Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Like Mandarin - I Would Have Given Anything to be Like...

Welcome to a really fun non-blogfest blogfest! :D The wonderful Kristin Hubbard's book, Like Mandarin, just released and a bunch of us decided to blog about who our Mandarin was way back when. For those not familiar with the book, here is the gorgeous cover and blurb:

It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. 

When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town. 

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal. 

I haven't read the book yet, but I can't wait to! Let's face it - we all had our Mandarin's growing up. We all had someone we really wanted to be.

The drill team girls. Well, two of them in particular. They were both good friends of mine (I was always friends with the really popular girls, but not one of them myself). They were gorgeous, athletic, smart, gorgeous, funny, THIN, popular, and even really nice. All the boys liked them, all the teachers loved them, they could do anything and did, and I wanted to be them more than anything.

What I didn't realize, being a delusional teenager who only saw the worst in myself, was that I was like them. No, I wasn't super model thin, but I wasn't the huge blob of jiggly flesh that I imagined myself to be. I was smart, I was funny, I was pretty, I was liked by a lot more boys than I knew about (I found out much later), and if I had had an ounce of confidence in myself, I could have been good at sports or anything else I wanted to do.

I spent so much time wishing I could be like someone else I didn't take the time to appreciate the pretty awesome human being I already was. Took me years to figure that out :) But then, teenagers aren't exactly known for their powers of rational thought/behavior ;-D

If you want to participate in this non-blogfest blogfest, check out Kristin's blog for details and for chances to win a copy of Like Mandarin!

Who was your Mandarin? Who would you have given anything to be like?


Stina Lindenblatt said...

You sound like me, Michelle. I was painfully shy. It wasn't until much later that I found out guys actually liked me. Cute guys at that. They just thought I was a stuck up snob. Go figure!

Matthew MacNish said...

This is one of the coolest tours yet! I love your example, thanks for sharing it with us Michelle.

Tere Kirkland said...

Youth really is wasted on the young, isn't it? I've only recently grown to appreciate that saying.

I had very little confidence in high school, too. I wish I could go back in time and tell teen me not to worry about high school, and to have fun.

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, I just left a similar comment over on Christine's blog! I just said how come we can't figure out that we're not all that bad when we're teenagers? Then I said it's because we don't think rationally. Ha ha!

Lindsay said...

I so wish we could figure this out as teenagers -- much less angst. LOL.

Melissa Bradley said...

Teen me was in a very bad place and I wish I had an ounce of the confidence I have now back then. This sounds like an incredible book I'd love to read.