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Vanished: (Re-issued) When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra


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#1 admin_ann

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:03 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm so excited to start discussing VANISHED! It's one of my fav series.

In When Lightning Strikes we meet Jess, a high-school student who is pretty normal. She plays the flute, and her family owns Italian restaurants. She has a kinda messed up brother who hears voices. And then there's this thing with getting struck by lightning and all of a sudden being able to find missing kids!!!! The FBI is VERY interested. The media is very interested. Oh, and then there's sexy Rob, the non-college bound mechanic she meets in detention. Me like!

Book Two, Code Name Cassandra, finds Jess working at a summer camp for musical genius children (some of whom are rather annoying.) Except Jess can't ever escape her destiny. Rosemary (from 1-800-Where-R-You) keeps sending her files with missing kids' information so she can go to sleep and find out where they are. Of course Rob has to come and drive her around on his motorcycle to....umm...help out. But he won't kiss her because she's jailbait....or will he?

What do you think?
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#2 Guest_powerpuff_*

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:34 PM

Yay! Rob is one my faves. Though in real life I don't think I would date a guy who rode a motorcycle. What about the rest of you? Are bikers hot?
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#3 admin_ann

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:55 PM

Yay! Rob is one my faves. Though in real life I don't think I would date a guy who rode a motorcycle. What about the rest of you? Are bikers hot?


Hi powerfuff. I'm with you on that. I am scared of motorcycles!
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#4 starberry

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:03 PM

I just got done rereading the first two for the first time in like three or four years-well, ever since Missing You was released- and I have a lot I have to say about them.

Where Lightening Strikes: God, I love Jess. Out of Meg's characters she might be the gutsiest. Okay, Suze Simon sort of gives her a run for her money, but I think in a way Jess is tougher than Suze since all these problesm were thrown in her face all at once. Rob is an absolute dream. I remember when I first read the books (before Missing You was out) I kept trying to figure out why Rob was on probation. It just made him so mysterious and it gave him an oh so glorious edge. I really think he and Jess are perfect together. In a lot of ways they remind me of a younger version of Michael and Fiona on Burn Notice-which was made way after the books were published. Because like Fiona, Jess is petite and packs a lot of fire power. And Michael, like Rob, is sort of reluctant with their whole relationship thing and is mysterious-although, not because he's on probation but because he's a spy. Enough about Burn Notice though, back to Where Lighting Strikes. I also like Jess's family, with the exception of her mother who I found to be a bit annoying. While Doug is sort of fragile, at the same time he's really a great protective older brother of Jess. And I love hearing about Mike's antics with Claire Lipton, and Jess's Dad's loving abrupt attitude. I liked Ruth too and her crush on Mike
Spoiler
. I really thought this was a great introduction to the series and I liked the ending how it was basically one big cliff hanger. Although, I honestly was a bit sad, like Jess, to see that Agent Johnson and Smith weren't together (lol).

Code Name Cassandra: This was a particularly interesting reread for me because like Jess since rereading the book I have worked at a music camp as an intern. And like Jess, I had my fair share of problems with that job-although, nothing near as severe and I can read music. Actually that part sort of bothered me since as a musician, reading music is one of the first things your taught to do. Although, I found it really weird. And the Music Geek and me was happy to see that I recognized the music stuff in it. My favorite scene in this one was probably when Jess's camp friends Dave and Scott blow up Agent Smith and Agent Johnson's van. That was amazing. And Shane, what a little pill. Although, I did feel sorry for him. While I didn't have any Shane's when I worked at the camp I worked at, I did know kids who really didn't want to be there. And it's sort of sad knowign that he really didn't want to attend camp-although, FYI, the camp he attended was WAY better than any band camp I've been too/worked at. Oh, loved the action subplot in here. Ginger and Nate, lol. And you can totally see that Rob has feelings for Jess given the fact he drove all the way out there to help her. I also found it cute when he got all jealous because of Dave.

