Music Monday

Welcome to my new weekly segment.

This is basically a fluff piece to remind everyone that I’m here and to keep reading this blog…basically.

I just want to have an excuse to keep writing, medicine and sharing things with you guys.

So every Monday, visit this I’m gonna share a song with you guys; whatever song is in my head, viagra whatever song I just discovered, a song I liked from a TV show or a movie, whatever.

And I do love music. I mean, I’m not a music snob like my boyfriend (I so hope he’s rolling his eyes as he reads this; love you baby!) but not everyone is super musical and can play guitar and bass guitar, and drums, and organ, and piano, and some trumpet and just bought a mandolin, and harmonica, and god knows what else.

But I do love music, and there’s some seriously awesome things happening in MY music world this year.

One, Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin fame is striking out on his own, releasing an EP and is currently on tour with Fun. (not a fan but still exciting) and doing solo shows, one of which I am attending in March.

Then…oh then, my second favorite band (after Something Corporate) announces that they are finally back together! After nearly four years of taking a break and working on other projects, Fall Out Boy is releasing a new album called “Save Rock and Roll” (insert another eye roll from said boyfriend; love you again baby!)

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I am SOOOOOO excited. They’re going on a worldwide tour as well, and unfortunately the one Southern California stop is the same day as my brother’s high school graduation, but I am so very excited that these guys are back together and making music. I literally SQUEALED; I was so happy.

So today’s song is the newly released single from their upcoming album, Save Rock and Roll, called My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).

Enjoy :D

Friday Funny

I SO need to get better at doing the Friday Funny. I have all these pictures and videos for you guys, symptoms just stored away for easy access for the Friday Funny…and I don’t do it. I apologize. I’ll get better, pharm I swear!

This week’s funny is brought to you by youtube user egoraptor. My brother showed me a couple videos of his last night, and basically, I couldn’t stop laughing. This stuff is super funny.

I do warn you though, its completely vulgar. Like…the “F” bomb is dropped pretty often and there’s no censoring. Proceed with caution, in fact, YouTube might not even let you watch it if you are under 17, or something. Its THAT vulgar. But awesome.

This one is a vulgar, but hilarious Pokemon battle between Pikachu and Venusaur. Its freakin awesome.

Book of the Week: The Matched Trilogy

Its that TIIIIIIIIIIIME of week again. Book of the Week time. I’m writing this earlier than I actually need to because I’m tired and I’m not feeling well (a cold totally *would* attack me just days before I start my spring semester) so I figured, salve well, this might as well do my Book of the Week post.

I’m feeling massively productive this week. I cleaned my room. Thats a huge accomplishment all its own.

I also finished the sixth season of Gossip Girl.

And I’ve managed to read 16 books this month, which keeps me on track with my 200 book goal for the year 2013.

So I’m in a good mood :)

Moving on, I was going to do Matched by Ally Condie for the Book of the Week. However, with reading sixteen books basically back to back, its been awhile since I actually read Matched, or so it feels like. I’ve read the remaining two books in the trilogy since then. So for the first time, I decided to review a whole trilogy.

I’m also changing up how I do Book of the Week. Let me know if you like it, or if you enjoy the old way better.

Book of the Week:

The Match Trilogy by Ally Condie

matched-trilogy

Genre:
Young adult, Dystopian, Romance

You May Like it If You Liked:
Hunger Games trilogy, Delirium trilogy

Plot Summary: 

The story takes place in the Society, a place not really unlike the city you live now, except for that everything is monitored: your food, your conversations, your school and so on. You only have so many choices as your free time activity. Your career is chosen for you. There are 100 songs, 100 books, 100 paintings, 100 poems, all deemed appropriate for the society. You live until you are 80, and then you die. And you marry who the Society deems your perfect Match, to continue a perfect society, free of disease, free of complications. Its Cassia’s sixteenth birthday, and lucky enough for her, its the same day as her Match banquet, the day she finds out who she will spend the rest of her life with. And as luck would have it, it turns out to be her best friend, Xander. Things couldn’t have been more perfect.

But then Cassia’s grandfather is scheduled for his death, and before he dies, he gives Cassia a poem, a poem that isn’t one of the 100 Poems and it has Cassia hooked.

