Oct 27, 2013

Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf: Day 10

Dont Look Behind 
the Bookshelf
Welcome to Day 10 of Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf, you mutated beings. (You can see yesterday's post here.) Today's post is going to be a little more fun than morbid, fortunately for you. In fact, the following guest may be quite helpful in helping you plan this year's Halloween. So please, give all your attention to...


Natalie is the author of Transparent and its upcoming sequel Blindsided, which are books about a girl who's invisible. She is also the author of the upcoming book that's separate from the series, House of Ivy & Sorrow. Since her books are perfect for Halloween and feature different identities (like invisibility), I thought it would be fitting if Natalie shared her...

Top Ten Coolest Costumes Ever

Warning: This post will show my nerdy so bad. 

Costumes! Who doesn't love costumes? I remember Halloweens as a kid, spending serious time thinking about what my costume would be and what that would say about me, how it would make me feel. Did I want to be a pretty princess or dress in my grandmother's traditional Maori garb? Did I want to be a spunky fifties sock hop girl or a graceful butterfly?

Truth is, I still love Halloween and I still love costumes. This holiday is one day where you don't have to be who you are—it's like a giant, weirdo masquerade ball where you can choose a new persona to slip on. I bet we'd all like to be someone else for a day sometimes. 

In fact, my novel Transparent is about a permanently invisible girl who wishes more than anything to see her own face. Fiona lives in a world where almost everyone has an odd mutation, be it purple skin, the ability to smell like whatever you want, or even dangerous things like mind control. Fiona wears a lot of "costumes," because she doesn't know who she is on the inside or outside.

So today Rachel asked me to share my "top ten" most awesomest costumes ever. Which is a hard thing to narrow down! These are in no particular order, but are obviously influenced by the things I love. Some of these costumes are certainly things I've dreamed of being for Halloween. Others are just really freaking cool but I could never pull it off.

1. Ichigo from Bleach: When I first saw this show, I was totally taken in by the concept of these reapers taking souls to the underworld and all the things that can go bad along the way. And I'm shameless enough to admit I have a huge crush on the main character, Ichigo. This costume is awesome. I wish I could see more of these around instead of the typical American fanfare.

2. Dark Link: Legend of Zelda is a classic game franchise, and I grew up loving it. This Dark Link costume is utterly fabulous and perfect and creepy. 

3. Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: I have a five-year-old daughter, so My Little Pony is a big part of my life. That said, I think I'd love this show even if I didn't have a daughter as an excuse to watch it. The pony cosplay out there is pretty spectacular, and I gotta admit I wouldn't mind wearing this fabulous costume.

4. Al from Fullmetal Alchemist: I think most anime-enthusiasts agree that FMA is one of the coolest animes out there. This impeccable replica of Al's suit of armor from the show...I wants it.

5. Korra from The Legend Of Korra: Both Avatar series have been huge favorites for me since I first found The Last Airbender. It's rare that an American show upholds the anime tradition so well, and the storytelling is awesome to boot. Korra is so cool. I totally want to be her when I grow up.

6. Rogue from X-men: I loved X-men growing up and would watch it every Saturday morning without fail. My favorite female character was, without a doubt, Rogue. If I could pull off a spandex jumpsuit, I'd totally be her for Halloween. But alas, no one needs to see me in spandex.

7. San from Princess Mononoke: I love all of Miyazaki's films, and this San costume is just fabulous. I think if I ever attempted to pull off a Miyazaki character, it'd have to be San or Sophie. I'm afraid I'm way too old to make a convincing Kiki, alas. She's my favorite.

8. Kiyoshi Warrior from The Last Airbender: The world of Avatar is so rich and seamless, and one of my favorite groups were the kick butt Kiyoshi Warriors. Their makeup is so distinctive that it'd make a great Halloween costume. Even if people didn't know what you were, you'd still look awesome.

9. Sailor Moon: Oh, Usagi. My first anime love was Sailor Moon, so of course it's a costume I'd put in my top ten. Sailor Moon is hard to pull off, but when she's done right it's magical. 

10. Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII: One of my favorite RPGs of all time, I kinda go batty over any costume from Final Fantasy VII, but Cloud...oh Cloud. Major crush. Yes, on a fictional character from a video game. Told you my nerdy would be showing hardcore. 

And that's my top ten! Hope you all have a great Halloween and wear cool costumes. Me? This year I'm going as Anne Shirley from Anne Of Green Gables. Yup, I still dress up if I can. It's a good thing I have kids so I don't look weird trick-or-treating all by myself.  

Don't Be...
Title: Transparent
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: May 21, 2013
Pages: 350
Goodreads Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

And Don't Get...
Title: Blindsided
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publishing Date: January 2, 2014
Pages: 336

What price would you pay just to look in a mirror? It's junior year of high school, and Fiona has definitely had enough of being invisible. It's pretty hard to have a normal relationship when the only photos of her and Seth show him kissing thin air. On top of that, old Arizonan gang tensions are threatening to spill over at any minute, which could put them all in serious danger. So when Fiona realizes that she and her friends know something that could change everything, she has to decide whether working with the criminal syndicates is too high a price to finally be seen.

Welcome to...
Title: House of Ivy & Sorrow
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 352
Goodreads Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

People Are Digging These Books
Fast-paced, fun, and so original I was downright giddy, TRANSPARENT is a truly awesome debut from an author destined to be on my auto-buy list. — Rachel Hawkins, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Hex Hall series
Debut author Natalie Whipple deftly explores painfully real teen experience through delightfully unreal stories. TRANSPARENT is a smart, funny, tense gem of a book, and Fiona claims a spot as one of my favorite heroines. — Kiersten White, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy
I can sum up this book in one word: COST. Everything in Natalie Whipple's HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW has a price. Every spell requires a sacrifice. But that's not where the price tags end. What is the price of a relationship? A friendship? A friend's life? And secrets. Secrets have the highest cost of all. A wonderful, dark tale of witches who feel all too human. Loved it!” — Aprilynne Pike, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Wings series

The Visible Writer
Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption. 

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, Pho, and “real” ramen.

See You Tomorrow...
Thank you, once again, for stopping by Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf. It is really, truly appreciated. And don't forget to visit Natalie's websites and check out her books!

Hopefully, I'll see you tomorrow for one of the last days of this year's Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf. There will of course be another author and Halloween-rific post. In fact, tomorrow's post may ve a wittle vloody...


  1. Ah, Rogue. Or as I call her, Our Lady Of The Blessed White Hair Streak.

  2. (William LOL!)

    I cheered almost very loudly in my office when I saw Al, the Kiyoshi, and Cloud. OMGIloveCloudsomuch. I might go home and watch Advent Children tonight!


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