Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That were hard for me to read

As always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
(Covers link to Goodreads)

Today's topic is top ten books that were hard for me to read, for whatever reason (content, writing style, emotions, etc.)

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Too much nonfiction hidden in a fiction book. Hear me grumble about it in this post.

 2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Don't get me wrong, I adore this book! I adore it SO MUCH. I just don't particularly adore Hugo's many digressions. They were definitely hard to get through. (And I do confess I skimmed occasionally.)
(I ramble about Les Miz in four separate posts here.)


3. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.
Sigh... I can't seem to get into GoT. I love high fantasy and all that comes with it, but after reading the second book of the series, I couldn't handle it anymore. And I didn't mind the deaths - truly I didn't! I just thought it sounded too much like a historical account. Everyone was a main character and no one was a main character. I stopped caring, which is definitely not a good thing. (Read my full post on GoT here.)

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This one was hard to read because of course it's darn hard to focus on the words on the page when waterfalls are pouring out of your eyes. (My review here.) 

5. Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant
I'm sure you've heard me rant about this one in previous Top Ten Tuesdays. The writing is good and yet - the hero (anti-hero?) keeps taking advantage of all these women and never ever ever gets his comeuppance! It makes me SO MAD. (If you want to read my longer rantings, it's #2 in this TTT.)

6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Tough, long, Russian lit. Why wouldn't  War and Peace be on this list? But ultimately, I'm glad I read it (and had a class on it, with a very helpful teacher.)
(You can read one of my essays for that class here.)

That's all I have for today, since my Freshman Assemble post also went up earlier this morning. (Sophia has two posts in one day? What is the world coming to?)

What books did you find hard to read? And why? 
If you did a post on todays TTT - link it to me in the comments!


Freshmen Assemble: Preparing for College (Part 2)

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(See what this is all about HERE.)

Today I'm talking about actual logistics when it comes to preparing for college.

These are coming from a commuter's perspective, but most are general ideas that apply to all students. However, you should still definitely check out Skylar's and Ash's posts to get their take.

Since I am living at home, I don't have to worry about move-in day (yay!). But I do have to think about how the heck I'm actually getting to school every day, since I can't just jump out of bed and walk across the street. So I took a few days to see how long exactly it would take to get from front door to campus. (Answer: 1 hour. More on this lengthy time in a bit.)

I've been thinking about how I'm going to deal with blogging and college put together. I already have a bunch of posts scheduled three weeks in advance, so I'm hoping that I can continue to blog rather regularly, since I have that bit of leeway. But I know for sure that my blogging pace will slow down a bit, and that's all to be expected.

At first, I was worried that with my new busy school schedule, I'd have to cut down on reading. Last year, I barely read three books every month.
But then I realized - I'm not driving to school anymore. I'm taking the train. Which means that I have that extra time while I commute to read! (Or do homework. But probably read.)
So, I think that though my schedule is busier than last year's, I will probably read more books! How exiting.

Whether you're in school or at a job, how do you fit your reading (and/or blogging) time in?


Monday, September 29, 2014

Freshmen Assemble: Preparing for College (Part 1)

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(Don't know what this is? Check out yesterday's post!)

Today I'm not talking about actual things I'm doing to prepare for college (that comes tomorrow).
Today I'm going to give you a list of some resolutions I've made for this next semester as well as goals for these next four years.

Resolutions for this semester:
  • Write 500 words or one blog post a day - most days, at least. 
  • Get straight A's in all my classes - start school on a good foot!
  • Keep in touch with my high school friends. 
  • Find some sort of athletic activity to do consistently (dance, perhaps?).

Goals for all of college:
  • Study abroad - Europe, I think.
  • Tutor.
  • Publish something in a school publication.
  • Keep my GPA high (3.5 or higher). (I've got to, 'cause of the program I'm in.)
Of course, these aren't nearly full lists, but it gives you an idea of what I'm looking forward to!
I'm slightly nervous, but HUGELY excited - I've found someone who's in my Calc class with me, and she also might be in my Chem class, if a spot opens up!

