Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's Finally Time

We have been building up to this coming week for a long time, haven't we?

And now, in a curiously sudden way, here it is: In two days Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye will be released.

How can this be so hard for me to believe?

A librarian in the SF Bay Area has been rereading the series in preparation for Kiss Goodbye, and she's been sending me her comments and favorite bits from each book. It's been great to be reminded of past episodes, and heartwarming to hear her reaction to books and scenes and even stand-out sentences.

So this week I thought it would be fun (and, selfishly, good therapy for me) if you would leave a comment stating your favorite(s)--line, scene, book--it doesn't matter. Short or long--it doesn't matter. I would love it getting your thoughts.

And thank you, my blogger friends, for checking in--some of you every week for years now. I hope you enjoy Kiss Goodbye. It's finally time.

PS For those of you who are not on Facebook--and I know many of you are not--here is a link to a news article I know you'll enjoy.


Jo said...

Cannot wait for Tuesday! I usually have a dinner date with a friend on Tuesdays, so I told her that we absolutely must eat near a Barnes & Noble so I can grab a copy of the book as soon as I get off from work. C:

And wow, favorite anything from Sammy is too difficult -- so many good choices to pick from!

Here's one of my favorite scenes from THE SEARCH FOR SNAKE EYES:
"She could've been handing you a bomb, Sammy. Why didn't you look?"

"A bomb I could handle! .... This is not my fault!"

Marissa gives me a closed little smile, then says, "It never is."

And one of the most heartwarming lines from HOLLYWOOD MUMMY:
"To think that you would forsake this girl to further a career. Had I a child like this at home, I would never have left."

And this absolutely bawl-worthy confession from PSYCHO KITTY QUEEN:
"So like I said, I don't like kids. Never wanted kids. But... But if I had one like you, I wouldn't trade her for the world."

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

*Happy sigh* Thanks, Jo!

Kylie said...

I am not ready to see this end. I really am not. I was writing an essay today about how important reading has been for me, how it helped me get over my numerous speech impediments when I was little. If I could pick a series that has been, I guess I would call it, my role model series it would be Sammy Keyes. She has taught me so much. To be strong and don't give up without a fight, to help those in need, that it is okay to give things up even if you really really want it so that your loved ones are happy, the importance of EZ Crete, the value of trust and so so so much more.

I too have been rereading the series and it has been so hard. Because I know that this will be the last time I reread it before I knew one comes out. This is the last time I get to read into the world of Sammy Keyes. I really should have marked my favorite parts of each book, but each book would be filled with tags because I love every part so much.

Some favorite scenes:
Curse of Mustache Mary:
Well for starters Casey is introduced and he beings his journey to becoming one of my all time favorite characters.

But also the of Mary. I love pioneer stories and this one was amazing. Mary was so strong and smart and I really loved her diary.

Hollywood Mummy:
When Sammy wakes up at the hospital and her mom is rubbing her head. Basically all scenes where Lana is acting like a mother should because they make me so happy.

Runaway Elf:
Elyssa and Sammy's relationship in this book is so cute and adorable and I just really love it because all Sammy's life she has been looking up to people and she finally has someone that is looking up to her and she sees how important that is. And the scene where she tells Elyssa that her father will always be in her heart always has me tearing up.

Mrs. Graybill. Mrs. Graybill in this whole book made me realize how you can never really know everything about a person. And I felt so bad for her. I just wanted to give her a giant hug.

Dead Giveaway:
"I'm al folded up, holding my head, rocking back and forth. I can't seem to stop rocking back and forth. I feel angry. Helpless. Possessed. And that's when it flashes through my mind that there's the me I'd always been, and the me I was turning into. They were both afraid, but of completely different things. One was afraid of what I was becoming. The other was afraid of what I'd done."
This scene was really important to me because I remember one time when I was rereading this book I was keeping this giant secret and every day I was worried that someone was going to or had already found out. It was killing me. But this scene as well as what happened following it really helped me to realize that it would just be better to tell someone.

