The Harry Potter Tag

HarryPotterThanks to Engie @ Musings from Neville’s Navel for tagging me in this one! I think it’s been a while since I was tagged for this one (oops) but I already had quite a few posts scheduled, so oh well.

Slight disclaimer: if for some strange reason you have been living in a hole most of your life and haven’t finished the Harry Potter series yet, there are spoilers in this post. You have been warned.

Anyway. Time for some Harry Potter appreciation!

Favorite book?

DeathlyHallowsUp until my last read (a few months ago, I think), I would’ve answered The Prisoner of Azkaban, mostly because it introduced two of my favorite characters at the time- Lupin and Sirius. And I still love The Prisoner of Azkaban, don’t get me wrong.

But I think that now I prefer The Deathly Hallows. I just love the way that everything you thought you knew about all the characters got twisted around (I’m actually not on Snape’s side any more, but that’s a conversation for another day). It’s a lot faster paced than Prisoner of Azkaban, and it’s… long. A more complex story. I like that.

HalfBloodPrinceFavorite film?

I actually… don’t remember the movies that well? It’s been a while since I watched them. But I do remember really liking how The Half Blood Prince was executed. They did a nice job mixing humor and creepiness, and I liked that. And it was also the first Harry Potter movie I saw in theaters! So it has a pretty special place in my heart, which is funny considering that I didn’t particularly like the book (I didn’t dislike it, it just… doesn’t really stand out to me).

Least favorite book?HarryPotter

Okay, don’t kill me here, but… I don’t really like The Sorcerer’s Stone. It all seems so cheesy to me? I mean, I get that that’s mostly because everyone is so young, but I just feel kind of bored by it. I love the entire series, really. But I like it most later in the series, when things get more three dimensional and layered. Everything is so black and white in The Sorcerer’s Stone.

Least favorite film?

Oh my god I HATE THE GOBLET OF FIRE ADAPTATION. They changed it so much and left out so many of the things I loved about the book? And I’m never going to forgive movie Harry for killing that dragon when he was clearly capable of getting the egg without killing a dragon in the book.

dragon

why would anybody want to hurt this little buddy?

Parts of the books/ movies that made you cry?

Well, a couple years ago, the moments when Snape’s backstory was revealed. But I’m over that now. That guy was a jerk and a creep, albeit maybe a little bit of a sympathetic jerk.

But anyway. I digress. Dumbledore’s death was one of the first scenes in a book to make me cry- I was in tears. These days, it’s usually Lupin and Tonks’ death (THEY DESERVED BETTER) but Dumbledore’s death still hurts a lot too.

DumbledoreDeath

LunaFavorite character?

ALL OF THEM (except for Snape, as I’m sure you’ve realized by now).

But if I had to pick one… probably Luna? I really like how everyone assumes she’s… well… loony, but she doesn’t let it get to her. Like, she’s creative and open minded, but a lot smarter than she seems. I also have a soft spot for Ginny and Neville and Hermione.

Least favorite character?

Take a wild guess.

SnapeConfused

The guy was an abusive, manipulative creep… but he’s still a bunch of people’s favorite character??? How about a little more love for Remus or Molly or literally anyone but Snape.

SnapeLifeIsntFair

Favorite quote?

I… honestly don’t know? I have a lot, and I don’t have time to go back and reread the books to find my favorite. So for now, I’m just going to go with one that I remember- “We’ve all got light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that’s who we really are.” -Sirius Black

Least favorite quote?

“Always.” I’m actually seriously considering writing up a post on how much I hate Snape because I have a lot of feelings on this.

Favorite music from the films?

I don’t really know? But I do love Hedwig’s Theme.

What would your patronus be?

A mantis shrimp. The things are beautiful and can see waaaay more colors than any other animal we know of (including humans), but they’re also, like, super vicious. You should seriously Google them, because I can’t do them justice.

MantisShrimp

I’ve also once had a friend tell me that I looked like “a murderous fairy princess” so I feel like a mantis shrimp would be an accurate patronus for me.

If you could have the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, or the Elder Wand, which would you choose?

I don’t know. The Elder Wand sounds cool, but I feel like it would be more trouble than it’s worth? So I’d probably go with the Invisibility Cloak.

SlytherclawWhich house would you be in?

Honestly, I’m not sure? I’m pretty ambitious and I have big dreams- I want to do something big with my life, make the world a better place- so I feel like Slytherin would be pretty fitting. But then I feel like creativity is a pretty pivotal part of my personality, so maybe Ravenclaw?

If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

EVERYONE.

If you were on the Quidditch team, what position would you play?

