Hot Topic Tuesday - Friends we wish we were like

Tomorrow LIKE MANDARIN by Kirsten Hubbard is released, and from everything I've read, this is a beautiful, lyrical book that at times, takes your breath away. I also like that it has a very unique premise, one I don't think I've seen in YA fiction before. In addition to that, it's set in Wyoming, which is also very different.

LIKE MANDARIN is about two girls, Grace and Mandarin, and 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.

The title comes from Grace wanting to be "like Mandarin." So it got me thinking about what girl I wanted to be like in high school. I think there were a few, but the one who stands out in my mind the most is my friend Dawn. She was so beautiful in high school, but not only that, she had this way about her that was special and magnetic. Everyone wanted to be Dawn's friend. She was the type of person who, as soon as you started talking to her, you knew she would be fun to hang around with. And she was! I was more quiet and reserved, so anyone who had a fun and outgoing personality drew me in and made me wish I could be more like that.

What about you? Is there a friend who stands out in your mind who is or was the one person you wanted to be like? What qualities did he/she have that you didn't have, and wished you did?

7 comments:

Michael Northrop said...

Oh great, now I have "Don't Fence Me In" stuck in my head. (Is that about Wyoming specifically, or just the west in general?) Anyhoo, when I was in high school, I wanted to be in college already, and the people I most wanted to be like were the college football placekickers I saw on TV. They seemed to have it together, what with their slightly less scrawny physiques and slightly less acne-strewn complexions, and I would picture myself walking out onto the same field in the same uniform and getting casual high-fives after making the kick. (It was my carefully considered plan never to miss.) And then I wound up going to NYU, which doesn't have anything remotely resembling a football team. Le sigh.

Congratulations, Kirsten! Like Mandarin sounds amazing. Must read. (Must also liberate moose heads and get this song out of my head, but mostly: must read this book.)

Julia Karr said...

When I was about twelve, I wanted more than anything to be like the girl behind the soda fountain at the drug store. She was probably seventeen, a natural redhead, beautiful, and super-nice. Example: She saved the last scoop of one month's Flavor of the Month ice cream for me, because she knew I loved it. (Mmmm... pineapple mint!)
I have no idea what her experiences were like in high school - if she was popular or not. But, I wanted to be as friendly and gracious as she was - although I might not have been able to put that into words at the time. I'd still like to emulate her.

April Henry said...

When I was 12, Aileen moved in across the street. She wore men's shrink to fit Levis, work boots, her dad's old cashmere sweater, and for a necklace, children's blocks threaded onto a shoe string. She was so cool! So individual.

So of course I got myself some shrink-to-fit Levis, workboots, and scored a men's sweater out of the lost and found. But I was a poor imitation.

Melissa Walker said...

OH man, I wrote a post about this for Teen Fiction Cafe. I won't relive it here, so here's the link.

http://teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com/2011/03/if-i-could-be-anybody.html

The book sounds so wonderful!

Micol Ostow said...

I had one friend who was two years old - in high school while I was still in junior high. Let's just call her D and say that she seemed SO MATURE AND GLAMOROUS because her mother allowed her to wear eyeliner whereas mine did not....

Melissa Walker said...

Micol, I'm guessing two years oldER, unless you're the Toddlers in Tiaras type. Somehow, I think not. Ha!

Amazing how the allowed-to-wear-eyeliner details can make someone seem SO COOL.

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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