M :)
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#5 DianaSF

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:34 PM

This was my first time reading this series, and I really enjoyed it. Jess is a spirited character with a great personality and sense of humor. Rob = swoooooon. :)

Meg, I assume that Rob Wilkins is one of the more popular guys from your books. Having him ride a cherried-out Indian doesn't hurt. ;)

It was pretty entertaining to read about Jess's exasperation when it came to Rob's hesitancy to date her because of her age. Her thoughts about how she wished Rob would just make out with her and touch her were pretty funny.

I also liked the scene in When Lightning Strikes where the teacher in charge of detention told Jess to sit in the "W" row so that she could hopefully be a good influence on the boys. It was similar to Allie Finkle being asked to sit in the back of the room to settle down the rowdy boys. :)

Like Jess, I played the flute (in middle school band, though). Unlike Jess, I wasn't a very good flute player (second to last chair, if I remember correctly :P). My band teacher didn't give students the option of challenging others to move ahead, but I loved how Jess refused to let Karen Sue Hanky move ahead of her.

Meg, I have some questions for you.

1. I really enjoyed reading about Jess's different relationships with her older brothers. Her relationship with Douglas was particularly sweet. Why did you decide to make him a schizophrenic? Did you want to shine a light on this mental illness? What kind of research did you do on this topic?

2. I love that Jess usually tells it like it is, even when it comes to kids. Her interaction with the musically-gifted campers in Code Name Cassandra cracked me up. Some of the things she said to them I've wanted to say to bratty kids. Was the storyline of Jess as a camp counselor and her experiences at camp based on yours when you were a teen?

3. Growing up in Bloomington, was the whole Townies/Grits phenomenon as big of a deal as it was portrayed in the 1-800 books?
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#6 DianaSF

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:45 PM

Yay! Rob is one my faves. Though in real life I don't think I would date a guy who rode a motorcycle. What about the rest of you? Are bikers hot?


I think I like the idea of a bad boy biker more than actually dating one in real life. I am also too wimpy to get on a motorcycle. If he looks and acts like Rob, though, I may have to reassess. :P
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#7 starberry

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:46 PM

Diana, you played flute too. That's so cool, I played it as well like Jess I did pretty good on it, made state in high school and almost majored in it in college though it wasn't meant to be. I just loved all flute related scenes in those books. Once again the music nerd in me. Oh, and the skin flute thing that Shane said...I have heard that only two many times before.

Another thing I was thinking about just know 1800-Where-R-U related was how relatable the setting was. I don't live in Indiana, only been there once but I feel like I knew Jess's town since it reminded me of my own-save for the whole grit v. townie thing. Though we did have lots of bike riders, though none as cute as Rob.

OOh, and I loved the fact that Jess's dad owned those restaurants.

Also loved the Paul Huck story.

Here are some questions I have

Where Lightening Strikes
1) Was Jess always the way she was In Where Lightening Strikes (punching people) or was this characteristic brought out primarily because of Doug's disease? In other words, if Doug wouldn't have been sick would Jess have been softer?
2) What made you decided to put Rob on probation?
3) Were you ever a camp counselor at a music camp like Jess and where did you get that interesting song that she taught her campers?
4) Why did you decide to have Jess have a stronger bond with her dad than her mom?

M :)
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#8 DianaSF

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:50 PM

starberry, so cool that you also played the flute. Like I said, I wasn't very good. I rarely practiced. Thinking back, I wish I had tried harder.

Shane's skin flute comment was too funny. :P He was so bratty, though. I was so happy when Lionel (Lee-oh-NELL) finally stood up for himself.

All the talk about Jess's family owning three restaurants made me hungry. I love Italian food. Yum!
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#9 admin_ann

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:23 PM

This was my first time reading this series, and I really enjoyed it. Jess is a spirited character with a great personality and sense of humor. Rob = swoooooon. :)

Meg, I assume that Rob Wilkins is one of the more popular guys from your books. Having him ride a cherried-out Indian doesn't hurt. ;)

It was pretty entertaining to read about Jess's exasperation when it came to Rob's hesitancy to date her because of her age. Her thoughts about how she wished Rob would just make out with her and touch her were pretty funny.

I also liked the scene in When Lightning Strikes where the teacher in charge of detention told Jess to sit in the "W" row so that she could hopefully be a good influence on the boys. It was similar to Allie Finkle being asked to sit in the back of the room to settle down the rowdy boys. :)

Like Jess, I played the flute (in middle school band, though). Unlike Jess, I wasn't a very good flute player (second to last chair, if I remember correctly :P). My band teacher didn't give students the option of challenging others to move ahead, but I loved how Jess refused to let Karen Sue Hanky move ahead of her.

Meg, I have some questions for you.

1. I really enjoyed reading about Jess's different relationships with her older brothers. Her relationship with Douglas was particularly sweet. Why did you decide to make him a schizophrenic? Did you want to shine a light on this mental illness? What kind of research did you do on this topic?

2. I love that Jess usually tells it like it is, even when it comes to kids. Her interaction with the musically-gifted campers in Code Name Cassandra cracked me up. Some of the things she said to them I've wanted to say to bratty kids. Was the storyline of Jess as a camp counselor and her experiences at camp based on yours when you were a teen?

3. Growing up in Bloomington, was the whole Townies/Grits phenomenon as big of a deal as it was portrayed in the 1-800 books?



Hi Everyone,

Great comments! Keep the questions coming too. Meg will pop in and answer some of them.

Ann
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#10 JSandATfan

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:20 AM

Yay! Rob is one my faves. Though in real life I don't think I would date a guy who rode a motorcycle. What about the rest of you? Are bikers hot?


Although Bikers aren't really my type of guy, I've always kind of wanted to ride on a motorcycle (maybe just once to experience it). So, I guess I have a secret wish that one day I might date a guy who is a biker, so I can get that ride on his motorcycle! B)
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#11 starberry

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:43 AM

Yeah, I really don't care for motorcycles either but I really like the fact that Rob has a bike in this series. Like the probation thing it gives him an edge.

Another thing I found interesting, is the Jess/Ruth friendship. In contrast to a lot of Meg's other series-the one I can think of on the top of my head the most is Princess Diaries- Jess seems ot be the more self assured out of the two of them. Especially at
Spoiler
I really liked how Jess would stand up for her punching Jeff Day like that. And I also liked their Not-Doable, Doable, Hottie list at the camp. Sort of sad that
Spoiler


M :)
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#12 admin_ann

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:31 PM

Yeah, I really don't care for motorcycles either but I really like the fact that Rob has a bike in this series. Like the probation thing it gives him an edge.

Another thing I found interesting, is the Jess/Ruth friendship. In contrast to a lot of Meg's other series-the one I can think of on the top of my head the most is Princess Diaries- Jess seems ot be the more self assured out of the two of them. Especially at

Spoiler
I really liked how Jess would stand up for her punching Jeff Day like that. And I also liked their Not-Doable, Doable, Hottie list at the camp. Sort of sad that
Spoiler


M :)



I laughed out loud every time Jess and Ruth discussed the "not-doable, doable, hottie" distinction. I loved it when Jess explained that "doable" means "well, all right." HAHAHA. That killed me.

My favorite scene is when Rob picks up Jess and throws her over his shoulder and tries to carry her off to safety. He is foiled by the FBI. But still. Yum.
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#13 Ami

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:35 PM

Who doesn't love a bit of Rob? :)

I really do quite like Ruth! At first I thought she was a little annoying, but she sure does grow on you :) What does everyone else think?

Ami xx
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#14 DianaSF

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:11 PM

Ruth can be exasperating at times, but she's also shown that she's a good friend. She's good people. :)

Yeah, that whole Rob-throwing-Jess-over-his-shoulder scene was pretty hot. I like it when guys are a little bossy. Just a little, though. :P
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#15 starberry

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:29 PM

Yep, like Ruth a lot. I mean, she really grows into herslef throughout the books and she's really there for Jess thorughout the series especially when she's
Spoiler
And she great comic releif at time. I mean, in the first book I found it so funny/felt sorry for her when Jess described her in her Oprah workout getup.

