Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amanda Ashby: Care what you wear!

Amanda Ashby, Author of You Had Me at a Halo and Zombie Queen of Newbury High

Finishing High School (or When Nice People Make Bad Clothing Decisions)

When Diana first asked me to take part in her blogoversary, I was thrilled, not just because anyone with an alliterated name is okay by me, but also because finishing high school can be hard work (actually, so can blogging for that matter) so I just wanted to say a big congrats all round!!!!!

Anyway, since the theme is about what happens after you finish school I thought I’d better take a trip down memory lane. The time was 1985 (does that date me?), the place was the western suburbs of Brisbane, Australia and the mood was positive. After all, not only had I managed to get into the University that I wanted to study English and Journalism, but I also had a whole summer of fun in front of me. Of course there was the small niggle that none of my close friends were going to the same University as me, but for most of that summer, I just ignored it. Another thing I ignored was what I should wear for my first day. Now this isn’t as strange as it seems, since I spent my entire school life having to wear a uniform so the idea of being able to wear whatever I wanted, was slightly foreign. It was also when things started to get messy.

You see not all of the eighties was about Wham T-shirts and leg warmers and when I was a teenager there was quite a lot of gothic/second shopping going on so on my first day, I lovingly picked out my outfit. It went something like: some old boxer shorts worn as regular shorts, a retro mustard-colored polo shirt that I’d found in some charity shop for about fifty cents, with a pair of leather gladiator sandals and my favorite ancient leather belt (which, for the record, I still own). Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I headed off to my first day, excited about joining the liberating, bohemian environment of Uni (as we called it in Australia).

Unfortunately, turns out that no one else got the memo and when I arrived (friendless remember) I discovered that everyone else was wearing big hair, big shoulder pads and those stupid silver fob chains that were so popular back then. In other words, in a sea of yuppies I looked like something that Kurt Cobain’s cat might’ve dragged in. Humiliating doesn’t even come close to cracking it and I was pretty close to wishing that I was back in the safety of High School again.

Thankfully, by the end of the day I had the good fortune to meet my wonderful friend Delia, who didn’t even come from Brisbane but somehow already managed to know EVERYBODY. Anyway, for whatever reason she seemed to think it was perfectly normal to wear retro mustard polo shirts and boxer shorts for the first day and the more we hung out, the more I discovered that between those yuppies in their chambray shirts and matching brogues, there was actually loads of other weirdly dressed students, all excited to finally be able to express themselves anyway that they wanted to. By the end of the month we had managed to get quite a group together and we all spent the next three years having the time of our lives—something we still reminisce about now!!!!!!

So my advice to anyone leaving school and taking their next step. Be brave. Be fearless. Wear weird clothes and meet your own Delia and Co. Trust me, it’s worth it!

To be with a chance to win a copy of Zombie Queen of Newbury High or my first novel, You Had Me at Halo, just tell me about your worst ‘first day’ outfit ever!!!!!


Read my review for Zombie Queen of Newbury here! A very light and funny novel for zombie fans!

Contest Time

Giveaway Item(s): A signed copy of Zombie Queen of Newbury High or You Had Me at a Halo
# of Winners: 1
Eligibility: International

Entries (Leave links if needed)

+1 New follower (MANDATORY)
+1 Answer question! (MANDATORY) Come up with a possible worst outfit if you don't have one!
+2 Old follower
+1 Link (5 max)
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll

post signature


Stephanie said...

I'd love to win this!

+2 Old follower

Ekta said...

+1 I think all my first day outfits were bad because I go to a uniform school!
+2 old follower

Thanks for the giveaway!

ekta.p7 [at] gmail [dot] com

misha1989 said...

+1 In school I had uniform.On the first day of college, I dressed like I didn't care while others were all dressed up in fashionable outfits!
+2 Old follower
+3 Link
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll

Total 6


Liviania said...

+1 Answer question! (MANDATORY) Come up with a possible worst outfit if you don't have one!
+2 Old follower
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll

I love to experiment with clothing. Once I wore a red boat neck tee with a large b&w rose graphic on the front, a jean skirt, green arm warmers, and maroon boots. As I told my mom, it was my 'superhero outfit.'

Then my purse got stolen that day. It no longer made me feel like a superhero.

deltay said...

+1 Um, I don't commit fashion faux pas... ;) haha kidding. Last last year, the week leading up to the first day had been pretty chilly, so I figured the temperature would remain in that range, and went to school on the first day all decked out in Autumn wear - jeans, sneakers, layered tees - and of course that was the one day that the temperature shot up, right? Yeah, sweat stains and stickiness are soooo chic. Not.
+2 Old follower
+1 Blogroll


Anne Royce said...

+1 Worst outfit? How about going to gathering with a big hole on your shirt's sleeve? I don't even want to talk about that
+1 New follower
+1 on left-hand sidebar (
+1 on twitter
+1 on blogroll (right-hand sidebar =



Julie said...

I think any outfit that doesn't fit right and is completely unflattering is awful.

I'm a follower.


Amanda Ashby said...

Awh - you guys are awesome for sharing your fashion blips!!!! I'm at a writing conference right now and I have a feeling that the gray flower headband that I'm currently wearing might not have been such a hot idea!!!!!

Deels said...

As one of that circle of friends at Uni, Amanda was one of my style icons because she wore what made her happy and never felt the need to succumb to the yuppie uniform. I looked forward to seeing what she had put together each day and while some outfits were more successful than others, they always made me smile and made me think about fashion in a different way.

Aik said...

+1 I always dress in t-shirt and jeans. So, it's not really fashionable.

+2 Old follower

+1 Link on Twitter

+1 Link on Plurk

+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to my blogroll

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Dominique said...

+1 I think my worse first day outfit experience was my first day back in a public school (I spent a few years of my elementary years in a private school). I was in 3rd grade, and I wore a tshirt with a couple of flowers on it and shorts. I thought it was okay, but a lot of the other girls were wearing much more fashionable patterns and brands. It wasn't too horrendous, but I didn't feel as fashionable as the other girls!

+2 Old follower

+1 link:

+1 you're already on my blogroll! :)

thank you!

Meredith said...

My worst first day outfit was probably a dark blue/turquoise blue mismatched set I had!

+2 old follower

meredithfl at gmail dot com

FionaChan said...

+1 new follower
+1 my school, we have school uniform so we don't get to choose. and it's ugly! and pretty uncomfy as well. :/
+1 added to blog roll
+1 linked on sidebar:

thank you!
feeyonchan at gmail dot com

EVA SB said...

I went to a different school to everyone else in our area and then I moved to a different country so I'm almost always out of sync with local fashions.
I used to find myself in baggy trousers and a bright shirt when everyone else was wearing pastel coloured dresses and vice-versa.

+1 New follower
+1 Tweet
+1 sidebar
+1 I added Stop, Drop, and Read! to my blogroll[@]gmail[.]com

Celeste said...

+1 New follower
+1 Worst outfit: I also go to school in a uniform, my worst outfit I must say was when I went to school with a skirt so big, it was way below the knees totally unflattering.

Liz. R said...

+1 New follower
+1 I went to a uniform school, but my worst day was horrible because we were forced to push our hair back (a stupid rule that was only really enforced the first year), and it took me the whole day to realise I was wearing my headband backwards and my hair was completely sticking out at the back.
+1 Added you to my blogroll:

Thanks for the giveaway :).


francis leonela said...

+1 new follower
ihn schhol i had uniform...and my skirt was under my knees i i went to school like that one week :(

Maddie M. said...

I go to a uniform school, so basically everyday I have on a "worst outfit."

+1 Answer question! (MANDATORY)
+2 Old follower
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll

Maddie M. said...

oh wait - my email is, already posted a comment but forgot to put my email(:

LucĂ­a said...

+1 New follower

+1 Of course my college uniform!

+1 Sidebar:

+1 Added to my blogroll:


Audrey said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
+1 new follower

Laina said...

+2 Old Follower
+1 Uh... worst possible (made up) outfit would be nothing :P
+1 Linked here:
+1 You're on my blogroll:

Laina said...

Uh, I'm not sure if my comment went through... Just delete this one if it did. Sorry, bad connection!!

+2 Old Follower
+1 Uh... worst possible (made up) outfit would be nothing :P
+1 Linked here:
+1 You're on my blogroll:

FairyWhispers said...

+1 I wore all pink once to a party. ( white/pink hellokitty shirt, pink hello kitty pants, pink shoes) I tought it was alright, until some 'friends' did a 'poster' based on it in the worst possible way.

+2 old follower


Anne said...

+1 New follower (MANDATORY)I am !
+1 Answer question! (MANDATORY) Come up with a possible worst outfit if you don't have one!.... It wasn't the worst outfit BUT, I once went to work with two different shoes.... Shame on me! lol
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll
3 Entry !!

Sharli said...

+1 A/ We had uniforms in high school so my worst "first day" outfit would be that never-fits-quite-right uniform.
+2 Old follower
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll.

Loved the post! Thanks!
entrelibros_blog at

linz said...

+1 On my first day of middle school I wore these strange, bright pink, kitten-heels that were in an Indian-style with a very orange, large tunic. Not so great.

+2 Old Follower

+1 Posted

+1 Contest Sidebar

+1 Already on Blogroll

Thanks for the contest!


linz said...

Here are all of my links. I can't remember if I posted them all.

Blog post

Contest Sidebar



lostinbelieving said...

Hahah You Had Me At Halo sounds so funny ! It would suck to be that girl xD Thank you for the giveaway !

+1 New Follower
+1 The worst outfit I've worn before is an unfitting t-shirt, khaki shorts and boat shoes. *Shakes head in embarrassement* Yeah that was like three years ago...
+1 Link

Total: 3

Thanks a ton !


Kulsuma said...

+1 Worst outfit I wore- ratty cardigan over pink dress :(

+2 Old follower

+1 Added to blogroll


mom2girls said...

I follow via GFC as Tracy Taylor, and as for worst possible outfit well this past year I have lost 100 pounds so I would say anything I wore at 230 pounds was the worst outfit - I really like what I wear now - I really dressed badly for my weight back then (in retrospect) super baggy, black, tried to hide behind myself if that makes sence. I don't do that now and I could have dressed so much better then - I just didn't.

jen7waters said...

+1 New follower
+1 Answer question: the gym class uniform! there was a mandatory outfit at my school, but somehow my mother didn't get the memo, so I got there and everyone was dressed in white: tshirt, shorts, and gym shoes, while I was wearing a red and heavy jumpsuit. It's stupid, I know, but I was 6, it's hard feeling different when you're 6. Now I don't give a damn!:D

+1 sidebar:
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to blogroll:

thanks for the giveaway!


vickyvak said...

+1 New follower

+1 My school uniform!God... It's so ugly!!!

How To Dream said...

I'd love this!

+1 worst outfit? gym clothes were always horrible when I was a kid. especially the colors they had in the 80s.
+1 new follower

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This looks great!! i love the cover!!

+2 old follower

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

thank you!

The Itzel Library said...

Worst outfit? I´m biologist, so my outfit is poor all the time. However, the big hole in my favorite jeans is horrible, anyway I think this kind of thing happens to me all the time.

+2 old follower
+1 Blogroll:

itzel_library at

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

+1 Come up with a possible worst outfit if you don't have one! Hmm...well, when I was a child I wore these floral green shorts, or FLURO pink shorts! Oh, god!!
+2 Old follower
+1 Link
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll

Total: 5 entries

cc932005 at hotmail dot com

Wanda said...

+1 - new follower
+1 - worst possible outfit - baggy jeans and torn sweatshirt

AMBER G said...

+1 New follower

My school uniform was a bright blue sweater with a bright blue and green striped tie. It was pretty horrific!

MarionG said...

New follower. Zombie Queen sounds like a great read. Would love it. I really enjoy zombie and vampire books. Cheers.
polo-puppy-fluffy at hotmail dot com

.Niii. said...

+1 New follower

+1 Answer question - I didn't like my uniform school. Thanks god... Now.. I don't go to School. =)

Thanks for the giveaway!