I was, unfortunately, disappointed in the Maggie/Jessie relationship area, which is why I had to give this book a 3 in the sexual department. (See our content advisory guide here.) Thankfully, they didn’t have sex (can we please understand that not all teenagers are doing that and not all the fictional teenagers need to be doing that), but they did sleep in the same bed and do lots of kissing.

Speaking of kissing, another gem of a line from Roux:
“Oh, leave them alone,” I heard Roux say. “We almost got killed tonight. At least let them make out for a minute.”
Pretty sure I wouldn’t be worried about kissing when I almost just died, but to each her own, I suppose.

Going Rogue is a cute, fun read, with enjoyable characters and witty dialog. If you like humor and spies, this book is for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Read our review of the first book in the series, Also Known As.

Content advisory:
Language: 5 cursing scattered throughout
Sexual: 3 kissing; a couple sleeping together; some innuendoes
Violence: 2

Review: An Abundance of Katherines

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Author: John Green

Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance

Age: Young Adult

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He’s also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin’s on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.

Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin’s hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

Rachel’s Rambles:

I loved the unapologetic nerdiness of this book! Being the student who enjoyed math in high school, this book was right up my alley. Every graph, silly footnote, anagram, historical reference, and literature reference brought a smile to my face. The kids in this book reminded me of some of students who sat next to me class. I found myself giggling several times. However, what I really enjoyed was seeing two familiar worlds collide. The family I come from participates in outdoor adventures much like the ones the citizens of Gutshot participate in. I’ve heard many discussions about hog hunting and am familiar with Foxfire. So, imagining Colin becoming part of that world was hilarious.

There were a few things I didn’t like. Colin was sort of whiny, but that was part of his character. Another thing was cussing…most of it was a made up word to substitute another word (they are nerds). This just had more than the books I typically read.

Content Advisory:
Language: 4 (several instances of milder words, 1 use of the F word, and numerous of their invented word.)
Sexual: 4 (Some kissing throughout the book. At one point they strip and it is alluded that they had sex. Not graphic or explicit.)
Violence: 3

-Liz (aka Rachel)