December Wrap Up

December was a pretty fun month for me, and not just because it was the last month of 2016 (which needed to be over long before it was).

Books Read

Unfortunately I didn’t get around to finishing any books because of how busy I was – finals, skating, job, etc – so both of these books are just books that I was currently reading during December.

  • Catalyst, A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
  • Winterspell by Claire Legend

Book Haul

  • Ahsoka by EK Johnston
  • Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake
  • The Heir by Kiera Cass
  • Conversion by Katherine Howe
  • A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls
  • Catalyst, A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (Illustrations by Jim Kay)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (Illustrations by Jim Kay)
  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Novelization) by Alexander Freed
  • Libyrinth by Pearl North
  • The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Memorable Moments

Continue reading “December Wrap Up”

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Supercool Name

Stereotype Saturday
NaBloPoMo 2016 #5

You know those books (or movies or whatever) whose characters have just wild names? Sometimes all the characters have insane names, sometimes only a few do (and then it’s just really weird and slightly awkward).


Batman

If you’ve never seen the 1960s Batman TV series and/or movie you are seriously missing out on some of the best names for characters and things ever. But Batman in general has some pretty cool names. Check out the hilariously funny BatLabels twitter account for more.

Bat-Fam: There’s Batman who picked the most self-explanatory name ever, and then Batgirl the ultimate kickass batman-fangirl.

Batstuff:  Bat-erangs, bat-spray, bat shark repellant, batbombs, etc. Basically if you can name it Bruce Wayne can stick “bat” in front of it.

Deadpool

Like everything else in this movie, superhero names are often parodied.

Ajax: Deadpool jokes that he got his name from the dishsoap, when in fact both names are a play off the Greek Warrior was was “stronger than Greece”

Deadpool: Once again, he parodies himself by considering the name “Captain Deadpool”

Negasonic Teenage Warhead: She was literally chosen to be a character because of how awesome her name was and Deadpool repeatedly comments on it (and asks to trade).

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Not Harry himself (his name was chosen to be bland for a reason) but his children and some of the supporting characters.

Dumbledore: It means ‘bumblebee’ and I think that’s all that needs said.

Professor Sprout: Her name is spout and she works with plants and if you don’t think thats hilarious.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Pretty much all of the main characters in James Pattern’s Maximum ride fall into this category.

 

Novels of Ideas

I stumbled across a lovely phrase that really stuck with me in a Crash Course video the other day: Novels of Ideas.

A novel of ideas (which I shall be calling NOI for the sake of simplicity), according to John Green, is a novel that is “primarily about its ideas” rather than being about the story itself. This includes books such as William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, George Orwell’s 1984, and many more. Now what do all of these books have in common besides being a NOI? I hate them.

“A novel of ideas is only as good or as bad as its ideas.”

– John Green

I must agree with the above sentiment from John Green, which is expressed in the video that inspired this blog post/rant/discussion. A NOI is, after all, written to teach a moral and therefore is better to be read in philosophy class rather than read for fun. It wants to teach you something, is a genre (overwhelming) written by old white males, and is (thankfully) going out of style in more recent years. It seems that today NOI are being published overwhelmingly in the Christian Literature genre. In these novels there is a very easy to find ‘flaw’ in the main character, and, once it is resolved, she (because that is almost always who the main character is) is able to settle down with a Good Christian husband and lead a Good Christian life. This is a bit different from NOI where often there were religious themes, however, there was seldom such a happy ending. (Please don’t think I’m mocking any religion by comparing it to NOI, I am not, I am however, not a fan of Christian Lit.)

Another thing that could be compared to NOI (and, for that matter, Christian Lit) are the ancient epics which tell tales of humanity and its many, many, many flaws (take for example The Odyssey by Homer where the main character messes up constantly, has PTSD, murders a ton of people, and is still regarded as a great hero). Epics were written to tell tales, but at the same time they were meant to teach important lessons (because many ancient religions lacked a ‘main’ religious text similar to The Bible or the Quran, people had to read into the texts to see how they were supposed to act. As such you could justify almost any action in Ancient Greece, including sleeping with your mother (I’m looking at you Oedipus).

