Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

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Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Tina Kakadelis Starter Pack

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If you've read Burn Before Reading, then you know that teen dramas from The WB have deeply impacted my life. (If you haven't read Burn Before Reading, honestly, how did you even get here? But also, please buy my book.) As far as early-2000s teen dramas go, The O.C. was top of the line. Seth Cohen was the shining light of the show. Let's be honest here; did anyone really like Marissa Cooper? Honestly? The only time I liked her character was when she shacked up with Olivia Wilde for two episodes. In retrospect, that should've been a solid indicator that I was gay, but noooo. It'd take me a couple more years to figure that out.

So, Seth Cohen. My man. In season one, he's torn between two girls, Summer and Taylor. In order for them to get to know him a little better, he makes the Seth Cohen Starter Pack. A collection of movies, books, and albums that he believes made him who he is.

You and I don't know each other yet, so I thought I'd put together my own little starter pack. Y'know, the absolute essentials to understanding me on the most basic level.

Tina Kakadelis Starter Pack

Born to Run - Now I'm not one to exaggerate, but Born to Run is the greatest album on the planet. It's true. It's been scientifically proven. No need to try and dispute it. The first time I heard Thunder Road, I felt my whole world explode. You know in Almost Famous when Zooey Deschanel says that if you light a candle and listen to Tommy, you can see the future? Well, if you listen to Born to Run on a highway at sunset in the middle of the desert, you can drive to the edge of the universe.

Rocket Science - I will own up to this now; I'm a huge Anna Kendrick fan. If I wasn't such a big fan, I doubt I would've ever come across this movie. It's a sweet indie film about a boy with a stutter who joins the debate team because he has a crush on Anna Kendrick's character. I like this movie for three reasons. 1. I, too, could be inspired to join a debate team in the hopes of impressing Anna Kendrick. 2. The writing is so sweet and charming and I'm a sucker for coming of age movies. 3. One of my favorite quotes from anything is from this movie. "Suitcases end marriages and farming subsidiaries launch cataclysms."

This is Where I Leave You - Like I said, I'm a big fan of coming of age stories. Most people say we grow up around the time we're in high school. I think we come of age numerous times in our lives. When everything we know shifts on its head and leaves us alone, confused, scared, and lonely. This book focuses on Judd, who just found out his wife was cheating on him around the same time his dad passed away. It's a dysfunctional comedy of what it means to be part of a family and how to start over in the middle of your life.

Stories for Monday - They say the music you listen to in high school is the music you listen to for the rest of your life. I've been listening to The Summer Set since I was about fifteen. This album is like if Bruce Springsteen had a pop child. It's dreamy and drenched in sweet, sweet nostalgia. It was supposed to be their last album ever and I'm glad it's not because it's their best one yet.

The Last Five Years - I love crying. I've cried in 89% of the movies I've ever seen. I've got a lot of feelings. The Last Five Years is a musical that's the story of a failed marriage. Cathy tells their love story in reverse; from the end to the beginning. Jamie tells the story chronologically. The only time they sing together is in the middle of the show at their wedding, when their timelines cross. It's great because the show starts with Cathy singing about how sad she is that their relationship is over, and then it goes into Jamie singing about how he met the most amazing girl who he's going to spend the rest of his life with. Somewhere in the middle of the show, you forget that you already know how terribly this all goes, which makes the ending even more of a gut punch. Get yourself some whiskey (if you're able to; if not, get some cookie dough), the original cast recording, and settle in for a long night.

So, that's it for ya! A nice li'l peek into my life. Stick around on this blog. I'll post on a semi-irregular basis and promise you at least a mediocre time. Leave a comment with your own starter pack and we'll all get to know each other a little better.