the Nocturnal Library is honored and happy to be able to host Shirley Marr's Preloved Blog Tour LAST stop today! The book has being going 'round and 'round for the past ten days now and if you want to check out the other stops (each and every one amazing in their own, original way), just take a look HERE.
Her debut book, Fury, was one of my favorite reads of 2011 (I bitched and fussed so much to get my hands on that one... Fishpond, I'm looking at you and I am getting my sushi knives ready, remember *insert evil laugh here*), so I was thrilled when our little blog got a chance to be part of the Preloved Blog Tour. I am actually starting to read my own copy tonight so stick around for my review during the course of the next week!
Without further ado, let's leave the spotlight to the author herself and let's hear what she has to say about...
Shirley's Top and Bottom 5 of the Awesome 80s
(Warning, May Contain Traces of Blue Eyeshadow)
Guest Post by Shirley Marr
Hey Cool Dudes! Welcome to Maja and Lisa's Rad Blog. This is my very last stop on the Preloved tour (sad), but we will go out with a fun bang (and a fun giveaway!). As 80s David Bowie would say, put on your red shoes (and maybe your purple taffeta dress) and join me on an irrelevant stroll through the 80s. Mind the shoulder pads (it might take your eye out).
Worst: shoulder pads. I've never understood them. I can understand why women would want more shapely curves or a larger bust - but bigger shoulders? Why? Is it an intimidation tactic like when cats do the whole puffed-up tail thing? I've seen the "mini" shoulder pad make a resurgence of late and maybe that is filling a need for people that have Shoulder Envy, but let's leave the major shoulder pads back in the 80s. Do I have least one shoulder pad joke in Preloved. I better!
Best: I know most would disagree, but I think that the evening and prom dresses of the 80s are beautiful! Amongst those tafetta fashion disasters, there were genuinely really wonderful dresses, like this dress modelled by Princess Di. Velvet and fishtail are two things to emerge from the 80s which I think resonate positively today. As an experiment I went looking at genuine 80s dresses and I found this aquamarine lace number which I think is quite lovely** (what do you think?). Despite it all, the 80s was a wonderful time of experimentation, frivolousness and fun! I wish fashion would take itself less seriously these days and just let its hair down so I put this idea in Preloved.
Best: I know everyone instantly thinks of awful 80s synths and lyrics (like "when will I/ will I be famous/I can't answer/ I can't answer that" C'mon Bros, seriously?), but there was some great experimental music coming out that was doing electronica pop right. My top 3 albums of the decade would be Hounds of Love by Kate Bush (1985); Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) by David Bowie (1980) and Icehouse by Flowers (1980). Plus who doesn't love 80s power ballads such as Eternal Flame by The Bangles, True by Spandau Ballet and Eyes Without a Face by Billy Idol? Well, I'm pretty sure my hairbrush and Karaoke machine love them anyway! If Preloved had a mixed tape I am sure these songs would make it in there.
Worst: I think there must be hundreds of terrible 80s songs with terrible video clips. My nomination for worst 80s song would be We Built This City by Starship. There's so much hair in that clip I think it suffocated me. I hope this song is on nobody's mixed tape.
Best: The Princess Bride. Based on the book by William Goldman. I think this movie has everything - a wonderful fairytale story, script and beautiful cinematography. It's funny, romantic, dark and probably has some of the most quotable lines ever! Plus it's got Many Patinkin. I have to admit this movie has a deep childhood connection with me. I wish that they made kid's movies like they did back in the 80s like Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, E.T and cheesy teen movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink… but maybe today's audience are too savvy for that sort of thing. I'll stop reminiscing like an old person now. I think one or two of these movies ended up in the novel.
Worst: Grease 2, Xanadu and BMX Bandits. Sorry Livvy and Nic!
Worst: Logan Bruno from The Babysitter's Club. Yes, I named one of my characters after what I consider the worst character from an 80s book. I guess I just roll like that? Logan is like Peter from The Secret Seven, but with hormones, football and a Southern accent. Logan is an asshat. I think Ann M. Martin wrote him in as wish fulfilment cos why would a jock also be a sensitive boy sitter and also date Mary Anne Spiers who has a personality equivalent to Bella Swann's? I guess I chose the name because Logan Bruno is too good to be true as a real boy:)
Best: Penny Pollard by Robin Klein. Oh gosh I loved her so much! Does anyone remember Penny or is it just me reminiscing over my childhood glory years? She appeared in a series of books that were set out like a real diary, scrapbook etc and included photos, clippings and doodlings. This is me speaking fondly in hindsight. I might read the books again and cringe… but I remember her being a feisty, loveable and hilarious character with very frank observations and questions about life, school and boys. Like a young Kylie Mole! Okay, I feel so nostalgic. I'm going to have to find the books now. This one is going to turn into a Goodreads challenger for sure.
Worst: Cabbage Patch Dolls. I am so sorry if you had one as a child and loved it, but admit it, they're kinda creepy. Actually, not that long ago I was talking with a friend and they mentioned something about Cabbage Patch Dolls being Satanic and/or possessed and like all good Urban Legends it might have been true. Or fake. Or true and made to appear fake, but actually was fake. And there was also a story about these dolls eating children's hair?? I am too scared to Google this myself. if you know, please let me know. There are no Cabbage Patch Dolls mentioned in Preloved. I didn't want it to be that scary.
Best: Practically anything that isn't a Cabbage Patch Doll, actually! Does anyone remember Pound Puppies? They were like Cabbage Patch Dolls and you adopted them, but they were actually really cute and had this awesome pro-animal and pro-shelter message. Then there are of course Care Bears, My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake. Anyone who remembers Wuzzles gets a cookie. I had a Rubix cube which I never figured out (I cheated by removing all the stickers and rearranging them) and I am sure I came close to breaking my neck on a pogo ball. Some of these things rate a mention in Preloved!
Thanks for reading my guest post and thanks to Maja and Lisa for having me stop by. As a parting gift I'm giving away a $50 voucher to my favourite vintage-inspired online store - Modcloth - so you too can help build up a preloved-look wardrobe. All you have to do is answer the question:
"What would be your most loved or hated thing from the 80s?"
See below for details and also how you can win a copy of Preloved!
**Credits: 80s aquamarine lace cocktail dress ($25) worn by Shirley is from Retro Vinnies in Northbridge, Perth. Thanks to the cute Emo manager who helped me pick this dress.
What an awesome post!
Thanks to Shirley Marr for bringing her witty, sassy self to The Nocturnal Library and taking us back in time. Gosh, those shoulder pads... ouch. I used to wear them too. With t-shirts. Stuck under bra straps. *off to burn all pictures from that time*
So here comes the time for the prizes.
To enter the book giveaway: use the Rafflecopter below! The rules are always the same, it's open internationally (everywhere, since I'll be sending). Once the winner is announced, he/she will receive an email and will have 72 hours to get back to us. Failure to do so will result in us picking another winner.
To enter the voucher giveaway: answer Shirley's question in the comments. The funniest answer will be picked by Shirley herself at the end of the giveaway!
Good luck to all!
Lisa & Maja