Tomorrow, we talk more about the technicalities of preparing for college...

What are your goals for the school year?


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Freshmen Assemble Begins!

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I am so super excited to be a part of this, along with Skylar (@ Random of a Life) and Ashtyn (@ Wonderland's Reader).

Actually, the official intro post is over at Skylar's blog. It has all the official info and our beautiful bios.
Go read it HERE!

Freshmen Assemble is a week-long event/project, where the three of us will chronicle our adventures as we begin our first year of college. *gulp*

All three of us will be posting about the same topics at the same time, so you'll get a chance to read three different takes on the subjects. I prewrote these posts last month when I actually started school, but we decided to do the event now, because we all had different start times. So remember - these posts were written actually as I was preparing for and experiencing college for the first time.

Here are some things we will be talking about:
  • Preparing for school - mentally, physically, and spiritually. :-)
  • Making time for reading and blogging in our busy schedules!
  • Our first day of classes - what was it like?
And a bunch of other topics! 

On that note - are you in high school? If so, do you have any questions that you'd like me to address in the next couple weeks?

We begin tomorrow, with Preparing for College (Part 1)!


P.S. I'll be back to more bookish stuff next week...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beautiful People #4: da Vale (Again!)

I am stealing away some precious homework time to bring to you my fourth Beautiful People post (or should it be #3.5?). The reason why I'm doing Angelo da Vale yet again is because the theme this month is Villains. And he is my favorite (and most current) villain. So he gets a double treatment.
(If you want to read da Vale Part One, or need a reminder about who he is, you can read this. It also has a picture of him there, if you're a visual sort of person.)

Here we go:

1. What is their motive?
You know, I really should have expected this question, given that "all villains must have a motive," and yet my one big question mark with da Vale is his motive. So.
Da Vale wants power. Why does he want power? He's lost so much to his efforts to getting that power - there has to be something pushing him.
That thing - that motive - it has something to do with his father and the family honor and proving himself and raining down Justice.
What it is exactly, I have yet to find out. Da Vale is a man of many mysteries.

2. What do they want, and what are they prepared to do to get it?
As I said, da Vale wants power. Power over his enemies, power over the ones he loves, and, ultimately, power over all of Venice. And goodness, he is prepared to do ever so much to get it. He's already lost his mother, his sister, and the love of his life to his ever-present ambition, so now he feels like he can't turn back.

3. How do they deal with conflict?
Da Vale is an expert at dealing with conflict. He can judge the fluctuations and direction of an argument and intercept it just when his voice will make the most impact. He knows the right words to calm the right kinds of people, and is most definitely willing to straight-out lie if it will make people come over to his side. He's a very convincing liar.

4. Describe their current place of residence.
As a member of the Council of Ten, da Vale has his own private quarters in the Doge's Palace. They are elegantly and luxuriously simple.

5. If they were writing this story, how would it end?
With him as the leading power in Venice, of course. Being Doge would be nice.
He would be loved, feared, hated, and adored all at the same time. (You know, like God is loved, feared, hated, and adored all at the same time?) And that blasted steward would rot in prison, with all his coconspirators.

6. What habits, speech patterns, etc. are unique to them?
Well, I mentioned in the last BP post that he does have an affinity for the phrase, "Now then, let's not lose our heads." But in addition, he also enjoys occasionally injecting a touch of timely and significant sarcasm into his speech.

7. How do they show love? What do they like to do with/for people they love?
Da Vale's ultimate gift of love is his time. Because his work and ambition are, it seems, his first love, it is very rare that he takes time out of his day to spend with special people. When he does - it means a lot.
(This is also why his fiancee left him. She said his work was taking him too much away from her.)

8. Do they have any pets?
No. Da Vale does not believe in "pets". "Pets" are for noblewomen with too much time on their hands who need a little lapdog to coddle.