Then Cassia joins a hiking club, and is suddenly spending a lot of time with Ky, a mysterious and handsome boy who Cassia can’t help but noticing. Soon, they’re becoming closer and closer, sharing a secret poem, in the case of Cassie, and learning the art of handwriting, from Ky. Slowly, Cassia realizes she’s in love with Ky and the Society isn’t all what its supposed to be. Its not long before they’re all caught up in rebellion: Cassie, Ky and Xander.

The Bad:

There wasn’t much bad to it. Crossed, the second book in the series, was very slow. There wasn’t a lot going on in the book, to me, anyway and I was just kind of waiting for SOMETHING to happen. It was a lot of information, not a lot of action. It seemed like a build-up book for the last book, Reached. So that was incredibly frustrating because it wasn’t a short book so I had to push myself through some of the parts of Crossed. However, Reached picks up right at the core of Rebellion, for all the characters, so it is a lot different and keeps you going.

I had one teensy issue with the fact that it reminded me A LOT of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. In Delirium, love is a curse, a disease and when you turn 18, you get the cure, and you get matched with someone who is compatible for you, and will help create a stronger race. Lena is all ready to receive her job, find out who she is going to marry, and get the cure…until she meets Alex, and falls in love. Then she questions the society she lives in and how its run. The parallels between Delirium and Matched bothered me for awhile, which is why I didn’t read Crossed right away. However, Crossed and Reached go in a different direction than Pandemonium, the Delirium sequel, so I got over that pretty fast.

The Good: 

I actually really liked this series. I had held off for awhile, because when I saw the covers, I admit I was like, ugh another dystopian romance novel and ugh can we move on? I so need to grow up  haha. It turned out to be a seriously great series. A lot of the things that I have grown to expect from young adult lit books weren’t really there, and that was the most impressive part.

The love triangle? Basically nonexistent. Although there is a hint at one, it doesn’t even take up the novel in the slightest and there is never a question throughout the novel of who has Cassia’s affection.

The novel focuses on the idea of the Society and the things that they’ve been hiding. It focuses on the Rebellion, but it also shows that even Rebellions aren’t perfect. I think that was a big thing that I liked about it. It reminded me a little of Hunger Games. Katniss recognizes that President Coin isn’t really THAT much better than President Snow. It doesn’t present the Rebellion as 100% good and as of having a RIGHT to take back the country. It has flaws, and this one has major flaws. To orchestrate the sort of problem that they did, because they owned the solution seems wrong. Especially when it doesn’t really go according to plan. I know thats extremely vague but I’d rather not kill the novel for you.

The point is, I really like the story that Ally creates. She presents many different factors and people into the Society. Its not just the Society and the Rebellion, there are other people who can’t decide what they want, or they have decided they don’t want to support either. The people aren’t black and white, they’re gray and I love it. I feel like Condie presents a realistic dystopian novel. She shows what it would be like to have a real rebellion and have it lose control. The rebellion doesn’t go all as planned, and its very true to life. Things don’t quite work out the way you wish they did, or the way you planned them to.

I also really like the characters that Condie creates. They’re all strong characters. Cassia is a strong female character; making decisions on her, focusing on the Rebellion because SHE wants to, not because of Ky or Xander or anyone else. Even though she’s young and is totally allowed to feel confused, she knows from the beginning who she wants to be with and doesn’t ever deter from it. Ever. She shows strength and resilence in every mission and every goal she tries to accomplish. She’s extremely intelligent, along with Xander and Ky. They’re all strong, unique characters. They have normal teen feelings but they stay focused on the prize the entire novel.

All in all, the novel presents a good young adult dystopian novel and I’ve been kind of craving that for awhile.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars for the entire series. I’d probably give a 4 to Matched and Reached, and 3 to Crossed.

Recommended or Not?

Definitely recommended especially if you enjoy a good young adult, and you enjoy a good dystopian novel. Especially a recommendation if you are over love triangles.