I’d like to say Keeper. But, honestly, I doubt that I’d be on the team. I’m not the most coordinated of people- my talents (and interests) lie elsewhere.

Were you happy with the ending?

In a way? I mean, it felt satisfying, but EVERYONE I LOVED DIED (okay, not everyone, but almost everyone).

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

It means everything to me, honestly.

It’s life.

ILoveIt

I’m feeling lazy right now, so… I’m going to tag whoever is reading this post!

My Favorite LGBT+ Books

The US now has marriage equality- even Texas!!! The fight isn’t over yet- we have a long way to go before we reach true equality. But this is such a huge step, and a cause for celebration!

VictoryDance

So, I’ve decided to compile my top ten books (and comics) starring LGBT+ protagonists to celebrate. There should be something for everyone on this list, whether you like fantasy, contemporary, or anything in between!

Hero

1. Hero by Perry Moore was actually one of the first LGBT+ books I read. It wasn’t really one of the best books that I’ve read, but it stuck with me, because, I mean, even if it’s not perfect, it’s really good. It was partly about the gay protagonist having to grow up with his extremely conservative dad, and partly a really funny parody of superhero stereotypes, so it has a really nice blend of seriousness and comedy.

MiseducationOfCameronPost

2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth was amaaaaazing and I’m so glad that I finally read it (many thanks to everyone who recommended it to me!). It’s a fantastic contemporary coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl growing up in the Midwest. Also, isn’t the cover just sooo pretty? I’m not usually a fan of covers with photos on them- I prefer artwork, especially the minimalist ones- but this one is really pretty and perfect for the story.

Ash

3. Ash by Malinda Lo is one of my favorite books ever. It’s basically a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, and I loved it, especially considering that LGBT+ fantasy is pretty sparse. Like, I’ve found plenty of good queer contemporary stories, but hardly anything in the way of fantasy??? Anyway. Ash is amazing and 5/5 would recommend!

Otherbound

4. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is AMAZING and LET ME TELL YOU WHY. It’s an epic fantasy with tons of people of color- I don’t think any of the main characters are white- and the main character is bisexual (and bisexual characters are ridiculously hard to find. And excellent representation aside, the world was just beautiful, and the way the magic in this world worked was so interesting. So, basically, this is one of my favorite books of all time.

LiesWeTellOurselves

5. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley was another ABSOLUTELY AMAZING book that EVERYONE needs to read RIGHT NOW. Like, if I had to pick a single favorite book, it would probably be this one. It’s a fantastic story that does a really amazing job at discussing race, sexuality, and gender inequality. And the CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT oh my god. Each of the main characters grows so much over the course of the story and just GO READ IT NOW okay?

NotOtherwiseSpecified

6. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz is another great book. You know how I was mentioning how hard it is to find bisexual characters in books? Well, Not Otherwise Specified is a really good story about growing up, falling in (and out of) love, and never quite feeling like you fit in, starring a very clearly bisexual protagonist.

SimonVsTheHomoSapiensAgenda

7. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is a really cute, fluffy book. It does a really good job of blending serious themes with humor and general cuteness, which is something that I really appreciate in books. Unlike a lot of the other books on this list which are either about characters who are already out (like Not Otherwise Specified) or are unable to come out (like Hero and Cameron Post), Simon is mostly about Simon’s coming out. It’s a really heartfelt, realistic book, and I’d definitely recommend it.

BeautyQueens

8. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is absolutely glorious. It’s, like, a feminist take on The Lord of the Flies. There are a lot of main characters, but a good amount of them are queer, and they’re all really diverse. It makes a lot of serious points but it manages to be SUPER funny and sarcastic while it does so. If you’re into comedy and/or social justice, I would definitely highly recommend this one.

YoungAvengers

9. The Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen is one of my all time favorite comics. While it admittedly doesn’t have the best plot, it does have really well developed, three dimensional characters, and not one of them is straight! Tommy, Billy, and Miss America are, like, super gay, Noh-Varr, Kid Loki, and Prodigy are bisxual, and Kate is most likely bisexual as well.

RedAndBlue

10. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon is another of my favorite comics, and the world in which it takes place was intentionally created to be very, very queer. The main character, The Girl, has no romantic interest, and in the way of side characters, there are quite a few LGBT+ characters, like the runaway robots Red and Blue (in the picture above), the rebel assassin Korse, and the freedom fighter Party Poison.

What are some of your favorite LGBT+ books?

10 Marvel Characters Who Need Their Own Movies

It’s been awhile since I posted anything superhero related, hasn’t it? Figured it was time to change that. I’ve had this post in my drafts for awhile, but never really finished it. So, here are the ten Marvel characters who need their own movies! (And probably should rightly have had their own movies before Ant-Man).