9. Where would they go to relax/think?
He likes to get to the councilchamber early, to go through the cases of the day and gaze up at the painted ceiling, on which gods and angels enact Justice.

10. What is their weapon of choice?
Words. And his smile. Ideally, the two combined.

I really like where da Vale is going! After taking a break from this story after Camp NaNo, I think I'm ready to dive back into it. I might even start all over with the plot and use it as my NaNovel this November!


P.S. See all my Beautiful People posts HERE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

As always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy First Day of Fall!
(Or, um, Spring, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere.)
Today's topic is Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR list. There are SO MANY books I want to read this Fall, so it was extraordinarily hard narrowing it down to ten.

Anyway, here goes (covers link to Goodreads):

1. The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis.
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The Dead Writers' Society on Goodreads is doing a readalong of these books, and it's going on now! I'm in the middle of Hunchback, so I can't exactly join in for Out of the Silent Planet (which is what is scheduled for September), but I might hop in next month for Perelandrea and That Hideous Strength

2. The rest of Chretien de Troyes's Arthurian Romances
I read two of them for my Arthurian Lit class last spring, but I'm going to finish them off for the Arthurian Lit Challenge that I'm doing this year!

3. The Once and Future King by T. H. White.
Again, for the Arthurian Lit Challenge. Numerous people have recommended this book, so I'm excited to finally read it!

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
This one deserves a reread (for the second time), because I'm going to go see Lifeline Theatre perform it this fall. If you don't know, I ADORE LIFELINE.

5. Maze Runner by James Dashner.
Why? Because hype.

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
Everyone is raving about these books and I desperately want to see why!

7. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.
My friend said this book had Venice in it. VENICE I NEED IT

8. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey.
First, Maggie Stiefvater recommended it.
Then Cait (from the Notebook Sisters) recommended (flailed about) it.
This book is on my list today for VERY GOOD REASONS.

9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Because I've needed a reread of this charming thing for a very long time.

10. 1984 by George Orwell.
Somehow I never get around to reading this book. I must.

So there you have it! What books are you looking forward to reading this Fall?


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Scarlet; Cress by Marissa Meyer // Also, Character Quizzes can be Lame

You may remember that a while ago I did a combined post on Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.

I thought I'd do one on Scarlet and Cress as well!

First off: my most favorite thing about these two books (and this series as a whole) has to do with - predictably for me - characters. I love the idea of a new main character per book. That way, the books are distinct, yet connected - and I can keep track of them better in my own head. Too often, the books of a series blur in my mind, and I won't be able to tell you which book a certain scene happened in. (Some prime examples: The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even The Grisha Trilogy a bit - though that last one has a three books, three amplifiers thing going that helps.)

But with the Lunar Chronicles, I'm able to associate a book to a character, and so I remember the details of the story better. It's fantastic!

Continuing on with character-awesomeness: all three characters so far have been strong women with distinct and individual characteristics - and none of them fell into the trap of becoming Strong Female Leads. We have defined characters that are all the heroines of their own stories. Can I tell you how much I ADORE this? SO MUCH LOVE.

On a side note - out of the three girls, I think Cinder is the most similar to me. (Though there might be a drop of Cress in there too.) I wonder if there's a quiz for this. :-)
Update: Of course there are quizzes for this. According to one I'm Cinder. According to another I'm Thorne. Which is just SO WRONG on so many levels. I give up - these quizzes are all superficial.
"What color is your hair?" Seriously?
Also, as different as the (so-far) three main ladies are from each other, their love interests are just as different. The characters in this book are so distinct and unique.

I'm so excited to see what happens with Winter, the fourth and final book in the series. We've had a glimpse of Winter's character, but so far she seems defined by her oddities and quirks. I'm looking forward to seeing how she develops!

Gosh, I haven't even talked about the science and stuff. The fact that Cress is a programmer makes me super happy for some reason. I love that she is so skilled.