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Star Wars Moments

So, medical I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the nerd news lately, but it was just recently announced that J.J. Abrams will be directing the 7th installment of the ever-growing Star Wars franchise.
And while I’m still unsure about how I feel about a 7th installment, I feel slightly better now that I know a reputable and mostly trusting director is at the helm. I’m more concerned on who is going to write the thing, because the story is what worries me the most. The cinematography of the prequel movies was great (although at some points, they should have eased up on the green screen…) but the stories are what made them so bad. So I hope that whomever they get to write the screenplay will impress me as much as J.J. Abrams as director.
Moving on though, because they just recently announced that there was a director, I thought a good Tuesday Top Ten would be remembering some of my favorite Star Wars moments. Enjoy!
Top Ten Star Wars Moments
10. “I have a bad feeling about this” 
One of the best moments from any Star Wars film is when a character says that line “I have a bad feeling about this”. Its an iconic quote from the movies, one that I’ve always loved and always get a kick out of hearing. I love hearing Indiana Jones say it on the ride in Disneyland and I loved when Rex on the old Star Tours ride said it and C3PO says it in the current version. Its been in several TV shows and video games. Every once in awhile it sneaks up on your, in other movies, paying homage to one of the most popular franchises of all time. Its a comfort thing, a line that always appears and is one line you’ll never forget.
 
9. The opening scene of a New Hope
 
Now, I wasn’t even alive when the first Star Wars hit the movie theaters so I can only imagine what this scene was like for people seeing it back then. But I can remember as a kid, watching this movie for the first time and being pretty impressed by the opening scene. There is something seriously badass about watching the Star Destroyer loom over you as it passes across the screen. Its HUGE and IMPRESSIVE and it gives you the chills. I can’t wait until A New Hope hits the theaters again because I need to experience this scene on the big screen.
8. “Impressive. Most impressive.” 
Okay, for those of you who may not know what I’m talking about, this is the part where Darth Vader and Luke are battling it out in Empire Strikes Back. Luke jumps out of the machine that’ll turn him to carbonite and avoids being captured. Darth Vader says “Impressive.” The part that I love about this, and its mostly because of my boyfriend, but after that, Luke shimmies up, maybe a foot and Vader goes “Most impressive.” I don’t know if Darth is talking about jumping or what, but the way it is portrayed is that Vader is mildly impressed with Luke jumping a good 10 feet, and VERY impressed by his ability to shimmy a foot or two. Its not even a part that would normally get much attention but every time I watch it, my boyfriend cracks up, so I look forward to this part.
 
7. Darth Vader defeating Emperor Palpatine 
While I think its a *little* bit cheesy that this scary, intimidating villain turns out to be a softie in disguise, I do like that he is the one who defeats the Emperor and ends the power of the Sith (I mean, until you read books and you realize that this is NEVER going to happen…). To be quite honest, Vader is the one who kind of started the madness in the first place so it seemed only fitting that he would be the one to end it. And it WAS kind of cool to watch Vader, Anakin Skywalker, defend his son. Even though I had spent the entire trilogy wanting Luke to beat the Emperor, it worked that Vader did it, out of love for Luke’s mother. And hey, the Emperor was defeated! Yay! That’s a HUGE moment on its own!
 
6. “Aren’t you a little short to be a storm trooper” 
 
Oh, Princess Leia, your sarcasm is just way too much to handle sometimes. She is captured, by the EVIL Darth Vader and has totally watched them BLOW up her entire home planet. It would be more than normal if she was falling apart, or even showing the tiniest bit of stress. Anybody would. But she’s not just anybody, she’s Princess Leia. Obviously a Stormtrooper coming into her cell is NOT a good thing and yet she immediately has a sarcastic remark ready for him. Its hilarious and it sums up Princess Leia pretty damn well.
5. Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader light saber fight  
 