BlackWidow

1. Black Widow. It’s kind of odd that she doesn’t have her own movie, or even a confirmed upcoming one, isn’t it? I mean, most of the fans are practically on their knees begging for one. And I must say, the Natasha we’ve seen in movies so far isn’t really even close to one of my favorite characters. She has such an interesting backstory, but in each of the movies with her so far, it’s been overshadowed with romance plots. But she really is an interesting character, with a lot of potential for a solo movie- if only we could get to see a deeper glimpse of her character!

YoungAvengers

2. The Young AvengersTHE YOUNG AVENGERS ARE AMAZING, OKAY? They’re all such amazing, well developed characters. And although the plots of their comics leave a little to be desired, the characters all have so much drive and heart to them. They all have their own interests, passions, and talents. And, in terms to what they’d bring to a movie, they’d have a lot of potential for comedy on par with Guardians of the Galaxy, they have a lot of appeal to teens, and a hugely diverse cast!

TheRunaways

3. The Runaways. Okay, let me just say that this one is less about me thinking this would be a great movie and more about me just REALLY LOVING THE RUNAWAYS. But, I mean, that’s not to say that the Runaways wouldn’t make a good movie, because I feel like they would make a GREAT movie. They would give Marvel a chance to broaden their universe even more, as most of the story takes place in LA, not New York. It gives the team a bit of space from the more mainstream characters, like the Avengers and X-Men, but you can still see the influence of these bigger characters on the world, if that makes sense. The characters have really different backgrounds, too- like Xavin and Karolina, who are aliens, to Nico, a magic user, do Gertrude, who shares a telepathic link with a genetically enhanced dinosaur. Also, YOUNG AVENGERS TIE INS. They both have a lot in common, and would appeal to very similar audiences.

PeggyCarter

4. Peggy Carter. We have an Agent Carter show, sure. But it’s not the same as seeing her on the big screen! And the show went over so well with its fans. So is it too much to ask for a movie as well?

SheHulk

5. She Hulk. Don’t let the dumb name fool you- Jennifer isn’t just the girl version of the Hulk! She’s her own character, and an amazing one at that. While most of Bruce’s storyline revolves around his difficulties with finding control over his powers, Jennifer has that control. But she still has problems. Most of her character revolves around her difficulties with finding balance between her two personas, the average human lawyer Jennifer Walters and powerful green bombshell She-Hulk. Hulk movies in the past haven’t really been huge successes. But Bruce’s character in the Avengers was very popular, and I feel like a Hulk movie would be more likely to succeed now. But we already have some good movies about Bruce Banner already, so what about trying a different Hulk? Like Jennifer?

MilesMorales

6. Spider-Man (Miles Morales). It seems a little ridiculous to me that we’re rehashing the same Peter Parker story for the third time. Why not try something different? There are plenty of interesting Spider-people aside from Peter. People who do a much better job of representing the outsiders and misfits than Peter. And I feel like Miles would be a perfect contestant.

KamalaKhan

7. Kamala Khan. Kamala Khan’s Miss Marvel is currently one of Marvel’s most popular characters. And with movies for Carol Danvers (Kamala’s role model, and a major part of her origin) and the Inhumans (Kamala is an Inhuman) already slated, the universe is already set up! And, like the Young Avengers and Runaways, she has a lot of potential to bring in a younger audience. Not to mention that she’s just a plain amazing character.

MoondragonQuasar8 and 9. Quasar and Moondragon. I’m actually really disappointed that these two weren’t included in Guardians of the Galaxy (but I’m still holding on to the hope that they’ll be in the sequel). The two of them are both SUPER powerful members of the Guardians- Moondragon is a telepath who  can literally TURN INTO A DRAGON, and she’s Drax’s daughter, and Quasar has some other powers that I’m actually not so sure of? And the two of them are ADORABLE SPACE GIRLFRIENDS which would give Marvel a chance to add a bit of diversity (and cuteness) into the movies.

JessicaDrew

10. Spider-Woman. Jessica is a really interesting character, who manages to balance humor with a dark past. And she actually has a lot in common with the current Marvel cinematic universe- she’s a major player in the Civil War, has a romantic history with Hawkeye, is best friends with Carol Danvers, and has a past with both SHIELD and HYDRA! And her blend of humor, romance, and butt kickery seem to be exactly what the Marvel movies look for in their characters.

What characters do you want to see in a Marvel movie?

The Heroine Tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this one, but hey, it looks like fun, so here goes!

Which heroine would you trade places with?