Snake Eyes:
I love so much I think it is one of my favorites in the series. First off the part that always gets me is when Sammy is talking to Tippy. Tippy is such a brave, young girl and it breaks me heart every time I read that part knowing that there are children that deal with that everyday. I also really love the cementing his butt in concrete. He so deserved it and it always makes me laugh.

Psycho Kitty Queen:
The fight scene between Heather and her posse will forever be one the the best scenes in the whole series for me. Because not only does Sammy kick some butt, Heather gets what she deserves. And I had been waiting for that.

I also love like Jo said "So like I said, I don't like kids. Never wanted kids. But... But if I had one like you, I wouldn't trade her for the world." Officer Borsch and Sammy had had some rough times but this scene was so important to their relationship because Officer Borsch finally trusts her, I mean really trusts her.

Here are I few other that I want to add but it is getting late and I really need sleep so maybe I will come back tomorrow and finish up the rest of my favorite scenes end of the series.


Kylie said...

Yes I know I should be sleeping but I totally forgot to mention the article! I really loved it. I felt like it captured the essence of Sammy Keyes and it definitely brought tears to my eyes.

Have a super fantastic week everyone and I hope you all get to read Kiss Goodbye as soon as it is released!

Renita said...

Favorite book: Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary

Why: Ummm the introduction of Casey of course. And i feel like my life coincided with Sammy at that time. Boys! They come into your world and decide to wreck your whole belief system that all boys are weird.

Favorite quote/ scene:
I pull my hand away. "I don't even know your name!"

He laughs and says, "Hey! Well, I guess you don't. But I can fix that." He crosses his arms, looks at the ceiling, and says, "My name's Casey, I live at 782 Golden Oak Circle, I'm in the eighth grade at William Rose Junior High, I like skateboarding, mountain biking, skiing, and baseball. My favorite color's green, and if my dad would let me, I'd eat macaroni and salsa for dinner every night."

"Macaroni and salsa?"

"It's god-like."

In fact I love that whole scene up to where Marissa shuts Taylor down for lying about Sammy's board. To where Casey grabs Sammy's hand and marches her past a dumbstruck Heather. To where Sammy's friends pester her about liking Casey. As a kid I reread that so many times it's kind of embarassing to admit it.

I cant wait for this book but it's also kind of sad. I feel like I grew up with Sammy and she helped shape my tween/teen years and now it's like my best friend from middle school is moving away. It's a good thing I have all these Sammy Keyes books so that I reread them when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the release of "Kiss Goodbye" really snuck on me. I really want to re-read the rest of the series first but I don't think I'll be able to resist reading the last book first lol.

Off of the top of my head, these are some of my favorite moments -

In Sisters of Mercy when Sammy touches the cold ring and the cold carrot and figures out who stole from the church. It's just so smart and clever - and then she ends up crashing a mobile home which is one of the funniest moments in the series. Sammy's hesitant friendship with Holly is also really touching to read about.

As others have mentioned I love Sammy's sort of older-sister relationship to Elyssa. The part of the book where Sammy finds Elyssa making the word "Dad" with the blades of grass in the graveyard always makes me cry.

Moustache Mary was the first book in the series I read so that will always hold a special place for me. The ending where Sammy and her friends trap the culprint underground with just a bicycle wheel is so suspenseful and of course I love the introduction of Casey.

In Hollywood Mummy there's a scene where Lana says something like "I've missed you, Sunshine" to Sammy and for some reason that always puts tears in my eyes. Sammy has such an up and down relationship with her mother but in the end she just wants to have a loving relationship with her and that one nickname gives her that. I also really liked Inga's turnaround from an evil mummy character to a misunderstood, nicer person.

Snake Eyes is probably my favorite of the series because it's so gritty and real. It feels like the most mature and scary of all the books but it's necessary to contrast Sammy's difficult life with other girls her age who feel like they have no other choice but to get involved with gangs. Cementing the gangster in a wheelbarrow is such an awesome and validating ending and I also love the lighter softball plot that's thrown in.

I like how Officer Borsch and Sammy's relationship really strengthens after she saves him at the end of Psycho Kitty Queen. They really do respect each other despite their differences and Officer Borsch begins to see her as a help rather than a burden.