All the non-believers hate this first lightsaber fight because they’ve seen the super special effects fight that have taken place in the prequel movies. And those are great and all but there is nothing like the first fight that takes place in the Star Wars movies. No one had seen a weapon like lightsabers before; it was like a classic sword fight but, like, 1000 times better. It’s also kind of scary too right…I mean, you could seriously chop off your fingers accidentally and that would be a HUGE problem. Think about it, Alec Guinness was not exactly a young man when he filmed Star Wars and he makes that fight look so super badass. I love it.
4. “Don’t get cocky kid” 
I want to marry Harrison Ford…preferably the way he looks as Han Solo…or Indiana Jones. But mostly as Han Solo. I think that was one of the first times as a kid that I was like WHOA, that guy is hot…or as much as you could think someone is hot when you’re five. I just love this particular part in the movie because it just makes me laugh. You meet Luke Skywalker before Han Solo and you love him totally right off the bat, the innocent, full of heart farm boy. And he’s in his first “battle” and he’s like a little kid that’s accomplished something “I got him!” and seasoned adult, Han Solo, just kind of rolled his eyes and says “Don’t get cocky, kid” and its just hilarious.
 
3. Luke, I am your Father
Come on, how could this NOT be in the top ten of bet Star Wars moments ever! It was a lot different for me, when I first watched it because I already knew that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. But I can only imagine what kind of crazy, insane revelation this was in 1980. Star Wars had grown into a MEGA phenomenon and everyone had been DYING for this movie (it had been three years) and a bomp dropper like this is amazing. And Luke’s reaction is awesome. I think the best part about this too is how little people knew about this too. I mean, not even Mark Hamill knew this news, not even David Prowse (who actually played Darth), knew this. It was all filmed with a different script, a different secret revealed. Fantastic.
 
2. Luke blowing up the Death Star 
 
Little farm boy Luke Skywalker, who literally found out that he’s of Jedi blood and about the rebellion and all that, climbs into an X-Wing fighter and takes down the DEATH STAR! The most badass space station capable of destroying an entire planet, and little Luke takes it down, and without using his scope! He just FEELS the force and blows that ship UP. It is one of the most epic moments in Star Wars history. True, they start rebuilding the Death Star and Lando and Wedge have to go blow it up again in Return of the Jedi but the epicness of Luke destroying the Death Star in a New Hope is just unparalleled. It shows Luke’s capabilities and his right to be a Jedi Knight. Its a pivotal moment for him, a moment where he changes from farm boy to warrior.
1. Han Solo and Princess Leia-I Love You
 I know. So cheesy. Incredibly cheesy. Well, I am a girl and I am a nerd so it only makes sense that this moment would be the best moment for me. I mean, come on, Princess Leia and Han Solo are one of the most badass fictional couples ever. (I made a list once, check it out here). So when Leia finally blurts out “I love you”, I was cheering…and Han Solo, like the sexy badass that he is, just says “I know”. I KNOW. So awesome. So fantastically awesome. Han Solo can’t say “I love you too”, he’s too badass for that, so he says “I know” and its sexy and romantic and fitting and awesome. I dreamed for YEARS about saying I love you to a guy and having him say I know like that. (Side note: my boyfriend totally did this. He’s a keeper). Totally the best moment of the entire Star Wars saga.
*      *      *      *      *      *
What about you guys huh? What are some of your favorite Star Wars moments? How do you feel about J.J. Abrams directing Episode 7? As always, let me know in the comments!

How Tamora Pierce Changed My Life

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Today, order I really started thinking of Tamora Pierce. She just won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Library Association. If there is anyone in this world that deserves that award, what is ed it is her. Her first novel, Alanna: The First Adventure, came out in the early 80s. She continues to publish novels, and they continue to dazzle her readers.

I first picked up one of her books when I was sixteen years old, nine years ago. I picked up Trickster’s Choice at Target, for two reasons. One, it was only about ten dollars, which was great. I was sixteen without a job so ten dollars was awesome to me. Two, there was mention of pirates in the book flap describing the book. I had an unhealthy obsession with pirates back then. Really, it was very, very unhealthy.

Anyway, the book ended up having absolutely nothing to do with pirates except for the fact that it is briefly mentioned in the beginning that the main character is kidnapped by pirates.

But besides that mistake, it ended up being such a fantastic book. I could go on and on about it but I did a Book of the Week post about it AGES ago and you can check it out here.

A few months later, the sequel to Trickster’s Choice came out, Trickster’s Queen, and I fell in love all over again with Tamora Pierce’s writing. Then an amazing thing happened: my love of this two part series gained me a pen pal, Chloe, who I have been writing (yes, snail mail!) for nearly 9 years now. She is a HUGE Tammy fan and introduced me to the fact that the Trickster series was the fourth Tortall series by Pierce.