Hermione Granger, probably. It’s a hard choice, but, I mean, she gets to go to Hogwarts. We’re pretty similar already, anyway. She just gets to learn magic and go on adventures.

Cress (from The Lunar Chronicles), Idie Okonkwo (X-Men), and Kate Bishop (Young Avengers & Hawkeye) all come pretty close.

Which heroine would you push off a cliff while hoping there are some jagged rocks at the bottom?

Erm. Nobody, really. My least favorite heroine (at least one that I’ve read about recently) is Hild, but I don’t necessarily hate her. I just think she’s kinda dull to read about and has really horrible taste in guys.

A heroine you couldn’t care less about? (They’re so bland that they don’t even trigger the hate in you.)

Lindsey from An Abundance of Katherines. I like John Green’s writing, I really do. But Lindsey was a super bland character and felt pretty badly developed.

Maybe Bella, but then, I haven’t actually read Twilight, so I feel kinda bad whenever I hate on it.

A character you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up liking, and vice versa?

I didn’t like Yukiko (from Stormdancer) at all at first. She seemed boring, and a lot like your basic bland femme fatale. Her character really developed through the story though, especially once she started to form her relationship with Buruu (a griffin).

The opposite goes for Clary Fray (The Mortal Instruments). I liked her at first, but after a while she just got really… dull.

A side heroine who is much more interesting than the main heroine?

Isabelle Lightwood (again from The Mortal Instruments). She was just so awesome, and I’d really like a chance to get inside her head once in a while, instead of Clary.

Which heroine would you want as your friend?

Kamala Khan from the new Ms Marvel comics. She’s so sweet and funny and also writes Avengers fanfiction. I have a feeling we would get along pretty well. Plus, she’s a superhero, so I could become her snarky sidekick.

Which heroine do you wish would just CHOOSE between the guys in her little love triangle?

Max from Maximum Ride. Like, geez, girl, it’s obvious you’re going to pick Fang. Just hurry up and make a choice already. I used to love those books, but… ugh. I can hardly read them any more. They’re horribly structured, centered around a love triangle, have no stable plot, and… you know what? I’m going to stop here. Next question!

A “bad girl” heroine?

Emma Frost (X-Men). She’s one of my all-time favorite X-Men but I seriously wish they would stop with the whole Emma/Scott romance. It doesn’t work and it ruins her character so please stop.

A “good girl” heroine?

Tori from Ultraviolet and Quicksilver. She’s probably one of my favorite heroines as well.

Your favorite heroine of them all? (If you can’t choose, pick your top three.)

Even with three choices that’s a really hard question. But I’m going to say…

  1. Tori Beaugard
  2. Cress
  3. Kitty Pryde

Who are your favorite heroines?

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Review)

FiveArmies

This is a spoiler free review!

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. But in the end, it all seemed very… well… meh. A mediocre movie wrapped up in a glittery package of epic fantasy battles and amazing CGI. I didn’t dislike it, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t anything amazing, either.

Meh

My biggest complaint with Battle of the Five Armies is that, for a movie that went out of its way to add more female characters, it had some pretty sexist moments. Tauriel had potential, but… in the end, she had no character autonomy. At all. There were moments when she tried to rebel and leave Thranduil, but in the end, it never actually worked without Legolas’s help. And her “big”, “defining” moment had no more impact on the film than the rest of her character. But enough about Tauriel. There were other female characters in the movie, right? Bard’s two daughters were also pretty frustrating. They ran around screaming and needed their brother’s help to protect them, even though he presumably has no more weapons training than them.

From a feminist perspective, there were probably two redeeming features to the story. First, there is a pretty awesome moment when Galadriel kicks some Nazgûl butt. It’s a pretty brief scene, but also totally awesome. The second is that, although the men try to send the women and children to safety at some point during the battle (I say ‘some point’ because the battle encompassed pretty much the entire movie and it all blurred together in my head), but the women are like “Heck no! We’re going to stay and help!”. So that was cool.

But really? No matter how cool those two scenes were, the movie was most definitely not feminist, and that’s disappointing. It could have been. It really could have been. Why not let Tauriel have a bigger effect on the story? Or maybe (heaven forbid) Bard could have been a woman in the movie. It isn’t like they didn’t already massively change the story in the movie from that in the book, and making Bard a woman would add a pretty major female character (with a much larger impact on the story than Tauriel). A real, actual, strong female character (which Tauriel is not). Or some of the dwarves could have been women. Or both!

But I digress.

FeministRants

The movie itself was… decent. It seemed really disjointed, and badly structured as well. Smaug was defeated much too quickly (like, ten minutes into the movie), and I feel like it would have been better to just get rid of him in Desolation of Smaug, then focus this movie on the battle.