Have you read the Lunar Chronicles? What did you think? And - just for fun - which character do you think you are most similar to?


PS I also found the perfect magazine for Wolf (a character from the series). You'd get it if you've read the books:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yes, I'm Still Alive!

Alive, but swamped in essays and math homework...

I've practically disappeared from the blog for - how long has it been? - 9 days! What.

School has taken over my life, and I really am looking forward to finally feeling settled into college life and my schedule. (Is that a vain hope?)

Ideally, I'll get a combo-review of Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer up tomorrow, and one of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater next week. (This may also be a vain hope.)

And then there's the Notebook Sisters' Beautiful People feature. We're doing villains this month, so you're (hopefully) going to get a second post on da Vale. How exciting! I really want to get to that.

And there are some more exciting memes that I want to do, but time is short...

If nothing else, you will get a bombardment in two weeks of me posting about university etc: I'm doing a feature with Skylar @ Life of a Random called Freshmen Assemble: Bloggers Taking On College.

And if you really want to chat with me more consistently (I'd love to chat with you!), follow me on Twitter. I follow back every single book blogger or reader that follows me. And I'm there daily, basically. 140 characters is much more manageable than a blog post. :-)

With luck, I'll see you round here tomorrow.


P.S. Apologies to any blogs that I have neglected for the past couple weeks. Be warned: you will probably get a good bunch of comments from me in October on month old posts! :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Leo Tolstoy!

Today Leo Tolstoy celebrates his 186th birthday! How exciting!

The only work of his that I've read is War and Peace - but goodness, it was excellent. Tough, long, and full of philosophizing, but excellent. 

(Note: most classic Russian authors write books that are tough, long, and full of philosophizing.)

Tolstoy is such a genius. The way he creates his characters and weaves them through his story makes reading his work a memorable and affecting experience. I need to read more of his work, and I probably should reread War and Peace. It's been a while. :)

So. If you feel like reading my post on War and Peace, you can. Also, check out today's cool Google doodle in honor of Tolstoy. It's gorgeous!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Why I Love the Raven Cycle and Thus Desire an ARC of Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Maggie Stiefvater is giving away a bunch of copies of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and the way to win is to write (blog, tweet, post, status update) about one reason why you enjoyed reading the Raven Cycle.

The giveaway is open for ONE DAY ONLY.

So here I am writing about my love of these books when I should be getting ready for school tomorrow. 

 If you've been following my blog for the last few months at least, you'll know that there are many reasons why the Raven Cycle fascinates me: the fresh writing style, the distinct characters, the well-structured plot. But I'm supposed to only write about one reason, so I'm going to be a good little girl and follow the rules here. And for that, I'm going to choose:

Why I love the Raven Cycle: The Characters are fantastically real and distinct from one another. And I ADORE that.

Another thing you probably know (or have had shoved down your throat) if you know me is that the main criteria for me to like a book is for the characters to be excellent. The Raven Cycle fulfills this marvelously and so places itself on my Top Books of 2014 list. (That list is only in my head as of now.)

Why are the Raven Cycle characters so great? Here are some reasons:

1. No one can be mistaken for anyone else. When it's Gansey's POV, we know its Gansey's POV. When it's Blue's POV, we know that too. And when it's Ronan's POV, we definitely know it's Ronan. :-) There's no confusion. It all works.

2. There are five main characters but it's not overwhelming. Any author who can pull this off has my highest respect. This means that all the characters are distinctly Themselves, and so they are realistic. They aren't flat.

3. All characters have a backstory. Even the side ones. In the Raven Cycle, you can't trust a side character not to become a supporting character, since they're all so robustly characterized. (That sounds weird but you know what I mean.) For example, I loved that all the ladies at Blue's house have their own personalities and backstories. Who knew that Persephone would become such a Main Thing in Dream Thieves? 

I realize now that these three points are just three different ways of saying the same thing. Maggie's characters seem to just be plucked out of reality. They all have a three-dimensionality to them, whether they are leading or supporting; they all can be the main characters of their own story.

The more three-dimensional the characters are, the better I can "loose" myself in a book. And the better I can loose myself, the more I like it. 

Given this reasoning, it is of little surprise that I love the Raven Cycle so much! I'm so excited to see where my beloved characters will go in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.


Update: I didn't win, sadly. But I still consider this a fine post on The Raven Cycle, and maybe it makes up a bit for my teeny tiny review of The Dream Thieves

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater // Not Much of a Post


Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

(Read my post on The Raven Boys.)

I have tried, and tried, and TRIED to write a post on The Dream Thieves. This is all I could write:
You may remember that in my post on The Raven Boys, I wrote how much I LOVED that there were five main characters, and how distinctly they were each characterized. Well, The Dream Thieves shows what that sort of potential can lead to. I'd say Raven Boys was more about Blue and Gansey and Adam, and Ronan was just a confusing friend. But NOW - The Dream Thieves gives us Ronan in all his amazing, troubled, strange glory, and I love it.

I couldn't think of how to continue. I wrote and deleted and walked away and came back and tried again. And finally I came to the conclusion that it is one of those books that demands to be left un-analyzed, un-pondered, and un-probed. So I am going to leave it in my head in all its glory, and not box it into the structure of a written post. Because it demands to be left un-boxed.

In related news, October and Blue Lily, Lily Blue cannot come soon enough!

Let me know your thoughts on The Dream Thieves and on the series as a whole in the comments - remember to warn spoilers!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Siege and Storm; Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo // My Grandma is Genya


Because I read these one after the other, I thought I'd do a combined post.

Can I repeat what gets me so excited about these books? I know I said it (and said it and said it) in my review of Shadow and Bone but:


*dances a little dance of glee*

I need more of this. Someone needs to write more slavic fantasy (and not just me). I just looked up "Slavic Fantasy" on Goodreads and there are literally seventeen books shelved under that genre. SEVENTEEN! And seven of them aren't even in English! That means TEN books for us to partake of. Pitiful.
(By the way, the Grisha Trilogy wasn't on there. Shame.)

Apparently, The Ultimate Slavic Fantasy Book is called The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. Perhaps I should read it.

Anyway, my point is that we need to get more people writing Slavic fantasy. Yes or yes?

So, the fact that Bardugo, with no Slavic background herself, writes such a fantastic trilogy - highly commendable.

And not only does she provide the true feel of Slavic folklore, but also - the story is darn good too!

Let's talk characters again.

The Darkling has become SUCH a well rounded villain. You know what's a sign of a good villain? It's when he thinks that he isn't evil, he thinks that he is good, he's doing the right thing.
You, as the reader, of course, know that he's doing the wrong thing. But in his twisted mind, he can't see that. It makes him so REAL.

Do you know what the biggest debate in Psychology is? (Once you take Psy 101, you're never the same.) It's Nature vs. Nurture. Basically, the question is: what influences us more to become who we are? Is it inborn in our genes? (That's Nature.) Or is it our surroundings as we grow up? (That's Nurture.)
My opinion (because obviously I have a huge voice in the Psychological Department of the World) is that it's a little of both. There's a part of our personality that we're born with, but the other part is molded by the people around us, and our situation in life.

Who the Darkling became is so obviously a result of the Nurture side of things.

His history is so knotted, so tangled, so shadowed, it's not at all surprising that he came out with his morals a bit on the wrong side.