So I went back and read the Daughter of the Lioness series, the Immortals series, and the Protector of the Small series. Then I reread the Trickster series again. Then I anticipated and enjoyed her new series, the Beka Cooper series, taking place in the past, before the events that we’ve come to know in the other series.

And the fact is, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Tamora Pierce and her fantastic books in it.

One, there’s the fact that it brought one of my closest friends in the entire world to me. Sure, Chloe and I live on opposite sides of the world; me, in California, Chloe, in Australia. We have never actually met in person. But we’ve been writing to each other for nearly a decade. We’ve read the same books, enjoyed the same movies, and gone through so much together in the world of handwritten letters. I give her books and she gives me books. She is one of my best friends, hands down, and it came from a mutual love of Tamora Pierce.

Tammy also gives me such a confidence in myself and my writing and its because of how long she has been writing. The woman has been around for decades, writing fantastic books, and sure, she’s not turning her books into movies and hitting the red carpet, but she’s been an overwhelming and inspirational presence in the young adult literature and fantasy worlds. She’s always there, and with every single book, she only gets better. She is a force to reckon with and I believe that I can do, because she did it, and continues to do it.

Plus there’s the pure and undeniable fact that she is a FANTASTIC writer. She takes us into a fantasy world that’s both new and yet familiar. She makes you really believe that these places and people and things are all real. You can’t even convince yourself that it isn’t real. Some fantasies that I’ve read before are the same thing over and over again, or they’re just too complicated for me to wrap my head around. I mean, sometimes I just get tired of reading about forbidden romances and fallen angels. It gets old. But Tammy’s stories are unique and familiar and fun.

Her stories are a breath of fresh air when you are surrounded by the same things over and over again. I’m over the love triangles and the fallen angels and forbidden romance, and dark titles with the same black and grey covers over and over again. Honestly, it just gets tiring. I mean, sure, I like the idea of the stories but sometimes the romance just gets in the way and I start to get annoyed.

But Tammy. Oh, Tammy. She creates these fantastic characters. Alanna. Daine. Keladry. Aly. Beka. All of them are strong, admirable characters. Alanna disguises herself as a boy for eight years to become the first female knight in over a hundred years. Daine is a powerful mage, able to communicate and heal animals and shape shift into one as well. Keladry is the first female to come forward to become a knight, with her gender known. Aly becomes the spymaster for a secret rebellion to take back a country from tyrannical and cruel rulers. Beka is a fierce and intelligent force of the Law, helping to solve some of the realms biggest crimes and mysteries with her scent hound, Achoo. These are amazing, strong and fierce women. If there was ever a group of fictional women to worship, this would be it.

Because these women, they do everything in their power to live their dreams and protect their realm. The fact that Alanna disguises her sex for so long and fights and fights, and becomes such a powerful knigh is amazing. Daine uses her powers and her way with animals to fight a WAR, to become a HERO. Keladry goes through years of torment and years of disbelief to become a knight herself, a formidable one, separate from Alanna, her predecessor. Aly is clever, extremely intelligent and 100% committed to helping the raka people take back their country from their terrible conquering rulers. Beka comes from the poorest parts of the capitol city become one of the most successful of the Guard, solving some of the hardest and most mysterious of crimes.

And the best part is…they all fall in love. They all do. And most of them get married, and have that happily ever after. There are mushy moments and exchanges of “I love you”, and sweetness and romance, and even some moments of flushed cheeks by the readers. But these heroines never let the romances get in the way of their goals. When a marriage proposal gets in the way of Alanna’s desire to see the world, she says no, instead of compromising her wishes and dreams. Daine’s love is her partner, her equal and they feed on each other for support, love and strength. Keladry chooses her dream, her determination to become a knight over anything else, over anyone else. She wants love but she can’t let it distract from protecting those who need her. Aly loves someone very much but she doesn’t let her get distracted from her mission, a seemingly impossible task. She waits until she’s completed her mission before completely giving herself over. Beka has her relationships, her flirtations, even a deep love for someone, but she never lets it get in the way of doing her JOB.

Can you see why I’m madly in love with Tamora Pierce and her writing? Can you see why my life, my writing, my passion for books, my outlook, my morals, my values, my beliefs, my strength have been influenced so much from Tamora Pierce? The woman is amazing and creates worlds that you want to be a part of. She creates characters that you wish you could be…and then you realize that, no, you don’t want to be them, because they are unique and they inspire you to be unique, to go out there and be different, and to grab onto those things that you want and dream, everyone else be damned.

I’ve been rambling on for what seems like forever. I could go on for pages and pages, for days and days, because there is no way I’ll ever begin to tell you how important this author, and her books are to me. I only hope that you all have a chance to pick up a book by her and realize how fantastic they are, and how much they can change your life. Besides my dear Queen Rowling, there isn’t an author on this planet that I worship and strive to be as much as Tamora Pierce.

I’ve read a lot of books, and I’ve loved a lot of books. I consume books the way some people consume food, or clothes or shoes, baseball games, even alcohol and drugs. I have a passion for books. But when you get down to it, I have two favorite books.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

and

Tricksters Choice

That should say something right?

Go out there, pick up a book by Tamora Pierce. You seriously won’t regret it. Then come back, and we can talk all about it. I can’t wait for it.

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Tamora Pierce’s Novels

Song of the Lioness Series

Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hands of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant

The Immortals

Wild Magic
Wolf Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

The Protector of the Small

First Test
Page
Squire
Lady Knight

Tricksters Series

Trickster’s Choice
Trickster’s Queen

Beka Cooper series

Terrier
Bloodhound
Mastiff

and many more series outside of the Tortall universe!

Book of the Week: The Looking Glass Wars

Hello everyone. I hope everyone is having a great and nerdy week. We’ve had some good news this week in that Doctor Who finally got a return date! (March 30th for those of you who missed yesterday’s post). Lots of really awesome things are coming soon. Wonder Con is the same weekend as the return of Doctor Who. Tickets went on sale this week so I’m pretty excited about all that.

Meanwhile, treatment I’m keeping myself busy with my 200 books this year goal. Currently I’m at about 13 1/2 books but I hit a slow patch in reading as I picked up my pen (or my keyboard…) and started writing again. I was hit with some writing inspiration and I’ve been writing. Its all just one big fat sloppy mess right now but its fun to be writing while promoting the publishing of A Little Less than Famous.

However, troche I HAVE been reading a lot so I do have a Book of the Week for you this week, which means I’m getting a WHOLE lot better at my schedule, which is GOOD. That means I’m getting more responsible and that you can trust me now! Hopefully…

Anyway, this week’s Book of the Week is…

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

looking-glass-wars

The Looking Glass Wars is about Alyss…Alyss, the princess of Wonderland. Spoiled and powerful in the “magic” of Imagination, she has adventures around the Heart Palace where her mother, the Queen Genevieve, rules. Genevieve’s sister, Redd, has always wanted the throne, especially after it was taken from her when she turned to Dark Imagination instead of White Imagination. On Alyss’s 7th birthday, the palace is attacked and when the queen and king are killed, Alyss is whisked off to safety by Hatter Madigan and ends up in our world, separated from Hatter. After years of telling people of her place and how she wishes to get back. Of course, no one believes her, except dear old Charles Dodgson who agrees to write a book to tell the story. This becomes Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, getting the story completely wrong. So Alyss folds inside herself, convincing herself over the years that she is Alice Lindell, and that Wonderland doesn’t exist.

Until her childhood friend, Dodge, shows up right before she’s about to marry a prince and brings her back to Wonderland. She’s the rightful queen and without her, Wonderland has become worse and worse in the hands of Redd. Alyss has to step up to the plate and deliver, but can she?

The Good or the Bad: 

I mostly liked this book. Mostly. More so than I actually thought I was going to.

For one thing, Alice in Wonderland is not really my thing. I love fairy tales and Disney and all that, and alternate fairy tales but Alice has never been one of my favorites of the bunch. Its kind of like…I feel like a lot of its popularity comes from the fact that its weird and offbeat…not the actual story or anything. Not that I hate Alice, I like her a lot. Just not one of my favorites.

I had seen this book at the bookstore and thought it looked kind of interesting.

Side Note: I hate the whole phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. I get that it has an alternate meaning and it means not to judge people they look and blah blah blah. But I totally judge a book by its cover. I mean, its the first thing you see when you go to find a new book. Then you look at the title, then the synopsis in the back and THEN you read it and judge it. But you judge whether or not you even want to give it a shot by its cover. I’m just saying. Okay. Side note over.

The cover of the book grabbed me right away because of the futuristic kind of feel it had to do it. I thought it was a dystopian type of novel. Then I read that it was an alternative tale of Alyss in Wonderland and I was intrigued. I took a picture of the cover to remind myself I was interested (this is before I discovered the BEAUTY of GoodReads) and left it at that.

I honestly didn’t remember at all until Tanya, a friend of mine, brought it up, saying she really liked the books. I trust Tanya’s opinion a lot; she’s never really steered me wrong with books so I decided to check it out. When I received a ton of money for books for Christmas, I bought the book and I just picked it up a couple days ago and read it in about a day.

And I definitely liked it. I liked the alternative view of the story to it. I liked the idea that there was a magic and purpose to the wackiness of Wonderland. It was due to the idea of “Imagination” in light and dark ways. I liked that the people of Wonderland imagined all these wonderful things, the things that we know in our world, like pogo sticks or electricity. Its fantastic.

I really liked that Redd, who basically seemed like the Queen of Hearts of the Alice story we know, was crazy…but she had a motive. There was a reason to her madness. She had powerful imagination but in a way that her parents didn’t approve and therefore the kingdom passed on to her sister instead of her. You understood why she was ordering people to lose their heads and whatnot. She just wasn’t this crazy random lady. I liked that. I appreciate alternative fairy tales that makes a villain human. Villains are human and its not very often that you have a villain who is bad just for the sake of being bad. Even Darth Vader, Voldemort, etc., there are reasons why they are the way they are. In fairy tales, villains just seem to be pissed off and evil for no reason. Not so much in this story, and it just adds more to the story.

The characters I really liked the most were the characters of Hatter Madigan and Dodge. Hatter Madigan, of course, is the Mad Hatter but he’s so much better in this story. He isn’t the crazy little man, drinking tea and singing about unbirthdays and all that. In this story, he’s the queens closest guard and is a badass warrior. His infamous hat folds to flatness and becomes a wicked weapon, with blades and everything. After he and Alyss go through the Lake of Tears, and end up in our world, and they get separated, Hatter spends THIRTEEN years going around the glone and searching for her. For YEARS. That takes some serious dedication and awesomeness for him to do that. And there was that mysteriousness to him, who did he lose? Why does he want a leave of absence before he becomes Alyss’s guard.

Then there’s Dodge. Dodge was Alyss’s childhood friend, her first love and when Redd attacks the palace, he loses his father, sees him die right before his eyes. He spends the thirteen years before Alyss returns, focused fully on his revenge. He becomes distant, angry, and kind of badass. Instead of being the rule follower he was before, he’s breaking all the rules. Every war story has to have that moody, revengeful character and that’s Dodge. I’m interested in seeing what happens next with him, how he adjusts to the new kingdom and how his and Alyss’s friendship and relationship evolve.

However, I kind of had an issue with Alyss herself. I liked her a lot in the beginning, as a child, even though she was kind of spoiled and naive. But once she came into our real world, and Dodgson kind of screwed her over, she became kind of lame. She just kind of accepts that Wonderland was never real and she just has zero personality. She agrees to marry the prince because its going to make her mother happy. But even then, she’s just empty. I supposed that could be the whole point, that she’s empty without Wonderland but she just bored me so much during that time. Even when she gets back to Wonderland, she’s just kind of …there’s just nothing. i couldn’t even describe her personality really. She seems to have the least amount of personality of anyone in the book. I thought she was kind of badass once she went into the Looking Glass Maze and become a warrior queen, and when she fights Redd, its pretty badass. She’s badass as far as fighting skills and her skills with Imagination but I hope that she develops more of a personality as the book continues.

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Have you read this book? What did you think? As always, let me know in the comments!