Battle of the Five Armies didn’t feel like a movie in itself at all, really. I think it would definitely work better when combined with the other movies. It’s a conclusion, not a story.

Also, just out of curiosity, what happened to the Arkenstone? It was such a major part of the first quarter or so of the movie, and played a huge part in the trilogy overall, yet… it’s totally forgotten after the battle. We never find out what happens to it. The Arkenstone was a plot device, kinda like the eagles- it shows up conveniently, plays its part, and then disappears.

Meh2

I think Legolas was one of the best parts of the movie. He did… you know, typical Legolas stuff. Like, say, stabbing a troll in the head with his sword and then riding it around the battlefield, using the sword (still stuck in said troll’s head) to steer. You know. That kind of stuff.

Legolas

Okay, but seriously now. Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage’s acting was also great, and that also really improved my opinion of Battle of the Five Armies. Say what you want about the story itself, but the acting was well done.

But seriously. There were some really great moments between Thorin and Bilbo, whether you interpret it platonically or romantically.

But, I mean, overall…

SuperMeh

A mediocre ending to a good trilogy. I’d give it about 3.5/10.

Happy New Year: 2015!

NewYear

It seems like this last year went by so quickly… but even so, I feel like I’ve changed a lot since last year- and mostly in a good way. Anyway, to celebrate the New Year, I’ve written a (really) short story, which you can find here. I’m also going to write a bit about what this last year was like for me, what I’ve accomplished, and what I hope to accomplish next year!

Looking Back

Accomplishments

  • My school’s leadership team (which I am a part of) won a $2,500 grant for our school.
  • I helped to organize a school carnival.
  • I founded a school blog to help spread news.
  • My writing really improved once I started doing it more regularly than I had before.
  • I won NaNoWriMo!
  • I signed up for dual enrollment with my local college.
  • I started blogging more-or-less regularly again.

New tastes and opinions

  • I started reading comics and became utterly obsessed with Marvel.
  • I began to read a lot more YA fiction.
  • I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale.
  • I renewed my love of Disney.
  • I started listening to a lot more music than I had before.

Favorite books of 2014

Favorite movies of 2014

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was just so edge-of-you-seat, and I loved the mystery aspect to it. And the big reveal at the end was amazing. I could probably fangirl about it for hours.
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy was also amazing, even if in a different way. It was HILARIOUS, and the soundtrack was great.
  3. X-Men: Days of Future Past (although my feelings on this one are pretty conflicted). I’m really not a huge fan of the X-Men movie franchise any more, since it feels like they’ve messed up a lot of my favorite characters, but I digress. It was still a good movie.
  4. The Lego Movie. Judging by the previews, it looked like it was going to be horrible, but once I saw the actual movie, it was actually pretty good, and surprisingly cute.
  5. Maleficent was a really cool movie. A good story, interesting characters… but honestly? I think my favorite part was looking at all the different magical creatures.

Favorite songs of 2014

Oh No! by Marina and the Diamonds

Centuries by Fall Out Boy

Top of the World by Greek Fire

Salute by Little Mix

Let’s Kill Tonight by Panic! at the Disco

Looking Forward

New Year’s resolutions

  • Next year, I’m going to try to be more outspoken and stand out for myself. It’s a trait that I’ve always admired in other people, but I have a hard time doing it myself.
  • I also hope to move out of my comfort zone a little and try new things.
  • I want to improve my artistic skills.
  • I’d like to write more book reviews on my blog next year.
  • Finally, I want to make writing a regular part of my daily schedule, even if it’s one ten or fifteen minutes a day. My writing has improved enormously even from just a couple days each week… Imagine how much it could improve if I wrote every day.

Things to look forward to

  • Age of Ultron is coming out in 2015! The trailer was super awesome, so I’m really looking forward to the movie itself.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also set to release in 2015, looks pretty cool as well.
  • Winter, the fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, also comes out in 2015.
  • The Night Vale book is also set to come out sometime in 2015.
  • Season nine of Doctor Who.
  • More Sherlock hiatus. Season 4 probably won’t air until 2016.
  • NaNoWriMo 2015. The YWP is also moving sites in 2015, so that’ll be interesting.

Anyway, happy New Year! What are your resolutions? And what are you most looking forward to?

My Hero Monday: Shadowcat

{My Hero Monday Logo}

I’ll be participating in My Hero Monday again this month! My Hero Monday is a monthly blog link-up over at A Girl’s Voice and Free As A Girl With Wings (both of which are amazing blogs, and I highly encourage you to go check them out). It celebrates female heroes, and also encourages people to learn about new ones. If you’d like to see other blogs participating, or join the link-up next month, I’ve included links at the bottom of this post.

