Saturday, March 12, 2011

Like Mandarin Blog Post and Giveaway

Hey lovelies! So on Tuesday, my lovely friend Kirsten Hubbard became an officially published debut author with the release of her AMAZING YA novel LIKE MANDARIN. Kirsten is so cool, in fact, that she is hosting a huge giveaway. Check out her blog: for more deets.

But, to make a long story short, just by commenting on this post, you will be entered to win a copy of LIKE MANDARIN.

So today's post is a little sentimental - a little personal. You see, in LIKE MANDARIN 14-year-old Grace would give anything to be like wild, bold 17-year-old Mandarin. So Kirsten asked me and some other YA writers if there was anyone we wanted to be like as a young teen. Well, there was.

.....Mary Bates.

Mary was a senior when I was a freshman, but I'd known her for years before that. We'd been in two or three church plays together, and Mary was just that girl that everyone knew.

Mary was pretty, funny, outgoing, talented, and popular. She wasn't the cheerleader kind of popular, she was the REAL kind of popular - popular because she was legitimately nice to everyone she met. She was the star of every play in our high school, she was musically gifted, and she was on the academic team. Even though she had all the makings of a nerd, Mary still managed to be the star of my high school.

I wanted to be like Mary since the day I met her when I was nine, but when I got older, the want to be like her got even more intense. I had always been a loud kid myself, but I was mocked for my loud, talkative nature. People found it annoying. And yet, Mary was loud and talkative and beloved. She was so funny and charming, she just seemed to draw people toward her. This girl was a magnet. I wanted that. I wanted people to love my constant stream of jabber, not find it annoying.

The thing I loved most about Mary, though, was that she was nice to everyone. Even me. When she passed freshman-me in the hallway, she would stop to say hello, to tell me how well I'd done on the academic team that past weekend (we were on many of the same teams and clubs), or to say I'd really rocked at the drama club audition. She didn't have to, but she did. Even when her senior friends were with her.

Mary was always in the spotlight and she always knew waht to do and say. I would have given anything to be like Mary Bates.

So leave a comment and let me know who YOU wanted to be like, and if you do, you will be entered to win a copy of LIKE MANDARIN by Kirsten Hubbard!


Brooke said...

I really want to read Like Mandarin!

I wanted to be like Valentina. Like Mary, she was friends with everyone and popular for the right reasons--mostly just for being herself. I wanted her self-confidence and her ability to laugh at herself. In hindsight, while I was mature in comparison to most girls in my grade, Val held the bigger picture. High school isn't the be-all and end-all of our existence. I really would have liked to have known and understood that, and I wouldn't have taken myself so seriously.

Aleeza said...

thanks so much for the giveaway, kody! and mary sounds awesome--nice, popular girls are amazing, aren't they?!

Laura Fey said...

I wanted to be like a girl called Sarah for a really long time.
We first met in 1st grade. She had amazing long blonde hair and big blue eyes. The kind of child parents wanted to show everybody.
She lived/still lives in my street, we became friends and did a lot of things together. But while she hung out with all the popular kids, and me on the side, I only had a few friends. And somewhere along the way we started going down different paths. She was sportive, and beautiful, had guys lining up for her. And I was me. Simple, artistic me.
But when we grew older she left school because her social life was more important to her. As far as I know she's still looking for a job.
And I've stopped wanting to be like her. I stopped wondering about her and I'm focusing on graduation, college application and my future.
All I want to be now is me.

Alex Mullarky said...

I can't think of anyone I hero-worshipped when I was younger. I was awkward, don't get me wrong, but I don't think there was anyone I was desperate to be like. I think I was always reconciled to the fact that I could only be me! I do have a friend now though who I have started unconsciously imitating - but she's so laid back and funny and just fun to be around. But I think it's a good influence rather than me trying to copy someone else!

Annie McElfresh said...

Is it wrong that I wanted to be like a girl named Heather in my grade. She was a popular cheerleader who was in trouble a lot for breaking the rules. She got class rebel our senior year. I can't imagine being good and bad at the same time. LOL

jpetroroy said...

Similar to me---a senior girl named Emily, when I was a freshman.

Carrie said...

Mary sounds like a great person. Your description reminds me of a girl I went to church with when I was growing up. I wanted to be like my Aunt and later like my older step sister.

Liz said...

When I was in high school there was this guy who was concertmaster of our orchestra, and he played this crazy hard piece for his senior solo. I wanted to be able to play that :P.

The book looks interesting!

Kaitlin Bartlett said...

Wow, I sort of had my own Mary in high school! Except her name was Lauren. She was probably the most genuine, sweet person I'd ever met. She got the leads in the school plays, wanted to be a lawyer to help fight for women (abuse cases, etc). Plus she had these AMAZING eyelashes, super long and gorgeous, the kind most girls die for. But no one could ever hate her; she was just too sweet!

and congrats Kirsten! Picking up my copy of LM today; my B+N finally got it!

Samanthajo_322 said...

In high school I always wanted to be something more. There was no one person I was dying to be like, but I felt disconnected. Like I was born in the wrong time, I wasn't fun or wild or smart or pretty enough. Everything felt average, I wanted to badly to be better than the person I was.

Bee said...

there was this girl in my school, who was actually younger than me, and she got the guys as well as the grades and she was so well-liked by all kinds of people...damn, I wanted to be so like her!

Thanks for this post :)

I think most of us have someone they wanted to be like, once upon a time. The comments pretty much prove that.

Would love to win Like Mandarin.

Heidi said...

There wasn't a specific person that I wanted to be, so much as an image of the person I thought would be a better version of myself. But I think everyone has that, even now, don't they?

Jen Daiker said...

This is the coolest blogfest/book announcement I have ever witnessed!!! Truly amazing! I love to know who people really wanted to be and what happened!! It's amazing!!!

Lauren M said...

Aw, hooray for popular people that use their powers for good! :)
I never really encountered anyone like that; I'm so happy that you did!

Charlotte A. Paige said...

I wanted to be like Stephanie Barnett. She was pretty, smart, and so funny. Once in a over-crowded elevator, she made everyone comfortable by making us all laugh.

Vivien said...

Mary sounds like an amazing person then. I wonder if she's still the same now or not...

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

ashelynn sanford said...

Mary sounds awesome. I had a girl I wanted to be like (I posted the story on my blog for RTW!), but mostly because she seemed so strong.

Jemi Fraser said...

I hope your Mary gets a chance to read your post! It amazes me when people can navigate high school so easily. There are some very treacherous waters there. :)

Sarahbear9789 said...

I always wanted to be my older sister. She was a lot more sure of herself and gorgeous. I am still awkward.

OfficeGirl said...

I always wanted to be not where I was. There were popular girls, with their cut off jeans, teased hair and flannel jackets. The bright red lip stick smeared over their lips like they just drank blood. I hate them. I wanted to see one of them trip everytime they negociated stairs. But, I wanted to be them.
How sad is that?
I carried around a sketch book at the time with scibbles of Simba and Princess Jasmine. Those girls would stop me and call me a nerd. I didn't have time to feel bad about it, I was going to be an artist.
Then one day, the leader came up to me. She said I could be cool like them I just needed diffrent clothes and with that she covered me with her flannel and swept me away.
Was it true? I was going to be popular just by random selection?
When they weren't looking, I tossed her perfume drenched jacket in the rocks and went back to my sketch book.
True story...I would do it again too.

Sharmaine A said...

I always wanted to be like this girl named Susan - she was the Student Representative Council spokesperson for our region, and she spoke so well, was on a bunch of youth committees and was always nice to everybody. It was so funny, I worked really hard on my public speaking and community service for one and a half years before I managed to gather up the courage to tell her she inspired me. She was so sweet to me, and she (inadvertently) encouraged me to step outside of my shell. I'll always be grateful to her.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Like Mandarin sounds super!

I wanted to be like Pam in high school. She was a cheerleader. She was bright. She was friendly to everyone. She listened to people when she was talking to them and everyone liked her because she was such a good person. You never felt poor or unpopular when you were talking to Pam.

Samantha Manzella said...

I always wanted to be like my best friend (and, honestly, I still do.) She's got the kind of natural patience that comes with growing up with 2 younger, obnoxious brothers, plus she's naturally gorgeous and thin. The more I get to know her, though, the more I realize that she's just as flawed and utterly human as I am. I think how much we admire each other and genuinely enjoy each other's company is why we're such great friends. :)

Great giveaway! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of LIKE MANDARIN.

Penelope said...

Awesome post! I always wanted to be like my best friend, Kelly. She was physically very beautiful, but it was her confidence and determination that everyone was drawn to.

helenlandalf said...

When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. I wore my hair in braids every day and would randomly belt out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for no apparent reason. It wasn't until much later that I learned of Judy's addictions and personal problems and realized that she wasn't such a great role model after all.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

You know, I don't think there was anyone in particular that I wanted to be like in high school - at least none I can remember. I was okay with being me, but I had wished I had been a bit more like a combination of people. More like the girl who wasn't all that shy or quiet, more like the girl who was never afraid to approach anyone, and more like the girl who didn't take everything so seriously and had more fun.

Even though I would have liked to have been a little different back then, looking back, I'm still content with who I was and who I am now.

Tiffany M. said...

I wanted to have certain aspects of many people, but not all them. I liked Erica's uniqueness, Megan's confidence/sensuality, Minji's don't give a care attitude, Lia's coolness and writing abilities, and Katy's social skills. I don't remember wanting to be one particular person except for fleeting moments when I was envious of a situation a person was in instead of their actual personality.

In junior high, I wanted to be anyone other than me at times, and Megan was the closest to me.

I would love to read Like Mandarin. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Great idea to promote the book.

I had a friend who I aspired to be. But I had another friend who's mother looked like Paulina Porizkova and wore Shalimar. I hoped there would be something about me who would grow up looking something like her.

CAsanmiguel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CAsanmiguel said...

i wanted to be like mia thermopolis not because she's a princess but because she stayed down to earth despite of it. She's funny, witty, strong, brave, smart. An average but at the same time not so average teenager (does it make sense?) :))it wouldn't hurt to have michael too :))

Kate at Read This Book! said...

I would be love to be Taylor Swift. Taylor is on of my idols and I admire how she overcame bullying. She was bullied for being different in school, for liking country music, for her curly hair. She taught me that I should embrace my hair, no matter how unruly it gets and not straighten it like she did just to fit in.

But the main reason why I want to be Taylor is because I want her amazing confidence. I still don't dare to stand on stage and belt out a solo. I don't dare to go to school with my hair let down. Her confidence is what I love the most about her.

kate.readthisbook [at] gmail [dot] com

FloeticFlo said...

When I was little I wanted to be like my sister. I was the quiet one and she wasn't, and people seemed more receptive to that, so I thought she was the coolest thing since sliced bread.

TweetyB99 at aol dot com

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