What is interesting about this book is that it's sort of a love-quadrangle, which I haven't encountered before (except for perhaps Shakespeare's Twelfth Night - now that was some love-quadrangle!)
We have the dark, bad boy. We have the sincere, full-hearted boy (Mal - who still wins, in my book).
And we have - well, something in between.
Nicolai is a flippant, jokey sort of fellow, who has never known a day of his life when things didn't go his way. But there's a deeper side to him that gets revealed as the story progresses - one that has some of Mal's beautiful kindness, but one that lack's Mal's humility. Mal has a certain sort of pride, but it's not the obvious kind. Nicolai's pride is obvious and pervading. It's not a bad thing, but it's not a good thing either - pride can be a virtue and a vice at the same time.

As I said, though, Mal wins in my book. He has a purity and goodness that will always send a character into my Fictional Crushes list. I will consistently fall for the good boys. Without fail. (Ahem, Peeta?)

DO YOU REALIZE WHAT MAL DID FOR ALINA? How can you not love him? When you get a guy who is that devoted to you, you don't let him go.

Talking about that - wow what a twist! I was so ready for it to go according to plan (three books, three amplifiers, the fairy-tale formula, and all comes out dandy).
But then Bardugo threw in such an epic twist in Ruin and Rising, and the whole fairy-tale formula fell on its head.


This ending was quite an epic ending, as endings go.

Oh and if you were wondering about the title of my post, my grandmother both is and isn't Genya. She obviously isn't the character Genya from the books (another spectacular character, by the way. Ugh, just marvelous!). But my grandma's name is, in fact, Genya. Her first name is Eugenia, which in Ukrainian is Evgenia, which shortens to the nickname Genya. It's sort of the Slavic equivalent of Jean.

Cool, huh? :-)

Have you read the Grisha Trilogy? What did you think of that ending? And which (if any) of the three fellows lands on your Fictional Crushes list? If you're into guys, that is.
Spoilers welcome in the comments, just warn ahead of time.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters at my Lunch Table

As always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Today's topic is Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table (like at school).
I've never sat at a lunch table at school. I, as a lucky homeschooler, would eat lunch outside on the porch (on nice days), and inside at the kitchen counter during colder weather. My company would usually be my sister and possibly my parents, but some of the time it would be just me with my book. 

But. If I did go to some wonderful school in Bookworld (a school for all ages, of course), who would be sitting at my table? 
This list is a mixture of book characters who probably would actually be my friends given our respective personalities, as well as characters whom I would like to have as friends, but are probably way too cool to sit at my table. :-)

(A while ago, I did a TTT about characters whom I would LOVE to have as friends. This is slightly different, somehow in my mind. But it definitely overlaps.)

1. Elinor Dashwoofrom Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
Elinor is the one Austen heroine I most relate to. I would love to have her as a friend.

2. Thursday Next from The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
Such a cool, bookish lady! I love her so much.

3. Charles Bingley from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Party time!

4. Prince Nicolai from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
So this is obviously one of those characters that would totally not be sitting at my table because he's just way too cool. He'd also probably be surrounded by a gaggle of girls. But still.
He and Bingley would make certain that there never was a dull moment! Oh, we'd have such fun together!

5. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. 
I utterly ADORE her. We would be SUCH friends.

6. Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
Booknerds ftw! Actually I'm noticing a couple book nerds on this list... :-)

7. Blue from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.
And Gansey would totally be welcome to sit with us too. Oh and Noah of course. (Love that kid.) And Adam. And now that everyone else is at the table, Ronan would probably not be too far behind.
Ronan would be at my table because everyone else is. But as much as I like him as a character, I really can't see him being my actual friend. Not very many people other than Gansey can, I think.

8. Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
Out of all the awesome characters from the Lunar Chronicles, I think Cinder would be the most likely to find her way to my friend group. She's quiet, practical, and sensible enough that I think we would get along marvelously.
(And if Iko cares to hang out with us, she's totally welcome. I have a feeling she might fall in love with Nicolai!)

9. Melanie from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Oh, Melanie. How honored I would be to have her as my friend.

10. Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. 
Lucy is such a decent, kind person, with a sweet, sweet heart. I have a feeling she and Melanie would get along marvelously!

What about you? Who would be sitting at your lunch table?