I've always loved the scene where Sammy, Casey, Billy and Marissa go to the dance in Dead Giveaway. It's such the ideal high school experience..just cruising with your friends getting fried chicken in buckets, talking like pirates and goofing around.

The bonding that Sammy and Darren experience in Killer favorite moment is when Sammy and Marissa are having a blast thinking of inside jokes to write on Darren's shoes and he's quietly tearing up. After so many years of not knowing each other, the fact that they get along so well so quickly is heartwarming.

ok whew did not mean to write so much. I've been reading this series since I was 9 and now I'm a college graduate...I've loved experiencing Sammy's growth alongside her and I've loved reading about all the crazy characters in the little world of Santa Martina. I'm sad and excited for the last book and I'm happy that there are so many books in this series that I can keep and re-read and give to my kids :) thank you Wendelin!!

Harriet said...

Holy cow! I can't believe Kiss Goodbye comes out tomorrow.

I'm not one of your more dedicated blog followers, but occasionally I'll check it out to see what's going on. I am however an avid Sammy Keyes fan! I just want to thank you for creating such a wonderful series, Wendelin <3

I remember when i first read the Hotel Thief in either 3rd or 4th grade. Years and many worn through pairs of high tops later, it's just as wonderful picking up any Sammy Keyes book!

I started to think about my favorite scene, but within a few minutes I was up to a couple dozen scenes and kept on thinking of more. The whole series is golden.

By the way, I loved reading through everybody else's favorite scenes :)

Harriet said...

P.S. I've forced my friends to come on a Day Of The Dead picnic with me this year. There will be chicken salad, I assure you.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I love all these comments, thank you, thank you! They take me right back to "being there."

:] Leah ]: said...

I think one of my all time favorite lines of the series is in Art of Deception. "You gotta ask nice!"

I also loved the scene in Skeleton man when Heather figures out that Sammy is Dot's "cousin."

In Snake Eyes, there is so much I love in this book! I love the baseball scene where Sammy refuses to play- it was just so grown up and mature!

Finally... I think someone has to say it... I loved the pin and the punch scene. It just set the whole series up for action and growth! I also loved how in Dead Giveaway, Sammy realizes how much she has grown because she doesn't want to punch Heather again. She didn't want to end the school year the same way she started it.

I have no idea when I will get Kiss Goodbye tomorrow- I just know that I will get it!!!!! So Excited for the book, and the festival in October!!

Karen said...

It is curiously sudden, isn't it? Saturday I looked around and went, Wait, it comes out on Tuesday? This Tuesday?

Holy cow. (Or should I say, Holy smokes?)

I'm so happy about those endpapers! One thing I have missed in recent books is the little pieces of cover art appearing at the beginning or end of chapters. I guess that's one reason the hardcover art is my favorite ... and this is a comment I should be putting on the cover art post. I'll do that.

Thank you for linking to the article! The whole thing is good, but I particularly liked the bit about how everyone, even the supporting characters, have to deal with life in its messy complexity, because that's what has kept me coming back again and again, long after I outgrew Sammy in age. (Well, that and the mysteries are really well done.) It's so nice to have a journalist who has something thoughtful to say about a book series.

(I just reread the article and noticed, down at the bottom, Executive Editor Ryan Miller [the writer] still says Billy Pratt is his favorite character. Of course a journalist who is also a Sammy fan would have something thoughtful to say.)


The Renaissance Faire. The accents and the jousting and the insults and Sammy getting into character and then the fish.

Anything where we get to learn about the Billy behind the goofy grin. (Wedding Crasher, Justice Jack, Night of Skulls.)

That one time Sammy spent an entire book tromping around with Holly. I loved Sammy's observation about her friendship with Marissa being like long stripes of regular glue and her friendship with Holly being like little squirts of superglue, and I wish we were following Sammy farther so we could see that friendship develop after Marissa has to move. (Holly: Psycho Kitty Queen, Sisters of Mercy, Night of Skulls.)

The Land of Blue. I love Dot and her parents and her siblings and whenever we're there it's fun (more like rambunctious and uproarious), from Snow White running around with a toy gun with the Cowboy in hot pursuit threating to turn Snow White into a newt if she doesn't give the gun back, to Dutch new year's doughnuts and games, to cookie warfare. (Thank you for introducing us to cookie warfare!)

All of the Darren and Marko. I was going to say All the Darren and Marko in Killer Cruise, but no, it's from the moment (in Sin City) he's looking at Sammy and his eyes are definitely twinkling. "Well, let's go figure that out, then." The dame business and the dogs playing poker and getting stuck on the school roof good grief these boys are the best.

All of the stuff with Lana at the end of Sin City which allowed me to understand her a little.

Oh, and the softball games! I loved reading those descriptions.

Corazon Nunez said...

Hmm… My favorite moments are when Sammy just completely goes on a rant, either trying to explain where she's been or telling someone off. I love those bits. :D

Did anyone else notice that Death could have narrated this book? I'm terrified now. No one is allowed to die.

Kylie said...

I did notice the death thing and it totally freaked me out. No one can die! Well maybe the bad guys can.

Gabrielle said...

Reading all these comments is making me want to re read the books! Sadly, I've a lot of school work and don't have much time to red. :(
I'm gonna have to think about my favorite parts. But my favorite book is Moustache Mary, because it hold a special place in my heart; it was the first Sammy Keyes book I ever read. I basically like every scene in that book. I love the scene when they're at Dot's house and Sammy has just figyred out that Casey and Heather are siblings. And when Sammy and all her friends are talking about if Sammy and Casey got married. And when dos saying, "Yeah. Can you picture Sammy and Heather being sisters-in-law? Or having Heather as a mother-in-law? Talk about toture! I can just see them gathered around the table at Thanksgiving, throwing food and yelling. Wow! That would be a mess!" And when Sammy over hears them making up her life story, and they're talking about how her first child is kidnapped and held for ransom. That whole scene is just hilarious, and I can picture all that in my mind and it's just super funny.
And of course I love the scene in wedding crasher when Casey puts on Sammy's high heels for her. It was so sweet!

The whole death thing freaked me out too! No one is allowed to die! I refuse! But the article was really amazing.


Alyse said...

I don't have A favorite book! This is so crazy I have been reading these books since I was in fourth Grade and in a few months I am going to be graduating high school. As excited as I am about this last book coming out, I am also kind of sad. I feel like this marks the end of my childhood. Sammy Keyes has been such a big part of my life for so long. Its all so crazy.
I Agree with everyone who said that Mustache Mary and the introduction of Casey was such a memorable moment in the series.
I also love love love in Wild Things when they release the Condors. That was an Incredible moment.

My all time favorite moment was in Showdown in sin city.
" I didn't know where I was going or what I was going to do, but somehow it felt like there was no going back. So I just walked and walked, lugging my poor broken skateboard around the huge Mandalay Bay property thinking about how much worse things were now that they'd been before. It wasn't just my skateboard. Everything about my life felt broken.

I don't know why I like this quote so much but I think it speaks to how we all feel sometimes. This was the only time in the whole series that I cried. I think a lot of people have though that having Sammy Keyes as a freind would be awesome. In this passage and this whole book I feel like I could have been there for her. I could have been her friend.
Well the book comes out tomorrow and I honestly can't wait. I hope everyone enjoys the book and Wendelin thank you so much for writting this incredible series it has truly touched my life

Alyse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyse said...

If anyone dies ... enough said ...

Optimistic4ever said...

Sorry I'm late to the comments! Loved the entire series, but I think my favorite would be Wild Things because that's what introduced me to the series. My friend was reading it on the bus during a field trip, and the first scene I ever read was the part in which Billy was describing how he killed the snake. Really caught my attention.

Other favorite parts, Hotel Thief in which Sammy begins everything by waving at the guy. The creepiest case for me was probably Hollywood Mummy because of your blog post in which you talked about the real life inspiration for the book. I loved the introduction of Casey in Moustache Mary and especially how her friend's teased her about him afterwards, it was all so relatable, considering I was in middle school when I read it. I pretty much have loved every scene with Billy, starting from Dead Giveaway. Everything in Justice Jack slayed me. Considering Heather is my favorite character, Sin City holds a really special place in my heart.

To summarize, my all-time favorites are Moustache Mary, Art of Deception, Wild Things, and Sin City.

One of my favorite things is how your books are completely appropriate for younger kids, even though Sammy has tackled cases with gangs, drugs, and murder (things my parents most definitely were not okay with me reading about, yet they were completety supportive of this series). I really appreciate that, thank you so much for writing these stories that have been with me since childhood!

Saheli said...

AHH its today! I've been rereading the whole series because of today! I'm really excited to read the new book but also kind of scared because I know I am going to cry at the end. I preordered it on ITunes so its on my phone right now.
I've been reading the Sammy Keyes series since like 3rd grade and now I am in 10th Grade and still LOVE them.

Here's some Quotes from the series I liked a lot:

The Hotel Thief:
" Out of all the people walking around William Rose Junior High School that day, Marissa picks a girl with hair the color of fire and says, Let's go ask her."
I think if they had never met Heather then Half of the things that happen in the series would never happen.

The Skeleton Man:
I liked it when Sammy was putting a recording of Heather in the PA box for the whole school to hear. That was really mischievous and clever.

The Sisters of Mercy:
Holly was like my second favorite character for a while and this is where she was introduced. I am surprised how Holly's attitude towards Sammy has changed in this book. First she Jabbing a knife and now she wants to follow and do things with Sammy like what friends do :)

The curse of Mustache Mary:
This is where my second favorite character at the moment is introduced, Casey Acosta. When I figured that he was Heathers brother I hated him but I started liking him throughout the rest of the book series. I also liked the story about Mary. I thought it was interesting.

The Hollywood Mummy:
"to think that you would forsake this girl to a further career. Had I a child like this at home, I would never have left."

The Search for Snake Eyes:
this book was probably the scariest of all the books. Going to gang territory is pretty scary and I loved that Sammy was brave enough to go into the center of it all. Also the part where Sammy captures Snake Eyes. Putting cement...GENIOUS!

The Art of Deception:
I loved the Renaissance fair the most. I wish there was one in real life. Also with the Kiss and the Fish those parts were funny.

The Psycho Kitty Queen:
Officer Borsch finally starts acknowledging that Sammy isn't a criminal.
"So like I said, I don't like kids. Never wanted kids. But... But if I had one like you, I wouldn't trade her for the world."
Also the part where Casey gave Sammy a Horseshoe for good luck for her birthday. That was cute.

The Dead Giveaway:
Casey's note in Sammy's yearbook was so cute and I think we all know that Casey has likes Sammy for quite a while now. This is where I started hating Danny ALOT. I actually want to go Ice-Blocking sometime. Its on my Bucket List. I also felt sad for Mrs. Stone because like What a NASTY husband she had.

Wild Things:
The song. THE SONG. It was stuck in my head for a while ah. And I was so happy about how Sammy finally starts liking Casey for himself. I was also happy about the CONDORES.

The Cold Hard Cash:
Sammy finally admits it here. You know what I mean :DD
It was funny imagining Sammy in a GRANDMA costume.

The Wedding Crasher:

Justice Jack:
poor Billy...I wanted to jump in the book and give him a bear hug.
stupid Danny.

The Sins of Sin City:
My FAVORITE BOOK from the series.
I couldn't believe that Sammy and Heather are like not enemies anymore kind of.
and SAMMYS DAD IS DARREN COLE...right under our noses this whole time.

The Killer Cruise:
At the end when I read all the little quotes on Sammy's shoe I felt nostalgic because in my mind I was saying, "I remember that scene in that book!"


Saheli said...

I've already wept tears by just reading the first chapter guys :'(
I'm overemotional...

Yusa said...

I've been keeping up with all the posts and comments but school keep me too busy to post a comment of my own. Of course I know once i start typing I will have way more words than I have time. My AP English essay awaits but I had to drop by with my happiness.

Just two days after my birthday this last book comes out. I havent gotten ahold of it yet, but I am on the library waiting list. My family did not take my hints to pre order it.

I'll have to write another essay to say how much Sammy means to me and I'd probably end up plagiarizing the books if I tried copying down all my favorite quotes.

All I can think of on the spot is Heather and a slimy fish, Billy and condor jokes, every wise thing Hudson has ever said, and all the best Sammy and Officer Borsh conversations. There are so many more that would take forever to list out. I'll get to it if I find the time. Casey and his god-like salsa and macaroni, Holly with her dumpster diving, MArissa with her boy problems and her parents, Hudson with his porch always big enough to solve any problems, Heather with her fiery hair and attitude, Lana with her bad parenting and obsession with acting and secrets, Grams with her sacrifices for her grand daughter, Billy with his jokes and his secretly awful dad, Dot with her huge family and blue house, Danny toying with girls, Officer Borsch and his flushing face and lavender tux, Cricket with her girl scouts, Alyssa and her dogs, and Sammy with her waves and binoculars and hi-tops and skateboard and curiosity that started this journey.

I have so much to say, and I will write a comment long enough to have it's own post later, but until then I get to analyze The Things They Carried.


P.S. Congratulations Your Literary Highness on your accomplishment of creating a beloved series of 18 amazing and unforgettable books. Now hopefully I get to meet you on the 20th.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Read through to here. Wonderful way to end Release Day.

Waving at all of you...

Emma said...

Wow. I just finished Kiss Goodbye, and I stared at the last sentence a long time, not wanting it to end. All I can say right now is this- it was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Saheli said...

I read it too! I cried and I miss it so much! I might reread the whole series again before really saying bye!

MianHuaSamJosephiKeyesCole said...

one of my favorite lines was when Sammy was taking care of pepe and Sammy jumped Casey's friend for the skateboard. Never mess with Sammy's Skateboard! Just finished Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye. T^T It was amazing and so sad. Was the ending in our (reader's) and your perspective? If yes, we will alwaysbe able to visit her :) (I never realized her middle name was JOSEPHINE!)

MianHuaSamJosephiKeyesCole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MianHuaSamJosephiKeyesCole said...

Can't believe I didn't know her middle name was Josephine!

Gabrielle said...

Got Kiss Goodbye and I'm reading it! So amazing! I reared up a few times. Can't believe the series is ending. But Sammy will always be with us. :)


HelenaB said...

Thank you so much for bringing Sammy Keyes to the world! I'm going to miss waiting for the next book to come out and constantly checking fantasticfiction for any news on it!

My favourite moment has got to be from Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things when Sammy ends up in a load of tics and runs out with her pants down in front of Billy and Casey! Had me in fits of laughter!

Gabrielle said...

Just finished Kiss Goodbye. It was the most amazing book I have ever read. Sammy has affected my life so much, an it's said to say goodbye. But I guess it's not really a goodbye, I can always go back to the adventures and memories of Sammy. She impasse my life so much. And reading that last sentence, it really hit me that that was the last Sammy Keye book. But I will always cherish having her in my life.
So thank you Wendelin go sharing Sammy Keyes with us and sharing her adventures.


Shaina said...

I basically devoured Kiss Goodbye all in one gulp last night, and it was perfect! It's always worrisome to start the last book of a beloved series, but a true delight when the last book is wonderful, satisfying, and leaves just enough to the imagination. Thank you for Sammy! I love following her around on her adventures. Everyone keeps saying goodbye to her, but the beauty of BOOKS is that we don't HAVE to ever really say goodbye! There's a lovely long row of my bookshelf dedicated to Sammy, and I can spend time with her any time I want.
I can't wait till Puyallup! I'll be the 6 foot tall hugely pregnant lady in the back. :)

Karen said...

I'm still waiting for KG, but in the meantime, I have some more favorite things from the rest of the series:

Realizing, upon reread, that Madame Nishira was the one who started Sammy going behind Employees Only doors and onto roofs.

The bit (in Art of Deception) where Grams is dancing around the kitchen.

The description of Waitin' for Rain to Fall.

The Black Pearl--"Landlubbers. Like I could contain you within the outside of the vehicle?"--and the dance--the Awesome Amblers and the entire student body shaking the roof off the gym--and the ice blocking.

And the shoes. Wendelin, reading that scene was like you giving us a big hug.

Fingers crossed that Kiss Goodbye shows up tomorrow! I've got a bad cold, I could use the reading material... Glad everybody so far likes it!

Kate Payne said...

I got Kiss Goodbye today for my birthday, and I just finished it. I loved it. So, so much. It was such a good ending to a series that I love and it just made me happy. Thank you so much for this book and for all of your books that I have just loved and that have gotten me through lots. Thank you, and I loved it.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I can't tell you how happy all these comments and reflections made me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Glad we have each other!

Sofia L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofia L said...

Dear Wendelin,
Your are one of my favorite authors and my favorite book of yours is The Running Dream and I just started Flipped and I really like it so for. Please write back.

Yours truly,
Sofia the 5th Grader

Renita said...

I just bought and finished the last book in just a matter of hours. It was great! You wrapped it up in a neat little tidy bow. Loved it!

Kylie said...

Here's the rest of my list:
Cold Hard Cash:
"You're my rock, Sammy." (Said by Marissa)

Justice Jack:
"You're babysitting me?"
It flashes through my mind that I should deny it, but what comes flashing out of my mouth is, "No way.... I'm Billysitting!"
He doesn't think that's too funny. "You don't have to, you know."
"Tough. You're stuck with me."
We walk along like that for a little while and finally, in a really quiet voice, he says, "Thanks, Sammy-keyesta."
I grin at him. "Any time, Billy-beasta."

Daisy's letter

I decided that what made people love Justice Jack was the way he believed the things he said. The way he believed that one person could change things by standing up, standing tall. Maybe that wasn't an actual superpower, but the way he put his whole heart and soul into it?
It was powerful.
Powerful enough to make you believe it, too.
And, you know, when you think about it, that may be the best superpower of all.

Sin City:
"What's wrong?" I call, because Hudson is getting out of the car.
"Senna we're missing something, he says back.
He grins. "Our family." Then he makes a grand sweeping motion, which can only mean one thing.
Get in!
The three of us all look at each other, and when Darren says, "Me, too?" I tell him, "I can't be the only troublemaker in the family-come on!"

Killer Cruise:
Pg. 182 and 183 from Killer Cruise

When Darren and Marko get ready to defend Sammy and Marissa from the Kensington's

And the truth is, I don't really hear much of the end of the concert after that song. I'm too dazed by the truth behind what Marissa had said, and the thought that somehow, despite everything I'd muddled through the past few years, I've wound up here, on a cruise ship of all places, teary-eyed over the words of a song.
A song written just for me.

For Sammy-
Stay feisty and fearless. And keep your shoes on. Sue Taylor

"But here's the thing," he says. "I like the person you are, and you wouldn't be you without the experiences you've had. You wouldn't be you without your grandmother's influence or your mother's lack of attention the last few years, of if you'd grown up as a rocker's daughter. You would be somebody else." He gives a little shrug. "And the truth is, I'm almost positive that I wouldn't respect and admire and love that person the way I do you."

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Loved this week's input. Thanks very much, everybody! I savored these!

Jessica said...

I just finished rereading the whole series (except KG) today, and I'm afraid to read the other comments now since I don't want to read anything about the last book (even if it's not spoilery).

That article was great. And rereading the (nearly) whole enchilada, I was able to see where various series-long plotlines were introduced and resolved (and carried between books, even when they were on the back burner). Really intriguing to pick up on how early some of them were alluded to before really being explored (e.g., Marissa's family situation). Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

Favorite mystery: Wedding Crasher. So many suspects with so many different motives, but the clues added up to only the one answer. A fairly complex "locked room" mystery, and the book had such a good balance of plot and mystery, just really well woven together.

Favorite baddie takedown: Sisters of Mercy. I laugh every single time. Honorable mention: Snake Eyes.

Favorite Heather takedown: Operation Horseshoe Recovery.

Favorite Sammy insult: "Your life's an ashtray, Heather." (Though she really has so many so-bad-they're-good lines, it's hard to remember them all...)

Favorite friends adventure: Pirates in the Black Pearl (the whole night).

Favorite characters: Sammy, Holly, Casey, Billy, Hudson, Grams, Sammy's dad.

Favorite teachers: Mrs. Ambler, Ms. Rothhammer, the history long-term sub.

Favorite "weird" food: mac and salsa (gotta have the cheese) -- because it's seriously yummy.

Favorite Lady Lana drama: the double 13.

Favorite Casey present: the custom high tops are a close second, but it's got to be the horseshoe.

Favorite Darren Cole song: Nothing But Trouble.

Favorite Borsch moment: when Sammy attacks him in Psycho Kitty Queen and he just kind of takes it and tries to help her calm down -- it really shows how much he's grown to understand her, and shows his soft side.

I can't even try for a favorite quote or scene, because I love so much of the series. I guess I should have taken notes. So many moments that made me laugh... or cry... or go "Holy smokes!" Thanks for the incredible, crazy ride, Wendelin. Can't wait to read KG.

TheHolyRobber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Dear TheHolyRobber! Glad you finally got to read it...and that you liked it :-) When IS the last time you've seen an ice cream man? Haha :-)

TheHolyRobber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheHolyRobber said...

The end of the book made me cry. Seriously.
And I don't usually cry about books!
Amazing book, but it kinda stinks that we don't know what happens after this. Does "Oscar" eventually come back and kill Sammy? (I hope not)
I'm probably getting most of the other books for Christmas... and one this weekend! I can't wait.

Great series, and I wish it didn't have to end D:

~ TheHolyRobber, again.

TheHolyRobber said...

I just got the book (finally!)
It was excellent. I never knew that Heather was basically friends with Sammy...
Sammy Keyes is my new favorite series, you can thank my teacher for that! (Seriously, my teacher had us read this book for reading class)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid? No thanks! *burns Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and throws them in the harbor like the Boston Tea Party people*

Great book. I wish there were more after this... but it has to end eventually.

~ TheHolyRobber

Addicted to Sammy said...

I started this series in september for a book club and ended in november. I've read every book by you, multiple times, and I just want to thank you for making my life better. Can't choose favorite quote, gotta say favorite book is Wild Things. Perfection Much!

Addicted to Sammy said...

macaroni and salsa is bae. have all the books on my kindle and re-read all the things that i highlighted to find the best quote. though my fav part is farewell dance( omg i died, he sang their song!) my favorite quote has got to be from good old billy pratt,
"I got big ol' wings and i love to fly, i get up in da air and and i block da sky! i'm lookin' for a carcass, a pile o' guts, and if you think i'm ugly, you should see your butts!' as i said before perfection.

Nikki said...

I just finished The Killer Cruise, (I've faithfully checked the library every year or so for a new book) and stumbled across this blog as I was searching to see how many books were left. I can't believe I only have one book left! I've been reading Sammy Keyes since my friend introduced me when I was 9 or 10. We read them together, and I don't know if it was going to happen or not, or where we got the idea, but for some reason we were sure that there was going to be a Sammy Keyes movie, (how awesome would that be?! I hope the tv series works out!) and she, my friend, promised to drive me to see it when it came out.(Since she's almost 3 years older than me.) (ps she got high tops because of Sammy! I, unfortunately, only have short converse.) I figure now that we were wrong about there being a movie, as I waited for several years for one- if there is one, point me to it!

Now, we've both moved away, I'm a high school senior (technically a graduate, since I graduated a semester early!) and I've been able to drive myself for almost 2 years.

The point is, despite my moves and graduations, I've never moved away from or graduated from Sammy Keyes, which is a really special, rare thing to find in a book series. Thank you for keeping Sammy real and relatable and fun to read about for EVERYONE, all ages, all types. You have an incredible talent, and I hope to get to continue to be able to enjoy it in future works, just as I will continue to cherish Sammy and all we've been through together. You've put an incredible amount of time and, obviously, LOVE into her, and I can't thank you enough.

Don't ask me to share my favorite lines or scenes. I'll probably get even MORE mushy and stuff, if that's even possible. I've really enjoyed reading everyone else's though, and I just wanted to let you know the impact you've had on my life. I know you're on hiatus now, so you might not even see this, but I hope you do.

My appreciation can't really be contained in two words, but it seems I can only squeak out a "Thank you", so that will have to suffice. :)