Since there was no specific theme for this month, I decided to go with a fictional character- one of my favorite X-Men, Kitty Pryde!

kittyprydekittypryde4

Their full name: Katherine “Kitty” Pryde (AKA Shadowcat)

Birthdate: Unknown

Current Age: She’s currently about 24. Her first appearance in the comics was in 1980 (Uncanny X-Men #129)

School(s): Various incarnations of the Charles Xavier School. She also studied physics at the University of Chicago and studied abroad in England.

Profession: Superhero, teacher/ headmistress (former), bartender (former)

When Did I First Hear About Her: The Wolverine and the X-Men TV show (which happens to be what first got me hooked on superheroes, and later, comics). She and Nightcrawler were two of my favorite characters by far.

What Makes Her One of My Heroes: Kitty is a smart- like, real, actual genius smart- realistic, and headstrong young woman. She’s learned a lot through her years as an X-Man, and really grown as a character. She went from a nervous little girl to butt kicking leader of the X-Men.

kittybobbykittyoriginal

She’s outspoken, strong willed, and sticks up for herself and the people who need it. She isn’t afraid to point out when people are in the wrong, even if they’re someone who she’s admired and looked up to her entire life.

Kitty is Jewish, and a mutant as well, (For those of you who aren’t big on superheroes, mutants are a human subspecies from the Marvel universe. They have superpowers, but they’re also a minority, and hated because of what they are- the next step in human evolution. Humanity has attempted time and time again to completely wipe the mutants out, simply because they’re afraid.) but she isn’t ashamed of that fact, and she doesn’t try to hide it in the least bit.

kittypryde5

And did I mention the fact that she’s a real, bona fide genius? I love being able to look up to heroines that are smart as well as strong, so that’s always a plus for me.kittyandlockheed

Kitty was one of the first female X-Men to carry a major story arc more or less by herself (The Days of Future Past comics, in case you were wondering. Originally it was her, not Wolverine, who traveled back in time and saved the day.)

daysoffuturepast daysoffuturepastkitty  daysoffuturepastkitty2

Also, she has a tiny purple pet dragon. Need I say more?

kittyandlockheed2

Quotes:

You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize this is it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along — that weird unbearable delight that’s actually happy — I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, ’cause it’s here, and then… gone.

My partner here and I have helped save the world at least twice! So a gang of street thugs is really no great big deal. Thanks for worrying, though. That’s sweet.

Just like a classic fairy tale. We’re all gifted with powers… for which we each pay a price.

Professor Xavier is a jerk!

And, later…

Tony Stark is a jerk!

I am Jewish. I am a mutant. And I want people to know who and what I am.

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

Today I’m going to be linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly feature on their blog. Enjoy!


ttt

Top Ten Books I Read This Year

(I’ve posted seperate list for novels and comics, so technically there are twenty books, but oh well.)


Novels

  1.  FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was just such a fantastic story about growing up, falling in love, and, of course, fanfiction.
  2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It tore my heart into little tiny pieces and then stomped all over them, but it was still an amazing book. I love how friendship was placed so much more highly than romance in the story- that’s something you don’t see very often, and I think it’s important. Falling in love is great and all, but friendship is important too.
  3. Ash by Malinda Lo. I love fairy tale retellings so, so much. And you know what I love even more than fairy tale retellings? LGBT+ fairy tale retellings.
  4. Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I can’t quite decide whether I liked it or House of Hades better, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, but it was still an amazing book, and definitely lived up to my expectations.
  5. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I love love loved this book. Fantastic world building, a three dimensional heroine, and a killer plot twist… what more could I ask for?
  6. SeraphinaSeraphina by Rachel Hartman. The way that she portrayed dragons in her book was so unique. It really intrigued me. And I’ve always loved fantasies revolving around political intrigue, as well. They… well, intrigue me.
  7. Hero by Perry Moore. This year I tried to do a little reading of superhero novels, just to get a better idea about the genre I’m writing for. Hero definitely wasn’t what I expected. Instead of action and fighting, it was about personal identity.
  8. Quicksilver by RJ Sanderson (I also loved the first book in the duology, Ultraviolet, but I preferred Quicksilver). It was so suspenseful through the whole story. I just couldn’t put it down. Definitely refreshing after Hild (which seemed to go on for ever and ever and ever).
  9. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I really liked The Raven Boys, don’t get me wrong, but… wow. The shift in point of view really changed the way I think about Ronan.
  10. Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. This is probably the fluffiest book on my list, but hey, geeky romance! Yaaaay!