I believe a NOI is not the same as a satire. A NOI takes itself very seriously and thinks it is an interesting work, a satire, on the other hand, does not take itself too seriously (on the outside), and knows when to take a break from the lesson and throw in some fun. At the end of the day the author of a novel of ideas is – for better or for worse – trying to impose their moral views on you rather than just tell you a story.

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten. None are undeservedly remembered.”

– W.H. Auden

Is that a bad thing? Of course not, there are many books that both tell a story and teach a lesson. Harry Potter by JK Rowling comes to mind. Harry Potter is, at its core, a book about the most true form of magic: friendship and love. But very few would argue that it is not still a good story. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien teaches about the value of friendship and over coming differences and the strengths of the underdog. George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire teaches the very true lesson that incest will not end well and rape will be ignored as long as the perpetrator is a good looking or powerful man. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins manages to tackle some of the same issues as 1984 – like governmental power and media bias and corruption – and still tell a very interesting story at the same time.

So, now for the big question: what do you think about a so-called Novel of Ideas?

Gotta Read ’em All!

This Read-a-Thon is hosted by Read At Midnight, who also did the Pokemon Go Book Tag just in case you were wondering how much its taken over her life.

For me this read-a-thon comes at whats either a great time or a terrible time: the first week of college. That means that I will probably be combining books – which yes, will cost me points according to the FAQ – but I’ll still be reading and posting about lots of Pokemon so it will still be fun!

I’ve set up my list so that there are some badges that I won’t have to do in case I run out of time, picking books that could work for more than one badge so I don’t need to stress if I can’t read one for every gym. That being said, I’d prefer to

My393Piplup_DP_anime_2 Pokemon

If you’ve not read the original post – and you really should which is why I linked to it in the first place – you need to know that part of the challenge can include leveling up your own Pokemon and, of course, I chose Piplup!

Evolutions: 

  • Level 50 CP is Prinplup
  • Level 400 CP is Empoleon

 

Continue reading “Gotta Read ’em All!”

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre:
Publisher:
Series: Book 8 of Harry Potter

Here is the review that I promised in my post about the Harry Potter Release Party!

There will be spoilers, but they will be down at the very bottom and under a read more (if you see the photo of me on the floor and you don’t want to see spoilers, then its time to turn back)!

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

As I said before: I actually liked this more than I thought that I would. Yes I know a lot of people have been saying “it read like fanfiction” and, while they’re not wrong, it would have been hard for it not to have for a variety of reasons:

  1. There is so much fanfic of Harry Potter that basically every possible plot has been explored at least twice.
  2. It kinda was? JK Rowling wasn’t the only author, so her co-authors basically were writing fanfic and then getting it okayed by her.
  3. Its not the old Harry Potter and it never will be. Nothing will ever again capture the magic like the first 7 books.
  4. The fans have very high expectations. Very high. Like, impossible to achieve high.

 

Complaints

  • I can, without spoiling anything, tell you that Teddy Lupin and Hagrid are not in this book and that is completely unacceptable.
  • I wish it were an actual book, rather than a play (of course, it would need to be like, at least three books to cover everything).
  • It was definitely fan-service.
  • Its slow to get moving; a large portion of the first bit of the book is just Harry and Albus complaining about their lives.

Overall

When I finished this book I literally feel off the couch and laid on the floor (pics below because it did happen and I can prove it). There were just so many feelings welling up inside me that I don’t really know what to do. The first thing I want to do is read it again, and then I’ll be able to tell you a bit more about how it made me feel.

If you like Harry Potter – and you’re not one of those people who think “she should just stop writing” which I’ve covered here – then this is definitely worth reading.

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Spoilers

Continue reading “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child”

July 2016 Wrap Up

This month was Camp NaNoWriMo which I didn’t get as much done on as I would have liked, but I also started my first ever job, so I feel as though thats a pretty good excuse. I also played a lot of Wii U since I just bought that with my first paycheck. Pretty awesome, I know (raise your hand if you’re PUMPED for Breath of the Wild).

Another thing I did this month: hold a a funeral for a CHAIR at a special screening of the web show RWBY (if you’re interested in this cheek out next week’s Media Monday). And it was the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!! Did anyone go to a Midnight release? I did!

PS: If you’ve not voted in my Poll yet, please do!!

