Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!
It's easy to imagine yourself in the lively world of Want. Reading this book had me itching to do something, whether it was going out with friends or joining a worthy cause. Add killer fashion and amazing food, and that sounds like a reason to party!
Zhou has a tattoo of a calla lily in honor of his mother, which Daiyu evokes by sending call lilies with a party invitation for him. And you can do the same for your guests by sending them felt calla lilies!
I made mine with stiff felt because I liked the look of the petal when I folded it outward, but a more pliable felt will give a softer look when it's bent.
Petals: Cut out a 4" x 4" square from white felt, and then cut it into a soft heart shape. To shape the petals, place the point of the heart at the top and wrap the bottom around to make a cone shape, leaving a small gap at the bottom for the stem. Secure in place with hot glue.
Stem and pistil: Fold a 4" piece of yellow pipe cleaner in half. Wind it together with a full-length green pipe cleaner.
Assembly: Insert the stem into the petal, and glue it in place. Fold the stem in half, and wind it around itself to make it thicker.
If you prefer paper flowers, there are lots of online tutorials for making calla lilies from crepe paper.
What to Wear
The clothing descriptions are so vibrant and detailed that I wanted to stand on the streets just to people-watch. There are plenty of ideas for what to wear, depending on how outrageous you feel like being, since yous ('have') and meis ('without', or have-nots) alike express their personalities through their clothes.
His sleek suit was black, with an indigo dragon breathing orange flames woven down one long sleeve.
Lingyi [...] wearing a bright green tee and full white miniskirt plastered with bright flowers – tulips.
The yous were dressed in their finest, from silver leather pants that glowed in the dark to gold and crimson dresses encrusted in jewels. [...] baring shoulders and backs with plunging necklines strategically adhered to offer a glimpse of their perfectly shaped breasts. [...] wings, black and leathery [...] feathered wings, like swans, or transparent wings, gilded in silver and gold.
• Climbing Wall: Zhou's an expert climber, and he even has a home climbing wall in the apartment for his you persona. Visit an indoor rock climbing gym that'll provide equipment and instructors to help you get started.
• Learn Mandarin: The official language of Taiwan is Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin. Learning a new language is always easier (and more fun!) with friends, so spend some time learning Mandarin together. Some communities offer low-cost community courses, but there are less formal (and costly) resources available on the internet, such as this Youtube channel.
• Calligraphy: Among Daiyu's many talents is calligraphy, which can require lots of practice and even special materials. But you can get a similar experience with hand-lettering that can done with regular pens and paper. Here's a video playlist for tips and tricks on using regular markers for cool hand-lettering.
• Painting: Daiyu's also talented at painting. Take a painting class together and discover your own artistic talents. Sign up for a 'wine and canvas' night, or you can even arrange to host the class in your home. Looking for something less messy and more low key? Put on an episode of Bob Ross and follow along using Microsoft Paint.
• Constellations: Daiyu's interest in constellations is evidenced by the star theme of her latest suit that's being developed by Jin Corp. Create your own constellation art with a canvas, paint, a utility knife, and battery-operated LED lights.
Paint the canvas. On the back side, mark the spaces for the stars in your selected constellation; be sure to mirror the pattern so that it shows up properly on the front side. Make small incisions at the star locations. Poke the lights through the holes, using tape to keep everything secure as needed. Turn on the lights for your very own constellation art piece! (For a low tech version, substitute brads for the lights.)
• Pandemic: Access to medicine and rampant disease are major concerns throughout the novel, with a super virus even breaking out at one point. Pandemic is a board game that requires player cooperation in order to prevent a virus from spreading across the world.
• Self-Defense: Futuristic Taipei can be dangerous for anyone; even yous with security guards can be kidnapped. Learn how to protect yourself in a self-defense class. Look for courses offered by gyms and community centers.
• Protest: Want is ultimately a story about resisting against injustice. Find a cause that you care about, and figure out a way to spread awareness and promote change. Attend a march, start a letter-writing campaign, or volunteer; however you go about it, make a difference in your community.
Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages
The food in this book is described in mouth-watering detail, and even reading on a full stomach had me wishing for a taste: chou doufu, naan and bhindi bhaji, steamed buns and fried sausage, stewed bamboo and tofu, scallion pancakes and fried dough wrapped in sesame flatbread, steamed pork buns, and rice porridge with smoked chicken and pickled cucumbers. I'm getting hungry just by looking at that list!
As for drinks, jasmine tea, hot soy milk, and iced sugarcane juice were all mentioned. For more of a you lavishness, opt for the pink champagne from the New Year’s Eve party. Other alcoholic options include Taiwanese wines, or, for the more adventurous, the strong liquor Kaoliang.
Do you have any other Want-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds. She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA. When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty. She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.