ComicsRunaways

  1. The Runaways series by Brian K Vaughan. My first ever comic book (Well, technically, that was New X-Men, but I was so lost and didn’t know who anyone was, so that doesn’t count)! Anyway, I read volume 1 at the beginning of the year and devoured the rest of the series not long after. It’s still one of my favorite books.
  2. Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen. Even though the plot seemed a little rushed now and then, the characters were all amazing, and the humor was perfect. It isn’t easy for books to make me laugh, but Young Avengers had me cracking up.
  3. Excalibur by Chris Claremont is probably one of the oldest books I’ve read, but hey, who cares? It was a really good series, included three of my favorite characters (Kitty, Kurt, and Rachel), and… Well, I mean, British superheroes. I’m not sure how you can beat that.
  4. Princeless by Jeremy Whitley. A fantasy story about busting tropes (and patriarchy!)… What more can you ask for? I’m really disappointed that my library only has volume one.Princeless
  5. The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. I’m not quite sure what to say about this one except that it was… fun? Cute? Anyway, I liked it.
  6. Hawkeye by Matt Fraction. Clint Barton! Kate Bishop! A dog! Hilarity ensues.
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis. I liked the older ones as well (and I really miss Moondragon and Phyla Vell), but I felt like Bendis’s run was better overall. I also preferred the art style. And Gamora and Angela make a great pair, too.
  8. Amazing X-Men by Jason Aaron. Nightcrawler was the one who pulled me into the Marvel Universe (through the Wolverine and the X-Men TV show), but around 2010-ish, he died. Well, now he’s back (Rule number one of comics: nobody stays dead)! The story was good, I liked the characters, and even if he isn’t up there with Kitty Pryde and Quentin Quire and Gertrude Yorkes, I’ll always love Nightcrawler.
  9. All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis. I always liked the original X-Men team (except Scott, ugh), and it’s great to see them back, even if it isn’t exactly in the best of circumstances.watxm
  10. Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron (I really love the X-Men, okay?) is probably my current favorite on the list. Amazing X-Men is about… well, the X-Men. All New X-Men is about teens from the past trying to fit in with life today. Uncanny X-Men is about Scott Summers (ugh) being angsty (I think. I haven’t actually read those.) But Wolverine and the X-Men is about the kids at the Jean Grey School. It’s about growing up and looking toward the future and getting past everything that life throws at you. It’s about standing together through thick and thin. And it’s about sassy teenagers and having fun. It’s a lot lighter than the rest of the new X-Men books, and I guess you could say that’s one reason I love it.

What was your favorite book you read this year? What do you think of the ones I’ve posted?

Thoughts on Season Eight of Doctor Who

I’m not quite sure what to think about Season Eight. I mean, it was okay, I guess. Nothing great, but okay. I’ve tried to list my thoughts below, in no real order. Also, gifs from various fandoms to help articulate my feelings on the season.

seasoneight

The Doctor

Capaldi makes an excellent Doctor. I love how he’s done so far, and how this incarnation of the Doctor is sort of grouchy, and almost as snarky as Nine. Even so, he’s still protective, even if he can seem pretty cold and uncaring sometimes. I think it’s a good counterbalance to Eleven, and even Ten, in a way. Twelve may be my favorite Doctor yet.

My problem is with his relationship with Clara. He’s always insulting her. Maybe it’s to show that their relationship isn’t romantic anymore? But they’re still supposed to be friends, and besides, there are better ways of showing that.

Clara

I liked Clara a lot better in this season. Her character has really developed since the writers started treating her as a character instead of a plot device. She’s not nearly my favorite companion, but hey, she’s better than she was.

My biggest problems with Clara in this season were her relationship with Danny- we’ll get to that later- and the emotional inconsistency. Jenna Louise Coleman did an excellent job, but when it came to the writers, there was no consistency between episodes. One moment she’s yelling at the Doctor that she’s done and never wants to see him again, and the next they’re going on a fun “goodbye trip” in space. I would’ve preferred to see her character arc carried throughout the show, instead of being an “on again, off again” thing.

Danny

Danny was great, as a character. I liked Danny. I liked seeing Danny with the school kids. I liked seeing Danny with the Doctor. I liked seeing Danny twist the Doctor’s earlier ideas of soldiers. I liked the conflicts he had about his earlier life. He made an excellent character, and would’ve made a great companion alongside Clara- but just as friends.