Book Haul

Zodiac by Romina Russel

Unnatural Creatures compiled by Neil Gamman

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, etc all

The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter by Jamie Harrington

Books Read

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, etc all

Posts

Book Reviews

Media Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

Waiting on Wednesday

Other

Camp NaNo & Writing

Unfortunately I didn’t get hardly any NaNoWriting done, but I had fun for what I did do, so thats what matters!

Posts

Memorable Moments

Continue reading “July 2016 Wrap Up”

Books at the Her Universe Fashion Show

This year at Comic Con was the third annual Hot Topic and Her Universe fashion show. Now, I’m a huge fan of her Universe and Ashley Eckstein (who I know as the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars) so of course I was excited to see what all happened at the show. Needless to say A LOT OF GEEKERY. I wasn’t able to go, but I did vote on their website (its open until August 11th) and I wanted to cover the ones based on books. There are a lot more, of course, but the book ones were the best ones.

Disclaimer:

  • All photos belong to HER UNIVERSE and HOT TOPIC
    • Except the featured Image which belongs to TEEN VOGUE
  • All costumes, patterns, etc are property of their creators
  • All opinions stated are purely my own and are not meant to offend anyone

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Falkor

Designer: Jesse

Fandom: The NeverEnding Story – Falkor

My Thoughts: I’ve not seen The NeverEnding Story in years (and I’ve never read it, sorry) but even I immediately knew what I was looking at (after debating if it might be a Pokemon). So it scores well in my opinion for that. Its also well constructed and very professional looking.

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Hannibal’s Design

Designer: Sarah Hambly

Fandom: Red Dragon/Silence of the Lambs –Hannibal Lecter

My Thoughts: This dress kind of terrifies me, but in that good, Hannibal kind of way. It pays homage to the character without being overly obvious.

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The Dragon Beyond the Wall

Designer: Grace DuVal

Fandom: Game of Thrones – Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen

My Thoughts: I don’t know what this has to do with Dany – other than people apparently ship them despite that thing that came out at the end of the last season – and personally I think its a great representation of Jon without adding in Dany.

Notes: It makes much more sense now that I’ve seen this video, which shows that the dress turns into Dany.

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A Promised New Life

Designer: Alexandra “Rei Star” Ray

Fandom: Howl’s Moving Castle – Howl

My Thoughts: I’ve read most of the book – I can’t remember why I stopped, but I do intend to finish it one day – and I think this is a perfect representation. Its also just a beautiful dress that you can admire without knowing the background.

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I Solemnly Swear I’m Up to No Good

2016 Audience Winner

Designer: Camille Falciola

Fandom: Harry Potter – Marauder’s Map

My Thoughts: Its based on the Marauder’s Map, which, while pretty cool, is something we’ve all seen done over and over and over. Someone clearly put a lot of time into it, I’m just not sure it was the most creative one there.

Notes: This video shows that the dress actually transformed – the map showing up as the model walked – and that makes it much cooler.

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Expecto Patronum

Designer: Erica Williams

Fandom: Harry Potter – Patronus 

My Thoughts: Its a very pretty dress, but to me it looks more like the Ghost of Ravenclaw tower than it does a Patronus. It also looks more like a regular prom dress than a cosplay, but I have to admit, it IS beautiful.

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Newt’s Menagerie

Designer: Harmony Leiker

Fandom: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – Dragons

My Thoughts: I don’t know what this has to do with Dragons, its pretty, but not that dragon-y. I think the front panel might have a dragon on it, but then again, I’m not too sure.

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The Always Dress

Designer: Selina Zawacki “SZMOON”

Fandom: Harry Potter – Patronus

My Thoughts: Severus Snape is overrated – and not a good person (just a stalker) – and the doe on this dress barely shows in this photo (its in the beading on the dress). Its nice, but eh. (The girl who designed it has purple hair though, so thats nice).

damngoodshindigdotcom who was there said that the dress was actually electrically engineered so that it lit up as the model walked the runway.

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The Story that Lived

Designer: Tanya Apuya

Fandom: Harry Potter – Book

My Thoughts: THIS WAS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! It certainly got my vote, and I think you can love it no matter what fandom you like (because it doesn’t have to be a Harry Potter book!).

damngoodshindigdotcom who modeled the dress was kind enough to provide me a link to a few more photos!