And on another subject, Kare Sue Hankey. Ew! Seriously. I like that she's a different type of archrival than you typically get in Meg's book. I mean, she's not really popular. In fact,
Spoiler
The way Karen Sue sort of acts reminds me of Rachel Berry on Glee, just sort of full of herself and self righteous. I think my hate was sealed for her when she banned the Birch Tree Camp Song-which by the way was deliciously crude.

OOH, and Rob. Love that part with him and Jess. I think Jess needs someone whose sort of bossy to deal with her strong attitude and Rob is the perfect guy for her.


M :)
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#16 DianaSF

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:05 AM

It's funny when Jess tells Karen Sue off. I like that Jess isn't afraid to stand up for herself. I'm short like she is, but not nearly as confident in my physical fighting abilities. :P
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#17 starberry

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:38 AM

It's funny when Jess tells Karen Sue off. I like that Jess isn't afraid to stand up for herself. I'm short like she is, but not nearly as confident in my physical fighting abilities. :P


I know, I really wish I could punch like Jack-lol. And she's so tiny which really makes it quite amazing that she can handle herself. I have to admit though even though she's very fierce, I'm glad she has Rob because her counselor's right she could very easily find herself over her head which she almost did several times in the series. One particular punch that's standing out right now is when she punched Agent Davis and ran off to hid in her counselor's office that was sort of hilarious.

M :)
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#18 starberry

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:42 AM

*I meant like Jess not Jack
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#19 JSandATfan

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:35 PM

In Code Name Cassandra, I thought the "undo-able, do-able, hottie" classification system was funny, too (I think I'm going to start doing that when I see guys! lol). Another line that was one of my favorites in the book was when Jess said the secretary looked like John Wayne(LOL) and even she had a boyfriend, and a hot race car boyfriend at that!
Since Rob is adamant about not being Jess's boyfriend until she turns 18, I was kind of hoping Jess and the counselor Dave might get together- he'd be a pretty cute boyfriend to have at camp :happy8:
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#20 Ami

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 02:25 PM

^ Yes! I absolutely LOVE the rating system :D I probably shouldn't like it, but shh!

Ami
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#21 starberry

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 03:38 PM

In Code Name Cassandra, I thought the "undo-able, do-able, hottie" classification system was funny, too (I think I'm going to start doing that when I see guys! lol). Another line that was one of my favorites in the book was when Jess said the secretary looked like John Wayne(LOL) and even she had a boyfriend, and a hot race car boyfriend at that!
Since Rob is adamant about not being Jess's boyfriend until she turns 18, I was kind of hoping Jess and the counselor Dave might get together- he'd be a pretty cute boyfriend to have at camp :happy8:


I liked Dave too, but Rob and Jess were meant to be. I did wish we would've seen a bit more of him and Scott though. Thought they were pretty cute band geeks :)

Something I've noticed:
Spoiler


M :)
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#22 irishprincess326

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 10:18 AM

in code name cassandra jess seems to have the troubles with rob not wanting to kiss her but in the end rob takes a step forward which is good for the both of them in the 3rd and 4th books they are still trying to get somehwere. in my opinion rob really really likes her because for example when rob found out that there were boys at the camp she was at he freaked out. and hes always trying to protect her-he practically saves her life in the third book. but mostly because he's 18 he's being careful cause if they did get too close he could back to juvy cause shes underage. but from starberry's last comment i totally agree but don't forget doesnt ruth end up dating one of those band geeks?? rob and jess were meant to be!!!! :happy8:

Edited by irishprincess326, 13 February 2011 - 10:19 AM.

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#23 DianaSF

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

I like that Jess is a tomboy and has short hair. She's not a girly girl, but still attracts a hottie like Rob. I thought it was cute when she was planning to wear a scoop neck T-shirt to school (Jess's idea of dressing up). I wasn't into clothes or dressing up when I was in high school either, so I can totally relate to Jess when it comes to that.
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#24 CrazyClavie

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

I really love this series to pieces.
I even named him in my list of Boys I would Date :) LOL

I really like that he likes Jess for who she is, and that he's always going along to watch out for her - he knows she can take care of herself, but he still there and I love that about him. Oh and he's so good to his Mom without being a Mama's Boy, how can you not love that?
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#25 MegCabot

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:50 PM

Thanks for all these awesome questions about Vanished Books 1 and 2! This was one of my favorite series to write, not only because it was set in my beloved Indiana, but because I really love the heroine, Jess, and her struggles to do good with her special power, and just to be good, in general. Being good is hard!

Because I love these books so much, I'm giving copies away to the people who make the best observations about them! So keep them coming! (PS No, you don't have to kiss my butt. Just be insightful!)

Here are some answers for you! More to come!

1. I really enjoyed reading about Jess's different relationships with her older brothers. Her relationship with Douglas was particularly sweet. Why did you decide to make him a schizophrenic? Did you want to shine a light on this mental illness? What kind of research did you do on this topic? (DianaSF)

Thanks! I actually did have a friend growing up who became schizophrenic in his teens, which is often when the disorder hits. It was very scary and sad, because he is an extremely talented artist and he felt the meds deadened his creativity, so he didn't like to take them. But when he didn't take them, he would get very angry and yell at people for no reason.

People who didn't understand the situation would freak out (understandably). So it had a lot of far-reaching effects not just on him but his family and friends as well. There are a lot of prejudices about the mentally ill but if people are educated about it, it's not nearly as scary.

I also based Jess's relationships with her brothers a LITTLE bit on mine. But one of my brothers was a super jock and the other was black and gay, so they don't REALLY apply here.

2. I love that Jess usually tells it like it is, even when it comes to kids. Her interaction with the musically-gifted campers in Code Name Cassandra cracked me up. Some of the things she said to them I've wanted to say to bratty kids. Was the storyline of Jess as a camp counselor and her experiences at camp based on yours when you were a teen? (DianaSF)


It was! I worked as a counselor at the same camp I attended as a kid. It was one of my favorite jobs ever, although I got stuck in a "boy" cabin due to a shortage of male counselors. I wanted to kill a couple of those kids. This was one of the many experiences that made me swear never to have kids!


3. Growing up in Bloomington, was the whole Townies/Grits phenomenon as big of a deal as it was portrayed in the 1-800 books? (DianaSF)

It definitely was. You can understand when half the student population wants country music at the prom and the other half wants hip-hop or alternative, there is going to be conflict.

I don't know what the schools are like now, but I do know that according the latest census, the rate of child poverty in Indiana is rising much faster than in the rest of the country. It is a sort of "hidden" poverty, but if you go to certain grocery stores on certain days (like when the welfare checks go out), you will definitely see it (I see it in the community in which I have a home in Indiana all the time. It is very, very sad).


4) Was Jess always the way she was In Where Lightening Strikes (punching people) or was this characteristic brought out primarily because of Doug's disease? In other words, if Doug wouldn't have been sick would Jess have been softer? (Starberry)


Oh, no, she definitely picked up her tendencies because of Doug. If he had been "normal," Jess probably would have been Prom Queen.


5) What made you decided to put Rob on probation? (Starberry)


Because he is based on a person who was on probation! I met him in the back row of Chemistry class. We both flunked, FYI. But he taught me all about Aerosmith.


6) Were you ever a camp counselor at a music camp like Jess and where did you get that interesting song that she taught her campers? (Starberry)

Ha! From being a camp counselor.


7) Why did you decide to have Jess have a stronger bond with her dad than her mom? (Starberry)


I think a lot of girls (but not all) have a difficult time getting along with their moms as teenagers. I know I did! I think it's from all the hormones in the house, and moms wanting the best for their daughters, or not wanting their daughters to make the same mistakes they did. Usually with age, though (and menopause) they mellow out. My mom and I get along great now! And PS I would just like to say I was totally right about EVERYTHING, and my mom was WRONG!!! Ha, no, that is not true. My mom was right about quite a few things. I should have listened to her more. So listen to your moms!!!!
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#26 Dead People Stalk Me

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:38 PM

Yay! Rob is one my faves. Though in real life I don't think I would date a guy who rode a motorcycle. What about the rest of you? Are bikers hot?


I love riding motorcycles. My dad used to take me on rides all the time before he had to sell his. I always wanted to learn how to ride one on my own. Personally, I think biker guys are kind of hot. Although I think my opinion is colored by the fact that I just love Rob.

My favorite scene is when Rob picks up Jess and throws her over his shoulder and tries to carry her off to safety. He is foiled by the FBI. But still. Yum.


I loved that. That will always be one of my favorite parts.
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#27 DianaSF

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:52 PM

2. I love that Jess usually tells it like it is, even when it comes to kids. Her interaction with the musically-gifted campers in Code Name Cassandra cracked me up. Some of the things she said to them I've wanted to say to bratty kids. Was the storyline of Jess as a camp counselor and her experiences at camp based on yours when you were a teen? (DianaSF)


It was! I worked as a counselor at the same camp I attended as a kid. It was one of my favorite jobs ever, although I got stuck in a "boy" cabin due to a shortage of male counselors. I wanted to kill a couple of those kids. This was one of the many experiences that made me swear never to have kids!


I used to think I was pretty sure I wanted to have kids, but having worked with them in a school setting for nine years, now I'm not so sure. So Meg, I can kind of relate to your thoughts about kids.
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#28 JSandATfan

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:47 PM

2. I love that Jess usually tells it like it is, even when it comes to kids. Her interaction with the musically-gifted campers in Code Name Cassandra cracked me up. Some of the things she said to them I've wanted to say to bratty kids. Was the storyline of Jess as a camp counselor and her experiences at camp based on yours when you were a teen? (DianaSF)


It was! I worked as a counselor at the same camp I attended as a kid. It was one of my favorite jobs ever, although I got stuck in a "boy" cabin due to a shortage of male counselors. I wanted to kill a couple of those kids. This was one of the many experiences that made me swear never to have kids!


When I was in school, they'd often have kids in the older grade pair up with kids from a lower grade (like 6th and 2nd grade, or 12th and 1st), and I can relate to you and Jess, because I always ended up with a boy! I'd watch all the other girls in my grade paired up with their cute little 5 or 6 year old girls, and they'd be reading together, or coloring, or whatever. The classes always had one more boy than girl, and I always ended up being paired with the extra boy, who'd either refuse to work with me,a girl (yuck!), or he'd leave me and go hang out with one of the teen boy/little boy pairs. <_<

I like how Rob is often described as looking "half amused and half disgusted" with Jess, I can totally picture this look! lol
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#29 star.girl

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:23 PM

Wooof. Just finished the books.
They're great, I read book 1 a long ago but didn't get to read the others.
Now I re-read 1 and read 2 for the first time and I'm hooked.

I looooooove Jess!
she's so amazing! I love how she defends Doug and that she's so straight forward,
that's very cool.

I also noticed that in book 1 Ruth was gravitationally challenged, and by book 2 the salads had worked and she was now able to wear a bikini, I was very happy for her (:

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#30 starberry

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:35 PM

Thanks Meg for answering my questions. Sigh just finished book four and have started book five now, forgot how fast this series goes by. I really do heart Rob, lol.

M :)
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#31 JSandATfan

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:57 PM

Question for Meg: I was wondering why you used your pen name Jenny Carroll on the first editions of the 1-800 series, but then changed it to Meg Cabot on the later editions? Thanks!
~Rachele
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#32 DianaSF

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:38 AM

I was totally not expecting the twist with the Sean Patrick O'Hanahan storyline in When Lightning Strikes. When Jess and Rob first saw Sean, I assumed he was frightened because he had been brainwashed by his abductor, and that's why he wanted Jess and Rob to go away. I didn't think he wanted to be left alone--that he was actually happier and safer with his mom. It was sad reading about the things he experienced in his dad's care, but I'm glad his story had a happy ending. It was cute how Sean came to have feelings for Jess and would ask Jess accusingly if Rob was her boyfriend. Rob and his mom were so cute. He's a biker with a heart of gold who loves his mom. Love it! :)
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#33 britbsb1fan

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 01:11 AM

The 1-800-Where-R-U series is one my favorite series. It has my favorite combination of romance and comedy. And by addressing real issues like racism and sex, it goes beyond what a lot of YA series do.

It's also fun to see Jess's growth in the later books, but for the first 2 books, I loved rereading all the scenes with Rob in them, especially the one where he kisses Jess through the cell gate. I just love our alpha males.

Also, I have to mention 'gravitationally challenged.'
The whole series would be worth reading just for that. Just thinking about it still brings a smile to my face every time.
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#34 lakewallywhat87

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 01:15 AM

FIrst off, I wish Jess was my best friend in real life. I like how she wears jeans and a t shirt all the time and she is hilarious. My favorite part of Code Name Cassandra is when Rob finds out there are boy counselors at the camp with Jess and he drives all the way out there to bring her to Chicago. His jealousness was adorable. Meg, my question is based on Jess' passion for music. Jess spends hours each day practicing her flute and sometimes she practices with Ruth and her cello. Were you that passionate about music in high school?
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#35 starberry

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:15 AM

I was totally not expecting the twist with the Sean Patrick O'Hanahan storyline in When Lightning Strikes. When Jess and Rob first saw Sean, I assumed he was frightened because he had been brainwashed by his abductor, and that's why he wanted Jess and Rob to go away. I didn't think he wanted to be left alone--that he was actually happier and safer with his mom. It was sad reading about the things he experienced in his dad's care, but I'm glad his story had a happy ending. It was cute how Sean came to have feelings for Jess and would ask Jess accusingly if Rob was her boyfriend. Rob and his mom were so cute. He's a biker with a heart of gold who loves his mom. Love it! :)


Sean was a cute kid. I sort of wanted to know what happened to someone of these kids after their story ended especially Sean. The only one we knew what happened to, sort of, is Seth since
Spoiler
In a lot of ways, Sean was probably the favorite of the missing kids. He really challenged Jessica in a way. Then again I loved Shane and his brattiness. Seriously, I wanted to pummel that kid throughout that book, but by the end of Code Name Cassandra I really liked him and sort of got a kick out of him. Which of Jess's charges did you like the best and did any of you want to hear morea bout the kids after the fact too?

Also, I can sort of see where you're coming from ) about sort of not wanting kids after watching/caring for them. In addition to working as a camp intern, I've taught private flute lessons as a part time job on and off for the past few years and kids can be extremely cruel and Shane like (not all of them mind you, but a good chunk of them). Though I still find it to be a great experience teaching that is, although it's definitely not something I want to do for the rest of my life (hence, going to law school). Still though, I found it hilarious how Jess dealt with the situation. And she was good at it too, in her own bizarre way. She didn't treat the kids with kid gloves and didn't talk down to them which was really cool. You can tell that she's going to make
Spoiler


star.girl: Have you read book five? If not I think you'll even be happier because
Spoiler


Rachele: I think Meg used a penname for this series, which was the name of her late cat, fyi, because she was working for two publishers at the time and thought it would be weird having her name used in both companies. I think I read that somewhere though can't find the specific source.

lakewallywaht87: That was one of my favortie parts too. I like how nonchalant Rob tries to act about their relationship btu when it gets down to it he wants Jess. Once again, I will say it reminds me very much of the relationship between Michael and Fiona on my favorite show Burn Notice, lol. I have to say Rob is awesome. Probably one of my favorite heros in Meg's book though I really do like Jesse too.

M :)
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#36 DianaSF

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:31 AM

There are more things that I like about teaching than I don't, but the bratty, difficult kids I've encountered have definitely made me question procreating.

While I've only read the first two books in this series, Rob has become one of my favorite Meg Cabot heroes (Michael Moscovitz is still my #1). I love how in When Lightning Strikes, when describing the differences between the Townies and the Grits, Meg writes: "The Grits think they are better than the Townies because they know how to do stuff the Townies don't know how to do, like fix up old motorcycles and birth calves and stuff." I had never considered knowing how to birth calves an attractive quality, but after reading that, I was like, "That is kinda hot." I think it mostly has to do with Rob being a Grit. ;)
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#37 starberry

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:29 AM

Diana. Exactly, it was the same way for me (teaching wise). Most of the kids I taught too we're in middle school too, so I think that makes a difference. Though I have to say my one friend who teaches elementary school has her fair share of bratty kids as well. So I think it's everywhere but sometimes the brats (not all the time mind you) that end up being some of the best kids once you reign in the brattiness of course though which I think Jess does to Shane in Code Name Cassandra, but it takes a lot of patience and endurance which I do not have currently.

M :)
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#38 star.girl

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:24 PM

My favorite part in book 2 has to be the when Jess and Rob went to Keely's mom's house and pretended to be 'Ginger' and 'Nate' from 'central high school' in Chicago, and then Jess kicks the stepfather in the face, that was fairly awesome.

And in close second comes the scene when Dave and Scott blow up the FBI van using tampons as fumes XD... would that really work? *wonders*

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#39 MissyBrunette

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:35 AM

oh my god i ♥ the ending off the last book! Was it Missing you?
Anyways... It was amazing! And Awww i love the ending!

Meg Cabot you are such an aweosme Role Model for us girls and I LOOVE ALL your books! i CAN'T WAIT till your next book comes out!

I would LOOOVE another Airhead book.. HOW COOL would it be if it was in Nikki's POV? :)

My fav part of Vanished was when Rob and Jess went to that place and saved the little jewish boy from those freaky jew hating freaks ;D Where did you get your inspiration for most of this?

And where did you get your inspiration for Airhead? That is my FAV book of all time!

x ♥ isy x
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#40 starberry

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:04 AM

Just for fun. If they were going to make a 1800-Where-R-You/Vanished movie who would you guys cast to play the parts? Personally, I see a young Alyssa Milano playing Jess (she's way too old for the part now, of course, but I sort of see Jess sort of looking like her in Alyssa's Charmed days when she had the super short hair and it's an added plus that her character on the show was psychic, lol).

M :)
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#41 star.girl

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:26 PM

I have a classmate that is Jess in real life (minus the psychic part),
she's so alike her that is kinda creepy,
but I don't talk to her unless it's necessary, 'cause she looks like she can kick some serious butt if you get on her bad side,
and she's very petite O:

I picture her when I think of Jess,
but if I had to choose someone else I'd probably choose, I don't know, Drew Barrymore? early days
she can be a little tomboy but also she's very pretty and can pull almost everything off

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#42 admin_ann

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:11 PM

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for reading When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra with us! You guys are the smartest readers in the universe.

And now . . . . announcing the March Book Club selection (did you guess yet?):

Vanished Book Two (re-issue):

Safe House and Sanctuary


Join us for the discussion the first week of March!

Ann
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#43 star.girl

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 12:13 AM

YAYY!
That's very fortunate, since I haven't read those ones,
and I'll get to discuss them as I read (:

Can't wait.

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#44 DianaSF

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 03:33 AM

Just for fun. If they were going to make a 1800-Where-R-You/Vanished movie who would you guys cast to play the parts? Personally, I see a young Alyssa Milano playing Jess (she's way too old for the part now, of course, but I sort of see Jess sort of looking like her in Alyssa's Charmed days when she had the super short hair and it's an added plus that her character on the show was psychic, lol).

M :)


I think Ellen Page would make a good Jess. Ellen is petite, sassy, sarcastic, and I can see her playing a tomboy who catches the eye of the stud that is Rob Wilkins. ;)
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#45 DianaSF

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 03:36 AM

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for reading When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra with us! You guys are the smartest readers in the universe.

And now . . . . announcing the March Book Club selection (did you guess yet?):

Vanished Book Two (re-issue):

Safe House and Sanctuary


Join us for the discussion the first week of March!

Ann


I really enjoyed When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra, and I can't wait to start Sanctuary and Safe House. This series is wonderful! :)
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