Danny and Clara’s Relationship

Ick. No way. I mean, it had potential. Their first date was a cute scene overall, but it all went down from there. They said they loved each other, they insisted. But all that the show showed us was Danny and Clara lying to each other. Even during that first date they lied. Their relationship just felt to rushed, like the writers wanted to build up to (spoiler alert for the season finale- highlight to read) Danny’s death at the end of the season without taking the time to focus on the good points of their relationship.

Missy

(More spoiler alerts are scattered through this. Just highlight them if you want to read them.) Missy made an excellent villain, like an evil Mary Poppins. I was skeptical at first, since she seemed like every other Moffat femme fatale ever. But when she killed Osgood, it was pretty terrifying. Like, take Moriarty and Mary Poppins. Squish them together and you have Missy.

As to the plot twist… I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it set the stage for the Doctor to possibly regenerate as a woman in the future, which would be absolutely amazing. On the other hand, it just seemed so… obvious. But none of the Master’s aliases in the past have been particularly clever, so I guess it’s in character.

The New Title Sequence

I must admit, I was really skeptical of the new title sequence and theme at first. Up until now, they’ve all stayed relatively similar, and then… BOOM. Completely different. But I grew to like it, aside from the whole Capaldi’s-face-floating-in-the-sky thing. It’s really different, but in a good way.

The Finale

This was probably one of Moffat’s best finales yet. I mean, it wasn’t anywhere near RTD level, but it wasn’t a complete letdown either. It was creepy and dark. One of my favorite things, though, that it was more on an emotional level than a save-the-world thing. Clara wanted to save Danny. The Doctor tried to help her. And even if I have problems with Clara and Danny’s relationship, Jenna Louise Coleman’s performance was good enough to make me feel bad for her anyway. I must say, the ending was confusing, and Osgood’s death seemed like a bit of a throwaway, but aside from that… Probably my best Moffat finale, even if that isn’t saying much.

The Season Overall

In general terms, I liked this season. It wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t horrible. It was just sort of… meh. There were lots of little problems I had with a lot of the episodes, but overall, it was… okay. If there was more Jenny and Vastra it would’ve been better, but hey, you can’t have everything. Especially when Moffat is head writer.

Anyway, what did you guys think? Did you love this season? Hate it? Or a bit of both?

My Hero Monday: JK Rowling

mhm2

This month, I’ve decided to participate in My Hero Monday, a monthly blog link-up over at A Girl’s Voice and Free As A Girl With Wings (both of which are amazing blogs, and I highly encourage you to go check them out). It celebrates female heroes, and also encourages people to learn about new ones. If you’d like to see other blogs participating, or join the link-up next month, I’ve included links at the bottom of this post.

Full Name
Joanne “Jo” Rowling. She writes under the names of JK Rowling and Robert Galbraith
Birthdate
July 31, 1965
Current Age
49
School(s)
 Wyedean School, St Michael’s Primary School, University of Exeter
What books has she written? Which one is my favorite? Why?
JK Rowling was the author of the Harry Potter series, along with a few of “spinoff” books (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, etc.), and a couple of mystery novels (The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Casual Vacancy). She’s also published a novel named The Silkworm this year.
I haven’t read either of her mystery novels, but the Harry Potter books have basically been my go-to series for the past six or seven years. I’ve loved the stories for a long time now, and I think they were one of the many things that inspired me to write. If I had to choose a favorite out of all of them… Maybe The Deathly Hallows or The Prisoner of Azkaban?
When did I first hear about her?
My mom and dad handed me the first book when I was in third grade and said “YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES.” Well, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but my memory is fuzzy. All I know is that my parents recommended the Harry Potter series to me, and from then on, I was hooked.
What makes her one of my heroes?
Well, first off, she lost her billionaire status because she donated so much to charity. Honestly, I think that’s something that billionaires should be obliged to do. Oh! And she was the first female novelist to become a billionaire, too! But anyway.
She went from being a single mom living in poverty to one of the most famous authors of our time. She’s one of the people who proved to me that yes, you really can make a living off of being an author, and more. Not that it’s likely. But still.
And finally, although I’ve always loved reading, JK Rowling was the one who turned that spark into a raging bonfire. She’s an amazing author, and, in my opinion, an amazing role model as well.
Quotes
“Wherever I am, if I’ve got a book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy.”
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all- in which case, you fail be default.”
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.”
“We do not need magic to change our world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”
Also, honorable mention goes to Malindo Lo (for inspiring me to write more diversity into my stories- you can find nevillegirl’s post about her here) and Tamora Pierce (for writing fantastic fantasy novels and amazing heroines).
 
Be sure to check out the other My Hero Monday link-up posts!
November 3:
November 10:
Bridget @ Nerds Inc.
November 17:
November 24: